HSM 9mm 124 gr XTP gel test and review

    Buy it at Ventura Munitions: https://www.venturamunitions.com/hsm-9mm-124gr-xtp-subsonic-ammo-50-rounds/

    We fired HSM’s loading of 9mm Hornady 124 gr XTP jacketed hollow point from a Smith & Wesson Model 6906 into ClearBallistics clear ballistic gel both with and without four layers of denim to simulate heavy clothing for the purpose of assessing penetration, expansion, and weight retention. Results were mixed.

    Here is the raw data:

    Bare gel:
    Velocity: 1,077 fps, Chronograph error
    Retained weight: 115.7 gr
    Max expansion: 0.504″
    Min expansion: 0.442″
    Velocity: 1,135 fps, 1,144 fps
    Penetration: 25.6″
    Retained weight: 124.0 gr
    Max expansion: 0.453″
    Min expansion: 0.379″

    So as it turns out, two of the bullets left the gel blocks but of the two that were recovered, the one fired through heavy clothing expanded very little. While it did technically expand, in practical terms this was a failure. This load might not be the best choice for personal defense and the dramatic range of velocities means it probably isn’t exactly match ammunition. Then there is the fact that it managed to induce a failure to feed in a pistol that has never seen a stoppage in thousands of rounds of mostly hand cast reloads. To be fair, some pistols are just finicky about the shape of the bullet, but I did check COAL and it was precisely the same as the 124 gr Speer Gold Dot that is the usual carry load in that gun. It definitely underscores the fact that you need to test ammunition for function before depending on it for carry.

    So what is this ammo good for? Aside from turning money into noise or skipping beer cans around, that is. If it functions better in your pistol than it did in my friend’s, the deep penetration and moderate expansion make it an obvious choice for woods defense. And if you carry a compact 9mm pistol in places where you may look tasty to critters. In sparser populated areas, that penetration poses little risk to innocent people and deep penetration is important for large animal defense. It also might not be a bad choice to stock a fair amount of it for a rainy day. The price makes it attractive to buy in bulk and, while the performance may not be as good as other loads, it is still better than FMJ.

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     Ventura Munitions – Retailer of quality ammunition.

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    Transcript ….

    [coming soon]


    Andrew is a combat veteran of OEF and has performed hundreds of ballistic tests for his YouTube channel, The Chopping Block (https://www.youtube.com/user/chopinbloc). He is an avid firearm collector and competitor and lives with his family in Arizona. If you have any questions, you may email him at [email protected]