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Preferred defense ammo?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Deus Machina, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    I'm sure it's been asked about before, but I heard of another few local, messy B-and-E's. So I'm reviewing my ammo here.

    Keep in mind my personal pistol is a Bersa Mini-Thunder. 3.6" barrel, so a quick-burning round is good. This particular one is 9mm--I'm a small guy at all of 130 pounds after a meal, so I got one I could control easily.

    My dad swears by the wadcutters and SWC's in .38 and .357 in his .357 Magnum and .38 backup. Last I saw him shoot, I'd trust him to drop a BG with his paper-killer .22 toggletop Luger. My piece is currently full of Georgia Arms 124gr +P Gold Dots. I've been curious about CorBon DPX's and Federal Hydrashocks, too.

    Not necessarily looking for an argument about 'best,' but what you'd trust your life to. So: what is your preference in defense round?
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    When you test the other ammo you mentioned also test Winchester Silvertip HP. My son has a Taurus PT-111 Pro and has found that Winchester Silvertip to be the most accurate and easiest to fire a follow up shot with. It's a time tested SD round that has a excellent track record. Speer Gold Dot, Federal Hydra Shok and Buffalo Bore all preformed well but he has settled on Win Silvertip ammo as his carry round. You might want to give Remington Golden Saber a try too. We have never used it but it's another time tested SD round that seems to be forgotten in this age of "new" and "better" ammo.

    Welcome to the forum Deus Machina...
  3. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

    I use Silvertips in every centerfire handgun I own, have been shooting them for 30 years, and have had Z-E-R-O failures, ever.
  4. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    Will do. Thanks for the suggestion.

    My current choices were because a brief search brought up some gel tests that showed my Gold Dots working a decent penetration at a good expansion, and the Hydrashocks living up to the name and thumping the whole block around. :eek: I don't know what caliber, though.

    I, unfortunately, don't have a good way to actually test this stuff for myself. Thus, the question. :)
  5. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Well-Known Member

    Any premium ammunition, including

    Winchester 127gr +P+
    Gold Dot in most offerings
    124gr Bonded Golden Saber
    CorBon 125gr

    38 Spl
    158gr LSWCHP or +P of the same. I've tested the lighter loads and they just don't quite get it, though I've yet to test the Speer short barrel Gold Dot loading. However, my snub is regulated to 158gr and I prefer shot placement over anything else, so I'll likely keep the 158gr stuff.

    380 ACP:
    Anything with a flat point. I've not found a hollowpoint that gives me sufficient penetration, but I've not tried 102gr GS, either.

    22 LR:
    CCI Mini-Mag HP, 36gr

    Josh <><
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    One thing to think about, even though tests are a good reference don't base your choice totally on those tests. (not that you are) Even though penetration and expansion are important factors shot placement and reliability are the most important factors IMO. Nobody can tell you what ammo to use in YOUR gun because some guns preform better with different ammo than others. When you make your final choice make sure you fire at least 200 rounds of that ammo through your gun with ZERO failures. Then, and only then can you trust your life on that ammo. Also, make sure you can fire the ammo you choose accurately and have the ability to fire a quick follow up shot with accuracy.

    HEY, half the fun is getting there!!
    Have fun and be safe...
  7. sm

    sm member

    I really don't worry about it. After some simple criteria has been met.

    1.Gun has to feed and extract , including in all magazines for serious use.
    2.What is the gun designed to shoot for POA/POI

    Then I just shoot a bunch of whatever the gun is designed to run, and after I am satisfied the gun and mags run the gun, I just choose from these tested.
    Hey, I might be out of town and need to snag a box of something.

    Then again I have no problem using hardball...*shrug*....I don't worry about it.

    Fanciest loads I have are some Old STHP, in various calibers. These just run any semi it seems.
    Bunch I hang with and I are having great results with UMC standard pressure 9mm
    Winchester White box , of new , giving us fits. Anything Win is, and I used to buy Win products by the pallet.

    So we often shoot what we carry.
    Using good value for the money and it runs the guns and goes where aimed every time, like (sticking with 9mm for instance) these UMC, Fed Classic, Fiocchi works.

