Monday, September 24, 2012

PNW Arms

Mark from PNW Arms contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I'd link his ammo site. Sure, not a problem. After I took a look around and linked it he got back to me, thanked me and asked for an address so he could send me a sample of his wares.
I figured on a box of 20. What I got instead was a box of 590.
No shit.

He sent me a couple of boxes of 20 of his TacOps ammo, 10 boxes of 50 of the Defensive Training ammo and a box of 50 of "cold" tracer ammo, all in 45 ACP.

Let's take a look at the TacOps first. From their site at PNW Arms:

Tactical Operations. Any mission, anytime, anywhere…precision guaranteed. You do what others can’t, in places they won’t go with an exactitude that shocks your adversary and awes your admirers. The TacOps® series from PNW Arms was designed specifically for Tier One operators like you who demand the absolute pinnacle in ballistics performance. PNW Arms TacOps® rounds are precision engineered, solid copper bullets built with top end terminal ballistics to provide optimal performance during go time. Utilizing the highest quality brass and filled with precisely metered, clean burning powder, TacOps® rounds provide reliable, maximum expansion with complete weight retention while maintaining standard chamber pressures.
• Lighter bullet design results in faster speeds and a flatter trajectory
• Lighter bullets also means faster sight recovery resulting in more rounds on target for devastating effect
• Extremely low-flash powder to preserve night vision

Our rounds are designed to have the fastest possible velocity without exceeding the safe pressure levels as defined by the Small Arms Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI) which mitigates substantial risks (such as excessive recoil, over penetration, muzzle climb and stress) associated with +P rounds.

Then there's the Defensive Training ammo. When I got it I looked at it - looks like a regular 45 HP to me and their site lists the same basic ballistics as their TacOps so I shot Mark an email asking what was 'practice' about it. His reply was that it mimics their TacOps ammo in recoil, ballistics, everything except the actual projectile. The whole concept is being able to train with what you carry at a reduced cost.

Again, from their site:
The Defensive Training series of bullets is engineered to exactly match the performance of the TacOps® round and enable train-with-what-you-carry at a fraction of the cost. These Defensive Training rounds mimic the recoil, point-of-aim and point-of-impact of the TacOps® rounds precisely, at around half the cost. In fact, our Defensive Trainers are incredibly popular with all types of shooters as range rounds because of their high performance and pleasant shooting characteristics.
PNW’s Defensive Training rounds use American made precision bullets, exactly metered clean burning powder and come in two versions – new and re-manufactured brass for additional cost savings.  
At PNW, we understand your needs as a shooter, an operator and a trainer. With our TacOps and Defensive Training lineup, we meet you where you live by providing both unrelenting performance and unequaled value in the next generation of American Weapons Science.

Available in 9mm, 10mm, .40 and .45 calibers our Defensive Training rounds are built on state of the art loading presses in a controlled manufacturing environment. Every round is hand inspected for defects and chamber gauged to guarantee flawless operation in action.

Finally, here's a description of their 230 gr hardball Cold Tracer from their site:
Tracers provide a wealth of information to the shooter. They allow the shooter to see the current bullet trajectory, providing instant visual feedback to allow for corrections to target. With modern tracers there are also inherent drawbacks such as: burning phosphorous which can set things on fire, not the best thing for barrels, gives away your position, and can only be on certain rounds since they affect terminal and exterior ballistics. Cold Tracer solves these problems with a non-exothermic substance that is applied the base of every bullet allowing instant visual feedback on a per round basis in low to no light conditions. This allows a shooter to walk in their rounds to the target and hit previously unheard of ranges with conventional munitions. Moreover, only the shooter or those on the firing line is able to see the tracer due to its application process. This round can greatly enhance the shooting ability of new shooters by allowing them to focus on round placement and feel versus learning more advanced sighting techniques. For professionals, this can greatly enhance CQB effectiveness and other tactics.
  • Only visible from the shooter’s perspective
  • No effects on Exterior Ballistics
  • No effects on Terminal Ballistics
  • No effects on barrel
  • Non-exothermic (it does not generate heat)
  • Bio-safe material
  • Safe for indoor and outdoor use
  • Only use in low-light to no-light conditions
  • Works great with NVGs
  • Greatly increases range and accuracy
  • Visually assess shooting performance with instant feedback from common shooting mistakes
  • Every round in your magazine is a Cold Tracer now

I was up in the hills yesterday but didn't shoot due to deer season being open - I don't want to fuck up somebody's chance to get a deer because of my shooting and the fucking woods are crawling with Game Wardens and federal rangers and the less contact I have with LEO, the happier I am.
There is a severe shortage of ranges here in Kalifornia unless you belong to a gun club so I can't give you a range report at the moment, but as soon as the season is over next month I'm going to burn off most of Mark's gift and give a brutally honest review.

In the meantime, you can visit his website at  There's a wealth of information there including ballistic tables for all the calibers offered.
It's also linked in at my "Shit That Might Come In Handy" column in my sidebar.

Go on over, have a look around at their offerings in both handgun and rifle calibers and see if they have something for you.
Oh, one more very important thing - their customer service is top notch. Any questions I had were answered via email within minutes.


hiswiserangel said...

Very cool. They recognize the power of Wirecutter.

wirecutter said...

And I recognize the power of 45 ACP.

rpm said...

And I offer to help you spend some of those "fruity pebbles". That's my friend's under the radar code word.
Enjoy. We'll be waiting for the range report.

Brian in Florida said...

Woo Hoo. Wirecutter that is awesome. Coold people to toss ya that. Man have fun testing. I am looking forward to a rangereport.

A friend pointed out to me in a casual conversation that my 9mm and 22 had not been fired in years, I have some ammo older than me that I think I will send down range with extreme prejudice.
You do the same brother. Congrats on the Mother Load, I will have to check them out.

angrymike said...

If he sent any. 380 and you don't need it I'll email my address........hehe, I know it's small, but very concealable .........

SierraCheryl III said...

Should you decide to meet with us, bring your ammunition and we can take you to our free outdoor range here. This is not like any other place in California, thank God.

Pakkinpoppa said...

Midway had the "cold tracer" but in the form of inserts to put on the back of a bullet before loading it up. For reloading, it sounded pretty handy. Didn't realize someone was offering them as loaded ammunition yet.

North said...

For the same deal I'll put Mark / PNW Arms on the side bar of the Gun Blog Black List.

Mark? I'm

Brock Townsend said...


Anonymous said...

Golly. I wish my blog mattered enough that people would send me free shit.

wirecutter said...

Fuck, I didn't know mine did! Hope they've made their money back on me though.