At SHOT Show this year, Gorilla Ammunition unveiled its new Silverback line of solid copper hollow point self-defense ammo. It’s available in .380 ACP, 9×19, .45 ACP, and .300 BLK. Except for the .380, each caliber is offered in a couple bullet weights and expansion styles, all of them featuring 100% copper, CNC’d projectiles. I got my hands on a few boxes of .380 and both types of 9mm, and figured I’d put it through some brief testing.

The 95 grain .380 showed up first, and they’re certainly impressive looking little buggers. As close to the old joke about “flying ashtrays” as I’ve seen from a .380, that’s for sure. Hard to miss the huge hollow point cavity and the unique groove machined into the bullet around its circumference. That groove is actually pretty handy for plucking the rounds out of the container, but the real reason it’s there is apparently to ensure reliable and consistent expansion.

Compared to the Fiocchi Extrema (uses a 90 grain Hornady XTP projectile) on the left and the Federal Hydra-Shok on the right, the Silverback round is obviously shorter. My guess is that, more often than not, this will facilitate feeding in many of the pocket .380 pistols on the market that are known to be somewhat picky eaters. Just a guess, though. We’ll talk about how it ran in my Taurus TCP later on.

Looking down at the business ends of the Fiocchi Extrema, Gorilla Silverback, and Federal Hydra-Shok. The Silverback is clearly the cleanest, most consistent looking of the bunch, for whatever that’s worth.

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