The search for the best defensive round is never-ending. It seems like every week a new and improved mousetrap appears as part of the quest for the perfect defensive cartridge.
In this Norma MHP 9mm review, I take a look at the company’s monolithic copper bullet load to see if it make a good personal protection round.
But the question is, what do we want from a defensive cartridge? Basically, effective penetration, expansion and weight retention. So, what we want is a projectile that goes deep enough without over-penetrating, expands consistently and retains as much of its original weight as possible.
The 9mm MHP Solution
Well, out comes the new Norma MHP, or “Monolithic Hollow Point.” The Norma MHP is a solid copper projectile that claims to do all the things we always wanted.
We are all familiar with traditional self-defense bullets that use a lead hollow point projectile with a metal jacket (jacketed hollow point, or JHP). Our own Eric Conn discusses this in his “Anatomy of a Bullet” article. The monolithic ammo concept used in the MHP takes a different approach; it makes the entire projectile out of a single piece of copper.
But, does it work? There is only one certain way to find out: test it. That means the Norma 9mm MHP needed to be shot into ballistic gel to measure expansion and penetration.
I tested the 9mm version of the Norma MHP, and I wanted to test it in a commonly used defensive-style pistol. I selected the Springfield Armory XD 9mm Service Pistol with a 4” barrel as it is a perfect representation of a defensive pistol.
I tested the ammunition on Clear Ballistic Gel, which is a synthetic reusable gelatin which is a 90-95% approximation to the standard Organic Ordnance Gelatin.
I ended up shooting nine rounds into the Clear Ballistics Gelatin. In the weight department, due to the solid copper construction, the projectiles retained between 97% and 99% of the original 108-gr. weight. Penetration was a relatively short 11”, but that was countered by the outstanding expansion — the .355” projectile expanded an average of .940”, or almost three times its original diameter.
This is one round that shouldn’t be underestimated! I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of this projectile.
If you’re looking for something a little different than traditional JHP defensive ammo that harnesses all the benefits of monolithic solid copper construction and amazing expansion, then the Norma MHP is probably a great choice for you.
Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in!