Recently I started a two-part review of Liberty ammunition’s Civil Defense round. Part 1 can be read here. A +P defensive load zipping out around 2150 FPS, this diminutive 50gr bullet looks impressive. I had some doubts during my first range day as my chronograph was recording high variability in the velocity. This manifested in an extreme spread (ES) of 216 fps and a standard deviation (SD) of 87.5 fps. This led to inconsistent groups as well. I took the ammo out to another range a couple of weeks later to see if it would fare any better the second time around.
First, I measured up some “white box” ammo as a control group to compare against. Average velocity was 1167 fps with an ES of 85 and SD of 34.8. I ran a number of firing strings through the chrono using the Liberty ammo and came up with average velocities of 2145, 2171 and 2167 fps respectively. The SD’s were 12, 21 and 28 fps. Extreme spreads came in at 33, 52 and 75 fps. This is markedly more consistent than the last time I took the Civil Defense ammo out and ran it through the chrono.
I didn’t shoot for groups this time, opting instead for a more lively pace and reactive targets. As Halloween just ended there were plenty of pumpkins lying around at my rock pit of choice. I had no trouble hitting the 8″ pumpkin at 50 yards during hasty draw and shoot drills. Likewise, slow-paced shooting at 100 yards netted easy hits on a 6″ pumpkin. It should be noted that despite a match trigger, the Glock 17 used for testing is still running stock sights. Dented and dinged stock sights. Notorious stock sights. Liberty advertises “twice the effective range of traditional ammo”. During this range session, I believed it. I was nailing everything I aimed at out to 100 yards. With such a high velocity, I really wasn’t holding over much at all. Normally at 100 yards with a handgun, I’m imagining myself throwing a football at the target to help guide my holdover.
I promised to do some poor mans ballistic testing in my last article. I lined up three milk jugs full of water a few times and shot dead center. Each time, the bullet penetrated the first jug centered and passed into the second jug at an angle before departing the second jug out the side. I set up the jugs a few times and this kept happening. I ran out of jugs before long and wasn’t able to recover a single fired round. I did recover a few sheared petals, as pictured below.
Pumpkins, bearing almost no similarity to mammalian tissue, nevertheless provided dramatic results. Each round left a nice, small entry channel and a significant exit hole. One can expect the all-copper round to be deforming significantly inside the target, having hit at such a high velocity.
My first range trip showed inconsistent projectile velocity and poor groups. This was true out of multiple guns. My second showed much more consistent velocities and dead-on accuracy. Despite being a +P round, the light projectile means recoil feels light and mild. I did get more blowback than normal when shooting suppressed, which is normal for a +P round. My first range trip was a single box of 50 rounds whereas my second trip was closer to 300 rounds. I’m really starting to feel like I had one inconsistent box followed by six good ones. On my second range trip the Liberty round was far more consistent. As I got further into my 300 rounds on that second trip, the more I started to be a believer in the Liberty Civil Defense round. This is an easy shooting round and gave me zero troubles in hitting all the targets I engaged. The holes blown in the pumpkins were impressive for a light 9mm round. At $26.49 for a box of 50, I’d definitely give them a shot here.
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