Remington 115-grain JHP
When fired from a longer—4- to 5-inch barrel—Remington's 115 grain JHP load performed very well expanding more than any other load tested. However, from the shorter-barreled compact 9 mm, the 200 fps velocity loss drastically impacted expansion and in turn the bullet penetrated almost 2 feet in the gelatin.
Hornady Critical Defense
Hornady's Critical Defense ammunition has a good reputation of being able to expand even after penetrating intermediate barriers like thick clothing. This is important but so is wide expansion. When fired from the short barrel of the Diamondback DB9, the Hornady load only expanded to 1.4 times its original diameter.
Federal 115-Grain JHP
One of the best performing loads in the test was Federal's 115-grain JHP. This bullet expanded to 1.6 times its original diameter whether fired from a long or short barreled handgun.
Federal's excellent EFMJ bullet did not fail to disappoint when fired from the compact 9 mm. Expansion was just past 1.5 times the original bullet diameter and penetration was almost a foot deep.
Wilson Combat 115-Grain XTP
Wilson Combat's 115-grain XTP load for the 9 mm is rated at 1,250 fps from a 5-inch barrel. Velocity from the 3-inch barrel was about 100 fps slower and expansion was short of the desired 1.5 times minimum.
Winchester's +P, PDX1, 124-grain 9 mm load showed good penetration in gelatin when fired from a short-barreled 9 mm. However, expansion was border line at 1.49 times the original diameter.