By: Evan Brune
Remington expanded its self-defense ammo offerings in 2018 with the company’s all-new Golden Saber Black Belt ammunition. This new load incorporates a novel bullet design that optimizes several components of the round’s ballistic performance, including jacket retention and barrier penetration.
“Historically, Remington brought Golden Saber P&R out to provide superior performance to our competitors at the time,” said David Schluckebier, new product development manager for Remington. “The next evolution in Remington’s premium P&R (pistol & revolver) collection came with the Golden Saber Bonded line. The Golden Saber Black Belt brings the best features and benefits of the previous lines to it, providing best-in-class performance.”
The new round was tailor-made for law-enforcement use, and Remington has submitted the all-new Black Belt load in a bid to win the FBI’s latest ammo-contract solicitation. However, all of the elements that make it a suitable law-enforcement load also provide excellent performance for personal defense.
The bullet features a spiral nosecut, which ensures expansion even at low velocities. The benefit of this particular design element is that users will see adequate expansion when using the rounds in short-barrel personal-defense guns that don’t provide the muzzle velocities of larger, duty-size firearms.
Of course, one of the stand-out elements of the new Remington Golden Saber Black Belt cartridge is the black belt surrounding the middle of the round. After experimenting with plastic belts that didn’t meet performance needs, the company finally settled on a brass band with a black-oxide finish.
“The belt is the key to the superior performance,” Schluckebier said. “The belt is there to displace the jacket toward the center axis of the bullet. It was a way to provide a mechanical core-locking feature more pronounced than the initial driving band we put on the Golden Saber. The existence of the band has a dual purpose as well. It will undoubtedly stop the petal tear at that location.”
With the addition of the black belt surrounding the bullet, the overall design follows more of an hourglass-shape that differs from traditional bullet designs. Remington engineers developed this unique jacket to provide consistent performance, regardless of barriers.
“Specifically, the shape of the formed jacket allows for bonded performance in the harder barriers while providing normal Golden Saber performance in the softer ones,” Schluckebier said. “So, we are getting both expansion and weight retention more consistently across barriers, which makes the bullet performance more barrier-blind. In other words, the most important performance result—penetration distance—becomes more consistent, barrier to barrier, shot to shot.
What does this mean for home-defense and personal-protection use? Schluckebier said that the round’s consistent performance across all barriers means there’s less chance of over-penetration, thanks to the round’s aggressive expansion. This reduces the chance that exiting rounds will continue to travel through traditional barriers found in urban environments, like drywall, floorboards, doors and more.
In addition to the projectile’s unique design, other elements of the ammo are purpose-built for daily carry and consistent performance. The cartridge case is nickel-plated to reduce the chances of corrosion and enhance lubricity for reliable function. Additionally, the bright nickel also makes it easy to visually see that a firearm is loaded with a brief press check, even in low-light conditions.
Other stand-out components include a waterproof seal around the neck of the case and the inside of the primer pocket, preventing moisture from compromising performance. The round also uses flash-suppressed propellant and an optimized primer that work to reduce muzzle flash that can disorient users in low-light self-defense scenarios.
Remington Golden Saber Black Belt ammunition is available in 124-grain 9 mm, 124-grain 9 mm +P, 180-grain .40 S&W and 230-grain .45 ACP loads. The suggested retail price per box of 20 rounds starts at $24.29.