Aussie ammunition maker, Woodleigh under the Federal Premium brand, has picked up a prestigious award for its Hydro Solids. The bullet earned a Field & Stream 2013 Best of the Best Award in the ammunition category.

Aussie ammo maker picks up prestigious award

Woodleigh Bullets’ hydrostatically stabilised solids have picked up a prestigious international award, being named Best of the Best in US magazine Field & Stream recently.

The Federal Premium Safari Woodleigh Hydro Solids were developed two years ago by the Victorian-based ammunition maker, which discovered a technique for dramatically improving straight-line penetration with significantly reduced deflection from bone.

“The winning products not only withstood our tough testing, but they stood head and shoulders above the rest, displaying absolute excellence in their field,” said Slaton White, Deputy Editor of Field & Stream. “The Best of the Best is the highest honour Field & Stream bestows on gear.”

“The Hydro Solid is built to give perfect straight-line penetration,” said David E. Petzal, Field & Stream Field Editor. “Tester John Blauvelt and I shot the Hydro Solids in 9.3×62 Mauser, the metric equivalent of the .375 H&H. They went through everything we could put in front of them. Everything.”

Woodleigh Bullets founder Geoff McDonald said he was surprised by how quickly the bullet he developed with designer and metallurgist John Morozzi gained recognition.

“We sent the bullet to Federal Premium last year for evaluation and they’ve only just come out with the first commercial batch, so this is very quick,” he said.

“I was quite taken by that because the Americans are quite parochial, so to win something like that is great.

“It’s a very unique concept designed by John Morozzi who came from the extruded metal industry.”

Morozzi explained that the idea came from his work creating brass tubing, which is essentially driving a thin mandrel through the centre of solid brass rod.

“With the design of the mandrel head, we found a way to keep the mandrel straight and require much less force to penetrate the rod, so, being a keen hunter, I saw a way to translate that into a bullet design,” he said.

“The design of the tip is where the magic is because you’re shearing a wad that creates a wound channel that won’t seal up, but in such a way that it won’t deflect.”

Morozzi added that the brass compound used in the bullet was also a critical factor and where the trade secret lies, while the banding around the bullet helps to reduce barrel wear.

“We tested for three years and even shot through 100-year-old guns that have softer barrels and found they didn’t damage the bore,” he said.

However, the main benefit is the penetration and wound channel that McDonald says creates tissue damage similar to soft-point bullets.

“The idea was to come up with a solid that would penetrate very deeply and maintain its course and we found that the Hydro bullets out-penetrate and maintain their course even when they strike bone or other tissue much better than all other solids,” he said.

“What that means is that as long as you aim at the vitals, you’ll get a clean fatal shot no matter which angle you shoot the animal from.

“It also means that if you’re shooting in thick scrub, you won’t get deflection off foliage.”

“I think what we’ve done,” said Morozzi, “is bridge the gap between expanding and solid bullets.”

The bullets were designed predominantly for big game such as buffalo in Australia, but with calibres from 577 down to 7mm, there are bullets suitable for deer and other smaller game. McDonald also said they were looking at a 22 calibre bullet.

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