Allegiance Ammunition PowerStrike

A black SAR 9mm with a box of PowerStrike Ammunition against a background of gray boards.

For most of my service career, I was interested in a handgun load with a good balance of penetration and expansion. Penetration is the single most important factor in wound potential. Without adequate penetration, we have nothing. During the majority of this time, I also worked in rural areas.

A black SAR 9mm with a box of PowerStrike Ammunition against a background of gray boards.
The PowerStrike and the SAR 9mm proved to be a good combination.

The sidearm was usually a .45 automatic although the .357 Magnum handguns online at” href=”” target=”_blank”>.357 Magnum and .44 Special were also carried at times. When it comes to home defense and urban environments, the demands may change quickly. A bullet that does not, and must not, ricochet isn’t easily designed and built. A handgun bullet with sufficient velocity to ensure rapid expansion isn’t common. Even when the design criteria is good, convincing a lightweight bullet to cycle properly at normal handgun velocity is not easy.

I studied an unfortunate incident in which a peace officer was putting down a horse that had been hit by a truck. To stop needless suffering, the officer fired into the body with his .357 Magnum handgun. The bullet fully penetrated, bounced off the road and struck another officer—against all odds.

On another occasion, I observed a .41 Magnum bullet that passed through a car door, struck a heavy seat bracing and deflected out the roof of the vehicle. On another case, a bullet fired into a vehicle door hit the heavy metal window regulator and bounced directly back toward the officer that fired the round—fortunately missing him. Similarly, a .45 caliber 230-grain bullet struck a vehicle side window at sufficient angle to bounce away and careen down the road. As you can see bullets can do incredible things. There are times where maximum penetration is highly desirable, and occasions where increased penetration presents a great hazard.

The PowerStrike ammunition in the black feed chamber on a gray striated background.
Feed reliability is ideal by virtue of the bullet design.

While service loads for peace officers demand greater penetration, a home defense load that is highly frangible is desirable. The PowerStrike is among the most formidable of these specialty loadings.

The PowerStrike is Reliable

4 Gold Cartridges with copper tops on a gray background.
These loads showed excellent quality control and cartridge integrity.

The bullet, at 90 grains, reaches nearly 1300 fps from the Glock 19 and well over 1250 fps from the shorter barrel of the SAR B6 pistol used for most of the testing. The PowerStrike proved completely reliable. By carefully developing a proper powder charge, good bullet pull and excellent quality control, Allegiance Ammunition has given us a cartridge that is reliable in the self-loading action. Just the same, no matter what loading you choose in your personal defense handgun, be certain to proof the handgun with at least a box of ammunition. There is no standard other than complete reliability that is acceptable for personal defense.

The 9mm PowerStrike rounds were tested in a Glock 19, a SIG P 250 and the EAA SAR B6 9mm pistol. Function was good with no failures to feed, chamber fire or eject.

The PowerStrike Design

A single bullet with no signs of high pressure, smeared primer face or excess case expansion.
There were no signs of high pressure, no smeared primer face or excess case expansion.

The PowerStrike achieves its frangible and safe design by a composite of materials. The bullet nose is pressed into the jacket on meeting resistance and the projectile fragments. That seems simple enough.

The bullet design results in little chance of ricochet or over penetration or perforation of the adversary. The primary responsibility of the homeowner is to strike his or her target. In the event of a miss, the PowerStrike offers a degree of frangibility, but the best outcome is to hit the threat and that the bullet fragments and does not penetrate the target. The testing performed included using gallon water jugs. The PowerStrike is not only frangible but impressively so, scattering the water jugs and doubtlessly giving up all of its energy quickly.

The PowerStrike ammunication has a full powder burn for excellent quality control, shown against a background of gray boards.
The PowerStrike loading exhibited a full powder burn a sure sign of quality control.

In firing at concrete blocks and other likely home material, the PowerStrike proved to be as frangible as any loading. The PowerStrike is affordable compared to some loads, and this allows the user to test the firearm sufficiently with a good amount of ammunition. For many users, the PowerStrike loading is an ideal choice for home or urban defense. I have adopted the loading as an option in the SIG handgun that is kept at home ready. I cannot give a higher recommendation.

Accuracy testing, 1 five-shot group, 15 yards


Model Group Size
SIG P 250 2.35 inches
Glock 19 2.0 inches
SAR B6 2.25 inches


About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (2)

  1. I have used the Allegiance Ammo. I shot thru a 2×6 pine board with very little fragments. I also tried theses rounds into wall I assembled with 2×4, drywall and external 1/2 ” ply wood and stucco with wire. these rounds went thru the wall with out fragmenting. I could of bought a bad batch! Check out Cor-Bon Glaser. Don’t take my word, test the ammo out yourself. I don’t take the word of the Companies I test it out my self.

    1. Thomas, I have to agree – I have had some of the same results, but also from the Glaser – they either worked like a FMJ or they burst on impact, scattering pellets just below the surface like birdshot.. Is there any results out there from testing with Ballistic Gel? I bought a bunch of both kinds of ammo a few years back (when it was still called Extreme Shock) in all shapes, weights, and calibers, but don’t trust them to carry for self defense.

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