September 24, 2010
Performance the author would stake his life on.
Performance the author would stake his life on: After 13.5 inches of penetration, the all-copper Cor-Bon had expanded perfectly to .80 caliber and retained 100 percent of its weight.
It doesn't seem possible, but Cor-Bon, and now Cor-Bon/Glaser, has been in the ammunition business for 20 years. Over the past two decades, Peter Pi and his troops have been associated with loading high-quality, high-performance ammunition designed for a specific purpose.
With the exception of "cowboy" loads for routine plinking and competition, Cor-Bon has concentrated on loading premium ammunition designed for hunting and/or self-defense. I've known Peter Pi (as in "pie") for roughly 20 years, and he's been an avid handgun hunter as long as I've known him. When he started loading ammo, he knew that there was a great deal of room in the marketplace because no one really cataloged high-performance handgun ammunition.
Over the years, I've used Pi's ammunition in the field with great results. His hunting ammunition provides exceptional accuracy in the field while delivering the best bullet available. His personal-defense/law enforcement ammunition might indeed be one step higher, if that's possible.
This past February I got the chance to visit with Pi at the SHOT Show, and it didn't take long for him to start talking about his new DPX line of ammunition. Designed for hunting or self-defense, this new line gets its performance by launching a new solid-copper JHP Barnes X bullet as fast as possible. These loads are designed to penetrate ballistic gelatin from 12 to 16 inches, even through four layers of denim.
The DPX is currently available in five loads that include the .223 with a 53-grain JHP, .308 168 grain, .40 S&W 140-grain +P, .45 ACP 185-grain +P and 9mm 115-grain +P. I suspect we'll see more loads as time progresses. I've seen solid-copper bullets for a couple of years now, and they appear to be the wave of the future.
This report revolves around the 185-grain +P .45 ACP load. Loaded within the SAAMI envelope for +P loads, it should be safe in all modern .45 autos, but I wouldn't plink with it all day, every day, even if I had the required bank account. Loaded to 25,000 psi, this load gets your attention.
Over the course of two days I ran this load through two semiautos that should typify the normal range of things. Equipped with a 3.8-inch barrel, the CZ TT45 didn't particularly like this load, hanging up occasionally on the gaping hollowpoint on the second from the magazine. In addition, it didn't group too well at 25 yards. But who cares? This load isn't for 25-yard target shooting.
Better living through science: Cor-Bon's .45 DPX uses the proved Barnes bullet to provide the awesome terminal ballistics seen here.
Out of this short tube, the load generated 419 ft-lbs of instrumental energy while accounting for an average five-shot group of about 5.5 inches. Although functioning can't be called 100 percent because of two hang-ups, the gun was new, and I made no effort to clean or lube it during the range session. I think this load might indeed function perfectly in a clean, well-lubed and broken-in CZ TT45.
I also took the time to run this load through a full-size Para-Ordnance 1911 equipped with the standard 5-inch barrel. The Para's extra inch and a quarter of barrel upped the velocity by about 29 fps, taking the muzzle energy up to 443 ft-lbs. This rig isn't a target gun either, but it did keep the average of this hot load down to a more respectable 4.5 inches, with the group of the day coming in at 1.84 inches. Functioning was 100 percent in the Para-Ordnance rig.
|COR-BON .45 185-GRAIN DPX 25-YARD PERFROMANCE
|GROUP SIZE (inches)
|CZ TT45 w/3.77-inch
|Para-Ordnance 1911 SSP w/5-inch
I wanted to bring a third .45 auto into this mix, so I grabbed my personal Para-Ordnance Companion to run this load into ballistic gelatin. This little 3.5-inch-barrel gun is a companion indeed, capable of target-grade accuracy. Such accuracy makes it easy to hit the middle of my gelatin blocks.
Cor-Bon says the DPX load is designed to penetrate gelatin from 12 to 16 inches, and since my gelatin blocks are 16 inches long, I wanted to do the test with the shorter barrel.
When the dust settled, this hot JHP made it 13.5 inches into the carefully prepared gelatin, exhibiting perfect, class
ic expansion and weight retention as well. The recovered bullet showed expansion to very nearly .80 caliber while weighing 185.2 grains--most likely its starting weight. This is impressive performance.
This load is not inexpensive, as one might expect. Carrying a suggested retail price of $18.95 per box, or very nearly a buck a pop, the load is designed to be reserved for special work or circumstances. In that light, this is a load I'd stake my life on without question. In fact, this is the load that I'll stuff in my Para Companion from now on.