By Trampas Swanson

As the firearms industry entered 2016, there seemed to be a growing trend I noticed during the industry only SHOT SHOW in Las Vegas, NV. More and more firearms manufacturers have been stepping outside the realm of just producing firearms and entering into other aspects such as suppressors, sights and ammunition. The goal in this expansion is to provide their customer base with a “one stop shopping experience.” Theoretically, who knows the needs of a firearm to make it perform at its best than the firearm manufacturer right? This month, I would like to start a look into this growing trend with SIG Sauer, headquartered in New Hampshire and their new line of Elite Performance Ammunition.

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SIG Sauer V-Crown 124 Grain JHP ammunition.

Currently, this division of SIG Sauer is housed in an existing ammunition production facility in Kentucky in which full time SIG Sauer employees load all the company’s initial caliber offerings. Included in the launch of SIG’s ammo are .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .357 SIG, .40 S&W and .45 ACP in both Full Metal Jacket target and Jacked Hollow Point V-Crown carry ammunition. Since starting production, SIG quickly added to their line up pistol calibers with .38 SPL, 10mm, .357 Mag, .44 SPL, .44 Mag and .45 Colt. Aside from handgun ammunition, SIG Sauer has also expanded into the world of rifles with the very popular .300 Blackout with SIG 300BLK and the hunting load, SIG HT. Additionally, the company has released SIG Match Grade in traditional rifle calibers such as .223 REM, .308 Win and .300 Win Mag. As the offerings continue to expand and the ammunition division rapidly grows, it is expected to make the move to a larger facility soon. Recently, I had the opportunity to test out SIG’s premium pistol offering of the JHP V-Crown ammunition in 9mm Luger.

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Test pistol – SIG Legion 226 9mm.

V-Crown First Look

SIG Sauer’s patented V-Crown design is combined with a non-bonded bullet and set into a Ducta-Bright 7A-coated brass case in which SIG states will aid greatly in the reliability it’s feeding and extraction during cycling. Considered by the company as the ultimate in defensive round technology, the V-Crown ammunition delivers exceptional on-target energy, maximum weight retention and optional expansion at all effective distances. To ensure controlled, even expansion, SIG integrated a “stacked hollow-point” bullet with an additional hollow-point cavity and a unique, toothed groove around the cylindrical part of a bullet halfway up the shank to ensure terminal expansion. Since the V-Crown ammunition was designed for the main purpose of home defense, the cartridges are loaded using low-flash propellant designed to preserve the user’s night vision. After studying the company’s available information about these rounds while waiting for them to arrive, I was very eager to get on the range with the V-Crown ammunition as soon as the USP box arrived at my door.

As part of an ongoing look at SIG Sauer’s extremely popular Legion series, I have been performing a 3 month long evaluation of the new Legion 226 9mm pistol. As part of my evaluation, I used the SIG V-Crown carry ammunition in during my testing. What I found in the results left me well pleased. Offered in 115, 124 and 147 grain loads, I decided to go with the 124 grain option. Traditionally, I always preferred to carry 124 grain Hollow Point ammunition in my NON-SIG related personal carry pistols because in my opinion, it typically offers the best combination of accuracy, terminal velocity and penetration from brand to brand. With having personal experience with seeing other brands of ammo in this weight perform, I was eager to get to the range and give the SIG V-Crown a try.

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Three shots on wall board.

Range Time

According to SIG Sauer, the main goal of all the V-Crown series is to defeat common barriers such as heavy clothing, plywood or wall board normally faced in home defense or self-defense situations while still delivering 100% reliability in functioning in SIG’s production guns. I decided to have a look at just how well the V-Crown stood up to these barriers so I gave my business partner, Craig Reinolds a call at our training facility we call “The Swamp” and asked him to set a few barriers up for testing. Upon arrival, everything was ready to send some test rounds down range and capture a bit of video of the results for our YouTube segment accompanying this article.

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Test plywood.

Starting with a quick 20 rounds to test function and reliability, I fired test shots into one of our AR500 steel targets without flaw or issue. The SIG Legion 226 had previously had roughly 400 rounds through it prior to this range visit. The SIG Sauer V-Crown and SIG Sauer Full Metal Jacket rounds made up close to 200 of the previous rounds. After the brief warm up, I decided to see how the V-Crown would do with a sheet of wall board in front of the AR500 target. After 3 test shots and solid rings of the steel target behind it, the wall board had perfectly round holes showing no signs of early expansion. Next I placed a sheet of plywood in front of the steel target and shot another 3 rounds. Again with solid rings from the steel after each shot broke. Finally, I decided to simulate a standard wall found in most homes and combine the wall board and plywood together. As I fired the last 3 shots, I noticed the target stand rock a bit more and debris coming from the backside of the sample wall. Upon further inspection downrange, it appeared the as if the rounds began to open a bit as they came through the second barrier. This did not stop the rounds from giving a solid impact on the steel target behind it.

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Test wall board and plywood combo.

Over the course of the summer testing the rounds in great deal for accuracy and reliability, I found the SIG ammunition to hold it’s on well in the accuracy department without a single misfeed or failure to fire. The final testing performed using the wallboard and plywood gave a great example of subject matter needed to be considered when using a handgun for home protection. Personally, I would endorse the V-Crown jacketed hollow point round for self-defense due to its reliability and performance. As one of the four cardinal rules of firearm safety clearly states, “Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it,” it is the responsibility of the gun owner to practice and evaluate their plan of attack for home defense.

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Solid hits and terminal expansion on steel.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I was pleased with the performance of the SIG Sauer V-Crown ammunition during use testing the SIG Legion 226. After a few trips to the range for further pistol test, I even used the V-Crown ammo with the two pistols I previously had switched between for daily carry, the Glock 19 and HK VP9. Over a period of approximately 200 addition rounds down range, the SIG ammo performed flawlessly. With a retail price of $14.99 per 20 round box of SIG Sauer V-Crown, it is very well priced compared to similar performing ammunition.

Since testing the SIG Sauer Legion 226, I have started carrying it regularly as a personally owned firearm to pull duty in the rotation with my HK VP9. Due to its performance, price and reliability, I also daily carry the SIG V-Crown ammunition in 124 grain at least for the next few additional months while doing long term performance tests as the Legion 226 moves from the first 500 rounds down range towards 1000 and 2000 rounds before deciding permanently. As for now, I am impressed and recommend giving SIG’s venture into the world of ammunition a look for yourself as well as their top notch professional line of firearms.