Norma has been around the block for over 100 years, producing a diverse range of ammunition lines for military, hunters, and target shooters. A fun fact about Norma is that the name has nothing to do with Norway, the Norwegian country where this company got its start, it’s actually a nod to an opera that was titled “Norma”. Since its beginnings in 1902, the Norma of today produces over 30 million cartridges annually for 100 different calibers. I’ve recently checked out some of their pistol and rifle ammunition to see how it stacks up.
With the rise in popularity of pistol caliber carbines for range and competition use, Norma released the Envy line in 9mm Luger. Now, this isn’t specifically for PCC’s, it was designed around that platform but it’s obviously also perfectly safe to shoot from pistols as well. According to the box, the 9mm Envy is slinging a 124gr FMJ bullet at approximately 1,345 fps, although they don’t say what barrel length they used to achieve that velocity. Now, Norma has claimed that Envy can provide accuracy as good as 1” at 50 yards from a PCC so I was pretty excited to try it out. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a PCC to use but I had two Glock pistols, a stock G19, and a finessed G34 that I use in multi-gun competition.
From the G19 the Envy was an absolute hammer, the average accuracy five 5-shot groups shot offhand at 10 yards was 2.64”. For whatever reason, though the G34 absolutely did not like the Envy and averaged out at about 3.54” with the best group being 2.25”.
Later on, I ran some Mozambique drills with both pistols and again the G19 just loved the Envy ammunition, keeping the rounds tight in the A-Zone and credit card. The G34, on the other hand, was able to keep most of the shots in the A-Zone and headbox but the spread was about double that of the G19.
Cost is $14.99/50rd Box
At SHOT Show 2019 Norma released their “new” Hexagon match ammunition line and I mentioned “new” like that because it isn’t really new. Years ago GECO released the Hexagon line and now that Norma and GECO are under the same RUAG Ammotec umbrella I suppose they felt the need to rebrand for the American market. I was still excited to try out this match-grade pistol ammo though, to see what it was made of.
The Hexagon bullet looks rather unique and at first glance, it would appear to be a jacketed hollow point but that’s not the case here. The bullet features six stabilizing groves that lead to a wide-open tip, which Norma claims contributes to its accuracy potential of yielding 1” or less groups at 25 yards. Now, I certainly did not get those kinds of groups but then again I’m not a world-class pistol shooter either using a rather stock pistol.
The G34 averaged 2.92” for five 5-shot groups and the G19 absolutely did not like the Hexagon ammunition and yielded a huge average group size of 3.82”. According to Norma, the 124 gr 9mm Hexagon ammo should be going about 1,181 fps but again they don’t say what barrel length they’re using to get that velocity. From the G34 the average velocity was 1,119 fps with the G19 being a little slower at 1,058 fps but that’s to be expected.
Just how little the G19 liked the Hexagon ammunition became apparent when I was shooting some steel on the range. Where the G34 could consistently drop the plate racks and falling plates, the G19 really struggled, sending rounds just off the edge that felt like they should’ve hit. That’s not saying the Hexagon ammunition is junk, it’s just an example that you need to try different types and brands because sometimes a gun just doesn’t like a particular bullet. For those interested, the Hexagon line is also available in .357 and .45 ACP.
Cost is $19.99/50rd Box
6.5 Creedmoor Golden Target
Norma may best be known for their hunting ammunition but they also produce match grade rifle ammunition in a number of calibers, including the ever-popular 6.5 Creedmoor. They call it Golden Target and it shoots a 130gr BTHP bullet at about 2850 fps with a ballistic coefficient of .548 (G1), perfectly suited to long-range target shooting and competition.
I sort of put the cart before the horse compared to how I usually do testing and instead went straight out to the mid-distance range at Peacemaker National Training Center. Normally, I start out shooting at 100 yards for groups and all that but I couldn’t help myself and felt like ringing some steel. At 480 yards I was able to stack rounds on the various steel plates and surprisingly my elevation data wasn’t that far off from my dope for the 140gr ELD-M bullets I normally shoot. The rifle was such a pleasure to shoot that I had to reel myself in because otherwise, I wouldn’t have had enough ammo to shoot groups for record and get velocity readings.
At 100 yards the 6.5 Creedmoor Golden Target faired well but I’m afraid that ultimately I just didn’t have a good day shooting groups. Four 5-shot groups averaged just under 1 MOA with the best group being .75” when shooting from the prone with a rear bag. My observation at 480 yards was confirmed at 100 when I noticed that elevation wise, these were very close to my zero for 140s.
Velocity was down a little bit from what the factory listed but that’s not uncommon, however, it’s still a very respectable 2,810 fps. At that velocity, the bullet will be going subsonic right around 1,300 yards depending on the environmental conditions. Golden Target ammunition is also available in 6.5X55 SE, 6.5X284 Norma, .308 Winchester, and .30-06 Springfield.
Cost is $27.40/20rd Box
Throughout all of the rounds fired, reliability was 100%, not one failure to fire, eject, or extract was noted. I also don’t know if I’ve ever seen prettier ammo that is highly polished and seemingly devoid of imperfections, a testament to Norma’s dedication to quality. Sure, accuracy could’ve been better in some cases but for the most part, these shots were not shot from a mechanical rest so a fair bit of human error should be considered as well. Regardless, it shouldn’t dissuade you from checking out Norma’s options if you are looking for some of the very best in ammunition for the range or competition.