I recently had the opportunity to shoot a lot of ammo from Kinetic Range. In particular, their 9mm 115gr lead round nose that is coated with their proprietary “Hi-Tek” coating. This coating is applied in order to prevent fouling. Kinetic argues that this allows them to manufacture ammo that’s less expensive than plated bullets, yet still doesn’t create fouling issues and can be used in guns that discourage the use of bare lead bullets – such as GLOCK and H&K . . .
These are reloads of the most generic type. Market price seems to be around $0.17/round, which places them slightly below the cost of other reloads as well as steel-cased ammo such as Wolf. The price is around 20-25% less than low-end, factory new brass ammo such as CCI Blazer. This ammo consisted of mixed case colors, mixed head stamps, missing primers, and boxes that fall apart if you look at them wrong. Wait…did I say missing primers? Yes, they’ve been able to cut costs and increase training opportunities by not including primers for some of their cartridges! More on that later.
We arrived at the range with a few different 9mm handguns – a SIG P6, a SIG P320, and an Heirloom Precision Browning Hi-Power. In our previous experience, all three of these have proved steadfastly reliable through thousands of rounds of mixed ammo, so we knew they have a strong history. In addition, I have performed extensive accuracy testing on the Hi-Power, so I had a good database of accuracy results.
I loaded up a few magazines for my Hi-Power and headed down range to get a few groups for accuracy purposes. Boom. Nothing.
It seems that the feed ramp on my HP didn’t appreciate the shape of the bullets. It pressed the lead right against the edge and prevented a round from loading into the chamber.
Tap. Rack. Boom.
Chamber was loaded, but this round didn’t fire. So far I’m at a 50% failure rate. Not encouraging. Upon further inspection, it seems they forgot to press a primer into this one. I guess that’s one way to get their cost to a market low.
Back to the real story. I was able to squeeze out a few more magazines for test targets without an addition failure of any sort. The 10 yard groups were a bit discouraging – at least for me and this gun. I would say the groups were two or three times larger than I normally get shooting a variety of factory new ammunition from this gun.
But it’s gotta be good enough for training ammo. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding went the steel. Yeah, okay, it’s good enough. Perhaps my standards are just a bit too high.
Overall, I experienced a 5% or so failure rate with the Hi-Power with all of those being due to feed ramp issues. No failures from either of the SIGs. I did a bit more digging though the ammo and found two other rounds that were loaded without primers. All kidding aside, that makes me wonder who’s doing their quality control work – if anybody at all.