Black Talons


CZ 42
November 30, 2007, 09:29 PM
does anyone remember the old Black Talon ammo, marketed by winchester I think, that was supposed to be super awesome? Where can I get some? How is it?

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November 30, 2007, 09:31 PM
If I remember correctly they took it off the market.

Found a wiki page about it:,_ammunition

CZ 42
November 30, 2007, 09:35 PM
Okay, so it's Winchester SXT now. Does anyone know of better hollowpoints that feed well in autos?

November 30, 2007, 09:40 PM
Ranger, RangerT. It's a black talon that isn't black, and the media doesn't know about it yet. Read about it in a gun mag. Supposedly Winchester doesn't intend for us "civilians" to have it, but I bought a box of 45 ACP anyway.

November 30, 2007, 09:42 PM
I've still got a box of 9mm Black Talon.

December 1, 2007, 05:01 AM

December 1, 2007, 05:33 AM
Actually, the were discontinued by Winchester. Simply because they were used in a "few" high profile murders and Winchester wanted to keep there image good. Also song gun haters were calling it supper ammo, and crazy stuff like that..

Ranger is made by one of the members of the team that made the Black Talons. I don't really think you can find Black Talons any more, and I'm pretty sure if you could they would cost a little bit simply for the fact that there not made anymore.

Ranger, RangerT. It's a black talon that isn't black, and the media doesn't know about it yet. Read about it in a gun mag. Supposedly Winchester doesn't intend for us "civilians" to have it, but I bought a box of 45 ACP anyway.

It doesn't say that they don't intend for "civilians" to have it, it simply stated that there is no law that makes it illegal for "civilians" to have it, and if you wanted some you can buy it and there is nothing anyone could do about it.

December 1, 2007, 07:32 AM
There is nothing special about Black Talon's "stopping power," and no reason to pay a cartridge-collector's price for the stuff. buy yourself some good fresh Gold Dot and be done with it. If a guy just has to have food-processor-tipped bullets, well, look into Golden Saber.

December 1, 2007, 08:20 AM
If you are looking for .45 acp there is someone selling a bunch over on the Sig Forum.

Ala Dan
December 1, 2007, 08:29 AM
I've still got three boxes of Winchester Black Talons in 9m'm Luger that my
old agency issued me after my last qualification~! ;)

December 1, 2007, 10:52 AM
Years ago, I read an autopsy report about one of the 'high profile' killings done with the Talons. Of the 7 or 8 people killed and wounded with them, 50+ shots, only ONE bullet nicked an artery with an expanded 'claw' that might have been missed with some other bullet.

In fact, they concluded that ball ammo would have killed them all just as dead, as the shots were in and through major body equipment. As always, WHERE you hit is much more important than with what.

December 1, 2007, 11:01 AM
Doctors gave their opinions to the press - they were terrified of probing bullet-wounds because the sharp petals were puncturing their surgical gloves and fingers, thereby inviting infection.

"They're called Black Talons because they were designed to shoot black men" was another hyped opinion.

Almost forgot - "The black coating on the bullet is teflon, so it can penetrate cops' body-armor, therefore it's a cop-killer bullet".

"Buzz-saw" was another media description - complete rubbish, but the weight of opinion was against Winchester, so they reluctantly yet voluntarily pulled the product.

December 1, 2007, 11:06 AM
I still have a box of the 147gr 9mm and a box of 180gr .357 Magnum. I know I paid $22 for the .357 Mag ammo new.

Black Talons were attacked by the media and so deamonized that Winchester pulled them from the market and changed them to the Ranger, under the guise of being LEO ammo. After the hysteria settled down, Ranger ammo went back on sale to the public. It is in the same light that LA police insisted on changing to the .45 after the W Hollywood shootout, saying that the .45 would have defeated the 2 bad guys where the 9mm didn't.

Nothing changes perception. Too many people think perception is reality, thus the demise of the Black Talon.

The Drew
December 1, 2007, 11:15 AM
A local gunshop still has some in 10mm I bet those will really do some damage....:D

CZ 42
December 1, 2007, 11:20 AM
I know about the whole shot placement thing, but hollowpoints don't overpenetrate as much as cheap ball. I think I will keep my nightstand gun with 1 mag half full of ball and one of hollowpoint. Ranger would be my choice if it feeds well.

Deer Hunter
December 1, 2007, 11:25 AM
They're not any better than other high-quality hollowpoints on the market today.

December 1, 2007, 02:52 PM
They're not any better than other high-quality hollowpoints on the market today.
And in fact, probably worse performers because they're old technology.

December 1, 2007, 05:49 PM
Black Talons are outdated and obsolete compared to today's HP ammo choices. Just because they have a "cool name" and sound badass cause Winchester pulled them years ago doesn't mean that they are any better than the current available Ranger SXT, Federal HST, Hornady TAP (which is teflon coated also btw), or Remington's Golden Saber. Save your money and time and don't bother with the Black Talons.

