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Ammunition

Winchester Hybrid-X: New Defensive Ammo

Winchester Hybrid-X

Winchester Ammunition announced a new defensive ammo called the Hybrid-X. The Winchester Hybrid-X ammo merges multiple bullet technologies to provide rapid incapacitation of a violent attacker.

But, is the new design an improved manstopper or just a gimmick? Although the ammo has a long way to go to prove itself, I think the line has some merit. Let’s take a look at what it is, where it may have drawn some inspiration and what it actually does in a testing medium.

The Basics

The new bullet design combines a polymer tip, a copper jacket and a segmenting lead core. As the bullet strikes the target the core is designed to break into smaller projectiles and, according to Winchester, “deliver massive energy transfer.”

Looking at the illustrations of the bullet, it would appear that the polymer tip makes up the majority of the rounded cone on the leading end. The segmenting core appears to have something akin to a wadcutter profile.

Initially, the new ammo will be offered only in 9mm. However, the company is likely to expand the line based on consumer feedback and request. The 9mm load uses a 124 grain bullet and is loaded to +P pressures. At the muzzle, the bullet’s measured velocity is 1,225 fps. Although the design is uncommon, the bullet’s weight and velocity are in line with other conventional loads.

Quik-Shok: Inspiration from the past?

Rounds like the Hybrid-X have been made in the past. For example, legendary defensive bullet designer Tom Burczynski designed a projectile called the Quik-Shok. This bullet technology was licensed by the defunct Triton ammunition company that sold the rounds in a wide variety of calibers.

According to an article written by Burczynski in the book Street Stoppers, the Quik-Shok bullet fragmented into three parts upon impact. Compared to typical fragmenting self-defense loads of the time, the Quik-Shok round delivered deeper penetration (about 10″.) Burczynski wrote he designed the load “primarily for law enforcement use in hostage situations or special situations where extremely rapid incapacitation is paramount.”

Winchester Hybrid-X new ammo

The Winchester Hybrid-X appears to be a different animal, though the concept is appears to be similar to that of the Quik-Shok. It is likely the company engineered this round to penetrate to the arbitrary 12″ minimum depth of the FBI testing protocols. If so, this load may offer a significant alternative to both citizens and law enforcement agencies deciding on what to carry.

Range Testing

Recently, Rob Pincus became the first person outside of Winchester Ammunition to test the Hybrid-X ammo. Pincus is the director of the Personal Defense Network and a firearms trainer.

According to Pincus, the Hybrid-X ammunition “ran flawlessly” in multiple compact and full-size self-defense handguns. Pincus also said that accuracy with the round was “solid.”

Winchester Hybrid-X penteration testing

Pincus shot a number of these new rounds into Clear Ballistics testing medium. Clear Ballistics makes a synthetic alternative to ballistics gelatin that is used for FBI testing. While it is not identical to the “official” testing medium, it does offer an early look at potential performance.

All shots into the Clear Ballistics blocks were made at 12′ and with two layers of cotton clothing over the facing side of the block.

From the photos Pincus provided me, it appears the 9mm load penetrated to about 7-8″ before it broke into its designed shards. These pieces continued to penetrate deeper into the block. It appears in the photo above that two of the pieces penetrated to about 12″ and a third went to about 13″.

Winchester Hybrid-X ammo review

“I’m still a fan of the modern bonded hollowpoint,” said Pincus. “Rounds like the Defender round or the “D” from Winchester’s Train & Defend line are my primary choice for self defense. However, the Hybrid-X is an impressive option for a non-traditional approach. The design offers the feeding characteristics of a ball round but with far greater wounding capacity.”

Pincus said that a video of his testing will be posted at the Personal Defense Network in the near future.

Final Thoughts

I’ve always liked the idea of this kind of bullet. None of the segmented bullet designs to date, however, have ever managed to convince me to move away from traditional hollowpoint designs.

