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Winchester Ranger T Series Ammunition Review

By Dan S. Defense

Rock Solid Reliable and Highly Potent Law Enforcement and Self Defense Ammunition

The Winchester manufacturer of ammunition is well-recognized for its varied and highly reliable line of ammo. To many, Winchester is a name synonymous with performance and quality. While most folks are familiar with the Winchester white box range ammo line, few people know or understand the powerful Winchester Ranger Law Enforcement ammo line.

The Winchester Ranger line is used by countless law enforcement agencies as well as federal government agencies and people serious about self defense. This article will discuss the Winchester Ranger T-Series 45 ACP ammo line, examining the different options and detailing the differences and advantages of each Winchester Ranger option. We'll also look at real life testing for penetration and expansion.

The Winchester Ranger 45 ACP line can be divided into two main categories, the Ranger T-Series and the Ranger Bonded line. Here we will examine the more common Winchester Ranger T-Series first. If you find it interesting and would like to see coverage of the Bonded line, just leave comments to that affect.

The origin of the T-series began with the famous or infamous Talon line that started as general self defense ammo and later pulled off the market after being demonized by the media. In reality, the Black Talon wasn't a very effective bullet because it didn't expand as expected, especially after encountering a few layers of denim. Because it failed to expand, it acted as a FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) round instead of a proper JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point).

Fortunately, Winchester invested significant resources in analyzing the problems of the Black Talon and later developed the SXT line which turned out to be far superior to the Black Talon. The T-Series continues the legacy as advanced self defense ammo coveted by law enforcement and serious individuals.

The Winchester Ranger T-Series utilizes a reverse taper jacket design that manages to produce consistent and reliable bullet expansion through several test barriers. Whether the barrier be denim or a car's windshield or dry wall or even steel, the advanced Winchester Ranger ammo penetrates and expands in a consistent and impressive manner.

In addition to these critical properties, the Winchester Ranger line offer excellent accuracy with smooth feeding in any good handgun. Reliability is legendary and is the direct result of the highest quality standards. It is said that if a single bullet in a batch of 1,000 rounds fails, the entire batch is disqualified from the Ranger line and is tagged as "Q" or seconds which is fine for training and range work.

The Winchester Ranger T-Series comes in two flavors, the maximum regular pressure round which is labeled as the Winchester Ranger RA45T and the extra pressure, +P line which is labeled as RA45TP. Both bullets share the same 230gr weight but the difference in pressure produce significant differences in velocity and energy.

In velocity, which is FPS (Feet Per Second), the RA45T starts with 885 fps out of the muzzle of a 5" barrel and then hits 867 fps at 50ft and 818 fps at 100ft. The +P version starts out of the muzzle at 990 fps and then hits 937 fps at 25ft and 894 fps at 100ft. It means that the +P bullets travels faster at 100ft than the regular pressure round out of the barrel.

This translates to more energy, which is measured in ft-lb (Foot Pounds). At 100ft the +P bullet produces 410 ft-lbs while the regular pressure bullet generates only 342 ft-lbs at 100ft. The trade-off for this added power is recoil and while the regular pressure Winchester Ranger has a nice kick to it, the +P kicks like a small mule. You need to be sure you can maintain high level of accuracy with the bullet of your choice and keep in mind that both types of bullet are exceptionally potent.

For example, the T-Series will penetrate heavy clothing as far as 12.3" and expand 0.75" while retaining 100% of its initial weight with perfect expansion. The +P bullet will penetrate 15.7" and expand 0.78" against the same type of barrier. You can view the entire set of tests as well as see the recovered bullet under this excellent Winchester ammo test tool.

The Winchester Ranger T-Series is professional grade self defense ammunition. It is used by law enforcement and federal agencies and it meets or exceeds the stringent FBI bullet requirements. The Winchester Ranger line offers excellent penetration and expansion and it is ammunition I use in several of my self defense handguns. I hope you found this review to be informative and interesting. Your feedback is most welcome.

Until next time, stay safe by staying alert.


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