Hornady .357 Magnum 135gr Critical Duty FTX in Clear Ballistics Gel.

Test Gun: Smith and Wesson model 65.

Barrel length: 3 inches.

Ammunition: Hornady .357 Magnum 135gr Critical Duty FTX.

Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel.

Distance: 10 feet.

Chronograph: PACT 1 XP with inferred sky screens.

Five shot velocity average: 1227fps.

Gel Temperature 70 degrees.

*Note* This test was conducted with Clear Ballistics Gel. Clear Ballistics is a synthetic gel and does not correlate with Organic gelatin like Vyse Ballistics gelatin.

After trying out the Hornady CD 135gr 9mm non +P I have to admit I wasn’t very impressed and thought to myself that I probably not try any Critical Duty again. But all that was replaced when the FBI announced recently that it had pick the 135gr +P version in 9mm. If the FBI picked it how bad could it be? Maybe the non +P is just the one bad apple in the line (which is what I suspect) and maybe I should give the +P version a try. So I ordered some and will be trying it out soon. Until then, a coworker gave me some of the 135gr in .357 to try and I will have to say it performed much better.

I have started to start shooting five rounds over the chronograph for an average and shoot it at 7 yards for point of aim. In this case, I got a five shot average of 1227 and the group was hitting low by about one inch. In the picture, you will see the group at the bottom of number 6 but I was aiming at number 3.

Five shots off hand at 10 yards

The first round into the bear gel had a velocity of 1224fps and penetrated to 17.25 inches with an weight expansion of .52 inches. Round two also expanded to .52 inches but only penetrated to 16.5 inches with a velocity of 1215fps. Both bullets tumbled at some point and came to a rest base forward.

The first round in the heavy clothing covered gel hit at a velocity of 1214fps and penetrated to 19.5 inches with an expansion of .47 inches. Number two’s velocity was 1224fps and it expanded to with a penetrating of 18 inches. The first round came to rest base forward but the second one did not tumble and stayed front forward.

The recovered weight of all the bullets was 135grs with the plug. 

After seeing how they performed yesterday I decided to give them the four layers of denim challenge. I have seen numerous bullets perform well in bare and heavy clothing only to fail the FLD test. I didn’t set up the chrony for this test so no velocity reading this time. The first round penetrated to 21.5 inches and expanded to .41 inches. Round tow exited the right side block at about the 20-inch mark and was found on the floor.  It had expanded to .44 inches. Since the second round left the block I decided to shoot a third. It penetrated to 17.75 inches and expanded to .49 inches.

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  1. Hello, what was the expanded diameter of Round #2 in Heavy Clothing?
    Thanks for posting all this great info! I just now found your blog and look forward to studying a lot more of it, in every caliber from .22-.45.


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