Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Magtech First Defense Justice - Ammo Review


Okay this is my first ammo review with less than ideal conditions.

Ammo was generously donated by Lucky Gunner.

So I was asked to evaluate and report on the Magtech First Defense Justice round in .45acp.


  • Bullets - 165 grain +P solid copper hollow point (SCHP) Tin-coated
  • Casings - nickel-plated brass
  • Primer - boxer
  • Velocity (Muzzle): 1100 fps
  • Velocity (50 Yards/Meters): 1030 fps
  • Velocity (100 Yards/Meters): 975 fps
  • Energy (Muzzle): 443 ft lbs
  • Energy (50 Yards/Meters): 389 ft lbs
  • Energy (100 Yards/Meters): 349 ft lbs
I went out one weekend recently to go test this ammo. It was cold and cloudy with a slight gust. I brought my two oldest boys with me. They've never seen my pistol (Springfield XD45 Service Model) in action and I wanted to show them just how dangerous it is, that it's not a toy and get them to respect the weapon.

So I set up a head of lettuce on a stump that was on a slight incline. There wasn't any real flat surface to be found but it would have to do.


Being that this was +P ammo, I was expecting a snappier recoil than usual. I was also expecting a devastating explosion of coleslaw from the hollow points.


I took aim and fired. The boys hooted and howled in awe at the blast.

I noticed that the recoil wasn't any more than shooting regular load ammo. That was a nice surprise but made sense since this was a self-defense round. You don't want the recoil to be such that it takes you more time to reacquire your target.
But the lettuce didn't move. No instant coleslaw.

Did I miss? I walked over to take a closer look. Yep. I missed. I hit the stump a couple inches below the top. Okay, adjust for incline.


Safety off, take aim, and FIRE!


Again...no coleslaw salad. But I did hit it. The bullet impact removed some of the layers on the front and continued through.


I surmised that the lettuce was not dense enough for a good show. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to pick up a watermelon from the store. I think my boys would have really enjoyed that. Next time.

Well then the weather decided it didn't want to cooperate and started drizzling/sleeting.

So I kinda rushed and continued to shoot at this thing a few more times, I didn't know if it would suddenly downpour and I didn't want this 2 hour drive to be for nothing.


 I hit the stump a couple more times, hit the lettuce a few more times.


But still no coleslaw.


Oh well. 

Time to move on to the water jugs. At least those would make a nice show, plus they would catch the bullet and I'd have a nice open petal hollow point to show the boys.


Once again, everything was on a slight incline. I lined up 8 bottles in a row in front of the stump.

I took aim and fired.

Hooting and hollering from the peanut galley ensued as water splashed everywhere. 


I went over to see how many jugs the bullet penetrated and began to count.

One. Two. Three. 

Only three? And where is the bullet? I examined the first jug. Entry at the center. I examined the 2nd jug. Entry below center. I examined the third jug. Entry just above the bottom with an exit hole at the bottom. 

Ah man! The bullet went into the ground.

Quick, set up more jugs. The drizzle/sleet is getting colder and heavier...not quite a rain yet but close enough.

I was able to shoot three more times...all with the same result. A big blast of water, hoots and hollers from the boys, and a bullet that had ended up exiting into the ground. I did get it to go through 4 jugs though.


That's it! It's starting to come down now. We quickly cleaned up the mess and carried it to the car. Pack it in, pack it out. Loaded the boys in the car, did a quick double check to make sure I didn't leave anything behind, and we headed home.

So I wasn't able to make a thorough evaluation of the rounds effect on objects. 
  1. The lettuce didn't make a suitable object to shoot at
  2. The water jugs were too much at an angle to get a straight shot through the jugs
  3. I rushed because of the weather
  4. I didn't take enough photos as a result of my rushing 
My impressions of the round:
  1. Even though it was a +P round, there was no noticeable increase in recoil
  2. The rounds all chambered and ejected without a problem
  3. The tin coating on the copper bullet did make cleaning the barrel very easy - no copper fouling
  4. The rounds that did hit the tree stump went in deep enough that I couldn't dig them out
  5. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot someone with this round if it came down to it.
When I have some more free time, which has been extremely rare as of late, I will go and retest this round with the proper conditions and targets. I want to give this round a fair evaluation and I don't think I was able to do so this time around.

It wasn't a total loss however. My boys now have a healthy respect for Dad's pistol. We got to spend some time together, and I got out of having to hang out with the in-laws.


Thanks for reading.

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