Winchester Ranger SXT line


Gents, this is a problem that has been frustrating me for a long time now. I have tried to get hold of a Winchester representative with no success so far. I would like to get in touch with somebody here who can explain to me the evolution of the Ranger line, starting with the original Black Talon.
I have found conflicting information on this and my understanding at the moment is that the line goes like this (in chronological order):

  1. Black Talon (Lubalox coated bullet, in nickel case) 6 sharp petals
  2. Ranger SXT (Lubalox coated bullet in brass case) 6 sharp petals
  3. Supreme SXT (Copper bullet in nickel case) 8 blunt petals
  4. Ranger-T (Copper bullet in nickel case) 6 sharp petals

There is also a plain Ranger JHP +P with no petals but I am not interested in that, I want to know how many versions of the petal design there are. Surely there must be a chart somewhere. Can somebody point me in the right direction please.
Also if somebody has samples of the complete line (bullets only) I would be interested in purchasing those (I need 3 samples of each, pulled from the case). Fired samples from a water tank would be a bonus, extra payment for those. I need samples in 9mm only, but I need all the weights.

Thanks in advance for your help.


hello Odd Job

The following, to the best of my knowledge and understanding, is the chronology of the development of Winchester’s SXT handgun bulllet line:

1992: The Black Talon (BT) SXT (Supreme Expansion Talon) line of handgun ammunition was introduced at ASLET (American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers) and then a few days later it was presented at the SHOT (Sporting Hunting Outdoor Trade) show.

July 1, 1993: John Luigi Ferri went on a shooting spree at a law firm located at 101 California St, San Fancisco, California, killing 8 people and wounding 6 others. The ammunition he used in his Tec-9 9x19mm pistols were the Black Talon. After receiving continuous bad press in the media and with threats of potential draconian ammunition legislation from some anti-gun U.S. Congressmen, Winchester voluntarily suspended any further sales of the Black Talon ammunition on the civilian market (I personally verified this information with a call to Winchester on November 22, 1993).

1993-94: Winchester begins to sell the BT handgun loads as “RANGER SXT CONTROLLED EXPANSION NICKEL-PLATED SHELLCASES” “LAW ENFORCEMENT AMMUNITION”. As far as I can tell, this early Ranger SXT was just the original BT ammunition packaged for L.E. sales (since it was discontinued for civilian sales).

Circa 1994-95: Winchester begins to produce the Ranger SXT loads with the same BT bullet but in brass cases instead of the original nickel cases.

1994: Winchester introduced the Supreme SXT (Supreme Expansion Technology) to the civilian market. This bullet differed from the original BT in that it has eight jacket cuts and when expanded, the bullet has eight expanded jacket pedals but without the sharp pointed “talon” at the end of the jacket pedals.

1998: Winchester redesigns the SXT bullet with a thinner jacket which allows the bullet to expand sooner than the original late-expanding BT bullet. This load is now called the “Ranger T-Series” and this loading differs from the previous Ranger ammunition in that it has a shiny copper bullet jacket instead of the black Lubalox coating, and is loaded in nickel cases. The bullet still retains the six jacket cuts/pedals and sharp pointed “talon” jacket pedals on expanded bullets as the original BT and black Lubalox coated SXT bullets.

Sometime around 2005 I noticed the Ranger T-Series copper plated SXT bullets being loaded into common brass cases. The 50 round boxes are of white cardboard with black printing and a government “Q” product code on the end label. “Q” loads that I have seen pictures of are:

9x19mm 127SXT +P+ (Q4280)
40S&W 165SXT (Q4347)

The above is my understanding of Winchester’s Black Talon/SXT line of handgun ammunition.

If I have made any errors in the above chronology, I would certainly appreciate any corrections so that I can correct my notes.




@ Leon Geisler

Thanks for such detailed information, I appreciate it greatly!
Does this mean that the Ranger-T is being sold in brass and nickel cases currently?


[quote=“Odd Job”]@ Leon Geisler

Thanks for such detailed information, I appreciate it greatly!
Does this mean that the Ranger-T is being sold in brass and nickel cases currently?[/quote]

I recall seeing a picture of the T-Series copper bullet in brass case on top of it’s box, and I’m kicking myself for not taking a copy of the picture!

Lew Curtis is IAA’s resident 9mm expert, so hopefully he or someone else like John Moss might be able to set us straight as to whether or not they’ve seen the copper SXT loaded in brass cases.


