Aguila Ammunition has unveiled several new rifle and pistol loads for 2018. For handguns, the company is offering a new 117-grain jacketed hollow point (JHP) load for personal defense. These non-corrosive rounds are rated for 1,150 fps and 344 foot-pounds of energy (fpe) at the muzzle.
Allegiance Ammunition produces rifle and pistol rounds with copper-jacketed bullets that have powdered metal cores. These loads are designed for minimal overpenetration and ricochet potential because the core fragments within the body of the intended target, causing a large wound cavity due to a process that Allegiance calls “high energy transfer” (HET). The PowerStrike line includes loads for the .380 ACP, 9mm and .45 ACP. The subsonic SilentStrike line offers both 9mm and .45 ACP 9mm loads, while there is one lead-free OneStrike 9mm load.
Ammo Inc. has just released its new Streak visual ammunition in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. These are unique “cold” tracer rounds. Conventional tracer ammunition uses a pyrotechnic compound in the base of the bullet that burns brightly when the bullet is fired. Because of this, tracer ammo frequently causes fires when it lands in combustible materials like dry grass. Streak ammo uses a phosphor-based compound that does not burn. Instead, it glows when exposed to the light emitted when the bullet leaves the barrel. Given this, the ammo is highly unlikely to cause
Black Hills has added two new .44 Special and 9mm loads to its increasingly popular Honey Badger series, which use Lehigh Defense fluted solid-copper bullets. The 125-grain .44 Special load exits the muzzle at 1,200 fps and produces 434 fpe. The 100-grain 9mm +P load leaves the barrel at 1,300 fps and generates 375 fps.
Browning unveiled 25 new loads at this year’s SHOT Show, including a new.38 Special addition to its Browning Performance Target (BPT) line with a 130-grain FMJ traveling at 800 fps. The company also released new value-priced FMJs in 100-round packs, including a 115-grain 9mm load at 1,190 fps, a 165-grain .40 S&W load at 1,060 fps, a 95-grain .380 ACP load at 955 fps and a 230-grain .45 ACP load at 835 fps.
Manufactured by Ascendance International in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Dark Horse Ammunition produces Precision Frangible training rounds for handguns, and the company has released a new 9mm load that uses the new steel and aluminum Shell Shock cases.
Federal Premium recently released several new loads for handguns, including its new Hydra-Shok Deep line, an improvement over the original Hydra-Shok developed in 1988, which starts with a 135-grain 9mm round. This load has a new center-post design that provides more consistent expansion after the bullet encounters barriers. The bullet penetrates 15 inches in 10-percent ballistic gelatin and scores 70-percent better in the FBI testing protocol thanks to its improved design.
Federal Premium’s Syntech Action Pistol ammunition uses a lead-free primer and the company’s Total Synthetic Jacket (TSJ) projectiles, which prevent metal-on-metal contact in the bore, thus reducing lead and copper fouling. This ammunition is optimized for soft recoil but is loaded to USPSA power factor requirements. The Syntech Action Pistol line includes 150-grain 9mm, 205-grain .40 S&W and 220-grain .45 ACP loads, which complement the standard 124-grain 9mm Syntech loading.
The new Train + Protect rounds use Federal’s Versatile Hollow Point (VHP) bullet, which expands reliably and can be used for either training or self-defense. Federal currently offers 115-grain 9mm, 180-grain .40 S&W and 230-grain .45 ACP loadings, and they’re available in either in 50- or 100-round boxes.
Every load from Fort Scott Munitions uses a patented solid-copper bullet that tumbles upon impact to transfer energy instead of expanding or fragmenting. Its new “Blue Line Bears” pistol line is designed to benefit the families of fallen law enforcement officers, as 10-percent of every sale goes to the Blue Line Bears Foundation. This ammo is currently available in 85-grain .38 Special, 85-grain .380 ACP, 125-grain 9mm, 125-grain .40 S&W, 124-grain 10mm and180-grain .45 ACP loads.
This year, Hornady has added a new 9mm loading to its Critical Duty line for law enforcement. The new 124-grain 9mm +P cartridge features Hornady’s FlexLock technology with a flexible polymer nose insert that aids expansion after penetrating clothing and an Interlock case that helps prevent jacket/core separation.
