Ammo recommendations

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Skidmarx, Aug 29, 2021.

  1. Skidmarx

    Skidmarx Member

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    I've always been a pleasure shooter....I shoot for fun, I'm old, I can afford it. I've been reloading, ammo is cheap.
    I trust my reloads, they've been good to me.
    Times being what they are, I'm having misgivings. Range targets don't shoot back. If you were buying personal defense ammo in 9mm, or 45 acp, what would you buy????
    Thanks
     
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  2. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter Member

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    I buy the cheapest HP ammo I can find for my carry guns. Any bullet will kill & stop any threats to yourself. So I don't see a need to have the best killer bullets. A cheap bullet will punch a hole in a bad guy just as good as an expensive bullet will.
    The main thing you have to practice with whatever round you choose.
     
  3. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I'd use a known brand name for reliability, and test it at the range for reliable function and cycling before ccw.
     
  4. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    Carnegie Hall…Practice, Practice, Practice….that said, I prefer premium ammo for SD. I had started with Federal Hydra Shok. I am now using Federal HST (it seems like the HST is available in any of the popular calibers…). That said, I try to get my reloads (practice ammo) to shoot same POI / POA. Loaded similarly, I get the “experience”, without the cost.
     
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  5. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    As for 9 vs 45 - your choice. Pistols tend to be the least effective (compared to rifles and shotguns) for self defense. With premium bullets today - not much difference in the effects of caliber with premium ammo. Shot placement is key (practice, practice, practice). What do you shoot better? What are you more comfortable with?
     
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  6. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    LuckyGunner has 50 round boxes of all the good stuff. $45 to $50 each which is a terrible price but cheaper than anywhere else that I’ve seen. I prefer GoldDots and HSTs for 9mm and Golden Sabers for 45ACP.
     
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  7. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Hope you never learn the contrary.
     
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  8. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    HST's and Gold Dots are known to be top performers, in ballistic gel. I haven't seen any data on how it performs in "the real thing" but those are always top recommendations. Carry HydroShoks, Critical Duty/Defense and Golden Sabers with the same degree of confidence, so long as you've tested it in your guns. Basically any premium hollowpoint will do the job.

    I have found HST's and Hornady CD to be the best in terms of consistent reliable expansion in the not so very scientific backyard testing I have done. The others I mentioned worked well too.
     
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  9. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    It's best to read reviews on SD Ammo and decide for yourself. I reload and carry Gold Dots. There is some awful nice self defense rounds available these days.
     
  10. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    when i carried a 1911, i used hornady xtp 45acp factory ammo, and also bought their bullets to reload. midwayusa would periodically sell blemished ones cheap so i could afford to duplicate them for practice. they also make a bullet specifically for practice which would be a good choice as well.

    in 9mm, i use critical duty 124g in my S&W M&P pistol, and HST 147g in my suppressed cz scorpion and silencerco maxim9, and i buy plated or plastic coated bullets about 25k at a time to reload and practice

    in 223, i just use m193 and mk262, and also reload for practice, having purchased tens of thousands of m193 pull downs and 75g bthp back in the bush admin

    in 300blk, i use leheigh defense
     
  11. twarr1

    twarr1 Member

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    Choose a quality brand in anything but FMJ and practice some with it. POI may be different than range ammo.
     
  12. DTL

    DTL Member

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    I have Norma MHP and Underwood Extreme Defense, standard and +P, for my Beretta and S&W Shield 9mm's.
     
  13. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I do put a little more thought into it, but this is not bad advice. With 45 just about any 230 gr HP is fine for me. I think 9mm requires a bit more thought.

    It has been close to 20 years ago that I was able to pick up some surplus 124 gr Speer +P ammo. It was 250 rounds loose in a bulk box at a good price. It has proven to be accurate and chronographs 1200-1250 fps depending on the individual gun I shoot it through. I shoot a few rounds occasionally to check for function and accuracy, but I'll probably never have to buy 9mm SD ammo again. I still have most of it.

    But if I didn't have that and were buying what is available right now I'd look for something in a 124gr +P that advertised similar velocity. I might also consider some of the new 147 gr HP ammo loaded to about 950-1000 fps. They are popular with some, but I don't trust the 115 gr HP loads to give the penetration needed. Although I do shoot a fair amount of 115 FMJ for practice. At typical SD ranges there isn't enough difference in POI with a handgun to matter
     
  14. armedwalleye

    armedwalleye Member

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    While I have no practical, real world experience, I have been carrying Hornady Critical Defense in my 9mm, 45 and .380 pocket gun. Reviews are solid, ballistics are good, and they feed well in my pistols.
     
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  15. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    Right now if you need something I'd take whatever you can find (and ensure it cycles through your gun OK).

    But if you have options, best to do a little research. This is a pretty good place to start but certainly not the be-all-end-all.

