Every year we here at TTAG try to review what’s new and cool in the firearms industry. We try to expose y’all to the best (and the worst) the firearms manufacturing world is producing and let you make your own decisions about what’s awesome and what’s awful. That collective sentiment is expressed in our annual Reader’s Choice Awards, where thousands of you tell us which products you liked best. We completely neglected the Lehigh Defense Xtreme Defense ammunition this past year, but it seems that you didn’t . . .

And as a result, Lehigh Defense walked away with a whopping win for Xtreme Defense ammo, with three times the votes of the next most popular choice. We’ll be passing your kudos along to the folks at Lehigh Defense at the 2016 SHOT Show.

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47 Responses to 2015 TTAG Reader’s Choice for Best New Ammo: Lehigh Defense Xtreme Defense Ammunition

  1. I used their version of this in my muzzle loader this year for whitetail, over two 50gr pellets. Accuracy a little over 1″ @ 100 yds. WOW! One boiler room hit @ 100 yds… ran about 25 yds more & dropped; the other facing me @ 50 yds, thru the front of the neck, one n’ done, dropped on the spot! What more could you ask for??

  2. This ammo is the main reason I feel relatively comfortable when carrying my Sig 238 rather than my 9mm choices. Good stuff!

    • I’m not STB410 but I did perform my own tests. Spoiler alert: While the Xtreme Defense doesn’t create the massive 2.5″ permanent wound channel, it does compare with other hollow point permanent wound channels.
      Their Xtreme Penetrator wound channels looked like FMJs.

      What makes me excited, is that it penetrates adequately but probably won’t over penetrate!

        • The ClearBallistic’s gel meets the calibration requirements, as stated here: Clear Ballistics’s Ballistic Gelatin Calibration

          We follow the FBI Protocol for calibrating ballistic gelatin developed in 1988. This protocol is as follows: “firing a standard .177 caliber (4.5 mm) steel BB from an air gun over a chronograph at 590 feet per second (fps), plus or minus 15 fps into the ballistic gelatin. The penetration of the steel BB must result in 8.5 centimeters (cm), plus or minus 1 cm, penetration (2.95 inches to 3.74 inches.) The steel BB must penetrate within that range to pass as ballistic gelatin.” All of our ballistic gelatin in its finished state passes this protocol 100%.

          That said, the other YouTube video (MAC 9mm) appears to use watered down collagen gel. His calibration test was with a bb of undetermined composition at a velocity of under 500 fps.

  3. If they make one that looks like Torx bit instead of a Phillips head, I’ll buy!
    Ever seen tamper proof Torx? Essentially it looks like a hollow point Torx.
    It doesn’t matter if it works, just say it does and sell it.

    • It redirects and accelerates the tissue it passes through into four high velocity streams which disrupt the surrounding tissue and deposit the projectile’s energy there. The bullet does not deform or breakup.

      • Alright, finally an explanation as to how this thing is supposed to be better than an expanding round. I wonder if militaries will start using this technology, if it actually is more damaging

        • The problem with these bullets is the cost. The reason why Lehigh can do all these fancy bullets is because they machine them out of solid copper stock – modern computerized mills allow for extreme precision and all kinds of complicated cuts. But this process is inherently expensive and hard to scale, which is why they sell them for $1-2/round.

          So this might work for specops and such, but not for regular soldiers. Way, way too expensive.

        • The Polycase/Ruger ARX uses the same mechanism to transfer the bullet’s energy to the target, but a different design & material made differently.

        • Those ARX bullets look interesting, but they’re not quite in the same category overall, because they’re not barrier-blind (indeed, it seems that this is presented as a feature for defensive use). Lehigh’s solid copper bullets, OTOH, will stay intact and undamaged going through barriers, and because of that, will still produce the usual devastating effect on what’s behind them.

        • Barrier blind can be good or bad depending on what you are shooting at and what happens if you miss. From the Extreme Penetrator to Extreme Defender to the ARX there are a range of options in bullets using the same method of transferring energy to a target.

          The one thing to look out for in them is that the profile of the Extreme Penetrator may have feed problems in some pistols.

    • He reviewed it. He liked it in .380, but was concerned that it massively overpenetrated in 9 mm. The tests I’ve seen show it going through plain gel, four layers of denim, and a windshield and still completely penetrating a gel block. The bullets do not deform or tumble either. The two tests I’ve seen showed different sized wound tracks, one being about .5″, the other much larger, with twisting slices through the medium.

      I have test fired 8 rounds (these puppies are pricey). They were accurate and fed perfectly through a Kahr with a 3.5″ barrel. Although the 124 grain rounds are not listed as +P, the recoil was much stouter than the other 124s I usually shoot.

      • He reviewed the .380 Xtreme Penetrator. The Xtreme Defense was not yet out when he signed off for a while.

  4. This looks really cool and useful. I’ve been wondering for a while if I should carry FMJ or hollow points when I’m walking around in bear country. Bear muscle is more dense and there is more of it to go through to get to the internal organs. Basically, I’m worried that hollow points, even in my 45, wouldn’t be reliable against a bear. With this new ammo, however, it looks like it might be equally effective against both man and beast.

  5. Their customer service is fantastic and I have several of their product. The quality is simply amazing. I’d buy more if it weren’t so expensive! That is not a negative, it is what it is to produce what they do. The fact is, I will buy more and I hope they invest to make mass quantities to bring the cost down. I’d like to see our soldiers with this. That is how strongly I feel about their product.

  6. Praytell where does one buy this ultra deadly super ammo except online??? I don’t add to the bill when I can easily get an in-store deal at my local Cabelas…pretty damn pricey on their website. But it does look interesting.

  7. Fine for guns that feed it. I have a number of .380s and only a couple will feed it reliably. And at the price of these I don’t want to shoot enough to ensure reliable feeding when it has issues just racking the rounds by hand.

    Not that one, another one.

  8. Anyone know if there is a noticeable difference in recoil between the 65 gr XD and the 90 gr XP?

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