When a new product touts itself as a revolutionary item that makes a difference, I’m skeptical. Critical thinking tells us the too-good-to-be-true is often just that; however, with Streak Visual Ammunition, the promise of an impressive performance overcomes the perceived appearance of a gimmicky trick.
After watching a video demonstration advertising the ammunition, I wasn’t entirely convinced, so I decided to put it to the test myself. Seeing is believing, after all.
Streak Visual Ammunition promises its customers they can see the direction of the bullet as it is fired. How it does this is impressive. As a science geek, I love the concept and scratch my head wondering why this revolutionary idea hadn’t been done before.
AMMO-Inc. said it worked to tirelessly develop an ammunition you could see in low-light conditions for nearly 10 years. The back of the bullet is covered in a phosphor-like coating that is charged by the light emitted from the powder detonation. The challenge was to create a coating made of propellents to ensure maximum charge to the phosphor in the moments the round is still in the barrel. The coating needed to also bond to the bullet without affecting weight and balance, and survive the detonation once light is transferred to the phosphor-like coating. To both the naked eye and the camera, a red “laser” trail can be seen traveling downrange to the target, providing a key visual in determining shot placement.
I undertook two separate test occasions, one with a co-worker as my spotter and one with a cameraman to do formal shots to demonstrate the viability of the ammunition in a controlled range setting. We shot at the 10-yard-line both times. We used 9 mm Luger ammunition in a Ruger LC9, a small concealable firearm. Currently the ammunition comes in red only, and it is available in both hollow point and full metal jacket.
On the first test, my co-worker and I tested two shooting stances each at three light levels: all lights on, semi-darkness with lights on behind us starting at the 20-yard mark, and full darkness with lights on only at the door of the range, far behind us.
Standing versus sitting did not determine an improvement in shot accuracy, however, the lighting played an important role. In full light and full darkness, the ammunition could not be seen by either my spotter or myself to the naked eye, or on camera. To be fair, this makes sense as the ammunition is marketed to work best in low-light or ambient-light conditions, and it is “charged” in that way if you will by the powder detonation.
In semi-darkness, the ammunition appeared a vibrant scarlet, streaking down the lane and into the target, as though I were shooting a blast from a ray-gun in a sci-fi movie. It’s as close to phasers from Star Trek as I will ever get to experience. All I needed was the familiar “pew-pew” of the laser cutting through the air.
Standing directly behind the shooter or behind and to the side, a spotter can see the exact direction and angle the shots are heading. From a shooter’s standpoint, this was hit-and-miss for me. Sometime I could see them sometimes I couldn’t, depending on how much I wavered in my shots.
The ammunition works well. My strongest recommendation after shooting 120 rounds is that it works best to have a camera set up behind you to catch your shots, or to have a spotter or shooting coach with you. In review, or in conversation, you will be able to receive immediate feedback on your shot placement. Shooting with my co-workers, both were able to provide real-time commentary to help me adjust how I was shooting as I was completing my test. It was incredibly helpful to review the test footage and have experienced shooters make on-the-spot assessments to correct course through each round of shooting.
During filming, the cameraman found that certain angles did not pick up the red streak, such as directly from the side or with the camera pointed up-range in the direction of the shooter from a safe distance. AMMO-Inc. representatives told us this was the case when they demonstrated the product. It is best seen going directly downrange and our tests proved that.
The ammunition comes in 9 mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, in both hollow-point and practice rounds. The ammunition is priced between $12.99 and $24.99.
To purchase Streak Visual Ammunition and for more information, please visit ammoinc.com/streak-ammo/ to get your hands on a few boxes.