NYPD test or THV ammo from 1983


#1

Going through some old papers I came upon this test I had conducted in 1983 while I was assigned to the NYPD Firearms & Tactics Section. One of my “jobs” was as the person in charge of Research and Testing. I had one of my men run a test on THV ammo. .38 Special and .45 ACP calibers. Forgive the quality of my scanned copies of the report, but this was as good as I could get it. If anyone needs clarification feel free to ask.

Rich


#2

The report is hard to read. Perhaps if you had put the scans through photo shop first. You can usually blacken (darken) the print considerably on copies like this.


#3

O.K. What I did was I save each picture (page) in “my pictures” and then put each one of them through Paint Shop Pro X, the only picture enhancing program I have. All I did was move the “blacken” cursor as far as I could to darken it. Then, I printed them out. While it did not come out great, every page is completely legible. The whole procedure took about five minutes.

I doubt, though, that if I posted the improved scans here, that on screen, what I did would be of much help in viewing them in the size they would be. Anyone really interested in the report, as I am, can do the same procedure, and those with a good, sophisticated Photo Shop program can probably improve on my results.

I think you were smart not to continue with too much testing using a Gold Cup .45 of that early serial number. I am sure that gun had the lightened, cut out slide (like the early LW Commanders had), and if the recoil spring wasn’t changed, a compromise spring. I forget the weight of the Gold Cup spring, but I recall clearly it was shorter than a factory hard-ball spring, and perhaps a couple of coils longer than what most of us did with our NRA-Style target .45s for shooting light, hand-loaded SWC loads we all fired in matches years ago. I think a large diet of loads like what you show in the report would have battered the gun. Later, Colt stopped cutting out the slide. I would like to think they did it because they came to their senses about the purpose of the pistol (a full-weight target gun), but it was probably to save a few bucks in milling costs. I like my LW Commander .45, which I carried for about 17 or 18 years, but I fired it only enough with full loads to insure I could qualify with it and it was still working flawlessly, as it always did, right out of the box.


#4

[quote=“RichCapeCod”]Going through some old papers I came upon this test I had conducted in 1983 while I was assigned to the NYPD Firearms & Tactics Section. One of my “jobs” was as the person in charge of Research and Testing. I had one of my men run a test on THV ammo. .38 Special and .45 ACP calibers. Forgive the quality of my scanned copies of the report, but this was as good as I could get it. If anyone needs clarification feel free to ask.

Rich
[/quote]
Thanks for posting that, Rich. With your permission, I’ll use it to make some additions to my web article on the ammo: quarry.nildram.co.uk/THV.htm


#5

Tony, certainly you can use the material in your article.

By the way, I did attempt to enhance the letters after I scanned the images. I saved the image as a JPG, then put all of them through Canon’s Digital Photo Professional. What you see here is the best I could manage.

Rich


#6

Excellent stuff Rich! From the ‘good old days’ before a lot of the fed import/manu restrictions and the states that followed suit.

The velocities tell the tale…the THVs frontal area/ogive and bullet material contribute to its performance, but at 2k+ fps, even soft lead will yield some surprising results on certain barriers. Hell, fired at that speed I bet even a Jolly Rancher would be a threat.


#7

Rich,

thank you very much…the paper is very interesting!

Did you test such ammunition even against ballistic gel?

All the best
Andrea


#8

Andrea:

No, we didn’t have the facilities to do such testing.

Rich


#9

Perhaps these are easier to see?




#10

Pete - yours came out just a tiny bit better than the ones I made. Nice work.