[NRA 2018] Underwood Ammunition

Mike R
by Mike R

One of the more interesting booths I came across at the 2018 NRA Expo was UNDERWOOD AMMUNITION. Based out of Sparta Illinois, they produce over a million rounds a month. They focus on pistol ammunition but have some great rifle rounds. I took a particular interest in the “Penetrator” round, a creation coming out of a partnership with Lehigh Defense™. The solid copper round is not designed to expand, but to penetrate and disperse energy into the target tissue. Another excellent design feature is a minimal surface on the barrel. This leads to less resistance, a faster bullet, and a decrease in barrel wear. The Underwood Ammunition “Penetration” round promises a 100% increase in permanent wound cavity. This compares to expanding bullets, even after the penetration of barriers. In addition, they promise reliable and consistent magazine feeding.

Their nickel plated casings are created using the newer Ducta-Bright 7a process. This creates a longer lasting case that can be reloaded and is more tolerable of hotter loads. Additionally, the casing is less brittle and corrosion resistant. As an avid reloader, I find this exceptionally relevant, as I despise cleaning live rounds. My usual default is “just shoot ’em”.

All Underwood Ammunition is loaded with “flash suppressed” powder, minimizing changes to your night vision. None of us want to be in a situation of being forced to fire at night, but I find this to be a very thoughtful feature.

Not being familiar with Underwood Ammunition, I spent some time surfing the web. There I found two consistent patterns. The first was that people had not ever heard of them or fired their rounds. The second was over-whelming praise from those who had. A few people had even commented on the owner answering the phone when they contacted the company. After I spent some time with the owner at the booth, I was not surprised. He believes in his product and enjoys discussing it.


Although I would not normally recommend a self-defense ammunition without first firing it, I would at this point say to check it out–I plan to. The effort put into the design of the projectile and the focus of tissue cavitation makes me already a bit of a fan. Pair that with excellent customer service, an owner who geeks out on producing a great product, and you have something worth trying.

You can see all of their offerings at: https://underwoodammo.com/

Mike R
Mike R

Mike spent his entire adult life riding an ambulance throughout the Southwest US. He found humor in long in-depth philosophical conversations with crack heads and other urban street survivalists. His highest point was being invited to instruct for some "special" medics in the military. He spent almost 10 years there. A 30 year gun enthusiast, he started down the path of reloading to keep up with his desperate need of more ammo. Reloading is like medicine, you never stop learning.He can generally be found at the local range picking the brains of the old timer, looking for brass, and banging away at gongs. He reloads everything from .32 to .45, .223 to 7 rem mag.

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