Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 3:06 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 3:06 p.m.
Retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell has created a devastating line of tactical rifle and pistol rounds, which could become a new industry standard for defensive ammunition.
Luttrell, the New York Times best-selling author of the book “Lone Survivor,” was badly wounded during a 2005 mission to kill or capture a high-value Taliban leader in eastern Afghanistan.
He was the only member of his four-man SEAL patrol to survive the mission.
Now, using the operational knowledge and skills he acquired in the elite SEAL Teams, Luttrell has crafted a new line of tactical rifle and handgun ammunition, along with a frangible training rounds, under the brand name “Team Never Quit.”[bcplayer id=4187044325001]
It will be offered in the most-popular tactical calibers: 9mm, .40 cal., 10mm, .45 ACP, 5.56mm, 7.62x51mm, .300 Blackout, .338 Lapua and .50 BMG.
When our good friends at Lucky Gunner (luckygunner.com) asked me if I wanted to test and review some of the new Team Never Quit 9mm rounds, I jumped at the opportunity. I quickly asked Chris Senterfitte and Jordan Williams, the pros from Sarasota’s Amendment II Armory, for their help. After all, loading a couple million rounds of ammo tends to give you some real expertise.
We went out to a private range in Manatee County last week for the review, along with two blocks of ballistic gel, a chronograph and an uncooked ham.
Lucky Gunner had sent a box of 9mm Frangible Hollow-Point rounds, and several boxes of their frangible training rounds, which are meant for steel.
The hollow-points feature a 100 grain frangible copper bullet by Sinterfire, in a boxer-primed brass case.
According to our chronograph, the frangible trainers measure 1,205 fps and 1,217 fps, respectively.
The hollow-points were slightly hotter, measuring 1,254 fps and 1,273 fps. Next came the ballistic gel testing, which, quite frankly, was damn impressive.
The frangible trainers bored a clean tunnel through the gel, much like a standard FMJ. We expected them to open, but then again, they’re designed for steel.
However, the hollow-points created a massive star-burst wound cavity unlike anything I’d ever seen.
It was truly a massive wound channel.
Fragments of the round exited one side of the gel block, while the base of the bullet penetrated the entire 16 inches and exited out the other side.
On our next test, we put the two gel blocks end-to-end. Again, there was a massive wound cavity, and the base of the hollow-point round penetrated 20 inches of gel before stopping.
To be clear, Chris, Jordan and several other shooters who viewed the gel blocks after the range testing raised concerns that the hollow-point round may have over-penetration issues, since the FBI’s optimum penetration is far less than 20 inches.
In my opinion, while that’s definitely something to keep in mind — a valid concern — bad guys aren’t made of gel. They tend to have shirts, jackets and ribs. I’d trade over-penetration concerns for the ability to carve out a wound channel of the size caused by the Team Never Quit round any single day.
Chris brought some other 9mm defensive rounds to compare: Liberty Civil Defense 9mm 50 grain lead-free Hollow Point, and Speer Gold Dot 9mm +P 124 grain Jacketed Hollow Point.
The wound cavity created by the Liberty round was almost as large as the Team Never Quit 9mm, although the Liberty ammo penetrated a less-worrisome 12 inches into the gel.
The Gold Dot bored a ragged hole through the gel without the starburst cavity, and it too penetrated the entire length of the 16-inch block.
To sum: I think Luttrell has created the most devastating 9mm round I’ve ever seen, albeit with some over-penetration concerns if, that is, you’re concerned about that. You’ll have to watch the video to see how the ham fared.