After you’ve purchased a handgun for personal defense, it is only as good as your training and the projectile--the bullet--that actually exits its muzzle. In fact, many personal defense experts recommend the use of premium, controlled-expansion bullets.One of the most popular premium bullets is known as a “bonded” bullet, due to the technique by which it’s manufactured. Here we will discuss what is meant by the term “bonded bullet,” how these bullets are made and why they are highly recommended for self-defense.
The term “bonded bullet” indicates that the bullet’s core--usually made of a lead alloy--is either chemically or molecularly bonded--think welded--to the bullet’s protective outer shell, or jacket. The purpose of bonding the two materials together is to ensure that the dense, yet soft, lead core does not separate from its jacket when the bullet strikes its target and encounters resistance.
When a bullet’s core and jacket stay together, maximum weight is retained, which in turn produces greater momentum that results in deep penetration. On the other hand, if the bullet comes apart, or fragments, each individual piece of lead and copper will not penetrate as deeply as the heavier collective whole; therefore the bullet or bullet fragments might fail to reach a target’s vitals. Bonding mitigates the risk of fragmentation and therefore decreases the risk of bullet failure.
Bonding is accomplished by one of several manufacturing techniques. Perhaps the most common is similar to soldering, whereby the core is melted into a pre-formed jacket so the two metals adhere to each other as if they were welded together. Manufacturers such as Winchester use a proprietary chemical process that ensures the core and jacket are perfectly uniform in concentricity. This process also maximizes penetration even as the bullet traverses tough, destructive mediums such as glass, drywall, metal and/or fabric. It especially shines in high-velocity ammo such as 357 Magnum and 10mm Auto, whose sheer velocity can wreak havoc on traditional, non-bonded bullets. While bonded bullets are more expensive to produce than non-bonded bullets and practice ammo, terminal performance is often superior.
One great example of ammunition that's loaded with bonded bullets is Winchester’s Defender Line. Available in 380 Auto, 357 Magnum, 357 Sig, 38 Special, 9mm Luger, 10mm Auto, 40 S&W, 45 Auto and 45 Colt, Winchester Defender features bonded, hollow point bullets and a notched jacket that “pre-programs” the bullet to expand to 1.5x its original diameter yet that will stay together for deep penetration. Ballistic gel testing confirms this bullet’s incredible performance. So if you demand the best handgun ammunition money can buy, consider a bonded bullet from Winchester.