I’m quite the Barnes fan and I’ve show it here and in various other venues. I’ve moved my hunting rifles exclusively to Barnes ammunition, and I’ve been very pleased with the accuracy and terminal ballistics. So when my day job boss offered to buy me some ammo, I jumped at the opportunity to pick up a box of 9 mm TAC-XPD to try out. I shot it through three pistols and my general feeling now is a solid “meh.” . . .
I’ve long struggled when it comes to bullet selection because I’ve never been able to decide whether accuracy is ultimately more important than terminal performance. This is especially true at bad breath and legal/practical handgun range. And I don’t know if I’ll ever solve that problem. I imagine that I’d take a one shot, man stopper, miracle bullet even if it shot a three inch group at 10 yards. But all things being the same, accuracy is very important to me. And, since I don’t own endless supplies of ballistics gelatin like our boy ShootingTheBull410, accuracy is the easiest for me to test.
So in the spirit of scientific testing, I arranged three targets at 7 yards on a crisp, windless day after I had warmed up with a hundred or so rounds of practice ammo. I then slow fired some five shot groups out of a M&P 9, XD(m), and FNS-9. All three guns are known, accurate guns in my hand. I loaded each magazine with 5 rounds of 124 gr. American Eagle FM and then 5 rounds of Barnes TAC-XPD. I then shot the five AE and five Barnes loads at 1″ x 1″ black squares on the same sheet of grid paper. The faint blue gridlines on the target are 4 squares per inch. The three targets are below.
I didn’t go to the trouble of measuring the groups, but I can safely say that across the three guns I used for this test, the Barnes ammo is not as accurate as middle of the road FMJ practice ammo. This is a disappointing result given my love for all things Barnes. I had high hopes for this lightweight +P ammo for my peashooter.
While I fully acknowledge that the accuracy displayed here is not horrible, I wish it were better. To solve the question of terminal ballistics, I’ll lean on ShootingTheBull410 to do a full review.
Specifications: Barnes 9mm +P 115 gr. TAC-XPD
Reliability * * * * *
I only fed 20 rounds, but they went smoother than shit through a goose.
Accuracy * * *
I feel that premium ammo, in this case $1.40/round, should provide premium accuracy. I was disappointed.
tnoutdoors9 says it went 10.75″ in his ballistics gelatin block and felt that it did not provide adequate penetration. Assuming his gel block was calibrated to the FBI test, the Barnes bullet would fail their standards as well.