February 01, 2018
By Joel J Hutchcroft
Federal created its new American Eagle Syntech line of ammunition to be smoother and cleaner shooting. To achieve this goal, engineers developed what they call "synthetic jacket technology." The synthetic jacket is said to shoot cleaner and cooler, produce less bullet splashback when fired into steel targets, and cause less wear on your gun's bore. Three elements combine to provide these benefits.
First, the bullet has a soft lead core and the polymer coating instead of a copper jacket. The polymer coating totally encapsulates the bullet, and according to Federal, it prevents harsh metal-on-metal contact between the bullet and the gun's bore, eliminating copper and lead fouling. Thus, it extends barrel life.
Second, Syntech ammunition uses specially formulated, cleaner-burning propellant. This powder is designed to minimize residue and fouling.
Third, Syntech ammunition is primed with Federal's new lead-free Catalyst primer. The new primer produces reliable, consistent ignition and provides a more complete burn of the propellant, which further reduces residue.
Looking at the numbers, Federal's scientific testing of Syntech found that it produced an average of 12 percent less barrel friction and 14 percent less heat. When fired into steel targets, Syntech produced 51 percent less total recoverable fragment weight than FMJ bullets between five and 15 yards of the target. It also resulted in 91 percent less weight in fragments traveling more than 15 yards from the target and at least 77 percent less in fragments weighing more than 10 grains.
My first thought when I learned of Syntech was, "I wonder if this is Federal's old Nyclad coated bullets." I asked my contact at Federal, and he was adamant that Syntech is totally different.
Syntech is currently produced in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. I fired some of the .40 S&W ammo in my SIG Match Elite 1911 pistol. Twenty-five rounds produced an average velocity of 1,104 fps (measured 12 feet from the gun's muzzle) with an extreme spread of 20 fps and a standard deviation of 7 fps. Five, five-shot groups produced an average accuracy of 2.40 inches at 25 yards with the pistol mounted in a Ransom Rest. Four out of those five-shot strings had four shots touching.
MSRP: $19.95 (9mm), $26.95 (.40 S&W), $33.95 (.45 ACP)