How to Find 22LR Ammo

This is 2,900 newly purchased rounds of .22LR ammo. It might last me a month.

This is 2,900 newly-purchased rounds of .22LR ammo. It might last me a month.

This is a real, un-doctored photo, taken just this morning. This ammo was purchased Wednesday evening. Really. And I could have bought more.

Yes, .22LR ammunition is a lot more scarce than it used to be, especially those bulk packs of Winchester, Remington and Federal. But just because you don’t see those 300 and 500 round boxes sitting on the Wal-Mart shelf doesn’t mean that .22LR ammo isn’t available. It is. You can get all you want, with two conditions:

  1. You have to work harder to find it.
  2. You have to pay more.

It’s a basic economics decision. You can clutch the memories of old prices while sitting at home not shooting your .22s, or you can accept the new reality and shoot. Your choice.

I’m going to work harder and pay a little more because I really like shooting my .22s. I’m not going to hoard what I have and continue to buy ammo to squirrel away – that’s exactly what’s causing this problem for all of us. I’m going to shoot my .22s and have fun doing it. As I write this, I’m testing a CMMG .22 conversion kit for AR rifles, the new Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact with a SilencerCo Sparrow and a Ruger 10/22 with a Timney Trigger upgrade. I intend to shoot lots and lots of .22LR through these guns.

Subscribe to the emails

I few months ago, I got an email from Cabelas letting me know that they had 2,000 round cans of Federal Champion .22LR ammo. I clicked, and a ton of .22LR ammo was on its way for a good price. Subscribe to emails from companies like Cabelas, Webyshops and Brownells, and you just might be surprised at what lands in your inbox. Most companies place a lot of value of their email subscribers and are more than happy to tell them first about new product availability. It’s a win-win – help them communicate with you! Just be sure to keep a close eye on your inbox as you’ll need to act fast.

Grand openings

New stores are opening all over. Chains like Academy Sports, Bass Pro, Cabelas and Gander Mountain can’t build new locations fast enough. Guess what? When they have a grand opening for a new location, they want to create excitement and buzz. Every single grand opening I’ve attended in the past year has managed to offer plentiful supplies of .22LR ammunition. In fact, the ammo in the picture above was purchased at the Grand Opening event of a new Palmetto State Armory store here in South Carolina. Keep an eye on the news and make time to attend. It’s fun, and you’re sure to find some deals.

Set product alerts

Brownells has a neat feature (and plenty of other retailers do also) that allows you to set an automated alert for out of stock products. Use it. You’ll get a text message or email as soon as new product arrives and can be the first to order. I use this all the time with great success. You never know when an alert will come in, so again, keep an eye on that inbox and act fast.

Set alerts like this one at Brownells so you can be notified immediately when the ammo you want is in stock.

Set alerts like this one at Brownells so you can be notified immediately when the ammo you want is in stock.

GunBot.net

Here’s a great example of American ingenuity that solves a frustrating problem. The creators of GunBot.net have established wonder-magic connections to dozens and dozens of online retailers for ammunition. Their website checks availability and pricing of ammunition, magazines and reloading supplies. All you have to do is visit gunbot.net, and you’ll see a consolidated list of retailers that have the products you’re looking for. You can display in-stock products only and sort by price per round. Just click and you’re linked to that particular retailer to place your order. Couldn’t be easier. As of today, you’ll see that you can buy all the .22LR ammo you want for about $.10 per round. Yes, that’s more than it used to cost. Get used to it – it’s still half the price of centerfire ammo. Oh, and don’t gripe at the GunBot.net folks about prices, they don’t set them, they just link you to the folks who do. Make it a point to check GunBot.net a couple times a day and you might find a deal closer to the “old” prices.

These are a couple of the methods I use to shop for my .22LR ammo. I’ve yet to run out, and shoot my .22s as much as ever.

New Bullets from PolyCase Ammunition

New 9mm Firefly tracer ammunition (left) and ARX self-defense ammunition (right)

New 9mm Firefly tracer ammunition (left) and ARX self-defense ammunition (right)

Remember PolyCase Ammunition? They’re the folks that developed disposable polymer cases for a variety of rifle and pistol cartridges. When the great ammunition crunch of 2013 hit, PolyCase, like other ammunition manufacturers, had trouble obtaining the components to load cartridges in the polymer cases. Turning frustration into opportunity, the PolyCase team set about inventing their own projectiles. Like their previous work with breakthrough innovation, they’ve figure out how to make projectiles using injection molding techniques. Using a blend of 10% polymer and 90% copper, they create practice, self-defense and tracer projectiles by molding them from liquid goo. According to the company, accuracy is improved as the molding process avoids traditional challenges of weight variation and concentricity anomalies.