Leon - your great synopsis is a tough act to follow, but since you called out my name, here is what I can tell you. All of the following are ONLY instances where I have the original box for the ammunition, to insure proper identification. They are listed in the order first of bullet weight, and then as chronological as I can make it, based either on dated headstamps, or on cartridge and cartridge-box characteristics, and to a lesser degree, when I obtained them. No commercial “Black Talon” loads are included here - only “LE Ranger” types:

Ranger SXT 124 grain, RA9124TP, buff "LE"50-round box with red, blue and yellow print. Nickled case and brass primer, no visible primer seal, copper-colored bullet, headstamp “WIN 9mmLUGER+P”

Ranger SXT 127 grain “Non-Lubalox”, Q4280. white 50-round box with black print. No “LE Only” marking. Nickeled case and primer, green primer seal, copper-colored bullet, headstamp “WCC+P+ 9 5”

Ranger SXT 127 grain, RA9SXTP, buff “LE” 50-round box with red, blue and yellow print, Plain brass case, brass primer, red primer seal, black-colored bullet, headstamp “WCC+P+ 9 7”

Ranger SXT 127 grain, RA9TA, buff “LE” 50-round box with red, blue and yellow print, nickeled case, brass primer, no visible PA (may be clear lacquer), copper-colored bullet, headstamp “WCC +P+ 0 2”

Ranger SXT 147 grain, RA9SXT, white “LE” 50-round box with red, black and orange print, plain brass case with nickel primer and red primer seal, blackened bullet, headstamp “WIN 9mm LUGER”

Ranger SXT 147 grain, RA9SXN, white “LE” 20-round box (20-round - not a typo) with red, black and orange print, nickeled case with nickeled primer and red primer seal, blackened bullet, headstamp “WIN 9mm LUGER”

Ranger SXT 147 grain, RA9SXT, buff “LE” box with red, blue and yellow print, plain brass case with brass primer and red primer seal, blackened bullet, headstamp “WIN 9mm LUGER”

That is all I have in my collection in the original boxes. There may be other variations. Note that all of the above are the 6-lobe bullet tip, not the 8-lobe of the original “Black Talon.” I have not included any caliber except 9mm Para, I don’t know how much of the story you need. I can do the .40 and .45 as well, if need be, although I don’t have quite as many with original boxes. I hope this is of some help in sorting these out.


@ John Moss

Thanks for that detailed info, I should have found you guys earlier. I have been looking for this information for a long time now.

I am just confused about one thing: I thought that the original Black Talon round was identical to the round that is found in the first Ranger SXT, that round being a Lubalox coated bullet with 6 sharp petals.
If you have images of any ranger-type bullets other than the Supreme SXT, with 8 petals I would like to see those.
The Supreme SXT is the only one I have seen with 8 petals, and I would like to see more.


I am sorry, but I don’t have a digital camera, or any equipment to take pictures of cartridges. I am kind of a 19th Century person I guess - it took me about two years to learn how to send an email. I am not a computer guy - too old and dumb, I think.


@ John Moss

I know what you mean: I wasn’t one of the first guys to get a digital camera, mainly because I couldn’t afford one and I was skeptical about the quality of images.
One way to get around this is to use an ordinary flatbed scanner. After my first camera died there was a time when I had no camera and yet I wanted to give images of headstamps and bullet noses to a guy in SA. I just rested the rounds directly on the glass of the scanner.
It just so happens that one of the noses I scanned was the Supreme SXT:

Not bad for a scanner, eh? The headstamps turned out better but that image above is good enough for my purposes.


Odd Job,

You are correct in that the first line of Ranger SXT for L.E. is indeed the exact same cartridge as the original commercial Black Talon loading; same 6-lobed (what I call the little “humps” on the bullet’s meplat) Lubalox bullet and nickel casing.

All of the Ranger SXT loads utilize the 6-lobed bullets. ONLY the civilian Winchester Supreme SXT uses the 8-lobed bullets like in you photo.

Of all the modern handgun rounds developed for self-defense, the Winchester line of SXT ammo is the most confusing to a great many people, because of all the little evolution changes that Winchester went through with this bullet since marketing the original Black Talon back in 1992.


I have a good scanner, and would try this, but I haven’t the slightest idea how to post a photo here, or I should say, how to get it from my scanner to this forum. I simply don’t have time now to figure it out from the instructions. In a couple fo weeks, if I find time, I will try to revisit this, as I have, in .45 caliber, a black talon virgin bullet, one fired in 10% properly calibrated ballistic gelatin, and a fired one from the “real world.” I also have lots of fired Winchester pistol bullets done at the factory, probably in 10% gelatin, although most of them have velcro attached to them. I also have sectioned bullets, the same. All were meant to be attached to velcro in a law enforcement kit.


@ Leon

Thanks again for helping to clarify this, I am definitely one of the guys who is confused about these Rangers, but slowly my understanding is improving.

@ John Moss

If it is something you would like to get into (scanning and posting images of bullets) I would gladly assist you however I can. Just let me know via PM and I will help you as best I can.
You are never too old to learn this stuff!