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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Practice Ammo vs Defensive Ammo

    You don't need to shoot the exact same ammo for practice vs carry. I would recommend the same bullet weight so the recoil and POI is similar. At SD ranges the difference is not that much.

    I believe shooting a couple hundred rounds of your carry ammo is important so you can compare performance. You should then find cheaper FMJ ammo that matches your SD ammo.

    Using FMJ in your carry gun when you can have hollow points is not wise IMO. FMJ ammo in defense calibers will over penetrate damn near every time. This is why the 9mm as issued by the US Military doesn't have the "knock down power" needed. The 9mm NATO(FMJ) passes through the BG without doing as much tissue damage as JHP ammo. This is due to the smaller diameter and higher velocity when compared to the .45 ACP.

    I would carry FMJ if I had no other choice or if I was carrying a small caliber like .25 or .32 ACP. I have heard of "experts" recommending carrying FMJ for anything with less power than 9x19.
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  2. #12
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    Default Re: Practice Ammo vs Defensive Ammo

    I think 20 gauge gets it done. Especially at 3AM. 12 has more kick, flash, and noise. None of which helps when woken up at 3AM.

    I sometimes carry FMJ, along with HP in the same mag, especially outside the house. Sometimes you might need to penetrate, so the FMJ might be nice. Test your gun thoroughly with this though, as some can be tempermental about feeding varying sized bullets.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Practice Ammo vs Defensive Ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by ungawa View Post
    You said this:

    "Federal HST (Hydra-Shok) law-enforcement grade"

    That suggested to me you thought they were the same.
    My bad, then. Hydra-Shok has the center post and an expanded profile that looks a bit like the traditional mushroom top we normally associate with old-school hollow points. It was and still is highly relevant as a self-defense round. Still carry them myself in the Sig.

    Based on gel tests, I strongly disagree. HST is far superior. But, where it counts, in the real world, probably splitting hairs at this point.
    You may be correct - but it seems the only way we'll know for sure is to compare bullet forensics from actual humans. I'll see what I can dig up.

    Would that be "miniature pinwheels of death" technology? I mean, come on, that was a little silly. Of course the sharp edges help open permanent cavity and as far as I know this did indeed originate with Black Talon.
    Seems to be the de-facto standard anymore.

    Ball has taken a lot more with a much longer history.
    Certainly that's true.

    I've checked them out extensively. SXT opens less reliably and usually to a smaller diameter. Especially after passing through clothing.
    What version of the SXT was involved in the comparison? May have been an earlier version - seems to me it wouldn't be uncommon for the technologies to trade places with mach number.

    Going to have to look into that one further, thanks.
    Long article, though, excessively technical, but it's definitely worth a read.

    You mean, it's about shot placement? In your original post you made it sound like it was a property of Black Talon and SXT ammo.
    That was my bad, again. My thought there was that the new technology makes shot placement not so critical as it once was, though it is still and always the determining factor in who wins a gunfight.
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  4. #14
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    Default Re: Practice Ammo vs Defensive Ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by marks View Post
    Thanks folks. Another question answered perfectly and quickly. If I ultimately choose to carry, it won't be this CZ-75b. It's just too big. I'll have lots to consider and choices to make at that time, but for now, the CZ is a range/home defense weapon. Your points remain valid though. Hollow points it is.
    As others have said, don't just load a magazine up with some good SD ammo and call it good to go. Run a bunch through your weapon and make sure it feeds reliably. If given the choice between FMJ and some top of the line HPs that didn't feed reliably, I'd choose FMJs every time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    In my humble opinion - you should 'carry' (or: 'use in a self defense situation') whatever ammunition that you target practice with. Why? Because that's what you've been 'training' yourself to hit your target with.
    I don't know about you, but I can't afford to exclusively shoot holes in paper with SD ammo. At the ranges of 99% of SD encounters, you're not gonna notice much of a difference in POI between a good SD ammo and cheap plinking ammo. If I was forced to only carry what I target practice with I would carry FMJs or I would carry SD ammo - just never practice. In an ideal situation, I would always shoot the same SD ammo I carry. But, in reality it is impractical to do so for most of us.

