Range Report: OATH Ammunition

Two regular round and 2 expanded bullets

When choosing ammunition for personal defense there are many considerations. The balance of expansion and penetration must be maintained. Penetration must never be compromised. It remains the single most important terminal consideration.

Mission statement on OATH ammunition box
The OATH ammunition performed just as the box said it would!

Cartridge integrity is even more important. The cartridge must ignite reliably and feature both a good primer seal and cartridge case mouth seal. Cartridges intended for revolvers must feature a good crimp that maintains a hold on the bullet during recoil.

The choice of different loads is of great importance—as important as the gun and the holster. When the social atmosphere becomes charged and needs “clearing,” a caliber and load combination must be adequate for the task. I have met a number of proponents of one cartridge or another that give themselves much unnecessary credit for their choices.

A caliber and load that is easy to handle with a minimum of practice isn’t my primary choice. Some effort is needed to master an effective cartridge. I first like to know more about the adversary. I have looked over both ends of a gun barrel more than once and felt the hard push of a bullet as it goes home. It isn’t something anyone in their right mind wishes to repeat, and I understand the demands placed on the shooter, the handgun and the ammunition.

Two regular round and 2 expanded bullets
The 9mm OATH is a surprising load- note excellent expansion.

You wish to be as well armed and well prepared as possible. Every consideration of performance and considerable personal experimentation, has led to my announcement that OATH Ammunition has my recommendation. OATH Ammunition offers service-grade ammunition with good performance.

OATH Ammunition

OATH Ammunition offers loads designed to reduce recoil by using lightweight projectiles that offer good penetration and terminal performance with solid copper projectiles. The bullets are well designed and offer remarkable consistency. I have primarily tested OATH Ammunition with 9mm and .357 Magnum loads, and found them to be high quality, accurate, and with good wound potential.

The Magnum, as an example, offers unique ballistics. A 100-grain bullet is used in the .357 Magnum load. Velocity is over 1400 fps. This is fast enough to instigate expansion, but recoil is less than a 125-grain load at the same velocity.

target with several bullet holes in the head region
Accuracy with the 9mm load is outstanding.

The OATH load offers a ‘fracturing’ bullet. The all-copper bullet features longitudinal cuts that result in the bullet opening in a wide petal formation when it meets resistance. In test media, these bullets demonstrated excellent expansion. I have tested the .357 Mangum load and found it reliable and accurate.

Accuracy results, fired at 25 yards, are listed below. The groups are 2 groups of five shots each. The average accuracy is recorded.

Handgun Velocity Group
Colt Trooper 4-inch barrel 1410 fps 1.4 inches
Traditions 1873 4.75-inch barrel 1449 fps 2.0 inches

9mm Oath Performance

The 9mm 110-grain load will break about 1,200 fps from the 5-inch High Power I often carry. I particularly like the polymer ball encased in the hollow nose to ensure feed reliability in any handgun. The polymer ball should also help instigate expansion.

The 9mm load is pleasant to fire and accurate. These loads have promise. The balance of expansion and penetration is good and as you can see from the accompanying images, performance is good to excellent.

Accuracy, 9mm OATH

Handgun Velocity Group
Browning High Power 1212 fps 2.65 inches
CZ P01 1170 fps 2.0 inches

These OATH loads feature good accuracy and less recoil than is expected for the caliber. They are good enough to ride with.

Have you tried OATH Ammunition? What do you think of low recoil and lighter weight bullets? Share your thoughts or experiences in the comment section.

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
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 (9)

  1. OATH Ammo is apparently on the verge of collapse, having fired of the workers, and being raveled up in some sort of mortgage scam and not sending out orders to many customers who have paid. Read all about it in the ratings comments section on OATH’s Facebook page. So maybe not a plausible choice moving forward.

  2. 9 inches of gel is not the same as 9 inches of flesh. I also, would like to see some barrier tests.

  3. Interesting idea with the polymer tip. Engineered copper projectiles are becoming more and more the norm. I would like to see the results of this round tested with multiple layers of denim and through sheetrock. Eight to nine inches of penetration is sufficient in my opinion considering the average human body is a little over nine inches thick at center of mass and the head is six inches. Injuring bystanders with through and through overpenetration in a crowd could be a legal nightmare, not to mention an in-home invader.

  4. Interesting concept, but I’ll just assume that the person I have to shoot (hopefully never happens!) is a big ol’ fatty fat fatty that just rolled off the Hardly Abelson, so I’ll need as much penetration as possible to get through the clothing and the fat before it hits anything vital, not just eight inches. I’ll stick to FMJ with as high a velocity as I can handle, thank you.

  5. i agree that the penetration appears lacking. 8.5″-9.5″ in 10% gel, with no denim. But, I hope they keep trying.

  6. Sounds like a promising line of ammunition, but I’m a little worried about the penetration. FBI protocol calls for a minimum of 12″ of penetration to insure enough penetration to reach vital organs.

  7. the .45acp Two Stage Projectile, Fired into a 10% Block of FBI Ballistic Gel. Show a ~9-inch Penetration for the “Flowering” Projectile and ~14-inch Penetration for the 40-grain Protective Projectile Cap. Block had to be Turned Sideways to Actually See Damage Caused as Projectile went in. Also the .45acp appears to have a 6-Petal Pattern when “Blooming” upon Penetration…

  8. Thanks for reading.
    These loads are very interesting. There are places lead isn’t used today, and you made a good point. As for Speer Gold Dot, one excellent loading!



  9. I like seeing all these lead alternative bullets coming out. There will be a day when lead bullets will not be allowed. I may try these just to see how they function for me in my guns. In time, if they prove themselves, I may even consider carrying them. But, until they come down in price, I won’t be stocking up on them. I can get Speer Gold Dots at just to good a price.

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