Solid lead bullets have been the gold standard for ammunition for centuries. The dense metal is perfect for transferring force over great distances. But there are problems. Molten lead is hard to make into a homogeneous mass, and often there are air pockets or other impurities that keep the bullet from performing as expected. Nexus Ammunition is a company within the SAC group that also owns Armalite and McMillian. They say they have a solution to that age old problem: compressed metal . . .
Rather than using molten metal, Nexus Ammo starts with powdered compounds and compresses them into the proper shape. The primary benefit of the process is that there are no air pockets within the projectile and as such will allow it to stabilize in flight much butter. But there are some other major benefits as well. Due to the materials being used, the projectiles can be made lead-free without sacrificing anything in the process. There’s a bigger benefit, though.
The compressed metal process means that Nexus can use a blend of metals with different densities and properties, and tailor the terminal effects to meet the customer’s specifications. I talked with one of the guys from Nexus who explained how they were able to vary the density of the projectile to get either shorter or longer penetration in a gel block with a round of the same external dimensions. What was really interesting was that lower velocity rounds tended to have shorter penetration, and lower velocity went further through the block.
That variable density is going to be put to the test later this year with some innovative projectiles that are about to be released. According to the Nexus guys, they will be releasing a subsonic 5.56 round that cycles the action of an AR-15 rifle as well as a subsonic .308 round that cycles the action of a AR-10. It’s an interesting claim, and as a guy with a few cans, I can’t wait to see if it actually works.