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Winchester White Box ammo is a golden oldie. It’s a Wal-Mart discount staple that (back in the good old days) you could always pick up for cheap. But is it any good outside of the range? And, especially now that the market has changed and more and more people are carrying small, short-barreled pocket pistols, is the venerable WWB effective from a 3″-barrel 9mm pistol?  The answers may surprise you. They sure surprised us.

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  1. Another good review. Thanks, STB410. If only we could still get this stuff cheap.

  2. I just realized there is one fake thing about these tests.
    The short barreled 9mm gun sounds exactly like the NAA .22.
    In fact every caliber/gun/ammo combination has exactly the same (to my ear) sound signature.
    I think the sound of the gunshot is dubbed.
    I watch every damn one of these tests, even the calibers I don’t own.
    I love stb410’s presentaion

    • I am not sure if this deserves a Captain Obvious award or not, but yes it is a generic dubbed over sound. Most slow motion cameras cannot capture sound, so for the tests a sample sound is added. Not sure if it is for production quality or just as a audio cue to know when the shot starts, but it’s there.

    • That’s like listening to silencers in a video, I don’t know why they bother. A video has an upper limit of volume it will record, generally both suppressed and unsuppressed hit that limit, or real close, so both sound essentially the same on a video.

    • Gunshot sounds are not picked up very well by camera microphones. They peak at a certain decibel level.

  3. Even “duh” can have embedded sarcasm.
    And actually it was more of a self directed “WTF took you so long for you to figure that out” admission on my part.
    Thanks for the new moniker “MO”

  4. Excellent review. Never had much occasion to investigate WWB HP ammo. Nice to know that for people on a budget, there is now a reasonably good option out there that does a reliable job of performing better than ball ammo.

  5. Is there a list anywhere of STB410’s results? I’d love to see how the rounds stack up against each other.

  6. Always interesting reviews and commentary, too.

    I’ve seen some surprisingly good gel testing on WWB before – who woulda thunk it? I tend to carry heavy-for-caliber, so it’s usually 147s for me, which is the previous gel testing I’ve seen. I’m wondering how it would perform from a shorter barrel, I know the older thinking was short barrel = light ammo need, but more recently the thinking seems to be go heavier with shorter barrels for increased dwell time, more chance for acceleration closer to the design parameters.

    I try to carry HSTs when possible, but WWB as a stockpiled zombie apocalypse round – not a bad choice at all.

    PS: always have loved Gold Dots – surprised at some of the poor performance out of the short barrels, they really do need to be accelerated well for peak performance. That’s what is so attractive about the HSTs, they really seem to do very well across a wide velocity range.

  7. STB can also accept ammo donations for tests. I’m currently in the process (by that I mean badly procrastinating) of sending him a box of .40 Cal Winchester 180 grain PDX to test. I’m really looking forward to the results.

  8. Just recently demonstrated to kids/wife the difference of FMJ vs HP on our water targets so now they want to shoot the water exploding HP. Uhhh…. I like their enthusiasm but I’m not so enamored with the idea financially.

    Two very large ammunition listings finds this WWB very unavailable but one place had it for 50c/rd. Since I can get HST for approx another 5c/rd I doubt I’d be inclined to buy WWB.

    What is the going rate at Walmart and its availability?
    [Edit: someone posted just above at 40c/rd…hmm maybe]

    While we’re on topic, anybody know a cheap way to make the water targets more fizzy and explosive?

    • can’t help you with the fizzy explosive water although I wonder if you use soda/seltzer bottles like Hickok45 does….hmmm…

      I agree, other more “premium” ammo is available at not much more per round. WWB JHP in both 9 and 40 tends to be my “price isn’t too bad, they have a few boxes of it here, I don’t have to pay shipping” impulse ammo buy. It’s also easier to sneak that past my wife’s banking radar compared to getting a big ol’ box of 250 HST dropped off by UPS 🙂

    • Definitely ditch the water, head over to Wal-Mart and buy the absolute cheapest nasty soda you can find, and shake the bejeebers out of it before shooting it. I think I got some for like 50 or 60 cents per liter…

      I tried putting food coloring in water, it helps, but the zing you get from the soda just makes all the difference…

      • +1

        Used to use generic soda from the grocery store in the late 1970s. The stuff still came in steel cans. You would leave them in the sun and then shake them up before you shot them. It was almost as good as tannerite.

  9. WWB JHP, once upon a time, came in boxes marked “For Law Enforcement Only”.

    “Cheap” and inexpensive mean two different things.

    Stock up.


    • I think that particular round, years ago, was THE state of the art LEO round for lots of large departments.

  10. Nice to see. My performance surprise came with the .45/230JHP version; from a p245, pretty much the most accurate load I have ever found. I’m used to “well, at least they’re all in the black” at 15 yards from cheap ammo, but picked up a few boxes on a free shipping deal and was somewhat startled to see the same or better (large goose egg-ish in my hands) groups as with the most expensive stuff I put through it.

    I did some digging, and supposedly it is an older bullet design that is prone to shedding the jacket after impact, but with the accuracy, reliability, good-looking cases and primers after firing, etc., and the fairly low cost, I think I’ll be buying a whole bunch more.

    • I know what you mean. I’ve been a fan for a while.

      I just did a little digging on the net and found a PDF of a solicitation for bids for the SanFran PD, 2013, they were looking for Winchester Ranger 40 JHP, Ranger frangible for 40 training, but for their 9mm, there was the USA9JHP2 – the “white box” JHP in 147. And the 115 FMJ as well. Didn’t see any other more “premium” 9mm rounds being sought.

  11. its my understanding that the wwb is military contract overrun or ammo that failed mil-spec checks but still met usage requirements. I’ve compared the two and they look identical same brass and powder weights, just haven/t sectioned or weighed the bullets.

  12. Phil, the military uses ball ammo, although I suppose military police might use something different for domestic law enforcement on base.

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