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As a farm kid growing up in the early 1960s, I remember looking through (maybe I should say drooling over) the Herter's sporting goods mail order catalog. It had everything in it a 10 year old .22LR shooter could every hope to have....and they were even located in Minnesota, where I lived, which meant the shipping was cheaper! Somewhere along the way, the company died out....but you can occasionally find some of their reloading equipment and other gear at gun shows, pawn shops, etc.
With what seems to be the ever increasing price of ammunition, I'm always on the lookout for a good price on ammunition. Enter Cabela's retailing of the Herter's Select Grade Aluminum Case 9mm ammunition. They apparently bought the rights to the Herter's trademark.
While I hand load 90% of the rifle and pistol ammo I shoot, there is some I do not. For example, my rimfire pistols and rifles are fed a diet of store bought ammo....usually the cheap .22LR bulk stuff that is hopefully on sale when I go looking for some. At the firearms training facility I attend courses at, we are not allowed to shoot reloads due to liability reasons. (They are not much worried about you blowing your own fingers off, but rather the face of the person next to you on the shooting line. I can appreciate that.) The empty brass....well, it now has to stay on the ground. That pretty much blows but I don't get to make the rules so it is what it is. As such, any time I can find 9mm or .45 ACP that can't be recycled, I buy more than enough to carry me through a couple of courses at the training range. Hey, if I can't have it, I'll make sure they don't want it.
Over the past year, I've paid anywhere from 9.99 to 10.99 a box (when on sale) and usually less when I use one of the discount coupons I routinely receive in the mail from Cabela's. Their Glendale, AZ store is but a couple of miles from me so shipping is not a concern should I need to order it online (free shipping to their store for customer pickup).
When I first saw it on the shelf, I picked up a box and used it during my regular practice routine the following day at the range. I quickly found that it reliably cycled my Springfield XD9 pistol and gave me accuracy better than was needed for my training courses. After returning from the range, I bought a case and took it with me to a training course several months later. I was not disappointed. It performed perfectly. When I got back from training, I immediately stopped by Cabela's and picked up another case for my next handgun course. I had a coupon and it was also on sale.....how could I go wrong?
On various firearms forums, I've seen questions posted asking "How well does the ammo shoot?" and "Does the nylon coated bullets foul the barrel?" and "Is this weak like the Russian steel case stuff?". I decided I would take a couple of my 9mm pistols to the range, shoot a few targets and also run a velocity check on each pistol to see just how the ammo performed. I did not conduct any type of terminal ballistics evaluation as my intended use for this ammo is just for training practice.
For this shooting session, I shot off several stacked sand bags so as to provide a reasonably stable platform. The target stand was placed 7 yards from the bench and the start screen of my CED M2 chronograph was positioned 10 feet from the bench. I was setup and ready to see what kind of accuracy and velocity I could achieve using the three different 9mm pistols.
More Heter's 9mm