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What is the Remington Black Belt?

This is a guest post by Andrew Bettsremington black belt

The “new” Remington Black Belt really isn’t all that new. To begin, it cosmetically appears to be little more than a Golden Saber with a steel band where the cannelure would be. It is also not so new in the sense that Remington has already “unveiled” it at the SHOT shows in 2013, 2014, and 2015. As much as I hoped, it does not actually fire tiny ninjas at your assailant. The black belt is simply a steel band that is intended to prevent jacket separation.

When tested in calibrated 10% gelatin, its performance was somewhat mediocre. It expanded and penetrated nicely in bare gelatin but it did not expand at all when fired through heavy clothing.

In all fairness, the test gun does have a 3.9” barrel but that is representative of a barrel length that is very common for every day carry. The Glock 19 and similar sized guns are extremely popular for concealed carry while full sized service pistols are carried somewhat less often by armed citizens.

That said, this load did do better when fired from a 4.95” barrel. In this test it penetrates approximately one foot of pork meat and 6” of water, which is consistent with 14”-16” of penetration in actual living tissue.

So it is certainly capable of acceptable performance when it reaches its advertised velocity. It is somewhat disconcerting, though that it does not perform well over a wide range of velocity and through intermediate barriers. Other, more traditional designs are able to stay within performance standards whether fired from a 5” or 2” barrel. While the testing was not performed with a shorter, sub-compact sized barrel, this load’s performance certainly would not improve with an even shorter barrel. It may be that this ammunition is simply intended for law enforcement and not for armed citizens. If that is the case, it may perform reasonably well in that role, but it does not appear to have any significant advantage over the original Golden Saber on which it seems to be based. The fact that it appears to be on the very edge of its performance envelope does not inspire a great deal of confidence.

This ammunition is representative of a larger trend in the ammunition market, though. Several companies have recently introduced ammunition that claims to do astounding things but falls well short of claims. It appears that the big guys have taken a sort of “me too” approach and put out some new products to get a piece of the new and shiny portion of the market. Speer does not make any incredible claims about their new G2 Gold Dot but it also appears to perform more poorly than either the HST or original Gold Dot. Likewise, Remington does not make ridiculous claims about the Black Belt, as some of the smaller companies are doing, but it seems to be a product that is different solely for the sake of being different. It does not offer any performance improvement and seems to actually perform more poorly than the tried and true Golden Saber.

Perhaps if consumers stopped spending their hard earned money on whatever the newest gimmick is, and instead simply loaded their defensive weapons with ammunition that meets established performance standards in independent testing, we might see less of these novelty loads and see more true innovation.

 

Andrew Betts served with the Arizona National Guard for over 12 years, including a tour to Afghanistan. Visit his YouTube Channel for more great shooting information.

Photo credit – iaaforum.org

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