August 23, 2009, 02:00 AM
Hey all. I'm new here, so you'll have to forgive me if this post is in the wrong place. The point of this post is that soon I'll be aquiring my concealed carry permit. Which pistol(s) and how much spare ammo I'll carry hasn't been decided yet, as it will take some time for me to learn what is comfortable for me.

That, however, is not really the point.

This is mainly a question of WHAT I should carry for ammo. Specificaly, .357 mag., .45acp, 9mm para, and .44 spl. I have been thinking along the lines of Gold Dot or Extreme Shock, but I'm curious as to what the more balisticaly-savvy of you may think.

Any advice would be helpful and much appreciated. I would even consider fmjs if someone could make a convincing argument.

If anyone has any information on someone who makes a shoulder holster that will accept a SA XD .45 service model with a mouted light, let me know. I've tried to find one, have proven unsuccessful so far, and am wondering if a custom holster may be the way to go?

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August 23, 2009, 04:57 AM
I'm probably in the minority with this opinion but I'm a proponent of hardball ammunition when carrying an auto for self-defense for four reasons:

(1) There's little question that the most important consideration regarding any weapon used to defend ones self is absolute reliability and not many would argue that any bullet configuration surpasses fmj for feeding reliably in a semi-auto. Some pistol designs are more forgiving than others when it comes to digesting ammunition but few if any will feed hollow points better than hardball.

(2) Some cartridges (the .380 ACP comes to mind), especially when fired from short barrels, don't muster the velocity necessary to count on a hollow point bullet expanding reliably.

(3) The third advantage fmj bullets possess is a two-edged sword. Hardball generally penetrates deeper than a hollow point bullet having the same weight and developing the same velocity. Deeper penetration can translate to a higher chance of reaching vital organs and can be particularly advantageous if the bg is wearing heavy clothing or is hiding behind a barrier of some kind. The other edge to this sword is that a bullet that penetrates deeper also has a greater propensity to travel further than you might want, possibly putting innocent bystanders at risk.

(4) Hardball is cheaper!

There will be some very informed people who will chime in with strongly opposed viewpoints on this issue but I am offering you my considered opinion. And a warm welcome to The High Road!

Deus Machina
August 23, 2009, 09:52 AM
In any of the major calibers, any major name-brand hollowpoint will do just fine for SD. The 'gold standards' are Gold Dot and Hydrashocks, both tried and true, and up to Hornady's Critical Defense or Federal's new HST, which are touted as the bee's knees--this is what I carry. Expect to pay about $1 a round, for the big-namers.

If you like to practice with what you shoot, Winchester Ranger Bonded are closer to $20/50, and ballistically look about the same as Gold Dots. And even the Winchester White Box hollowpoints have a pretty good record.

Either way, shoot at least a box worth through your gun before carrying them. For instance, my carry piece (a S&W 469--9mm semi) will go dry and uncleaned as long as I want it to, and still happily eat anything I feed it--except for those Rangers. Two jams in two magazines. The nose on them is long and near cylindrical.

Stay away from Extreme Shock. Too expensive to test properly, and all the tests I've seen indicate nasty shallow wounds, but seriously lack any actual penetration or 'punch' that is really what you need to stop an attack. Their advertisements are what the designers want them to do, not what they will.

If you have an auto that will not run hollowpoints, try CorBon Pow-r-Ball, which has a plastic ball pressed into the nose to create a hardball profile or--what I suggest--Federal's EFMJ (Expanding full metal jacket) which is a flat-nosed FMJ with a silicone bead under the nose. From what I've seen, they don't penetrate as deep as some hollowpoints, but they also resist clogging and expand hard, every time.

I will never tell anyone to carry hardball, unless they're absolutely limited to that gun and it won't eat hollowpoints. Remember, the worst a hollowpoint can possibly do is fail to expand, and work as a hardball. FMJ will never make a bigger hole, but HP will never be smaller.

PS: There are quicker rigs than a shoulder holster. Try some strong-side or crossdraw belt or inside-the-waistband holsters first; they're quicker to draw from and easier to carry under anything but an open coat.

August 23, 2009, 04:24 PM
I don't mean any disrespect to someone who's been on the forum longer than me, but for a long time during the year an open coat is exactly what I'll be wearing. know that there are faster rigs than shoulder holsters, but I find them extremly comfortable, and, at least for me, are make the gun easier to access in many positions than a stongside or iwb. Again, I don't mean any disrespect, but I do need a shoulder rig. Thanks for the quick responses.

August 23, 2009, 05:02 PM
That, however, is not really the point.

This is mainly a question of WHAT I should carry for ammo. Specifically, .357 mag., .45acp, 9mm para, and .44 spl. I have been thinking along the lines of Gold Dot or Extreme Shock, but I'm curious as to what the more balisticaly-savvy of you may think.


Not sure about your States ccw test. But here in CA., we have to "demonstrate actual type gun/s" (we're allowed 3) "demonstration in gun handling and accuracy" (draw-out type and shoot) with what 3 guns we plan on ccw'ing.

So, best you have the_gun/s you intend to ccw, in your possession first before you pass your states ccw requirement..

I mean, open coat is a known-factor, the same as what type gun and caliber you need, and are rdy to perform with, to pass such ccw test and qualifications.

You are talking about ccw carry, not a permit to buy a gun, right..?

So, 357 is gonna have the biggest bang for your buck, along with, the most recoil vs 9mm, 40cal, or 45cal. The key being: of these calibers, which gun, and which caliber, do you shoot with the most accuracy, especially accuracy with quick, fast, follow-up shots.

Ammo comes in all flavors: the more punch (+P or +p+) the more recoil and practice to stay proficient with such loads, along with, more, quicker, wear and tear on any gun that "accepts loads" of such via factory manual recommendations of do's and don'ts vs standard pressure JHP loads (which will do the job as well, IMHO).

And, 357, 40 or 45 in JHP will go thru most doors, glass, thin metals, like car doors, and thick clothing, yet not over-penetrate a human body, unlike 9mm with some doors, some type glass and thicker metals. And, take into consideration, especially in FMJ, any of mentioned calibers will go thru, and beyond, humans, etc., in many cases (not the best thing when it comes to legalities) fyi

And to be clear: 9mm JHP is a fine/excellent HD/SD (JHP's) in the right hands, not to cut it short by any means, or otherwise.


Welcome to the boards,


August 23, 2009, 05:40 PM
I've already and taken and passed the required CCW course for my state (Maine). We don't have any specific requirements as to what kind of pistol(s) we carry or how many.

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