9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test – Cement Block

Quick questions (and answers) for the impatient : Which 9mm ammunition was best at penetrating a cement block? The 3 with single side penetration were DRT, G2 RIP and Speer. Did any 9mm Luger ammunition fail […]

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Quick questions (and answers) for the impatient :

  • Which 9mm ammunition was best at penetrating a cement block? The 3 with single side penetration were DRT, G2 RIP and Speer.
  • Did any 9mm Luger ammunition fail to penetrate the cinder block? Winchester and Federal.
  • Which 9mm Luger ammo fully penetrated both walls of the cement block? None! Yep. I was surprised as well
  • Based on this test, which 9mm ammo is best? Whoa, now! Slow your roll. We don’t have nearly enough data to pick the “best”

*I have heard them referred to as “Cement block” and “Cinder block”, and use the term interchangeably.

*many of the links will take you to a trusted retail site where you will find additional product info and can purchase 9mm Luger ammunition, if you like.

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - G2 RIP 9mm vs gold dotAmmunition Supply Company has a wide selection of 9mm Luger ammunition.

Ammo test articles you might like:

We have several other tests left before we make anything more than observations.
Next we will shoot the 9mm Luger ammo at

  • 1″ OSB plywood,
  • 2″ thick laminated wood beam,
  • 1/4″ thick angle iron

The Video

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - all ammoThe Ammo

Ammunition Supply Company provided the following ammunition for this test:

Winchester White Box 115gr FJM
Cci/Speer LE Gold Dot 115gr
G2 Research, INC RIP 9mm
Federal Premium HST 147gr
Dynamic Research Technologies- DRT Ammunition 85gr HP frangible
Remington Arms Company 115gr FMJ

The Test

One round of each 9mm ammo was fired at an undamaged section of cement block from a distance of 7 meters.

Test gun: Century Arms Canik TP9SA pistol.

The Results

Much to my surprise none of the 9mm bullets penetrated both walls of the cinder block. Three of the six penetrated one wall of the cement block. The Winchester White Box 115gr FJM and Federal Premium HST 147gr both failed to fully penetrate the first wall, remaining stuck.

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - Winchester 115gr fmj - stuck

Federal HST 147gr  9mm bullet stuck in cement block

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - Federal HST 147 stuck

last Winchester 115gr FMJ 9mm bullet stuck in cement block

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block

First Winchester round fired did not get stuck, but didn’t penetrate fully either.

However, prior to the formal testing 2 rounds of Winchester White Box 115gr FJM where shot at a cement block to verify integrity of the test setup. One of these preliminary rounds penetrated the first wall of the the cement block, the other just made a dent.

None of the ammo in this test made a noticeable dent in the second wall of the cement block, which surprised me. This is the 2nd wall of the cinder block that the G2 R.I.P. was shot at. I see no evidence of it taking any meaningful damage. All of the 2nd walls looked like this.

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - G2 RIP back wall

G2 RIP back wall

Three rounds were shot with the Dynamic Research Technologies- DRT Ammunition 85gr HP frangible, all three made clean holes in the front of the cinder block, and mid sized cavities on the back of the first wall of the cinder block. One of the DRT rounds was recovered after shooting the cement block. It had a bit of the sintered metal still in side and weighed 50.1gr (will add that picture later).

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block

DRT 85 gr frangible top and bottom

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block

top entry hole DRT

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block

bottom entry hole DRT

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cement Block - back of hole DRT

back of hole DRT

The single shot of Federal Premium HST 147gr failed to fully penetrate the first wall of the cement block. It made a medium sized cavity on the back of the first wall of the cinder block.

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - Federal 147gr HST - stuck

Federal 147gr HST – stuck

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block Federal HST 147gr - mushroomed bullet

Federal HST 147gr – mushroomed bullet

As you see in the video, I thought the Remington Arms Company 115gr FMJ penetrated the first wall of the cement block. It wasn’t until closer examination back at the Gear Report lab that I realized the bullet bounced out of the impact crater. It made a sizeable dent, but did not penetrated the first wall of the cinder block. As with the Winchester white box rounds, it knocked a small-ish bit of of the back side of the first wall off… but as you can see… no hole!

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block

Remington FMJ 115gr

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - Remington UMC FMJ 115 did not penetrate

Remington UMC FMJ 115 did not penetrate

G2 Research, INC R.I.P. 9mm passed cleanly through the first wall of cement block. The G2 RIP made one of the larger cavities on the back of the first wall of the cement block.

Maybe the coolest looking bullets in this test, the G2 have a look all their own. The use standard cases and 100% copper, machined bullets.

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - G2 RIP 9mm close

Machined copper G2 R.I.P. 9mm 🙂

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - G2 RIP 9mm

G2 RIP 9mm

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block 9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - G2 RIP 9mm back of first wall

G2 RIP 9mm back of first wall

Speer LE Gold Dot 115gr

In a single shot at the cinder block the Gold Dot 115 punched a sizeable hole in from the front and made a large cavity on the back of the first wall of the cinder block. The Gold Dot bullet was recovered and, amazingly, retained 113.7gr of the original 115gr weight.

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - Gold Dot 115gr entry hole

Gold Dot 115gr entry hole

9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - Gold Dot 115 hole

Gold Dot 115 large hole and cavity on back of first wall of cement block

These 3 pictures are of the Gold Dot bullet that was recovered after shooting through the first wall of a cinder block:
IMG_20150519_180448 9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - gold dot 9mm Ammunition Barrier Penetration Test - Cinder Block - gold dot

Conclusion

Three rounds made a clean pass through the first wall of the cement block. It appears that they are a better choice for hard, brittle barrier penetration.
In order of size of hole made, with the largest hole listed first:

I would be comfortable carrying any of these 3 rounds when barrier penetration is a consideration and a pistol round is required.

Noting that none of the rounds so much at made a scratch on the second wall of the cinder block, given a choice I will reach for a centerfire rifle.

Of the 3 rounds that did not penetrate the barrier, only the Federal Premium HST 147gr really had me scratching my head. I realized after leaving the range that the HST 147 is a subsonic round, that even being a +P round did not give it enough juice to break the sound barrier. At 1050 it is not subsonic by much.

Huge thanks to Ammunition Supply Company, who supplied the ammo for this test.

 

Gallery of images:

 

Originally posted 2015-05-23 02:01:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits.

A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management.

Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.