Liberty 50-grain Civil Defense Ammo


Liberty 50-grain Civil Defense Ammo

Liberty Civil Defense is one of many hypervelocity 9mm rounds designed to go fast from a pistol barrel. While it produces a bit of flash and only shallow (~10″ base, 4-5″ petals) penetration, it does hit 2000fps mark and the terminal effects improve on the 5.7×28 round. 50gr at 2000fps (from a 5″ barrel) gives a little more energy and material to work with vs. about 30 grains at the same velocity, and far less frontal area. Neither would be my first choice for a pistol cartridge, but both look interesting from carbine length barrels. We know that 5.7×28 is a reasonably effective varmint round. Could hypervelocity 9mm be as useful for controlling coyotes and smaller varmints?


Testing Jard J67 carbine showed Civil Defense ammunition in a new light. 2MOA dispersion, spectacularly good for the caliber, and 2550fps initial velocity, sufficient to generate hydrostatic shock. CZ Scorpion EVO3 produced groups almost as small. Assuming the typical target zone of around 5 inches on an adult coyote, shooting this ammunition from 2-3MOA carbines like Jard J67 or JP JMR13 permits point blank aiming out to 145 yards vs. 125 for regular 115gr JHP. Time of flight, 0.3 second, is the same. Further, the shallow penetration with wide fragmentation that’s been decried as inadequate for defense against human aggressors is ideal for the smaller, thinner coyote. A conventional hollow point slowed down by distance is unlikely to expand, while the pre-fragmented Civil Defense bullet would. The lighter projectile does show increased wind drift at longer range and loses velocity by the time it gets there, so the relatively shallow trajectory up close isn’t telling the whole story.

Looking at the amount of tissue displaced by high velocity hunting bullets, we can expect this round to perform well at ranges under 30 yards. The question is: can the 60% increase in muzzle energy from the use of a longer barrel make the frangible bullet penetrate better? And, given the much wider wound channel than 5.7 ammunition, would the results be sufficient for close-range stops against humans as well as varmints?

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