There have been many questions as to "what's the difference between these loads and how can I tell the difference?" Here are some pics of the actual bullets:
Winchester 9mm JHP LoadsWinchester Supreme SXTs
are what you'll usually find at a gunshop. These are marketed to civilians (i.e., non-LEOs) as a member of Winchester's "Supreme" line, which is their top-tier consumer ammo. The bullet jacket has eight indentations; four deep ones and four shallower ones in-between. The jacket itself has not been scored, and the cavity has been bored out, leaving the jacket cut at the cavity. As the jacket does not extend into the cavity, there are no "talons" when the bullet expands. You can make out the lead core under the jacket in the picture.Winchester Ranger SXT
is a member of Winchester's "Ranger" line of ammunition that is marketed only to government and LEOs. While it is legal for civilians to buy, possess, and use this ammo, Winchester chooses to sell it directly to LEO departments only. Thus, it is usually difficult to obtain for civilians. Ranger SXT uses the old “Black Talon” bullet, including the black Lubalox coating on the jacket. The jacket is scored into six petals, which have been recompressed into a smooth tapered bullet nose. The jacket extends over and into the mouth of the cavity and down to the base. It is the points on the jacket that form the base of the cavity that create the “talons” when the bullet expands. The only difference between the old Black Talon load and the Ranger SXT is that the Black Talons used “nickel” (actually zinc) cases, while the Ranger uses plain brass cases.Winchester Ranger “T”
is a newer, improved “Talon” bullet. It is visually different in that Winchester went back to the “nickel” cases and dropped the black Lubalox bullet coating. In addition, the angle on the front tips of the jacket petals has been increased by about 10 degrees, to approximately 15 degrees of angle, verses the 5 degrees of the old Black Talon bullet. This apparently is one of the subtle changes that has resulted in improved expansion reliability when shooting through heavy clothing. Again, due to this being a “Ranger” series load, it is normally difficult to find available for civilian sales.Performance
While there are a number of test results available on AR15.com and elsewhere that cover these loads, to summarize, the Supreme SXT is a poor performer, often failing to expand even with light clothing. The Ranger SXT is much better, but still has problems expanding reliably though heavy clothing. The Ranger “T” series has shown to be the best load available in virtually every caliber it is available in. The improvements made to it with regard to expansion after penetrating heavy clothing make the difference.