The Box O’ Truth #27 – Little Guns vs. The Box O’ Truth #2

As often happens, the Little Guns post presented us with some additional questions.

We figured it was only appropriate to give it a follow-up to settle a few of them.

Once again, we will be looking at small carry guns. There are sometimes called Back-Up Guns or BUGs for short.

The main reason for their existence is simply the ease with which they can be concealed.

I was disappointed with the results of the JHP in my P-32 and went to the store and bought a box of Winchester .32 Auto 71 grain, FMJ rounds.

These bullets are FMJs, but have a slightly flat point.

Here I am busting the box.

Here I am busting the box.

The round penetrated 4 jugs. Plenty of penetration.

The question now is: Will these rounds work 100% of the time or will they cause “rim over” jams, as explained in the Part 1?

Only time and lots of tests will tell.

27-2

Another small gun that we didn’t completely wring-out was the .38 Special Snub Nose.

A friend that is a Deputy Sheriff in Louisiana sent me some rounds to try in the snub nose.

First, a round of Power Ball, .38 Special +P 100 grain, advertised at 1400 fps.

A pretty impressive explosion.

A pretty impressive explosion.

The light weight of the round caused us to doubt whether it would penetrate enough, but it had no problem.

It penetrated 5 jugs and came apart.

Four jugs is considered the optimum minimum penetration since it equals about 12 inches of BG penetration.

This one did even better than that.

Here's a part of the jacket in the first jug.

Here’s a part of the jacket in the first jug.

The main part of the bullet was found in the fifth jug.

All in all, pretty good performance.

27-5Then a round of Federal Premium .38 Special High Velocity 147 grain Hydra Shok JHP (P38HS2G).

27-6It penetrated 4 jugs and expanded as designed.

27-7

And finally, the round that everyone in-the-know says is the best of the best for short barreled .38 Specials, the Speer Gold Dot, .38 SPL +P 135 gr. GDHP.

Sure enough, it expanded as designed and penetrated 4 jugs.

27-8

These are the three .38 Special rounds lined up.

These are the three .38 Special rounds lined up.

How about 9mm little guns?

First a Glock 26 with Winchester Ranger SXT 127 gr. JHPs.

This pistol kind of stretches the “little gun” concept, as it is shorter than a full sized pistol, but it is still thick and heavy.

A pretty neat action pic, by Tman.

A pretty neat action pic, by Tman.

The round penetrated 3 jugs and came to rest between the third and fourth jug.

27-11

Here it is in the sunlight. Very nice expansion.

Here it is in the sunlight. Very nice expansion.

Maybe barrel length is important.

We had tried the Glock 26 with its 3.46 inch barrel.

We decided to shoot the same round in my Glock 34 with its 5.32 inch barrel.

27-13We were surprised that it also only penetrated 3 jugs, but it expanded better than the round out of the 26.

Here's the two rounds of SXT with the short barrel on the left and the long barrel on the right.

Here’s the two rounds of SXT with the short barrel on the left and the long barrel on the right.

This was so interesting, I might do a shoot comparing short and long barreled pistols.

Lastly, we tried Tman’s Glock 27, in .40 S&W.

First, I shot a round of Federal Hydroshock 180 gr. JHP.

It only penetrated 3 jugs.

We decided to try the Winchester Ranger SXT 155 grain JHP.

To out great surprise, it only penetrated 2 jugs and the jacket and core seperated.

27-15

We were so disappointed that we decided to try it again.

We got exactly the same results.

Here are all three bullets.

Here are all three bullets.

And here they are again, in the shade, for comparision.

And here they are again, in the shade, for comparision.

Lessons learned:
  1. Some ammo works just fine in short barrels, as shown by the .38 Special rounds.
  2. The “more powerful” .40 S&W did not penetrate as well as the 9mm rounds.
  3. Longer barreled pistols give more velocity and may be the difference in total expansion and partial expansion. Maybe more tests are in order on this subject.
  4. Shooting stuff is still fun.

With $23.15 worth of water soaking into the ground, we left the range for today.

It was still better than the best day I ever spent at work.