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Our readers loved Lehigh Defense’s Xtreme Defense ammo. So much so that they voted it Reader’s Choice Best New Ammunition of 2015. TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia apparently aren’t the round’s only fans. Lehigh has just announced (press release below) that they’re teaming up with Underwood Ammo to offer their superior performing .45 caliber personal defense projectiles in Underwood’s cartridges . . .

We welcome the 45 ACP to our Xtreme Defense, (XD) Product Line. Our Xtreme Defense Technology is based upon our proven Xtreme Penetrator product line, but we modified our Patented Nose Design to reduce the penetration to between 15 and 19 inches, depending on the barrier. The bullet outperforms all other bullet designs by offering truly barrier-blind performance, with excellent wound channels, and almost 100% weight retention. It does all of this while maintaining its flight path, post barrier, with extremely low recoil energy.

The gel shot shown below demonstrates the devistating performance of the 45 ACP XD through 4 layers of denim. You can see just how massive the wound channel is due to the incredible amount of radial hydraulic energy that is being produced.


We took our testing a step further, we put the 45 ACP XD through the FBI Protocol for bullet testing. The results are recorded below.

FBI Protocol Terminal Performance Testing
Conducted using 10% Ballistics Gelatin
(Gun – Springfield XD with a 5” Barrel, Shot at 1,350 fps)

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 1.31.53 PM
One of the toughest tests to pass is the compound angle shot that is taken through an automotive windshield. The gel shot shown below was conducted in accordance to the FBI protocol and you can see just how well the bullet performed. We would also like to point out that the path of the bullet is almost identical to the path of the bullet in the above gel shot.


The new 45 ACP XD, with its devastating devastating terminal effects and barrier blind performance, is unparalleled in personal defense ammunition.

As we continue to focus our energy on innovative bullet designs, and to better service our ammunition customers our Premier Partners are loading our bullets in their ammunition. You can find the new 45 ACP XD at Underwood Ammunition.


For additional information about our XD Ammunition go to:

For additional information about our XD Technology go to:

For more information about Lehigh Defense go to:

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  1. Nasty looking wound channel. And that’s why I carry an XD 45 ACP 5 inch tactical. 🙂

    • I find it interesting that the wound channel starts out large and decreases towards the end of the wound track as it slows down. As opposed to hollow points that start out smaller and get larger toward the end.

      The real world shooting results will be facinating.

    • Kinda like a nasty divorce lawyer, it’s the screwing you get for the screwing you got…

  2. Genuine soul-harvesting .45acp.

    Does using this ammo make you inherently evil, like the cop with the “You’re F***’d” dust cover?

  3. Any thoughts about prosecution-happy DA’s going after you in the aftermath of a shooting? “Cop-killer ammo”? Yes I like it…impressive.

  4. How well does it feed? Looks like it might get hung up. Would the hard angles tend to damage feed ramps over time?

    • I have had some feeding problems with this bullet shape in the Lehigh Defense versions in both of my Sigs a P238 and a P938. 380 and 9mm respectively.
      No issues with my RIA 3.5 inch Tactical in 45 acp.
      Id say it all depends on a bit of luck in the magazine as to the rounds position. Its hung up on 2 calibers with ramped barrels but not on a non ramped 45.
      Go figure.
      No issues at all with Ruger ARX using the 3 pointed bullet shape.

    • It seems to me that failures to feed don’t often happen if the pistol has a better than average feed ramp. An example of a good feed ramp is on the 9mm Ruger 1911.

  5. What ever happened to TTAG’s resident ‘Ammo Quest’ ammunition tester, ShootingTheBull410?

  6. What’s better, the XD or the Ruger ARX? Seems like it’s the same principle but I can’t find anything comparing the two.

  7. Why should we believe that the gel tests with this ammo are reflective of superior performance in real tissue? It could actually be the reverse, no? Ballistics gel is simply a standard, and bears no true reflection of how the round will preform in real tissue. I will take all of this with a grain of salt….or a few.

    • The physical effect that this ammo produces (high velocity sideway jets of tissue cutting other tissue around) should be observable in any medium that behaves like a liquid. Flesh definitely qualifies at these velocities.

    • You refuted your own “argument” about taking this ammo with a “grain of salt” when you pointed out that ballistic gel tests deliver comparative results. If this ammo penetrates deeper, or produces larger wound channels in ballistic gel relative to other bullet styles, then one should expect similar results in the comparatively equal “medium” of a living creature.
      There can be zero doubt the hard, solid copper slugs will break bone and deliver superior penetration to a much more malleable lead core, or expanding bullet.

