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Self Defense Ammo Review:
Winchester Ranger
Partition Gold 40

By Dan S. Defense

We all want the very best self defense ammunition. While we want it as insurance, law enforcement officers need it to survive. This is where the Winchester Ranger ammo line comes into play.

Winchester Ranger ammo is designed for law enforcement and it's legal for civilians. The 40 S&W cartridge was built specifically for law enforcement, based on data from the FBI. So what happens when you combine the two? You get strong self defense ammo. But is that ammo really the best for you? In this article we'll look at the performance and capabilities of the Winchester Ranger Partition Gold in 40 S&W cartridge. We'll see if it's really best for self defense carry and/or home defense.

The Winchester Ranger ammo line is designed for law enforcement. The 40 S&W cartridge was built for law enforcement. It seems a match made in heaven. The Winchester Ranger Partition Gold ammunition offers operators, law enforcement or someone like you, what Winchester describes as "Proven partition technology, with consistent, dramatic bullet expansion, deep penetration regardless of barrel length, and maximum weight retention". In essentials Winchester tells us that this bullet with mushroom properly and retain its weigh after it hits the target.

The Winchester Ranger Partition Gold line comes in 40 S&W and 9mm. The 40 S&W cartridge has a bullet weight of 160 grains, which is somewhat smaller than the 180 grains Winchester Ranger T-Series 40 S&W bullet. The Partition Gold bullet has a led interior which is divided into two sections, which make up the partition that controls expansion, upon entering a target.

This Partition Gold 40 S&W bullet comes with high velocity. When it leaves the muzzle of a handgun, it travels at 1140 fps (feet per second) and at 100 feet the bullet still travels at 989 fps. For context, at 100 feet this 40 S&W bullet travels faster than a 45 ACP Winchester Ranger T-series out of the muzzle!

That high velocity translates to high energy on impact. When a Winchester Ranger Partition Gold hits its intended target, it produces 476 ft-lb (energy in foot pounds) at the muzzle and 409 ft-lbs at a distance of 50 feet. Again, more than a 45 ACP Winchester Ranger T-Series bullet at the muzzle. That's a whole lot of energy.

The performance of the 40 S&W Partition Gold bullet is impressive but it comes at a price. This cartridge produces sharp recoil and some muzzle flash. Shooting this ammunition at the range will produce a loud snap and send the case flying out with smoke. If the booth is small, expect at least one of the cases to land on you, which being red hot. While it's possible to shoot accurately, even with double taps, it takes significant effort and generates friction in your strong arm.

In summary, while this is truly a high performing round, the recoil produced by the Partition Gold round affects accuracy. It will also affect your ability to sustain long practice sessions. You should look hard at this round and fire at least two boxes at the range before deciding to carry it. I'd submit that the Winchester Ranger T-Series might work better for self defense and/or home defense. Now it is up to you to decide. Test this Winchester Ranger 40 S&W round and let us know what you think.

Until next time, stay safe by staying alert!
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