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Author Topic: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...  (Read 8882 times)

tactical22

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Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« on: February 20, 2011, 04:25:28 AM »
Up until recently, I had been more than happy to carry Speer Gold Dots, Federal Hydra Shocks, or Hornady TAPs (in that order), depending on what I could find.  Then I got to handle some 230gr. .45 ACP Black Talon that a friend had.  I liked it.  A lot.  After doing some research, it is still unclear to me which, if any style of Ranger ammo is the closest to Black Talon, and whether or not it is readily available.  I don't generally consider Winchester to be top of the line ammunition, so when I see something labeled "Winchester Ranger SXT" or "Winchester PDX1", I have a hard time wanting to spend $1.50 a round for it.  What is what, what are the differences, and is it worth it?  What do you guys carry?  Can you explain why, or provide technical details as to what makes a certain hollow point better than another?

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Grant

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 08:15:53 AM »
www.sgammo.com

 ;D   Winchester Ranger ammo, both Bonded and "talon"  :o   for under $1 a round.  Along with Speer Gold Dot, HST,etc.  The whole she-bang and you don't have to worry about their keeping a copy of your drivers license.

WInchester Ranger ammo has codes,  anything with a "T" in it, such as RA9T,etc. is "Talon" ammo and a direct descendant of the Black Talon.     I don't BELIEVE....Talon ammo is bonded.  It's tough, but not bonded. 

The PDX ammo is the same as the Winchester Ranger Bonded ammo line.

Really: I wouldn't worry about it ;)

As long as it's Winchester Ranger, Speer Gold Dot, Federal HST/Hydra-shock, Remington Golden Saber,etc.  Anything with it's own chunk of loyal followers, it's good.

  For my calibers:
 9mm.  I went with Speer Gold Dot +P 124 grainers.  I looked hard at Winchester Rangers, but decided the bonded Speer was just as good, and was a bit cheaper.

  .357 Magnum.   I've got generic Remington UMC 125 grainSemi-JHP's.    That's the original "stopper", and what little testing I've done, it seems to expand reliably, accurate.  It's a little "flashy", but that doesn't really bother me.

   .40 S&W: I'm using Fiocchi 155 grain XTP's.  Higher velocity than 180 grainers, and very tough.  I was somewhat worried because some Fiocchi ammo is under-loaded, However when I shot my muledeer last fall, they half-expanded (One side expanded beautifully), and penetrated 36" of mule deer, one front shoulder to the opposite rear quarter and then vice versa, I'm happy enough with it.

   .45 ACP.  I WAS using Fiocchi 230 grain XTP's, however I didn't know how expansion would be at the lower velocities.    I now use Speer +P 200 grain Gold Dots and Winchester Ranger T 230 grain.  Both are okay, I wouldn't pick one over another.    Both are good bullets.
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ZeroTA

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 10:46:23 AM »
Rumor is Winchester dropped the Talons, then made the Ranger SXT which stands for "Same eXact Thing" minus the black coating. I wouldn't swear to it though. I do know the SXT was first, then the bullet design was slightly modified and named Ranger-T. Some will say the T series is better, and some will say it doesn't make a hoot of difference. And Grant's right, PDX-1 is the same as Ranger Bonded, at least in .45.
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This is very simple - if it has to be TAKEN from someone else, to GIVE to you, it is not a right. To force another to work, so that you may reap the reward, is called slavery. All the other talk is just obfuscation.

ZeroTA

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 10:54:34 AM »
And since you asked, I carry PDX-1 or old school 230 grain Hydrashok when I can find it anymore. Why Hydrashok? It's been 100% reliable in all my guns. Maybe not the latest and greatest but I know my gun will work should I the need arise.

I also got some 185 gr Hornady Critical Defense. Minimal muzzle flash, I was impressed. I only shot 20 rounds through my CBOB though, so that's not enough for me to have the peace of mind that it too is stone cold reliable, although I suppose it would be. Hornady has always been good to me, and -THREAD DRIFT- my CBOB continues to eat whatever I feed it.  A reliable 1911 that you can stake your life on is a thing of beauty.
Quote from:  Tokugawa
This is very simple - if it has to be TAKEN from someone else, to GIVE to you, it is not a right. To force another to work, so that you may reap the reward, is called slavery. All the other talk is just obfuscation.

