HG Ammo

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Far too often I’ll get an email about one of our hard cast loads in 40 S&W (pick any pistol cartridge) not fitting into a customer’s chamber on their Glock. (Insert any make of pistol) The first question I’ll ask is, “does your pistol have its factory/stock barrel in place”? 99.9% of the time, the answer goes something like this…………”well, I replaced my stock barrel with a Storm Lake or Lone Wolf or Bar Sto (Insert any of the dozens of aftermarket barrel brands) barrel for better results with hard cast bullets”.

Friends lets establish some facts and then install those facts into everyday use/context with “carry” pistols.

1.  “Hard cast” bullets are not lead bullets. Read this link if you like….. Differences Between 'Lead' & 'Hard Cast' Bullets

2.  Properly designed “hard cast” bullets, like those we make for auto pistol cartridges, work great in polygonal barrels and you do not need an aftermarket barrel in your Glock (or any other brand of pistol) to shoot these bullets, trouble-free.

3.  Aftermarket barrels are made by dozens of barrel makers throughout the world. There must be several dozen brands of such barrels you can fit to or drop into various Glock models. All of these barrel brands vary from one another dimensionally……feed ramp angels/dimensions, chamber sizes, throat dimensions, rifling styles, etc., etc., etc., can AND DO vary.

4.  “Carry” pistols generally have generous dimensions/tolerances so they will function with all brands of ammo, under dirty or unfavorable conditions. Glock was one of the first of the mass-produced pistol brands to become famous for ALWAYS functioning under a wide range of field conditions. However, today, if a modern auto pistol is not extremely reliable, out-of-the-box, it simply will not compete well in the firearms market. If you install an aftermarket barrel, with a “minimum spec” (Match-grade) chamber into such a pistol, you’ll probably see an increase in accuracy as a general rule, but you’ll also get an unforgiving pistol, which may not feed or chamber all types of ammo and not cycle reliably when dirty or after being dropped in dirt or mud, etc.… can be troubling.

Another issue that match-grade or minimum-spec chambers will cause is that the smaller chamber leaves less room for the brass to expand under pressure, and this causes the very same condition as adding more powder to the cartridge—you’ll get higher pressures, which will result in higher velocities……this sounds good, right? Well, it’s not good, in fact, it is very bad if you are shooting full-powered type ammo as that ammo already features high pressure and that match-grade chamber/barrel will likely drive pressures higher than the casing is built to withstand, and you’ll get blown and pierced primers. As you step up in ammo performance/power/velocity, you’ll need to pay attention to these types of details. If you stick with ordinary ammo with ordinary power, your pistol will be more forgiving of this type of detail. Again, bigger ammo companies simply water down their loads so that such things as match-grade chambers will not affect pressures enough to interfere with firearm function.

5.  “Match-grade” pistols are made for, well, shooting matches, where no person’s life is at stake, under foreknown and controlled environments/conditions, with individually tuned ammo and sighting systems. THESE ARE NOT “CARRY” CONDITIONS AND NOT “CARRY” PISTOLS.

We cannot warranty our ammo to work in every aftermarket type of brand of barrel, as they all vary from one another. Leave your stock barrel in place on carry pistols and you’ll experience little to no trouble with all the various brands of ammo made these days, as these modern carry pistols are made to be super reliable under varying and often non-favorable conditions.

If you were to buy a new Ford Mustang (as an example) and replace the stock motor and then experience trouble with your driveline, even though the car is new, Ford would wisely not warranty your driveline as you’ve messed with its function by replacing the motor it was designed to function with. This is the very same issue you can expect if you replace one of the major components in any pistol. Too many folks forget (or never understood) that “carry” pistols are not toys, are meant to be dangerous and functional……….you cannot go about changing their major components and not expect to change their function!

Allow me to give you a true, real-world example of the dynamics of trying to warranty all ammo to work in just one make of aftermarket barrel, never mind dozens of brands of such barrels………..Lone Wolf, (Who makes a fine barrel) used to make a Glock model 20 replacement barrel that had too short of a chamber to fit the forward ogive on our 220gr. 10MM bullet. This was not the fault of anyone; it was simply the style of their match-grade chamber. After they and we received countless complaints, burning up countless hours of customer service time, some blaming the ammo and some blaming the barrel, Lone wolf started to make that barrel with a slightly longer chamber (no longer a “minimum spec”. chamber) and the problem was solved. As of this writing, (10-16-15) Lone Wolf made that change roughly 3 years ago and the complaints of ammo compatibility have completely stopped. That 220gr., 10MM load we make (Item 21C) happens to be our most popular 10MM load and is designed for “outdoor” use, where/when if you need to pistol to work, you may need it badly. Of the hundreds of loads we make, it is always a top 5 to 10 seller, company-wide, but just one A-F-T-E-R-M-A-R-K-E-T barrel maker was causing us and themselves a lot of time-consuming trouble with their match-grade barrel for Glock Model ’20s. Now factor into the equation, dozens of such brands of aftermarket barrels and you can see why we cannot warranty ammo in anything “aftermarket” in any make of firearm.

Your patronage is highly valued. We make a product that is purpose-designed and will do what it is designed to do terminally and otherwise. It will function in properly made stock pistols, but if you change or alter any of the components of that pistol, all bets are off as we have no control over what changes you may have made and how those changes affect the functioning dynamics of that pistol, with that ammo. Considerable thought and caution should be employed before changing out major factory components on any carry pistol.

God bless, be safe and good shooting.