First Look: Honor Defense Ammunition

posted on November 10, 2018
Originally used only by government and law-enforcement agencies, Honor Defense ammunition is now being made available to consumers looking for access to threat-stopping ammo designed to feed reliably and offer dependable terminal performance. The all-new ammunition line joins the company's collection of US-made Honor Guard pistols, reviewed by Shooting Illustrated here, as self-defense tools for the discerning citizen.

Available in .380 ACP, 9 mm, 10 mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, these new self-defense loads from Honor Defense are designed with a drilled hollow-point cavity located in the nose of the projectile. The bullet itself is constructed with a frangible design combined with a solid core that ensures adequate penetration while simultaneously minimizing the risks of overpenetration and ricochet. The bullet is lead-free, and that feature combined with its frangible nature makes for a solid, multi-use projectile that can be used on steel targets and indoor ranges without worry.

With an overall projectile weight of 100 grains, the enhanced speed of the round produces improved cavitation upon impact with a ballistic medium. This feature ensures that the round provides maximum energy transfer and penetration, both of which are critical components of a threat-stopping cartridge. To ensure the bullets were capable of meeting threats in a variety of scenarios, Honor Defense engineers ran the company's self-defense rounds through the FBI ballistic-testing protocol, shooting rounds through bare ballistic gelatin, light clothing, heavy clothing, drywall and plywood.

Fired from a 5-inch barrel with a 100-grain hollow-point projectile, Honor Defense 9 mm ammunition achieved a muzzle velocity of 1,250 fps, providing 15 inches of bullet penetration combined with 6 inches of fragment penetration. Retained bullet weight measured 51 grains when recovered from the gel. When fired through drywall and light clothing, bullet penetration maxed out at 12.25 inches, while retained-bullet weight measured 48.5 grains. When fired through a 20-gauge steel plate, the round penetrated only 8 inches with a retained-bullet weight of 40.5 grains. More penetration data is available at the Honor Defense website, including ballistic-testing data for other calibers in the company's lineup.

Each Honor Defense cartridge is loaded in a virgin brass case, providing fodder for handloaders looking for the best-possible once-fired cases. Like all of the company's products, Honor Defense ammunition is manufactured in the USA.


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