The 5 Most Controversial Handgun Rounds

The 5 Most Controversial Handgun Rounds

Most Controversial Handgun Rounds

How many times have you heard about “the last round you’ll ever need?” Or how about “guaranteed stopping power?” It’s a given that ammunition manufacturers want to make the best, most efficient product possible—and that basically means that the more lethal the round, the better it is. However, sometimes the public or national media sees it as too lethal, and that’s where the controversy starts.

Below is our list of the top most controversial brands or types of handgun rounds. Most of the rounds below can be found in multiple calibers, including the ever-popular 9x19mm and .45 ACP. To keep it fair, we haven’t included anything too out of the ordinary, and everything listed below can be found for commercial sale. Or it had been at one time.

1. Winchester Black Talon
Some of you may remember the now discontinued Winchester’s Black Talon rifle and pistol line. Introduced officially in 1991, this hollow point round is especially famous for its unique-looking projectile. While its black color and petal-like construction gave it a very distinctive look, the round’s performance was roughly on par with other hollow points. Winchester designed the ammunition with stopping power in mind, but the gun maker soon found itself embroiled in controversy after the round was involved in a Long Island shooting in 1993.

The cartridge provided additional ammunition (so to speak) for gun control advocates to rally against civilian gun ownership while other critics focused on the “Black Talon” name. In the end, Winchester decided to discontinue the pistol caliber line in 1993, and the entire line completely in 2000. At no point was the round ever prohibited by United States law. In fact, some sources say that as many as 400 police departments at some point or another carried Black Talon ammunition.

While the Black Talon may have been a PR nightmare for Winchester, it was not a complete loss for the company. Most of the design for the Black Talon was rolled over into the Ranger SXT ammunition, which operates on much the same principle.

2. G2 R.I.P
The most recently released round on this list, G2’s Radically Invasive Projectile (R.I.P.) made waves when it was released. Similar to the Black Talon, G2 courted controversy by designing a hollow point round that sent out eight sharp trocars upon expansion, allegedly inflicting much more damage than a conventional hollow point.

The company’s excellent marketing campaign should be credited for putting the round out front and center, garnering more than 1.5 million views on YouTube over just a span of a few days. Unlike the Black Talon, for which negative media attention caused the discontinuation of the line, G2’s R.I.P. thrived on controversy. In the days after the round was released, reviewers and interested gun owners scrambled to get their hands on some of this expensive ammo, only to find that not only did it cost about $40 for a box of 20 rounds, it was also hard to find.