Carry Ammo, Quality vs. Price


September 5, 2007, 07:21 PM
Hi there!
So, my ONLY carry ammo is Federal ( ). It's around $28 per box of 20. Its reliable for me. Never had a misfire with it.

Now, what other (cheaper) brand of ammo do YOU trust?
I saw a box of 100 rounds of Remington 9mm JHP at my local Walmart for $19. I would love to put that in my Glock for home defense, but is it reliable? Will it go boom after 3, 6, 12 months in the gun?

I know Federal has sealed primers etc.

SO, what other brands of ammo are there? Uber-reliable ammo!

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September 5, 2007, 07:24 PM
I carry WWB 9mm jhp from Wal*Mart in my 9mm and Remington .45 jhp from the same place.

It's cheap enough that I can shoot at least a couple magazines through it whenever I go shooting so that I can be sure it's working. I have some Gold Dots around, but I just can't afford to shoot as many as I would need to to be comfortable carrying it. I like to shoot my carry ammo.

September 5, 2007, 07:27 PM
What caliber and where are you buying that Federal is $28 a box of 20?

I get Federal Hydra-Shock .45 ACP for $18 per 20. . . IIRC; last I checked, 9mm was about $14 or $15 for the same. . .

September 5, 2007, 07:31 PM
What caliber and where are you buying that Federal is $28 a box of 20?

9mm, .38 / .357, .40 S&W, .45 ACP.
South Florida, Ft. Lauderdale area.

September 5, 2007, 07:43 PM
What caliber and where are you buying that Federal is $28 a box of 20?
9mm, .38 / .357, .40 S&W, .45 ACP.
South Florida, Ft. Lauderdale area.

At least $10 more than what I'm paying. Interesting...

What about Speer Gold Dot? I haven't bought any, but I seem to recall it being cheaper than the Federal.

September 5, 2007, 07:48 PM
Do you really need a sealed primer for home defense?

I'd trust anything with a big name on it for night stand use.

Ghost Walker
September 5, 2007, 07:52 PM
Actually, I use Remington 115 grain, 'Green Box', JHP in my 9mm pistols. I very much doubt that anyone I gave 3 or 4 of these things to would know that they hadn't been hit with Gold Dots!

Fiocchi makes some, reasonably priced, nice hot ammo - at least in 45 acp. So does PMC.

I've frequently carried 230 grain, FMJ, Aluminum Blasers in my 45 acp pistols. After a day at the range, firing 2 or 3 hundred of them, I feel sorry for the guy I'd have to aim at - He'd be Swiss cheese! :D

My suggestion? Don't be an, 'ammo snob'. It all hurts! ;)

September 5, 2007, 08:09 PM
My suggestion? Don't be an, 'ammo snob'. It all hurts!

NO NO NO!!! I'm ONLY concerned with reliability!

September 5, 2007, 08:20 PM
1 - Use the cheaper bullets in the same weight and
velocityh as your carry load so it is the same Point of Aim (POA).

2 - If you got two magazines with your pistol, go buy two more and
Rotate magazines so one can be empty and
at 'rest.'

Ghost Walker
September 5, 2007, 08:33 PM
NO NO NO!!! I'm ONLY concerned with reliability!

:) OK, then! The Blasers can be a little, 'iffy'. I will say this, though: If you're going to have a problem with a Blaser round, you'll probably see whatever's wrong with it BEFORE you load it into the magazine.

I've had a small number of cartridges that: lacked a rim, had the bullet setback, or had a loose bullet that I could setback with only finger pressure. The Blasers shoot clean; but, they're weaker than many other brands you can buy. (Still, hot enough to kill, 'thin-skinned game' with, but noticeably weaker than other brands when you fire them into hard stuff at the range.)

Try Fiocchi or PMC; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. WWB is very close to Blasers in all respects, but is absolutely filthy when it goes off. For whatever it's worth, I like Blasers and buy them by the 1,000 round case. Out of a 1,000 rounds I may get 1 or 2 duds - That ain't too bad, right? ;)

Here's a picture of a CCI Blaser 45 acp case that the rim fell off of. As you can see, it still fired!

September 5, 2007, 09:07 PM
First, you need to find a different source of ammo. You're getting killed on prices. If you're interested in buying in bulk (to save on shipping costs in this case): Otherwise, shop around.

