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Featured Glock 42 vs. 43 Ballistic Test: 9x17 vs 9x18 vs 9x19

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by -JCN-, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. -JCN-

    -JCN-

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    This thread is a Glock 42 vs Glock 43 Ballistic test (not a general caliber test). I chose to put it in General Glocking so people can see the difference between a G42 and G43 in gel tested back to back with different popular ammunition and make their best educated decisions on what trade offs they are willing to make.

    Some of my previous testing:

    My first test:
    Getting a sense for 380 vs 9mm in different barrel lengths

    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/quick-ballistics-test-g42-vs-g26-vs-g34.1654105/

    Testing different 380 rounds

    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/quick-g42-and-g26-ballistic-testing-hot-ammo.1658862/

    Compilation thread. There are some fruit shooting videos here too.

    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/quick-compilation-of-g42-ammo-testing-including-new-p.1659345/

    Denim testing

    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/quick-compilation-of-g42-ammo-testing-including-new-p.1659345/#post-24144777

    Ham shooting for simulated chest

    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/final-g42-ballistic-testing-xtp-over-xd.1661502/

    8 layer denim failure test

    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/g42-hollow-point-failure-test-8-layers-denim.1662442/

    After I had done those tests, I picked up a G43 and some Federal +P 147gr HST as well as a Makarov conversion barrel.

    See this thread for information on the conversion:
    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/the-glock-42-with-the-9x18-lonewolf-barrel.1663739/#post-24251900

    The questions I set out to answer (for myself):
    1. My gold standard G42 (380) ammunition is the Underwood 90gr +P XTP. It does a consistent 12.5" in bare gel with decent expansion. Would the G42 with a 9x18mm Makarov conversion perform better with commercially available ammunition (Hornady Critical Defense and Underwood +P XTP)?
    2. How would this compare to a G43 with different self defense ammunition (Federal HST +P 147gr, Speer Gold Dot +P 124gr and Speer Gold Dot normal pressure 147gr).
    The 9x18 Makarov cartridges: Underwood XTP +P (left) and the Hornady Critical Defense (right).

    IMG_1612.JPG

    And the difference in the XTP bullets in 9x18 (left) vs 9x17 (right).
    IMG_1614.JPG
    IMG_1615.JPG

    The 9x18 XTP is a lot different of a bullet than the 9x17 XTP. I was very curious to see how they would perform and whether there was a favorable ballistic difference.

    Everyone is a little different in how much penetration they are willing to accept. Personally, for a weak cartridge like 380, I am aiming for 12" of penetration knowing that if I penetrate much farther than that it's at the expense of energy delivery to target and expansion. I personally don't feel comfortable with 380 cartridges that expand a lot but penetrate a little. Like the Gold Dot in 380 which in my testing only penetrates ~8".

    So when I shot the rounds in gel, here were the results. I put markers where the bullet tract ended (there is a little gel bounce back, so the physical bullets may be behind the marker).

    Labeled Mak.JPG

    This is a 16" FBI block of ballistic gel with another gel block past it.

    Here are the expanded bullets and the distances they traveled in bare gel.

    IMG_1660.JPG

    Side view of the bullets to get a sense for the dimensions of the expanded bullets.

    IMG_1662.JPG
    Discussion. I see it again and again. There's a very small sweet spot of penetration and expansion for each bullet and cartridge. I'm looking for 12-16" in bare gel. More distance almost always comes at a trade off of smaller expansion and wound cavity given the same caliber type. Also, for a given bullet: more velocity = more expansion and less penetration. I've seen this in different barrel lengths and in different higher pressure loadings of the same bullet.

    Conclusions:
    1. G42: The Makarov XTP bullet was too large of an expander, rivaling the results that the +P 380 Gold Dot did out of the G42. Large expansion, but not enough power for adequate penetration (~8").
    2. G42: The Makarov Critical Defense penetrated "okay" but didn't give additional expansion over the tried and true Underwood 380 XTP +P. It also had some challenges with the factory extractor due to the large lip on the casing.
    3. G42: The 380 Underwood XTP +P in the G42 continued to perform consistently and will continue to be my SD ammunition of choice in that pistol.
    4. G43: The 9mm Federal HST +P 147gr was an excellent expander and penetrator.
    5. G43: The 9mm Speer Gold Dot +P 124gr expanded and penetrated well.
    6. G43: The 9mm Speer Gold Dot 147gr out of the 3.4" short barrel was too slow to expand well and consequently penetrated a little deeply. This was even worse in previous testing with a 3" Kahr PM9 where it went >19" and expanded even less.
    Disclaimer: Testing is for entertainment and education. If people can get something out of it, then great. I understand that testing self defense ammunition is overkill and theoretical as most people will never need to shoot a single round in self defense. I also understand that some people feel most comfortable with SAAMI spec ammunition and some are comfortable with hotter ammunition. I also understand that a 9x17 and 9x18 will not and never be a 9x19 and that some people view 9x19 as the minimum effective caliber / ammunition for self defense.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  2. rowdy115

    rowdy115

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    Excellent test! Thanks so much for posting that. I appreciate it
     