  8. Thats pretty cool, there sure is alot of fancy bullets out there. IMO tho, nuthn less then 185 grains in .45 will do, Im still using .230 hardball. I dont care about overpenatration, I do care about under penatration. That last big dog I shot with them corbons in 9mm sucked, and it was head shot, everything I shoot with a 9 has to be shot twice. .45 hardball head shots have killed everything Ive shot with one bullet. Two months ago a blind buck deer needed killin, he got both eyes poked out fighting I quess, damnedest thing, seen em with one eye out. Anyway the sombitch was crayz,charging me, the dogs, and the wife was scared to go out to the mail box. Poor bastard was nuts, shot him right in the head with 230 hardball, when I skinned him out the bullet was clear down in his shoulder. Big ole BB gun.

    • I think you should do a bit more discovery on the 120 grain XD .451″ bullet before writing it off. Underwood loads it to an advertised 1,460 fps/537 fpe in their .45 Auto +P load, and 1,600 fps/682 fpe in their .45 Super load.
      Underwood also loads a 200 grain “XP” version at 1,100 fps/537 fpe which will outperform “hardball” across the board.

  9. I put one magazine through a sig 232, and a ruger LCP with no problems. However I had a finicky s&w ppks that jammed on the second round. Those are all 380

  10. The Governor does this with plain jane 4 pellet buck (.410) But a revolver with a cylinder the size of a can of redbull is not CC friendly. But is wonderful for HD. (Burst fire)

  11. This bullet leaves the same wound as a FMJ round when it is shot into actual animal tissue. This bullet exploits the properties of Gelatin to give a false impression of it’s terminal ballistics . I have tested round in 2 different calibers , both loaded by Underwood in pork shoulders (details below) to reach this conclusion. BUT Before I go into the science and testing, here is an experiment you can do yourself to understand why we got different results in actual tissue than in Gelatin:

    Take an hunk of meat, organ, or any large animal tissue the butcher will give you, and if its not similar in size, cut it to the the same size as a brick of ballistics gelatin you’ll need for the experiment. Proceed to attempt to you fold the Ballistics Gel in half. The brick will either begin to tear, or more likely (and especially if the gelatin is made from Knox or other Collagen based gelatins), the gel block will completely tear in half. Now I dare you to try and tear a raw pork shoulders, steak, pig lung, pig or heart, in half. Heck try and tear them in half in anyway you can. Unless you are tearing strips of meat along the fibers of a steak, you will not be able to do this nearly at all. It is a very hard thing to stress/stretch actual tissue enough to make it tear. Tearing ballistic gelatin on the other hand, is incredibly easy by comparison. The Gel tears because if its poor elasticity at higher forces. It is this property that gives the illusion that these bullet use to trick the buyer into thinking they give equivalent terminal effects as hollow points.

    The Bottom Line is : When shot through meat, Lehigh Xtreme Defense/Penetrator rounds leave the exact same type of wounds that FMJ rounds do of the same caliber

    How I wish I had my phone charged at my friends farm the day we tested these rounds. I have posted this information on many videos for the Lehigh Xtreme Defense and Xtreme Penetrator rounds. These rounds went all the way through the pork shoulders we lined up on his folding-table; and they left nothing but a tiny hole in the meat, with a wound path diameter no great than the diameter of round itself! In gel we had results just like shown in the above video… though not as drastic for some reason. I suspect that is because we used ClearBallistics brand gel, while the gel above appears to be made with from Know Gelatin with an insufficient ratio of Collagen Gelatin (Knox) to Water, and I don’t see a BB used to calibrate the home-made gel. None the less, the results in the video are still very similar to what you see in clear ballistics gel. But the result in meat is not so. Notice in the ribs placed before the gel, there is nothing but a small hole where the bullet penetrated.

  12. I wonder how the Underwood .45lc with Xtreme Penetrator bullets would work for black bear. I need to find ammo that will penetrate black bear skull and or chest / rib cage.

    In a last ditch situation, I need as much penetration as possible. Of course, I’ll use pepper spray first.

  13. I’ll stick with Xtreme Penetrator from Underwood for my bear load. I’m a hiker. I want all the penetration and damage I can get. If the bear repellent fails my SS Taurus Judge is my last option.

  14. Butchered meat does not have the liquids in it that live animals have. Taking the fluid out to test a hydrodynamic bullet is an extremely inaccurate test. Is you want an honest test, compare your test with a heart with pressurized fluids in it. It will behave more like a milk jug full of water.

    Body temperature fat is also closer to a fluid than cold fat out of a cooler. Lungs, liver, kidney and brains are also full of pressurized blood.

    Cold pieces of meat as a test medium is more inaccurate than gel. Hollow points are even more dependent on the homogenous nature of gel than the Extreme Defenders. Bones tend to disrupt the expansion of hollow points. The Extreme Defenders act like FMJs through bone and still dump energy rapidly when passing through a semi fluid medium.

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