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.45 auto gel test: Prograde 185 gr Barnes TAC-XP

Solid copper hollow points typically offer excellent reliability and are a solid alternative to traditional, lead core jacketed hollow points, especially in locales where lead is banned. This test features a Springfield Armory standard, 5″ 1911A1 firing Prograde’s loading of Barnes 185 gr TAC-XP through four layers of denim to simulate heavy clothing as well as bare ballistic gel.

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First, let’s take a look at the numbers.

Impact velocities:

994.7 fps
1,008 fps
1,000 fps
1,004 fps
989.6 fps
988.4 fps
1,016 fps
1,004 fps

Average: 1,001 fps

Minimum expansion: 0.445″

Max expansion: 0.802″

Penetration varied substantially in the bare gel test, with a minimum of 13.4″ and a max leaving the gel block and stopping in the first water jug. To be honest, I did not expect the bullet to leave the 16″ block. In the future, we’ll use other gel blocks to get a more accurate measurement of penetration. That said, water tends to


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