Federal Syntech Ammunition 9mm
Courtesy Jason Bayne
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Reader Jason Bayne writes:

I don’t know about you, but my least favorite aspect of shooting is cleaning my guns. Anything little thing that can make cleaning them easier is always welcomed. Ammo being the main culprit, I’m always interested to hear about advances in clean-burning ammo.

Federal’s new Syntech ammunition not only uses cleaner-burning powders to reduce fouling, but the entire bullet is encased in polymer. The polymer coating reduces or eliminates copper and lead and lead deposits in your barrel.

Federal is offering two varieties of Syntech ammo in 9mm; Range and Training Match grades. Both are available in 115gr, 124gr, and 147gr loads.

When searching online, I was VERY pleased to see that it isn’t terribly expensive. I found the RANGE Syntech as low as $10.99 per box of 50 and the Training Match Syntech for $11.99 a box of 50.

The Syntech Training Match rounds are loaded to the same specs and consistency as Federal’s HST Line of personal defense ammo. So if your carry round is HST 124gr, the Training Match (purple) 124gr is the ideal training round.

The most important question is, how does it shoot? Answer: extremely well.

I took a box of 124gr Syntech Training MATCH and 115gr Syntech RANGE to the range along with what has proven to be one of my most accurate 9mm 1911 pistols; my Dan Wesson Specialist Commander.

I could have taken other Dan Wesson 9mm 1911s that I own, or even one of my Wilson Combat nines. I took the Specialist because it’s the pistol that I consistently shoot the most accurately. This is the pistol I use when I want to test new 9mm ammo.

Typical results with the Syntech 9mm 115gr RANGE ammo in my Dan Wesson Specialist Commander:

Federal Syntech Ammunition 9mm
Courtesy Jason Bayne

Typical results with the Syntech 9mm 124gr Training Match ammo with my Dan Wesson Specialist Commander

Federal Syntech Ammunition 9mm
Courtesy Jason Bayne

I’m sure some of you are wondering how the Syntech performs at distances greater than 10 yards. While I don’t consider myself to be a particularly good shot past 10 yards, I do have my moments. But that range trip wasn’t one of those moments.

My first shot was dead center at 19 yards. The next two were damn close. At that point, I started to think about what I was doing, and it fell apart. But if you have the skills, the Syntech can deliver at distance.

Federal Syntech Ammunition 9mm
Courtesy Jason Bayne

Now that we know Federal’s new Syntech ammo is accurate, the only remaining question is, does it run as cleanly as billed?

I had cleaned my Specialist before running the Syntech ammo through it. After 100 rounds of the Syntech, I was surprised at how little fouling there was in the slide, on the feed ramp of the barrel, and inside the barrel. So yes, the Syntech does run noticeably cleaner than any other ammo I have run in my 9mm pistols before.

The only thing worse than cleaning my firearms is cleaning my suppressors. So I bought a case of the Federal Syntech 147gr RANGE ammo to see how clean it runs suppressed. More to come.

I’m looking forward to lots of experimenting with Federal’s latest offering. If you like clean running accurate ammo (who doesn’t?), I suggest you give Syntech ammo a shot.

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  1. My indoor commercial shooting range does not allow any nylon coated ammunition. They claim it gums up the backstops and makes lead clean up difficult. Might want to check on your indoor range policy before you stock up on Syntech (or similar) ammunition.

  2. Nothing new under the sun. Federal marketed a line of ammunition known as Nyclad decades ago. Off the subject. Another 1911 in 9mm. John Browning spins in his grave. Buy a Hi-Power, 17/19, etc. Anything other than a 9mm 1911.

    • Why would he care? He was not an ammo snob, having designed smaller caliber handguns before the 1911, and the 9mm High Power (which borrowed quite heavily from the 1911 without clearly violating the patents) afterwards. A High Power is on my “must own someday” list–along with Springfield’s diminutive 9 mm EMP.

      • Had nothing to do with being an ammo snob. The U.S. Army requested a .45 caliber semi-auto pistol. This based on the performance of the .45 Colt SAA and the dismal performance of its .38 caliber replacement. The P-35 was meant for a completely different market. And those smaller calibers you mention, the Baby Browning, 1903 and 1908, were meant to be pocket pistols. And my comment on 9mm 1911s was tounge in cheek. Are or you just obtuse?

        • One other thing Mark, when you get that Hi-Power, have it worked over by Novak. I did years ago. Money well spent. I heard Wayne has let us, but I think his shop carries on.

        • Lets not forget the origins of the 1911 were not in a .452 diameter bullet but a .355 diameter bullet. Yeah it may have been .38 ACP and hotter than 9mm but it was still way closer to 9mm than .45 ACP.

