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.410 Handgun

Ballistic Gelatin Tests  

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a writers’ event hosted by Winchester Ammunition and Taurus USA. As part of the event, Winchester conducted an on-site ballistic gelatin demonstration of their PDX1 Defensive ammunition line. Rob Pincus of the Personal Defense Network was on hand to run the guns.


Three of the PDX1 rounds demonstrated that day, using a Taurus Judge Revolver fitted with a 3-inch barrel, were the  .45 Colt, the 3-inch .410 (4 Disc/16 BB) shotshell, and the 2½-inch .410 (3 Disc/12 BB) shotshell. The rounds were fired through a Heavy Cloth* covering into 10% ballistic gelatin. Its one thing to hear about the close-range effectiveness of PDX1 loads in a .410 handgun but it’s quite another to see it firsthand.



After the demonstrations, I approached the members of the Winchester product development team with a request. I asked if they would be willing to extend their .410 handgun testing to include the Super X .410 buckshot loads, and a couple of birdshot loads, to produce a comparative test set to be posted on this website. They were kind enough to do the extra work and provide the results shown here.


I also contacted the folks at Federal Premium Ammunition. Meeting with the development team by phone, we reviewed their penetration and pattern results generated during the development of their .410 Handgun line of shells. Two of those results, with high-speed video, are posted below.


Winchester Results

(Taurus Judge 3-Inch Barrel):

PDX1 45 Colt 225-grain Bonded Hollow Point

PDX1 3-inch Shell (4 Disks/ 16 BB’s)

PDX1 2½-inch Shell (3 Disks/ 12 BB’s)

Super X 5-Pellet 000 Buck

Super X 3-Pellet 000 Buck

Super X #4 Lead Birdshot

Super X #7½ Lead Birdshot


Federal Premium .410 Handgun Results

(Taurus Judge 3-Inch Barrel):

4-Pellet 000 Buckshot

9-Pellet #4 Buckshot

Winchester PDX1 45 Colt 225-grain Bonded Hollow Point

Gauge: 410

Pistol Cartridge

Test Medium: 10% Ballistic Gelatin

Barrier: Heavy Cloth*

Velocity: 1245

Test Gun: Taurus Judge, 3-Inch Barrel

Bullet Penetration = 10.75-Inches / Bullet Diameter = 0.785-Inches

Notes: The bullet demonstrated 100% weight retention (224.6-grains) after passing through the cloth barrier and ballisic gelatin.

TJ3x3_S45CPBD_1.jpg TJ3x3_S45CPBD_2.jpg

Winchester Supreme Elite PDX1 (4 Disc/ 16 BB’s)

Gauge: 410

Shell Length: 3 Inches

Test Medium: 10% Ballistic Gelatin

Barrier: Heavy Cloth*

Velocity: 750

Test Gun: Taurus Judge, 3-Inch Barrel

Disk Penetration (Inches) = 6.25, 6.50, 7.00, 8.00/  Avg. BB Penetration = 3.50

Notes: Due to the size of the block versus the spread, not all BB’s hit the block. The disk with four indentations in it is the bottom disk. Upon setback the disk presses into the shot. Upon setback, the bottom pellets do not flatten out because they are contained in a concave wad.


TJ3x3_S413PDX1_1.jpg TJ3x3_S413PDX1_2.jpg

Winchester Supreme Elite PDX1 (3 Disc/12 BB’s)

Gauge: 410

Shell Length: 2 ½ Inches

Test Medium: 10% Ballistic Gelatin

Barrier: Heavy Cloth*

Velocity: 750

Test Gun: Taurus Judge, 3-Inch Barrel

Disk Penetration (Inches) = 7.50, 7.50, 8.50 /  Avg. BB Penetration = 4.50

Notes: Due to the size of the block versus the spread, not all BB’s struck the block. The bottom discs displays indentations from the BBs, but it has been flipped over to show the side that impacted the cloth barrier and gelatin. The grid-like lines on the disks are impressions from the cloth. All disks had some cloth on the face which was removed to show the disc face.