December 1, 2007, 05:55 PM
They weren't that great when they were still made.

.45 ACP Black Talon often wouldn't even open up, and the other calibers were no more deadly then anything else at that time.

There are a bunch of better bullet designs now.

Gold-Dot, DPX, TAP, and several others come to mind.

December 2, 2007, 12:37 AM
The black talons were standard velocity, whereas the ranger T's I have are +p+. Quite a bit of defference in velocity.

December 2, 2007, 03:29 AM
Yep, silly anti-gun propaganda, how doctors said they were afraid to probe bullet wounds caused by Black Talons, due to the chance of getting nicked. I have seen pieces of quite jagged bullet jacket that had blown out the side of a bad guy, laying in a parking lot. The ammo was Federal Classic .357 mag 125-grain JHP. Most of the fragments were still inside him, with the main body of the bullet. (The only probing that happened with this guy was at the morgue.) Any bullet that fragments or expands is likely to have sharp, jagged edges, period.

December 2, 2007, 03:36 AM
It is not worth the premuim price asked for by collectors. Though they do look cool with the black bullet, it is not worth paying nearly double the value in many cases for an old bullet.

December 2, 2007, 09:12 AM
We carry Ranger 147gr in 9mm at my dept. After testing poop loads of other rounds, we settled on the Ranger. It's a pretty nasty round. I was so impressed with it, that's what I carry in my own weapons. And if memory serves me correctly, Rangers are Talons without the black coating.

December 2, 2007, 06:24 PM
getting talons good luck but there are many many fine defensive loads out there. i got a box from a army buddy of mine that was a cop in puerto rico and he no longer needed them, for some reason people were always brging me ammo at work, some jhp's, but mostly fmj, hey that was cool with me.

December 2, 2007, 06:33 PM
Gold dots.

December 2, 2007, 06:56 PM
How do the cor bon powerballs perform?

The ads look impressive, but is that just hype?

December 3, 2007, 12:36 AM
Ranger SXT, Gold Dot, Golden Saber. Any of those will do.

December 3, 2007, 02:41 AM
CorBon Powerball ammo performs quite well. It is not the same as a simple HP or expanding jacket. The projectile is a lot of small things held together with epoxy or some such.
I experimented with them as a possible ammo type that would make my .32 ACP or .25 ACP guns better for BUG or off duty.
They are very impressive in terms of creating a large wound cavity, but I think they are a little short on penetration, at least in the above rounds. And they are very expensive. Too much so for any reasonable person to buy enough for any kind of training.

December 3, 2007, 06:47 AM
Black talons were the thing in their day, but technology has improved. BT's were not discontinued because of some high profile media case, but because they came out with a better round: the Ranger. Even Ranger has had a couple of upgrades and the newest round is a top quality self defense round.
If you want a black casing (plated) you could consider TAP from Hornady. Honestly I don't like plated casings as the material is prone to scratching off and building up in your gun. All cleaning aside, I'd rather have all brass casings.
And if there is any BT still around, it's gotta be pretty old. No telling how it's been stored. I'll take fresh ammo any day.

I like Winchester Silvertip even though they are an older technology bullet.
The most popular rounds now seem to be Federal Hydroshock and Winchester Ranger

December 3, 2007, 12:35 PM
For any auto loader prone to FTF's, I think the Corbon PowRBall is the answer. I load it in my K40 primarily due to the supposed expansion characteristics inherent in HP's. It just makes sense to me. I've never had the need to fire them other than in practice so I cannot vouch for their performance.

December 3, 2007, 01:22 PM
Actually, the were discontinued by Winchester. Simply because they were used in a "few" high profile murders and Winchester wanted to keep there image good. Also song gun haters were calling it supper ammo, and crazy stuff like that..

Yep, I hate it when ammo does what it's designed to do...

December 3, 2007, 01:24 PM
The most popular rounds now seem to be Federal Hydroshock and Winchester Ranger

By no means scientific, but I've done surveys on three or four different gun boards and Gold Dots always lead the pack by a wide margin.

December 3, 2007, 02:25 PM
Actualy I am a firm believer in jagged projectiles, and the concept expanding talons is a good one.
If you research how terminal balistics work you will find the actual damage caused by a pistol round (dealing with non-existant or inconsequential hydrostatic shock/damage) is reduced because tissue flows around the pistol round. Sharp or erratic edges will cut more of the tissue that would have otherwise "flowed" around the projectile.