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2011, 11:56:41 AM »
In 9mm and .45 ACP I like the Federal HST line. I carried the Federal Tactical JHP rounds on duty for a number of years and the HST is just an improvement over that. It seems to be a cross between the old Tac rounds and the Gold Dots. In .40 my agency issues the Ranger T series 180 grain. I have had no issues with this round. I have found it reliable in everything that I have put it through. Basically any of the premium ammo lines from the major manufacturers will perform well through most weapons. The HST rounds and the Ranger rounds seem to be available in bulk for the best price.
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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2011, 12:19:18 PM »
My two favorite "old tech" hollowpoints are the XTP and HS. Because they still get the job done after all these years. I'd say once you bond a bullet it becomes "new tech". Hence the Winchester PDX1. Black Talon, to SXT to Ranger T to PDX1. And I like it a lot. I have some in .45 and will be getting some 124 grain +p's in 9mm soon as well. I believe Harm had purchased some of those 9's last year. Been meaning to ask him what his shooting impression was on them.

What I like most about the Winchester is even the Black Talon .45 was always rated a little warmer than most other 230's. Even the PDX1 is rated over 900 fps out of a 5" barrel. (920 fps). No it's not much but when most other non +p 230's go down the chute at around 850/875 it's nice to see the extra velocity on the box of PDX1.

All that said, I'm surprised Federal hasn't tried bonding the HS. What's old is new again!

Alas it has not yet come to pass... (I watched The Fellowship of the Ring again yesterday, so sue me)

I still love XTP's though. They're not bonded but their jackets are thicker and they still perform as intended.
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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2011, 02:49:56 PM »
Rumor is Winchester dropped the Talons, then made the Ranger SXT which stands for "Same eXact Thing" minus the black coating. I wouldn't swear to it though. I do know the SXT was first, then the bullet design was slightly modified and named Ranger-T. Some will say the T series is better, and some will say it doesn't make a hoot of difference. And Grant's right, PDX-1 is the same as Ranger Bonded, at least in .45.

I've heard the same thing.

As for what I pack, I like Hornady XTP hollowpoints.  A lot.  The only thing I don't carry them in is my .357, which is stoked with .38+p 158 gr Remington SJHP.
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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 03:11:42 PM »
I've heard the same thing.

As for what I pack, I like Hornady XTP hollowpoints.  A lot. 

Agreed. That bullet design is how old? Yet even with all the leaps and bounds of bullet design/advancement since the XTP, it's still an outstanding choice and one I'd trust my life with.

My Delta Elite for when I carry it will either have DT 155 grain Barnes copper or XTP's. I will always have both on hand.

If my XD works once I drop in the .400 Cor Bon barrel I'll be opting for Reed's offering with the XTP. 155 grains at 1,350 fps.

That said, when I finally get into reloading I'd like to try making some .400 CB and 10mm using the 165 grain PDX1.

Having all of these excellent bullet choices to chose from, it's really kind of cool.  :cool

A long way from picking between Silvertips or Hydra Shoks and nothing else.
To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

"You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2011, 03:32:26 PM »
The PDX1 is a bonded round, and I heard a rumor that after they discontinued the Black Talon, they came out the SXT round which stands for "Same Exact Thing".

HiVelSword

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2011, 03:37:28 PM »
The PDX1 is a bonded round, and I heard a rumor that after they discontinued the Black Talon, they came out the SXT round which stands for "Same Exact Thing".

See reply #2. ;)
To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

"You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2011, 04:34:01 PM »
Agreed. That bullet design is how old? Yet even with all the leaps and bounds of bullet design/advancement since the XTP, it's still an outstanding choice and one I'd trust my life with.

I've been carrying Speer Gold Dot 124's for a while. But I've carried Winchester White Box 9mm before without being the least bit concerned about effectiveness.

Your sig line sarcastically reflects the effectiveness of 9mm. Using ball ammo doesn't turn it into airsoft pellets.
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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2011, 05:35:48 PM »
I used to be very concerned w carry ammo.  After learning to shoot WELL I no longer worry about it.  I do pay attention to bullet weight & speeds for max effectiveness but the name on the bullet means little to me.  As a good friend says - buy what's on sale.   >:D
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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2011, 05:39:45 PM »
I've been carrying Speer Gold Dot 124's for a while. But I've carried Winchester White Box 9mm before without being the least bit concerned about effectiveness.

Your sig line sarcastically reflects the effectiveness of 9mm. Using ball ammo doesn't turn it into airsoft pellets.

I'd only carry ball if it were all that I had. Sure it works. It was dropping folks for a long time. But I'm not a time traveler. I've no idea how many of those felled with ball were done so after one round to the torso. I'd rather use something that is designed to slow down by flattening out instead of going through and through.

