Ammo Inc - Jesse James Black Label

I noticed today on MidwayUSA a new line of ammo from a company I hadn’t ever heard of before - Ammo Inc., out of Scottsdale, AZ, with a production facility in Payson, AZ. Their Payson production plant is in fact the same one which used to be the facility for AMI / ATAC, makers of HPR ammo (who are now in some sort of legal limbo and might be out of business after some sort of failed attempt at relocating to Tennessee).

Ammo Inc. is run by multi-millionaire former Nascar marketting guru Fred Wagenhals and has a licensing deal with Jesse James of custom motorcycle building fame, for a line of rifle & pistol ammo with Jesse’s name & branding on the boxes. I see two variants - the “Black Label” line which is jacketed hollow points for the pistol calibers with cases that have been either coated with black oxide by Cleveland Black Oxide or maybe dark nickeled by Advanced Plating Technology. Also the “TML” line looks like the same thing, but without the black coating. Hopefully they have custom headstamps - I just ordered some and it should arrive in a few days. They do .300 Blackout and .223 in rifle calibers also.

I called Bobby Davis the head of economic development for Payson, and he confirmed that this company is a new & different group of people / owners from the old AMI HPR manufacturers, and not just a rebranding or restructuring. Though they may have some relationship, who knows. The black coating is obviously reminiscent of the HPR “Black Ops” line which AMI had been doing. Their website at http://www.ammo-inc.com/ doesn’t really show any products, just vague info about the company.

I noticed on the Ammo Inc Facebook page that they show a headstamp of their 10mm case. And something you dont usually see - an original drafting image of the plan for that headstamp -

Their Facebook page has existed since Oct, 2016. Also interesting is that earlier on, around that time they show some photos of Jesse James promoting for them at a show with HPR graphics in the booth (when I was told that Ammo Inc. was supposed to be a new company that had nothing to do with AMI & HPR ammo other than occupying their old factory). So the exact relationship between ATAC / AMI and this new venture in the same Payson plant is something weird that I will continue to try and figure out.

And just to throw a little more intrigue into the strange mix that is this new venture - the marketing manager and top executive at this new company is one Jay Grdina, known for his legendary career in the pornography industry, and for being the former husband of adult film star Jenna Jamison. Phew…

DK - any clue where to get this ammo. It appeals to my Life
Membership in SASS :-)

John Moss

It certainly has a SASS style to it, but it’s all full power self-defense ammo as far as I have seen. MidwayUSA has a full selection of it, and their shipping costs are reasonable. I certainly hope that the calibers other than 10mm have custom headstamp as well, and I assume they will.

DK - Thanks. I will look up on Midway’s site. My comment
on SASS was just based on the “Jesse James” name, not the actual
calibers and types of ammo they sell. Just my own weird sense of
humor. :-)

John M.

Here are some image scans of the 9mm Jesse James Black Label ammo & box. The back and side of box for 9mm are shown. It has the Jesse James headstamp. I also had ordered the standard “TML” versions of some 9mm, .38spl, and .300 Blackout - but they were a mix of HPR, JAG, and T&M headstamps. In seeing the HPR headstamp on the .300 Blackout and in seeing the mention of “Hyperclean” technology on the box (formerly an exclusive HPR thing), it seems clear that Ammo Inc has at least purchased the rights and / or equipment & parts left over from AMI / ATAC as related to HPR branded ammo, perhaps the entire company. At least as of some time not long after the above show photo of Jesse James in an HPR booth, Ammo Inc has apparently abandoned using HPR as a brand in favor of having everything done as part of the Jesse James brand.

Since 10mm and 9mm in the Black label line are Jesse James headstamped, then I assume that other Black Label products will have a Jesse James headstamp. I see the mention of “Engineered to match grade specs” on the box side and thought to myself - isn’t all new factory ammo more or less “engineered” to match specs, but it’s the assembly & production which one would want to be truly match grade. And the vague tag “Ultimate Accuracy” seems a bit ham-handed.

Sorry, I cannot resist.
Jesse James was killed by being shot in the back by a certified coward.
From a European point of view, the last thing I would want do do is using a brand named “Jesse James” to protect my home. I do not want to be shot in the back, coward or not. Edit: In other words, “Jesse James” is a very negative term regarding surviving an unexpected attack.
How do Americans look at this?

