Ever since I published my first test of Lehigh Defense’s absurdly impressive “Maximum Expansion” ammunition, people have wanted to see it tested in other calibers. Which I understand, but frankly, I haven’t been in that big of a rush to do so because — well, the .45 Colt version that I tested above is a unique and special situation. It’s an exceptionally over-long bullet, made possible because of the exceptionally long chambers in the .45/.410 shotshell revolvers. I didn’t test Maximum Expansion during my .380 Ammo Quest, because the manufacturer’s own specifications showed that it would only penetrate about 7″. But the 9mm… now that’s a different story . . .
On Lehigh’s site, they claim 12″ of penetration for the 9mm Maximum Expansion round. Coincidentally, that’s exactly what I’m looking for (a bare minimum of 12″ of penetration through ballistic gel). Could it be that Lehigh has made a deep-enough-penetrating, gigantic-expanding round that would do for the 9mm pocket pistol, what their mega-expanding round does for the .45 Colt/.410 revolvers?
I tested it, and the results are — not entirely. It’s a decent performer from a 3″ barrel, but it doesn’t quite hit that 12″ mark; five of the six rounds I tested came in between 11″ and 12″. The disturbing one was that sixth round; it came in at only 9″. Now, that’s 9″ through gel, not 9″ through a body; 9″ through gel may or may not be deep enough to reach and disrupt the vital organs. Generally, I hold pretty firm to the 12″ minimum, so on that basis the Max Expansion won’t be winning the 9mm Ammo Quest, even though the performance was generally pretty decent. Read More: www.thetruthaboutguns.com