The testing information and photos provided by Pincus are suggestive that Winchester Ammunition has a product that offers better performance than older fragmenting bullet designs. Additional testing through barriers and with traditional ballistics gelatin will likely be instructive on how far the company has moved the design forward.

I look forward to seeing testing of this ammunition, and expect Winchester will have demos run at the 2018 SHOT Show.

Note: This article has been updated to include first hand testing information from Rob Pincus. Thanks to Pincus for giving me permission to use his photos in this article.

Categories
Ammunition

New Winchester .338 Lapua Ammo

Winchester 338 Lapua ammo box

One of the sleeper announcements from the 2013 SHOT Show was the addition of two .338 Lapua loads to the Winchester Ammunition catalog.  In fact, these are the only two .338 Lapua Magnum loads in the Winchester catalog.

The first .338 load uses an Accubond CT bullet, which is a polymer-tipped, bonded-core hollowpoint.  The bullet is designed for controlled expansion and is likely to be an excellent choice for hunters engaging large game at long range.  The polymer tip helps ensure expansion by forcing the bullet to open on impact, and by preventing other debris from clogging the hollow cavity.  It also improves the ballistic coefficient to 0.720.

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Ammunition

.17 Winchester Super Magnum: 3,000 FPS Rimfire

.17 WSM

Well the new rimfire cartridge is here and it is a smoking hot round:  the .17 Winchester Super Magnum.  The new rimfire promises “pinpoint accuracy” and the “downrange performance of a centerfire cartridge.”

Ok, let’s cut to the chase:  the new Winchester cartridge is pushing a 20 grain bullet at 3,000 fps.  That is an amazing feat for a rimfire.  Energy measures right at 400 ft-lbs (399.6 if my math is correct.)  A 25 grain bullet screams along at 2,600 fps for 375 ft-lbs of energy.

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Ammunition Hunting

Winchester Varmint X Ammunition: Coyotes Beware

Winchester Varmint X

With a focus on accuracy, Winchester Ammunition announced the introduction of the new Varmint X cartridge line.  The new ammo will be offered in four different calibers for a total of five loads.  See below for the exact details on each load.

The number of varmint hunters has rapidly increased in the recent past.  According to Winchester, this segment of the market has doubled in the past decade.  Understandably, ammo companies are moving to meet the specific needs of these hunters.

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Ammunition

New Ammo from Winchester

new ammo from winchester

As 2009 begins to close, Winchester Ammunition announced a wide range of new loads for 2010.  These new loads will be shown at the SHOT Show in January, and will be released to the public shortly thereafter.  We will be at the show and will bring you additional information as we can from the good folks at Winchester.

.338 Win Mag  E-Tip

Winchester Ammunition is expanding the E-Tip line of hunting loads with the addition of the .338 Win Mag.  The .338 Win Mag will feature a 200 grain E-Tip bullet.  Velocities have not yet been released by Winchester.  Expect to see this cartridge on your dealer’s shelves in June of 2010.  (Ed. update – As of 2013, this load is no longer listed on the Winchester Ammunition website.)

Winchester new ammo12 Gauge PDX12 Slug/OO Shell

In one of the more interesting offerings for 2010, Winchester Ammunition is introducing a 12 gauge cartridge that contains a one ounce rifled slug with three plated 00-buck pellets loaded on top of it.  The slug features Winchester’s Power Point technology.  The 2 3/4″ shell is a reduced recoil load and is due out in March of 2010.

I don’t know if the three 00 pellets add any additional stopping power to the full ounce slug, but I know I would not want to be on the receiving end of it.

.380 ACP PDX1 Ammo

Expanding the Supreme Elite Bonded PDX1 line of ammunition, Winchester added a .380 ACP load for 2010.  Due in February of 2010, the new .380 load features a bonded 95 grain JHP.  The round is rated at 1000 fps at the muzzle, which is typical for this caliber.  Hopefully, Winchester will make enough of this ammo to meet demand in 2010!