PMC Reintroduces Starfire Line

Starfire 9mm Luger

PMC Ammunition announced that the company was reintroducing the Starfire line of ammunition in 2017. The new loads are said to improve both expansion and penetration. Additionally, the company specially worked the load of the 9mm to make it “completely reliable” in full auto firearms in addition to semi-automatic handguns.

The new ammo will be available in the following calibers:

  • .380 ACP
  • .38 Special +P
  • .357 Magnum
  • 9mm
  • .40 S&W
  • .44 Magnum
  • .45 ACP

The new loads are easily distinguished from the old by the use of blue packaging on the current manufactured stuff. Think blue=new.

If you are not familiar with the Starfire line, it has been around for several decades. The bullet was designed by Tom Burczynski. Burczynski is the designer of several major bullet designs including the Hydra-Shok, Expanding Full Metal Jacket and HST used by Federal. He also designed the Remington Black Belt bullet and others.

Starfire bullet

The Starfire bullet design uses a deep hollow point with ribs and flutes to create what PMC calls hyper-expansion. In theory, the Starfire will expand up to 2x its original diameter. Average penetration depths of the bullet run from 9″-14″ depending on caliber.

In the late 90’s my former police department issued this round in .40 S&W. From our Glock 22 pistols, it ran very reliably and testing showed good penetration and expansion. Other than dispatching the occasional deer on the side of the highway, we were never forced to use it in the “real world” before we transitioned to the 155gr Speer Gold Dot.

I can’t help but wonder if this round would be a more popular cartridge if one of the big ammo companies had licensed the design.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • nova3930

    9″-14″ of penetration seems a little shallow…..

    • Suppressed

      “Depending on caliber”

      I’ve never looked at .380 ballistics but I’m goirng to (potentially incorrectly) assume it doesn’t travel as deep as a faster and heavier round would.

      • nova3930

        yeah, I’d expect 380 to be shallow. Hornady CD is about the best 380 HP and it just barely hits 12-13″ consistently.

        I’m more concerned that the range doesn’t overlap much with the 12-18″ FBI standard. 2″ over overlap on the high end….

      • nova3930

        Honestly I think that range has to be a mistake somewhere along the way. Even pretty poorly designed 9mm HPs will do in the 15″ range….

    • JSmath

      The greater a bullet’s diameter is, the less it will penetrate. That’s exactly why poorly designed 9mm HP’s penetrate further – they don’t expand as much, so they don’t expend as much energy per inch of penetration. It’s easier to push a needle through a piece of fabric than it is a golf ball. What might seem shallow is reflective of successful expansion to uncommonly large diameters for caliber. Too much expansion has its own negative side effects, too, obviously.

  • Hoplopfheil

    Cool! But what I really want is aluminum cased Blazer JHPs.

  • Brian Fulmer

    Good load in 357 Magnum and 45 ACP 15 years ago, haven’t bought any since then. Gold Dot kinda took over my premium ammo role.

  • JSmath

    “Other than dispatching deer on the side of the highway…”

    I take that as anecdotal evidence that it achieves sufficient penetration and wounding through living tissue?

    • Nashvone

      But what was that deer wearing?

      • Paul White

        Probably a bumper.