The groundbreaking concept behind this it that PolyCase can make the projectiles into virtually any shape they want as the injection molding process is not limited by traditional stamping techniques. The Inceptor ARX self-defense projectile resembles a drill bit and is designed to provide directional and rotational energy transfer to the target. The light weight, lead-free projectiles still penetrate to FBI standards as they are not designed to expand in the traditional sense.

For more information, visit PolyCase Ammunition.

Surplus Ammunition: Shooting a Little Bit of History, Literally

Surplus ammo is not just inexpensive, but interesting and fun - if you give it the proper respect.

Surplus ammo is not just inexpensive, but interesting and fun – if you give it the proper respect.

Remember when surplus 8mm Mauser ammo was more abundant than White House press conference fibs? I do. Not so very long ago, you could buy as much as you could store for less than 5 cents a round. Now that same round is about 60 cents – if you can find it. Similar scenarios apply for other common military rounds like .308, .30-06, 7.62×39 and 7.62x54R. While harder to find, and a lot more expensive than it used to be, it can still be cheaper than newly manufactured ammo.

While the glory days of surplus ammo have gone the way of real investigative journalism, there are still some deals to be had. For example, one of the current “bargains” (and I use that word begrudgingly) is 5.45×39 for AK74s. That can still be found in quantity for about $.22 per round. Considering new 5.56mm ammo runs into the $.40 to $.50 range, that’s not too bad, assuming you have one of those micro-bullet AKs or a different 5.45mm bullet eater.

But as they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. The “cost” of that dirt cheap ammo is that some of it has corrosive primers or other issues that require extra care when feeding.

There are benefits and drawbacks to using surplus ammunition. Rather than address pros and cons, let’s just make some observations.

Corrosive ammo

The real issue here is corrosive primers that use material which leaves a potassium chloride residue in the barrel and gas system – if you use a semi-automatic. You might recognize this dangerous (to guns anyway) chemical as… salt.

The problem with salt is that it likes water and attracts it from humid air. It likes water so much that even if you slather your bore with gun oil after shooting corrosive ammo, the salt will pull moisture through the oil to the bore and rust it underneath the oil layer. Did I mention that it really likes water?

The other problem with salt is that it does not really break down into anything less damaging to guns. It dilutes in water, but it’s still salt. So you can’t just “neutralize” salt residue left by corrosive ammo primers. Oil won’t neutralize it. Gun cleaner won’t neutralize it. Justin Bieber’s Greatest Hits won’t even neutralize it. You have to remove it. On the plus side, the fact that salt dilutes in water makes it easier to remove.

Read the rest at AmmoLand!

Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition 2nd Edition 2014. It’s ON SALE now for a limited time!

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

Fun and Games with the .257 Weatherby Magnum

The .257 Weatherby Magnum has a lot of cartridge case behind a little bullet.

The .257 Weatherby Magnum has a lot of cartridge case behind a little bullet. These handloads are using Nosler Custom brass and Hornady .257 117 grain SST bullets.

I’ve got a thing for the more unusual calibers. Probably because I’m a reloading addict. I just don’t care that commercial rounds of .300 AAC Blackout cost over a buck each. Or that .357 Sig pistol ammo is crazy expensive relative to 9mm. Or that no one stocks 6.8 SPC ammo. I don’t know why, but these oddball cartridges are some of my favorites.

When I had a chance to start some serious tinkering with a .257 Weatherby Magnum, how could I resist? Word is that the .257 Weatherby Magnum was Roy Weatherby’s personal favorite, and that’s saying something. Developed starting back in 1944, it’s a belted cartridge derived from a .375 H&H Magnum case. That’s a lot of case capacity for a .25 caliber bullet. It likes projectiles in the 85 to 120 grain weight range with 100 grain bullets being the most common.

All that case capacity is put to good use as the .257 Weatherby is a true speed demon. An 85 grain bullet will move at over 3,800 feet per second, while a 100 grain projectile cooks along at just under 3,600 feet per second. Yes, you have to be considerate to your rifle barrel. Proper cleaning and cooling will extend its life.

