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Home defense has typically been the domain of the shotgun and the pistol. Rifles seem too long to effectively use in “close quarters” situations and their ammo likes to cut through walls like a hot knife through butter. So it’s no surprise that Winchester Ammunition’s personal defense homepage doesn’t even shot a rifle. Surprise! To address the “over-penetration” issue and enter the HD AR market, Winchester Ammunition has a new product: PDX1 .223 Personal Defense Ammo. As in these boxes were pulled from the first ever batch of production ammo off the assembly line. The new PDX1 ammo aims to provide enough penetration to put down a soft fleshy threat, but not so much that the apartment next door needs to invest in Kevlar wallpaper . . .

This ammo is produced with a 60 grain projectile using some interesting “split core” technology. From their press release:

  • Proprietary bonding process—Welds lead and jacket together to work as a unit controlling expansion and providing superior retained weight.
  • Hollow point—Works with the bonding process for outstanding performance through tough barriers
  • Jacket notching—Six segments help promote positive, consistent and programmed expansion at a variety of impact velocities and ranges.
  • Copper alloy jacket—Contoured for maximum expansion over a wide range of velocities/ranges.
  • Nickel plated shellcase—Helps ensure positive gun function through smooth chambering and shellcase ejection

Basically, the core and the jacket are bonded together at the back, and the jacket is notched to help in expansion. The theory is that this rapid expansion will slow the bullet down whenever it hits something, drywall included.

Unfortunately, our usual test facility aboard MCB Quantico is down for repairs, so it might take a bit to get these tested. But rest assured, we will be testing every one of their purported properties.

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  1. I’m positive this offering will be the absolute safest for apartment dwellers vs wallboard, who utilize their AR for home defense.


    Solid take on over-penetration. Heck, the whole Terminal Ballistics section should be required reading for one considering pre-fragmentation in their defense round.

    But most specifically, this: “In short, the consequences of projectile under-penetration are far more likely to get officers and citizens killed than over-penetration issues.”

  2. Their promo materials should read:

    “Nickel plated shellcase—looks kool enough to help justify the $10 to $20 premium we are going to charge for a box of these puppies.”

  3. I recently read a Special Forces website about unsatisfactory results in 5.56mm fragmenting rounds, versus good results with handgun rounds that fragment.

    • I can’t say that this round doesn’t perform, It’ll be interesting to see tests on it. It is my understanding the 6.8SPC came about for that extra size of bullet and near explosive release inside the target. That said, it would seem to me that the right 5.56mm round may be out there, today or some day.

  4. Looks like a good civilian PD round. Police agencies are also
    jumping on this. I doubt that it can perform as well as the MK 318
    SOST / USMC round for law enforcement. It seems that everyone
    is concerned with over penetration these days. That’s a shame,
    because a good solid hit or two with a round that will penetrate barriers
    will end the fight. I expect intermediate barriers such as automotive
    glass and / or sheet metal, and I’m not excited by a 60 grain round
    at a mere 2750 FPS. I’m staying with the MK 318, but stuck with this
    when I’m on duty.

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