    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/self-defense-ammo-ballistic-tests/

    I carry something a little different in each gun based on research and what each on seems to like. Barnes VOR-TX in my .357 mag daily carry gun but I might change this once ammo is more available. The LCP has Hornady Critical Defense. My 9mm P226 nightstand gun has SIG V Crown.
     
  16. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Speer Gold Dot, Federal HST, Hornady Critical Duty, SIG V-Crown are what I would buy. I like 124 grain +P in 9mm and standard pressure 230 grain .45 ACP. But, this is just what I would buy.

    While it's true that any bullet can kill, any bullet might not stop any threats to yourself. And while it's true that a cheap bullet will punch a hole in a bad guy, if it doesn't expand or it breaks up too quickly, it hasn't completed the requirements of its job. The annals of defensive shootings by citizens and law enforcement shootings are replete with evidence that not all ammunition is created equal. The 1986 FBI Miami shootout that occurred on April 11, 1986 is widely considered to be a benchmark in ammunition failure. The NYPD, as well as some other major metro agencies have seen a some high-profile cases of overpenetration with sub-optimal results.

    Not all jacketed hollow-points are created equal.
     
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  17. film495

    film495 Member

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    As an aside, just with world events what they are and could be in the near future, been adding in a few addtional firearms slowly, some .22 rifles to do more rifle practice, a 9mm carbine is on the way to work with that a bit. Once you get out to 50-75 feet or futher - my experience is a carbine or a rifle, even just shooting .22s, the rifles are so superior in picking up a target and picking up sight picture. I don't live out in the country, mostly small city and suburbs, but - just going out and practicing has me considering hiding a small carbine in my vehicle, just for peace of mind.

    Just the speed and accuracy of a carbine compared to a pistol once you're out past really close distance is no comparison IMHO. Just throwing out some ideas as it sounds like we're on a similar journey of rethinking things a bit.

    I'm giving very little thought into what ammo outside of having some, and since I'm not really that skilled honestly, working through questions about how quickly I can get on target at various ranges, and do I have the right equipment to do that, and the answer recently was not really.
     
  18. Kevinq6

    Kevinq6 Member

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    I would choose a bullet that is designed to perform well using the FBI test or similar standard. Of the various tests I would care most about the bullet penetrating over 12in in 10% ballistics gel and expanding well through heavy clothing. There are a lot of bullets designed to perform well in that test. A bullet that does not meet the minimal penetration may not penetrate deep enough to reach the vitals.



    I personally prefer a bullet that has a good chance to penetrate the spine from any angle and try to carry bullets that penetrate at least 15in in bare gel.



    Make sure to verify that the ammunition you choose feeds reliably in your guns using your carry mags. Do not believe what people say online, every gun is different even if the serial number is sequential it may have its own little preferences even to the gun next to it on the assembly line.



    If you are in the woods, depending on the possible predators I would consider carrying the Xtreme penetrator sold copper bullets (they look like screwdrivers) or hardcast. For some wild animals you want more penetration and a better chance to break bones that may be stronger than human bones. You will want to make sure the hardcast feeds and shoots accurately in your barrel if you choose to use it.



    Remember situational awareness and seeing the fight before it starts are more important, but when you do practice that shot placement you want the bullet to do the job well.
     
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  19. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    My initial go-to rounds are Federal HST and Speer Gold Dot.
    Those seem to expand well, penetrate well, and by far most important, feed reliably in everything I've personally tried them in.
    After that, whatever seems to work well. There's some newer stuff out there that does the job almost as well, for less money.

    I'm an autopsy tech. I'm not nearly as held up on "MUST HAVE MASSIVE EXPANSION" or "it has to penetrate 16 inches or more" as I used to be.
    You are incredibly unlikely to hit the head or spine if you're in that situation, and anything that will penetrate a lung will do the job. The biggest difference seems to be if we get them from the hospital or the scene. Reasonable penetration and some expansion are important bonuses. Putting it where it should go is the key to getting someone to stop what they're doing when you need them to.
     
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  20. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    Can't speak for the 9mm however for .45ACP, Winchester 230grJHP in the white box are my choice if I can find them at a price competitive to the more expensive JHPs out there.
     
  21. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I’d be good with any of these loads in my .45, .40, 9mm or .380.

    0B5594B8-FC22-4EE5-87B6-B37676A09652.jpeg

    But, I carry 150 gr Federal Micro HST in my compact 9mm guns, Hornady Critical Defense +P .38 110 gr loads in my snubbies and Win 124 gr SXT +P in my duty 9mm gun.

    Stay safe.
     
  22. sarduy

    sarduy Member

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    Hollow points from any of the major manufacturers
     
  23. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    I carry what I shoot and practice with, I don't buy "defensive rounds". I carry a .357 magnum and before that a 1911, it doesn't matter with these calibers.
     
  24. sarduy

    sarduy Member

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    I think it does matter, a 185gr JHP .45 is way more effective than a 230 FMJ .45
     
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  25. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    I would buy whatever hollow point is the most accurate in my gun. None of it matters if you don’t even hit the target.
     
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