History of the Winchester Black Talon
In my opinion no other bullet has caused so much controversy as the Winchester Black Talon. Not surprisingly, no other bullet has had so much misinformation and untruths publicized by the media. This is the so-called cop killing bullet that people claimed was designed to penetrate bullet-proof vests and place surgeons at risk
In late 1991 and early 1992 Winchester introduced the "Black Talon." The hollow point Black Talon bullet used a specially designed reversed-tapered jacket. The jacket was cut at the hollow to intentionally weaken it, and these cuts allowed the jacket to open into six petals upon impact. The thick jacket material kept the tips from bending as easily as a normal thickness jacket. The slits that weakened the jacket left triangular shapes in the tip of the jacket, and these triangular sections of the jacket would end up pointing out after expansion, leading to the "Talon" name. The bullets were coated with a black colored, paint-like lubricant called Lubalox and loaded into a nickle plated brass case in boxes of 20.
The media had a field day with untruths pertaining to the Lubalox coating. The black appearance was due to the oxidized copper jacket, and the Lubalox coating was designed to protect the barrel rifling from copper build-up. This coating did not give the bullet armor piercing capabilities. This bullet was not coated with Teflon, molybdenum disulphide or wax. Lubalox coating is still used today in many of Winchester's rifle bullets.
Some medical personnel were concerned that the sharp barb-like tips could potentially cause tears in surgical gloves and the hands of medical workers, exposing them to greater risk of infection. However, there are no documented reports of this ever actually happening.
To add fuel to the fire, two high profile shootings attracted media attention where Black Talons were used and involved lawsuits against Winchester. The first, in 1993 in San Fransisco, California, and the second, also in 1993, at the Long Island Railroad in New York. Both cases were dismissed against Winchester. However, because of the media attention which ultimately caused misguided public outcry, Winchester discontinued the sales of the Black Talon to the public, limiting its sales to law enforcement only in 1993. But at no time was the purchase or use of the Black Talon prohibited by law for civilian use.
Sometime in 1996 the Black Talon was renamed as SXT, keeping the bullet coated with the black Lubalox. The bullet, however, was loaded into a brass case in boxes of 50 count. Shortly after, Winchester discontinued coating the SXT bullet with Lubalox. In 1998 Winchester introduced the Ranger T-series. The T-series still uses the SXT design, but it was upgraded to work in a larger window of velocities. The T-series also does not use the Lubalox coating on the bullet. In 2008 Winchester quit putting "SXT" on the ammunition box.
In 2009 Winchester-Olin released a new hollow point bullet in its Supreme Elite line of ammo called the Bonded PDX1. The most obvious difference from the SXT and T-series is that the bonded design prevents the sharp petals from peeling away from the lead core. The PDX1 is available to the civilian market. However, it was Winchester's choice to mark on the boxes of SXT and T-series ammo "For Law Enforcement Used Only." There is no law that prohibits civilians from purchasing ammo marked "For Law Enforcement Only." PDX1 cartridges are available in a 20 round box. After personally test firing this ammo in a variety of differnt masses into ballistic gel, dry packs, wet packs, 50 gallon drums of water and pork flesh, the results were found to be satisfactory. The bullet expanded well when shot into every type of mass, however it didn't come close to the results of the SXT and T-series bullets due to the lack of sharp petals.