DRT Ammo looks like regular ammo on the outside. These 79 grain bullets are indistinguishable from other hollow point .223. But inside the DRT bullet is compressed, lead-free, powder, wrapped in a standard copper jacket. Through hard surfaces, from bone to sheetrock to windshields, the DRT rounds apparently behave like any other .223 round. But 2″ into liquid or organic matter, they come apart and fill the wound channel with a small cyclone of spinning powder. This completely disables the target, causing an immediate loss of blood pressure and overwhelming trauma.
“Dead Right There” is the only way to describe our first trials with compressed powder DRT Ammo. This trophy hog ate dirt from a full charge with one shot from a Colt 6920 AR-15 at 179 yards to the thickest part of his skull in the brow. You have to read the great hunting story below about the morning and how it evolved.
Ernesto Barnabas, shown here with the hog, didn’t actually shoot him, but since it was his morning out with Dwayne at Kissimmee River Hunt and Fish, he got to take the pictures and take the meat home. This monster went from a full charge with murderous intentions to 85 pounds of useful pork in a few hours.
The pictures of his skull with the skin cut away are too gruesome for a family show like this, but we hope to let the buzzards pick the head clean and include some pictures of the actual hole in the skull on our next installment with DRT Ammo. The .223 in 55 grain clearly transforms the role of the AR-15 here, into a dangerous game rifle. If what we hear about the accuracy and barrier penetration are true, this should be an exciting ongoing learning adventure re-defining what we all “know” about hunting calibers.
Dynamic Research Technologies
You may never have even heard of the biggest innovation in terminal ballistics since the hollow point. It has been around for more than five years, and the bullets are made from compressed powder, wrapped in a standard copper jacket. Loaded ammunition is available in most common rifle calibers, as well as the usual handgun suspects and even some exotic hunting calibers. The bullets alone are also available in bulk for the handloader. The company is called DRT, or Dynamic Research Technologies. If you hit a living being with a DRT bullet, it will become our definition of DRT, “(D)ead (R)ight (T)here.”
This is the first in what will probably be a series on this product. The overall implications of these DRT bullets are far reaching, changing the way we think about applicable calibers for given tasks. So far we are looking at .223 and have only gotten a few boxes in a couple bullets weights. The most important aspect of any ammo is how does it perform in the field, so we elected to zero a Colt 6920 AR-15 with the 55 grain DRT .223 ammo and send the gun out hunting with Dwayne Powell, our resident guide from Kissimmee River Hunt and Fish. He summarily dropped a charging 350 pound hog at 179 yards with one shot, saving his and his clients respective behinds. Not bad for a first field test. The story is below.
Frangible bullets aren’t a new concept and they pre-date DRT by more than two decades in common use. All kinds of ideas have been tried, from epoxy and lead shot, to chunks of lead and copper, to slicing up a regular bullet and superglueing it back together. Success over the years with frangibles has been moderate and questionable at best. Some people swear by certain designs and others consider them nothing more than a cheap gimmick.
DRT is unique as frangibles go because it stays together through anything a standard FMJ or hollow point bullet would, then completely disintegrates back into powder two inches into any organic or liquid. It may be hard to conceptualize, but DRT ammo behaves exactly like a normal .223, .308, or whatever, until it is two inches into tissue. Then it creates the most traumatic wound cavity known to man, completely disabling the living being that it has hit. This behavior is repeatable in gelatin and real world tests in the field. DRT has a ton of testing themselves, and their headquarters is on a game preserve, so they can hunt year round.
On hard surfaces, where a regular round would ricochet, the DRT bullet disintegrates. This has made it popular in the tactical and law enforcement market and DRT has been popular for years. In the hunting world, DRT sounds too good to be true. Safari Club has done TV work with them on Versus, and Youtube is loaded with DRT videos, but most of the hunting world hasn’t heard of DRT, because like any other startup company they don’t have the budget to plaster the online, print, and TV worlds with advertisements like the mainstream ammo companies do. Regular bullets work great is the thing. You really don’t need a groundbreaking new technology in terminal ballistics. But if you have ever followed a blood trail for a half mile only to lose it to the dark or felt terrible pang of guilt on an errant shot and a wounded animal that was never found, DRT removes that variable from your hunting trip.
