Test Gun: Delta Elite
Barrel length: 5 inches.
Bullet: Federal .400 165gr Hydra-Shok Deep (Handload).
Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel.
Distance: 10 feet.
Chronograph: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2.
Five shot velocity average: 1362fps
Gel Temperature 73 degrees.
Recently a fired of mine sent me a link to a Gunbroker auction selling some pulled 165gr .40 cal bullets. The seller, Bang For Your Buck, had them listed for a starting bid of $36 for 260. My first thought was “I wonder how they would do out of a 10mm”? So I make the bid and ended up being the only one. 260 of them was much more then I needed but it was the smallest amount they sold.
Buying pulled or second bullets can be somewhat of a crapshoot. I can honestly say I have never felt burned when buying seconds but there have been times where I didn’t get what I was hoping for. This time I was hoping for the bullets to be in good shape and the reason for them being pulled was for some reason other than bad bullets. At almost 18 cents each, there are better bullets alternatives for plinking. When the bullets arrived they appeared to be in great shape with only a slite ring on the jacket from the crimp. Weighting 5 bullets I got an average weight of 165.7 grains . The length of the bullets was .655 inches and the diameter was .400 inches. The bullet has two cannelures that I assume are to help keep the jacket from separating. I decided to use an overall length of 1.260 inches.
The goal was to push this bullet as fast as I could and see how it performed in the gel. The powders used were LongShot, Blue Dot, Power Pistol, and BE86. My starting loads got me in the 1250fps range. Depending on what reloading manual you looked to I was either right on with the velocity or way low. I decided to try two of this first try in some gel and was very impressed with their performance. The two loads penetrated to 19 and 20 inches and expanded to .61 and .64 inches. The recovered weight was 158.4 and 154.3 grains. I didn’t set up the chrony for this test.
At this velocity, the bullet was just starting to lose its jacket. So I was pretty confident that pushing it to the velocity I wanted to would result in complete jacket separation.
I finally settled on a heavy loading of BE86 and got a five-shot velocity of 1362fps with a high of 1388 and a low of 1335fps.
So how did they do in the gel? The first round’s velocity was 1390fps and the bullet penetrated to 21.5 inches. This bullet held together and the recovered weight was 153.3 grains and it expanded to .65 inches. The second round had a velocity of 1375fps and the lead core penetrated to 23.75 inches with the jacket coming off at 20.5 inches. The recovered weight of the jacket was 54.2 grains and the core had a weight of100.4 grains. Expansion of the jacket was .65 inches.
In the heavy clothed gel, the first round penetrated to 22.5 inches and lost the jacket at the 21.5-inch mark. The cores recovered weight was 101.5 grains and the jacket came in at 53 grains. The recovered jacket’s expansion was .63 inches. The velocity was not recorded. Round two had a velocity of 1373fps and penetrated to 22 inches with the jacket separating at 21 inches. The recovered weight of the jacket was 47 grains and the core weighted in at 101 grains. The jacket expanded to .63 inches. The jackets were not measured at the widest point where the one jacket pedal was sticking out, as I felt it was more representative.
This bullet seemed to perform better at the 1250fps mark. It makes sense since it’s closer to the design intentions of the bullet factory loaded velocity of 1050fps. The extra velocity didn’t seem to offer any real advantage in the performance and came with noticeable more recoil and muzzle jump.