Archive for the 'Ammunition' Category



45 Super – Is It Better Than 45 ACP?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

Sort of mixed up results.

Here’s my take with this and all of the other tests I’ve seen.  The 45ACP does just fine expanding within the window and accomplishing the correct penetration.

Speeding it up doesn’t necessarily help with JHPs.  Stick with 45ACP or +P 45 (or if you wish, +P+ 45ACP) for self defense purposes and shoot JHP.

For hard cast ball like we would need in the bush, that’s where more velocity helps.  Always carry +P or +P+ hard ball in the bush.  I carry 450 SMC (or at a minimum, Underwood, Double Tap or Buffalo Bore +P+).  For shooting 450 SMC, as I’ve discussed before, I had to modify a 1911 by removing the 18# spring and installing a 22# spring.  There was no change to the barrel.  It will achieve 1120 FPS with a 230 grain bullet.  If I intended to shoot 45 Super, I would get a different barrel (or go with 460 Rowland).

In urban and suburban areas, over-penetration is always a concern. So to summarize, I’m not entirely sure why you would choose 45 Super with a JHP style bullet for any scenario.

Shooting .38 Super in .38 Special and .357 Magnum Revolvers

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 1 day ago

I could probably watch him dig a ditch and make it interesting.  On top of that, I learned something.

All M193 Is Not M193

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

Zero with the best ammunition you will shoot, and use that for self defense.  Otherwise, I agree with him.  Buy what you want, but don’t expect the same performance.

This is also a reminder that shortened barrel lengths (seemingly all the rage now) create this same problem.

Norma Shooting Moving Its Headquarters To Georgia

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Seen at Gun Feed, Norma is making a move.

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. — An ammunition manufacturer is relocating its U.S. headquarters to Chatham County.

Norma Precision Ammunition is a subsidiary of the leading European ammunition manufacturer RUAG Ammotec.

The Swiss-based company says it develops and produces high-end ammunition for sports shooters, special operations forces, and peace officers worldwide.

“With their facilities in close proximity to the Port of Savannah – the top port for U.S. exports – and our highly-skilled pool of talent, I’m confident that RUAG Ammotec will be very pleased with their decision to invest in the Peach State,” said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.

“I am pleased with all that Georgia has to offer our company. I am confident that with our relocation, we have chosen the right community to partner with to ensure mutual long-term success,” added President and CEO of RUAG Ammotec Christoph Eisenhardt.

RUAG Ammotec has operations in 12 different countries. The company says in 2021, Norma Precision Ammunition imported over 400 containers of ammunition from factories in Europe, while also delivering over 30 million cartridges of ammunition made in the U.S.

But are they really moving their headquarters?  Where is it currently?

I couldn’t locate their headquarters, unless it’s a Swiss city.  These two articles (here and here) seem to suggest that there isn’t currently one in the U.S., and they are establishing one in Georgia.

This continues gun valley moving South, or in this case, gun valley choosing South.  See also Parts I, II and III.

By the way, I’ve never had any problems with Norma ammunition, and it’s always performed well for me,

22 WMR: The Most Powerful .22 Rimfire of All Time

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Ron Spomer.

“Magnum” is the perfect name for this cartridge because it does for the .22 rimfire what the .30-378 Weatherby Magnum did for the .308 Winchester: makes it shoot faster, flatter, and hit harder. And that’s been the trajectory of .22 rimfire cartridges since 1845.

.22 WMR: The Most Powerful .22 Rimfire of All Time

Ron has a really interesting table of windage hold-offs and elevation hold-overs too.

I really love the .22 WMR, and with the advent of reliable ARs chambered in this cartridge, it’s become a legitimate home defense gun.

Although I choose to use something much bigger bore, America’s cartridge (from youth through adulthood) has always chambered the .22 caliber bullet, from the .22LR to the .22 WMR to the .223.

I learned to shoot using a .22LR plinking at trash can lids in my backyard.  But the .22LR has always seemed a bit underpowered to me.

AR-15: Why Twist Rate Really Doesn’t Matter For Stability Of Heavier Bullets

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Andy with practical accuracy sends me a note with a video he did as a challenge from a commenter here at TCJ.

First of all, it’s nice to be in the mix of thing where you can affect outcomes like testing of weapons systems.  Second, his results are interesting and seem to me to put to bed the notion that a 1:9 twist rate can’t stabilize a 77 grain bullet.  This is the same thing Steve Mayer at Rock River Arms told me several years ago.  But it’s nice to see it tested.