As for my sig line, the same can be said for .380 (also not useless) but my points are more than one. It was doing okay (was effective) back then. It's at it's best now. And because we have a choice I choose version 2011 over version 1908. I consider using ball over a JHP to be handicapping myself unless my enemy was a soldier wearing a flak vest or having a lot of stuff hanging off his chest. For the run of the mill scumbag, I feel JHP's are better.
To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

"You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2011, 07:07:50 PM »
I've been carrying Speer Gold Dot 124's for a while. But I've carried Winchester White Box 9mm before without being the least bit concerned about effectiveness.

I've got 147gr WWB JHPs in my carry gun, though the one time I had to use it I think it failed to expand. Still stopped the threat just fine though.
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Grant

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2011, 07:16:03 PM »
I've got 147gr WWB JHPs in my carry gun, though the one time I had to use it I think it failed to expand. Still stopped the threat just fine though.

Stephen Camp said the 115 WWB's are good, 147's are okay as well.   Wouldn't doubt it.

Also the 115 JHP non+P non-bonded,etc. Winchester Rangers are just WWB 115 with better QC and flash retardant (I think).   Thought of buying some but decided limited amounts of +P would be okay for my BHP.

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tactical22

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2011, 11:40:16 PM »
My main motivation for looking at different ammo was that I am discovering that each defensive load seems to have a slightly different length/curve/shape.  For obvious reasons, the hollow points that have an overall shape closer to 230gr FMJ seem to feed the best, malfunction less, and compress slower when used in a 1911.  I first discovered this when shooting Winchester White Box JHPs through an older Detonics Combat Master.  Then I started doing more experimentation.  Apparently Hydra Shocks have had issues with jacket separation, and it's too bad - those seem to feed very reliably out of a 1911 (and yes, their ogive or whatever is very close to the length and curve of FMJ.    Gold Dots seem to compress rather quickly in the Series 80 that I carry - I suspect that the over all shorter cartridge length and somewhat abrupt radius on the bullet has a rather violent feeding cycle, particularly once it hits the ramp.  I'm sure the heavy recoil spring does not help, either.  So far, the hollow points that I have seen the most trouble with in 1911's are the cone shaped Hornady TAPesque loads.  To clarify, I have personally put 850 rounds through the Series 80 in the last year, and I have yet to have a single malfunction with undamaged ammo.  However, compressed rounds do occasionally require a bump on the magazine to encourage them to feed.  The last class that I took, the instructor was shooting cone shaped target hollow points, and he was having all kinds of feeding issues with his Series 80 Colt Commander.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2011, 12:41:01 AM by tactical22 »
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tactical22

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2011, 11:44:16 PM »
Also, the following was excerpted from a personal email from Mumbles:

Quote
Here's various very good reads on Terminal ballistics.  Poster DocGKR has studied quite a few bullet holes in people...

http://www.m4carbine.net/forumdisplay.php?f=91

Speaking of DocGKR, here's a direct quote on his thoughts on Ranger ammo:

"It is an OK load, but I wouldn't bust my butt trying to find some, given the plethora of other outstanding options currently available."

Also, some very good DocGKR stuff (you may have to create an account to read it) In this thread he goes into detail about various shot people he has dealt with, living and dead, and conclusions he has drawn:
http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1165386

Some further DocGKR assessment of pistol ammo:

The following loads all demonstrate outstanding terminal performance and can be considered acceptable for duty/self-defense use:

.45 ACP:
Barnes XPB 160 & 185 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Federal HST 230 gr JHP (P45HST2)
Federal HST 230 gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
Federal Tactical 230 gr JHP (LE45T1)
Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP
Speer Gold Dot 230 gr +P JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr JHP (RA45T)
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr +P JHP (RA45TP)

Notes:
-- Obviously, clone loads using the same bullet at the same velocity work equally well (ie. Black Hills ammo using Gold Dot bullets, Corbon loads using Barnes XPB bullets, etc...)

-- Bullet designs like the Silver Tip, Hydra-Shok, and Black Talon were state of the art 15 or 20 years ago. These older bullets tend to plug up and act like FMJ projectiles when shot through heavy clothing; they also often have significant degradation in terminal performance after first passing through intermediate barriers. Modern ammunition which has been designed for robust expansion against clothing and intermediate barriers is significantly superior to the older designs. The bullets in the Federal Classic and Hydrashok line are outperformed by other ATK products such as the Federal Tactical and HST, as well as the Speer Gold Dot; likewise Winchester Ranger Talons are far superior to the old Black Talons or civilian SXT's.

