Team Never Quit Ammo Review – Part 2

Marcus Keith ammo in focus

You can read Part 1 of this review here.

If you aren’t familiar with Team Never Quit by Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell it’s more than just an ammo brand – it’s a movement. A community of people who stand united in the fight to honor, support and restore our veterans and to help them overcome the struggles they face when they come home.  TNQ products are also Made in the USA.

Recap

We shot several calibers through several guns.  We tried several different mediums and tried to test the claims made by the manufacture: frangible, reduced ricochet, reduced recoil, etc. By no means was this a scientific ballistics test, you can find that information here.

Frangible Results

In our opinion each type of ammunition performed as the manufacturer claimed it would.  Frangible behaved like FMJ ammo when it impacted surfaces softer than the bullet (wood, etc.).  When it impacted a surface harder (steel, concrete), the projectile virtually turned to dust. In a hardened environment (e.g. schools, hospitals, etc.) this frangible ammo would be ideal for minimizing causalities from ricochets, often seen with FMJ ammo. It is worth noting, that in the FBI ballistics testing of this type of ammo, it does not perform well against automobile glass because of it’s hardened state.  This is a factor common to all frangible ammo.

Over the course of the day, one phrase was heard repeatedly – “Wow, that’s impressive!”

The frangible training ammo presents new opportunities for CQB training.  We often train at distances farther than would happen in real-life to avoid the likely injure from metal fragmentation. As you can see by our test results in part 1 and the video, you can safely shoot frangible training ammunition within a few inches of hardened surfaces.  This allows for much more realistic training scenarios without risk of injury.

TNQ 9mm Frang HP Gel Block3

Conclusion

After shooting this ammo, speaking with company reps and learning more about their mission, I have become a believer.  Not only are their products top quality and made in America, the people behind the movement are among our nations finest. In addition to switching my self-defense carry ammo to Team Never Quit, I have proudly become part of their Pro-Staff team.

If you have more questions about my testing or the ammo, post them below or email me.

Team Never Quit Ammo Review – Part 1

Team Never Quit

As a firearms instructor, I am often asked for advice regarding Ammunition for practice and personal protection.  It’s a topic I take seriously because the consequences can be severe.  I also take seriously the responsibility to endorse or recommend a product to students.  They trust me making significant choices that affect their safety.

In the interest of full disclosure, for the last few years I have carried Barnes TAC-XTP in my personal defense guns.  I have also had the privilege to know the family that made Barnes the company what it is – Randy and Coni Brooks. Not only does Barnes produce a great product but the Brooks family are some of the best people I know. That being said, I have continued to explore and test other brands.

Last week, I received a few boxes of ammunition from Team Never Quit (TNQ) to test and review.  They sent me two boxes each of TNQ 380 Auto Frangible Training Ammunition and TNQ 9mm Frangible Hollow Point Ammunition. I purchased additional boxes of TNQ 9mm SCHP, .223 Training Ammunition and TNQ 7.62×51 (.308 Win) Match Ammunition.

If you aren’t familiar with Team Never Quit by Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell it’s more than just an ammo brand – it’s a movement. A community of people who stand united in the fight to honor, support and restore our veterans and to help them overcome the struggles they face when they come home. In addition to a fantastic purpose, TNQ products are Made in the USA.  These reasons alone are enough to pique my interest in a new product.

Team Never Quit AmmoNow, ammo in hand, I headed to the range with the help of my husband, Carol Morrell – Lead Instructor for The Women’s Shooting Academy and Ken Morrell – Retired Law Enforcement officer. Combined, I would estimate we have around 100 years of shooting experience.

I am in no way qualified to conduct ballistics test or “official testing” but I did want to see the rounds in action.

On the range I wanted to explore two different aspects: cartridge performance and bullet performance so we set up a few different target stations.  Testing a range of target hardness a soft, medium and hard, we were looking particularly to see the different behaviors of the frangible ammo against various surfaces. As I understand it, the bullet is designed to act similarly to ball ammo unless is strikes a surface harder than itself. For instance, it should pass through the soft and medium stages but virtually disintegrate when impacting steel. So let’s see how each round performed.


