Federal HST Ammo Tests

After reading my post about “Pick your ammo, and move on“, long time reader and KR Training student, shared some data collection he performed a few years ago.

This reader went out and did some ammo testing and did a nice write-up with charts and pictures and such about how it all went. It was originally posted on another website, but no more. He sent me the original HTML and pictures and said I could repost it here if I wanted to. So here it is, only touched up for formatting and other HTML-isms to make it work here on my blog.


The Testing of 9mm Federal Premium HST Rounds

on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 in Dale, Texas.

The purpose was to get a better understanding of how these rounds would function in various guns and check out the +P versions. All the reviews found to date have tested the 147 grain rounds, however the 124 grain as well as both +P versions seem to have been left out. I assumed the +P were just too new for the 2001 to 2005 testing data I had found on-line so we set up a test to see what would happen!

Weight was measured on an American Weigh Scale AMW-100 (0.01g graduation). A 100g weight was used to calibrate the scale before measurements were taken. Expanded diameter was measured with manual vernier calipers. Gel calibration was done with a .177 cal steel BB. Muzzle velocity (fps) was recorded by a Gamma Master Shooting Chrony chronograph with ballistic printer.
The Ballistic Grade Gelatin was provided by Vyse in their “Complete Trial Pack” for $90.00 including shipping. All three 6 inch by 6 inch blocks were made in a single batch using 10% gel and 90% RO water (water was under 140F). The gel is sticky nasty stuff – and smells like wet dog.

Shots were taken 10 feet from the gel and all velocity measurements were at the muzzle of the firearm.

Block 1 – BB depth 3 11/16 inches – 604.58 fps – Used for 9mm Glock 19 Test (4.06 inch barrel)
Block 2 – BB depth 4 3/16 inches – 608.47 fps – Used for 9mm Kel-Tec Sub-2000 Test (16 inch barrel)

Block 1 shot from the left
Block 2 shot from the right

Initial velocity measurements in fps

  115gn Remington (R9MM3) 124gn HST Federal Premium (P9HST1) 124gn +P HST Federal Premium (P9HST3) 147gn HST Federal Premium (P9HST2) 147gn +P HST Federal Premium (P9HST4)
Sub2000 1212.07 1279.19 1352.66 987.75 1047.86
Sub2000 1015.85 1257.13 1325.55 946.07 1041.02
Sub2000 1072.37 1287.35 1358.12 1003.81 955.25
Sub2000 1059.88 1261.98 1347.24 1020.57 1005.06
Sub2000 n/a 1264.35 1356.9 994.08 1040.93
Sub2000 in Gel n/a 1229.05 1337.56 1042.99 1053.15
Average 1090.04 1263.18 1346.34 999.21 1023.88
Standard Deviation 84.89 20.22 12.65 32.79 37.63
 
G19 1092.6 1146.08 1213.89 978.25 1021.94
G19 1066.42 1111.56 1210.37 999.25 1000.57
G19 1097.06 1139.39 1200.77 975.26 990.99
G19 1085.74 1155.49 1203.15 986.14 981.59
G19 1082.15 1159.03 1191.9 972.83 1006.9
G19 in Gel n/a 1139.18 n/a n/a 1003.31
Average 1084.79 1141.79 1204.02 982.35 1000.88
Standard Deviation 11.80 16.91 8.60 10.70 13.83

Into the Gel!


Pictured Above – 124 grain HST fired from a Glock 19

9mm 124 grain Federal Premium HST (P9HST1)

A single round was fired from a Glock 19 and a Kel-Tec Sub-2000 into Gel. Both rounds were found to have lost mass due to fragmentation (lost petals). All bullets had retained gel under the copper jackets along with a piece of a broken petal. The round from the Glock 19 retained 2 of the six lead petals while the round from the Sub-2000 fired bullet retained zero petals.

9mm 124 grain +P Federal Premium HST (P9HST3)

A single round was fired from a Glock 19 and a Kel-Tec Sub-2000 into Gel. Both rounds were found to have lost mass due to fragmentation (lost petals). All bullets had retained gel under the copper jackets. The Glock 19 bullet captured 1 of the broken petal against the copper jacket and retained 2 of the six lead petals. The round from the Sub-2000 fired bullet retained zero petals.


Pictured above – 124gn (upper) & 124gn +P (lower) fired from a Kel-Tec Sub2000

9mm 147 grain Federal Premium HST (P9HST2)

A single round was fired from a Glock 19 and a Kel-Tec Sub-2000 into Gel. They were all fully intact with a bit of gel under the copper jackets. The only noticeable difference between the Glock 19 round and the Sub-2000 was the additional gel penetration depth of just under 1 inch for the sub-2000. The size difference of the expanded 147 grain HST was noticeable when compared to the expanded 124 grain HST.

9mm 147 grain +P Federal Premium HST (P9HST4)

A single round was fired from a Glock 19 and a Kel-Tec Sub-2000 into Gel. They were all fully intact with a bit of gel under the copper jackets. The only noticeable difference between the Glock 19 round and the Sub-2000 was the additional gel penetration depth of just under 1 inch for the sub-2000. Again, the size difference of the expanded 147 grain +P HST was noticeable when compared to the expanded 124 grain HST (+P or otherwise!).


Pictured above – 147gn & 147gn +P (left to right) fired from the Kel-Tec Sub-2000


Pictured above – 147gn +P fired from the Glock 19

Recoil between the 124gn & 124gn +P was noticeable. You would be lucky to notice the difference between the 147gn and 147gn +P recoil. I really couldn’t tell in the G19 and another shooter using a Walther could just barely tell with the 147s.
The permanent wound cavities were very similar with the 147gn creating just slightly longer/larger destruction in the gel.

Recovered Bullets

Pictures

Comparing a 124 grain HST (left) to a 147 gain HST (right). The 147 grain bullet protrudes slightly more from the casing and there are longer & deeper cuts along the side of the bullet. The +P is marked on the casing as such while the non +P has luger on the head stamp.

147 grain HST
124 grain HST

Notice how almost all the petals are missing from the 124 grain bullets below

I also shot a 9mm Ranger-T into the gel just for fun. It had good penetration (about 13.5 inches into block 2) and retained the sharp copper points. However it was small compared to the 147 grain HSTs and fragments from the Ranger-T were visible in the gel. I didn’t end up saving it but should have upon reflection. It was very similar in size to the 124gn +P shot from the Kel-Tec Sub-2000.

Some fun

I had thought about shooting into 4 ply denim however it had already taken a long time to set up and test the 9mm. There were some more fun things to play with so we ended up shooting a HP .22LR. Surprisingly good penetration (11 inches) and it actually expanded. A hollow-point .223 was shot from about 15 feet and did an amazing amount of damage to the gel with significant fragmentation.

Then we fired a .308 HP into the gel. Velocity was measured at 2880 fps. The gel block jumped above the table about 2 feet and it blew a hole about the size of a loaf of bread in the bottom of the table. The gel block split along its side. We did find a sizable divot in the dirt below the table. We can only assume that a fragment of enough velocity and mass broke away, traveled down and out of the block creating the hole in the table. Wow!

We then shot the last intact block with a .30-06 HP. This broke the table in half and ripped part of the supporting saw-horse in half. The back side of the block was in fragments.

Taking aim with the .30-06.

Checking out the damage!


This was a group effort! My thanks to everyone that helped with the testing!

Updated November 28, 2008


Thank you again to my reader for sharing that and allowing me to reprint the testing here!

2 thoughts on “Federal HST Ammo Tests

  1. Pingback: Federal HST Ammo Tsts - SIG Talk

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