You have to read the story below. Dwayne Powell, our resident guide at Kissimmee River Hunt and Fish, dropped a charging 350 lb. boar hog at over 100 yards, right through the thickest part of the hog’s skull. The bullet worked as advertised. It punched through the brow, then literally exploded, blowing the eyeball right out of the head. The charging hog went straight down and tumbled over itself dead in the dirt. In a .223, you can only use the DRT bullets in 1 in 7 to 1 in 9 twist guns, which is the standard range for the AR-15. Many .223 bolt guns have a slower twist and the bullet doesn’t perform unless it is spun properly. We hope to get more ammo from DRT in this and other calibers, and we’ll be back for what we have heard to be great accuracy and incredible performance in ballistic gelatin, as well as hopefully some videos in the field of this great technology. This great hunting story is our first installment for DRT Ammo. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Dead Right There
by Ernesto Barnabas
I spent the day before my scheduled hunt at Kissimmee River Hunt & Fish with guide Dwayne Powell fighting traffic, missing phone call messages, trying to fix broken fax machines, sending emails, filing paperwork, and managing computer errors. Ugh!! I could not wait to get away from the city and the technology and just get back to nature. Our plan was to hunt on the ground, a “spot and stalk” hunt like I had been on with my late grandfather as a kid. Finally my work Friday ended and made my way up to Okeechobee with a head full of childhood memories and hopes for the hunt of a lifetime. It turned out pretty good as you’ll see, but I found a lot more to appreciate in Okeechobee than just a hunt. I’ll be back I’m sure for more good times, but this first time up I will always remember.
Traffic between Miami and Okeechobee was a mess, finally arriving at River Bluff Resort late in the evening . Karen, the owner, met me there with a kind smile and unbelievably warm friendliness. She really treated me well and welcomed me with awesome hospitality as a Kissimmee River Hunt and Fish client. I gave Dwayne a call after settling in and he came right over. Since I first spoke with Dwayne on the phone to book the hunt I knew he was a friendly person. When I saw his game pictures on the website, Facebook, and the GunsAmerica blog, I figured that he must also be a good guide. But when I met Dwayne face to face, I discovered that he was like no other guide I had ever met! Dwayne treated me much more like a member of his family than just a client. Everyone wishes they could do what they love for work, and Dwayne is clearly not in this for the money. He was more excited than me.
First up was to make sure my rifle was zeroed at Dwayne’s private range at his home. He also introduced me to the other cutting edge weapons and optics available on his hunts, including the Colt 6920 that Dwayne would be carrying to back me up. He also explained what I could expect in our spot and stalk hunt, as he had been out scouting the area that morning. As we went over the equipment and the hunting plan for the next day, I realized that Dwayne was both passionate and obsessed with his guided hunts. He was passionate about providing the best hunting experience possible and knowing exactly what his clients want from the experience. He was obsessed with using his cameras and feeders to know the land we would be hunting, the animals we would expect to see in different places at different times, and having an idea of everything that was going on with the game on the ranchland around him. Never before did I meet a guide so planned and prepared! Other Okeechobee guides I had worked with had turned down the spot & stalk because of the time and patience involved & so they could get their next client in as quickly as possible. Dwayne, on the other hand, seemed even more excited than I was for the spot & stalk hunt!
After all that I could barely sleep. Different scenarios just kept going through my head as I tried to get some rest. On almost no successful sleep, I set out for Dwayne’s at 4AM the next morning. All my hunting dreams and memories began to come to life! Dwayne and his family prepared a homemade, hearty breakfast that would keep us from getting hungry during the hunt. We finished loading equipment and headed into the ranchland just before 5AM. As we got deeper into the marshlands and hammocks of the ranchland, Dwayne was able to navigate even in the pitch black darkness surrounding us. He obviously knew the land like the back of his own hand and I was glad he was there as I could not see all the wild plants and animals around us, but I could certainly smell and hear them! Finally we got close to the first area we planned to hunt, got off the side-by-side John Deere Gator, and moved slowly through the muck toward the hammocks near the first stands and feeders.
As we hit the first hammock, Dwayne spotted fresh rooting sign of several hogs all over the place. We headed in real slow when two loud grunts erupted from somewhere inside the darkness of the palm leaves, warning us not to take another step. My hand went on my 1911 sidearm instinctively, not knowing what to expect. Dwayne helped calm me down and explained that we had 3 options; 1- Go in and risk spooking the hogs out of the area until the evening, 2 – Go in and risk getting tusked by the hogs in their territory in the dark, or 3- Backing off and waiting patiently for the hogs we heard to move out or for other hogs to move in as they headed toward the feeder.
Dwayne chose to back off and wait patiently, so we could glass the area as darkness faded and daylight broke around us. This was so close to the memories of spot & stalk elk hunts with my late grandfather I could just feel that something special was going to happen. As the sun rose the marshlands and hammocks came alive around us, and with the rising sun we glassed whitetail bucks, whitetail does, ducks, geese, and other waterfowl. I was so excited for the hunt that every time I got eyes on an animal I thought it was a hog! With more daylight, we could see more clearly and greater distances. As I was glassing the path to and from the feeder, I kept thinking every shadow, every stump, and every buck or doe was a hog. Just as we were getting ready to head back in there with more daylight, Dwayne grabbed me and pointed in the area behind us. About 600 yards back, across two fence lines, there were two trophy-size hogs rooting out in the open!