If you look at energy, the “standard” .257 load exceeds both the “standard” .308 Winchester and .30-06 loads with over 2,900 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

If you have to say just one thing about the .257 Weatherby Magnum cartridge, that’s easy. It’s a flat shooter. How flat you ask? If you fire a 100 grain projectile from a .257 Weatherby Magnum parallel to the ground, it will drop about 46 inches by the time it reaches 500 yards. A .30-06 150 grain projectile will drop about 66 inches over the same distance.

The Weatherby Vanguard 2 Package comes with a Redfield scope, sling and case.

The Weatherby Vanguard 2 Package comes with a Redfield scope, sling and case.

I recently got my hot little hands on a new Weatherby Vanguard 2 Synthetic Package. As the name implies, you get everything you need with this model except ammo. The factory mounts and bore sights a 3-9x42mm Redfield Revenge scope, adds a sling and packages it all in an injection molded rifle case. The price of the complete package has a suggested retail of $999.00.

The stock is a monte carlo style with soft inserts in the grip and fore end areas. These felt great, improved grip and seemed to help dampen recoil impulse to the hands. The stock has a raised comb and contoured cheek rest area which positioned my face perfectly at scope height.

The barrel is 24 inches, cold hammer forged and features a 1 in 10 inch twist rate. Magazine capacity is three, plus a fourth round in the chamber. The magazine features a hinged bottom for easy dumping of unused rounds.

The trigger was crisp and clean. The face is flat with serrations and had no detectable creep. It’s a two-stage design with about ⅛ inch of take-up immediately followed by a clean break. It’s also adjustable down to 2 ½ pounds of pull weight.

The rifle with scope mounted weighed in at 8 ¾ pounds, although it felt lighter to me. It’s a nice handling rifle with a great feel.

Accuracy and velocity

I couldn’t bring myself to shoot factory ammo out of such an interesting gun, so I decided to give it a variety diet of carefully hand loaded ammunition. Being a brand new rifle, I broke it in very carefully. For the first 10 shots, I fired, cleaned and allowed the barrel to cool down between shots. For the next 20 rounds, I cleaned the bore after every several shots while still monitoring barrel temperature to guard against accuracy loss (and excess wear and tear) through overheating.

I used my very portable OTIS cleaning kit to scrub the bore frequently during the barrel break in period.

I used my very portable OTIS cleaning kit to scrub the bore frequently during the barrel break in period.

In my first outing, I recorded velocity of a variety of hand loads, and just for the heck of it, fired 5 shot groups. As the rifle was still in a break in period, I didn’t expect perfect accuracy performance (yet) but was curious about how it would shoot right out of the box.

I loaded a half dozen combinations for initial trial using Hornady 117 grain SST, Nosler 100 grain Ballistic Tip and Barnes 100 grain TTSX bullets. Powders were IMR 4351, Hodgdon 4350 and Reloader 25. While I won’t publish load data here (I’m a stickler for getting load data from manufacturer sources only) my load data was sourced from Barnes, Hornady and Hodgdon.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

 

New Book! The Insanely Practical Guide to Reloading Ammunition

Learn how to reload ammunition the easy way with the Insanely Practical Guide To Reloading Ammunition!

Learn how to reload ammunition the easy way with the Insanely Practical Guide To Reloading Ammunition!

When I started reloading, I made lots of mistakes. I learned the hard way by screwing things up on occasion. Yes, I had fun, but my learning process might have been more fun if someone had taken the time to explain the procedures and equipment to me. In plain non-engineering oriented English.

Fortunately, that’s what we do here at Insanely Practical Guides. Nothing would make us happier than to have a million or so folks start reloading their own ammunition.

This book is not a reloading manual. Great companies like Hornady, Sierra, Lyman and others publish those. They invest millions of dollars in fancy equipment like ballistic test barrels, strain gauges, piezo transducers and plenty of Cheezy Poofs and Red Bull for the lab staff — all to develop safe and tested load recipes.

The Insanely Practical Guide to Reloading Ammunition is an instructional guide that will walk you through the steps of reloading your own ammunition in a fun, and more importantly, easy to understand way. Reloading manuals are great resources for understanding safe and tested load recipes. While most include an introductory section that talks about the reloading process and equipment, none that I’ve found show you, step by step, exactly how to do it in an easy to understand way.

