Winchester launches USA Ready Defense ammunition
Eve Flanigan 01.20.21
It is that time of year again when arms companies present their new products. With the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades (SHOT) show canceled due to concerns about COVID-19, many companies are going online. Winchester is doing the slow-drip method of its big reveal with the theme Primed for ’21. On January 13th, the company launched a major new product: USA Ready Defense Pistol Ammunition.
The new defense round is made in three calibers. In 9 mm Luger, the weight is 124 grains at a muzzle velocity of 1,200 feet per second. The round is only rated + P in this caliber. In 40 S & W the ball weighs 170 grains. Speed data for this caliber have not yet been published. In 45 ACP, USA Ready Defense has a 200-grain bullet at a speed of 1,000 feet per second.
Barrel lengths used for muzzle velocity ratings are not published. Winchester representatives point out, however, that USA Ready Defense is optimized for use in short-barreled weapons. In a demo video that was shown during the product launch and is now publicly available, the factory representative fires 9mm USA Ready Defense from a Glock 26 – a popular small car. The gel block used in the demo has no external barrier material as per FBI test specifications. Regardless, the test goes well and shows the promised performance characteristics in terms of penetration, peeling of the polymer filler and expansion.
The hollow sphere bears Winchester’s trademark Hex-Vent. The company is promoting “Law Enforcement Technology Now Available to Consumers”. A red polymer insert protects the bullet tip from clogging up to about 2 inches (5 cm) in penetration when the insert is ejected and loads liquid into the bullet to begin rapid expansion. In each caliber, at least under test conditions, a penetration of at least 12 inches with a weight retention of 95 percent is built in.
The video still shows a recovered 9mm USA Ready Defense projectile.
In the past, Winchester has described the “necessity” of tied balls for defense rounds. In the case of glued projectiles, the lead is attached to the jacket at the molecular level, similar to when two materials are welded together. Hex Vent technology is a move away from the glued ball that supposedly eliminates the need for gluing.
On the outside there is a housing made of nickel-plated brass. Winchester selected the USA Ready line of match grade primers to ensure reliable firing. The rounds are delivered in a red 20-round box with a window.
Perhaps, in the current atmosphere of ammunition shortages and price inflation, it is not surprising that the presser has made no commitments regarding price or availability. Whenever it’s done, USA Ready Defense seems like a working new round of self-defense weapons.