Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense Loads

posted on March 18, 2014

In his poem entitled “The Road Not Taken,” author Robert Frost wrote, “… Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Liberty Ammunition has followed suit with its Civil Defense personal-protection ammunition, as the company utilizes light-for-caliber projectiles propelled to remarkably high velocities. Take the 9 mm Luger +P load for example; it’s touted attaining in excess of 2000 f.p.s. with a frangible, nickel-plated-copper 50-gr. bullet, resulting in 450 ft.-lbs. of energy. To verify these claims, I tested the load in a Leupold DeltaPoint-equipped, 5”-barreled Smith & Wesson M&P9 C.O.R.E. An Oeheler Model 36 chronograph revealed that, at 15 ft., the Civil Defense round exceeded the factory published numbers, as it averaged 2087 f.p.s., resulting in 484 ft.-lbs. of energy. The ammunition proved accurate as well, delivering five-shot groups measuring 2½” at 25 yds. As for penetration depths of the fragmenting projectile, since I was lacking calibrated ballistic gelatin at test time, I must refer to factory-provided data-supported by video footage on the company’s website-that illustrates upward of 12”. Whereas the use of a lightweight projectile results in high velocities for additional on-target energy, as well as less felt recoil and muzzle flip, the volume of propellant necessary to attain the 2000-f.p.s.-plus velocities results in an intense muzzle flash, especially in low-light conditions. Lastly, Civil Defense ammunition features nickel-plated cases for corrosion resistance, smoother feeding, and improved visibility in reduced lighting. In addition to 9 mm Luger +P, the company offers the following loads: .380 ACP (50-gr. @ 1500 f.p.s.); .40 S&W (60-gr. @ 2000 f.p.s.) and .45 Auto +P (78-gr. @ 1900 f.p.s.). Civil Defense ammunition sells for approximately $20-$24 (depending on chambering) per 20 at MidwayUSA. What’s your opinion regarding the lightweight, high-velocity loads for self-defense?


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