Dur­ing Test­ing in 3 Weapon Sys­tems, Go­rilla Ammo Per­formed Flaw­lessly

Home Defender - - Contents - By Steven Lieber­man

Our pro ran Go­rilla Ammo through three weapons sys­tems. Find out if it is wor­thy for self-de­fense.

My name is Lieber­man. I walk des­o­late streets alone at night, and I drink whisky with older women in dis­mal places.

I dream. I dream of deserts and moun­tain tops. I dream of an­gry large peo­ple with ar­ro­gant agen­das. I dream of guns … big guns … rep­re­sen­ta­tive of some­thing … I sup­pose.

I also dream of in­ad­e­quacy. Shoot­ing at the ran­dom hoards that in­ces­santly scream my name, as they ap­proach me with torches and pitch­forks. When I shoot, I see the bul­let leave the bar­rel and plop harm­lessly in front of me onto the ground.

I have is­sues. I also have needs. In the wak­ing world, I en­deavor to keep the re­al­ity of my dreams as far away as pos­si­ble from the re­al­ity of life. I avoid the dark­ened streets of my dreams. I avoid the an­gry towns­peo­ple. I make sure that the am­mu­ni­tion I carry ac­tu­ally per­forms as in­tended.

In my for­ma­tive years, I was given a strong piece of ad­vice: “Never fight a guer­rilla war when you can get go­ril­las to fight it for you.” Truer words have never been spo­ken.

To help you zone in on a re­li­able self-de­fense am­mu­ni­tion, some of my staff and I re­viewed some am­mu­ni­tion from Go­rilla Am­mu­ni­tion, and here is how the process started.


The ed­i­tors at En­gaged Me­dia (the pub­lish­ers of the mag­a­zine you are now read­ing) asked me some ques­tions that went some­thing like this: “Will you do an am­mu­ni­tion re­view for us? Will you shoot the am­mu­ni­tion, study it, em­brace it if you must, then put your thoughts into words that we may pub­lish?” “Per­haps, but what am­mu­ni­tion are we speak­ing of? Rus­sian am­mu­ni­tion with ques­tion­able pedi­gree? Chi­nese am­mu­ni­tion made from the sweat of po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers? Ex­otic, ex­pen­sive and unattain­able pro­jec­tiles made from re­trieved Chernobyl nu­clear ma­te­rial?” “Uh, no … am­mu­ni­tion pro­vided by Go­rilla Am­mu­ni­tion.” “Go­rilla! Sacré bleu! Bonne chance! and other ran­dom French phrases … Yes, yes! I would be happy and elated to shoot a go­rilla!” “No. Not am­mu­ni­tion for hunt­ing go­ril­las. De­fen­sive and tar­get am­mu­ni­tion made by Go­rilla Am­mu­ni­tion.” “In­ter­est­ing … I had no idea that they had fig­ured out how to in­cor­po­rate pri­mates into the man­u­fac­tur­ing process … bril­liant!” “Yeah, fine … just shoot it and tell us what you think.”


A few days later, a care pack­age from Go­rilla Am­mu­ni­tion showed up at our of­fices, the Artemis De­fense In­sti­tute. In­side were a few boxes of 115-grain 9mm hol­low points, (la­beled as “Sil­ver­back,” a bril­liant use of the go­rilla-in­spired nom de guerre!).

They also sent me a few boxes of .223 Rem­ing­ton 55-grain with Sierra Bl­itzk­ing pro­jec­tiles and some .308 Winch­ester, 165-grain Sierra Gamek­ing pro­jec­tiles.

Now, I’m go­ing to tell you some­thing very, very im­por­tant: Pack­ag­ing.

Pack­ag­ing is im­por­tant. Pack­ag­ing pro­vides val­i­da­tion of prod­uct qual­ity. Pack­ag­ing pro­vides mind­set and es­tab­lishes ex­pec­ta­tions. Buy a box of cheap for­eign stuff with a car­toon­ish logo and frayed boxes, and you in­stinc­tively know you are tak­ing your life in your own hands. Buy a box that is rugged, es­tab­lished and ag­gres­sive, and you head to the range with a cer­tain feel­ing of pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

So, when I tore open the brown

UPS box, I was met with some fairly unique pack­ag­ing. When you think of Go­ril­las in cap­tiv­ity be­ing trans­ported from one place to an­other, you think of wood crates. Well, I think of wood crates. I’m old school. I like wood crates. I like go­ril­las, too. I find go­ril­las in wood crates in­ter­est­ing. The ri­fle ammo is pack­aged in stan­dard boxes, but the art­work evokes the idea of a wood crate. I like that.

The Sil­ver­back de­fen­sive 9mm comes pack­aged a lit­tle dif­fer­ently. A black high-grade box that one would ex­pect would con­tain de­fen­sive rounds.

