Winchesters New Train and Defend Ammunition

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During today’s Media Day at the range I stopped by the Winchester booth and had a look at the new ammo lineup.

They have some interesting ammunition coming out this year. As most of you recognize when a new shooter is being trained they will do well with training ammunition but be shooting all over the place with personal protection ammunition. The student also has trouble with the recoil not only as it relates to accuracy but it can also hurt the new shooters hand. This can cause some to give up on the idea of shooting. That person may also go ahead and carry without the needed training.

The new “Train & Defend” ammo is made to solve this problem. What Winchester has done is make training ammunition with a jacketed flatnose as well as a copper jacketed hollowpoint. Sounds pretty normal doesn’t it. Well the difference is both rounds have the same weight bullet with the same powder charge so that whether the shooter fires the training ammo or personal protection ammunition the recoil is the same as is the point of aim point of impact.

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In my view this is a big step forward allowing a new shooter to train with the jacketed flatpoint and carry the defense ammo knowing the recoil and point of aim will be the same. This cures the flinch many new shooters display when they shoot defense ammo. Not only is this a valid concern but from a cost standpoint they won’t break the bank having to practice with both types of ammo. They can train with the practice ammo and just buy a box or two of protection ammo and save a fair amount of money especially if they intend to practice a good deal.

Honestly I don’t know why someone hasn’t come up with this idea before. Available calibers will be 38 special, 9mm and 40 S&W. I did ask about 45 acp and was told they have no current plans to produce a 45acp selection. I could only think of one reason and that’s the lack of ability to make a practice and defense ammo load with the same bullet weight and velocity.

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I did shoot some of this ammo and had the safety officer load the gun mixing types so I would know which I was shooting. It turns out I couldn’t tell any difference between the two. If you train new shooters this would be a round to consider.


Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • Anton Gray Basson

    Now that is a stellar concept

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Agreed and the retail will be around the low $20’s for practice and personal protection ammo about two dollars more.

  • derfelcadarn

    A “shooter”, especially those shooting for defensive purposes that finds the recoil from ANY 38spl ammo excessive is not serious about living through the encounter. Also at the ranges the vast majority defensive shooting occurs the point of impact between practice and defense ammo is moot. Shoot what you shoot well, even the 22lr shot well is deadly and the 454 casull shot badly is useless and either are significant improvements over golf clubs and umbrellas.

    • Nicks87

      “A shooter that finds the recoil from ANY 38spl ammo excessive is not serious about living through the encounter”

      That is an arrogant and asinine statment. I’ve trained and shot with folks who have disabilities and are recoil sensitive. Trust me, they are very serious about living through a defensive shooting encounter. What you consider excessive and what someone else considers excessive are two completely different things. People that are recovering from hand/wrist surgeries or are suffering from musculoskeletal disorders or diseases may require light recoiling loads to train with and for personal protection. Telling them they are limited to carrying something chambered in 22lr is just not exceptable. 22lr is not a reliable defensive cartridge regardless of its many attributes/track record. Your statement sounds like something that a youtube commando would say right before he empties a 30 round magazine into a zombie target as fast as he can pull the trigger from about 7 feet away because we all know thats the average distance that all defensive shootings take place.

    • Nicks87

      “A shooter that finds the recoil from ANY 38spl ammo excessive is not serious about living through the encounter”

      That is an arrogant and asinine statment. I’ve trained and shot with folks who have disabilities and are recoil sensitive. Trust me, they are very serious about living through a defensive shooting encounter. What you consider excessive and what someone else considers excessive are two completely different things. People that are recovering from hand/wrist surgeries or are suffering from musculoskeletal disorders or diseases may require light recoiling loads to train with and for personal protection. Telling them they are limited to carrying something chambered in 22lr is just not exceptable. 22lr is not a reliable defensive cartridge regardless of its many attributes/track record. Your statement sounds like something that a youtube commando would say right before he empties a 30 round magazine into a zombie target as fast as he can pull the trigger from about 7 feet away because we all know thats the average distance that all defensive shootings take place.

      • Dan

        I am pretty sure he is talking about the average shooter, not the minority. Recoil for the most part is mindset and stance, and far to many shooters not hampered by medical or physical conditions choose lighter calibers assuming they can be sloppier with it and still work it out.
        Also note, never did he say that those who cant handle recoil should shoot .22. He said whatever caliber you decide, shoot well (train with it). Far too many have what I call the “12 gauge defense” mindset. That is, like the myth that a 12 gauge can clear a room without aiming, if you choose the right caliber it will compensate for any lack of skills.