That's what I use in my .45. I use Speer Gold Dots in my .40. Both work very well and I have never had an ammunition-related malfunction. I chose those cartridges because they function well, shoot well from my guns, and they feel better while shooting.

As for the cheaper ammo, other than my handloads, I use only Winchester USA, Federal American Eagle, and Speer Lawman. I would trust any of their ammo in my carry/defense gun. Why? Because I've shot enough of each one through my guns to be reasonably certain that they will work every time. (I say reasonably certain because I can't guarantee future results based on past performance. Now I sound like a commercial)

Jeff F
September 5, 2007, 09:36 PM
I carry fairly decent ammo in my ccw. I will carry just about what ever I can get even ball ammo if its all I can get. As long as it goes bang every time I pull the trigger and hits wear I aim its all good. Only in an emergency would I carry ammo that I had not practiced with.

September 5, 2007, 09:50 PM
Hornady TAP FPD in my carry gun, Remington Golden Sabers in my nightstand gun.

I wouldn't have a problem carrying WWB (in terms of reliability of ignition) if I could get the JHP as cheap as FMJ. I have never had a WWB round fail me.

September 5, 2007, 10:39 PM
Just bought 5 boxes of Federal HST 124gr 9mm from 50 round box $18.95. This is supposed to be Federals latest line of HP.

September 5, 2007, 10:39 PM
RGS (as above), for my .45 ACP. But really, Blazer aluminum cased target ammo feeds very well from even junk GI mags in my 1911--can't say the same for the hollow points. It (CCI) replicates GI Ball ammo pretty well--I have a box of their brass cased stuff, but have not tried it.

BTW--wwb in .32 ACP now is horrible stuff IMO, since the bullet isn't a round nosed anymore. The ONLY round my 1903 Colt has failed to eat is that jazz. Bad ju-ju.

September 5, 2007, 10:50 PM
I carry WWB 9mm jhp from Wal*Mart
I also confess to doing this. I like to carry something that's cheap enough to occasionally fire a couple mags full to keep a feel for it. It has always gone bang, so no problems here.

September 5, 2007, 11:20 PM
I like the 147gr WWB 9mm too. $15/box of 50 from Wally World isn't too bad.

Although, seeing the price on the Federal HST makes me think I might need to switch. That round was getting a lot of good press.

September 5, 2007, 11:33 PM
I realize that the normal thinking here is to buy the "best" AKA the most expensive carry ammo 'cause your life may someday depend on.
The problem - How do you know that it's ultra reliable? The stuff is way too expensive to blast out 500 or 1000 rounds in every conceivable condition (temp., humidity, gun position, gun cleanliness, etc.) just to test it for every-time-reliability. The cheaper stuff, however, could be run thru your gun for that very test and not send you to the poor house.
I've seen a few gun column writers do that kind of testing on a few, select guns but how their XD-45 works with WWB (or Hydra-Shok or fill in your favorite ammo here) and how my XD-45 works with it might not be exactly the same.
I only carry one piece and I carry it religiously because I've gone to the expense of doing the testing and found a very reasonably priced cartridge that seems to work flawlessly (almost, anyway, as long as I keep the piece reasonably clean).
I have other pistols that I like better (maybe) but I haven't finished the testing yet so I don't carry them.

Ghost Walker
September 5, 2007, 11:45 PM
I use a lot of Federal, 'American Eagle' in my AR & AK rifles - Great ammo!

I usually carry Remington, 'Golden Saber' in my G-21 while I'm CCW'ing; but, at the range, I shoot lots and lots of Aluminum AND Brass Blaser. Like I mentioned above, sometimes, I'll carry with Blasers.

It really does save money to buy ammo by the case; that $200-250 hit hurts when you pay it; but, if you're like me, that case will last all month. For 1,000 round lots try:

Natchez Shooters Supply (

Cheaper Than Dirt (

Sportsman's Guide (

Widener's (

And the company I buy the most from -

Ammoman (

PS: Both of my new Glocks came from the factory with Aluminum Blaser, 'witness cartridge cases' inside the box; and, a Glock technical rep. once told me; (and I quote) 'If your Glock won't shoot with Aluminum Blasers, send it back to us, immediately, because it definitely needs fixing!' ;)

September 5, 2007, 11:56 PM
I've used lots of Federal's American Eagle, also, and found it to be flawless in going bang and cycling in my AR and it's fairly accurate. I used to get it for $3.99 a box at Fleet Farm (up until last fall) but now it's hard to find for under $5.75.
I really like the Golden Sabre and Gold Dots in my 9mm, .45ACP and .357Mag

September 6, 2007, 12:07 AM
I have shot thousands of Federal Hydra Shocks in training and for duty carry. It is reliable as I never had a bad round of it. I am now retired and carry the same ammo as I trained with and was issued, if it was good enough for .GOV use it is good enough for my carry now.