Think of reloading manuals as sheet music. And this book as Mrs. Clutterbuck’s piano lessons you took in third grade. If you develop a sudden urge to play Carnegie Hall, or even Bodean’s Wet Whistle Bar and Bait Shop, you could just order sheet music from the internet. But it probably wouldn’t be the most direct path to ivory key success. Take some lessons first, then order the sheet music. We’ll all thank you!

Although we think reading this book will be a far more pleasant experience than weekly lessons in Mrs. Clutterbuck’s den, the idea is the same. We’ll teach you how to do the steps. Then you’re off to fame, fortune and custom ammunition.

Loaded with pictures and simple and useful illustrations, this book will get you started reloading your own ammunition in no time!

Topics include: 

  • Why take up reloading?
  • Is reloading right for you?
  • What equipment do you need?
  • Cleaning and processing brass.
  • The reloading process: step by step.
  • Pistol caliber reloading.
  • Rifle caliber reloading.
  • Buying reloading components.
  • Advanced equipment options.
  • Introduction to advanced topics.

You can get the Kindle version on Amazon right now! The print version will be available April 14th!

Talking Brass: How To Lose Your Frustrations At The Range

Someone figured out how to exercise their demons - with a .30-06.

Someone figured out how to exercise their demons – with a .30-06.

I’m a reloading freak. Because what’s better than tactical cooking? (Tweet This)

Anyway, I shoot at an outdoor range where lot’s of folks bring boxes of shiny, new, factory ammunition to shoot – and then they leave the brass lying all over the place.

Is there a “clean up after yourself” rant forthcoming? Not on your life. I love these folks. New, once-fired, name brand brass?

I’ll pick up new range brass faster than Alec Baldwin complains about his fame and fortune.(Tweet This)

After testing a new scope the other day, a Weaver Tactical 1-5×24, I cleaned up. Big time. First rate rifle brass sells for about 50 cents apiece. Heck, I’ll spend hours picking up someone else’s brass. And thank them for it.

Anyway, I was tired, and jazzed about the new scope, so I wasn’t paying much attention. When I got home to clean and sort my new treasure trove, I noticed handwriting on some of the .30-06 cases. Hmmm.

On closer examination, someone found a safe and fun way to vent their frustrations. At 2,700 feet per second.

And just what was this anonymous individual concerned about? From the ones I could still read, here’s the list of aggravations:

  • F— You _____.” Sorry, the last word was illegible. But this person sent some serious anger down range.
  • New slang” But no mention of Justin Bieber, which I found strange.
  • Something about “evil money.” Perhaps this person found the recent government stimulus programs lacking?
  • People who treat vets like shit
  • Kids that drive $60,000 cars
  • Dad’s B.S. – Not my problem!
  • Who I was
  • England

I kid you not. England.

If you’re a board-certified psychiatrist, we’d love a preliminary analysis. Sorry, but we can only pay for your services in used range brass.

Reloading Ammunition in 10 Easy Steps

Birth of a reloaded cartridge, from left to right: dirty, nasty, stinky range brass; shiny cleaned brass; spent primer ready for decapping; decapped brass; resized brass; re-primed brass; ready for powder charge; bullet seating (it's not fully seated here); the finished product!

Birth of a reloaded cartridge, from left to right: dirty, nasty, stinky range brass; shiny cleaned brass; spent primer ready for decapping; decapped brass; resized brass; re-primed brass; ready for powder charge; bullet seating (it’s not fully seated here); the finished product!

Now that the infinite gun-gasm known as SHOT Show is over, it’s time to get back to reloading! If you read the first article in this reloading series, “To Reload or Not to Reload: 12 Important Considerations,” and decided reloading might be for you, read on! Today we’ll talk about the basic steps of reloading brass ammunition, like common rifle and handgun cartridges. Shotgun reloading is fun and rewarding, too, but we’ll handle that as a separate topic as the steps and equipment are different.

First, the safety warning! I don’t have a lawyer, but if I did, he would tell me to tell you to exercise extreme caution when reloading ammunition. Always, and I mean always, follow printed loading recipes from major bullet, propellant, or reloading equipment manufacturers. They have lots of expensive testing equipment that ensures their published loading data is within safe pressure limits.

Okay, I feel less legally exposed now, so let’s get back to the fun stuff.