    Quote Originally Posted by joseywales View Post
    I think 20 gauge gets it done. Especially at 3AM. 12 has more kick, flash, and noise. None of which helps when woken up at 3AM.
    At the point that you are forced to pull the trigger on a bad guy inside your home in the middle of the night, you're gonna be plenty awake with your heart going 150 beats a minute... I doubt you'll notice much of the kick, flash, and noise. Ever notice how you barely hear the shot and your ears don't ring after taking down a nice buck like they would on the range without ear pro? It's the adrenaline... which is gonna be about 10x higher in a home defense situation like that. I'd take a 12 ga over a 20 any day.
    Last edited by max384; January 1st, 2010 at 11:03 PM.
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  5. #15
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    Default Re: Practice Ammo vs Defensive Ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by max384 View Post
    If given the choice between FMJ and some top of the line HPs that didn't feed reliably, I'd choose FMJs every time.
    I think I'd chose a different gun if that were the case.
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  6. #16
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    Default Re: Practice Ammo vs Defensive Ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by max384 View Post
    I don't know about you, but I can't afford to exclusively shoot holes in paper with SD ammo. At the ranges of 99% of SD encounters, you're not gonna notice much of a difference in POI between a good SD ammo and cheap plinking ammo. If I was forced to only carry what I target practice with I would carry FMJs or I would carry SD ammo - just never practice. In an ideal situation, I would always shoot the same SD ammo I carry. But, in reality it is impractical to do so for most of us.
    I roll my own.

    But, to be fair, I do shoot a variety of ammo - all my own handloads. In my 'primary' carry gun (a .357 Magnum) I do target shoot different ammo from 'plinker' .38 Special 148gr. Lead Wadcutters up to 'full house', teeth rattlin' 158gr. Jacketed/XTP.

    However, I'd say about 80% of what I shoot at the range is (or is at/near 'equivalent') point of aim, flash, recoil, et cetera, as the same stuff that I 'carry'.

    These days, I'm carrying 145gr. Winchester SilverTip "heads" (bullets/projectiles) over 19.5 gr. of Winchester Lil'Gun powder lit with CCI 550 Small Pistol Magnum primers. These are far, *far* 'hotter' than "factory" SilverTips (which, as you may know, are relatively 'tame'). I haven't had them through a chronograph, but (out of my Smith) I estimate that they travel at roughly around 1675 feet per second (and that's a *very* conservative estimate).

    I've shot thousands of these at targets and know how they shoot intimately. And they cost me roughly about $19.00 (+/- around .50 cents) per 50 cartridges. I'm about half way through my third box of 1000 145gr. ST "heads".

    Using Rainier 148 gr. Plated WC with COL of 1.54 and a heavy crimp, but otherwise with the exact same recipe, costs me under $10.00 per box and hits the exact same place on the target as the STs (same muzzle flash, recoil, et cetera).
    .
    Last edited by Bruce; January 1st, 2010 at 11:48 PM.
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  7. #17
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    Default Re: Practice Ammo vs Defensive Ammo

    I reload for my 9mm, .40 &.45 using Berrys bullets for practice ammo. I haven't had a failure yet & I wouldn't hesitate to use it for SD/HD if that's what happened to be in the mags when the need arises.

    Except for when I go to the range, I keep the mag in the gun & a backup mag loaded with Winchester Ranger Ts & yes, I do practice with it from time to time so I know where they're going to shoot.
    "It's hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."
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  8. #18
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    Default Re: Practice Ammo vs Defensive Ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post
    Your FMJs in 9 mm. may be great for practice. However, the 9 mm. fmj has its issues when it comes to stopping power - namely that it has far less of it than other semiauto calibers (such as .45 ACP). Ask anyone coming back from the Sandbox how their Beretta stacked up against the older 1911s from a stopping power standpoint.

