The Box O’ Truth #13 – The Water Box O’ Truth pt. 2

Today, we are going to shoot some Jacketed Hollow Point ammo into some water jugs with cloth in front, to continue some research we started in the “Rags O’ Truth”. We will then see if various types of ammo expand as designed.

Following some suggestions, this time we will have the clothing right up against the first jug, to better simulate the way clothing is worn.

GaryM, and Dragracer_Art both were kind enough to send me some ammo to test, and that’s what we will be shooting today.

This is a picture to show how much trouble it is hauling all this stuff to the range

This is a picture to show how much trouble it is hauling all this stuff to the range.

First, just as a matter of my curiosity, I shot a .22 LR cartridge into the box.

It is a .22 LR Mini-Mag HP.

It went through the clothing and penetrated 3 jugs.

Each jug is 6 inches thick, so that was 18 inches of water.


DocGKR, a recognized expert, told me, “Be aware that water generally reveals the maximum upset which can occur to a projectile in soft tissue -your actual result in living tissue may be somewhat less. You can also use the water testing to get a rough estimate of bullet penetration depth in soft tissue–bullets penetrate approximately 1.6 to 2 times as much in water as in soft tissue”.

So, we’ll look at penetration using those standards.

This picture shows the round, slightly expanded.

This picture shows the round, slightly expanded.

Next, a Winchester 115 gr JHP, White Box.

It costs less than top quality ammo, but does it work?

If you look closely, you will see 4 jug caps all in the air at the same time.

Here I am, shooting it out of my Springfield XD.

Here I am, shooting it out of my Springfield XD.

It expanded pretty nicely, and penetrated 4 jugs.


Then a Federal Premium +P+ 124 gr Hydrashock.

The first round failed to expand at all.

It penetrated 5 jugs and hit the side of the box.

I told Tman that we needed to shoot another round, as I felt that we still didn’t have a good idea of what it would do.

So, we tried again.


The second round expanded as designed.

This is the first round on the right and the second one on the left.

This is the first round on the right and the second one on the left.

If you look closely, you can see some blue jean material in the nose of the first round.

Maybe that’s why it didn’t expand


Let’s shoot some .45 ACP.

First, some .45 ACP Carbon +P, 185 gr JHP, out of my Gold Cup.


It expanded well, but the jacket and core separated.

It penetrated 4 jugs.


Then some .45 ACP Remington 230 gr JHP, Golden Saber.

The jacket and core separated.

It did not expand as well as expected.


Lastly I tried a round of .38 Special Glaser Blue Tip, out of my Python.


It blew the first jug to pieces. You can see the BB’s in the bottom of the jug.


Here's all that is left of the jacket in the second jug. It barely made it into the second jug. That means approximately 9 inches of water.

Here’s all that is left of the jacket in the second jug. It barely made it into the second jug. That means approximately 9 inches of water.

We then shot a .40 S&W Corbon 150 gr. JHP.


It penetrated 3 jugs and ended up in the 4th.


We had only 5 gallons of water left, so we tried a last round of .40 S&W Hydrashock.

It penetrated all 5 jugs, and blew a nice .40 caliber hole in the back of the Waterbox O’ Truth.

From the looks of the hole, Tman said that it didn’t expand at all.


I wasn’t sure if I could draw any conclusions, but Tman assured me that as an Engineer, he could draw “a family of curves” from one data point.


Lessons learned:

Today was full of surprises.

  1. The .22 LR penetrated and expanded more than I would have guessed.
  2. The Hydrashock rounds, both the 9mm and the .40 S&W seemed to fail to expand some of the time. This was disappointing.
  3. The Golden Saber .45 ACP sure looks like a great round before you shoot it. But the core and jacket failed to stay together.
  4. The Glaser .38 Special blew up the first jug, but did not have much penetration. This is a concern to many folks that believe defense rounds need to penetrate into the vitals of a bad guy to work well. Penetration was very limited.
  5. Some folks are critical of Corbon ammo, but what we shot today worked as advertised.
  6. And, to keep everybody happy, Shooting stuff is Fun.

Looks like we still have more testing to do.

Thanks to GaryM, and Dragracer_Art for the ammo, and to Tman for the photography.

