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I’m not sure if G2’s RIP ammo is still ripping off the public, but the hoopla has certainly died down. In the meantime, the good folks at Lehigh Defense (one of our 2013 Readers Choice Award winners) ripped a page from RIP’s book and created a reverse RIP round. In other words, instead of bullet designed to shed pathetic petals (a.k.a., trocars) like Biggest Loser winners shedding pounds, Lehigh’s CQ round has petals that penetrate like, well, you know. Make the jump for a press release ammo nerdgasm. Video demo or not, we can’t get some samples to TTAG ammo tester ShootingTheBull410 fast enough. Watch this space . . .

Lehigh Defense introduces CQ Technology (Close Quarters): Yes, E=MCSq and it is a beautiful thing.

Double the bullet weight and the energy doubles. Double the velocity and the energy quadruples. How can you beat that?

We design the world’s most innovative projectiles, that is what we do and the center of this passion is science, not voodoo, science.

Lehigh has harnessed old Al’s work on energy equivalency and channeled it to a new bullet technology; we are calling Close Quarters (CQ). This technology utilizes hyper velocity to effectively transfer enormous energy to the target based on mass-energy equivalence.

Lightweight, high energy projectiles using powdered metal and plastic binders have been done before. Instead of fragmenting the bullet to dust upon impact, Lehigh has designed specific densities for the fractured petals providing applicable penetration and an effective energy transfer.

Lehigh Defense, always the Innovator.

The CQ is a lightweight, hyper velocity design using an aluminum core and pre-stressed jacket. The aluminum core initiates the expansion slightly after contact, pressing back into the pre-stressed jacket and activating a violent, incapacitating energy transfer. The aluminum nose optimizes feeding and provides a barrier blind entry. The pre-stressed jacket separates into petals sized for appropriate penetration based on the specific cartridge. These petals, base, and core are all designed to penetrate no more than 18”, transferring a huge amount of energy to the target in a very short timeframe.

First CQ Product to be Released

The 300 AAC Blackout / Whisper* 78gr High Velocity (2,800 fps) Projectiles and Ammunition. This will make Lehigh the only company that can offer a complete line of 300 AAC Blackout / Whisper* Projectiles and Ammunition (From Subsonic to Hypervelocity). * Whisper is a Trade Mark of SSK Industries

For information on Lehigh Defense go to:
For Ammunition Product Information go to:
For Bullet Product Information go to:

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  1. I could do without the (wrong) references to the general relativity mass-energy equivalence.

    They make good enough stuff they don’t need this sort of BS.

  2. — E=MCSq and it is a beautiful thing.

    Double the bullet weight and the energy doubles. Double the velocity and the energy quadruples. —

    Wrong equation there.

    it’s F=MA; Unless you’re using those special Nuclear bullets — you’ll never be using E=MC(sq) with regards to ballistics.

    • They’re referring to the kinetic energy, not the force. Kinetic energy is an often-quoted statistic in ballistics, being 1/2 * m * v2.

      I’m highly interested in this ammo, especially out of a .308. We’ve seen “light & fast” vs. “slow & heavy” before; generally I come down on the side of “fast & heavy” (which is why I prefer .308 over .223, etc). I generally am turned off by when a manufacturer sells “kinetic energy”, that’s usually a warning sign. However, Lehigh gets it very right frequently, and I have to say I’m quite intrigued by a combination copper & aluminum machined bullet. And they do specifically call out the fallacy of designing a projectile that makes a big splash on the surface but doesn’t penetrate deep, so…

      I’d be concerned about the weight; at 78 grains it weighs about the same as a heavy .223 bullet… I like my .308 on the 168-grain side. But the velocity reported seems insane, over 4,000 fps for the .308. In general there ain’t nothing wrong with the .308 as-is, but I’m highly interested in seeing what can be accomplished with precision machining and a big dose of velocity.

    • F=MA is the equation for Force, which is not what one uses to calculate muzzle energy. In fact everyone here is wrong and should be using the equation for Kinetic Energy: KE=1/2MV^2. Force and energy are two different things. Force is a vector and Kinetic Energy is a scalar.