        • Your repeating the same old gun writer myths. Jan Libourel the gun writer did and exhaustive in depth study on America’s mass murder in the Philippine Islands. He found not one shred of evidence in U.S. Army Documents that stated any pistol calibers worked any better than the .38 long colt, including the 45 Long colt and the .45 acp. This was propaganda dreamed up by prostitute gun writers trying to sell Colt 1911 pistols after the war.

    • Glad to see someone besides me ‘remembers’ the Nyclad – I got it for the Model 59 S&W I carried for my duty gun back in the ‘dark ages’ :-0 – might still have a box floating around……………….

      • I carried the Nyclad for a lot of years. In 38spc. I think it was a 125 grain flat point? Or semi wadcutter.
        My best memory is liking the blue color of it.

  3. I’ve only shot Syntech in .45 ACP. I find it to be not as clean as Speer Lawman Cleanfire, but still cleaner than most.

    For the most part I like it and will buy it if I can find it.

  4. Oh, if you are fortunate enough to own a P-7 shoot nothing but copper jacketed ammo. Lead or soft synthetic jacketed ammunition can shave and clog the gas port.

    • There were reasons that the German police and others went away from carrying the P7 Squeeze Cocker or German Staple Gun (©Clint Smith). Numerous reasons.

      One of them was the Gas Blow-back system that as you stated is very finicky about ammunition especially when dirty.

      That said, I wish I owned one.

      • Respect Clint’s opinion, but the P-7M8 is one of the shootinest’ pistols I own. Never had a malfunction with any of the three P-7M8s I’ve owned. They will even function with the extractor removed. Look it up. Only ammo restriction was no lead. Not a problem as I don’t shoot anything but jacketed ammo in anything except a .22 LR.

        • Suspect the only problem with LEO agencies and the P-7 series was cost. They weren’t/aren’t inexpensive.

  5. Clad lead bullets in .38 and .45 have been around for quite a while. Which means the black powder Cowboy Action shooters don’t have to worry about the lead, only the greasy soot.

  6. I find these rounds odd. Usually coated lead bullets are what reloaders buy to save money. If these are cheaper than copper jacketed, cool, otherwise a solid meh, for me.

  7. Any word on whether these can be used in the polygonal rifling in the older Glocks? I would think they would be viable but will wait for ‘official’ word………..

    • Anything thing is good to go in a polygonal rifled bore. Except, as previously stated the P-7, but that is because of the gas port. Not the rifling.

    • I have shot approximately 600 rounds of Syntech out of my Glock 43 over two training classes with good accuracy and easy cleaning. I have shot the 150 gr, 130 gr, & 119 gr with the 150 being my fav for the lower perceived recoil.

    • Dog, I hard time the 9mm 1911 shooters, but one of my best friends has a Wilson CQB 9mm 1911. This because he has arthritis in his right thumb from shooting so much over the years. A hundred rounds of .45 hardball leaves him debilitated for a couple of days. Even 50 leaves him hurting. If that CQB were .45 it would have been on my hip long ago.

  8. “I could have taken other Dan Wesson 9mm 1911s that I own, or even one of my Wilson Combat nines.” #humblebrag

    • Dude, I don’t know. I like hearing what other guys have in their safes and on their belts. The nicer, the better. With some guys their comments seem to be tainted with a little jealousy and sour grapes.

    • Im sure that being who he is, he gets some pretty deep discounts. I’m NOT disparaging his integrity, I have a friend who does some videos on youtube, and I know for a fact that he gets some smoking deals from some places. I’m sure the company or distributor can write it off in promotions or adverising or something.

      And if he is just buying them? At retail? Why hate? If dude has the discretionary income for premium heaters, God bless him. Write some more about those so I can shoot them vicariously! I’ll just hang out over here with my CZs, Glocks, Smiths, and Rugers and enjoy the show.

  9. I loled when I saw these come to market a while back. Another hose job by our friends in the ammunition industry. These bullets have been around for reloaders for quite a while. The cost is barely more than lead when purchasing for reloading. Let me repeat that THE COST OF THE BULLETS IS A LITTLE MORE THAN LEAD ONES.

    So that begs the question as to why these are of equal or greater price to FMJ loaded ammunition. A rather easy riddle to figure out.

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  10. If cleaning your guns is a chore, you’re not cleaning them right.

    Spray with ballistol/CLP
    Wait 5 minutes
    Wipe them down/brush bore

  11. “The only thing worse than cleaning my firearms is cleaning my suppressors. So I bought a case of the Federal Syntech 147gr RANGE ammo to see how clean it runs suppressed. More to come.”

    Save yourself the trouble of writing up a review: the 150gr stuff is great.

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