What 9mm ammo to switch to? A confession with a question.


February 25, 2008, 10:29 PM
I've been re-evaluating my carry habits and practices. I've come to the conclusion that I don't practice often enough. When I do practice, I practice with ammo (WWB) that has nothing to do with my carry ammo (bullet weight, POA/POI). I can't even tell you were the POA/POI is with my carry ammo.

So its been a while since I last shot any type of carry ammo through my XD9 Sub-Compact. The Federal Hydra Shok 147 gr load thats in it has been on duty for over a year and I think its time to rotate it out. I didn't know much about bullet wieghts and what was best for that size gun when I first started carrying. I just took what the experts (gunshop employees) gave me. To be honest I know just enough about it now to get myself in trouble.

My question is this: What ammo should I switch to? I don't really know what is best for a 3" barrel. Also is there any ammunition that would fit the bill and still be reasonable to practice with? I've always used the excuse that it cost to much to replace on a college budget. I would say this and then find a way to buy a new gun for an imaginary future war that probably will never happen (or TSHTF). I think i've finally got my priorities down (self-defense) but the budget is really tight (and will probably remain so for a few years). So I humbly ask for your advice/help. What should I do?

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February 25, 2008, 10:44 PM
WWB Personal Protection loads consistently make the lists of recommended defense ammunition and always top the price/performance ratio list. At $16 per box of 50 at Wal-Mart you can afford to practice with it. I would recommend the 147 grain bullet for the short barrel.

February 25, 2008, 11:28 PM

To thine own self be true.

My take is, it does not matter to me what gun anyone else carries or the ammunition they use.
I can "listen" and get some ideas for me to consider, still the reality is, none of these folks are going to be at my serious situation when and if I need to trip trigger as I am in fear of my life.

The reality is, on any firearm and loading:

The gun has to fit shooter, ammunition has to feed, , go bang, extract, repeat, and magazines are part of the semi-auto platform , shoot POA/POI in order to get quick effective hits. (shot placement)

One should consider the environment and tasks they themselves are in.

I do sometimes carry FMJ/Hardball on purpose, always have.
MY tasks include[d] one way mirrors and similar, and FMJ/Hardball deflect less going through these mediums.

I shoot dirt. Mentors & Elders did this Scientific Mud/Dirt Test.
Folks can laugh, still I know some custom ammunition makers that do this test, some Military & LEOs that do too.

WE added bones, from whatever critter, and put something "stretchy" over the front of the box too.
Skin is elastic...
Just like a tomato will resist , until that thin skin is pierced.

This was done to see what a bullet did , how it held up.
Interesting was, recovered bullets were very very similar to the same bullets removed from critters shot with the same gun and loads.

The greatest percentage of loadings I carry are Standard Pressure.
I have my reasons based on my actual testings and I do get a lot of my preferences from how Mentored and those that gave /give me lessons.

With new students and on budgets, and using 3" semi 9mm, IIRC :
WWB, 115 gr FMJ, 115 gr JHP Personal Protection and 115 gr STHP all ran about 1065 fps.
We could not tell any difference in the WWB and STHP at the chrono or in the dirt.
Oh that STHP fed in every gun we ever run it in from BHPs, Glock, Kel-Tec P-11, Sigs, HKs, Ruger, Beretta , Smith 39, 3913...everything.
(same for the WWB JHP which mikes out the same, even when bullet is pulled)

Federal /American Eagle 115 gr FMJ ran a bit more like 1085 fps (going on memory here remember).
It shot like the Fed plain vanilla 115 gr JHP (9BP ? forget) - good load, and it ran in everything.

UMC , the yellow box with black writing, worked in all the guns and the bulk pack of 250 rds of 115 gr FMJ shot like some basic, JHP Rem load and I forget.
I also forget the chrono.

Now these puppies zipped along about 1100 or so fps.
I like Fiochhi and their loads in FMJ and JHP I like.

Surprise was the CCI blazer FMJ and JHP.
These suckers were zippy too! Shot POA/POI.

HKs...and Glocks, some days it does not pay to get out bed to mess with the folks on Dept with issued guns.
CCI ran in everything, but these guns gave us fits anyway, especially the HK with the armorer that tossed a hissy fit if one of "his" gun got looked at crossed eyed.
I wanted shove that hi dollar solvent and lube he insisted on up his...nose.

147 grainers from a poly 3" is thumpy.