When you boil all the complexity down, reloading is simply recycling of fired cartridges—like plastic milk containers, but a lot less smelly. For most modern ammunition, a cartridge is made up of several components, some of which are expendable and others reusable. The only “directly” reusable component in a cartridge is the brass casing. Fortunately, that’s generally the most expensive component. Let’s take an insanely practical look at the steps involved in reloading rifle and handgun ammunition. We’ll walk through the process today and discuss the equipment needs next week.

Save the brass!

If there is the slightest chance you might take up reloading in the future, the very first step is to hoard brass. Yes, like that show on A&E. Hoard brass until your living room is knee-deep with the stuff and the dog can’t make its way to the kitchen. Why? You’ll need it. And it’s expensive. Every time you bend over to pick up a casing, think $0.10 to $0.75! You’d pick up a quarter or two every time you saw one on the ground, right?

Clean the brass.

Technically, you don’t have to clean brass cartridge casings to reload them, but I always do. Cleaning the brass helps you make nice, pretty ammunition that is sure to impress your friends. More importantly, it reduces the risk of your reloading dies getting all gunked up. Clean ammunition also feeds into your gun more reliably.

Deprime the brass.

The primer is one of the expendable items. Once it’s blown up, it’s no good anymore. Either a dedicated decapping die is used to punch the old primer out of the bottom of the casing, or more commonly, the die that resizes your brass will also knock the old primer out.

Resize the brass exterior.

When you fire a rifle or handgun cartridge, the whole brass casing actually expands in the chamber of the gun. As the pressure goes down when the bullet leaves the barrel, the brass shrinks back a bit, thereby allowing extraction from the chamber and ejection towards the person next to you. While it shrinks, it doesn’t shrink all the way back to original size. A resizing die is used to “encourage by brute force” the brass back into the correct exterior dimensions. This step ensures that your reloaded ammunition will fit back into the chamber of your gun and fire properly. If you reload bottleneck rifle ammo, you will also need to trim the case back to the proper length. All this mashing tends to make it stretch.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

 

Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

To Reload Or Not To Reload… 12 Important Considerations

Once you decide to start reloading, you'll want all the cool gear...

Once you decide to start reloading, you’ll want all the cool gear…

The first step towards healing is to admit you have a problem. I’ve got an ammunition reloading addiction. I can spend hours fantasizing about all the cool gadgets like case concentricity gauges in the Sinclair Reloading catalog. There. I’ve said it.

Since part of my problem is uncontrollable reloading evangelism, I’m going to allocate a couple of these weekly columns to reloading your own ammunition. This week, we’ll look at factors you should consider when deciding whether to reload or not. After our SHOT Show coverage next week. We’ll come back and talk about how to get started.

So how do you decide if reloading is for you? Consider the following.

Are you, or can you be, detail oriented?

As with any shooting related activity, safety comes first. Like shooting, reloading is perfectly safe, as long as you pay attention and follow the rules – every time without fail. With reloading, you have to pay close attention to all aspects of the task. Undercharging (not enough powder) and overcharging (too much powder) are equally dangerous and can harm the shooter and the gun. Seating bullets at the proper depth consistently prevents dangerous over pressure situations. Using the right components, per professionally published recipes is mandatory. While it sounds scary, as long as you are careful and attentive, you can manufacture safe and reliable ammunition.

It’s a gateway drug.

You know, like Crystal Meth. Once you start on that stuff, you’ll quickly move to something really serious. Likewise, if you start reloading something simple, like pistol cartridges, you’ll soon move to rifle cartridges. Before you know it, you’ll be melting lead in your kitchen and casting your own bullets. And we all know how much other family members enjoy lead fumes in the kitchen.

You’ll save money.

If you reload for fun and/or don’t place a dollar value on your reloading time, your cost per cartridge will almost certainly be lower than the price of factory ammunition. Of course, you have to reload often enough to cover the startup equipment costs. We’ll cover that in the next article.

Let’s look at a simple example. Right now, .223 practice ammo costs somewhere around $.45 to $.50 per round. If you reload it yourself, plan on spending about $.09 per bullet, $.03 per primer and $.08 for each powder charge. If you have to buy brass, you can use each casing about 10 times, so your per use cost is about $.04. That brings us to about $.24 per round, not counting your time. Yeah, I know. You know a guy who can get all this stuff cheaper. Keep in mind, this is just a rough estimate example for those uninitiated.

