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The number of people who’ve comparison tested the ballistics of multiple self-defense rounds is smaller than the number of banana splits Kim Edri‘s eaten in the last month. The number of armed self-defenders who make their carry cartridge decision based on published ballistic tests is only marginally greater. Generally speaking, it’s down to price and branding. I don’t know the price of Barnes Bullets’ new TAC-XPD—I’m thinking expensive—but I do know that the company has a sterling rep for making bullets that count. And the box is way cool. But wait! There’s more! The new ammo’s got a unique selling point: “almost no muzzle flash.” Now how much would you pay? Don’t answer! They also claim lower felt recoil than their competitors. TTAG will pick up a pack ASAP. Press release after the jump . . .

Mona, UT – NEW LINE for 2013 – Barnes introduces the TAC-XPD line of Defense Ammunition: an “Optimized for Carry or Home Defense” solution. Loaded with the venerable Barnes TAC-XP bullets, TAC-XPD ammunition is engineered and designed to deliver top performance when it is most critical: in life-threatening situations. The TAC-XP’s all-copper construction and very large, deep hollow-point cavity expand, penetrate and perform more consistently than any personal defense product on the market.

Designed for law enforcement and personal defense, TAC-XP pistol bullets retain nearly 100% of their original weight and track straight. Performance through bare gel, light and heavy clothing, car doors, plywood and automotive windshield glass is unmatched by the competition.

The lighter bullet weights of all-copper TAC-XP projectiles in comparison to lead-core counterparts enable the shooter to recover quickly due to less felt recoil, without sacrificing terminal performance. Specially engineered loads produce almost no muzzle flash – an important feature in low-light conditions. Distinctive Techni-Crom plated shells feed smoothly from the magazine for reliability shooters can depend on every time.

TAC-XPD Ammunition is sold in a 20 round package.

Barnes TAC-XPD Defense Ammunition will be available early 2013:


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  1. At last! Ammunition that knows the difference between critical life-threatening situations and non-critical life threatening situations. No more guessing, people. The bullet knows.

  2. “The lighter bullet weights of all-copper TAC-XP projectiles in comparison to lead-core counterparts enable the shooter to recover quickly due to less felt recoil, without sacrificing terminal performance.”

    What’s Newton’s Third Law again?

    • I am not sure what your point is about Newton’s Third Law. They are not saying there isn’t a reaction, just that it is reduced and that would be true with a lighter bullet traveling at the same speed as a heavier one. Anyone that shoots a lot knows that. There is a formula for it which is interesting and you can pretty much figure out how much recoil to expect from any load. It is a matter of weight of the bullet and the powder charge plus the velocity. There are other factors of course but it covers most of it.

      Still I am not totally sold on Barnes. I have used their hunting bullets for years. The first X bullets were lacking. I shot a bear and cougar where they did not expand whatsoever. To the company’s credit they not only fixed the design problem they admitted that they had a problem something that a company like Nosler never did when they had a design problem. Nosler went into denial and never publicly admitted they had a problem except through their shill Craig Boddington, the no longer Colonel that used his rank against DOD rules to promote his commercial endeavors and was drummed out of the service after wearing a the star of a general before he was entitled to do so. Some gossip you will never see in the shooting press.

      Their solids are fantastic. I have recovered three from different cape buffalo I have shot that are so perfect that they could be reloaded and used again. That is how solids are supposed to work.

      I am not sure about these self-defense bullets. I am no self-defense expert whatsoever having little experience, well no experience in firefights in the US. However, it seems to me that deeper penetration, something that Barnes claims and the bullets are famous for doing, isn’t necessarily a good thing for an urban self-dense load. You can’t have deeper penetration without the danger of over penetration which would it seem not be a good thing in the crowded USA. But then again, I am no expert in self-dense.

      • I think the point is that the marketing fluff may convince people that a bullet made of copper will somehow be affected by Newton differently than a lead bullet of the same weight, just because it’s copper and therefore must be better.

        And of course, those of us who know physics recognize that’s a load of crap, but marketing and physics don’t usually mix.

        Edit- just looked up some info on Boddington, looks like his superiors pinned the star on him when they weren’t supposed to, so it’s not like a civilian who just up and pins a medal on himself. Maybe he should have known better, but it wasn’t him alone.

        • How can there be no loss in performance? If you reduce the mass of the bullet you reduce the force of impact. F= M x A and there’s nothing here to show a proportionate increase in acceleration.

    • Did they reduce the powder load to compensate for the lighter bullet? Would that give same bullet speed with less felt recoil? Only thing I can figure.

  3. For what it’s worth, I do look at FBI test protocols. They don’t make a bullet perfect, but I want a round that will penetrate barriers. My buddy and I test with 2 Liter soda bottles, because it’s a PITA to deal with ballistic gelatin. Although I’ll look into buying some at Cabela’s, because I’ve always wanted to shoot some.

    Gelatin testing doesn’t make a round perfect, but it can expose weaknesses. I may try this same bullet style in the Buffalo Bore standard pressure 140 grain Smith and Wesson load.

  4. This could be a good thing. If used in a DGU the bad guy would not suffer the affects of lead poisoning; though a chunk-o’-copper entering center mass might be considered toxic. Have to check the MSDS.

  5. I compare the listed ballistics and the spread. One gun prefers brand W, the other brand H. I was under the impression that felt coil could be controled by powder selection

  6. You said: “differently than a lead bullet of the same weight”
    From the press release: “The lighter bullet weights of an all-copper…”

    You completely missed the stated fact THEY AREN’T THE SAME WEIGHT! Lighter bullets do exhibit less recoil than a heavier bullet driven with the same weight of powder to the same velocity.

    The problem is they also have less muzzle energy due to having less mass. Still, if they test to FBI parameters for penetration depth and exhibit reliable expansion, they should still be very effective. For that however, we would need to see independent ballistic gelatin testing.

  7. Bottom line: Don’t doubt Barnes. Go to some research over at, and you will see the difference. They make some of the best bullets on the market in handgun, rifle, or sabot slugs.

  8. I wonder how much more expensive it will be over Rareammo’s “C.O.P.” SCHP loads of similar design? I’m guessing at least twice as much, and probably similar ballistics. If anybody wanted to have some real razzle-dazzle solid copper ammo they could just purchase Lehigh Defense’s expanding, fracturing or multi-projo loads. All very high quality.

  9. I purchased 5 boxes of this ammo for a little Kahr 380 bug. It is excellent ammo. About $1 a round, so it’s not something for a full day at the range. I like it and would buy it again in a heartbeat. I’m considering it for my H&K and Glock

  10. any solid copper JHP always had dismal performance. I like Barnes but I think I will wait for real world ballistic gelatin testing.


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