.44 magnum gel test: Sig Sauer 240 gr V-Crown JHP

.44 magnum Sig Sauer 240 gr V-Crown jacketed hollow point fired from 4.25″ Smith & Wesson Model 69 Combat Magnum into bare ballistic gel and through heavy clothing.

Guns in this video:
S&W Model 69 Combat Magnum

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Transcript ….

[coming soon]



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and TFBTV Host. He is a verified gun nerd. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially overly modified plastic handguns, precision rifles, and AR based things. You can follow Patrick on Instagram @tfbpatrick, Facebook, or contact him by email at TFBpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • FT_Ward

    This idea of maximum desirable penetration is so silly it’s even spilled over momentarily into discussing .44 Magnum.

    • Jared Vynn

      Over penetration is wasted energy.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Which is one of the many reasons that Andrew pointed out as to why .44 Magnum is not ideal for self-defense against two legged varmints; it’s entirely relevant to how this ammunition is applied.

        • FT_Ward

          If your life were on the line and you had one shot to put into an attacker would you consciously select the one with the lower penetration. Would you take a 9mm over .44 Magnum ? Which would you prefer to be shot with?

          What’s curious about this preoccupation with pistol over penetration is that in the same scenario if you gave the choice of a 7.62mm rifle or a pistol most people would take the rifle.

          A .44 Magnum may not be a good choice for a self defence gun but weight, recoil, and mag capacity are the reasons not that it’s too powerful.

          • ostiariusalpha

            “Would you take a 9mm over .44 Magnum ?”
            I’d take an autoloading pistol in 9x19mm over a .44 Mag revolver any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
            “…if you gave the choice of a 7.62mm rifle or a pistol most people would take the rifle.”
            You can shoulder a rifle. If I had to pick between a handgun that shot .44 Mag or handgun that shot a rifle round, I’d take the .44. I wouldn’t use any kind of .308 rifle for self-defense, that’s a stupid choice.
            “A .44 Magnum may not be a good choice for a self defence gun but weight, recoil, and mag capacity are the reasons not that it’s too powerful.”
            Overpenetration is relevant because that means you’re sucking up that extra recoil for no increase in terminal performance.

            Three quick shots with 9mm is far more incapacitating than any single shot with .44; neither one will stop a determined attack if you don’t hit the vitals, and both are equally effective in single hits to the central nervous system. The 9mm with a good hollow point bullet is just about perfect for self-defense against unarmored humans.

          • FT_Ward

            Re-read the first line. “If you had one shot”.

            Since you can’t know what intermediate materials a bullet will have to penetrate you can’t say what will be enough. The “over penetration” school pretend to know that.

            Would you really take a pistol over a rifle? No soldier or cop would. It simply makes no sense to select what is essentially a back up weapon over a long gun.

            “Three quick shots with 9mm is far more incapacitating than any single shot with .44”. So a 9mm to each buttock cheek and a third to the calf are more incapacitating than a .44 Magnum to the lung? Oh you meant three 9mms to the lungs are more incapacitating than a single .44 Magnum. Probably if they get to the lungs instead of being stuck in a door jam or car door or an arm or a rib. But why three 9s to one .44? Why not two of each? If I get to choose how many hits on vital areas I get then .22 LR will be good enough.

          • ostiariusalpha

            “Re-read the first line.”
            Sorry that I ignored the inanity implicit in the first line. There is no chance that I would ever pick a caliber on the basis of the chance that only one shot would be possible. I will always and every time go with the option that I might, and almost certainly will, need a follow-up shot. Otherwise I’d be shooting .500 S&W Magnum, not .44 Mag.
            “No soldier or cop would. It simply makes no sense to select what is essentially a back up weapon over a long gun.”
            Soldiers and cops choose handguns over rifles all the time. Most soldiers are not packing an M4 everywhere that isn’t the frontline, and cops are not slinging rifles over their shoulder as they exit their patrol vehicles. Both of them use rifles in very particular and extremely dangerous situations. In all other circumstances, it’s just the handgun.
            “So a 9mm to each buttock cheek and a third to the calf are more… blah blah blah”
            Don’t go full r—rd on me here, I obviously meant shots to the same part of the body. Which is also easier to do with 9mm.
            “Probably if they get to the lungs instead of being stuck in a door jam or car door or an arm or a rib.”
            Thanks to its sectional density, 9mm penetrates car doors, arm bones, and ribs just as well as .44 Mag does.