.380 Auto, 75 gr Frangible Training Ammo (Product Data Sheet)

Sig P238

Sig P238 with TNQ .380 Frangible Training Ammo

Guns Used: Sig P238 & LCP .380
Distance: 5 Yards
Station 1 (Soft): Cardboard, Particle Board and USMC Target
Station 2 (Medium): Wooden 2×4
Station 3 (Hard): Steel Silhouette
Findings:

  • All fed and fired correctly and performed as expected.
  • Action was clean and good casing ejection.
  • No splash-back off steel

We also tested recoil levels by alternating Barnes TAC-XTP with TNQ in the magazine.  We tried this with both guns as the LCP is a much lighter gun that the P238 so recoil is more noticeable – both shooters thought Barnes has a slightly lighter recoil and it appeared to be lighter by visual observation.


 9mm, 100 gr Frangible Hollow Point Ammo (Product Data Sheet)

Springfield XDM

Springfield XDM Competition with TNQ 9mm Frangible HP

Guns Used: M&P Pro, Springfield XDM competition, Springfield XDs
Distance: Starting at 5 yards and walking up to 12 inches
Station 1 (Soft): Cardboard, Particle Board and USMC Target
Station 2 (Medium): Wooden 2×4
Station 3 (Hard): Steel silhouette inside a cardboard box to capture  bullet fragmentation pattern and residue
Findings:

    • No splash-back at all, bullet spray pattern visible in box sides, residue in box (see pics below)
    • Comparison Ammo:

– Fired same with (non-TNQ) +P+P – huge chunks of lead and copper, large hole torn in box
– Standard (non-TNQ) ball ammo at steel from 15 yards and was hit with shrapnel

Spawl Pattern

Spawl pattern from bullet framentation

Largest Spawl

Largest fragment we could find – much smaller than a bullet

Spawl Dust

Fragmentation dust left in the box.

Steel in Box

Impact in the center of steel with perforations from bullet fragments.


223, 45gr Frangible Training Ammo (Product Data Sheet)

Guns Used: Two custom-built .223 carbine rifles
Distance: 21 Yards
Station 1 (Hard): Shot cinder-block set at a 45 degree angle to the cardboard
Station 2 (Medium): Shot at steel plate at angle to create ricochet into cardboard target behind
Station 3 (Medium): Pallet stood on end – shoot through both oak 4×6 boards

Findings:

Station 1:

1st Round – TNQ ammo blew a large hole in the first wall of the block but not the second wall – bullet fragmented and did not ricochet

2nd Round – TNQ ammo blew a large hole in the first wall of the block but not the second and the end panel of block was broken off from the energy- bullet fragmented and did not ricochet

3rd Round – Soft-tip .223 (non-TNQ) bullet – caused block damage and ricocheted through the cardboard target

Station 2:

1st Round – TNQ hit plate and disintegrated (see photo)

2nd Round – Soft-tip .223 (non-TNQ) bullet – ricocheted, went through carboard target and support stick then continued downrange (see photo)

Station 3:

1st Round – TNQ surprisingly went through both 4×6 oak beams, including a knot.  I suspect the higher velocity from a lighter bullet was a factor. (see photo)
2nd Round – Soft-tip .223 (non-TNQ) bullet went through 1st 4×6 and into 2nd but did not exit (see photo)

TNQ .223 Frangible Training Ammo

TNQ .223 Frangible Training Ammo

TNQ .223 Frangible Training Ammo

TNQ .223 Frangible Training Ammo

Ricochet Setup

.223 Ricochet Setup

223 Frangible Round

Station 1 – Entry hole through first wall but didn’t exit through second wall.

223 Frangible End Cap

Station 1 – End cap of block was broken by impact of the round two inches to the right of the end.

Frangible 223 Ricochet Test

Stage 2 – Ricochet Test – Round disintegrated and did not continue down range.