  3. Is old AI in the context of E = MC^2 supposed to refer to Albert Einstein?

    Also, the only weapons where E = MC^2 comes into play are nuclear ones.

    • “Lets use the rest energy equation on a moving object derp” (said no physist ever)

      • Clearly you’ve never taught undergraduate physics… They do it all the time.

        Anyway… The kinetic energy of a moving (in our rest frame) object is:

        Ek = (gamma – 1) m c^2 where

        gamma = 1/(1-v^2/c^2) and when v<<c, it is approximated by 1-(v/c)^2/2, giving you back the classic Newtonian formulation.

        • By rest energy I meant E = mc^2, not the E = (Gamma) Mc^2 (or close enough)

          I prefer E^2 = P^2 c^2 + (mc^2)^2 myself.

          And no I haven’t taught it, still an undergrad atm.

    • Or if we start getting up to a noticeable percentage of the speed of light.

      In that case the infamous 0.9 mm bullet makes some sense … For a capital ship weapon, anyway. 🙂

    • Yes, they were talking about Al(bert) Einstein, not A(lbert) Ienstein. That’s the problem when a small L and a capitol I look exactly the same.

  4. So this ammo does about the same as a varmint round, but saves its massive burst of energy until a deeper penetration. That’s intriguing stuff! I’m not much of a fan of fast ‘n’ light. It usually makes the math look great and the performance less than effective. If this ammo is around longer than one year, I’ll look at it.

  5. Applying mass-energy equivalence to determine potential energy for ballistics is voodoo fellas. We are dealing with kinetic energy when measuring the force delivered by a moving bullet. They should be referencing Mr. Newton’s laws as opposed to Mr. Einstein’s. The equations are similar though.

    I have a freshman engineering student that is looking for summer work. I am sure he would be happy to explain it you. He is about 1/2 way through his Physics 100, or mechanics class. LMK.

  6. So, to make the 300blk truly effective, they just had to engineer a new bullet…at less than 1/2 the weight of the standard 30cal. I’m still not sold on the 300blk as a primary platform, maybe one day they will get it right.

    • I’m not sold on the 5.56, but I like Mk 318 and 262. Heck, M855 would be great for high round count pig hunting. Or completely sold on the 6.8. The 300 BLK is pretty cool, and I may take it deer hunting again. That’s partially just because I really enjoy that particular custom stainless AR build. Or maybe the 6.8. Or the .50 Beowulf. Course I’m a fan of the AR, but not totally sold on that.

      I’m just not sure I’m sold on the 300 BLK, either. So, perhaps I’ll switch to the .308. Or the 30-06. The .338 is probably too much. Unless I’m far away. Of course a .300 Mag would be less bulky. But the .50 would be awesome up close. So would a .460.

      To be honest I’m not sure if I’m sold on any particular caliber myself. I hope to experiment with calibers and loads for the next 50 years or so.

  7. I order from them about every other week, including this week. They are turning me into a hoarder. Sparkly bullets!

  8. Now now what they really meant was….
    E =/= mc^2 (relativistically)

    Actually its

    E^2 = P^2 c ^ + m^2 c^4

    but neglecting rest energy as we care about kinetic -> E = Pc

    and doing a taylor expansion on the relativistic momentum formula
    one can totally recover Kinetic energy = 1/2 mv^2

  9. When you get those flashes of light in ballistic gel are they visible to the naked eye, or do they happen to quick for the brain to register, which I would probably guess?

    • I don’t recall seeing one “live”, but they’re easily captured on my camera. I think they usually happen only on one frame, so no longer than 1/1200 of a second.

      They only happen in synthetic ballistic gel like ClearBallistics; they never happen in organic ballistic gel. That leads me to believe it’s a property of the synthetic material itself, which is inherently flammable. Some want to call it sonoluminescence, but I’m not sold on that; if it was, it should be happening in the organic stuff too, I would think. Bruce over at Pocket Guns and Gear has been looking into it and thinks it’s dieseling, and I think he’s probably more likely to be correct.