1 Comment on The Box O’ Truth #13 – The Water Box O’ Truth pt. 2

  1. DAVE WILLIS // March 29, 2017 at 4:45 pm // Reply

    You might consider placing 2″ or so of SPACE between the water jugs when shooting. The AIR SPACE will not affect the results to any appreciable degree; hydraulic shock from rounds, exploding water jug when shot, especially a Blue Cap Glaser Safety Slug, will damage another water jug IF THE JUGS ARE TOUCHING. Air Space will give more reliable results. Same is true in some respects to drywall,, having two 1/2″ drywall boards spaced at 3-1/2″ of typical stud,,, then space 12″ or so BEFORE you set up another sequence of drywall (two layers with 3-1/3″ spacing)- again will give more reliable results (Glaser coming out of ONE PAIR of drywall in my tests WAS ALL SMALL LEAD FRAGMENT WITH FLAKES OF COPPER JACKET. When next wall is 10′ away- nothing will hit or barely in surface of next wall (Blue Glaser).

    In a box with 12″ spacing, MIGHT have enough of the copper cup that holds #12 lead shot together to have a MASS large enough to damage the next layer of drywall (should find enough to determine facts). IF the 9mm Blue cap Glaser hits an 8# block of plumber clay (~4″ thick) with 6″ spacing then cardboard box 4′ deep filled with hard packed paper, will have lead shot in surface of cardboard box (NO penetration of cardboard); where the 8# block of clay is now in dollar size or smaller pieces of clay on ceiling (8′ ceiling, box and clay at 3′) and both sides and wall behind shooter, minimal clay along with pieces of #12 birdshot w/clay in surface of cardboard box only 6″ behind clay target.

    After being shot with Blue Cap Glaser, there was NOTHING left of 8# clay to reuse.. ALL clay found has some birdshot and/or flakes of copper jacket. Other JHP ammo makes a hole, cavity wound cavity in clay, etc. can be recompressed into 4″ thick block of clay to test next bullet round. NOT with Glaser. Grey cap Glaser harder to find, uses LARGER bird shot than Blue Cap (?compete with MagSafe ammo ? ) ,, obtaining better penetration (still NONE going through cardboard behind clay block (cardboard box was 48″ deep PACKED so tight no more paper could be inserted. That 48″ was main backstop I used; however, used 8″ masonry block wall, mortared together for solidity.
    Glaser were 100% energy transfer (this part is not for passing on. After a coroner customer of mine (had FFL then) who said he didn’t believe in carrying despite his job and visits to ugly crime scenes, having had his throat cut by brother of deceased victim one night who other S.O. officers on scene didn’t know was there; Coroner knows he used ALL his luck in surviving- despite his 17 outside stitches, having an impressive scar and new outlook. This Coroner was now a card carrying fan of CCW and of using ammo that resulted in ONE shot stops. Coroner with Sheriff LT. using a John Doe being cremated next morning, fired 9mm Blue Glaser into corpse; resulting in 4″ max penetration in hit above belt line in center of mass covering nearly 12″ area with lead shot etc. Hit in arm above elbow, pushing lead shot into chest cavity and down arm to wrist. Glaser was ONLY round his office tested where penetration through a body could be counted on NOT to pass through the body into another person. Other JHP depended on numerous factors which your site has demonstrated. Have personally done a lot of testing.. the ONLY test where your results conflicted with mine was 9mm Glaser going through 5-6 layers drywall (if wood like hollow core door material using honeycome inside or layers of drywall are thick enough to have to thin cup of brass holding #12 birdshot to keep overall mass ‘together’ as wood/drywall surrounds bullet 100% in all directions to keep lead birdshot together is will ‘defeat’ the purpose of the Glaser. Coroners’ opinion was a Live Person standing at ER door of hospital would die from shock and blood loss before he could receive life-saving attention from the hospital- good carry for first round or two, any ‘fight’ lasting longer, he wanted ammo/bullet that penetrated then did EVERYTHING. Son is passing your site to other LEO in his division.

    THOROUGHLY ENJOYING ALL OF YOUR TESTS (ALSO BOTH SONS WHO ARE SHOOTERS) ESPECIALLY OLDEST BOY, AN EX-MARINE NOW SHERIFF, WHO’S DEPARTMENT IS NOW GOING BACK TO 9MM SIDEARMS INSTEAD OF 40s&w; DEPT. IS GOING BACKWARDS TO ‘HELP’ ALL OFFICERS OF ALL SIZES qualify in Shooting their pistols. ETC. Happy, #1 there’s been many new changes in handgun bullet design in past ten years, and #2 that his department also buys Safariland Spider Wire vs Kevlar for officer’s Vests.


1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Freedom Munitions 124gr XTP 9mm Luger NEW

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.