US Army’s M1153 Special Purpose 9mm Hollow Point Ammo Tested

    US Army's M1153 Special Purpose 9mm Hollow Point Ammo Tested (1)

    Photo credit: Bufman - R.A.N.G.E. YouTube channel

    M1152 Ball and M1153 Special Purpose 9x19mm cartridges have been adopted by the US military along with the MHS handguns (M17 and M18). The M1152 is loaded with a 115-grain full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet and the M1153 Special Purpose cartridge utilizes a 147-grain jacketed hollow point (JHP) projectile. The intended use for the M1153 ammo is the situations where overpenetration is a concern, to minimize the collateral damage. Contrary to popular belief, not all hollow point cartridges are banned for military use – the US military has this option for their handguns and apparently, it does not violate any conventions.

    M1153 Special Purpose shown at 2017 Association of the United States Army annual meeting (Nathaniel F)

    M1153 Special Purpose ammo first shown at the 2017 Association of the United States Army annual meeting (Nathaniel F).

    While the M1152 Ball ammo is actually available on the civilian market in the form of Winchester Active Duty ammunition, the M1153 does not have a civilian counterpart. It looks similar to Winchester Ranger T-Series LE ammo, however, reportedly, it is not identical. Matt, the host of the Bufman – R.A.N.G.E. YouTube channel, managed to get his hands on two M1153 Special Purpose 9mm rounds and took them to the range to chronograph the velocities and test the terminal performance in ballistic gel. Let’s watch the video.

    As mentioned in the video, many sources state that this ammunition is loaded to pressures exceeding 39K psi or even close to 40K psi. For example, an American Rifleman article mentions that “The pressures for the M1152 and M1153 are 39,700 p.s.i.“. For comparison, the SAAMI Maximum Average Pressure for 9mm +P ammo is 38,500 psi.

    US Army's New M1153 Special Purpose 9mm Hollow Point Ammo Tested (3)

    Photo credit: Bufman – R.A.N.G.E. YouTube channel

    Overall, it looks like the tested M1153 cartridges performed well, however, the data from only two tested rounds isn’t probably enough to come to conclusions concerning the reliability and consistency of any particular cartridge or load. Tell us in the comments section what do you think about the performance of the Army’s new JHP ammo? Would you like to see these available on the civilian market? Have you used the Winchester Active Duty M1152 ammo?

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    Hrachya H

    Managing Editor

    Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. He also writes for and
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