New Winchester PDX1 Ammo

Winchester PDX1 ammo 12gaugeWinchester Ammunition showed off their new PDX1 loads at Media Day ahead of the 2012 SHOT Show last week.  The four new PDX1 loads announced for 2012 are for the .223, .22 WMR, .308 and the 12 gauge slug.

Trainer Rob Pincus was on-hand to shoot the new loads into ballistic gelatin for the media pros who were present.  Pincus stated he believes in the effectiveness of the PDX1 line so much, that he was there on his own time and not on Winchester’s dime.  Pincus going out of his way to support the ammunition line is a significant credibility boost for these loads.

All of the loads are designed for maximum initial shock with the ability to penetrate to “near-ideal” depths for personal defense.

The Winchester PDX1 12 gauge Segmenting Slug was one of the most impressive performers (see the video below.)  The full-ounce slug is pre-scored which allows it to fly as a single mass, but break into three equal projectiles upon impact.  This creates three massive wound channels that achieve penetration of about 12-15″.

In this very short video taken at SHOT Show 2012 Media Day, I.C.E. trainer Rob Pincus knocks a very heavy block of ballistics gelatin off its stand with a single round of Winchester PDX1 in 12 gauge. The gel block had a blue jeans material cover.

Pincus does not work for Winchester, but he told us he feels so strongly about the defensive potential of the PDX ammunition that he volunteered to come out and give us a demonstration at the Boulder City, NV range.

The 2 3/4″ PDX1-12 has three 00 buck pellets atop a one ounce slug. Winchester says the shotgun round provides short and long range stopping capabilities.

Winchester PDX1 ammo

Winchester’s PDX1 slug achieves:

  • adequate penetration against human attackers
  • reduced likelihood of over-penetration in confined areas such as the home
  • massive wounding for faster incapacitation of a violent attaker

For the number crunchers, the stated velocity of the slug is 1600 fps, making for almost 2500 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle.  Any way you slice it, the new slug sounds like a winner.

Winchester PDX1 12 gauge jello

Equally impressive was the new .308 load in the PDX1 line.  The .308 is typically known as an excellent cartridge for hunting and for a main battle rifle (MBR) such as the FN FAL or M14.  However, penetration concerns have kept more than a few people from seriously considering it as a home defense caliber.  The new Winchester ammo might just change that.

Winchester Ammo

The new .308 PDX1 load uses a 120 grain SCT (Split Core Technology) bullet.  Similar in concept to the Segmenting Slug, the SCT bullet is designed to fly as a single, efficient bullet and then deliver massive energy and trauma to the target upon impact.  Unlike the Segmenting Slug, the SCT is not designed to break into three sections.

The .308 SCT has a forward section where the lead core is not bonded to the jacket.  This is done to enhance rapid and massive expansion.  The lower portion of the core is welded to the jacket to hold the bullet together and achieve “optimum penetration.”

Winchester PDX1 308 ammo

Pincus shooting these Winchester PDX1 .308 rounds into gel at Media Day was a real eye-opener.  Expansion in gelatin, after passing though denim, was consistently very wide with penetration hitting around 12″ every time.  I’m not familiar with any other .308 ammo that does this.

Combined with a compact rifle such as the Kel-Tec RFB, this ammunition makes the .308 a very interesting choice for self-defense in urban areas.

The new .223 load uses a 77 grain SCT bullet to achieve similar results as the .308 version.  Velocity and energy are both lower than the .308, but it does have the advantage of running in a wide variety of compact carbines.

The .22 WMR load is a welcome addition to the PDX1 line.  While “.22″ and “rimfire” are not words I would prefer to hear associated with my self defense options, I do recognize that very light recoiling firearms are needed by some people due to physical limitations.  Having a .22 WMR revolver or even a 30-round Kel-Tec PMR30 may be the best choice for some people.  Using the best possible ammunition could be a literal lifesaver.

The .22 WMR PDX1 ammo  specs are a little contradictory.  Some of the sales literature states the round uses a 40 grain JHP at 1250 fps, but also notes that the bullet weight and velocity are subject to change.  However, in the Winchester 2012 New Product Guide + Ballistic Tables magazine, the bullet weight is listed as 45 grains and the velocity is 1200 fps from a 2″ revolver.

Whichever becomes the final Winchester PDX1 ammo isn’t as important as the fact that the ammunition is a credible choice for self-defense if you are limited to this caliber.  No body likes being shot, and the more .22 holes you can poke in an attacker, the quicker their desire and ability to harm you will cease.

It looks like Winchester Ammunition will have several hits on their hands for 2012.

Specifications for the new, 2012 Winchester Ammunition PDX1 Defender products include:

Winchester PDX1 ammunition

Video: PDX1 .22 WMR

This is a high-speed video of the new Winchester Ammunition .22 WMR load in the PDX1 line.  This video shows a significant amount of tissue upset in the gelatin from the PDX1 .22 WMR cartridge.  Also, it appears the bullet penetrates to about 12″, the “magical” depth arbitrarily chosen some years ago.

If I was carrying a .22 Mag for self-defense, I would definitely consider using this ammo.  All of the PDX1 rounds Winchester introduced this year have been very impressive in demonstrations, on paper and in video.

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About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.

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