That said most of the hype surrounding Black Talons that has lead to thier prominence and demise was based on false media impressions.
The evil sounding name simply lends itself to that. Black Talon sounds like something out of science fiction, representing a sinister product.
When the media learned it was a lubricant similar to teflon they were coated with, knowing it is a lubricant they assumed it allowed them to slip through body armor.
This is counter to logic as a rapidly expanding projectile will penetrate worse than any other round. The greater the surface area of resistance for a given foot pounds the better body armor would in fact work against it.
Well expanding ammo works to increase the the surface area facing resistance for a larger wound.
The media was just plain wrong. A round for both expansion and penetration can be designed, but it is not what a Black Talon does, or any civilian pistol ammo.

The incorrect logic however likely stems from the fact that ammo actualy designed to penetrate soft body armor is actualy coated in something, not to increase penetration which it does not effect, but to decrease barrel errosion on the gun since the ammo is likely made of a very hard material. The same round without the coating would perform just as well, it would just be rougher on the barrel. Black Talons however are NOT such ammo, being in fact the opposite.

The misconception stuck though, and they were in addition to thier other "evil" features, associated with being better for killing cops (because no criminals use body armor, and the 2nd Amendment doesn't exist precisely to be capable of resisting government equiped tyrant's who in modern times would be wearing body armor :rolleyes: )
This may have actualy saved some officer's lives, as criminals sought one of the worst performers against soft body armor. So I would argue that taking Black Talons off the market actualy increased the danger officer's face as they will no longer have foolish criminals confident in a capability that does not exist. Instead criminals will use other ammo without incorrect assumptions about the capability of the ammo.

Black Talons are really little different than most other expanding ammunition, and since Black Talons by name are now a collector's item they are not worth spending the extra money on for actual use.

A sinister name, a dark color, and the use of relatively new materials in bullets for the time in the form of Teflon (at least to the general public) left them demonized. This has caused many people to believe they are more effective than they really are. Obviously as your post illustrates this trend still exists.

Now all of that said, I would like a commercial round that generates sharp treatment hardened edges that tissue cannot flow around without being knicked, and resists being peeled completely back. I think that will cause more bleeding for a given diameter wound, leading to slightly improved incapacitation. At a much higher cost per round I know a mechanicaly designed round could do exactly that. Having connected petals that only open up to 90 degrees and then are locked into place. Such rounds would however be cost prohibitive to produce or use.
However in light of previous issues, calling them Pink Bunnies might be appropriate.

December 3, 2007, 07:48 PM
i never understood how a subsonic bullet could defeat armor... they must be magic.seriously,buying black talons for sd is a waste of others have said there are better designs available.i still use the black
+p+ rangers in my nines because ive burned through a case with no malfunctions.once their gone ill most likely try hst's.

Super Trucker
December 3, 2007, 09:04 PM
I have a box and a half of 9mm and most of a box of .357mag in the safe still.
I like the Ranger T just the same.

December 3, 2007, 11:59 PM
try They also were sold as "rangers" by wichester. I have some 147 gr. "rangers" and they are the real deal!

December 4, 2007, 12:01 AM
Winchester stopped using the lubalox coating on all handgun ammo recently. They still use it on the .204 ruger hollowpoints though. The Ranger line is the same bullet as the talon, less the coating and the nickel cases.

December 4, 2007, 12:55 AM
They seem to have plenty of these at a shop near me... 9mm are $23, .380 is $27, and there's some 9mm 124gr +P+ that I haven't tried because a box of 50 is $34.

I don't have any way to test them other than by feel, but the recoil and report feel about average to me.

December 4, 2007, 10:35 PM
Black Talon in 9mm. . . I've got 5 un-opened boxes. (NFS!)

PMC "El-Dorado" was basically the same bullet, if memory serves me.

Ron James
December 4, 2007, 10:52 PM
You can still buy Black Talons at gun shows, the last I saw was marked ten dollars for 10ea. But why would you want them?

December 5, 2007, 02:08 AM
I still have a box of 45acp Black Talons I bought in 1992. I only fired a few rounds from it. One of the rounds was fired into water jugs and is perfectly expanded. IT looks really wicked.

December 5, 2007, 08:13 PM
Winchester pulled the original Black Talon after the media tossed a fit and congress actually started asking questions. The Black was Lubalox or Lubaloy designed to reduce friction and heat but someone got the bright idea it was teflon and made the bullet capable of slipping through body armour.
A couple years later Winchester came out with the SXT load. The joke at Winchester is that the SXT stands for Same Exact Thing.
The SXT is a good round.
A couple years after the SXT they introduced the T series - lower right corner of the end flap will bear a T - RA9T, RA45T - this is LEO ammo and quite frankly is very different than the original BT's and SXT.
The box itself is the same as all "Ranger" but the key is in the "T".

As for what LEO means in terms of ammunition - according to Winchester and Federal, it has to do with the inspection proceses and believe it or not - precision of manufacture.
LEO ammo is held to a "tighter" set of specifications that "commercial" rounds.

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