.45 ACP Penetration Test
Gun Tested: GLOCK 30
Caliber: .45 ACP

On August 3, 2007 I decided to test the penetration of my .45 ACP rounds that I use everyday for concealed carry, to get an idea of how each round would perform.  I used gallon milk jugs filled with water and had one piece of half inch cardboard between each jug for my tests. I used milk jugs filled with water because ballistic gelatin is just too damned expensive. And the half inch piece of cardboard between each jug made the tests a little more reliable. Basically all I really wanted to know was how each bullet performed against the other, and this test gave me a pretty good idea of what each bullet was capable of. If you are going to gamble your life on the bullets you carry in your gun, you really ought to know what those bullets are capable of doing, or not doing.

Test firing was done at a distance of 10 feet from the first milk jug.
Each shot was placed into the bottom portion of the jug.
Results for each of the bullets that were tested are below.
If and when any other rounds are tested, I will post them here.
Hornady 230 Grain Flat Point Bullet
8.7 grains of Accurate Arms #5 powder
Federal Large Pistol Primer
Brass is once fired (trimmed to length, primer pocket uniformed, flash hole deburred & crimped)

This round completely penetrated 7 milk jugs and 6 half inch pieces of cardboard
Total Pentration = 44 and a half inches   
*(Or about 22 inches in the human body)

I am very pleased with this round and carry it daily with the Gold Dot.
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Hornady 230 gr. FP

Total Penetration = 44 and a half inches
Zero 230 Grain Jacketed Hollow Point
8.7 grains of Accurate Arms #5 powder
Federal Large Pistol Primer
Brass is once fired (trimmed to length, primer pocket uniformed, flash hole deburred & crimped)

This round completely penetrated 1 milk jug and stopped in the half inch piece of cardboard
The jug was totally ripped open and the water hit me like a tidal wave
Total Penetration was = 6 to 6 and a half inches

This hollow point opened up from .451 to a diameter of .781 and even though the jacket separated completly from the bullet, this bullet would make a big hole and cause much blood loss. Recovered bullet weight was 229 grains.
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Zero 230 gr. JHP

Total Penetration = 6 to 6 and a half inches  
*(Or about 3 inches in the human body)
RBCD 80 Grain Total Fragmenting Soft Point
This box of 20 rounds cost $40.00 -
Way Too Expensive

This round completely penetrated 1 milk jug and stopped in the half inch piece of cardboard
The jug was totally ripped open and the water hit me like a tidal wave again
Total Penetration was = 6 - 6 and a half inches

I was very disappointed with this bullet. Company claims pentration of 11 to 12 inches for this round.
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RBCD 80 gr. Total Fragmenting SP

Total Penetration = 6 to 6 and a half inches  
*(Or about 3 inches in the human body)
The information that RBCD provides for these bullets are total BS!!! This round has no penetration whatsoever, and I will not carry these rounds anymore or gamble my life or anybody else's life of these bullets. This bullet was no where to be found, so I guess it did completely fragment.

The results of this bullet were identical to the Zero HP round. However, the Zero bullets are cheap to purchase and they leave a bullet in the victim. I personally perfer the Zero HP bullet to the RBCD bullet.
This test was performed on September 2, 2007

Gun Tested: GLOCK 30
Caliber: .45 ACP

Speer Gold Dot 230 Grain Hollow Point Bullet
8.7 grains of Accurate Arms #5 Powder
Federal Large Pistol Primer
Brass is new Federal

This round completely penetrated 2 milk jugs and 1 half inch pieces of cardboard
Total Pentration = 12 and a half inches
*(Or about 6 inches in the human body)

This bullet opened up to .706 and recovered bullet weight was 229 grains

I am pleased with the performance of this hollow point round and now carry it daily in my GLOCK. I carry my rounds staggered - Gold Dot, Hornady FP, Gold Dot, Hornady FP, Gold Dot, so regardless of the situation I have it covered.
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Speer Gold Dot 230 gr. HP

Total Penetration = 12 and a half inches
Before and after
Mushroomed perfectly
Bullets open nicely every time
Just under of an inch
Widest part measured .706
* From these tests above I predict the penetration of each bullet in the human body to be about half of what the tests showed in jugs of water. The human body is not a jug of water but rather made up of muscle, tissue, organs and bone - all of which is tougher than water. That is why you should carry a bullet with good penetration if you need to stop somebody quickly.