Hornady Rifle Ammunition Loaded With Flex-Tip Technology

Hornady now offers Critical Defense for rifles featuring 55-grain flexible-tip (FTX) technology.

Hornady Rifle Ammunition Loaded With Flex-Tip Technology
Hornady now offers Critical Defense for rifles featuring 55-grain flexible-tip (FTX) technology. And for accuracy and performance below the speed of sound, Hornady has released its new 190-grain subsonic-expanding (Sub-X) load with FTX bullets for .300 Blackout. $22

Photo: Michael Anschuetz

On the cover of this issue is the story behind the FBI’s new duty round, Hornady’s Critical Duty. Critical Duty in 9mm and .40 will be issued to FBI agents. This technologically advanced pistol round was introduced commercially in 2012, but shares flexible-tip technology first released in LeverEvolution followed by Critical Defense in 2008. Read more about the development of the FBI’s load and the trials beginning on page 66.

Where does this attention on the development of handgun ammunition leave rifle shooters? Well, Hornady has launched Critical Defense Rifle and a new Subsonic load.

Hornady recognized two important factors about the gun market. First, the AR-­15 has become a top home-defense choice. Second, consumers want a top-­performing, personal-­protection rifle round.


Armed with this knowledge, Hornady engineers called on the company’s V-­Max to deliver the goods. Typically a varmint bullet, V-­Max has proven outstanding for use on soft targets due to its expansion and minimal penetration characteristics. Still, Hornady felt they could improve on the V-­Max for personal protection against bipeds and turn V-Max into the ultimate home-­defense rifle load.


Hornady ballisticians, using the varmint round as a starting point, translated V-­Max’s rifle pressures and velocities and blended the performance characteristics and technology of its Critical Defense pistol load in creating Critical Defense Rifle.

Designers of Critical Defense Rifle were not concerned with long-­range capabilities. That’s why these rounds have a large, fat ogive and flat face. It’s all about short-­range performance. Bullets needed to open up fast, not over penetrate soft targets and fragment quickly when striking harder targets such as wall board.

Critical Defense Rifle ammunition is available in both 55-­ and 73-­grain .223 Rem. loads, as well as a 155-­grain .308 Win. offering. Keep a close eye on this lineup as you’ll likely see it expand into other configurations. In fact, we’ve already seen a byproduct of Critical Defense Rifle with Hornady’s new Sub-­X subsonic rifle ammo. Sub-X is a 190-­grain .300 Blackout cartridge that’s intended to retain all of its weight while reliably expanding at subsonic velocities (down to around 850 feet per second). These differ from Critical Defense’s characteristics, which expand fast and fragment at supersonic velocities. Sub-­X is an absolute boon for suppressed .300 BLK shooters and is a leap forward in expanding, subsonic, rifle bullet technology.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Chambered in 7.62x39mm with components machined from extremely durable S7 tool steel, a chrome-moly 4150 barrel and a carburized 4140 steel bolt.

Trijicon

Trijicon's New Specialized Reflex Optics (SRO)

The Trijicon SRO is specifically designed for pistol use. The wide field of view and clean, crisp dot makes it easy for users to find and track the dot in both target and competitive shooting applications.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Don't underestimate the fun factor. Shotguns

Review: Remington V3 TAC-13

Brad Fitzpatrick - March 08, 2019

Don't underestimate the fun factor.

Check out these great options for Dad on Father's Day! Accessories

2019 Guns & Ammo Father's Day Gift Guide

G&A Digital Staff - May 07, 2019

Check out these great options for Dad on Father's Day!

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other. Reviews

Taurus TX22 Rimfire Review

Eric Poole - May 23, 2019

The Taurus TX22 rimfire shoots like no other.

Crossbreed's new The Reckoning holster is a simple leather-Kydex combination with multiple points of retention adjustment and clip options. Accessories

Crossbreed's The Reckoning Holster

Eric R. Poole - May 13, 2019

Crossbreed's new The Reckoning holster is a simple leather-Kydex combination with multiple...

See More Trending Articles

More Rifle

Federal Custom Shop cartridge options now include 243 Win, 257 Roberts +P, 257 Weatherby, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-284 Norma, 270 Win, 270 WSM, 284 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, 308 Win, 30-06 Sprg, 300 Win Mag, 300 WSM, and 338 Federal. Rifle

Federal Custom Shop Big Game Centerfire Cartridges

Guns & Ammo Staff - May 28, 2020

Federal Custom Shop cartridge options now include 243 Win, 257 Roberts +P, 257 Weatherby, 6.5...

The .308 Winchester is still a winner. Rifle

Hunting with a Classic — the .308 Winchester

Eric R. Poole - March 20, 2020

The .308 Winchester is still a winner.

It's no secret that the United States Army wants to ditch the old 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm cartridges in favor of a new high-speed 6.8mm cartridge. This effort is receiving maximum support and funding from the highest levels, so it'll be interesting to see if an effective solution actually emerges. Rifle

NGSW Update: Push for the 6.8mm Continues

Tom Beckstrand - February 19, 2020

It's no secret that the United States Army wants to ditch the old 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm...

Winchester's .350 Legend effectively combines energy and penetration demands while producing less recoil for similar performance. SHOT Show

Winchester .350 Legend – 2019 Ammo of the Year

Guns & Ammo Staff - January 22, 2020

Winchester's .350 Legend effectively combines energy and penetration demands while producing...

See More Rifle

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now