Halo Point, Microsoft, and Bad Branding

Today we are diving into the depths of my ammo collection. Among several weird rounds, like a 9mm SMAW spotting rifle round and some Bolo shotgun shells, sits a box of Liberty Halo Point ammunition. I’ve never used Liberty Ammunition, and while I think the rounds are neat, I’ve seen their performance in ballistic gel and have remained unimpressed. 

Why do I own a box of Liberty Ammo, then? Well, because the name and box art captured me, but not in the traditional way. I used to rent bad horror and sci-fi movies based on their awesome box art, but the Halo Point rounds were different. By now, you’ve seen the photo of the Halo Point ammo yourself. 

I was drawn to it because I instantly knew it wouldn’t be around for long. Microsoft was not going to stand for this for long, and I grabbed a box from my FFL and tucked it away, nearly forgetting about it. I recently saw a post discussing Liberty Ammunition in general, and it reminded me of the Halo Point ammo I purchased in 2013. 

Halo Point – What Were They Thinking? 

Liberty Ammunition produces some crazy rounds specifically for the United States military. Supposedly these crazy armor-piercing loads are effective at that task. Eventually, they branched out into the civilian self-defense market with their ultra-lightweight, lead-free hollow points. Or, as they called it, Halo Points. The 9mm projectiles weigh a mere 50 grains. 

Calling it a Halo Point isn’t that big of a deal, necessarily. It’s a play on words, and Halo is traditionally associated with something circular, and the hollow point portion looks different than most. It makes sense for branding reasons to differentiate your already very different round. 

Where it goes off the rails is with the imagery and the text. It’s clearly referencing the video game Halo and the Microsoft series that defined the Xbox series of game consoles. Just look at the font, focus on the O. It’s not inspired, and it’s not a coincidence. Liberty Ammunition is clearly referencing or using the video game Halo. 

So What Happened? 

Halo Point and Microsoft seemed to cross paths when an episode of Discovery Channel’s Dual Survival showed a box of Halo Point ammo. That brought attention to the ammunition and branding. Microsoft certainly didn’t partner with Liberty Ammunition to produce the rounds. 

Liberty Ammunition remained tight-lipped at the time, but Microsoft responded to the small controversy. Microsoft responded in a Kotaku article with the following: 

“Microsoft does not have a licensing agreement with Liberty Ammunition, or any gun or weapons manufacturer, and the company does not have permission to use “Halo” branding on any of its products,” the Microsoft representative told me. “When we discovered the unauthorized use last fall, Microsoft contacted Liberty Ammunition to demand removal of all “Halo” branding from its products and advertising, to which Liberty Ammunition agreed.” 

A cease and desist seemed to end the production of Halo Point ammo and branding.

Halo Point Today 

Halo Point branding is gone, but Liberty Ammunition still produces the exact same load as their Civil Defense branding. I can’t understand what they were trying to do or what they thought would happen. It’s still a bit of interesting history and certainly a head-scratcher as far as I’m concerned. My ammo box will likely never be worth much more than the ammo’s price, but it’s a solid conversation starter. 

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.