Will thick and heavy clothing prevent a Jacketed Hollow Point from opening up as designed?

We had tested some older bullet designs and they seemed to become "plugged-up" by the cloth and did not expand as we expected.

Today, we are going to shoot some Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) ammo into some water jugs, both with cloth in front of the jugs and without the cloth.

We will then see if various types of ammo expand the same in both cases.

I followed some plans suggested to me by my friend AR15fan, and built a water box.


As you can see, it allows me to "stack" water vessels so that we can stop and recover spent bullets.

I drilled holes in the bottom to let the water drain out.

Does the number of water jugs penetrated mean anything?

I don't think so.

It is simply a way to catch the bullets.


In fact, I will also test using gallon Ziploc bags to hold the water.

Penetration is not being tested.
After the last test, several folks said, "You are not using the 'latest and greatest' JHP ammo."

Several offered to send me some samples to test.

We were planning on first shooting them through cloth and then shooting them without any cloth.

Turns out we changed our plans.10-3

Once again, the cloth is some blue jean material and some terrycloth towels.

This is to represent very heavy clothing worn in very cold weather.

I understand that there are an almost infinite number of variations of clothing type and thickness.

But we are just using this as an example.

Several folks also suggested that the clothing ought to be right up against the first jug, to better simulate the way clothing is worn.

I will try that this time.


My friend Glock23carry sent me some Federal .45 ACP Premium Expanding Full Metal Jacket (EFMJ) rounds to test. They are listed as +P.

I was really interested in trying some of these, as they are somewhat controversial among some folks.

Here I am shooting a Federal EFMJ into the box with my Springfield 1911.


After the shots, about 5 gallons of water rushed out of the box.

This is it.

This is it.​

The round seemed to perform just as advertised.

The clothing didn't prevent it from expanding, as designed.


We then tried a round sent to me by my old buddy Arowneragain.

He had sent me some Winchester Silvertip .45 ACP 185 gr.

These are not as state-of-the-art as some newer designs, but are supposed to be good stuff.

The round expanded nicely, but the jacket and core separated. That's not a good thing.


My friend Gloftoe sent me some 9mm ammo to test.

First some "Standard" Speer 9mm Luger, 124 JHP.

As you can see, it expanded perfectly.

The cloth didn't seem to prevent expansion.


He also sent some Speer 9mm +P, 124 gr JHP.

This one was laying on top of the last bag, pretty as you please.

It mushroomed perfectly.


Arowneragain had also sent some Ranger 127 gr 9mm SXT +P+.

Man, that sounds bad, doesn't it?

Here I am shooting it.

Here I am shooting it.​

It really expanded very nicely. It had jagged points at the end of each petal of the jacket.

This photo shows the Ranger SXT on top, the Speer +P middle, and the Speer "Standard" bottom.

This photo shows the Ranger SXT on top, the Speer +P middle, and the Speer "Standard" bottom.​

We decided that it would be unnecessary to shoot the rounds without the cloth, as they had performed as designed, even through the cloth. It seems that "modern" JHPs do indeed open and expand after going through clothing, just as designed.

At least the ones we tested did.

I plan on "freshening-up" my carry loads to these newer, better cartridges.

This is the bottom of the bullets.

This is the bottom of the bullets.​

There will be at least one more installment in this test. We plan on shooting some .40 S&W, and possibly some "bigger" calibers, just for grins.

Why? Because shooting stuff is fun.

Stay tuned.

Thanks to Tman for the help. Thanks to my friends for the ammo samples.

And a special thanks to my grandkids for drinking all that milk.