History of Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator

After the success of their Maximum Expansion bullets (which provided a devastating wound channel with reduced risk of over penetration) and Controlled Fracturing bullets (one of the most unique projectiles ever designed), Lehigh Defense decided to focus on innovating and updating the design of one of the late Elmer Keith’s creations, the hard cast Semi-Wad Cutter.

The original SWC Keith bullet filled a niche early on as it helped hunters face dangerous game with penetration measured in feet instead of inches. Unfortunately, the early copper-jacketed lead core hunting bullets that were in use at the time, often delivered less than ideal performance, as they:

· disintegrated upon contact with tough shoulder bone

· were unable to withstand the high velocity of the Magnum Cartridges at close range

· failed to expand enough at greater distances to produce a significant would hole

While the SWC wasn’t a perfect bullet, it was an improvement over the copper-jacketed lead core bullets, striking a balance between good penetration and respectable terminal performance (probably the reason it’s still with us today). That’s why, in 2011, Lehigh Defense started to innovate and update the design.

To overcome the limitations of the SWC Keith bullet, Lehigh Defense decided to design a bullet that would never break apart upon contact with a shoulder bone, one with sufficient length for straight line penetration, but less weight than a conventional hard cast lead bullet.

In the Spring of 2014, after 3 long years of development, Lehigh Defense released the Xtreme Penetrator (XP), a next generation bullet that looks mean and delivers a high level of terminal performance (which is easily confirmed upon witnessing a test fire into 10% ballistic gel).

Ultimately, the XP has exceeded all early design expectations. The “X” nose design is as wide as a traditional SWC design, but the cut-out flutes on the sides and top reduce the surface area enough to allow it to penetrate deeper but maintain higher velocity during penetration.

Since the XP bullet is lead-free, it is significantly lighter than leaded counterparts, which results in less recoil and increased velocities with equal powder charges. The XP design delivers plenty of penetration and unbelievable terminal performance while maintaining 100% of its original weight (regardless of what it comes into contact with).

With looks to kill and performance that does just that, the XP has become Lehigh’s recommended go-to bullet for functionality and design in a single bullet. Visit http://www.lehighdefense.com to learn more about the Xtreme Pentrator and all of their innovative projectiles.

See the Xtreme Penetrator in action at:




3 thoughts on “History of Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator

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  2. This bullet leaves the same wound as a FMJ round when it is shot into actual animal tissue. This bullet exploits the properties of Gelatin to give a false impression of it’s terminal ballistics . I have tested round in 2 different calibers , both loaded by Underwood in pork shoulders (details below) to reach this conclusion. BUT Before I go into the science and testing, here is an experiment you can do yourself to understand why we got different results in actual tissue than in Gelatin:

    Take an hunk of meat, organ, or any large animal tissue the butcher will give you, and if its not similar in size, cut it to the the same size as a brick of ballistics gelatin you’ll need for the experiment. Proceed to attempt to you fold the Ballistics Gel in half. The brick will either begin to tear, or more likely (and especially if the gelatin is made from Knox or other Collagen based gelatins), the gel block will completely tear in half. Now I dare you to try and tear a raw pork shoulders, steak, pig lung, pig or heart, in half. Heck try and tear them in half in anyway you can. Unless you are tearing strips of meat along the fibers of a steak, you will not be able to do this nearly at all. It is a very hard thing to stress/stretch actual tissue enough to make it tear. Tearing ballistic gelatin on the other hand, is incredibly easy by comparison. The Gel tears because if its poor elasticity at higher forces. It is this property that gives the illusion that these bullet use to trick the buyer into thinking they give equivalent terminal effects as hollow points.

    The Bottom Line is : When shot through meat, Lehigh Xtreme Defense/Penetrator rounds leave the exact same type of wounds that FMJ rounds do of the same caliber

    How I wish I had my phone charged at my friends farm the day we tested these rounds. I have posted this information on many videos for the Lehigh Xtreme Defense and Xtreme Penetrator rounds. These rounds went all the way through the pork shoulders we lined up on his folding-table; and they left nothing but a tiny hole in the meat, with a wound path diameter no great than the diameter of round itself! In gel we had results just like shown in the above video… though not as drastic for some reason. I suspect that is because we used ClearBallistics brand gel, while the gel above appears to be made with from Know Gelatin with an insufficient ratio of Collagen Gelatin (Knox) to Water, and I don’t see a BB used to calibrate the home-made gel. None the less, the results in the video are still very similar to what you see in clear ballistics gel. But the result in meat is not so. Notice in the ribs placed before the gel, there is nothing but a small hole where the bullet penetrated.

  3. I guess you have never heard of the U.S> army tests on corpses which figured out even HPs, High powered rifle rounds etc did way less damage on dead tissue. A living person is warm and mostly liquid etc. Compared to a dead one well little liquid, cold plus let us not forget animals tissue is generally able to take more damage then a humans.
    Your test bring up great data but go back and try against something living. I do not trust gel test with any round myself and have not heard one story about these rounds killing someone. Some how at least one person has take down a bad guy with these rounds so why have we not heard about it? Thanks for the tests .

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