Soft-Tip (Non-TNQ) Ricochet

Stage 3 -Soft-Tip (Non-TNQ) Ricochet hole

Oak Pallet

Stage 3 – First of two Oak 4×6 boards on pallet


7.62×51 (.308 Win) 175gr Match Ammunition (Product Data Sheet)

Guns Used: Howa .308 Hunting Rifle
Distance: 53 Yard (Longer not available)
Station 1 (Soft): Cardboard Zeroing Target

Note: Unfortunately this rifle was not zeroed correctly for this distance and we did not have enough ammunition to zero and test accuracy.  As a result I cannot speak to the accuracy and grouping at distance.  You can read the product data sheet here. I can say that every round fired as expected and we didn’t experience any malfunctions.

TNQ .308 Match AmmoTNQ .308 Match AmmoTNQ .308 Match Ammo

TNQ .308 Match AmmoTNQ .308 Match Ammo


9mm Luger, 115gr SCHP (Solid Copper Hollow Point) Ammo (Product Data Sheet)

I do not have the proper equipment to do full ballistics testing for this round but you can read the product data sheet here. I was more interested to see how the round performed in my Springfield XDs. I have had issues with some self-defense rounds in this gun because of the tight tolerances it has. I did not experience any problems with this TNQ round. Everything ramped, fired and ejected flawlessly.

Read More

Part 2 – My Conclusions

What do women really want? Hint: It probably isn’t pink

PinkGunGearIF IT’S PINK, WOMEN WILL BUY IT

Being a woman in the firearms industry I am somewhat of an anomaly.  Not because I am a woman who owns a gun, (nearly half of gun owners are women now), but because I am a serious shooter and firearms instructor. As an instructor, I see plenty of pink range gear and guns. I am all for a woman rocking the pink gear if that is what she wants to do – but many of us don’t want to jump into the pink pool.

Recently, the topic of women’s shooting gear and guns has come up in several of my conversations. Men in the industry are often anxious to hear how they can more effectively market to women, so they take the opportunity to ask me.

GIVE HER WHAT SHE NEEDS (AND WANTS)

Last month the topic came up in a discussion I had with Travis Haley.  I shared my frustration with the current state of things and he offered another perspective – a legal liability.  While the conversation was a casual one and I do not have permission to quote Travis, he does raise some good questions.  Do pink guns appear too much like a child’s toy? Are we selling pink guns to women because they are pink and intended for a woman rather than selling her the right gun for her needs?

Today I had a conversation with a major Ammunition manufacturer about marketing to women.  He relayed a conversation he had with several prominent women in the industry last year at SHOT Show.  He asked them what they should change in their ammo’s branding to market to women.  Unanimously, these women said – “Don’t change anything!” This ammunition has a very masculine branding but the response from women was to leave it alone.  Why?  Because women want the same things men want in their gear. I will buy ammunition based on ballistics testing, intended usage and price point – not because there is a pink ribbon on the box.

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

Look at nearly any gun or sporting goods store and you are bound to find products that are “designed” for women. What sets them apart from the men’s products – mainly two features; size and color. The first difference, size, is completely valid.  On average women are smaller than men so this difference makes sense.  However, often my only option for a smaller size also means it only made in pink.  Apparently, the gun and shooting gear industry believes that women want all their gear to be Pepto-Bismol pink.  Did anyone do market research? Where there any actual women in Focus Groups before deciding to sprinkle sporting goods with a rosy shade?.

Women do want products that work for our needs.  If I buy cammo hunting gear, I want it to fit my female figure, but without neon pink pipping. Companies like 5.11 have done a great job in creating products for women without the Pepto highlights.  They changed what matters.  5.11’s new Women’s Stryke Pants are fantastic.  They are made of the same material as the men’s pants but have a better cut and fit for a women’s shape. They come in several colors – none of them are pink!

I am not sure why so many companies have jumped on the pink train but here’s my advice – Think Bigger!  I am fine with products made for and marketed to women – but for heaven’s sake, expand the palette. Give women a little more credit – we don’t buy only pink things.  In fact, many of us have developed “pink fatigue” and immediately recoil from it. If you want my business, step up your game.

Apparently I am not alone in my frustration.  For further reading, check out:

Is it Time to Put Away the Pink?

An Open Letter to Under Armour Regarding Pink on Camo