  3. rowdy115

    rowdy115

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    Do you think the factory Hornady loaded Mak XTP would do any better than the Underwood? Or worse? That large opening really appears to slow it down fast,but it looks like the wound cavity is bigger than the 9mm Luger you tested. Perhaps with a different bullet the Mak would do better than it did in this test? I've seen tests of Silver Bear Jhp where it expanded and pentrated 13 inches through denim. I just wonder if there is a suitable option out there for a G42 9x18 Makarov for defense ammo that perfoms better.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  4. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Thanks for the data

    Great report :cool:
     
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  5. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    Thanks for the incredible amount of work and detail. There is a ME Calculator available online, I think it is Bill St. Clair's. His ME calculator supplies section density (from inputed bullet dimension and weight). It would be fun to know what the sectional density of that Mak bullet ended up being after fully deployed. :)

    Looks like the clear winner is still the Underwood "+P" loading of the 90gr XTP from the OEM G42 barrel. Like 10mm for hunting purposes, the XTP's expansion properties seems to be a match made in heaven for 380 when loaded hot.

    I bet that Mak bullet does a job on the melon.. ;)

    PS - I wonder what four layers of denim would do to the penetration potential of the Mak bullet? Maybe a little clogging might serve it well. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
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  6. ChuteTheMall

    ChuteTheMall Wallbuilder and Weapon Bearer

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    Great report, thanks for posting it here.

    Not surprisingly, the +P choices beat the non-+P choices.
     
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  7. -JCN-

    -JCN-

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    A lower power XTP might actually get deeper penetration if it doesn't expand as much. I've seen that again and again with different barrel lengths and different hotness of loading.

    But... with something already lower power like a 380 or Makarov, I want as much power as I can get and will pick the bullet at that power that meets my personal minimum penetration standards. I think a +P Mak Xtreme Defender would be a good round if it could be loaded hotter than the +P 380 they offer.

    Or if you could load the 380 XTP bullet in a Mak casing and make it hotter.... (Bill, are you listening? :D)

    I think the Mak Critical Defense will blow up melons like the 380 +P Gold Dot. Those would make gnarly flesh wounds. Just don't shoot obese bad guys with more than 8" of gut.... :D

    Four layers of denim would increase the penetration of the bullets. Denim tends to add 3-5" of penetration. For the previously tested 380 +P Gold Dot it took it from 8" in bare gel to 12" with denim. For the 380 +P XTP from 12.5" bare to 16" in denim. I'd expect the same increase with the Mak hollow points... it's all about where you set your limits of acceptable. Some people use the Border Patrol 10" standard. I'd say that was the absolute minimum in bare gel.

    But I don't want my self defense ammunition to be that conditional (which is where the Xtreme Defender is nice... 15" bare gel and denim, but smaller wound cavities than a JHP).

    It's actually extremely ammunition and barrel length dependent. The question is: where is the sweet spot of a cartridge / bullet and the key is picking the heat level for your barrel length that gets you where you want to go.

    The +P choices in 9mm bring the velocity up in a short barrel to where they would be in a full length barrel... so it's in the sweet spot of design for those rounds.

    The +P in Makarov (like with the XTP) are too fast and too much expansion for the overall power level of the cartridge and it grossly underpenetrates.

    It's an amazingly small window of acceptable expansion vs. penetration in a particular caliber.
     
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  8. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    We will have to maybe give that a go.. :0
     
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  9. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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    "It's an amazingly small window of acceptable expansion vs. penetration in a particular caliber."

    Agreed. But I'll take penetration over expansion any day. That's why I like the Underwood 115 grain +P Flatnose hardcast. Because of the Mak's stubby bullet profile, the flat nose has a very wide meplat, but the sides of the bullet's nose are rounded for good feeding. It may not produce the vaunted "One shot kill" or hit the attacker in the exact right spot on the first shot, but the best policy with any gun is to keep shooting until the threat is neutralized.

    I carry this ammo in my P-64 Radom and it works flawlessly in that gun. My only reason for wanting a 9mm Mak barrel in a G42 would be to shoot that ammo.

    Thanks again for doing these tests. As I've said before I enjoy your methodology as well as your analysis and agree with most of it. Keep up the good work.
     
