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Choice of ammo for self defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by BoilerUP, Nov 29, 2008.

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  1. 357sigRog

    357sigRog Member

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    In 38 Special I use Double Tap +P 125gr gold dots in my snubbie.
     
  2. rklessdriver

    rklessdriver Member

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    Pistols I actually use/carry for defense. All of this stuff has proven 100% reliable over many years in my pistols unless noted as otherwise.

    .25ACP - My very little Baby Browning is loaded with Remington 50gr FMJ.

    .32ACP - My little NAA Guardian is carried with (2 6rnd mags) of Hornady 60gr XTP and one extended (10rnd mag) of Fioochi 73gr FMJ.

    9mm - I have my Glock 19, Sig P226, Sig P6, FM BHP and Beretta 92F are currently carried with Federal 9BPLE (115gr +P+). I'm thinking of switching over to Federal +P 124gr HST but the FM BHP and Sig P-6 choke on them...

    .38Spl - My 1972 Colt Cobra, Smith 36 and Smith 15 (House Gun) are carried with the Remington +P 158gr LSWCHP. No plans to change from this round EVER.

    .45ACP - My Smith 625, Baer PII, Colt Commander are currently carried with Federal 230gr Hydra Shok. Considering changing to the Federal 230gr HST sometime in the future if it continues to prove it self.

    .44Mag- My Ruger Super Blackhawk is loaded with Hornady 300gr XTP for Bears (or Lions, Tigers, Rhino's, Semi Trucks, Trains ect).

    Most of them sit in the safe until its range day but I have rotated them in my daily carry over the years (yea I'm disapointed I'm not like Keauno in the Matrix too... :neener:).

    Currently I'm packing the Smith 36/Rem +P 158SWCHP combo daily. Before that it was the Colt Cobra with the same ammo.
    Will
     
  3. Gun Slinger

    Gun Slinger member

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    Across the board, I prefer and use the Hornady XTP in the heaviest weight available for the caliber that I am using.

    9mm: 147 gr.
    .40: 180 gr.
    .45: 230 gr.
    .38/.357: 158 gr.
     
  4. Marcus L.

    Marcus L. Member

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    A good decision. Hornady's XTP handgun loads have been consistantly good performers for many years. Particually with heavier bullet weights.

    The Hornady XTP .380acp 90gr JHP is the only .380 JHP on the market that can reliably pass FBI testing protocols for bare body hits and against light barriers. Most other loads fall short in penetration while the Hornady load limits expansion to about .45" in order to reliably achieve 12" of penetration.
     
  5. Gun Slinger

    Gun Slinger member

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    :) Seems that we are of like mind, Marcus.

    Not to mention that the XTP seems to offer unbelieveable accuracy regardless of platform used. My Glock 17 shoots the 147 gr XTPs with "laser-like" accuracy.

    Having read the book by Duncan MacPherson (who also happens to be a rocket scientist), "Bullet Penetration- Modeling the Dynamics and Incapacitation Resulting from Wound Trauma", wherein he advocates using the heaviest bullet weight (also the highest sectional density) available for any particular caliber moving between 800 and 1000 f.p.s. (faster than that offers diminishing returns according to the author) for best results. (Summary: pp. 304-305)

    While he employs The Calculus in order to support his assertions, it is still quite possible for the layperson to "read around" the significant math and gain an appreciable understanding of the underlying priciples that MacPherson establishes as the basis for his theoretical work.

    For those (such as myself) who are devotees of the scientific method, not to mention confirmed "Facklerites" and advocates of the F.B.I. test "protocols", it is the book to read.
     
  6. Marcus L.

    Marcus L. Member

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    One of the best books around on understanding terminal effects.

    If anyone is interested, you can order this VERY valuable book here:

    http://www.firearmstactical.com/bulletpenetration.htm

    The second printing was in 2005, but most other places are sold out. Firearms Tactical ordered a bunch and have been trying to get them into the hands of civilian and LE trainers to improve the knowledge base.
     
  7. Gun Slinger

    Gun Slinger member

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    +1

    ...and worth every penny.
     
  8. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't use .40 or 38 Special. My 9mm defense load is a 115gr Winchester Silvertip. Same point of impact as WW whitebox I can afford to practice with one load, keep the other for defense.