          • FT_Ward

            It’s not inanity it’s called science. You only test for one thing at a time. We’re discussing terminal ballistics (that’s what happens when the bullet hits something) not action type or magazine capacity.

            Cops and soldiers never (the exception might be tunnel rats) choose a handgun over a rifle when they expect to fight. The handgun is a back up weapon or for when they don’t expect to need it. Whenever a cop knows he’s going into a fight if he has any sense he’ll get a long gun. That’s the whole idea behind the shotgun or carbine in the car. Why do you not know this?

            “Most soldiers are not packing an M4 everywhere that isn’t the frontline (sic)”. Most soldiers who normally carry M4s also get pistols? No. BTW you do realize that in the current wars there is no front line.

            It’s not obvious what you meant. So far it’s been nonsense so why would I assume you meant to write anything obvious.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Wow. You are a fountain of dumb.

            “It’s not inanity it’s called science.”
            Really? And what scientific study are you drawing on that a single shot is the most likely self-defense scenario? Your premise is a fantasy, bub. Even in your pseudoscientific theory, the .44 Magnum is outperformed by more powerful revolver cartridges; so why aren’t you promoting those? They have the same capacity and action type after all.
            “[ignorant blather] Why do you not know this?”
            Have you ever asked a cop how often he actually gets that carbine out of the vehicle to use? It isn’t very often, and sometimes never. The handgun though? That’s always on the hip, ready for use. You see, that’s the key point to self-defense: a weapon that is unobtrusive as possible for the 99.99% of the time that you aren’t going to need it, but is immediately available and effective when you do need it; whether you have one assailant or several. A rifle doesn’t meet that criteria. And a heavy recoiling, over-penetrating .44 Mag revolver doesn’t make the cut very well either.
            “Most soldiers who normally carry M4s also get pistols? No.”
            Most 11Bs do carry a back-up pistol when on patrol. Most soldiers are not 11Bs though; why do you not know this?
            “BTW you do realize that in the current wars there is no front line.”
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/defe4211fedd6ce0d3164bd166cafbb3078ced4cec3f68e608fa8c89271e1112.gif

          • FT_Ward

            Are you pretending to be this stupid? Do you really not know the difference between a cop on normal patrol and one who knows he’;s going into harms way? When you write that 11Bs carry backup pistols do you understand that the pistol is for backup?

            Please get someone to help you with reading comprehension. It may not be your fault you’re such an idiot. I blame the school system.

          • ostiariusalpha

            We were discussing self-defense here; a cop or soldier knowingly going into harms way isn’t self-defense, you incompetent nincompoop. That is combat, and it is an entirely different kettle of fish.
            “When you write that 11Bs carry backup pistols do you understand that the pistol is for backup?”
            Right, and you claimed they didn’t carry one at all. Which, like most of the garbage you spew, is patently wrong.
            I’m still waiting on that scientific study, by the way.

          • FlaBoy

            That’s why you carry a 9mm in bear country! Everybody knows that.

          • ostiariusalpha

            No one here has expressed any concern about over-penetration against a bear, but it’s your choice if you want to carry 9mm, .44 Mag, .22LR or .50 BMG out in the sticks.

          • iksnilol

            Meh, your rifle vs pistol analogy is stupid. Rather, would you get a 9mm rifle or a .44 mag handgun?

          • Jared Vynn

            I’d take a 9mm carbine over a 44 Magnum handgun any day.

            Especially if it was a DI AR15 with +p+ loads, I’m thinking 115gr@2,000fps out of a 16″ (roughly 38super +p basically).