      • Cool – that would make sense. Thanks for confirming it doesn’t happen in the organic stuff, the few times I’ve seen this happen in different videos, I don’t recall them mentioning whether the composition mattered. I’ll admit to being skeptical it was sonoluminescence, but didn’t have another explanation. Plain old flammability would cover it.

  10. I have 200 of these coming in the next few days for load development, I’m intrigued by the light weight as 300BLK seems to be very accurate on the far ends of the spectrum… 110Gr for supers and 220-240Gr for subsonics. My pet 5.56 load is a 77Gr 262-wannabe and I’m interested to see how this compares.

  11. So basically they have recreated the heavyweight 77gr 5.56 loads (like Mk 262) in .300 BLK? I mean, it’s literally the same bullet weight and muzzle velocity. Except that the .30 caliber bullet is going to have worse BC due to being fatter.

    The other interesting part here is bullet construction that basically ensures reliable fragmentation. But it also invites the question: why not just do this in a .223 bullet, for use in regular ARs?

  12. I think what they are working on is based, as I believe also the “controlled chaos” bullets are too, the theory put forth in these two pdfs, here and here.

  13. Forgive my lack of knowledge on the subject, but I’m not sure I see a huge advantage of 300blk compared to 45acp.

    Roughly the same bullet weight, moving roughly the same speed subsonic, why not just run .45 if you’re only suppressing the thing? I understand the modularity for the AR platform, but in terms of cost I don’t see it being worth the money. The supersonic loads I can see being a plus, with just a mag change, but other than that, I don’t see a point to the cartridge.

    • Yea I don’t get them either. They may be useful in some situations but it seems like they are trying to reinvent the wheel. I predict they will be like many of the flash in the pan fads. Remember super short magnums??

    • It’s a platform thing. While the .45 ACP is a great subsonic round, pushing it supersonic (say, with 185 grain +P), doesn’t gain much. The 300 BLK with appropriate supersonic loads is combat-effective at 500 yards or more.

    • If you’re running subsonic only, there aren’t really that many advantages. I think the main one would be better BC because of longer and narrower round and spitzer bullet, so it won’t drop quite as fast (.45 ACP is particularly bad in that regard). But the main attractiveness is the ability to swap to supersonic very quickly, and get true rifle velocities and energies right there and then.

      • To expand on this a little bit more: you basically get a single caliber that covers a very wide spectrum, ranging from heavy subsonic rounds with performance close to .45, to mid-weight supersonic ones that behave like 7.62×39, to lightweight fast ones that come pretty close to 5.56 – all in a single weapon with no need to swap anything other than the ammo (well, and the optics – or use adjustments).

    • 300 BLK subsonic is a range toy in my opinion, major handgun calibers with JHP bullet have better terminal ballistic performance in the gel than 300 BLK subsonic loads.

      The only advantage is really just longer range (due to bullet design) and the option to switch to proper rifle round.

      At least that’s how I look at it, I live in a suppressor illegal state so I don’t give much thoughts about subsonic loads

      • Why would they get better terminal ballistics, though? I can see how they will make a slightly bigger hole (though .300 can expand quite a lot with the right bullet design, like Lehigh’s own Maximum Expansion line). But .30 cal bullet with the same weight has better sectional density, so it should penetrate deeper, and perform better through barriers.

  14. Robert,

    I seem to remember STB disabused all regarding the “energy transfer” concept. Love the Lehigh XP, but energy determines nothing about the effectiveness of the bulled for self-defense (If we are talking about energy and velocity in a military sniper scenario, that’s a bit different because we then don’t care a whit about over penetration). STB proved over and again that even high velocity in a self-defense round might only create less penetration (and more expansion). Not opposed to experimentation with weight and velocity to find that perfect round with 3X expansion and consistent 16 inch penetration. Just seems Lehigh is only putting the company in the category of “gimmick ammo” at this point.

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