“Duty ammunition needs to be able to penetrate heavy barriers without over-penetrating soft tissue,” says Shovel. “Training ammunition should simulate duty ammunition as close as possible.”
Down the line
Thompson says, “The most noticeable trend right now is the lack of ability to find ammo. Period. Buy what you can, when you can with today’s climate. Ammo is going to continue to be hard to find for another few years.”
Some of these new offerings may be worth investigating—not just for what they are not, but for how well they hold up in practice. Still, talk about materials and performance is a moot point if agencies still can’t get their hands on the stuff they need for training and duty, or if it is generally unaffordable.
During a recent ammo purchase Sgt. Stires commented rifle ammunition is now readily available; however, he found handgun rounds in 9mm, .40, and .45 are still on about a six-month back-order. Lead-free may be a viable alternative to full metal jacket training rounds…if the price is right.
“The advantages of shooting on steel plates in our own building used to justify the higher cost of lead-free frangible rounds,” says Stires, “but the increasing costs are becoming concerning, and I find myself scheduling training shoots at outdoor venues to allow more training for the same cost.