By the way, nice shooting Andy.  A 1 MOA group is always good in my book.

Ryan Muckenhirn On Tungsten Super Shot

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

And a change in load means that that the 20 gauge (and even 410) is now being used much more for turkey hunting.

Testing For Home Defense Ammunition For Carbines

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Shooting Illustrated.

For us, the main takeaway is that if you have a bad guy hiding behind a common interior wall, concealment is all it’s really providing. With an AR-15 carbine, there’s a high probability your bullet will perform nearly as well after passing through that wall—even if it hits a stud—as it would if there was no barrier between you and that bad guy at all.

We also learned that the 150-grain 300 HAMR load is rather wicked with regard to terminal performance. Though it may provide deeper-than-desirable penetration in a home-defense setting, from a wound-cavity standpoint you can see why this cartridge is one of the best available for big-game hunting with an AR-15. And finally, do not discount the 125-grain hollowpoint .30-30 Win. load for personal protection. It should not over-penetrate, and it creates a reasonably large crush cavity. It’s clearly a great choice for home defense if your life-saving gun is a lever-action carbine.

If I had to pick one of these cartridges/loads for home defense, I’d probably go with the 110-grain 300 HAMR load because of its consistent 12 to 14 inches of penetration and the lack of over-penetration concern associated with it. The Speer Gold Dot load for the .223 Rem. and the FTX load for the .300 BLK delivered similar, but slightly deeper performance. There are, of course, lots of other loads and carbine cartridges to consider. This test is only a glimpse. But, it does give you an idea of what can be expected with carbines, and even the ancient .30-30 Win., if they must be fired inside a home to save your life.

Well, the .30-30 is a venerable cartridge, and stands today as the load that has probably taken more white tail than any other cartridge.  It would be an awesome home defense round.  It’s also noteworthy that lever action rifles are very popular within the AR community, and for good reason.  Every man should have lever action rifles.

The summary is a bit strange though.  The graphs show the 300 HAMR as over-penetrating, and the last thing you want inside a home is over-penetration.  Moreover, availability is an issue, as is cost.

Elk Hunt With The 270 Win.?

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 4 weeks ago

Bear Attack On Elk Hunters, September 2021

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks ago

Dean Weingarten.

Tyler had a 10 mm Glock model 20 loaded with Buffalo Bore 190-grain hard cast bullets. The son had a .45ACP with a red dot sight, 15 round magazines, and hollowpoint +P self-defense ammunition. The father had bear spray, with “assault” in the name.

[ … ]

The father had deployed his bear spray. The bear blasted through the cloud with no visible effect.

[ … ]

No shots had hit the spine. The bear had a thick layer of fat, which acted as an armor of a sort. Two of the +P .45 hollow-point bullets were recovered under the hide, in the fat. Several hits were in the top and side of the neck going down toward the shoulders. Tyler believes the .45 bullets had not penetrated into the chest cavity, but most of the bullet paths were not followed to see which came from which caliber. They knew the side shots had been from Tyler’s 10mm. The frontal shots could have been from either shooter. The shot above the eyes had to be from the .45, because the angle would have been different as the bear closed and Tyler joined the son, shooting at the advancing bear.

The bear had been hit so many times, the investigator gave up after counting 16 holes. All of the shots were in the front half of the bear. The bear had a number tattooed on its lip. It had been handled before. It was a grizzly bear, about 500 – 600 lbs, according to the investigator and biologist.

Tyler believes his shots with the Buffalo Bore bullets were the only effective shots. I am not so certain. If the son had not shot, it seems unlikely Tyler would have been able to put shots into the bear before it reached the hunters. Both parties played critical parts. The incident shows the advantage of deep penetrating bullets.

We do not know the dynamics of each shot, because a complete necropsy was not necessary. Some of the son’s shots might have penetrated to the chest cavity. We do not know. Penetration of 11-13 inches is common with aggressive, self-defense hollow-points in a .45. A bullet into the side of the neck, from the front, angling down toward the chest, could have to travel through many inches of fat to reach the chest cavity.

And of course, an argument ensued in the comments.  10 mm is best.  No, .44 magnum is best.

I don’t take this instance as justifying any conclusion of the sort.  I take it as “shoot hard ball rounds when in bear country.”  The father should have forced his son to carry ball ammunition rather than carrying personal defense ammunition.  Penetration is king with large animals.

.45 ACP (or especially 450 SMC) should do the trick as long as it’s hard ball.  10 mm should do the trick as well, and .44 magnum should do the trick better than either of the two.

YMMV.  Shot placement is important too.


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