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  #1  
Old 01-23-2010, 05:17 PM
Joshua M. Smith Joshua M. Smith is offline
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Winchester PDX1 230gn .45acp Water Test




Saturday, Jan 22nd, 2010
3pm to 5pm, 43°F +/-

Tested: Winchester 230gn PDX1, factory load
Bullet Type: Hollowpoint, bonded
Factory Claimed Velocity: 920fps
Test Weapon: Personalized/modified 1911

Yesterday I picked up some Winchester 230gn PDX1 in .45acp.


Well, the packaging is impressive…

I test ammunition before I carry it, both for function in the weapon and terminal performance.

The hollowpoint is impressive.


… wide and fairly shallow hollow point…

This bullet is reminiscent of the Black Talon, and from what I’m given to understand, is a direct descendent of that line.

But how does it perform? The FBI has selected it in .40 S&W as their primary duty round, and it was manufactured to their specifications – namely, it is bonded to better penetrate barriers, and I’m assuming a few other tweaks were made.

I dug my test box from the snow and filled it up with water jugs.


Most are familiar with my standard setup by now.

The standard setup is five, one gallon jugs filled with water with the front covered with four layers of denim.

Now, I’ve been described by some as “an excitable boy.” I will concede this point today. I forgot the fifth jug, grabbing my hearing protection and camera on the way out. I decided to shoot without the fifth jug as every .45acp hollowpoint I’ve tested to date has stopped somewhere in the fourth jug.

Big mistake. It blew through the fourth jug and departed for parts unknown – thought eh furthest it could have gotten was to the berm at the 100 yard mark. It most likely ended up in a tree, however.

So, aching from a fall down into the creek earlier when the undercut bank gave way (physical therapy said don’t just sit around, so I had to set up some 100 yard targets!), I set everything up again.


The shot…

The first jug launched off the platform, the second was hurting, the third was shredded like wheat, the fourth had a couple holes in it, and the fifth



… EPIC FAIL…

… contained the under expanded bullet, base forward.

That was disconcerting; I wonder if the FBI knows about this?

This called for another test, one without the four layers of denim in place.

The effect upon the jugs was much the same.


WIN!

The fully expanded bullet stopped in the third jug.


Better, but I was expecting the fourth jug to contain the bullet.

This was equivilant to about 9” of gelatin penetration, give or take a couple inches.


Upon comparison, you can see the unexpanded bullet did begin to open just a bit, but ran out of steam to do so.

Conclusions:

First, it hurts to fall down a bank into icy water. Don’t do it, especially if you’re recovering from an already-injured back. If you do do this, don’t conduct bullet tests afterward.

Second, the PDX1 is not any more impressive than other ammunition, and less impressive than some. It is reminiscent, to me at least, of the performance exhibited by the original Hydra-Shok 230gn loading: Expansion is good until that four layers of denim is introduced.*

However, I do like the Hydra-Shok for this reason: In a Northern Indiana winter, we normally wear thick clothing. In my part of the state, thick hunting or Carhart coats are common. I have therefore actively sought out the old style Hydra-Shok in anticipation of it clogging with clothing and providing needed penetration.

The PDX1 seems to act the same way, but it also seems to tumble. I have never seen ball or a clogged bullet blow water-filled jugs off the test bench like this did, so something was happening, anyway.

Weapon function proved one malfunction – a failure to fully extract. When I built this pistol, I left the stock extractor in there and it works well with all ammo but Winchester. I adjusted the extractor a bit tighter and my function test magazines worked flawlessly. I will, however, be ordering a new extractor!

Recoil was brusque, and muzzle flash was not evident. My practice rounds are 230gn LRN over 5.2gn BE powder (this is a bit over max listed; use with caution), and they feel very much alike. I am guessing a powder similar to Win231 was used.

I do like this round, though my “perfect” handgun round would penetrate into the fifth jug and expand to over one inch. I don’t think the PDX is worth the hype, and I wouldn’t mind if they toned down that box a bit, but it seems to work and shoot well.

Josh

*I encountered this same phenomena with Hornady TAP 230gn +P. Must be a .45acp thing.

Last edited by Joshua M. Smith; 01-28-2012 at 11:19 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2010, 06:02 PM
rottman43055 rottman43055 is offline
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Interesting test, thanks for posting. The fancy box had caught my attention recently lol.

The failure to expand after going thru denim makes me wonder if it would do any better on a BG after going thru heavy denim. Personally doubt it.

I saw these at Meijers tonite for $26.00 for 20 rounds. ( I'm in central Ohio)
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2010, 01:04 AM
Joshua M. Smith Joshua M. Smith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rottman43055 View Post
Interesting test, thanks for posting. The fancy box had caught my attention recently lol.

