For whatever reason, it is very popular for people to only recommend ammunition that is going to cost in the neighborhood of $1/round. I have done several tests with these premium ammunitions and with generic ammunition. I have found a few things that might be a little eye-opening when trying to choose whether to carry the Winchester JHP or the Remington JHP.
My test protocol for this test is using clear ballistics gel that had a depth of about 24", but it was heavily used and just barely usable. This came back to haunt me, but the gel told the story. The main concern for most people is whether or not a generic bullet design is capable of reliably expanding or penetrating to the juicy distance of 12-18 inches in ordnance gel. I typically look for deeper penetration, in the area of 15-24 inches, just because of the fact that this medium typically displays more penetration than ordnance gel.
Keep in mind that this ordnance gel is what the terminal performance standards was based off of, and clear ballistics gel has been proven to not display the same consistency and resistance to penetration. The clothing I used for this test was 4 layers of a generic long sleeve flannel shirt. This isn't the FBI standard of four different clothing materials, but I figured it would work well enough.
Let us start out with Winchester white box 115 grain JHP. This ammunition will fall in a price range around $22 for 50 rounds, or $0.44/round. There are few JHP ammunition choices that are going to fall within this price point. Now, being a 115 grain round, this thing is light and going about 1225 FPS out of a 4" barrel, which is pretty fast. Though, this round is pretty boring in appearance and has pretty low recoil, just like it's FMJ cousin. Between the price and the recoil, I feel that this ammunition lends itself to being pretty easy to afford to practice with.
The two bullets in the picture are from two different pistols. The bullet on the left is from an Honor Guard 3.2" barrel, and the one on the right is from a SAR9 4" barrel. I fired two shots from each gun, and all expanded, but two other projectiles failed to stay in the medium because most of the path of the bullets included sailing through already destroyed medium. I wanted to rush this test in the cold, just to get the test done with, and this kind of made my test an issue. What I found, and you will probably notice, is that the Winchester JHP actually works pretty well for both barrel lengths. The bullets that I failed to catch showed textbook signs of expansion that is only seen in expanding projectiles.
The expansion on both projectiles was not much different, but the penetration of both was really the basis for my overall judgement. In the longer 4" barrel, I found the projectile to go about 18" in gel with only a couple of times where the bullet passed through a previously destroyed medium. In the 3.2" barrel, I found that the bullet reliably went about 22" on average. This, again is a good penetration with this projectile, and the expansion was obviously very good for coming out of a shorter barrel.
Now let us cover the results of the Remington green and white box 115 grain JHP. This projectile was one of the projectiles that I had heard was a bit of a better penetrating round, overall. My testing confirmed this finding with somewhat of a dramatic effect. Again, I tested this round out of both a 3.2" barrel and a 4" barrel. And again, many of the bullets I fired ended up passing through previously destroyed gel, which affected the performance somewhat.
This ammunition comes in for a price of about $38 for 100 round boxes, which comes to around $0.38/rd. This is a pretty good price for such a fair amount of ammunition. The difference may not be that much for some people, but when buying in bulk, this difference may actually rule the Remington to be a better economical option, even if only by a slight margin. As far as looks, this bullet design is very generic with a deep and tapered hollow point that goes halfway down the length of the projectile. The recoil, as with the Winchester, is very much in line with the recoil of it's FMJ cousin. This makes it very easy and affordable to train with and ensure reliable cycling.
As far as performance is concerned, the Remington JHP was a pretty terrible performer through the clear Ballistics out of the 3.2" barrel. The penetration was darn near all the way through and often the rounds tumbled and didn't even expand.
However, the rounds shot from the 4" barrel seemed to perform in a way that can only assume is textbook, based on it's performance. The expansion, for the most part was good, and the penetration ranged from 18 and 21 inches. This is very good performance, for my standards at least.
So, what can we take away from this test? Well, I would say that we could very easily draw the conclusion that the Winchester JHP is a more reliable generic hollow point option for smaller barrels. But, also I think that we can all agree that the Remington seems to be very well suited for full sized pistols and longer barrels. I think we can also agree that it is very likely that the Remington JHP probably has harder lead than the Winchester JHP. This is good for this bullet for one good reason. When it comes to choosing a bullet weight for a firearm, we typically like to get a bullet that has an appropriate velocity that will give us that fine medium between penetration and reliable expansion. Typically, 115 grain bullets are going so incredibly fast that they tear themselves apart or expand so much that it prevents them from penetrating deep enough. It would seem that the tougher lead in the Remington JHP allows it to resist excessive expansion and therefore offer greater penetration because of this.
In a nutshell, I would say that both of these choices of ammunition have their own advantages. If you are looking for an ammunition for carrying a shorter barrel, I would point you toward the Winchester JHP with it's apparently softer lead projectile. But if you are looking for an ammunition for a pistol with a barrel length of 4 inches or more, I would direct you to the even more economically friendly Remington JHP. That is as simple as it is for me. Now, of course, this conclusion could change and be modified based on the mediums you test these projectiles through, but this is the best I can do at the moment. Let me know what you think.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.