Sneak Peek: Lehigh Defense Develops .22LR Ammo with Solid XD Bullets

    Lehigh Defense shared a couple of images on their social media pages showing XD (Xtreme Defense) bullets that they are developing for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. The everyone’s favorite plinking round is primarily available with bare lead and copper or polymer coated projectiles. Probably the only exception of .22LR ammo currently available with non-lead projectiles is CCI Copper-22 which bullets are made of compressed polymer and copper mixture. So if the Lehigh Defense .22 LR XD ammo appears on the shelves, it will most likely be the only .22LR ammo with all-copper solid bullets.

    Lehigh Defense Develops .22LR Ammo with Solid Bullets 1

    Note the heeled .22 LR XD bullets on the loupe. On the left is a 5.7×28 cartridge loaded with XD bullets which may become available soon.

    Here is what Lehigh Defense said in the text accompanying one of the photos they posted which you can see on top of this article.

    We will never stop innovating® This is a great company culture, but it is not easy! Think Eley 22 LR is expensive? Here we are, Rev. 3 (we start at R0) of our 22LR XD. Four designs, programs, setups, loading, testing, handmade dies, etc. Figure around $1,000 per failure and here we have 12 loaded rounds; don’t help me with the math on the cost per round; I do not want to know. The tricks of the trade, a 460 Wby powder “trickler”, tweezers, and a bunch of patience. There is 1.0gr of powder in the Wolf 40gr and we are at 28gr so that means pulling, dumping and weighing. We have the terminal performance down and now honing the accuracy. Maybe this test will get us there? It is a neat project and overall something we have worked on for a few years when we had time. We believe the bullet design is pretty straightforward, the trick is developing a projectile manufacturing process that can get the cost to a justifiable level………..Stay tuned!

    So why would you need solid bullets in .22 LR? I think the primary reason is for being able to hunt in places like California where lead projectiles are prohibited for hunting. The design of XD bullets may also result in terminal performance unseen before in .22 LR with just right penetration and massive permanent wound cavities as the company claims when describing the Xtreme Defense bullet design in general.

    Tell us in the comments section what do you think about Lehigh Defense .22 LR XD ammo. Is it something you would give a shot? If yes, what are the applications you think this ammo will shine in and what cost per round do you think is justifiable?

    Images by Lehigh Defense

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    Hrachya H

    Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience. Hrachya also writes for
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