I prefer a 124 grainer and I am using a 124 gr standard pressure load of JHP.
I also have a mag of FMJ in 115 gr handy.

I'd run your XD, see what it likes and forget what I like...

February 25, 2008, 11:53 PM
i think the type of ammo should be low on your list. can't remember the name of the FBI report after the miami shootout but it was close to "terminal ballistics and wounding" or something like that. actually that's probably not even close but search for it, the points that you will take away from it are invaluable. The most important factors in stopping an assailant were: shot placement, penetration, psychology of the assailant, and wound channel. by psychology they meant that one person could be shot in the thumb and fall to the ground whereas another might take several to the chest and keep coming. it depends on their mindset, drugs in their system, etc. by far the most important factor was shot placement. i recommend you practice with whatever ammo you can, and regularly shoot a few rounds of your carry ammo so you can be confident in it feeding wwell, its accuracy, and expected recoil. i shoot cci blazer for practice and carry WWB personal protection 115gr 9mm. IIRC this load is the old black talon round but in the WWB box, but someone can correct me.

Gun Slinger
February 26, 2008, 02:21 AM
The Winchester Ranger line is the continuation of the "Black Talon" line of ammunition whereas the WWB is not, but if you want an decent "economical" SD round due to things being a little tight in the pocketbook, it may be just the ticket.


February 26, 2008, 01:19 PM
Winchester Ranger SXT T-Series is based on the Black Talon. There are several other Ranger loads that range from Frangibles, fmj,jhp, and Bonded JHP.

February 26, 2008, 04:09 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice. I really appreciate it. It's good to see your still around the board sm, i enjoy your posts. They've always been enlightening.


BattleChimp Potemkin
February 26, 2008, 04:16 PM
+1 SM
We used to test our rounds in wet sand with denim over the top. It really shows what type of bullet will clog. Its really fun for the handloaders, b/c we then try different velocities to get a round to not "clog and fail". Our suprising findings:
WWB 115 +147 grainers work like ganagbusters. expanded everytime.
Hornady 147 grain XTP @ 1000+fps Looks like a very expanded soft point w/no failures
Corbon: Failure EVERY round (I have no idea, but heres a suprise with the next one...)
Sierra 115 Powerjacket @ 1050 fps Penetrated deep (16 inches) and expanded to roughly .655" average of the 5 shot group (ive began to load these for a strategic reserve :))

I could go on forever. I know this is not a crazy accurate test, but it does tell me if my load will fail to expand in weird medium determined to make the bullet fail to expand plus denim.

February 26, 2008, 06:39 PM
CorBon makes a round deigned for short barreled guns and so does CCI Spear, who makes a +P round for short barrels.

The bullet in these rounds is designed to perform at the lower velocity from the short barrel.

February 26, 2008, 07:05 PM
Corbon and CCI had to develop ammo that worked in short barreled guns because they were losing market share.

Ranger and HST are not as velocity Dependant like older hp.
This meant you could buy one box of ammo and it would work in all of your guns of that caliber. No need to buy light bullets for compact and medium or heavy bullets for full size weapons.

February 26, 2008, 07:06 PM
Winchester white box 115gr, personal security ammo shoots about the same (POI, recoil etc.) as the white box 115gr range ammo, from what I have seen. I haven't shot if out of anything shorter than a 5" barrel though. Pretty good on a tight budget too

Mad Magyar
February 26, 2008, 08:15 PM
When I do practice, I practice with ammo (WWB)

Nothing wrong with what you are practicing with, or even carry if necessary.
Don't kid yourself, many that claim they use "this & that" exotic, PD ammo are in the same situation you described.
If anything, you're honest in your self-assessment. Find time & practice more.:)

February 26, 2008, 11:35 PM
You could go with the Double Tap 147gr Gold Dots. They come 25.95 for 50. Not prohibitive to practice with say 100 to 200 rounds a week.


February 27, 2008, 01:02 AM
+1 for just practicing AND carrying WWB.

WWB 147gr JHP "Personal Protection" ammo is barely more expensive than their 115gr FMJ "Target" ammo.

Buy a bunch at less than $20 per box of 50. Practice with it AND carry it.

LAK Supply
February 27, 2008, 01:17 AM
Double Tap 124 gr. Gold Dots.... there is a NOTICEABLE difference between them and anything I've ever bought off the shelf. They're about 1/2 the price of Golden Sabers, CorBon, and Hydrashock too.

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