Why aren't Black Talon's being produced anymore?


January 9, 2003, 06:42 PM
why aren't black talons being produced anymore?

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January 9, 2003, 06:55 PM
Because Winchester hired really poor marketing people :neener:

January 9, 2003, 06:58 PM
The name is scary.

Bob Thompson
January 9, 2003, 07:13 PM
Black talons are now being sold as Fail safe bullets. Basically the same bullet with a new name to appease the antis.

Dan Shapiro
January 9, 2003, 07:44 PM
They pulled it off of shelves because of some stupid political and media flack. :rolleyes: Some guy is selling a lot in the classified section.

There is better ammo out there but the evil factor of BT brings in the $$ still.

January 9, 2003, 08:33 PM
Due to liability issues and harassment from the blissninnies they dropped the name.

The round is still available in its LEO only format as the Ranger T IIRC. I think they made some changes to it as well but not sure on that. About the only way a non LEO can get them is to buy them on Gunbroker, or if the ammo guy at the gunshow has some surplus lying around. You can find it, but it's expensive.

January 9, 2003, 08:35 PM
Politics ! I remember our illustrious NY senator Schumer showing a foto of an expanded Black Talon in congress and saying " it hooks into the flesh". Yes any premium bullet will do at least as well.

Jim K
January 9, 2003, 08:36 PM
Stupid marketing. If they had painted it and called it "Blue Talon" or "Green Talon" they would have been OK. But calling it "Black" set off the hyper sensitive. Maybe blond haired people should protest "Golden Saber" ammo.


Mike Irwin
January 9, 2003, 11:22 PM
Back when Winchester was first hitting the streets with these, I had a long conversation with their Director of Media Relations, or whatever his title was. Can't remember his name, but I'm pretty certain he's retired now.

I told him that the name was going to blow up on the company, and it really should be named something else.

He sort of poo-poohed my comments, and we went on from there.

About a year later, though, Winchester was embroiled in a HUGE media controversy -- claims of corporate racism, the whole 9 yards.

Their being stuck in the heartlands, away from the political environment of the East Coast, meant that they couldn't imagine the potential controversy that could be raised.

Brian D.
January 9, 2003, 11:58 PM
I remember that Richard Davis of Second Chance told us that he tried to tell them the same thing as soon as he heard about the name they'd chosen too--he had plenty of dialogue with them over the years because they were a big sponsor of his Bowling Pin Match. His warning fell on deaf ears too I guess....:uhoh:

4v50 Gary
January 10, 2003, 02:02 PM
Gian Ferri walked into 101 California (San Francisco) and blasted a law office. Killed or wounded a couple of attys, some law clerks, secretaries, paralegals and a librarian. In the survivor suit that followed, to avoid being named as a co-defendant, Winchester agreed to discontinue distribution of Black Talon from the civilian market. It's the liability & fear of it that resulted in Black Talon being yanked.

Mike Irwin
January 10, 2003, 02:37 PM

I'd never heard that about Davis, but I'm not surprised at all.

January 10, 2003, 05:35 PM
have any of you heard the one about winchester signing of on pulling black talons off the market in exchange for a halt in the importation of cheap chinese surplus 7.62x39mm FMJ rounds (remember when $1.99/20 was a great deal) ?

it is now all just media hype. it is good ammo but certainly not worth an additional premium over any other premium SD ammo

January 10, 2003, 05:48 PM
If memeory serves me, my recollection, "60 Minutes" or a similiar program ran an article on how cruel the bullet was. How it sliced through a body and the "Talons" opened up and caused more harm. In reality, it is no more deadlier than other popular brands. Also, the name, as someone has already stated, caused some problems with the anti's and gave them some fuel. So Winchester pulled them.

Dennis Olson
January 10, 2003, 06:29 PM
IIRC, what really made Winchester fold was the fact that they had some really juicy gooberment contracts at the time, and did NOT want those threatened. So they pulled a Slick & Weasel...

4v50 Gary
January 10, 2003, 07:12 PM
Guys, it was the lawsuit arising from Gian Ferri's shooting of people in San Francisco. I remember the incident because I was listening to it on the radio as it was happening.

January 10, 2003, 08:43 PM
Mete wins the award. It is because the ammo in question was demonised by the politicos and the news media.

In my handgun carry course, I was strongly advised not to use Black Talons because of this reason.

