Winchester Ammunition at Peak Production

winchester_ammunition1I have previously run articles about the increase in ammunition costs and ammunition shortages.  I have had a few people claim that the ammunition manufacturers were restricting supply to drive up prices.  Based on the contacts I have made in the industry, I knew that companies are producing as many rounds as they can, as quickly as they can.

However, it seems that the rumors persist.

Winchester Ammunition, in an effort to combat the notion that they, or anyone else, is cutting production, released this statement:

Winchester Ammunition, like other ammunition manufacturers, has seen the demand for our products increase significantly since last fall. To meet that increased demand, our operations are running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our team is literally working around the clock to make quality ammunition available for purchase. We remain absolutely committed to meeting the growing needs of our customers.

Update – Eventually the ammo shortages of 2009 eased up.  As supply increased, prices dropped.  That’s how a market economy works, don’t cha know.  I suggested (and so did a lot of other people) that shooters slowly build up supplies of ammo and reloading components for the calibers they shoot and/or load.

After several years of a soft market, the market panicked again in late 2012, and a ammo shortage hit again.  The 2012/2013 shortage seemed worse than the 2009 shortage in many ways.  Some calibers, like .22 LR and 9mm, were the hardest to find.  However, other rounds like 5.56/.223, .40 S&W and .45 ACP were also very difficult to locate.  People would stalk Walmart delivery trucks on delivery days hoping to be able to score a couple of boxes of their favorite caliber.

Demand for Winchester ammunition (and other brands) was such that 5.56 ball (and other calibers) was selling for more than $1000/case at times.  That seemed to be the top limit on the pricing, but there was a lot of push back from consumers as prices approached these prices.  Those prices were set by dealers, and not manufacturers like Winchester.


Winchester Bonded PDX1 Personal Protection Ammunition

Winchester PDX1 308 ammo

Winchester Ammunition is bringing a new line of self defense ammo to the market in 2009: the Bonded PDX1 Personal Protection Ammunition.

The PDX1 Personal Protection Ammunition is “engineered to maximize terminal ballistics, as defined by the demanding FBI test protocol, which simulates real-world threats.”  While I believe the protocol is a useful tool to make a side-by-side comparisons of different cartridges and bullet designs, I do not believe that it simulates “real world threats” for the vast majority of people who own firearms for self defense.


Winchester Ammunition Introduces Low Noise .22 Long Rimfire Cartridge

Winchester Ammo 22

If you are looking for a quiet 22 rimfire round, consider the Winchester SUPER-X CB-Match round.  Winchester Ammunition introduced the .22 Long rimfire cartridge in 2008.  The round is designed for high accuracy and very low noise.

The SUPER-X CB-match .22 Long round pushes a 29 grain bullet at a relatively slow 770 fps from a 24″ barrel.  From a 6″ barrel, Winchester states the muzzle velocity is a paltry 575 fps.  Expect even less velocity from a handgun like the Walther P22 (3.4″ barrel) or Ruger SR22 (3.5″ barrel.)

This round matched to a gun with a sound suppressor, and this should be a very quiet shooting round.

I would expect that this round would be reliable in only bolt-action and single-shot firearms. Running it in a semi-auto pistol or rifle may not work well, as the load probably doesn’t generate enough force to reliably operate the gun’s action. Of course, I could be wrong, and if anyone has any luck running this in a semi-auto gun, please sound off in the comments section below.


Winchester Ammunition Introduces a Reduced Recoil .460 S&W Magnum Load

Winchester 460 Ammo

Winchester Ammunition introduced a reduced recoil loading for the .460 S&W Magnum cartridge. Winchester claims an almost 50% reduction in recoil compared to their other loads, but still throws a 250 grain JHP at 1450 fps.  This works out to be about 1167 ft-lbs of energy.

By way of comparison, the Winchester 260 grain Partition Gold load in this caliber uses a slightly heavier bullet (260 grains) at 2000 fps.  This works out to be a little more than 2300 ft-lbs of energy.  Stepping down a little, Winchester’s .44 Magnum cartridge launches a 250 grain JHP at 1230 fps.  So this load is going to be more powerful than a .44 Magnum, but will be significantly downloaded from the top .460 S&W Magnum loads.


Winchester Repeating Arms Introduces the Speed Pump Defender Shotgun

At the 2008 SHOT Show, Winchester Repeating Arms announced the return of the Model 1300 as the new Speed Pump Defender shotgun. The 12 gauge scattergun was part of the company returning the Winchester brand to firearms manufacturing.