ASP Self Defence Handgun Bullets by Phillip Hayes

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ASP Self Defence Handgun Bullets by Phillip Hayes

When your life depends on a bullet’s ability to stop a threat decisively, only the best will do. Advanced Shooting Products (ASP), a Gauteng-based bullet manufacturer, produces a range of bullets in most calibres to fit this bill.

I received two types of 9mm bullets for testing, the Single Metal Expanding-Copper (SME-C) and the Single Metal Jagged Hollow Point-Copper (SMJHP-C). Both are ‘monolithic’, and the SME-C has in its centre an aluminium ball between its eight petals; the ball aids expansion when the bullet is fired through barriers, such as the windscreen of a car. In contrast, the SMJHP-C has just six petals, the tips of which are sharp and not rounded as those of most other jacketed hollow points tend to be. I was expecting feeding problems here.

Both bullet diameters are .354 inches; the SME-C’s length is 17.64mm while the SMJHP-C’s is 19.06mm. Both bullets are turned so that where the ogive and shank meet, the diameter of the shank is undersized for the first few millimetres. The rest of the shank measures .354. Thus while the cartridge overall length (COL) may be slightly longer than that of other 9mmP rounds, these chamber without the bullets touching the lands as the undersized section enters the bore. 

I started by loading PMP cases with 4.2gr MP200 for a COL of 27mm (determined by my magazine length, not the crimping grooves). However, when seating the bullets I found that the PMP case walls bulged slightly. I then tried Hornady cases which have slightly thinner walls and this solved the problem. The primers were Sellier & Bellot.

I fired the two bullet types over a chronograph: the SME-C clocked 1 092fps and the SMJHP-C averaged 1 162fps. The higher velocity of the latter may be the result of seating these bullets slightly deeper, though in my experience, small variations in seating depths don’t normally alter velo- cities by much, if at all.

Both loads were comfortable to shoot, showed no signs of excessive pressure and fast follow-up shots were possible. Group sizes averaged 74mm at 10m – the same as my Frontier 124gr reloads, and recoil was also similar. By comparison, Winchester Defender +P ammunition had a distinct bite. 

However, these bullets are not about group size, they’re about terminal performance. To test this I used 10% ballistic gelatine marketed by ASP as a package: container, gelatine, preservative and instructions.

I followed the instructions and ended up with blocks of gel roughly 15.6kg in weight, 37.5cm long, 24.5cm wide and 16.5cm high. ASP says its gel’s consistency is similar to that used by America’s FBI.

Read the full article in the September 2017 issue of Magnum.

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