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Winchester USA Forged 9mm Ammunition Review

Introduction

The USA Forged moniker represents a relatively new line of ammunition from Winchester. It's dually noteworthy for being steel-cased ammo that, as the name implies, is manufactured right here in the United States. Typically when one thinks of steel-cased rounds the first brand that comes to mind is Tula/TulAmmo...and that's manufactured in Russia. Steel ammunition has its pros and cons when compared to brass ammunition, but one thing is for sure - it's cheap. My local Wal-Mart sells 50-round boxes of USA Forged 9mm ammunition for $8.24 each.

Specifications

Currently, the USA Forged line is available only in 9mm. Each cartridge is boxer-primed (most imported steel ammo is Berdan-primed) and packs a 115-grain lead-core, brass-jacketed FMJ bullet with a rated muzzle velocity of 1190 fps. Winchester claims that each cartridge contains a clean-burning powder and that the steel cases are coated with a proprietary material for improved reliability and corrosion resistance.

USA Forged ammunition box

General Impressions

USA Forged ammunition comes economically packaged in a brown cardboard box with the rounds seated in a styrofoam tray. The first thing I noticed when I handled the cartridges is that it's a very dirty ammo - the steel cases seem to be coated in this powdery/sooty material that easily rubs off on your hands.
USA Forged cartridges

Range Report

I ran almost 100 rounds of USA Forged ammunition through my personal firearm, an HK VP9SK. I'm happy to report that I did not experience a single FTE, FTF, or any sort of failure or malfunction. Although I am by no means a competitive shooter, I found the accuracy of this ammunition to be on par with standard brass-case or aluminum-case rounds. Here's the result of some casual plinking at 15 feet:
USA Forged target
The other thing I noticed is that the ammunition tends to produce a lot of smoke when fired. Winchester claims to use "clean-burning powder", but honestly the ammo gives the term "smoking gun" a run for its money. If you clean your gun regularly and often (which you should be doing anyway!) I don't believe this will pose a major problem.

Conclusion

Winchester's (relatively) new USA Forged line of ammunition is notable for being steel-cased and produced domestically in the United States. It does seem to be a bit on the dirty side both during handling and firing, but this is more than offset by how inexpensive it is and a non-issue if you regularly clean and maintain your gun.

Overall rating: 9/10