    MY personal preference for a 9mm is standard pressure 124gr, I don't care if Fed, Gold Dots, Black Hills whoever- it does not matter one whit as MY /OUR guns runs these as I /we have tested it.

    Then again, I am fine and dandy with CCI aluminum cased ammo too...it runs the guns and goes where aimed.

    I like the folks with high dollar ammo and high dollar gun lube and the guns won't run.

    Hey I guess this is for obit purposes or something, not my way of thinking , but many do make choices along these lines.

    I also carry a dirty gun.
    Unwritten rule when I competed, never compete with a clean gun.

    Well I shoot a gun after I clean it, to know it runs, and carry it dirty.

    Old school ways still used by me.
  8. Nomad101bc

    Nomad101bc Well-Known Member

    Any leading brand will do but I highly recomend its a jacketed hollow point because these expand better than normal hollow points. The major reason you want this feature is to reduce ricochetes and over penetration.
  9. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    Again, good points, but I did think of most of those. I'd rather carry cast lead that feeds than fancy JHP that ever jams. Any bullet is better than none.

    But for the sake of this, we can just assume that the pistol will fire whatever I feed it. Testing the ammo will come after the opinions.

    And, no, I'm not relying solely on lab results. Those would be all well and good if people were made of jello, or if I get mugged outside of the World Sumo Championship, but I've never seen a block of ballistics gel with a ribcage.

    And I'm still working on my shot placement. If I thought I would only get off a single belly shot, I'd find a deringer in .500 Magnum. A 9mm won't drop someone from the shoulder.
  10. Nomad101bc

    Nomad101bc Well-Known Member

    I havent had any jamming issues with my JHP's. That could have something to do with my carbine being a very modern design that would have been made with those kinds of things in mind.
  11. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Well-Known Member

    I've been using 9mm Speer Gold Dots (124gr, standard pressure) in a Glock. I've also got a box full of +P ammo (because they don't seem to sell standard pressure rounds) with Gold Dot bullets from Georgia Arms I mean to test for reliability on the next trip or two out to the range.

    At home, though, I prefer Federal 1oz rifled slugs in a semi-auto Saiga-12.
  12. Koblenz

    Koblenz Well-Known Member

    WeedWhacker, you live in Las Vegas and buy Georgia Arms ammunition? I didn't realize that Georgia Arms had gone nation-wide. I live in Georgia and have bought tons of Georgia Arms ammo at gun shows here. I always thought they were a regional outfit, selling just in Georgia and neighboring states.
  13. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    230gr Federal Hydra-Shocks.
  14. strat81

    strat81 Well-Known Member

    Hornady TAP FPD 124gr XTP for the CCW Glock.
    Remington 124gr Golden Sabers for the nightstand Taurus.

    Neither are +P.
  15. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    Check out Federal HSTs.

    Attached Files:

  16. whited

    whited Well-Known Member


    I currently have Cor-bon 9mm +p in my carry.

    I like the profile of the Federal Hydra shoks a bit better, but I wanted to
    try something different. The Cor-bon are shorter and the shoulders are
    nicely tapered, and they are rumored to be a peppy little round.
  17. MS .45

    MS .45 Well-Known Member

    I have just recently switched to Double Tap loads for my 9mm. They have been reliable in my testings and they pack quite a punch.
  18. spyderdude

    spyderdude Well-Known Member

    I switched from Speer Gold Dot 124 grain, to Federal HST 124 grain for my G19.
  19. Nil

    Nil Well-Known Member

    Speer Gold Dot 124 gr or Federal HST 124 gr depending on which I can find locally. But really any of the premium hollow point manufacturers I'll buy except for Golden Sabers since they gave me my only malfunction, a stove pipe, ever in my XD 9.
  20. normal

    normal Well-Known Member

    I'm fine with most quality ammo and have Golden Sabres, Silvertips, Corbon, Winchester Rangers, Gold Dots, Starfires, Hydrashoks, and Black Talons. I think that the most important thing is weight preference. I like light and fast and choose the lighter rounds in these bullet types.

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