The failure to expand after going thru denim makes me wonder if it would do any better on a BG after going thru heavy denim. Personally doubt it.

I saw these at Meijers tonite for $26.00 for 20 rounds. ( I'm in central Ohio)
Hello,

If I were you and you don't have a standard picked out yet, I'd use 'em due to the penetration if clogged (like with winter clothing). If you guys dress like we do here, the penetration would be helpful.

The other choices that do this would be Hornady TAP 230gn +P and original Hydra-Shok. (I've not tested the 230gn Gold Dot or the 230gn HST yet; perhaps I should).

$26/20 is about what I paid for mine.

Personally, I'd really like to find some boxes of the Federal Hi-Shok Classic. This has worked well for me in 9mm and I believe it would do the same in .45acp.

Josh
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2010, 02:56 AM
faulty faulty is offline
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I don't think that Winchester PDX1 is merely repackaged Winchester Ranger Bonded. Thus, it is not the same as what the FBI uses.

I'd like to see the same test with real Ranger Bonded or with Ranger T or with Federal HST. I believe the results will improve.
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2010, 09:56 AM
hotpig hotpig is offline
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PDX1 is the same as the Ranger Bonded. The DOJ has adapted this round in 9mm and 40. I do not know when they will be testing for a new 45 round.


Test that I have seen in calibrated mediums with and without barriers and denim are very good. It is a fair bet that this round will also beat out the competition when the 45 contracts are due.
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:06 AM
facilitator facilitator is offline
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Thanks for the outstanding report. Enjoyed your detailed explanations and the pics.

I recently bought several boxes of PDX1 at Wally Mart and tried two out. There were no problems with any of those rounds. I'm glad you ran your test and posted the results because up until now I had no performance information about this ammo.

Your conclusion statement where you say "it seems to work and shoot well" is good to know. So based on shooting two boxes and your report I'm going to use some in my carry ammo rotation.
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2010, 07:27 PM
DUNDEM DUNDEM is offline
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Thanks

Thanks for this detailed test report!
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  #8  
Old 01-24-2010, 08:28 PM
customtrigger customtrigger is offline
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Thanks for the informative thread. I wonder about personal defense ammo and if all the players are as advertised. I bought one or two boxes of the ammo you tested.

Hey, what do you know about Powerball (SP)?
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2010, 10:40 AM
Diamond LawDawg Diamond LawDawg is offline
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Thanks

Haven't shot on the farm in awhile...230 gr FMJ Federal or Winchester still gets the job done and I don't lose sleep..Best of luck
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  #10  
Old 02-11-2010, 07:49 AM
LandonPD LandonPD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by customtrigger View Post
Thanks for the informative thread. I wonder about personal defense ammo and if all the players are as advertised. I bought one or two boxes of the ammo you tested.

Hey, what do you know about Powerball (SP)?
Pow'r ball fails every FBI minimum standard. That's all I know about it.
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  #11  
Old 02-12-2010, 10:36 PM
MSgt Dotson MSgt Dotson is offline
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The FBI would consider a round a 'failure' even if it expanded to 1" in diameter, but penetrated to 'only' 11.5" in gelatin....correct?

They perhaps err on the side of penetration first, but then, they might have to shoot thru hard cover, windows, car doors, etc., so, the standards are understandable, but not necessarily the best for 'street/defensive use', but then, neither are they the worst.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2010, 06:09 AM
SPFR SPFR is offline
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FYI fellas... DO NOT PAY 26 bucks a box for the Win 230gr Bonded PDX1... not sure if anyone has heard of Gazzo's yet...and I hope I don't shoot myself in the foot...because this is where I get most of my ammo due to their low prices...I know they do not have this in stock at the moment...but I paid $18.50/box...
just sayin.
http://gazzosoutdoors.dealerease.net...ret_id=1071359

http://www.dealerease.net/catalog/pr...ret_id=1071359
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2010, 01:59 PM
cuban11182 cuban11182 is offline
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SPFR, Thanks for the link.

To the OP, you are making me a little worried since I carry these in my 1911. I'm hoping here in FL it will do what it is supposed to do (even though it is 53*).
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2010, 02:08 PM
mdguy90 mdguy90 is offline
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Good review, good thing it was 45 ACP

"a 9mm may expand, but a 45 will never shrink"
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  #15  
Old 02-14-2010, 11:09 AM
hotpig hotpig is offline
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Originally Posted by cuban11182 View Post
SPFR, Thanks for the link.

