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Yes, the gun biz may have peaked with the effects of slack demand rippling their way through gun manufacturers big and small, but one segment of the firearms economy that just can’t seem to catch up with demand is gun food. So another option is always welcome, right? HPR says when their new lead-free “Open Tipped Frangible” Black Ops personal defense loads enter a target, “the jacket and core separate with furious force of impact, resulting in mass force trauma.” Translation: this has ShootingTheBull410 written all over it. We’ve asked for samples so the maestro can put HPR’s newest through its paces. Press release after the jump . . .

Payson, AZ – HPR Ammunition, manufactured in Payson, Arizona, is positioned in the market as a high quality and innovative brand and is announcing their BLACK OPS® line of defensive ammunition.

HPR recognized the significant need for a high quality round that offers superior accuracy, and unparalleled takedown force in a variety of scenarios. HPR created the Black Ops® line for maximum knockdown power as the Open Tipped Frangible® (OTF) projectile transfers 100% of its energy into the target. The OTF® projectile tracks straight through a variety of soft barriers like sheet rock, plywood, car doors, and auto glass. When the projectile enters soft tissue, the jacket and core separate with furious force of impact, resulting in mass force trauma. HPR designed Black Ops® as one of the most operational personal defense rounds available on the market today. Meeting the lead free requirements of California, HPR’s BlackOps® features a lead free powdered metal alloy core, which not only delivers mass force trauma, but because it’s a lighter bullet has less recoil too—keeping you on target when all hell breaks loose. The Black Ops® line launches in three calibers, 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 Auto for use in both full size and compact handguns and is suitable for defensive scenarios with its knockdown power and accuracy. Coming soon in .223 Remington 62gr OTF®.


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BlackOps® by HPR is now available at Sportsman’s Warehouse, MidwayUSA, and other fine retailers around the country. Ask your dealer about HPR BlackOps®.

About HPR:

HPR is American Made and Performance Driven. HPR strives to include all American components in their cartridges. Other countries may be able to produce products cheaper at the expense of quality and the outsourcing of jobs but, HPR believes in American quality and American jobs. HPR is the first manufacturing facility to locate in Payson in more than a decade. They have grown quickly and become the pride of their community. For more information, visit

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  1. I generally like their hyperclean range ammo. Not as clean as, say, Lawman CleanFire but at least I can find the stuff.

    This, however…? It may work great – I’ll wait and see – but I think I’d be reluctant to carry it just due to the potential fodder the name provides should the worst happen.

  2. Can’t wait for the ballistic gel tests!
    I have a feeling this will perform similar to other jacketed hollow point rounds but cost a lot more. We will see. The easiest form of gun control is probably legislating lead-free bullets, because they cost so much more for people to use for target practice…

  3. Me thinks the bullets are too light and fast to meet the FBI’s criterea for penetration. The marketing descriptions smell a little mall ninga-ey too. I’d love for ShootingTheBull to prove me wrongs though.

  4. unparalleled takedown force…has less recoil too
    So I’m assuming at this point the round has some sort of rocket in it that allows it to accelerate after it leaves the barrel. Because otherwise a company press release would be making contradictory claims, which would never happen.

    one of the most operational personal defense rounds available on the market today
    I’ll be certain to pick some up for my next spec-ops raid…[sigh].

  5. The higher end stuff has never been hard to come by. It’s the cheap, shoot-all-day stuff that we need more of.

  6. Other countries may be able to produce products cheaper at the expense of quality and the outsourcing of jobs…
    I’m pretty sure if other countries produce stuff in their own country, it doesn’t count as outsourcing.
    But hey, if you can’t compete against Federal and Hornady (who also do all of their manufacturing domestically) based on product quality, wave the jingoistic flag.

    • Thank you for the link. I didn’t expect that it would over penetrate a little. The wound cavity seemed small though. I’m not sure how this round is an improvement over good hollow point ammo.

      • I’m not surprised. Gel isn’t hard enough to cause breakup of frangible ammo. Sure you got your advertised jacket separation, but I think the 3.3″ barrel really handicapped it as well. for the weight their advertised velocity is awful low. I’d expect an 85 grain 9mm to run at 1300-1400fps, not 1250. That’s on the edge of reliably functioning recoil-operated guns.

        • It was a head scratcher for me. How a couple of 20 grain expanded jackets ended up 18″ and 19.25″ in the gel is hard to explain. Obviously, with only two shots, it is hard to draw conclusions, but this ammo did a lot better than I thought it would do. I really expected it to penetrate less than a conventional .380 round.

          With that said, you can duplicate the terminal ballistics with traditional 9 mm rounds and end up with more weight retention in the final bullet. The conventional rounds have decades of use and their performance is well documented so I doubt most folks will be changing out their carry ammo.

  7. I am not at all impressed with their 9mm. At 300 ft-lbs it is putting out about the same energy as the Tul Ammo I shoot which only costs $10 a box of 50 rds and never miss-fires.

    Their 40 cal is decent at 400 ft-lbs.

    Their 45 acp is outstanding at 400 ft-lbs.

  8. Meh. I’ll take good olde boring standard velocity and plus P 115-147 grain 9 mil, 135-180 grain .40, and 185-230 grain .45 JHPs. My first choice is Federal HST but I’m stuck with Winchester PDX .40 because of work. Off duty is either Win PDX or HST. I’ll put forth my prediction for the record that this stuff won’t perform as well as Federal HST.