          • FT_Ward

            Since I mentioned 7.62mm I’d watch who I called stupid.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, but your analogy was stupid.

            Since the reason folks would choose a 7.62 rifle over a 9mm handgun isn’t the power but the form factor. That is, it’s easier to aim a rifle than a pistol.

          • Edeco

            If I could fire a 9mm and have it magically turn into a 44 and gain 400 fps or whatever after leaving the barrel… I’d go for that.

            44 Mag isn’t the clearest situation because it’s not too insanely overpiwered, it has been tried as a martial cartridge. If I had one round of 500 S&W or one 9mm, I’d take the 9, because I could resist bonking myself in the forehead without much skill and effort. And have better prospects of still enjoying music after.

          • Stuki Moi

            Against anything smaller than big brown bears, I consciously select loadings that trade off penetration for expansion, and/or less recoil, every time I pack a gun. As does pretty much everyone else.

          • Gun-Toting Racist

            Yep, last black bear taken down in this area was shot with 9mm hollow point defensive ammo.

      • FT_Ward

        Through and through penetration is wasted if you had some way of using it to make a wider hole that stopped on the far side of vital organs but then you don’t know what it’ll take to do that. Intervening materials, angles, and lost velocity due to range all play a part. Pistols are low power to begin with so it makes sense to carry the one that provide the best penetration and that you can and will carry and will be able to fire accurately.

        So why the preoccupation with “maximum penetration of gel”? Mainly it’s to allow police chiefs to explain how the 9mm they issue are the “best gun” available. Secondly it’s to sell fancy bullets.

        • gunsandrockets

          Better a bullet that over penetrates, than a bullet which under penetrates because of too much expansion!

          Some ammo companies are marketing expanding pistol ammunition just because of the marketplace mania for fancy bullets. Even for calibers which by most logical measures shouldn’t use expanding bullets like .380 ACP.

          • iksnilol

            A copper hollow point in 380 sounds good to me.

          • Jared Vynn

            The ARX bullets is a potential solution for .380 for being non expanding yet still effective.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Or you could use an expanding .32 ACP, it works just about the same but with less recoil.

          • Jared Vynn

            Except there are a lot less 32 acp guns available compared to the plethora of .380 offerings. And 32 acp is a slower lighter bullet and less likely to successfully expand than a .380 bullet.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Expansion is all about bullet construction, but for a variety of personal aesthetic reasons, I also prefer .380. It’s more fun to me, and there is the wider availability of firearms and cartridge components. I wouldn’t really look at either for my own personal defense.

          • iksnilol

            If we only could make 40mm HE .380 ACP…

            DAMN YOU, PHYSICS, DAMN YOU TO REALITY!

          • Jared Vynn

            We have the technology, we can do it! Tempered glass with a Al2O3+FeO core with magnesium core jacket and tracertips could work.

      • gunsandrockets

        Wasted energy? Maybe.

        What if the threat has some cover, like from a car door or windshield? What if the threat is not squarely facing you when hit? What if an arm bone obstructs the path of the bullet?

        And even then, is an exit wound really wasted energy? To my thinking that doubles the rate the threat can bleed out and lose consciousness. And according to the most recent studies of the subject, bleeding out is the primary process by which a threat is stopped by a handgun wound.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Federal 9mm +P HST has excellent performance through wood, sheet metal, windshield glass, and bone.

  • plumber576

    Are we going to talk about dodging the ricochets in this video? I think we need to.

    • Nashvone

      I was wondering if anyone else was concerned with that.

  • VeriAeq

    Did I fire five or did I fire six,,,

  • Joe Met

    Shooting that gel block multiple times breaks down the integrity of the test
    and will give you a false result with the bullets.

    Really, one shot per block(s) test to give true bullet performance, two at most.

    Penetration is never to deep.

    • Disgruntled

      5 shots is the industry standard. One in the middle and one near each corner. It only skews the test if you hit a previous wound track. Which is never larger than the diameter of the expanded bullet.