Rem Bonded Golden Saber Report: Water and Denim

Joshua M. Smith
08-15-2007, 09:29 PM
Handgun: Taurus PT92AF 9mm
Load Tested: 124 grain +P Bonded Golden Saber Hollowpoint
Test Media: Water, one gallon jugs
Barrier: Four layer denim

Tonight I set out to test my carry ammo, Remington’s 124gr +P Bonded Golden Saber in 9mm. I used my usual water method with a barrier of four layers of denim taken from an old pair of blue jeans taped to the front jug. My first test ever was with a 147gr non-bonded version, and I was excited to see what this newer bonded version would do. The 147gr was tested in a five gallon water bucket and performed very favorably with regard to expansion, so I expected the bonded version to perform even better. Penetration was actually a bit shallow with the 147gr standard version, if I recall correctly.
Here is my usual setup from the side…
… and from the front.

I was expecting the expansion/deformation to be similar to Remington’s standard hollowpoint, standard pressure, that I tested a week or so ago. I was wrong. (
My perspective of the shot. Sighting is challenging when done on a camera’s LCD display! I think I’ll also have to work on remembering to turn it off right after the shot… (~ 4mB, 56k users, plan on about 15mins download time should you click the pic.)
As with its older brother, the standard hollowpoint, the Bonded Golden Saber shredded the first two jugs. Curiously, the front jug stayed put instead of being blown off the bench.
A closer look at the front jug…
And the second jug. The gaping hole was not caused directly by the bullet, but rather it blew out at that seam.
As you can see in the movie, the denim was blown clear when the first jug went, and landed about five feet away on the ground.

I traced the bullet path. I was a little off on my aiming as you can see in the video; at the last second the sight was resting on the upper left of the jug. Regardless, the bullet path was an almost perfectly straight line through all jugs but the last. Though it glanced off an angle on the last jug, it did cut the plastic, causing the jug to leak. I am pretty sure it would have penetrated into the fifth jug had it not hit an angle.
I found the shredded bullet several yards away. I didn’t expect it to be in this condition, but it’s commonly known that water will usually act upon a bullet in the most extreme manner of all test media.
This is the only other piece of the bullet I could find, a lone petal in the third jug. I suspect that the others exited with the water.

Though some may consider this a failure, I do not. I actually prefer some fragmentation as long as I have penetration.
The Bonded Golden Saber seems to have plenty of penetration. It penetrated four milk jugs and damaged the fifth beyond reuse, then continued on its way after deflecting off the fifth. This translates into 24+ inches of penetration in water, or more than 12 inches of penetration in gelatin.
A top view of my expansion measurements… right about ¾ of an inch!
And a side view. Notice how the jacket and core stayed together as they should have. After the front disintegrated (about 18” of water), the base continued on as a wadcutter profile.

I like this round. Though it didn’t exhibit picture-perfect expansion in my test, it certainly showed it could cause damage comparable to other rounds I’ve tested in this manner. Further, it didn’t seem to be impressed by the four layers of denim at all, and in addition to causing quite a bit of disruption in the first two jugs and moderate disruption in the third, it penetrated almost as much as a 38 Spl 158gr LSWCHP +P that failed to expand when I tested it against denim.

While the Bonded Golden Saber seems like the best of both worlds to me, this round just begs for further testing.

Josh <><

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08-16-2007, 04:09 AM

If you enjoyed reading about "Rem Bonded Golden Saber Report: Water and Denim" here in the archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!