Back in May, I had the privilege of attending a dinner hosted by Lucky Gunner that featured SEAL Marcus Luttrell and spotlighted a new ammunition brand he had created. This brand, Team Never Quit, gave away 50-round boxes of 9mm or .45 ACP ammo to everyone who attended the dinner.
I scored three boxes* of TNQ 100 grain frangible semi-wadcutter rounds, and after promising a great review of them to the Lucky Gunner rep, I promptly put them in my range bag and forgot all about them. Oops.
Which is why I'm reviewing them now. Better late than pregnant, I always say!
For the number crunchers, here's the spec sheet on this particular ammo load.
I usually shoot 115 grain round nose, and I could definitely detect the difference between it and the recoil of 100 grain TNQ rounds. Since I'm not an expert shooter I likely can't use the proper terminology to describe the difference, so I'll explain it like a writer: while muzzle rise was about the same as traditional rounds, the backwards kick into my hand was reduced. Usually my hand is sore after 100 rounds of 115gr RN and is ready for a break, but I shot 150 rounds of the TNQ ammo and still felt great. If I'd had more boxes, I would have happily shot those as well.
Out of 150 rounds, I had only one failure to fire. I'm not sure if the primer was a dud or if it was something else entirely; all I know is that my Glock 26 went "click" instead of "bang", so I worked the slide and went back to shooting without issue.
All of the rounds -- even my single dud -- loaded and fed properly, and ejected smoothly.
I feel a bit odd talking about bullet accuracy when my limited shooting ability is the greatest hindrance to that, but I promised Lucky Gunner a great review in exchange for those extra boxes, so here is some photographic evidence.
LaserMax Guide Rod Laser in my Glock 26 to help with aim. You'll notice I don't have the best grouping (although that big hole at 11 o'clock is nice), but they're all good hits and nothing was outside the 8 ring.
The center target was a second box of 50, shot at the same distance and conditions but without the laser. Performance was similar, only my groupings weren't as tight and I had a few outside the ring (all of them are solid hits, though). There's a bit of a hole at 11 o'clock but it's not as good as above.
The target at low right was shot at 50 feet, using the laser. You'll notice I'm even more scattered, with a few wingers above, below, and to the left. Still, they're all on paper.
Conclusion: These bullets are plenty accurate, but the shooter needs more practice.
My pistol was remarkably clean after shooting 150 rounds through it. I've shot some ammo (Federal, I'm looking at you) which turned my pistol absolutely filthy after just 50 rounds. This was the opposite -- after shooting three boxes I just needed to boresnake the barrel a bit and give the boltface a good once-over with a nylon brush.
Here's the sticker: these bullets are $27.00 for a box of 50. That's nearly three times the price of a 50-count box of Tula Ammo or Brown Bear, or just a bit over twice what a box of American Eagle runs.
Admittedly, some of the ouch of that price is mitigated by the ease of cleanup and the knowledge that a percentage of each box goes to the Lone Survivor Foundation, but as someone who is notoriously stingy and yet still loves to shoot, I don't love this ammo enough that I think it's worth paying that price for it.
These are very nice bullets and I enjoyed shooting them. If you buy them, you will enjoy them very much (especially the lack of cleanup afterwards). However, their cost prices me out of their market.
In short, this is Premium target ammo. You will get what you pay for.
* How? Without going into great detail, here are the steps:
- Camp the ammo boxes to make sure that everyone who wants a box has gotten one.
- Set a pick to discourage people from grabbing more than one as a target of opportunity.
- Casually mention to the event organizer that the servers really want to clear the swag table, and that the organizers don't want to take heavy ammunition back home with them anyway. You, however, are perfectly happy to take home that ammo, and can write a nice review with a larger sample size...
Obligatory FTC Disclaimer: I received this product for free. I was not paid or otherwise compensated in return for giving it a good review. In fact, these boxes were handed out for free to anyone who attended the dinner. Of course, I scored more boxes because I promised a review, but it's not like 9mm bullets are valuable enough to be a bribe.