Monday, November 9, 2015

Littlestone Ammunition = shooty goodness

It's not often that I find a company producing something that makes me smile every time I use it:  but I've found a small ammunition manufacturer that falls into that category.  Let me say right away that I received no compensation or discount from them to write this review.  I bought their products with my own money, and used them in testing and to pass on to friends.

I heard of Littlestone Ammunition through a comment left by an anonymous reader on my article in July about my new Mountain Gun.  I got onto their Web site and scrolled through the ammunition they had on offer.  Some of the sale items certainly looked interesting, so I contacted the owner of the company, asking about a couple of custom and semi-custom loads.  He was very co-operative, offering to tailor loads to my needs and sell them to me at what, for custom ammunition, were reasonable prices.

I ended up buying several hundred of two different .45 Colt loads for evaluation.  One was the company's 265-Grain WFN-GC, shown below.  It should do very well in both revolvers and lever-action carbines.

The other was their 240-Grain Sierra JHC.  I asked for the WFN load to be "warmed up" a little, to produce 800-850 feet per second from a 4" barrel S&W Mountain Gun, and the owner was happy to oblige.  (I didn't think the Sierra load needed any warming up at all;  with its 240gr. bullet motoring along at 980 feet per second, producing over 500 foot-pounds of energy, it's about as hot a handgun defensive load as one's likely to need!)  They arrived packed in 50-round blue plastic flip-top ammo boxes, a much better quality of packaging than most factory rounds.

I distributed some of each load to local shooters for evaluation, and took the rest to Blogorado (along with my Mountain Gun), where I had a lot of fun trying them out.  The WFN loads proved to be super-accurate, producing 1" to 2" groups at 25 yards from a supported stance - outstanding in anyone's book.  As another shooter observed, the WFN design makes them a very viable round for defensive purposes, even without a hollow point;  their ballistics are very close to those of the original Colt round in 1873, which was a 255-grain lead bullet powered by 40 grains of blackpowder, and their more modern bullet shape makes them even more effective.  I gave a box to another shooter whose pride and joy is a S&W Model 25, and he's promised to report back on his findings in due course.  Perhaps he'll do so in a comment here.  The JHC load banged loudly and kicked somewhat harder, but not at all unmanageably.  I suspect if I ever need a .45 Colt defensive load, it'll do just fine for me.

I'm impressed not just by these loads' outstanding accuracy, but also by Littlestone's willingness to tailor their loads to meet a customer's specifications.  To let me specify muzzle velocity, etc., develop the load to those specifications, and still charge me just over a dollar a round, for custom ammunition, is very good value for money indeed.  I'm certainly going to be a repeat customer.

I recommend Littlestone without hesitation to all my readers who want quality ammunition for special purposes.  Check out what they have to offer, and if you want something you don't see listed, give Gregg Steinle a call and tell him what you're looking for.  The odds are pretty good he'll be able to work with you.  (I'm lusting after some .45 Colt and .44 Magnum rounds loaded with Barnes' excellent XPB copper solid bullets.  Oh, Gregg . . . )



Corey 1 said...

I need some silver rounds for .45 auto.....for purely display purposes...honest

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about becoming a reloader?

The fun you can have all the while worrying about blowing up your guns...just kidding.

Exercise good discipline and pay attention to what you are doing and reloading is very safe...

Peter said...

@Anonymous: I reloaded for years in Africa, but since coming to this country I simply haven't had enough spare time to do it properly. It requires care and attention, and that means focusing on it to the exclusion of other things. Particularly now, where my time is literally my money (earning a living through my writing), I simply don't have that much time to spare. Perhaps one day I'll get back into it. Until then, companies like Littlestone can make money off me.

Inconsiderate Bastard said...

This highlights something I've supported for some time: if one is restricted to a revolver, the .45 Colt is an excellent self defense round. A 255-260 grain Keith-style hard cast lead semiwadcutter bullet with a large meplat and a muzzle velocity in the 950-1,000 FPS range from a 4 inch barrel is a very effective load.

Anonymous said...

Anonymity is a good thing, glad you liked the ammo. I do hope the publicity here does not drive up the prices...;)