January 10, 2003, 09:58 PM
Was from another fiasco involving Olympic Arms and their attempt to market a 7.62x39 AR-15 pistol, against the protests of the gun industry. They displayed a few, and, voila'! ATF banned the import of the ammo, since there was now a commercially available autopistol capable of firing AP rifle ammo. To this day, I don't think Olympic Arms has ever fessed up to their responsibility for this faux pas. :scrutiny:

4v50 Gary
January 10, 2003, 10:58 PM
And what of the Thompson Center? I remember the confusion in CA about the sale of ammunition and the clerk would ask, "Is it for rifle or handgun?" Of course we'd respond, "rifle" and let it go at that. They would otherwise take down info if it was for handgun ammo. :mad:

January 10, 2003, 11:46 PM
of Olympic Arms' intent to produce that 7.62x39 AR-15 pistol. Apparently, the ATF had no real problems with the few Contenders out there chambered for the rifle rounds. Evidently the Contender was not the handgun of choice for the criminal element. (Like there is a horse of that color) Just think, a drive-by with a .45-70 Contender would probably hurt the gangbanger just as badly as his intended target. :D

4v50 Gary
January 11, 2003, 12:04 AM
Wasn't the Feds but our own Asinine CA gubmint that was making a stink.

Ala Dan
January 11, 2003, 12:40 AM
"Politically InCorrect"- as per Commie Klinton!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

January 11, 2003, 09:56 AM
Didnt you know that all you have to do is tell people your gun is loaded with black talons and they drop dead, thats why the government doesnt want use to use them.;)

The White Flyer
January 11, 2003, 04:33 PM
It made the natives restless.

January 11, 2003, 06:21 PM
I think the Rangers are the same bullet. Just a more PC name to them..


April 21, 2004, 06:30 PM
Why doesn't Winchester sell Rangers to non-LEOs? Does Winchester have any premium JHP that they will sell to civilians?

April 21, 2004, 07:22 PM
I remember a meet-and-greet a local law enforcement agency had, that I attended, several years ago. I believe it was about the time that Winchester had introduced the Black Talon and this agency had recently began issuing them to their officers. Anyway, a few of the S.W.A.T./S.R.T. officers were there showing off their goodies. They were quite excited about their new ammunition and began extolling the virtues of it to our group. As I recall, one of the officers stated that if you were shot anywhere in the torso, your were sure to die; if you were shot in an arm or leg, you were guaranteed to loose that limb. :eek: :rolleyes:

As my knowledge of firearms and ballistics back then wasn't quite what it is today, I sure was impressed.

Though the Black Talon may not live up to its' reputation, I've got two 50 round boxes of them that work as the best damn doorstop I've ever seen. :D

April 21, 2004, 09:38 PM
I believe the CA law office shooting was what prompted the heat to come down on Winchester. Schumer helped out but Winchester pulled the name. There was also some talk of the 'teflon coating' being able to easily defeat light armor that many police wear.

As to the difference between the Ranger Ts and the Black Talons, other than the color, I think there is relatively little difference. Some folks that dedicate a lot of time to research and data compiling of ballistics have said that the current Rangers are a slight improvement over the Black Talons, esp the 147 Gr 9mm load.

The Ranger Ts are readily available. There is nothing stopping anyone from owning, selling or buying the ammo, but the box says "Law Enforcement Only"... It's not illegal to own something unless there is a law against it. If you search for 'Ranger' in the Accessories forum, you'll find a gentleman that sells them for approx $17 to $20 per box of 50... That's not much more expensive than Speer Gold Dots bought in boxes of 20. I consider them about equal to hotter Gold Dot loads. In 40S&W and 45ACP, I'd put the Golden Sabers right in there as well though I'm not so much of a fan of the Golden Sabers in 9mm.

April 21, 2004, 09:48 PM
Why no more Black Talons??? Well, from the perspective of the medical community that I hang out with once in a while, the feedback coming from them was that the fragments from the shell / casing / jacket were a hazard to the medical folks. From what I was told, some stink was made of this issue, which only fueled the fire.

April 21, 2004, 10:02 PM
Will Winchester sell them to commercial distributors?

Ala Dan
April 22, 2004, 12:01 AM
(Laughing Loudly) :D :D :D :D :D

Cuz Burr' Clinton was scared of them! :uhoh: :cool:

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Oleg Volk
April 22, 2004, 01:03 AM

April 22, 2004, 09:58 AM
The Ranger Ts are readily available. There is nothing stopping anyone from owning, selling or buying the ammo, but the box says "Law Enforcement Only"...

The boxes of Ranger T I have say "Law Enforcement Ammunition," with no mention of the word "only." I point this out not to quibble but to emphasize that this ammo can be bought/used by any law-abiding civilian without worry over legality. I think that if the word "only" were attached to the ammunition things could get a little more dicey in the courtroom aftermath following a SD shoot by a CCW holder.

April 22, 2004, 11:07 AM
The boxes of Ranger T I have say "Law Enforcement Ammunition," with no mention of the word "only." I point this out not to quibble but to emphasize that this ammo can be bought/used by any law-abiding civilian without worry over legality.

You're right... my point was in the right place, but I added the word 'only'. :p

I just think it's funny that some folks think it's illegal for civilians to sell or own the Ranger ammo... As if I could make a pair of 1911 grips and put them in a box that says 'Law Enforcement' and that somehow makes it illegal for a non-LEO to own it. One guy I talked to actually though that the only reason LEO mags were illegal to be owned by non-LEOs was because they were stamped LEO...