NovX produces four 9mm loads that combine copper/polymer ARX or RNP bullets with the aluminum/steel cases developed by Shell Shock Technologies. The result is four very high-velocity, high-energy 9mm cartridges that shoot to the point of aim with most handguns. The “Engagement: Extreme” line offers standard-pressure and +P personal-defense ammunition using the fluted ARX bullet. The “Trainer/Competition” line is also available in standard-pressure and +P loads with RNP bullets.
In 2018, Remington is introducing two new lines of ammunition for pistols and revolvers. The first is the Golden Saber Black Belt, which was originally announced in 2016, is now coming into full production. Golden Saber Black Belt rounds use Golden Saber bullets that have black polymer belts around the middle to help prevent jacket/core separation when the bullet expands. There are currently four loads available for pistols, including a standard- pressure and +P 124-grain 9mm load, a 180-grain .40 S&W load and a 230-grain .45 ACP load.
Remington’s Performance Wheelgun cartridges feature round-nose lead (RNL) bullets, except for the .357 Magnum load, which has a lead semi-wadcutter (LSWC) projectile. The loads include an 88-grain .32 S&W, a 98-grain .32 S&W Long, a 158-grain .357 Magnum, a 146-grain .38 S&W, a 158-grain .38 Special, a 125-grain .38 Short Colt, a 246-grain .44 Special and a 250-grain .45 Long Colt.
Speer is now offering a 10mm Auto load as part of its Gold Dot Personal Protection line. This load uses a 200-grain Uni-Cor bonded bullet that is driven to 1,100 fps and delivers 537 fps at the muzzle for optimal 10mm Auto performance. Uni-Cor bullets are known for reliable expansion and penetration that meets the FBI standards for law enforcement ammunition.
Winchester introduced 28 new loads at this year’s SHOT Show, and it’s the first major manufacturer to come out with a pistol load that uses two major mechanisms for optimum terminal ballistics. The 124-grain 9mm +P Hybrid-X has a fluted polymer tip as well as a copper-jacketed fragmenting lead base. This means the projectile uses the fluid-dynamics principle of wounding while the base fragments, transferring energy rapidly without producing concerns for over-penetration.
The Super Suppressed from Winchester has six subsonic loads that are designed for reduced fouling, thus decreasing the need for sound suppressor maintenance. Along with .308 Winchester and 300 Blackout loads, the line includes a 147-grain 9mm load, a 45-grain .22 LR load and a 45-grain .22 WMR load. If you’ve got a suppressed handgun, this is a great option.
Winchester has added a 230-grain .45 ACP load (as well as a 150-grain .30-06 Springfield load) to its WWII Victory Series. These rounds are available for a limited time in collectable cartons and wooden boxes that look like they were made in the 1940s. All of the ammunition also comes with special head stamps and period-correct load specifications.
This is the year of ammunition. The Great Ammo Famine is over, and prices are coming down. Better yet, every major ammunition manufacturer introduced numerous new handgun loads in 2018, and many small ammo companies either came out with new loads or made their first appearance. The net result is that today’s shooters are very fortunate indeed. There’s a load tailored to just about every imaginable need, be it self-defense, law enforcement, hunting, competition or just plain plinking.
This article is from the July/August 2018 issue of Combat Handguns Magazine. Grab your copy at OutdoorGroupStore.com.
Company Links: Handgun Loads
For more information about the handgun loads featured in the gallery, please visit:
Aguila 9mm JHP
Allegiance Power Strike
Ammo Inc. Streak
Black Hills Honey Badger
Browning BPTs & FMJs
Dark Horse Precision Frangible
Federal Hydra-Shok Deep
Federal Syntech Action Pistol
Federal Train + Protect
Fort Scott Munitions Blue Line Bears
Freedom Munitions X-DEF & HUSH
Hornady Critical Duty
NovX ARX & RNP
Remington Golden Saber Black Belt
Remington Performance Wheelgun
Speer 10mm Gold Dot
Winchester Super Suppressed
Winchester WWII Victory Series
While trying to run off some bears that had set up camp on his...
by Personal Defense World / Oct 30, 2018