Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Tiny Pistol Ballistics

Also at the range yesterday was the Ruger LCP II, along with a variety of .380ACP ammo, to do some chronograph testing.

I had some Armscor 95gr FMJ and Speer Gold Dot 90gr GDHP courtesy of Lucky Gunner, as well as some Hornady 90gr Critical Defense and Barnes 80gr TAC-XPD out of my personal stash.

The Armscor was pretty random stuff. I fired two strings to make sure the results of the first weren't a fluke, but the second had an even wider velocity spread than the first:
LO: 781.2
HI: 906.5
AV: 849.0
ES: 125.3
SD: 39.48

HI: 925.4
AV: 864.1
ES: 134.6
SD: 36.97
Velocity spreads over 100fps are something I tend to associate more with bulk-packaged rimfire than commercial centerfire ammo, but at least all the rounds fired and functioned in the LCP II.

The Speer Gold Dot functioned equally well. My first couple strings were bedeviled by the fact that the south pistol bay was still half in shadow and the rising sun cast dappled tree shadows across the chrono, causing errors and anomalous readings. The third string finally registered correctly:
LO: 795.0
HI: 864.1
AV: 836.4
ES: 69.07
SD: 19.67
Again, all thirty rounds of Speer GDHP functioned fine in the little Ruger.

Last up were Hornady's 90gr Critical Defense FTX HP load and the 80gr Barnes TAC-XPD solid copper hollow point. First the Hornady:
LO: 875.0
HI: 900.7
AV: 890.4
ES: 25.72
SD: 9.21
Typical Hornady consistency, and pretty good velocity numbers from the stubby tube of the LCP II.

Lastly, the Barnes:
LO: 781.0
HI: 811.6
AV: 794.3
ES: 30.64
SD: 11.48
Good and consistent, but painfully slow. The solid copper XPD is a good bullet, but it needs more velocity to do any work.

I wound up with five rounds of the Armscor and five of the Critical Defense left in their respective boxes, and so I fired them off as well. This meant 25 rounds of Armscor, 30 of the Speer, 15 of the Hornady, and 10 Barnes; eighty rounds total with no malfunctions of any type to report.

This makes 391 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated with three failures to return to battery (#128, #158, #245). 1,609 rounds to go.