Liberty Ammuniiton "Halo" update


#1

Today I received some boxes of 9mm and .45acp “Halo Point” hollow point ammo (they are temporarily out of .40S&W which they also advertise). It is from Liberty Ammunition out of Clearwater, FL, and they market this ammo as a lead-free civilian-legal premium defense load. Their military version is apparently an AP type for defeating Kevlar, but they weren’t forthcoming with too many details when I asked them about that version. This civilian Halo ammo looks to be a new & unique projectile. The grain weights are all ones that I have not seen before, and so they are not merely nickeled versions of an existing SCHP bullet. They look to be Nickel-bronze (my guess), but the Liberty website mentions silver. It is definitely some sort of use of tin, aluminum, nickel or bronze going on with these, and the bullets do exhibit a moderate attraction to a very strong magnet.

Note how on the back of the box they show a ballistics-gel photo, supposedly of how their Halo bullets are superior to typical FMJ ball. The low recoil and relatively high velocity, coupled with the projectile fragmentation do make for an impressive sounding load, but I have not tried these on anything:


#2

Still awaiting my samples, although I requested .40SW and .223 LE designated products.

I will definitely chronograph them and test them in some kind of media for the ‘end-users’ out there. I’ll also pull some of the bullets and take photos as DK did.


#3

Some people may have heard how Liberty Ammunition has changed their branding of the “Halo Point” over to something dubbed “USM4”. It is the same exact ammo, but they (not surprisingly) ran into trademark legal issues with Microsoft since they were poaching the Halo game logo almost verbatim on their box graphics. Apparently the legal issues have been ongoing for over a year as it didn’t take long for Microsoft to notice, but many people became aware of the existence of Halo Point ammo for the first time in very recent months when a Discovery channel segment for the show “Dual survival” showed a split-second image of a box during a video shoot.

There is an unusually thorough online article about the entire thing here, showing the video clip:
http://kotaku.com/5973258/microsoft-cracks-down-on-unauthorized-halo+branded-bullets

And here are images of the new “USM4” boxes. I have seen and heard that the nickeled brass used in these boxes is mostly Starline instead of the RWS stuff previously used in Halo Point boxes.


#4

I was just at my local gun store “Maine Military Supply” and was very surprised to see a Liberty Ammunition product package that I had not seen or heard of before. It looks like they have another package style for their “Halo Point” / “USM4” ammo, which holds the exact same cartridge type, but which is called “Civil Defense”. Civil Defense was the vague name which Liberty had previously used for the category which their own Halo Point ammo was in (even though Halo Point was the only cartridge type in that category). I was told by the clerk that the 2 boxes shown below in .40S&W & .45acp are Liberty’s most current standard offering for their lead-free hollow point, and that the “USM4” branding was a private-label venture done by another outfit in conjunction with Liberty Ammo as a promotional thing. This “Civil Defense” packaging will apparently be their new standard branding now that “Halo Point” is not legal for them to use any longer. Not surprisingly they were sold out of 9mm at the shop. The Liberty website has a “coming soon” message when you click on the Civil Defense tab under their products section, and Maine Military said they had only had these boxes in stock for 2 weeks.

I still have no idea on the metallurgy of these projectiles, except that they are non-ferrous.


#5

Does the term “Lead-Free” extend to the primers?


#6

I don’t know, except to say that the primers do not say “LF” on them. I don’t see anything in the literature that suggests specifically that the primers are lead free, except that the printing of “lead free cartridges” does seem to indicate lead-free throughout, rather than projectiles only.