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2011, 12:04:17 AM »
I've been using the PDX1 loads since they first came out.  They are full power loads, not watered down reduced crap like "FPD" loads that often fail to expand.  PDX1's are reliable and accurate in all my guns.

Hornady XTP is a slow expander, but great on penetration.  If I was hunting deer, an XTP is a good choice.  But for defense, I want a bit faster expansion. 
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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2011, 08:49:54 PM »
Up until recently, I had been more than happy to carry Speer Gold Dots, Federal Hydra Shocks, or Hornady TAPs (in that order), depending on what I could find.  Then I got to handle some 230gr. .45 ACP Black Talon that a friend had.  I liked it.  A lot. 

What was it about the black talon that you liked?  It ran more reliably in your gun?

I too have heard that after the negative hype about Black Talon that it was re-released as Ranger SXT standing for Same eXact Thing except it wasn't black in color and incorporated some newer findings so it had a slightly different holllow. 

It is also my understanding that Black Talon was basically the pinnacle of 1985 hollowpoint technology and that SXT brought in some improvements  and later hollowpoints brought in even more improvements...

In other words I would be surprised to lean that looking at expansion/penetration only that Black Talon is superior to most more modern premium HP defensive ammo.

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2011, 10:36:14 PM »
I saw un-shot and recovered bullets. Did not get to shoot any.  The unshot ones just looked and felt..cool, and also felt high quality - heavier or something.  The shot ones looked downright scary and very painful.  I realize this was highly un-objective - but I liked them, the same way I like a .44 Magnum or a .50 AE Desert Eagle or a .300Win Mag or a .338 Lapua.  
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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2011, 09:43:45 PM »
Back when Black Talons were a big deal we shot a few into wet newspaper, clay and ballistic gelatin.  There were several that expanded just like you seen in the advertising and the little claws were pretty sharp and pointy.  They certainly looked wicked.  Whether that wicked looking expansion translated into lethality i have no idea.

I have a box of BTs and a box of SXTs and it didn't appear that the SXTs had the same jagged "claws" that the BTs did.  You could actually see the pre-formed "claws" folded into the HP cavity.  I didn't see those in the SXT.

I carried BTs for a while and then thought the better of it.  It seemed like it was something that would be way to easy for a prosecutor to use against me if I ever had to use them for legitimate self defense.  Carrying around a bullet that was vilified in the media as extra special deadly to the point that it was withdrawn from sale seemed to be just inviting a prosecutor to make hay with it in front of a jury.

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2011, 09:59:14 PM »
I really hate when manufacturers any variant of the word "extreme". I say this as an owner of an XD. All that said, I really want to try these.

But what irks me is that you can't find these on Grizzly's site.

http://www.shootingillustrated.com/1565/45-acp-grizzly-xtreme-175-grain/

To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2011, 10:27:34 PM »
It is also my understanding that Black Talon was basically the pinnacle of 1985 hollowpoint technology and that SXT brought in some improvements  and later hollowpoints brought in even more improvements...

Circa 1990 hollowpoint technology actually, which isn't all that bad as compared to what came before.
Both the SXT and Ranger lines have subtly evolved.  I still have some bullets pulled from early uncoated Ranger loads.

I still carry the current Ranger loads in guns that like them and don't feel a bit handicapped.   

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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2011, 10:49:54 PM »
I tend to fall somewhat between the "New" and "Old"

 I carry Federal's 9BPLE in my 9mm's.

 Federal HS 230gr or Winchester PDX in my 1911's

 Speer Gold Dot 155 in my SW MP40.

I still have a couple of boxes of BT 9MMp salted away, you never know.... :vader
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Re: Black Talon, Ranger, and other "evil" handgun ammo...
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2011, 12:50:26 PM »
Black Talons got put in the spotlight and there's a certain mystique to the "bullets so awesome they kill your soul and Winchester had to stop making them" ballyhoo, but I gotta say most new HP's are probably as good or better. It's not like the Black talons worked too well and nothing will ever be that good. They got vilified, Winchester canned them in a PR move, and progress marches on. Go commit a bunch of felonies (in the interest of forum decorum, use your imagination) with any JHP on the market today  and see if those don't get labeled the same as Black Talons did.
Quote from:  Tokugawa
This is very simple - if it has to be TAKEN from someone else, to GIVE to you, it is not a right. To force another to work, so that you may reap the reward, is called slavery. All the other talk is just obfuscation.


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