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  10. rowdy115

    rowdy115

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    How far does the hard cast penetrate generally compared to jhp or fmj? Edit: nevermind, I found a video that kinda answers that. See next post
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  11. rowdy115

    rowdy115

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    Here is a test that features both the Underwood Mak JHP and hard cast, among others through denim. 13.4 inches of penetration after bounce back on the Underwood Mak JHP.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  12. -JCN-

    -JCN-

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    Thanks! I've been torn on whether to test the 115gr +P hardcast. They might be a good option. I suspect they will perform similar to the Xtreme Defender (or maybe more like the Xtreme Penetrator). In 380, the +P XD goes ~15" and the XP goes >20" but with the obligate trade off in energy delivery.

    The thing that has made me shy away is that the 380 +P XTP is so hot that after it expands it basically turns into a flat nose. But you're right, it will penetrate less far than a hard cast.

    Again, I'm torn because:
    1. For picking "penetration over expansion" it has to be contextualized in personal minimums and maximums.
    2. A 223 rifle or 10mm in a FMJ will go 40"+ in gel. Personally, I think that's too much.
    3. A 9mm in FMJ will still go 30"+. I still think that's too much.... BECAUSE... when shot at a target like a melon, it just makes a small hole and doesn't cause much tissue disruption. So again, the trade off of penetration vs. expansion.
    So for me, my personal minimum and maximum is cartridge dependent. With a 10mm hollow point, if it goes 20" in gel I'm not concerned because I know it still dumped plenty of energy in the path to getting there.

    With a 380 (or Makarov), I'm a little disturbed if it goes 20" because of the tiny wound cavities it makes to get there.

    I would suspect a hard cast Makarov would go between 15-21" (because the XD was 15 and the XP and unexpanded hollow points go 21"). Probably more towards the 20" mark because the profile is similar to an unexpanded hollow point. That to me in a 380 is (personal preference) too little of an energy delivery.

    Especially when there are great choices in stepping up just a little bit in size (or not in terms of the PM9) if I went to 9mm.

    Here is energy delivery graphically in melons. Index that against minimum penetration.

    G42 FMJ (380) exit wound:
    PO FMJ melon exit.JPG

    With wound cavity.
    PO FMJ melon cut open wound cavity.JPG

    Compared to the Xtreme Penetrator (which I would expect the hard cast to be similar to):

    Exit:
    380LehighXPexit.JPG

    And wound cavity:
    380LehighXPwound.JPG

    Then compared to the +P XTP 380:
    IMG_1505.JPG

    And a 3" 9mm barrel Kahr PM9 with 124gr +P Gold Dot:
    IMG_1502.JPG

    My personal thoughts being:
    If you have a high capacity pistol then maybe it's okay to have teeny wound cavities. But if I only have 6-8 shots, I would like a wound tract that causes damage if I get "close" to a vital area.

    It's all about what you're comfortable with, though. Just like I have a minimum penetration requirement, I also have a minimum energy delivery requirement (if I have options).

    There's such a dramatic difference in energy delivery between the hollow points and the full metal jacketish bullets that I really don't want to accept small wound channels if the gel performance is adequate (12" for me). If I need it to go 18" inches, I really feel that I need to step up to a much hotter caliber in order to maintain adequate (for me) wound cavity / energy delivery.

    And to this:
    The big thing you are missing is: 3.8" barrel on their pistol plus they shot through denim (add ~4" distance compared to bare gel for hollow point). At the short barrel range, the barrel length absolutely makes a difference. A G42 is a 3.25" barrel and will underperform a 3.8". So that is consistent with 8" in a 3.25" barrel bare gel test. I'd probably get ~12" with the Mak XTP in denim (that was exactly the change I saw in the similarly expanding 380 +P Gold Dot). But the FBI minimum is 12" in bare gel, not with denim (so you can't compare a 12" denim performance to a bare gel one... especially since the denim tests for hollow points are always inflated).

    Also note their hard cast test went >21" which is what I predicted from unexpanded hollow points and the Xtreme Penetrator testing. And I wouldn't choose that ammo in a Mak for the reasons above (poor energy delivery) and >16" for me isn't a priority. As a matter of opinion, in a 380 or lower power cartridge if the gel performance is higher than 13-14" then I start really being critical of the energy delivery ability and it starts to become more unattractive of an ammunition choice (with that cartridge only... 9mm is a different story).
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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  13. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    Thanks for the heads up, I appreciate it. A little hard to follow which round was which when he was doing the cutting, but in the end, very informative. More anecdotes the better for me.
     
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  14. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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    "For picking "penetration over expansion" it has to be contextualized in personal minimums and maximums."

    I think that 40 inches in Gel might be "Too much" penetration according to the theory that not enough energy is expended within the target, but if you do the math and you're talking about 600 ft/lbs of net energy to begin with, if half of that energy is lost that still leaves you with 300 ft/lbs. And then wound channel also has to be considered it you're talking 223 with FMJ's vs 10mm with jhp's.