What makes things illegal is the fact that there are laws saying things are illegal. Not that hard to grasp. :p

April 22, 2004, 11:30 AM
is usually interpreted as meaning "Same Xact Thing".

My suggestion to Winchester was to change the black coating to pink and call them "Daisy Petals". I figured that would keep lil Chucky Schumer from wetting his pants. It's all marketing and, on the part of the liberals, anti-marketing. Pun not intended, but it fits.

Winchester still markets their "Silvertip" premium self-defense ammo as well as Ranger SXT. It always shot well for me, but tended to be a little lighter bullet weight than what I like best.

April 22, 2004, 11:47 AM
Check out the Platinum Tip handgun ammo. Looks just like a silver talon to me.

April 22, 2004, 01:03 PM
They're still making them. They just don't call them Black Talon anymore because:

1. It scares children and blissninny liberals

2. They've evolved and have been improved upon by Winchester

You can find them in the following guises:

- Black Talon
- Ranger
- Ranger T
- Ranger SXT

SXT more or less means Same eXact Thing unless it's the lame-$$$ Supreme SXT. These are mediocre rounds and are nothing like the BT designed rounds named above.

Sean Smith
April 22, 2004, 01:53 PM
They aren't produced anymore because Winchester has developed a better cartridge, the Ranger-T, T for Talon of course.

The SXT bullets are not the same as the Ranger-T bullets. The Supreme SXT bullets sold to "civilians" are not the same as either one, either, and don't undergo the same performance testing as the Ranger line.


April 22, 2004, 02:07 PM
You can buy Ranger T's here (http://www.proload.com/shoppingcart/targetammo.asp?show_cal=22)

April 23, 2004, 06:59 AM

How come those bullets in your pic are black? My Ranger SXT's are copper just like regular bullets. Is that one of the first runs of the ammo?

Zach S
April 23, 2004, 11:16 AM
I was wondering the same thing as diggler...

Of course the SXTs I saw at the range didnt have the teflon coating, since teflon coated bullets are illegal in NC:banghead:

Sean Smith
April 23, 2004, 11:38 AM
The black talons weren't teflon coated. They were coated with something else called "lubalox." Sounds like something you would put on a bagel with some cream cheese. :D

Edited to add: the lox part of lubalox. Dang, you people are sick. :p

April 23, 2004, 11:42 AM
Sounds like something you'd find in an adult bookstore.


April 23, 2004, 09:11 PM
I've got three 20 rd.boxes of 230 gr. 45acp Black Talon ammo. How much can I get for it?

April 24, 2004, 11:35 AM
PM sent.

April 24, 2004, 05:57 PM
Back at you, Gewehr98.

April 24, 2004, 09:10 PM
How come those bullets in your pic are black? My Ranger SXT's are copper just like regular bullets. Is that one of the first runs of the ammo?

These are the first "post Black Talon" loads. They're called "RA45SXT" and come with the same black Lubalox bullet as the original, but in a brass case.

The were followed by the redesigned (and current) "RA45T" which has copper bullets and nickeled brass.

Here's a pic of both:

April 24, 2004, 09:19 PM
I was once told (by a reputable Winchester rep) that the SXT in "Ranger SXT" was a play on words from the guys at Winchester, and the "SXT" stood for

"Same eXact Thing" (as in Same eXact Thing as a Black Talon)

April 25, 2004, 05:32 AM
My boxes of Black Talon say "Black Talon SXT" on the box. So what are the Black Talon the same exact thing as?:confused:

April 25, 2004, 08:47 AM
SXT stands for Supreme eXpansion Technology. It was called this by Winchester in all of their early ads for this ammo. I believe it's even printed on the back of the box.

The "Same Xact Thing" MYTH came along later.

The original Black Talon in the 20 round boxes was loaded into nickle plated cases. The Ranger ammo, with the original black coated bullets, in the 50 round boxes was loaded into brass cases.

There was also a killing of a police officer in Jeffersontown Kentucky (a suburb of Louisville) in the middle 1990s that recieved a lot of attention. It seems a high risk wanted felon shot the office and the round entered in the neck/shoulder area and coursed downward and was fatal. The fact that the officer was killed while wearing a ballistic vest drove yet another nail in the coffin of Black Talon ammo.

The prices today I see for original Black Talon ammo are not only ridiculous, they are obscene.

April 25, 2004, 10:09 AM
Isn't Lubalox the same coating used on the Win/Nosler/Combined Tech. rifle ammo, such as the FailSafe, Ballistic SilverTip, etc.?

April 25, 2004, 10:16 AM

April 25, 2004, 03:35 PM
what's the difference between Winchester Supreme SXT and Ranger SXT?

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