Engel Ballistic Research Selling LE Ammo to Commercial Market

Many hunters see the value in a hunt with the benefit of quiet – or at least quieter – shots. The combination of suppressor and subsonic ammunition is a fantastic one for hunting. Of course not all subsonic rounds are created equal. If you’re in the market for subsonic ammunition you might be interested in this. Engel Ballistic Research – EBR – is now going to be selling their subsonic and frangible rounds on the commercial market.

EBR has been manufacturing subsonic and frangible rounds for members of law enforcement and the military for some time now. They only recently decided to broaden their marketing horizons. They made their hunting market debut by showing the rounds to members of the media at the annual conference for the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers this fall. According to EBR CEO John Knox, it was a hit – literally. “We had a .300 Win Mag bolt-action rifle shooting our subsonic rounds with a suppressor, and it opened several people’s eyes to the functionality and benefits. The media members didn’t need hearing protection, there was little-to-no recoil, and they were able to accurately place a 220-grain projectile, traveling at 1,000 feet-per-second, on a 100-yard target time and time again. I think it excited a lot of people. Being able to offer an accurate, proven round in conjunction with noise and recoil reduction is something we feel hunters and target shooters will appreciate. EBR’s mission-specific ammunition has a place in the big-game hunting community.”

Knox said the ammunition is military-grade and utilized by shooters around the globe. Engel apparently added the expanding and frangible rounds to their product lineup this past year. Among the rounds being offered is a 475 grain 12 gauge round. The slug expands to 1.4325″ on impact within the first inch of soft tissue penetration. Muzzle velocity is 1250 feet per second and the company lists its accuracy as reliable up to 100 yards.

Other rounds being offered by Engel in the subsonic category – both expanding and not – include .300 BLK, .223 Rem, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, 7.62x39mm, and .44 Magnum. For a complete list visit the company’s website at http://ebrammo.com/.

TFB Staffer

TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.


  • derfelcadarn

    You buy a .44 mag. handgun so that it can sound like a .22, hit like a .38 spl and be the length of a lever action carbine(with suppressor). Is this line of thought making sense to you ?

  • Dracon1201

    Why in the hell would you buy a .300 win mag to shoot subsonics? For .30 cal subsonics the .300blk makes more sense. Same bullet weight, fits in an AR, same velocity…

    Sorry, but it’s just really stupid.

    • Sianmink

      You don’t always need to reach out with a .300 winmag, and it’s a flexible platform. Not everyone wants a semiauto all the time.

      • Dracon1201

        My point is, if you want a subsonic platform, why would you reach for something like a .300 win mag, which gives you no appreciable accuracy difference, subsonically, is more expensive, gives you no more range, is limited in capability, and needs a redial of the scope in changing to supersonic. It really makes no sense, and I don’t even like .300blk. Sorry, it’s just really stupid.

        • Sianmink

          I think it comes to platform flexibility, you can just have one good .300 winmag rifle instead of 3 or 4 different rifles, and police agencies especially really like that. They can have one really good marksman rifle system for the same price as three okay ones.

          • Dracon1201

            It’s simply down to trying to get a rifle to do everything, and then realizing that it doesn’t do what you intended it for. It’ll be fine for supersonics, but there are other things that do subsonic better. No one will be switching ammo from subsonic to supersonic (or vice versa) in the field, especially considering the margin for error associated with police precision shooting. The last thing you will want to remember when responding is “did I have this zeroed for supersonics or subsonics.” I would also not want to worry about having to grab the correct ammo. Having 2 completely different cartridges would fix that. You would have better luck with 2 separate systems made for specific rounds. I can see why the idea of one system appeals for cost, but it’s the same gimmick as caliber conversion kits; no one actually switches in the field, or carries additional ammo. You pick one per rifle and stick with it.

          • Sianmink

            Your 300 meter zero may not matter much for the 30 meter urban shot you’re actually going to take with any subsonics, so long as you know what your point of impact offset is ahead of time. You know you need to come up 20 clicks, say, and you’re good to go.
            I mean you’re right, but I don’t think it’s as big an issue as you might think.
            Now, for the general market, I don’t see much point here. Anyone shooting winmag probably rolls their own anyway.

          • Dracon1201

            Yeah, I just don’t know when Millimeters count if I want to count on that. You may be right, it might not be a big deal, but I’m a bit of a min-maxer when performance counts.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Maybe if they had some new +300gr expanding bullet that a Blackout cartridge couldn’t handle it might make more sense (though why not just in a subsonic .308 round?), but that 175gr bullet is nonsense and the 220gr round nose pills look exactly like the cheap Sierras that I load for .30-40 Krag.

          • The thing is that most legacy rifles won’t have barrels with twists fast enough to stabilize superheavy lead core projectiles. They can kind of get away with using the 220gr roundnose since it is shorter that an equivalent weight spitzer. However, I suspect they are pushing their luck with cold weather stability with a 1/10″ twist and subsonic velocity.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Sounds like a perfectly ridiculous excu… err, reasonable justification for getting a Desert Tech SRS. Or a new upper with a custom Krieger barrel for that LMT that killed last year’s budget.

  • Sianmink

    We need more good expanding subsonic .300 BLK rounds so, nice.

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      Getting reliable expansion in subsonic is pretty finicky in my experience. What bullets do they use?

      • Giolli Joker

        Lehigh seems to have a good line of expanding subsonic, but unfortunately I can’t say I tested them myself.

        • G.Banas

          I have taken several deer over the past 4 years with a 300 Whisper bolt 1-8 twist w/ Gemtech suppressor using Lehigh 175 gr. Originally I had to drop my own .17 pellet in the nose cavity but my last order came with the .17 in place. Allow me to say that they DO work – aim at the heart and the deer goes no more than 3 or 4 steps. Massive internal damage.
          Working the bolt quickly literally makes more sound than the discharge .
          IF these are significantly less expensive than Lehigh I might give them a try, otherwise I have a proven commodity.

          • Giolli Joker

            Good! I really like Lehigh, I’m glad to know it’s not hollow marketing.

      • Sianmink

        They look very similar to the Lehigh Defense designs, but the Lehigh is four-lobed and a little lighter.

  • That nasty looking 12 gauge slug is $24 for 5 shells.

    • DAN V.

      Its like a flesh parachute

      • Edeco

        That’s what she said.

    • iksnilol

      I think the Hexolit32 is better… and incredibly it might be cheaper as well.

  • Here’s the problem with that wicked looking Expanding Slug. This is what happens when Non-Shotgunners dabble in Shotguns.
    This is seemingly branded as a slug for Tactical use. But it requires a Rifled Bore. Almost all shotguns used for tactical applications are 14″ to 20″ Smooth Bores.
    Which means the uninitiated shotgunner is going to buy these slugs, thinking they are the cat’s meow, and are going to be left wondering why these slugs are innaccurate, keyhole printing failures.
    Had Engel taken these slugs and simple screwed on a cork base or similar and turned it into a Brenneke type slug, this load would indeed be the Bee’s Knees.

    • Anomanom

      Check out DDupleks Dupo 28 and Hexolit 32 for rounds with similar effect but designed well for smoothbore guns.

  • iksnilol

    I’d like the slug if it was subsonic and intended for short barrels (something like an 8 inch barrel). Otherwise the long barrel length limits how useful it is.

    I think I’d stick to Hexolit 32 for fancy shotgun ammo.