    I shoot the silvertips once in a while to 'rotate' the ammo.
     
  9. warnerwh

    warnerwh Member

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    Whatever happened to Evan Marhall and his study of real shootings?

    Some time ago I believe it was the FBI who came up with some sort of math to explain effectiveness. If you used a .25 acp according to their thinking you would feel better after you were shot!

    I'm pretty wary of anything anybody says. Maybe new info came out in the last several years while I've been in hibernation but the info Evan Marshall came out with in his books seemed to be the best way.
     
  10. viperstarbuck

    viperstarbuck Member

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    In .40 S&W i use 135gr Corbon Pow'rball or the 165gr Gold Dots.
     
  11. Clarence

    Clarence Member

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    99% of the time I carry a 1911 loaded with 230 gr Hydra-shocks.
     
  12. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Depends on the situation the gun is most likely going to be used in. My car gun is a .45 loaded with FMJ's so it can punch through a car door.
     
  13. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Two weeks ago, I was Team Leader for an audit of a DPS grant (about $10.2 million).

    One of the team members (Charles) was a retired Federal Agent. As we talked of CCWs, he asked what I carry. When I showed him the pictures of the recovered Winchester Personal Defense 230 grain HP slugs from the .45 ACP that I used on a boar hunt he retorted, "Man you playin' for keeps!"

    I found it comical that a retired agent would think that heavy ammo. He still carries his .357 revolver.

    Doc2005
     
  14. Defense Minister

    Defense Minister Member

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    I use Double Tap ammo loaded with Speer Gold Dots in all my defensive handguns regardless of caliber. The Gold Dots have always fed well for me, and Double Tap loads 'em hot.
     
  15. SupraBo

    SupraBo Member

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    I always had corbons for my defense loads. They have some of the best numbers on paper.

    One day we were shooting and I accidentally gave a friend my corbon mag. After a rapid fire the gun jammed (this never happen before) and I grabbed the gun and turned it upside-down. A primer fell out and for whatever reason the gun jammed from it. I grabbed my Glock 23(never jammed before also), my Corbon mag and started to rapid fire… again, the gun jammed because a bullet failure. I thought to myself, what if that was my life on the line and my gun jammed. Pretty crazy when you pay a dollar a bullet
     
  16. wep45

    wep45 Member

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    heavy, short, hollow, tall...........it really doesnt matter

    95% + of the posters have never been involved in a SD situation

    what matters is how accurate YOU are when the time comes to get the job done
     
  17. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Member

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    9mm: Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P or the Black Hills version, which I find to be more accurate. And that's darned accurate :) Has functioned flawlessly in three Sigs, a P7, and two CZ's.

    .45ACP: Also Black Hills, the 230gr standard-pressure load. Tested 100% with two Sig P220's and two different 1911's.

    .44 Special: Georgia Arms 200gr Gold Dot loads or my own load using a Hornady 180gr XTP. Fired from a S&W L-Frame.

    .38 Special: Usually the 158gr Remington Express load. This is the old LSWCHP that worked well for the FBI. It's good out of a snubby, and it really shines in a 4" K-Frame.

    .357 Magnum: 125gr Black Hills. Very little muzzle-flash and manageable recoil. Again, usually out of a K-Frame.

    My main criteria has never been numbers on paper or ballistic gelatin. I've gone for loads that are a) manageable, b) accurate, and most important c) reliable. These are the ones in which I'm most confident of all three factors. Your mileage may vary.
     
  18. gglass

    gglass Member

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    The Federal HST line offers the best penetration, expansion, weight retention and jacket adhesion of all the premium ammunition available today. The links below are tests sponsored by Federal but the testing was done by LE agencies.

    http://le.atk.com/general/irl/woundballistics.aspx

    I'd rather read real data results than go on a hunch that brand-X is better.

    Aside from the performance, the best part thing about HST's would be the price. It can be half the price of some premium ammo brands, due to the fact that it is priced for LE agencies.

    This is how a well spent round should look:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. skoro

    skoro Member

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    I use Speer 135gr +P Gold Dots and Remington Golden Sabers in my Dick Special. I'm pleased with the results.
     
  20. SJ78

    SJ78 Member

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    I notice on the list of good 9mm sd ammo . It list federal tactical ! is this tactical hydra shok different from the standard hydra shok ?
     
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