When Dwayne saw those hogs you could see the wheels begin to turn. It was on, and so was Dwayne. Never have I seen a man move so quickly while remaining dead silent! That man can MOVE, even through wet and muddy marshland. We crossed the barbed wire fence lines toward the hogs, with Dwayne working our way between different hammocks to hide our approach. Before I knew it, we were working our way up the last hammock between us and them. Dwayne snuck over the edge and we put eyes on them; both hogs were so busy rooting that dirt was flying up in the air all around them and they had no idea we were there. I was ready to go prone, call a hog, put a scope on him, and take him. That’s when Dwayne said “Now we’re gonna get closer.” Well, I did not say anything because I could not believe it. Just how did he plan to pull this one off? Between the two hogs, they had 4 eyes and 4 ears to spot us. Not to mention 8 tusks if they saw s and didn’t like us. We still had what I later found out was about 250 yards of open grass and marshland between us and them. All of these distances had to be measured later because I got complete tunnel vision and it all seemed a lot closer. This alone was an incredible experience. One mistake and the hogs could have spooked and run away or decided to charge.
While I was wondering if this was even going to be possible, Dwayne did not hesitate. He crouched low in the grass and headed toward the hogs, as I just followed as quickly and quietly as I could. As we closed the distance my heart started beating so hard I thought those trophy-size hogs might hear it! We stopped just under 200 yards away. We had not spooked them, they had not run away and they had not charged us, so we were good so far. CLICK! I turned off the safety and froze as one of the hogs stopped rooting and looked up for a few long seconds. I called one of the hogs standing broad-side and scoped him, but the lens had fogged up from the morning dew and intense humidity! As the fog faded, the hog I had scoped was still broadside.
Shooting a WWII vintage Mosin-Nagant, I tried to fight the buck fever, calm my breathing, center the crosshairs on my scout scope, and pull the trigger. BOOM! Nothing. I missed, but the hogs didn’t move. Slow down, breathe, don’t rush, cycle the bolt. BOOM! Another miss. I was rushing. I needed to slow down. Now the hogs moved. The one I shot at started running away from us to the left. The heck with slowing down! I cycled the bolt, scoped the hog kicking up dust, and BOOM! a third shot looked like it clipped the hog’s back but did not slow it down. I cycled the bolt one more time, but that big animal was moving so fast I did not have time to scope him and take another shot without taking a safety risk and sweeping the muzzle past Dwayne.
That’s when I realized I had been hearing Dwayne’s voice faintly calling my name “Ernest! Ernest! Ernest!!!” The other hog, easily a 350 pound boar, had just broken into a full speed charge, directly at us. I froze. Even though he was barreling down on us, in my mind everything seemed to happen in slow motion. I don’t know how he remains so calm in a situation like this, but as soon as Dwayne realized I was done, he stepped in and saved my butt. At what we later measured at 179 yards, he smoked that monster with that Colt with one shot. The hog tumbled, face in the dirt. Dwayne’s rifle had been loaded with a new ammo he was testing called Dynamic Research Technology. The bullet entered above the eye on the side of the hog’s head and dropped it right on the spot in less than yards at full breakneck charging speed. When we harvested it, we saw the round had entered the hog’s skull and fragmented completely with a lot of pressure inside brain cavity which blew out one of the eyeballs. After it was all said and done, I think it took about an hour for my heart to finally slow down!
While I was disappointed in getting so excited that I missed that first hog, I could not have asked for a better hunt! In a matter of hours, I had relived the past times of spot & stalk hunting with my grandfather, had a hearty home-cooked breakfast with a family full of Southern Hospitality, spent a morning watching the plants and animals of the Kissimmee River wild wake-up and come alive for the day, had the most exciting stalk of my life, and made a life-long friend who was also the best guide I have ever worked with! On top of that I also got about 85 lbs of meat from that hog who charged us! There is just something satisfying about eating a mean animal that spent its last moments on earth fully intent on killing or injuring you! Dwayne dressed it up quickly, provided plenty of refreshments, and even made special arrangements for processing the meat with a local butcher since I was a client of Kissimmee River Hunt and Fish.
This was not your “sleeping in a treestand” or “swamp-buggy drive-by” guided hunt. This was the genuine spot and stalk experience for those who want to get down, dirty, hot, and humid in the hammocks of the Central Florida marshlands! With Dwayne as your guide you can be sure the hunt will be worth your time and money. You will be treated like a family member instead of a being treated like a number or a dollar-sign. Most of all, you will have a guide passionate and obsessed with providing you with an awesome and amazing hunting experience!”