You’ll spend more money.

Once you start reloading, you’ll want to get all the gear. Like digital scales, electronic powder dispensers, power case trimmers, progressive reloading presses, and custom reloading benches. You’ll also shoot a lot more, so even though your cost per round might be lower, you can easily end up spending more money overall.

What’s your time worth?

In our .223 Remington example, we might save $.25 per round, not counting the value of your time. So on a per round basis, your time needs to be worth less than $.25 for the time it takes to assemble one round, else you’re unprofitable. The time value calculations are tricky because they depend on the equipment you have and the pace at which you work safely. Progressive reloading press manufactures claim numbers like 500 rounds per hour, but that doesn’t count other chores like case preparation. Read this to get an idea of the steps involved in reloading .223 Remington ammunition. It’s a little tongue in cheek, but will give you an idea.

If you spend most of your waking hours hanging out at Occupy Something Evil Protests, you’re probably in good shape. If you have a paying job, chances are you’re not beating the ammunition manufacturers in the hourly wage efficiency game. You might be better off working more to cover your ammo bills.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

New “Bolo” Connected Projectiles From Advanced Ballistic Concepts

The new Advanced Ballistic Concepts 12 gauge load

The new Advanced Ballistic Concepts 12 gauge load

On the more radical news front, I was able to see the new connected projectiles cartridge from Advanced Ballistic Concepts. Think of these as bullet bolos. You know, those primitive weapons where you connect three rocks or other heavy objects with string. As you spin and throw the bolo, the rocks on the end spread out to help ensure a hit on target. With real bolos, there is also the ensnarement factor as the whole mess wraps around whatever it hits.

Like a bolo, these projectiles leave the barrel as three distinct projectiles. BUT, they’re attached to each other with thin cord strong enough to hold the projectiles in a 24 inch pattern. With a rifled shotgun barrel, the whole bolo-contraption actually spins as it flies.

The intended use is interior home defense as effective range is dramatically reduced by wind resistance of the corded projectiles. The manufacturer claims this is a design feature to limit over-penetration risk in home defense scenarios.

One of the key selling points, as stated by the manufacturer, is the ability to hit your target with less than perfect shots. The other benefit claimed by Advanced Ballistic Concepts is multiple hits per shot. The center .45 caliber slug hits center to point of aim while one or more bolo “stones” hit elsewhere.

Before separating into a flying windmill of doom, the 12 gauge projectiles look like this.

Before separating into a flying windmill of doom, the 12 gauge projectiles look like this.

The company indicates penetration in the 5 inch territory when fired into ballistic gel. What’s less clear is performance after passing through heavy clothing. We’ll need to test that out more thoroughly to see what really happens when this load hits things.

Whatever the outcome, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of these. That would be messy for sure.

We’ll get it into our testing schedule and see what happens.

New Self Defense Ammunition From Winchester – Train and Defend

Winchester Train and Defend is a no-brainer for new and experienced shooters alike.

Winchester Train and Defend is a no-brainer for new and experienced shooters alike.

So one of the neatest things at SHOT Show Media Day at the range was not even a gun! What???

High on my to-do list for the day was to actually shoot the new Winchester Ammunition Train & Defend ammunition. The idea is simple. Create matching loads where the bullet weight and recoil are virtually the same. Practice with the less expensive full metal jacket stuff, then load your gun with the hollow point version when carrying or using your gun for home defense.

Look similar? These two .38 Special Train and Defend loads should!

Look similar? These two .38 Special Train and Defend loads should!

The neatest thing about this ammo is that it’s designed to be low recoil for controllability. The hollow point projectile is designed to penetrate and expand at lower velocity, so it still works.

Dr. Rob Pincus extracts some .38 Special rounds from the gelatinous pig juice.

Dr. Rob Pincus extracts some .38 Special rounds from the gelatinous pig juice.

Unlike most ammo tests in front of large audiences, Rob Pincus and the Winchester Ammunition folks did it right. They used 4 layers of clothing per FBI testing protocol. It makes a big difference. Any bullet will expand in pure gelatin, but adding the clothing layers helps separate the men from the boys. As you can see by the photos, penetration was excellent and expansion perfect.

Gooey mushroomed bullets.

Gooey mushroomed bullets.

I’m thinking this will be excellent ammunition for short barrel guns where velocity is a bit lower than standard. I’m anxious to try this out. More to follow.

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