Dead Right There? Nope. Dynamic Research Technologies. Its the name of a company that makes ammunition using bullets built with compressed, powdered metal technology. I’ll be shooting a deer with this ammo next week using a .223 Rem., AR styled rifle. (Its not a hunt, the deer will be behind a fence. A big fence, but still a fence.) I tested this ammo last year in my home-made gelatin blocks and the now, almost defunct Bullet Test Tube. Here was the way I concluded that article that was published in NRA’s Shooting Illustrated magazine:

These tests should eliminate concerns that the powdered metal DRT bullets will be unable to pass through bone or solid intermediate barriers without completely coming apart. I feel confident they will not create shallow surface wounds or fail to penetrate deep enough to reach vital organs like some assume powdered metal bullets will do. I would really like to participate in an animal culling operation with DRT ammo to gain a better understanding. Short of that, we can only speculate on real world terminal performance, or, trust the Mandrell sisters.

Maybe by late next week we will know the answer. One of my first complaints with these bullets was that DRT keeps their content a secret. Sorry, I’m not shooting things I might eat with bullets made out of an unknown material. Even if they claim it to be non-toxic. Maybe now DRT is ready to reveal just what type materials they are using.

If nothing else, Irene Mandrell is supposed to be there. As a spokesperson for DRT I’m sure she will be singing their song. Maybe we’ll get lucky and she will sing something else for the writers (Mark Olis – Grandview Media, Jim Shepard – The Outdoor Wire, Buck Pope – Gunworld and me.) in attendance.


About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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12 Responses to DRT

  1. RG says:

    “Sorry, I’m not shooting things I might eat with bullets made out of an unknown material.”

    I am REAL interested in what you find both in the ingredients in the bullets AND how they perform on a real animal.

  2. gunwriter says:

    Based on the testing I’ve conducted, I expect they will put animals down just fine. I also think the powdered metal technology has merit. Right now it seems consumers and bullet builders are trying to wrap their heads around it.

    But, if I eat secret ingredients I want it to come from KFC, not a bullet.

  3. RG says:

    I am fully with you on the secret ingredient part. I look forward to reading about what you find.

  4. SgtRed says:

    A little internet research turned up that “DRT appears to be producing the same type of powdered metal projectiles previously made by Powell River Labs and used by some U.S. units in the late 1990’s.” The Powell River Labs ammo used tungsten-tin core frangible projectiles.
    My own testing revealed very poor quality primers and QC, with many failures to fire. I have not tested the terminal effects of this ammo.

  5. SgtRed says:

    My unscientific testing was with DRT.
    The .223, when it fired, was extremely accurate. The 9mm went bang every time.
    Since then I have had some feedback from other users, and it seems to be a QC issue. Most do not have failures to fire, while others have had all rounds in a box fail. I would prefer more feedback but the cost of this ammo seems to prevent that.

  6. Michael Saari says:

    As an avid deer hunter with both rifle (AR-15) and bow & arrow (Mathews) my primary concern is the same with both the DRT bullet and the arrow.
    Take for example #1: When a mechanical arrow shot from a compound bow hits a twig it damages the shot, misses the deer an probably damages the broadhead too.
    Take for example #2: If using DRT bullets in brushy or timbered areas 9thickets) with lots of branches, what will happen to the bullet when it hits a 1 inch twig or thick bush prior to hitting the deer?
    Take for example #3: If using a lead bullet such as the Black Hills 60gr 223 it will pass through the twigs and brush.
    Until I fully understand the dynamics of the bullet I would not recommend using the bullet anywhere but in a clear open field void of twigs and branches.

    • gunwriter says:

      Good points Michael but let me add some observations from my experience when shooting brush. First, few bullets will “plow through” the brush in the same direction they were heading prior to hitting brush. In most cases, brush a few feet in front of an animal will not deflect the shot but any farther away than that and a miss or a bad shot is likely.
      The other thing I want to add is that any bullet that hits brush will start to tumble and a bullet that tumbles will not the animal with a nose forward-rear thrust impact and this will cause the bullet to not work properly. AS for the DRT bullets, keep in mind that they need a liquid based tissue to make them “open”

      • Michael B. Saari says:

        The DRT bullets open on steel plate targets? What is your opinion of the 60gr 223 DRT bullet hitting the front shoulder of a whitetail deer? Will it explode right there like it was a steel plate target? Or will it continue through the bone and get into the cavity liquid and explode?
        Thank you

      • gunwriter says:

        Based on what I observed during the field test, near side bone did not prevent the DRT bullet from providing a clean kill. Remember, while an all copper bullet like a Barnes TSX or Hornady GMX will not disintegrate on steel, steel does stop these bullets. The other thing to keep in mind is that because these bullets work differently than conventional bullets, the penetration and expanding rules that dictate the performance of conventional bullets to not apply. The DRT works differently – not necessarily better or worse – just different.

        I’ve written a lot about DRT bullets. Not because I consider them better but because they are different and because they work. Inside 150 yards I’d shoot a whitetail right in the shoulder with a .223 Remington and never worry about the DRT bullet.

  7. Michael Saari says:

    To Gunwriter: So would you recommend I stay with the 60gr DRT in brush, or continue using the 60gr blackhills softpoints? I know the 60gr blackhills soft points work well.

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