My ini­tial im­pres­sions of the ammo were in­con­clu­sive. Each round looks, well … like a stan­dard car­tridge. The ri­fle rounds all evoked the vis­ual feel­ing of “green tip” ammo … al­beit far cleaner than nor­mal “green tip” ammo.

The 9mm, how­ever, was a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. Sim­i­lar to other high qual­ity

ammo, the 9mm Sil­ver­backs had sil­ver cas­ings (nice touch). With full jack­eted hol­low points. Some­thing looked a lit­tle “off” to me, but I could not put my fin­ger on it. I re­moved a round of my HST ammo from the Sig 239 that I some­times carry and com­pared the two. The head spac­ing of the Go­rilla Ammo was sig­nif­i­cantly greater than my tra­di­tional carry ammo. In­ter­est­ing.

Point­ing the gun to­ward my clear­ing bar­rel and man­u­ally cy­cling the ammo did not ap­pear to present any is­sues. The ammo man­u­ally cy­cled flaw­lessly. The more ro­bust ap­pear­ance made the ammo look … well … more ro­bust.

So, with all that in mind, it was time to head off to the range.


I would be fir­ing the am­mu­ni­tion through my Sig 239, for the 9mm, of course; my AR-15 (Stag lower, and BCM up­per) for the .223 and fi­nally through a Moss­berg Scout ri­fle for the .308.

We started with the .223.

The first test was a func­tion­al­ity eval­u­a­tion. Would the stuff ac­tu­ally cy­cle? I loaded 33-round PMAGs with the Go­rilla .223 and per­formed rapid en­gage­ments on a min­i­mum of three steel tar­gets from 25 yards. Ran­domly, the bolt was locked back to the rear then sent for­ward. Mag­a­zines were shot to de­ple­tion. Then a new mag­a­zine was in­serted.

Num­ber of mal­func­tions: 0. Num­ber of times the bolt failed to seat a round in the cham­ber: 0.

Next, we per­formed an ac­cu­racy test. This ammo was be­ing tested on a CQB square range. In the in­ter­est of full dis­clo­sure, we were not par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in de­ter­min­ing if it was able to pro­vide sub-MOA ac­cu­racy at 650 me­ters. We wanted to see if it could pro­vide sub-MOA at 50 me­ters.

The an­swer to that ques­tion: It did … re­peat­edly.

In fact, after shoot­ing a boat­load of am­mu­ni­tion through the AR in a pur­pose­ful at­tempt to cre­ate bar­rel foul­ing, we started drilling sub-MOA holes in a tar­get from the prone po­si­tion. Round after round blasted away at the same hole.

Ac­cu­racy with the .223 is not to be out­done.

Next, we switched to the .308. For this test, we used a Moss­berg Scout ri­fle. One of my in­struc­tors, an ac­tive duty Force Re­con Ma­rine who looks like his bi­ceps could be mis­taken for wa­ter­mel­ons, saw the small Scout ri­fle and the .308 and gave an au­di­ble gasp, and then blurted out, “Wow! That is gonna hurt!”

“Yeah, that’s why I’m hav­ing you shoot it,” I said.

Here, we saw slightly more de­vi­a­tion than we did with the .223 ammo. But, in fair­ness, that might be more of a ri­fle is­sue than an ammo is­sue.

Lastly, we fin­ished up with the Sig

239 and the Sil­ver­back ammo.

Again, this made me ner­vous due to the phys­i­cal size of the pro­jec­tile. The rounds in the mag­a­zine only have a few mi­crons of clear­ance be­tween the front of the pro­jec­tile and the lead­ing edge of the mag­a­zine. The con­cerns proved to be un­war­ranted.

The ammo fed flaw­lessly and had the same diminu­tive re­coil as any other 9mm. All shots were grouped into a tight shot pat­tern from 7 me­ters out. For me, es­pe­cially when it comes to de­fen­sive am­mu­ni­tion, I have one sin­gle over­rid­ing de­mand: The rounds must cy­cle and fire. The re­al­ity is that ter­mi­nal bal­lis­tics, while im­por­tant, are to­tally ir­rel­e­vant if the pro­jec­tile can­not make it out of the muz­zle.


The Go­rilla Ammo per­formed won­der­fully. As we were leav­ing the range, we all made note that with mul­ti­ple weapons sys­tems, there was not a sin­gle in­stance of a feed­ing is­sue or a fail­ure to fire.

Would I rec­om­mend Go­rilla Ammo?


Would I use it on a Go­rilla? Well, that re­mains to be seen. HD

The au­thor em­ployed three dif­fer­ent weapon sys­tems, and Go­rilla Ammo per­formed flaw­lessly in each.

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