    And the only other consideration would be a concern in a home defense situation of penetrating walls after exiting the body of the predatory recidivistic feral humanoid in question.

    Other wise, as with your other example of the difference between the Lehigh Phillips-head bullets where you would prefer the lighter bullet to the heavier one because the heavier one "Over-penetrates", we need to quantify how much over-penetration we're talking about and whether its only a matter of 10-12 inches or whether it's closer to 40.

    And keep in mind in that situation your choice is either to limit velocity or limit mass and energy and neither choice is good.

    As I said before, I generally agree with most of you analysis, and the question of penetration is the only area where we most differ, and I'm glad to hear that you're "torn" on the question because that means you have an open mind. I'd suggest you try the underwood hardcast and see how it actually does in your test protocols.

    I'm also a heavy bullet guy and I don't think that giving up mass for velocity is ever a worthwhile trade-off such as with Underwood using the lightweight copper Phillips-head bullets in 357 Sig and 10mm.
     
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  15. -JCN-

    -JCN-

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    Gotcha and agree. Right now where I am in my education process, I don't have a good handle on what the different bullet weights do for ballistics. I would appreciate any advice / education on how best to view it. As an anchor point, I know that a soft tip 55gr Gold Dot 223 is a devastating self defense round mainly because of the speed. But it's a light bullet. So I haven't quite figured out how weight plays into it except as to help calculate muzzle energy.

    Any thoughts on why heavier may be better than lighter in the same cartridge?

    My Philips head discussion on the Xtreme Penetrator vs the Xtreme Defender was more about the flute depths than the weight of the bullets and that the lighter but more deeply fluted Defender seems to deliver more energy to target (if you feel target is 12-16" gel).

    Honestly, I would love more discussion on bullet weights and how that plays into choices. The 9mm124 +P Gold Dot and 147 +P HST looked fairly similar in gel. What could I expect for a benefit in the heavier bullet? (Not a smart *** comment, I would like ideas and opinions).

    Note that the one thing a 10mm fast light Philips head bullet does is defeat soft armor (like a 223). So there is a potential role for it.
     
  16. rowdy115

    rowdy115

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    I like bare gel tests, but I like the tests with denim too, because you get to see how well each bullet opens up when forced to pass through clothes first. It would appear the Mak XTP opened up beautifully after passing through the denim and still made a devastating wound cavity, which I was happy to see. Penetration through clothing was good in this test. I wish that Mak XTP would just have a smaller hollow point opening like it's .380 counterpart so it wouldnt open up so fast and violently in bare gel and be a better performer in that test. Of course in doing so you would lose some of that big energy dump from the rapid expansion it has now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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  17. M 7

    M 7

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    Same here, but not too many folks are nekkid when they are shot. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.
     
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  18. Joe58

    Joe58

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    I appreciate all your efforts and obviously expensive testing and then posting your results for us to peruse. Nice job.

    I ran through the posts and comments, and looked at a couple of your other test threads, but didn't see it anywhere, but did you test non +P .380 too?

    I carry a 42 with the Fiocchi XTP, or the Precision One offering using the XTP, both non +P. For my arthritic hands, the +P rounds are just too snappy for me. For my wife as well.

    I've seen other similar tests that indicate both these offering produce acceptable results. Acknowledging the .380 is not a .44 magnum or whatever of course.

    If you have and I missed it, can you give me a link? Thanks again!! Good job.
     
  19. -JCN-

    -JCN-

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    Hi Joe, I have tested the Fiocchi XTP and the Precision One XTP. They are both good choices. In my previous statements, I was under the impression that the Precision One was loaded hotter (because it performed "better") but over the course of testing, I realized that the Fiocchi is actually hotter (and that's why it penetrates less because more expansion).

    I would have no problem carrying either the Fiocchi or the Precision One.

    Links are here:
    First post in this thread:
    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/quick-ballistics-test-g42-vs-g26-vs-g34.1654105/

    First post in this thread too:
    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/quick-g42-and-g26-ballistic-testing-hot-ammo.1658862/

    Also tested the Fiocchi in 4 layers denim (one didn't expand):
    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/q...esting-including-new-p.1659345/#post-24144777

    Picked the +P Underwood loading of the XTP because it seemed to do better (more consistent expansion in denim).

    Also first post in this thread:
    https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/g42-hollow-point-failure-test-8-layers-denim.1662442/

    I retested the Fiocchi and the Precision one in the thread above with measurement in bare gel above.
     
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  20. happie2shoot

    happie2shoot

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    JNC, thanks for another great thread,
    I wish I had your energy.
     
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