Americans in general view the name Jesse James as being one of a small number of known famous cowboy outlaws of the old west. Almost none of the target market will know any details of the original Jesse James other than that he was a gun-wielding outlaw.

The brand is of course meant to engender at least as much recognition and brand association with the more current celebrity of the same name (they’ve hired and paid to promote the line) who is known for being an “outlaw of vehicle & motorcycle customization” for whatever that is worth. He’s basically just a generic tv personality known for tattoos, mechanics, and having a reality-show quality relationship with celebrity tattoo artist Kat von-D.

I see that Midway has five auto pistol loadings in the Black Label
Jesse James ammo. But, they are surely not shy about their prices
on it - very, very high for just another box of auto pistol ammunition.
Don’t think these will be around very long. JMHO. They are NOT
competitive prices.

John Moss

No, they are certainly not competitive prices, and the bullets are just XTP projectiles as far as I can tell. As far as quality of munition, I would say that HST, Gold Dot, PDX-1, V-Crown, Golden Saber, BXP, and all of the solid copper stuff rank ahead of this otherwise generic XTP load with a black coating. Heck, I can find HST 50rd boxes for less than $25 per box if I look around the internet hard enough. Just having the brand association with the modern-day Jesse James auto / motorcycle character (whose star has been fading for a few years now) will not be enough for most buyers to care and spend that much either, given the number of options available on the shelf, and the very competitive price wars going on now. If this sales model worked very well then we would have heard a lot more noise from the likes of Ted Nugent ammo. If the Jesse James ammo was using the SST 2-part case, or any of Lehigh’s solid copper bullets, then it would be another matter.

I can confirm the " JESSE JAMES 223 REM " h/s
Took the pricey plunge from Midway and received this afternoon.
223 Rem, 55gr V-Max Black Label @ 50 rds.
Samples gratis, you pay UPS… about $14.00

Here are the other headstamps from the Black Label line of Jesse James ammo:

I just got my box of Jesse James Black Label, and I also ordered a box of their gold label 9mmP with plain brass cases. I as DK indicated, it turned to be ammunition was the generic T&M (Truelove & Maclean) headstamps. Nice box as pictured below!

Lew

I see that Ammo Inc. has now rebranded the HPR Black Ops ammo that they inherited, just slightly to the “Ops” ammo, and they also have a line of subsonic ammo called “/stelTH/”, which looks like relatively standard heavy-for-caliber loads in standard brass. On the Ops ammo boxes they are referring to the black-oxide coated jacketed-frangible bullets (made by Dynamic Research Technology) as “Super Shot Technology”, whatever that is supposed to imply. Saw these on Grafs.com today.

7541475409

Cool box art, but it looks like they took a stock marquee and added their own words. I think I’ve seen that same exact design elsewhere

The basic geometry of the new logo is reminiscent of the Starbucks logo, but not infringing st all. That box is the same exact one as used by HPR previously, but with all different print. I’ll be interested to know if they kept the same (totally unique) clear acrylic inner trays though, which always struck me as needlessly expensive.

I actually found the image it reminded me of, I thought they were more similar, but I suppose not. Still, I love the styling of the JJ Ammo.

Definitely reminiscent of bank notes (which is what I assume Starbucks makes their coffee cups from).

I received a box of the newly styled 9mm Ops ammo, and the cases were nickel-plated generic Starline. Otherwise, everything was the same in terms of cartridge & packaging - including the intricate plastic honeycomb tray. Also got some of the Stelth subsonic ammo, and those were JAG headstamps.

Announced just recently by Ammo Inc - they are releasing a non-pyrotechnic cold-tracer to market, similar to Glow Ammo,which was bought out by G2 Research. Ammo Inc didn’t answer me as to whether they were in fact just the same stickers produced by Glow Ammo, but I suspect they are a little different, or are an upgrade of those anyway. They appear to be a bit brighter and more consistent than the Glow Ammo tracer stickers I have seen in years past anyway. They will be loading common rifle and pistol calibers with this cyalume-type sticker, whatever it is, and will come in both red and green.