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A Day at the Range with Blackwater Ammo

While most folks were shuffling about the show floor, there were a number of other smaller events surrounding the main NRA exhibits. One was private range day hosted by the newly-emerged Blackwater Ammo. We spent some time with Erik Prince and his crew earlier this year at SHOT Show. But this was our first chance to go hands-on with their products. The event was held in conjunction with Spikes Tactical and American Freedom Distillery –who we’ve previously discussed in our Veteran Vices column.

The ammo you see here is one of their 9mm offerings. This ammo uses a two-part case with an aluminum base and stainless steel sidewalls. This offers a number of advantages over traditional brass cases. Its lighter, can be reloaded more times, and can accommodate more powder and/or larger projectiles without any increase in external dimensions. There were a number of weapons available to run this ammo through, including a SIG MPX Copperhead and a Spike’s Tactical suppressed PCC, and several pistols.

We had no issues with the ammo in any of the weapons we fired it through. After a few hours on the range, foul weather moved in and we were “forced” to retire to the tent and spend some time with Scott Neil and his teammates from American Freedom Distillery. They spoke to the group about their experience preparing for (and deploying to) Afghanistan in response to the September 11th attacks, and how they transitioned from the military to the bourbon biz. There was a sampling of their small batch, barrel strength, and rye whiskeys as well as their elite Commander’s Select.

The latter label is hand-picked by the American Freedom team and changes from year to year. This year’s selection is a 12-year-old bourbon. Retail price is $595 per bottle (in honor of ODA 595, the Special Forces Detachment on which they served) but we were fortunate enough to witness an ad hoc charity auction in which a Commander’s Select bottle went for $10,000. That money, of course, will be going to support veteran’s causes. We also ran into Jumpmaster Bill Markham from Skydive Palatka, who helped get this author get his jump wings, which you can read about here. Bill is helping the American Freedom team get refreshed on static line jump procedures so they can jump into Normandy for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day next month. They will be jumping in period-accurate uniforms from the Office of Strategic Services’ Jedburgh Teams to represent the special operations and clandestine service operations which supported Operation Overlord.

We were intrigued by some of the unique technological advances being incorporated into Blackwater Ammo, and look forward to bringing you some more in-depth analysis of it.


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