Things we didn’t show you in the print version!
By John Connor
If you don’t know the story of MagSafe Ammo, do these two things: First, look at the ballistic gelatin in the tube shown above. It shows the typical explosive penetration of MagSafe’s hyper-velocity pre-fragmented, epoxy-stabilized defensive rounds. Second, go to our product index, select MagSafe Ammo, go to their web site and do some reading. We think you’ll be impressed.
Using carefully placed large lead shot (#2 and/or #3) suspended in an epoxy matrix inside a copper alloy jacket, the resulting lightweight slug can be driven at very high velocities and deliver tremendous energy while almost entirely eliminating ricochet. A heck of a lot of research went into MagSafe concept development, especially that of their “Controlled Core Technology” — keeping the slug ballistically efficient while achieving superior terminal performance — and it has really paid off.
They’re difficult and expensive to manufacture, so they don’t come cheap: an eight-round pack of their #9 MG Mini-Glock loads, for example, lists for $21.95. But what do you get for it? The 50-grain pre-fragmented slug comes screamin’ out of a Glock 26 (or other 3.5″ barrel 9mm pistol) at 2,000 feet per second and strikes with 444 foot-pounds of energy. Yeah; have another look at that tube…
MagSafe rounds are available in 18 popular handgun calibers from .25 ACP to .50 Action Express and .500 S&W Magnum, with several loads made specifically for compact guns and in-home defense use. If this is your cup of tea, this is strong brew.
So, you want that Hornady performance, but for competition and practice, you want it at half or less the price? You got it: Try the new Hornady Steel Match ammunition. Polymer-coated steel cases primed with non-corrosive Berdan primers hold the same optimized propellants as used in their premium tactical rounds, and HAP — Hornady Action Pistol — slugs are just as precise as their critical-use cousins.
Steel Match .40 S&W and .45 Auto loads meet IDPA/ IPSC/ USPSA “Major” power criteria, and their 9mm meets “Minor” power factor criteria. If you’re a long-gun shooter, check out their Steel Match .223 and .308 loads too. The only two things you don’t get are reloadable brass cartridges — and a big price tag.
The folks at Extreme Shock sure have been busy lately. In addition to their new copper plated lead core Allegiance Ammunition line you saw in the print article, they’re also producing a new version of their CT2 (Copper Training/ Tactical) ammo.
CT2 rounds were originally developed to provide high quality lower cost lead-free frangible training ammo. Then, just about the time the economy went into hibernation, Extreme Shock’s engineers found that by altering the compressed copper core, CT2 rounds could deliver expanding fragmentation on a par with their specialized counter-terrorist tungsten core rounds. The far more costly tungsten core rounds, due to their density, will carry more energy to longer ranges. But given the relatively short ranges of handgun fights, a compressed copper core does the job just fine. Put simply, inside three yards — where most handgun fights occur — you get the bang of double the bucks. Not bad, huh?
Here’s a round I can personally recommend for all-season, all-situation defensive use: Federal Premium’s HST Tactical. The hollowpoint is specially designed not to plug up while passing through heavy clothing, drywall and a variety of other commonly-encountered barriers, while still delivering excellent penetration and very effective expansion. HST rounds have been in law enforcement use for some time now, and results have been impressive. Inside sources tell me that following some tweaking of slug construction months ago, they’re even more effective. Available in 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, .45 GAP and .45 Auto, HST Tactical ammo is designed and intended for LE use, but it’s available through many retailers and distributors.
Winchester really scored with the initial offerings of their premium PDX1Personal Defense rounds, including selection as the issue handgun ammo for the F.B.I., and they just keep adding to that successful line. Hitting the opposing ends of typical handgun calibers, their latest offerings include a 225-grain bonded hollowpoint .45 Colt load, and a 95-grain JHP .380 Auto load, shown above. Between the slick nickel cases and smokin’ slugs, they’re smooth loading and hot shooting!
If the name of your handgun game is game, from wild pig to whitetails and bear to elk, you may already know about the near-legendary performance of the Swift A-Frame slug; one tough, thick-hide defeating, bone-bustin’ slug – and now it’s loaded in Federal Premium’s Vital-Shok handgun hunting rounds, in calibers from .357 Magnum to .454 Casull and .500 Smith & Wesson. Check the slug construction at right, above. Fill your guns and fill your freezers, folks.
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