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From: Doug Gwyn <>
Subject: Re: Black Talon/Hydra-Shoks...
Organization: U.S. Army Ballistic Research Lab, APG MD.

In article <2g2t60$> myersc@UCS.ORST.EDU (C. Daniel Myers) writes:
##From what I understand, the Black Talons are made to
#"disintegrate" inside a body and this schrapnel is
#scattered throughout.  The same with Hydra-Shoks.  This
#is different than what I understand about normal JHP's.
#There intention is to "mushroom" and this causes a bigger
#hole in the exit than the entrance.

Wrong!!  There are a couple of brands of "frangible"-bullet cartridges
designed to fragment upon impact, but none of the premium hollowpoint
handgun ammunition is like that; it's all designed for a combination
of good penetration and high degree of expansion ("mushrooming").

#Now, if anyone has experience with these in ballistic gelatin
#or actual "encounters" could they lend some insight.

*** During my recent holiday in the Houston, TX area, I conducted some
penetration/expansion tests of four major brands of high-performance
handgun ammo in .40S&W, at the American Shooting Center in the
Cullen-Barker State Park, which was a very well-run public outdoor
range.  I set up, for each test shot, four 1-gallon plastic milk jugs
filled with water, in an abutting line so that the shot could penetrate
three bottles and still be trapped in the fourth.  That way I could
determine how many bottles the bullets penetrated and also recover the
expanded bullet from whatever bottle it stopped in.  (This is a re-run
with improvements of the tests that our Moderator and I conducted several
weeks ago, mentioned here previously.)  The bottles stood on a plywood
board supported by two sawhorses, at about 5 yards from the firing line
to ensure accurate hits.

The four kinds of ammo I tested were:  Federal Hydra-Shok, Winchester
Black Talon, Remington Golden Saber, and PMC Eldorado StarFire.  The
Black Talon was the only round to reach the fourth bottle, which it
perforated but did not enter.  All bullets tested were recovered from
the third bottle from the front.  All four expanded well, with the
StarFire exhibiting somewhat wider mushroom than the others, the Golden
Saber having the most nicely rounded, scalloped expanded shape.  Viewers
of the results at the range agreed that all four performed very well.
The biggest "splash" of exploding water back toward the firing line
came from the StarFire.  All four had fairly well-peeled back jackets;
Black Talon was pointier than the others but definitely not the hazard
you heard reported in the news media.

My personal recommendation would be the StarFire first, then Black Talon,
then Golden Saber, then Hydra-Shok.  However, they are all good choices.

I'd like to get hold of some CCI Speer "Gold Dot" Lawman ammo for
comparison.  What other premium defense handgun ammo is there that
I should try?  (I ran out of milk jugs anyway, but would like to do
more testing after I've saved up some more jugs.)  I think it might be
interesting to try more conventional hollowpoint (e.g. 135-gr Cor-Bon)
as well as Glaser Safety Slugs.  I suppose I should also fire a round
of FMJ ammo too, although I think I need to use more bottles for that
(probably six would be enough to catch the bullet, just guessing).

Where does one get MagSafe, Lawman, and other uncommon ammo, anyway?

#If these Black Talons/Hydra-Shoks are so good, why did Ferguson (the nut
#on the subway) only have about a 25-30% kill ratio with his targets.

Probably he didn't place shots optimally ("critical" hits).
I suspect that after the first couple of shots, the passengers were
trying to hide between the seats etc., making it hard to get good
center-of-mass hits.

The victims violated rule # 1 of gunfighting, which is "have a gun".
(Not really their fault but rather that of the NYC government, which
effectively outlawed weapon carry for commuters.)  But I suspect many
of them instinctively understood rule # 2, "make use of available cover".

#I know that's a pretty blunt way of looking at it.  But I want
#the best available for civilians for my home-protection
#weapon.  Thanks in advance to anyone who responds.

Shotgun (10 or 12 ga) or "major caliber" handgun (.357, .40, .45).

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