Bullet and ammunition manufacturer Nosler will introduce a new line of handgun and rifle self-defense ammunition at the 2013 SHOT Show next week. The Nosler Defense ammo will come in seven loads: one in .223 Remington and the remaining six across the three most popular handgun cartridges: 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.
There will be two offerings from Nosler in each of the handgun calibers. One offering will be a traditional Bonded Performance hollowpoint, while the second load will be a polymer-tipped Bonded Performance hollowpoint. Deeper penetration and better performance through intermediate barriers are two of the reasons so many self defense bullet designs use a core that has been bonded to the jacket. The polymer tip help prevents the clogging of the hollowpoint, while also helping to ensure bullet expansion.
Initial information from Nosler does not indicate if the .223 round will have an open tip hollowpoint, or one with a polymer tip.
The following loads will be in the initial production:
- .223 Remington: 64 grain Bonded Performance bullet
- 9mm: 124 grain +P Bonded Performance bullet
- 9mm: 124 grain +P Bonded Performance bullet, polymer tip
- .40 S&W: 200 grain Bonded Performance bullet
- .40 S&W: 200 grain Bonded Performance bullet, polymer tip
- .45 ACP: 230 grain Bonded Performance bullet
- .45 ACP: 230 grain Bonded Performance bullet, polymer tip
The 9mm and .45 ACP are both offered in standard bullet weights, but the .40 S&W is offered with a bullet weighing 200 grains. This is well above the standard 155 – 180 grains found in the vast majority of .40-caliber self-defense ammo. I imagine it will offer deeper penetration, but will also have a slower velocity. How this plays out in gelatin and the street will have to be seen.
Nosler is probably best known for manufacturing high-quality ammunition components, especially bullets. However, the company has experience making high end ammunition for hunting and match use. I would expect that the new Nosler Defense line of ammo to meet the same exacting standards the company has held itself to since the creation of the original Partition bullet in 1946.
I do wonder how much of a market Nosler will be able to capture with these rounds. The self-defense ammunition market is dominated by Federal, Speer and Winchester, with Hornady and Remington also commanding significant parts of the market. When you add in some of the other, smaller companies like Corbon, DoubleTap and Black Hills, I just don’t know how big of a piece of the market Nosler can carve for itself. Regardless, competition is good, and right now we need everybody making as many rounds of ammo as possible.