Testing Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator Defense Ammo (Video)


Testing Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator Defense Ammo (Video)

The video below is a test/review of Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator 9mm ammo with 115-grain bullets.

These bullets are anything but average, and I wonder why anyone would want them. They’re machined from solid copper bar stock, and neither expand nor fragment. As the name suggests, they’re made to penetrate–a lot.

And that’s why I wonder. For self-defense, extreme penetration can be a very bad thing. Should you be forced to fire your pistol in self-defense in a crowded area, you don’t want your bullet to fly on through your foe and into bystanders.

Add to that the non-expanding, non-fragmenting part of the equation: These will essentially poke holes in the bad guys, but aren’t likely to cause maximum damage. When you need to disable an attacker, you need to more than just perforate his or her hide; you need to put that perp down. And to do that, expansion is very helpful, which is why hollow-point bullets are so popular for self-defense and hunting applications (more on this below).

Most of us will never need to punch holes through vehicles or body armor in order to disable attackers, but some folks must want it. At $32 per 25-round box, they’re anything but cheap. Velocity is listed as 1,150 fps, but the reviewer measured higher speeds, varying from 1,206-1,226 fps.

The reviewer notes his frustration, but I can’t really understand it. He gets frustrated because the bullets penetrated a long ways. Well duh. That’s what they’re made for. It’s right there in the name.

The manufacturer claims that the shape of these bullets’ noses will cause larger wound channels than expanding bullets. I had serious doubts about that, but there were signs of serious cavitation as the shots traveled through his test media, and Xtreme Penetrators certainly seem to cause more damage than a FMJ (or “hardball”) bullet.

That cavitation didn’t seem very consistent, though. Look at the image above and compare the first shot (below) with the second one, which clearly created a much more dramatic wound channel.

This guy really needs to use a good backstop. It’s irresponsible to fire without a good bank of dirt or some other means of containing bullets that pass through or miss his targets.

If you care about defensive ammo, this video is worth a watch. But I don’t see myself subscribing to this guy’s other videos. What do you think?

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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