        • Nicks87

          “Recoil for the most part is mindset and stance”

          -Sure it is but if it hurts your hand you are going to try and mitigate it, right?

          “if you choose the right caliber it will compensate for any lack of skills.”

          -Isnt that what he’s saying?

          How are those zombie targets working out for ya?

  • Mattitude

    Actually Winchester has been selling a training & personal defense round for over 5 years now called the SXZ through an exclusive deal with Bass Pro Shops. Same concept with ballistically matched projectiles (training is a FMJ FP, defense is a HP) that have identical performance (velocity, trajectory & accuracy) with their Lubalox black coating. I used to buy them until the Bass Pro priced them considerably higher than comparable practice ammunition. I still have 4-5 boxes of .45 ACP personal defense and 2-3 boxes of 9mm personal defense rounds and the advantage is that they come in 50 round boxes.

    http://www.basspro.com/Winchester-SXZ-Personal-Protection-and-Training-System-Handgun-Ammo/product/100834/

    • Felix

      This. I posted my comment before finding this one. This is not even new for Winchester, I think they are branding differently to get around whatever obligation they have with Bass Pro.

  • Anonymous

    More idiocy from Winchester. The difference in point of aim and point of impact from one brand of FMJ to another of JHP is virtually irrelevant for defensive shooting. If you’re a competition shooter, it matters. When you’re selling someone a carry pistol, and they might shoot 50-100 rounds per year, the difference from one type of projectile to another is irrelevant in light of their overall skill level and ability to place rounds on target, on demand. And the idea of wedding oneself to a single load for carry, and a single load for practice, is even more ridiculous in a market environment where shooters are forced to buy any and all ammo that will chamber in their weapon, due to the utter lack of availability and selection.

  • Scott

    Yeah, Speer has Gold Dot and Lawman loads that do the same thing, and has for years (maybe a decade or more). That’s a big Winchester Whoopee. Wake me when they’re done with their ‘innovation’.

    • floppyscience

      This is exactly what I thought of when I read this article. Speer might have beaten them to it but this is still a good idea and something I wish more ammo manufacturers would explore.

    • PGT_Mini

      concur with that…Speer has done it for a long time

  • Cymond
  • MOG

    I just bought Winchester FMJ “target” rounds in .380, 95 gr., 50 round box. Inexpensive at that. I have not tried them yet in the Bersa .380, but, so far my experience with the Bersa over the last 5 or 6 years, is, it will fire an old tennis shoe if you can stuff it in the chamber. Any target I may have to shoot is not going to know much difference either. My primary load is Federal Hydra-Shok 90 gr. Having choices is wonderful. (My other gun is a 12 gauge).

  • torr10

    I hate people trying to pass themselves off as professional writer’s when they don’t proofread. If you make simple mistakes when plying your trade, how can we trust your ability to do adequate research without making simple mistakes and invalidating your findings? And ol’ Phil here is the SENIOR WRITER? Wow….think it’s time for me to unsubscribe…..

    • FourString

      Typo’s and valid research are independent of each other, especially in this modern age of information where getting the right information to readers quicker than anyone else (i.e. the very concept of a BLOG to begin with) is far more vital than mistakes/typo’s made on the fly, i.e. on a smartphone. DUH

      Unsubscribe but it’s your loss. I’ve found theFirearmBlog to be one of the best firearm news blogs on the net, if not *the* best because of its no-politics no-nonsense approach.

  • Zebra Dun

    Even dirty harry used light loads in his Mag M-29 I use a light load in my firearms because muzzle blast, illuminating the area and missing are less effective than a light load that does hit.
    The bullets could be semi wadcutters flat point and FMJ as far as I care at not more than 800 fps.

    • FourString

      Yea I always found that it was a little funny/funky that Callahan used up-pressured .44 specials when he always delivered one-liners containing the word “Magnum” in it Lol.

  • Felix

    Isn’t this the same as their SVX, or XSV, or ZVS, or whatever the hell it is that they sell only through Bass Pro? Are they re-branding that so they can sell it at other retailers?