    If you're going to carry 9 mm. for self-defense, then you'd better be packing engineered JHP bullets, preferably 147-grain or 124-grain in +p. Good choices are as follows:

    Winchester Black Talon (GunBroker only)
    Winchester Ranger SXT (being phased out, grab while you can) law enforcement grade
    Federal HST (Hydra-Shok) law-enforcement grade
    Speer Gold Dot
    Remington Golden Saber

    The Black Talon and SXT bullets are particularly badass. They turn into miniature pinwheels of death after penetrating the target. Wound channels are huge and grotesque. Virtually all of the bullet energy is dumped into the target (criminal scumbag), and if all goes according to plan, that energy transfer is enough to shut down the aforementioned scumbag's nervous system (the hydrostatic shock effect), stopping them dead in their tracks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ungawa View Post
    Opinions vary, but I'm going to have to disagree with most of this. Federal HSTs are NOT Hydra-Shocks. And they are far superior to both Black Talons and SXTs, which are both dated designs. And there's probably little or no hydrostatic shock with 9mm or most other service pistol calibers due to low velocity. Certainly SXTs and Black Talons have no magical "dead in their tracks" effect.
    kunsunoke, I see you have since changed what you said, I too was under the impression you thought they were the same, they are not.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_168_28/ai_112685770/

    As for so-called stopping power any caliber placed in the right spot will do damage. My personal opinion is practice and carry what you can afford to shoot the most, 45 is probably better than 9mm but what good is 45 if you can't afford to shoot it.

    I do believe you're better off using HP bullets and I carry the 147 grain Federal HST in my 9mm pistols. I have shot 100 or more of this round thru my guns. However, I practice with a similar weight FMJ because I can afford to shoot more of it.

    Below are a couple of photo's of Federal HST that were shot into ballistic gel, thru a pair of denim jeans, at a group shoot a couple years ago in Pittsburgh. The bullet on the left is a 45 acp, don't recall the weight and if I remember correctly it expanded to .60 caliber. The bullet on the right was 147 gr Federal HST I shot thru my Kahr CW9 into the gel, It expanded to .45 caliber and penetrated the gel 16 inches.

    To the OP question, any round is better than no round. In most cases a HP is better than a FMJ.

    Bill.





    .
    Last edited by soberbyker; January 2nd, 2010 at 09:12 AM. Reason: added info

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Practice Ammo vs Defensive Ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by soberbyker View Post
    kunsunoke, I see you have since changed what you said, I too was under the impression you thought they were the same, they are not.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_168_28/ai_112685770/

    As for so-called stopping power any caliber placed in the right spot will do damage. My personal opinion is practice and carry what you can afford to shoot the most, 45 is probably better than 9mm but what good is 45 if you can't afford to shoot it.

    I do believe you're better off using HP bullets and I carry the 147 grain Federal HST in my 9mm pistols. I have shot 100 or more of this round thru my guns. However, I practice with a similar weight FMJ because I can afford to shoot more of it.

    Below are a couple of photo's of Federal HST that were shot into ballistic gel, thru a pair of denim jeans, at a group shoot a couple years ago in Pittsburgh. The bullet on the left is a 45 acp, don't recall the weight and if I remember correctly it expanded to .60 caliber. The bullet on the right was 147 gr Federal HST I shot thru my Kahr CW9 into the gel, It expanded to .45 caliber and penetrated the gel 16 inches.

    To the OP question, any round is better than no round. In most cases a HP is better than a FMJ.

    Bill.





    .
    The .45 is prettier!!!
    (Me, ducking & running.)
    "It's hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."
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  10. #20
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    Default Re: Practice Ammo vs Defensive Ammo

    Thanks soberbyker. Right now, I think my 9mm pistol is a good weapon for me, both in terms of what it is, and in dollars and cents to shoot it. Hollow points seems to make good sense. Not being in law enforcement or the military (or in any other capacity where I'm defending the lives of others), I haven't seen first-hand, the types of crazed individuals that might be able to "shake off" being shot by a 9mm. I hope I never do. But, as you said, a well placed shot, is probably going to at least give someone cause to pause. Your illustration certainly drives home the poing that a .45 is probably the weapon of choice for a defense situation, and maybe one day, I'll get one. Now, for me, it's all about getting proficient with what I have. Great info. Thanks again.

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