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April 2000
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.45 ACP Aguila 117gr "High Power" Fragmenting Hollow Point

The Aguila .45 ACP 117gr High Power cartridge uses what appears to be a cast aluminum bullet, which has three external serrations, spaced at regular intervals, on the sides of the ogive to facilitate bullet fragmentation. The bullet has a straight-walled cavity 0.225" in diameter and approximately 1/2-inch deep.

We separately chronographed five rounds using an S&W 4506 handgun. The 4506 has a 5-inch barrel. Average velocity of the five rounds was 1498 fps.

We initially attempted to test the Aguila High Power cartridge using a gelatin block measuring 6x6x16 inches in size. Two test bullets were fired. The sharp angle of divergence between the fragments resulted in almost all of the fragments exiting the sides or top of the block. Both shots resulted in the capture of only one fragment.

In order to capture all the fragments, testing was performed using a gelatin block measuring 10x10x18 inches. We successfully tested four bullets in bare gelatin. Due to the bullet's deep cavity we felt it unnecessary to test it in denim covered gelatin because we believe the denim cloth will not affect terminal performance.

On impact with the gelatin block, each bullet penetrated about 1 inch and then fragmented into four pieces, consisting of three ogive/shank fragments and one base fragment. The three ogive/shank fragments separated from each other at marked angles, and came to rest at a distance of between 6-8 inches apart for all test shots.

Figures 1, 2 and 3. .45 ACP Aguila 117gr "High Power" Fragmenting HP Cartridge

45ACP Agu 117gr FHP3.jpg (25837 bytes) Figure 1.
Overhead view of .45 ACP Aguila 117gr "High Power" Fragmenting HP cartridge. The three deep serrations visible on the ogive cause the bullet to fracture into four fragments: three ogive/shank fragments and one base fragment. The hollow point cavity measures approximately 1/2 inch deep. The cavity has a straight wall that descends to a flat cavity floor.
45ACP Agu 117gr FHP4.jpg (18305 bytes) Figure 2.
Side view of .45 ACP Aguila 117gr "High Power" Fragmenting HP cartridge. The bullet appears to be cast aluminum. Although it looks like brass in this photograph, Aguila loads the High Power cartridge in a nickel-plated case.
45ACP Agu 117gr FHP2.jpg (106700 bytes) Figure 3.
(Click on thumbnail photo to enlarge.) All bullets we tested fragmented into four pieces. Photograph shows typical fragmentation morphology.

Terminal Performance

.45 ACP Aguila 117gr High Power Fragmenting HP
Product Number: None on packaging, Lot Number: None on packaging

Test Weapon: S&W 4506, 5.0" bbl

Test Date: 9/99
Bare Gelatin
Fragment # Penetration
1 1498 1* 3.5 6.8
2 8.6
3 7.6
4 7.4
2 1488 1* 5.4 6.7
2 6.4
3 5.8
4 9.1
3 1495 1* 5.4 7.3
2 7.3
3 9.9
4 6.4
4 1503 1* 6.9 6.3
2 6.1
3 6.6
4 5.7
Avg. 1496  


Shots 1, 2 and 3:
All bullets shot into same 10x10x18 inch gelatin block

Calibration: 9.5cm @ 600 fps (9.3cm corrected)
Average penetration: 6.9 inches.

Shot 4:
Calibration: 10.2 @ 605 fps (9.9 corrected)

*Fragment 1: bullet base

Fragment Distribution in Gelatin

Due to the thickness of the gelatin block, the fragmentation pattern didn't photograph well. We measured the location of each of the bullet's fragments, and plotted their individual penetration paths and spatial distribution on graph paper. These illustrations have been scanned and included with this article. Click on the links below to view the illustrations.

Each line represents 1 inch.

Shot 1 Fragment Distribution

Shot 2 Fragment Distribution

Shot 3 Fragment Distribution

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