    • Not much outperforms Federal HST in any caliber. PDX isn’t a bad alternative. I used to carry it – before I switched. 🙂

  9. If they break apart on soft tissue impact, then their balistic “finger print” is lost and law enforcement will be prevented from matching it with the fire arm from which they were fired. Therefore I am introducing legislation today that will ban these Identity hiding (ghost) bullets.
    I’m just pre -writing the press release.

  10. Gee I wish I was an operational TIER π TACTICAL SEAL RANGER FORCE SIX RECON OPERATOR that used such cool ammo. But being just a man in khaki kit, who can handle men a bit, I don’t think it will work quite as well for me.

  11. Has anyone else noticed the amount of products coming out in the past few years with “black ops”, “spec ops”, et cetra in the title?

  12. Hmm. I dunno. Really JHPs do the job well. Ballistic tips for spitzers. I’ll see what STB says though. I really do like the Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator though. Phillips head bullets.

  13. “one of the most operational personal defense rounds”? I don’t even know what that means! But…who cares, gotta have!

  14. Where do I get my black ops credential so I can buy some?
    I know, I know, if I have to ask it’s not for me.
    Oh comma I see comma it’s just a marketing thing.

  15. So far nothing is replacing my HSTs in all my carry calibers except when inside my store or house.
    There Ill stick with Liberties offerings for less penetration and a bunch of maybe hurt power.

  16. The term “black ops” “spec ops”, etc,. Et al, is the latest has been “new zombie” terms used by a crack marketing staff with an avg age of 27.

    Shot a watermelon in June with a 20 year old box of Federal Hydra-Shok 158 gr. .357 Magnum. Only took one rd. to render proper ballistic “mass trauma” on that poor produce. Still no doubts about its effectiveness.

    Look fwd to reading a range report though.

    • I tried to count how many times he fired the two pistols, but lost track after the second shot. As near as I could tell it was between 40, and 45???

  17. I’m sorry, low weight/low recoil= low power

    How can this lightweight punch through car doors and then perform these mystical feats?

    Inb4 G2 RIP 2, electric boogaloo

  18. Couple frangible/powdered metal ammunition with a press release looks like another gun industry buzzword bull-crap bingo winner . . . yeah I’ll stick to Ranger, HST, or Gold Dots for personal defense (or Barnes TAC-XPD if I’m feeling really froggy when it’s time to cycle out carry ammunition).

  19. I don’t think defensive ammo needs to be able to punch through walls… Also, how does a frangible round magically choose what material causes it to fragment? And as a final note, if I hear the word “operational” used to sell to ammo or equipment ONE. MORE. TIME. I am going to conduct a public burning of every advertisement using the term (Seriously, it’s the new “tactical”).

  20. “The jacket and core separate….”
    That’s the first time I’ve ever seen an ammunition maker list core-jacket separation as a benefit. Most premium hollow-points developed in the last 10-15 years have been specifically designed to eliminate that from happening.

  21. I had bought a box of the 125gr. 357 ammo a while back and it seemed a little light. So I downloaded their brochure and sure enough they measure their .357 rounds out of a 10″ (vented?) barrel. This is self defense ammo. Who the hell carries around a 10″ revolver for self defense? I can understand when they use a 6″ or 7″ barrel for hunting ammo but the only reason to use a 10″ barrel for self defense ammo is that you don’t want to admit that your ammo is weak. It does say that the 158gr. actually comes out of that 10″ barrel 6fps faster than the 125 so maybe I’ll give that a try someday.

    The 9mm looks a bit weak too, but at least they’re using a 4″ barrel.

    • 10″ non-vented is standard for SAAMI testing (Alternately 4″ vented) as long barrel revolvers are used a lot for hunting and target shooting. You can pretty reliably shave 400fps off the 10″ tested numbers when firing from a 4″ revolver. Iagree using the 10″ test numbers for self-defense ammo is rather deceptive!

      Their 9mm IS a bit weak. I’d expect at least 100-150 fps more for 85 grains.

      • If they’re losing 400fps on those 125 grains they’d be right at 9mm power, not even +P. My guess is more like 300 (9mm+P power). The 158gr. is probably a full power load.

  22. I’m a fan of the high velocity frangible school of thought but these seem a bit wimpy compared to other stuff out there. Heck the DRT 9mm is the same weight, I think is supposed to be 1400 fps, and it’s under $20 a box around where I am.

    I currently keep those civil defense 50gr rounds in my m9 because I want the more limited penetration in the house. While the Liberty company trumps them up like they are some life ending force from the underworld I like how they shoot.

    I’ll grant that the video shows better penetration than the others I’ve mentioned but it doesn’t look like the wound channel is very different from a conventional jhp channel. These also don’t look like it has the internal scattering effect where the bullet shatters.

  23. Seems that some of these new ammo offerings will be little more than an addition to the collection of obscure ammo boxes, sorta like a can of ‘Billy Beer’ on the shelf of old beer cans….

  24. What about the tungsten nytrillium matrix that causes instant deanimation upon hitting the pinky finger of Nazi or UN stormtroopers?

    Hello? Extreme Shock? We KNOW that’s you with new packaging.

  25. Another waste of money (in .40 and .45 calibers)! The whole reason for using .40 or .45 caliber bullets is to provide more blunt force trauma, which the US government determined was necessary to ensure the take-down of a drugged-up assailant. They studied this to death before the Colt 1911 pistol was adopted. The .45 ACP works just fine with 230-grain “hardball.”

    This might work for 9mm Luger.

  26. I’d be willing to bet that any lawyer worth his salt would have a field day with that packaging (marketing) info should his client get shot with it.

  27. Any ammo, including these black beauties will put down an assailant if you shoot them in the face. If you aren’t comfortable aiming for that particular body part get off the damn keyboard and learn to shoot.


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