Liberty Ammunition, a company that makes one of the lightest weight 9mm bullets, has teamed up with Shell Shock Technologies, the manufacturer of one of the most lightweight 9mm cartridge cases, to create a 9x19mm ammo that has a total cartridge weight of 93 grains. That makes the Liberty Ammunition Ultra-Light cartridges about twice lighter than your standard 9mm ammo with 124-grain bullets.
The projectiles used in the Ultra-Light ammo are Liberty Ammunition’s Civil Defense monolithic nickel-plated bullets that weigh 50 grains. These light-for-caliber bullets are launched at an advertised muzzle velocity of 2,000 fps and have a muzzle energy of 450 ft-lb. According to Liberty Ammunition, “Compared to other top self-defense rounds, the 9mm Ultra-Lights have 32 to 38% less felt recoil, 65 to 75% more velocity, 25 to 30% more kinetic energy“.
Liberty ammunition also notes that the Ultra-Light ammo has “reduced over-penetration” and “more stopping power” with the permanent wound cavity in the ballistic gel being 3.5″ wide and 10 to 13″ deep. Below you can find videos showing the performance of these bullets in bare ballistic gel, after penetrating layers of denim and after penetrating a wall. The tested rounds are Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense ammo but the bullet type and weight, as well as the muzzle velocity, are identical to Ultra-Light ammo.
Having lighter weight ammunition means you can carry more ammo at a given weight or carry a lighter loadout at a given amount of ammunition. Let’s see what weight savings you can realistically have if switching to this ammo. For example, if you carry a pistol with a 15-round magazine loaded with 124grain ammo, the difference per round when switching to Ultra-Lights will be roughly 102 grains which means you’ll save 3.5 oz or 100 grams per 15-round magazine. If you carry also an identical spare mag then you’ll have 7 oz or 200 grams less weight on your belt. Now, this makes sense only if you consider the performance of Ultra-Light ammo adequate for self-defense.
What I would love to see is a performance comparison of these light and fast bullets versus some of the heaviest and slowest commercially available bullets of the same caliber (e.g. Seismic Ammunition QuakeMaker ammo with 185-gr bullets). It would be really interesting to see the behavior of these extreme-weight bullets in a bare ballistic gel as well as their capability of penetrating barriers and clothing.
The MSRP of Liberty Ammunition Ultra-Light 9mm ammo is $31.95 per box of 20. Bear in mind that this is +P ammo.