Two months ago, LuckyGunner.com offered to send me some ammunition with the instructions to test it however I wished and write an honest review of the product. Of course I agreed and I expected to receive a box or 2 of bottom of the barrel from range ammunition from some former eastern bloc country. I had even started brainstorming how I could explain it failing to run in the brand new M&P Shield but how my Glock ate it just fine and how top-notch the service was.
I have to say I was shocked when a few days later a small heavy for its size, non-descript brown box arrived in the mail with 2 boxes of Magtech’s 92.6gr Solid Copper 9mm+P First Defense Justice ammo arrived in the mail. My 1st thoughts were…
What am I going to do with this?
I’ve been testing the M&P Shield, but I had never fired +P ammo through it and how will it would handle the light 92.6 gr solid copper hollow point bullets.
Why would anyone want this stuff anyway? It sounds like .380 bullet!
Then I read the box…
Magtech’s 92.6gr Solid Copper 9mm+P First Defense Justice is pushed to 1427ft/sec in a 4″ barrel and produces 419ft lbs of energy. (For reference my preferred 124gr 9MM +P Speer Gold Dots produce a similar 410 ft lbs of energy, but at a slower 1220 ft/sec).
Does this matter?
Uh… Um… I don’t know.
From everything I have read standard jacketed hollow points have to be going supersonic for them to reliably expand. Because of its lower starting velocity my Gold Dots fall below mach 1 well inside of 50yrds and the Magtech’s 9mm+P First Defense Justice should be supersonic a bit beyond 50yrds.
I can’t fathom a reason that I would be shooting a pistol at someone more than 50 yards away, but maybe that extra velocity will translate into another layer of clothing… who knows?
Further complicating my comparison is that Magtech uses a solid copper bullet as opposed to a copper jacketed lead bullet. It could be possible, that the copper bullet needs additional velocity to expand… again I don’t know. However, since the bullet is one solid piece there is no risk of the jacket separating and they should retain close to 100% of their weight (albeit low).
I thought of a few ways to test the ammo including shooting stuff, shooting groups, mag dumps, et cetera, but I couldn’t think of a way to derive any quantifiable comparisons between the Magtech ammo provided by LuckyGunner.com and my carry ammo… So I just shot it.
It was not what I expected.
The M&P handled it fine, everything fed well (even in a dirty gun), but the light weight ammo screams out of the barrel 25% faster than standard pressure 115gr Blazer Brass and at speeds in excess of those of a .357 SIG. This results in a recoil impulse that is very sharp; not vicious, but more like a .357SIG than a typical 9mm… .380SIG maybe? It is so fast in fact that it actually causes my M&P Shield to shoot low.
While I like the added velocity because of the possibility of increasing range and improving expansion and I like the solid copper bullet idea because I can shoot it in “Green” ranges and it should retain its weight better. I am cautious of there being little data on how people actually respond to being struck by the lighter/faster bullet, but mostly I don’t like the recoil being so different than anything I can readily recreate hand loading or buying for range ammo. If I’m going to carry it, I want my practice to be as realistic as possible. So after shooting 40 rounds, it hasn’t made me consider switching away from my Speer Gold Dots.
That said, I really enjoyed my interaction with LuckyGunner.com and would definitely consider ordering from them for .38 spl or rifle calibers that I don’t currently load for. Their service really was “Top-Notch.”
Additionally, I like supporting companies that support things I’m interested in obviously they support bloggers and have provided ammunition for people like Caleb to shoot the Bianchi Cup. But they also have a very strong internet presence with Facebook and Twitter so they are easy to interact with. If you are looking for ammo (who isn’t) give them a look.