To the OP, you are making me a little worried since I carry these in my 1911. I'm hoping here in FL it will do what it is supposed to do (even though it is 53*).
Keep in mind that shooting water jugs is just as scientific as picking your ammo because it has a cool name. Wet phone books and water jug shooting is just something to do for fun. Do not confuse it as anything more.
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  #16  
Old 08-30-2010, 05:13 AM
REDTAIL REDTAIL is offline
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WIN ranger t- series ammo ?

Does anyone know where I can find some on line that will sell it to non LE also Win says for sale to LE only ? what kind of SD protection is that ?
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  #17  
Old 08-31-2010, 04:24 AM
1*45 1*45 is offline
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Ranger ammo

This poster is on Glocktalk.com and has been selling for a few years, i have purchased several cases over the years, fair price and usually in stock, fast shipments too. will deal with him again.
his email for price quote and shipping. [email protected]
He is out of Florida.
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  #18  
Old 08-31-2010, 06:56 AM
Douglas_knott Douglas_knott is online now
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thanks for the informative post. although i do not have these for my 1911, i did buy some for my Vaquero 45colt.
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  #19  
Old 08-31-2010, 08:42 AM
Joshua M. Smith Joshua M. Smith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotpig View Post
Keep in mind that shooting water jugs is just as scientific as picking your ammo because it has a cool name. Wet phone books and water jug shooting is just something to do for fun. Do not confuse it as anything more.
I beg to differ on both accounts.

Water tests are valuable because they work on bullets in the most extreme manner of any test medium available. Therefore, if a bullet is going to fail, it's going to fail in water. If it holds together in water, chances are it will do so against most other things, as well.

The test is not designed to see what it does in flesh. It compares the bullet against other bullets in a consistent medium.

Gelatin does the same thing too. Thought it's supposed to approximate muscle tissue, it does not take into account bones and such. We are not homogeneous.

Second, the cool name factor: Unless I load my own for use around the homeplace and critters which try to tear up such (and I do this with .22LR too... cool eh? ), I want it to say "personal defense" someplace on the box. My handloads are a very tame truncated cone cast lead bullet underneath 4.9gn of Accurate #2. Shouldn't even break 800fps. Perfect for raccoon and under.

In my "city loads"; ie, personal defense against the two legged variety of critter, I don't care what the box says, as long as it says "Personal Defense" someplace on there. If the manufacturer intends it to be used for personal defense, it would be hard(er) to be convicted of using ammunition which was designed to be more deadly than anything else out there. I therefore tend to gravitate toward Federal and Winchester because they both mark their boxes as such.

I'd rather just be "no true billed" and left to deal with the emotional aftermath - which any normal person will have, no matter how calloused he has become.

By the way, the numbers generated by the water test are in sync with what I received from Winchester when I asked for factory tests for comparison - which I almost always do to verify my data before publishing.

Additionally, if water testing were all bunk, then the Fackler Box would not exist.

Josh
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  #20  
Old 08-31-2010, 09:09 AM
hotpig hotpig is offline
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I can not speak for all manufactures but Winchester uses calibrated ballistic jell. They design their LE ammo to pass the FBI test not the water jug test.

Youtube is full of back yard tests. The same ammo may work well for tester one and not so well on the next guy. This is why standardized tests are done by the mfg and LE Agencies. They spend millions on this stuff.
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  #21  
Old 09-01-2010, 02:37 PM
SuHu SuHu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDTAIL View Post
Does anyone know where I can find some on line that will sell it to non LE also Win says for sale to LE only ? what kind of SD protection is that ?
sgammo.com has quite a bit of Ranger T in stock. They will sell to non LE.

http://www.sgammo.com/product/winche...es-230gr-ra45t

Quick shipping, painless online purchase from them.
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  #22  
Old 09-01-2010, 03:37 PM
rottman43055 rottman43055 is offline
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I shot some PDX and then some ranger T +P's. The extra velocity pdx1 has over standard load (still not +P) wasn't to noticable in the recoil, but the +p rangers had some bark

The loud thud of those rounds & the regular fmj where making on the bowling pins says you dont want hit with any of them LOL.
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  #23  
Old 09-01-2010, 04:05 PM
hotpig hotpig is offline
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I have the Ranger Bonded and Ranger T in stock.

www.mahsupplies.net
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  #24  
Old 09-01-2010, 10:17 PM
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I've found the PDX to be accurate and manageable in both .45 and .380, and much easier to find for me than most other "premium" hollowpoints.
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  #25  
Old 09-02-2010, 01:42 PM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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Unless you are going to shoot naked people, then a truncated cone bullet will work better than a clogged hollowpoint. At least you don't have to worry about whether it will expand or not. They track straighter than a clogged hollowpoint.
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