Actually, they're not by a long shot.Such as?
I keep hearing about XTP,s plugging up with clothing, but with the exception Power Ball, Hydro shocks and other similar made bullets they are all made about the same, a big open cavity to plug with clothing. I would think the Gold Dots and the Barns copper bullets would be about the same.
XTPs tend to plug up because the hollowpoint is relatively small, and given the shape of the bullet and cavity overall, along with the jacket design, it is very good at capturing material and failing to expand, especially through clothing or other soft matter. Winchester civilian SXTs from the 90s (NOT the Ranger load) had the same issue.
Also, the Hydrashoks also show a propensity to plug and fail to expand through heavy clothing.
The Barnes bullets, HST, Gold Dots, etc. all solve this by changing the profile of the bullet, and also changing the size and shape of the hollowpoint itself, making it less apt to plug and fail to expand.
The other, bigger issues with XTP than the issues they show with plugging up, which has been shown in repeated testing with heavy clothing, is that they tend to fragment easily if they encounter a hard barrier. This is a problem because if the bullet hits some intermediate hard barrier and fragments, it loses much of its ballistic integrity, and therefore a great deal of its terminal effectiveness as a projectile against a threat.
The XTP line is an excellent choice of bullet for hunting where heavy clothing and intermediate barriers are unlikely to pose much of an issue.
However, given that there are other available designs in the field of reloading that are far superior both in the size of expanded projectile and in their ability to behave consistently without failure, the XTP is not my first choice for a hollowpoint to reload for the stated tasks.
The Barnes XPB/TacXP projectile, were I reloading for self defense or hunting, shows far more consistent expansion and expansion to a larger diameter, and has no documented problems of failure to expand with any intermediate barriers short of steel car doors which crush the hollowpoint walls flat, turning the bullet into a slightly enlarged wadcutter, showing 18+" of penetration on the other side.
Hydrashoks are not reliable enough for me to even consider suggesting them to anyone. As stated already, they show a similar propensity to plug and fail to expand, and also have issues dealing with hard barriers and heavy clothing. The HST, Federal's replacement projectile for the Hydrashok line, does far better by increasing the size of the hollowpoint and changing how the projectile breaks down and expands to improve on both reliability and consistent expanded diameter. This is another good choice, although these are only available as loaded ammunition.
While I cannot explain the exact differences between the designs (since I didn't engineer the bullets and don't have an exact breakdown other than casual observation of the projectiles), I can attest to the performance of the projectiles named in the Ballistics info stickie through hundreds of my own tests, thousands of tests done by Doc Roberts, who compiled the list quoted there, and thousands upon thousands of real world shootings where recovered projectiles confirm the findings of testing. There are plenty of decent reviews of functionality including gel test videos, workshops, and seminars replete with visual data and labs that corroborate the data.