One of the most popular caliber swaps for large frame pistols is the relatively new .960 Rowland caliber. It offers a bit more bang for the buck but has some things to keep in mind. We look at this innovative aftermarket conversion for the Glock.
.460's younger brother
If you took a .45ACP sized round, and made it deliver performance around that of a .44 Magnum, then you have something on the order of the .460 Rowland. This round, the brainchild of "Shooting Show" host Johnny Ray Rowland about twenty years ago, uses a 24.3mm case and a .451-caliber bullet to generate a simply staggering 900-1000 ft.lbs of energy at the muzzle. It does this by making a 230-grain bullet, standard .45ACP fodder; go supersonic at 1300 or more feet per second. It is .0625" longer than a .45 ACP and features a beefed up interior case wall. As such, it will not chamber in .45 ACP gun barrels.
In short, the supped-up .460 delivers three to four times the power downrange of the .45ACP, which makes it a pretty bad mama-jama. This puts in a bit hotter than 10mm Auto, and firmly in the arena of .44 Magnum loads.
Jim Downey over at Ballistics By the Inch, the website where most gun nerds (this one included) go to minutely distill data on ft.lbs and fps for various loads, said of the .460 Rowland that its "Like flinging thunderbolts."
Taking this same concept, Rowland used the 9mm round and coughed up the .960.
Details on the .960R
Debuted last year, Rowland paints the round like this, "What the 460 Rowland is to the 44 Magnum the 960 is to the 357 Magnum... and we unveil it in the comfortably small Glock-19."
The maker advertises .357-magnum performance, but with less recoil and no appreciable muzzle rise as well as reduced noise and night blinding flash.
"With a full magazine and one round in the chamber you'll be packing well over 4 tons of bone crushing energy that you can accurately and rapidly place farther down range than ever before," reads a statement on the website.
The round comes in a 115gr .960 Rowland loading on a longer 9mm case and (according to the company) travels at over 1600 ft/sec, from a 6" barrel, and delivers over 650 ft./lbs. of muzzle energy and a power factor of almost 185. Of course, the G19 does not have a 6 inch barrel but you get the idea. A 147-grain penetrator hunting round with a hard cast lead flat-nosed bullet is also available.
To fire this zippy round, you have to use one of two conversion kits offered from Rowland. Both are drop in barrels that make no permanent changes to your gun and can be swapped back out to shoot standard 9x19mm rounds. These include a ported option that is California compliant (as long as you already have your G19!) and a more standard non-ported version.
On the downside, price per 50 round box of .960R is $50, so there is that.
Phil Tussey does the .960 swap on a ported Glock 19
Brad Miller over at Shotgun News recently reviewed the .960 for the Glock 19 and had some interesting stuff to say about it.
"The .960 Rowland is a new cartridge and was fun to shoot from the compensated conversion barrel in the Glock 19. The compensator meant that even the potent 115-grain load had no more muzzle rise than a standard 9mm Luger round. The performance level of the .960 ammunition tested was similar to high performance 9mm Luger +P ammunition," said Miller
What do you think? Have you gone .960? If so what are your experiences? Drop it below in the comments.