How much is your life worth? Sure shoot cheaper same weight ammo for practice but use your last 6 month carry ammo at the end of practice and fill your magazines with the new. Life ain't cheap.

September 6, 2007, 12:19 AM
Whatever runs best is what I carry. For what it's worth, that would be cheap-o S&B FMJ in my .32acp.

September 6, 2007, 12:26 AM
Winchester white box JHP's; 9mm and .45 ACP.

September 6, 2007, 12:47 AM
I use Black Hills' GDHP load in 9mm. It cost me about $15/50, and I can replicate the load for half the cost with handloads using VihtaVuori 3N37 powder and Starline Brass.

September 6, 2007, 04:36 AM
I have Speer Gold Dots in both my carry guns.135gr Gold Dot "short barrel" in the S&W 637 Airweight .38 spl, and 230 gr God Dots in my .45acp 1911.They are accurate in both guns, have been 100% reliable for the few hundred rounds fired in both guns, the balistics look good on paper, as well as in all the tests I've seen published, and the ones I've performed myself.Also, price is pretty decent for a premium defensive ammo at about $18 per 20 rds locally.I trust them 100%, and personally feel they do best at meeting my personal criteria for a defensive ammo.YMMV.

September 7, 2007, 03:31 AM
A buddy of mine carries the UMC .45 HP's from Walmart as his carry load. I keep the UMC's in my vehicle as back up ammo for 9mm and 45. I have shot quite a bit of it in several calibers and have never had a failure. Before my buddy started carrying it, we tested it on water jugs. It outperformed his Corbon and my Golden Sabre in water. I know that it is not a technical test, but it definately looked good.

September 7, 2007, 04:46 AM
As long as you keep the firearm resonably clean and whatever you use runs reliably, I don't see the point in picking one over the other. A self defense scenario is usually 3 shots, not hundreds that torture test the firearm.

If you find a dud in any brand, at any interval, I'd be suspect and likely choose another for carry purposes. It does not mean that I wouldn't buy it anymore, just not carry it.

I live in the PNW where moisture levels in the winter months are quite high. Sealed primers and nickel cases make sense to me, but are not my only choice. I tend to like Double Tap, but Win Silvertips are currently in the carry magazine.

That reminds me, I need to blast that stuff out of inventory and get another box of carry ammo. I put Double Tap in my wife's 9mm, which are Speer Gold Dots.

September 7, 2007, 05:01 AM
Hi there!
So, my ONLY carry ammo is Federal ( ). It's around $28 per box of 20. Its reliable for me. Never had a misfire with it.

Now, what other (cheaper) brand of ammo do YOU trust?
I saw a box of 100 rounds of Remington 9mm JHP at my local Walmart for $19. I would love to put that in my Glock for home defense, but is it reliable? Will it go boom after 3, 6, 12 months in the gun?

There is more to just whether or not it "will go boom." Just as important is what the ammo will do when it hits its target. The best depenability in the world would be meaningless if the ammo you use fails to stop an attacker before he is able to kill you.

My personal suggestion is to look into Winchester Ranger SXT. It runs about $20-$27 per box of 50. Yes, this is more than the Remington, but the Ranger ammo has great self-defense performance and is very dependable.

Ala Dan
September 7, 2007, 07:09 AM
I am now carrying Hornady T.A.P. in 9m/m, and .45 ACP's; but still sticking
with Federal Hydra-Shok's in the revolvers. Occassionally, I switch over to
the 185 grain Winchester SilverTips in my .45 ACP's~! ;):D

September 7, 2007, 09:05 AM
I use my reloads. Thousands and thousands down the barrels, I know what works in my guns. Any problems I worked out years ago.

September 7, 2007, 10:03 AM
Mike McNett at Double Tap makes some great ammo at good prices. If you don't handload, that's the place to go for HV loads that still won't beat up your gun. In my .380 I shoot Double Tap exclusively; he uses Speer Gold Dot bullets over a custom powder mix that gives high velocity at standard pressure, at half the price of Cor-Bon DPX. His ammo is sealed, too.

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