I had some friends from the HS2000/XDTalk Forum contact me about some ammo they were interested in testing.

My friend DJDan said that if I would be willing to test some, he would arrange for the purchase of the ammo.

This ammo is expensive.

This is a picture of what I received.

This is a picture of what I received.​

That small pile cost $73.97 delivered to my door. (More on cost later.) The cost was paid by a group of guys on the XD forum that were interested in the results. It so happens that I met the owner of the company that makes the Extreme Shock ammo at the SHOT Show and he indicated that he was willing to send me some free ammo to test. He sure seemed to be a nice fellow. But I felt that if he did so, it might appear that I was prejudiced before the testing. This way, I can be totally honest in what I find.

I have two different types of ammo. The first is Extreme Shock 9MM 124FF, advertised as "Explosive Entry Fang Face, Enhanced Penetration". It is a "compressed Tungsten-NyTrillium Composite" fragmenting round.

They said that the bullet "fragments upon impact, leaving a wound channel of catastrophic proportions. The expansive fragmentation characteristics of the Extreme Shock rounds transfer the bullets energy in a far faster time span than conventional hollowpoints. The resulting stopping power is utterly devastating. E-Shock rounds are engineered to expend maximum energy into soft targets, turning the density mass into an expanding rotational cone of NyTrilium matrix particles, causing neurological collapse to the central nervous system."

The second ammo was "9MM 85AFR, R2LP-Air Freedom Round". This round will "reduced over-penetration and reduced ricochet characteristics of these rounds are nothing short of revolutionary. Over-penetration is minimized as the complete energy of the AFR bullet, including the fragmented bullet itself are typically contained within the target. The risk to EMS personnel is reduced because the rounds don't leave the many glove-shredding, razor sharp fragments of traditional rounds. The ExtremeShock™ AFR round disintegrates when it hits hard targets such as many interior walls and airplane skins, but retains astonishing stopping power on organic targets." Additionally they say, "is the best choice for home or urban carry. The rounds frangible and reduced ricochet characteristics provide a greater level of safety. A miss on a target won't penetrate through several walls, and potentially injure a sleeping family member."

Okay, sorry for the long information, but we need to know what this stuff is supposed to be able to do so we will know what to look for.

I cannot test for every possible variable, but we will look at two main issues. We will test for penetration in drywall (sheetrock) and we will test for penetration in water. I will shoot some other brands of rounds to use as a comparison.

I will shoot all rounds out of my Springfield XD, to make the guys at the XD Forum happy.

It's a fine little pistol.


I had to dig out the old original Box O' Truth and cut up some 5/8 inch sheetrock to fill it with.

It holds 12 sheets of drywall.

First, a round of Winchester Ranger SXT 9mm, +P+, 127 grain.

Why this round?

Because that is what I carry in my 9mms. I believe that it is the "best of the best" for now, in non-trick ammo.

23-3As expected from past shoots, it went through all 12 sheets of drywall and the hole it made exiting indicated that it was expanded.

Next, a round of 9mm Glaser Blue Tip.

These are also designed to reduce penetration.

It penetrated 6 sheets of drywall and bounced off the 7th.

23-4Then a round of the ES Fang Face.

We were surprised that it penetrated 11 sheets of drywall and bounced off the 12th.

I sure am glad it stopped at 11, because we were able to recover the bullet.

This is it.

This is it.​

As you can see, it failed to upset and acted like a solid.

I was so surprised at the results, that we shot another one.

It did the same thing.

23-6Lastly a round of ES-R2LP-Air Freedom Round

It penetrated 4 boards and bounced off the 5th.

23-7This is what we recovered from that round.


Tman and I called an "audible" and we decided to try something we hadn't planned.

We set up the box with a gallon of water first and followed by one "wall" of spaced drywall boards.

This would indicate what happened if the rounds met resistance and then had a wall behind them.

This is the set-up.

This is the set-up.​

Here I am cutting lose with a Air Freedom round.

Here I am cutting lose with a Air Freedom round.​

It blew up the jug and then bounced off the "wall".

23-11Then we tried a Fang Face round.

It also blew up the water jug and pieces of it stuck in the face of the "wall".

23-12How about a test using water?

We drug out the Waterbox O' Truth and bought a bunch of water jugs.

We added some material in front, cotton towel and blue jeans to simulate clothing.


DocGKR, a recognized expert, once 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.

First a round of Ranger SXT.

First a round of Ranger SXT.​

It penetrated 3 jugs, or approximately 10 inches of ballistic gelatin.

It expanded just as expected.

23-15Then a round of Glaser Blue Tip.

It blew up the first jug and left pellets in the floor of the box.

23-16Then a round of ES Fang Face.

It blew up the first jug and stopped in the second jug.

These are the parts of jacket and powder from the bullet.

23-17Lastly a round of ES-R2LP-Air Freedom.

It blew up the first jug and dented the second jug.

I cut away the jug so you could see the left over powder and jacket.

23-18Lessons learned:

The Extreme Shock ammo makes a couple of claims and we will look at the results. Please allow me to "paraphrase" some claims.
  1. 1. Claim: Their rounds are supposed to penetrate walls less than standard ammo.
    Findings: The Fang Face penetrated 11 drywall boards, or over 5 interior walls without expanding or fragmenting. The Air Freedom round penetrated 4 boards, or 2 walls.
    Less than a standard JHP round which penetrated all 12 boards, but still some penetration.
  2. Claim: They are supposed to be able to penetrate a bad guy enough to be effective Stoppers.
    Findings: Both the Fang Face and Air Freedom rounds only fully penetrated 1 jug and slightly entered the second jug.
    This is equilivant of 3 or 4 inches of penetration in ballistic gelatin. Some experts have doubts that this is enough penetration to reach the vital organs of a bad guy.
  3. Claim: They are advertised as worth their cost.
    Finding: The cost for this ammo averaged about $1.85 per round, delivered. I see this as a big problem with "Specialty" ammo. We all know that it is very important to function test any carry ammo through your firearm. Who will or can afford to run 50 or 100 rounds of this stuff through a firearm to be sure it functions without a hitch?
Even if someone buys enough ammo to fill their magazine, it is unlikely that they will thoroughly test the functionality of the ammo.

I'm sure this ammo costs a lot to manufacture. Is it worth the cost? You be the judge. One thing for sure…..Shooting stuff is fun.

Thanks to my friends at HS2000/XDTalk Forum for sponsoring these tests. And, as always, thanks to Tman for the photo and water hauling help.