November 3, 2008
I’ve always liked innovative people and the companies they run. Cor-Bon certainly is one of those companies. I’ve used a lot of Cor-Bon ammo over the years and now there is even more reason to with the companies DPX ammo. One thing is sure they make a type of ammo for just about anyone and fits every nitch there is whether it’s hunting or self defense.
A couple of weeks ago I bought one of the German police Sig P6 pistols. While they were running the paperwork through I started looking at the ammo that was available in 9mm. My eyes caught the DPX box so I started reading the velocity of this 115 grn round. At 1295 fps it’s a screamer as are most Cor-Bon loads. What piqued my interest when I opened the box was the huge cavity hollowpoint. I’ve never seen a hollowpoint that large or deep. Combine that speed with the solid copper Barnes bullet and the large cavity and you have potential for a very effective defense or duty round.
I did read an article on this round where they took two layers of shirt material one being a heavy wool and the other a standard cotton type. This was layered under a heavy piece of jacket leather with ballistic gelatin backing. The goal has been to achieve 12 inches of penetration in 10% ballistic gelatin. In this test they penetration was right at 12 inches with 100% weight retention and full expansion.
My test was with water. I placed four 2 liter bottles of water back to back with a backing of old leather behind the first two bottles and behind the last two bottles just in case it penetrated that far. Gelatin is more realistic but water is a valid medium to use and yields similar results as far as expansion. With some calibers the round expands into four petals with the 9mm there are six.
I setup with a Hi Power and the Sig P6. I proned out and fired first with the P6 which has a 3.9 inch barrel while the Hi Power has a slightly longer barrel. The results were pretty equal in spite of the barrel length. The bullet expanded very well and stopped after penetrating two of the bottles, the leather and stopped in the third bottle after making a small dent in the back of the third. I set everything up again and fired the Hi Power. This round went through two of the bottles, the leather and the third bottle then dropped to the ground after the third bottle. Certainly very similar results. I repeated this four times with the same results which indicates to me quality consistent loading. In other test I’ve had more deviations in velocity and penetration. All rounds fully expanded and retained 100% bullet weight. Expansion was .60! Being a one piece bullet it also has greater potential for penetrating glass, car bodies etc for those in law enforcement. The petals all folded out just a bit more than 90 degrees to the bullet body. The edges of the petals are sharp and are far enough apart to not clog when passing through most any material. Kinda like a little buzz saw:-) In fact I cut my finger a little handling one. There are also small serrations inside the bullet cavity to ensure expansion. I have a feeling that in a more robust material the petals would most likely open further curling back towards the body of the bullet.
On to particulars. The DPX stands for “Deep Penetrating X” referring to the Barnes homogeneous copper bullet. The original round had four petals as I mentioned earlier looking like an”X” hence the name. I guess you could call this 9mm a hex bullet :-) Overall length of this 9mm is 1.12″ which is somewhat longer than most but due to the bullet shape it feeds like a charm in everything I fired it in. Standard deviation was 16 from the Sig which is pretty darn good in my view. This Cor-Bon is more accurate then I am capable of shooting and is more than accurate enough for any defensive situation. Recoil is not bad considering the velocity.
The cost of Cor-Bon ammo has always been a bit higher than other popular brands but then how much is your life worth! To sum things up it’s my belief this is the best round to come around in a long time. Time and study of actual shootings with this Cor-Bon offering will prove it to be effective enough that police departments will adopt it. Velocity, reliable expansion and penetration are the criteria by which ammo is judged. The DPX passes the test and then some. I believe in it enough after doing these test that it’s now my carry round of choice.
An Opinion on DPX ammo by John Farnham
Pistol Bullet Performance:
The last time we did a bullet performance test was during a course in PA early last year. At that time, friend and colleague, Mike Shovelfrom Cor- Bon brought out huge blocks of ballistic gelatin, and we shot them with a variety of commercially-available, high-performance pistol ammunition. We required each bullet to first penetrate four layers of denim before entering the gelatin. At that time, we discovered that denim retarded and frustrated the expansion of a number of conventional, hollow-point bullets. In bare gelatin, most expanded just fine, but the denim barrier presented a problem for all but a few.
Last weekend, again in PA, Mike joined us once more for an Advanced Defensive Pistol Course, The gelatin tests continued:Many commented last time that they wondered what effect a heavy,leather jacket would have on pistol-bullet performance and penetration.So, this time we required each bullet to penetrate a leather jacket AND four layers of denim before entering the gelatin. Each student subjected his own, carry ammunition to the test. Here is what we found:The combination of leather and denim frustrated most conventional,hollow-points. Most traversed the gelatin with badly-compromised expansion . Some did not expand at all. Even Cor-Bon’s vaunted PowerBall (45ACP, out of my Detonics) did not do well in this test. I was surprised, as few rounds will out-expand PowerBall, but the layers of clothing, combined with the Detonics’ short barrel, conspired to thwart performance.The one round that expanded consistently and completely, despite the leather and denim barrier, in all calibers, was Cor-Bon’s DPX! DPX, in 40S &W, 45ACP, 357SIG, 38Super, and 45AutoRim, were all unimpressed by the leather and denim. Even 380Auto DPX, out of my little Kel-Tec,was immune. It expanded symmetrically and completely, penetrating nine inches of gelatin, after penetrating the clothing.I am more persuaded than ever that DPX provides superior performance in the widest spectrum of circumstances, consistently outperforming any other bullet of which I am aware.
Update on a .454 caliber DPX
This is some additional info on the DPX given to me by Justin Cherington who shoots the DPX with the same opinion I have on this fine round from Cor-Bon.
“Average FPS was 1,580.2. Average expansion came out to .756″ and of course I have always seen 100% weight retention. In blocks of packed wet newspaper the average penetration was 16 inches with full expansion/damage starting at 3″. From what I have seen they penetrate about the same as the heavier 300 grain Hornady XTP if velocity is the same however they only averaged 87% bullet weight retention and expanded to .749 so the barnes has them beat! ”