HPR Black Ops Ammunition

Boxes of HPR Black Ops ammunition

Previously, I tested the HPR handgun loads in 9mm and .45 ACP calibers. The load demonstrates attention to quality and good accuracy. The hollow-point bullets I used offer a good combination of penetration and expansion. Recently, I conducted more tests and found an interesting and effective combination in the Black Ops line.

Black Ops loading shows expansion and fragmentation on a gray background
Expansion turned into fragmentation—this is an interesting load.

Using a light and frangible projectile, those loads may be your answer for personal defense. Per my testing, the bullets penetrate intermediate objects, such as heavy clothing and wallboard, if needed. The advantage of their composite construction is that when they strike ballistic media, they fragment. Even though they fragment, a considerable part of the original projectile continues its penetration to about 14 inches in water, which is a credible loading. The predicted performance is excellent.

Something I really like about the loads is that they are not loaded to +P specification and do not produce excess recoil. The bullets struck the point of aim in the two .45 ACP handguns tested. A defense load that strikes to the point of aim at 15 yards is desirable.

The 5-inch barrel SIG Fastback proved docile and easy to handle with the loads, delivering excellent accuracy. The .45 ACP loading is rated to push a 150-grain bullet at 1050 fps. The SIG delivered a little greater velocity. The 3.8-inch barrel Springfield XD(M) I tested, as expected, delivered less velocity.

I am impressed with the performance of these loads and give them a recommendation for personal and home defense. They are reliable and accurate and produce good effect on target.

.40-caliber Smith & Wesson

Black box of .40-Caliber Loading
The .40-caliber loading offers lighter recoil in compact handguns coupled with good performance.

The 105-grain .40 Smith & Wesson load is rated at 1320 fps. I was surprised to see the loading break at 1280 fps from the only .40 I have on hand, a 3.5-inch barrel Smith and Wesson Military and Police. The load was controllable. Frankly, recoil was like firing a 9mm. The .40 compact is sometimes a handful, and this load takes the sting out of it. The loading proved both accurate and effective when shooting water-filled jugs.

Accuracy Results

  • 15 yards
  • 5-shot group
Handgun Velocity Group
SIG Fastback .45 5-inch barrel 1062 fps 1.0 inch
Springfield XDM .45 3.8-inch barrel 955 fps 2.0 inches
Smith and Wesson M&P .40 3.5-inch barrel 1280 fps 2.6 inches
Gray haired man in navy t-shirt tests the Black Ops loading
The Black Ops loads proved accurate and controllable in every handgun tested.

So, you ready to take the Black Ops ammunition for a test run? Already used it? Tell us all about it in the comment section.


About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  1. I never trusted advertisements, so I tried several types using wet-packed phone books as a medium. My only question is how do they compare to Win-Rangers 155g in 40sw?

  2. Like the guys above, Fed hydro-shock will do for me. Also I echo about TOO many new choices that in the end are no diff.
    As for RELIALIBILITY – I believe that its not just ammo but the gun as well. As such,here is MY test for my guns: I MIX all diff ammo in a bowl or .. and I mean diff mfgs, light and heavy, JHP and FMJ & what ever. then I “BLIND” (random) load all of my mags and RAPID FIRE ALL OF THEM. When hick-up occurs I mark the ammo and keep going. Since I have 8 mags on single stacks & 6 on doubles, I get to fire quite a few $$ in just one setting. When I encounter repeated “hick-ups” the ammo is out. When a gun fails to feed rapid fire 90% of the ammo I put in it in, I would not keep it. Also, so far, I prefer all steel guns.

  3. i use XD 9 sub with 135 gr hydroshock and 1120 fps 431 psi impact at 25 feet get 3 inch penetration in white pine i’d expect 6 inches in ballistic gel or torso center mass expansion is excellent to prevent thru and thru and provide excellent stopping and knock down usually load mix of 135 hydro and hornady 125 critical duty with1200fps

  4. Have carried this round in my S&W M&P Shield .40 caliber and am confident it will repel any threat. With that being said, as with JarHead80, I have also carried Federal Hydro-Shok rounds which is a standard law enforcement carry round. There are so many options out there anymore, it can be confusing. Watching a first time buyer at the ammunition shelves is an exhibition worth observing.

  5. You know Bob I have been carrying Federal Hydro-Shok in a Glock 36. Once a month on my weekly range trips I fire a mag thru the gun from my carry position My major concern is each time I pull the trigger it feeds property and goes bang. So far it has been perfect so until it works different it’s my choice. I read all the brainwashing(marketing) blogs about all new kinds of new ammo. Granted that some intrigue me enough to want to try it but my skepticism wins out. I do not intend to get into a long distance gun fight as I carry only to protect my butt in an attack. From past experience with a hand gun 15/20 feet will be the longest shooting range. I what I carry will not do the job at that range and I survive I will throw away the pistol and carry a frag. grenade in it’s place.

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