TJ3x3_S410PDX1_1.jpg TJ3x3_S410PDX1_2.jpg

Winchester Super X  5-Pellet 000 Buckshot

Gauge: 410

Shell Length: 3 Inches

Test Medium: 10% Ballistic Gelatin

Barrier: Heavy Cloth*

Velocity: 1135

Test Gun: Taurus Judge, 3-Inch Barrel

Pellet Penetration (Inches) = 5.50, 7.00, 7.00, 10.00, 12.00

Notes: The top pellet traveled the farthest into the block. The other pellets are flattened out much more than the top pellet. This is due to the setback forces created upon firing. The grid-like lines on the disks are impressions from the cloth barrier.

TJ3x3_XB413_2.jpg

Winchester Super X  3-Pellet 000 Buck

Gauge: 410

Shell Length: 2 ½ Inches

Test Medium: 10% Ballistic Gelatin

Barrier: Heavy Cloth*

Velocity: 1300

Test Gun: Taurus Judge, 3-Inch Barrel

Pellet Penetration (Inches) = 6.50, 7.50, 16.50

Notes: The top pellet traveled the farthest into the block. The bottom two pellets are flattened out much more than the top pellet due to the setback forces created upon firing. The grid-like lines on the disks are impressions left by the the cloth barrier.

TJ3x3_XB41000_2.jpg TJ3x3_XB41000_1.jpg

Winchester Super X  #4 Lead Bird Shot (½ Ounce Load)

Gauge: 410

Shell Length: 2 ½ Inches

Test Medium: 10% Ballistic Gelatin

Barrier: Heavy Cloth*

Velocity: 1245

Test Gun: Taurus Judge, 3-Inch Barrel

Average Pellet Penetration:  4-Inches

TJ3x3_X414.jpg

Winchester Super X  #7½ Lead Bird Shot (½ Ounce Load)

Gauge: 410

Shell Length: 2 ½ Inches

Test Medium: 10% Ballistic Gelatin

Barrier: Heavy Cloth*

Velocity: 1245

Test Gun: Taurus Judge, 3-Inch Barrel

Average Pellet Penetration:  2.75-Inches

TJ3x3_X417.jpg TJ3x3_XB413_1.jpg

Federal Premium .410 Handgun 9-Pellet #4 Buck 3-Inch Shell

Gauge: 410

Distance: 5-Yards

Test Medium: 10% Ballistic Gelatin

Barrier: None

Vel: 1265 fps

Test Gun: Taurus Judge, 3-Inch Barrel

Pellet Penetration (Inches):  4.00 - 10.00 + [passing through the block]

Average Penetration: 7.10 / Penetration STDEV: 4.20

Fed_9-pel_5yard_TJ3x3.avi

Federal Premium .410 Handgun 4-Pellet 000 Buck 2½-Inch Shell

Gauge: 410

Distance: 10-Yards

Test Medium: 10% Ballistic Gelatin

Barrier: None

Vel: 1012 fps

Test Gun: Taurus Judge, 3-Inch Barrel

Pellet Penetration (Inches):  9.25- 13.62

Average Penetration: 10.62 / Penetration STDEV: 1.70

Fed_5-pel_10yard_TJ3x3.wmv

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Notes: Watch the video carefully and see all four pellets exit the 10x10x12-inch block. The top pellet, which retains the most rounded shape, exits the block first. The flattened fourth pellet leaves the block last

Notes: Watch the video carefully to see several pellets exit the 10x10x12-inch block. They do not leave visible trails in the gel.

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*Heavy Cloth consists of the following four layers of clothing:

   Layer One: Cotton T-Shirt (approx. 5.25 ounces per yard)

   Layer Two: Cotton shirt (approx 3.5 ounces per yard)

   Layer Three: Polartec Fleece

   Layer Four: cotton denim (approx. 14.4 ounces per yard)

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