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How vital is it to get defense ammo?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by The Exile, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    True, but the flip side is the smaller the damaged area of tissue caused by a RN profile-non expending bullet, the less the chance of creating the big leak. Living tissue is pretty elastic, it can avoid serious injury because of its flexibility.

    As I’m sure the poster above with the Medical Examiner trap partner has seen similar, I’ve seen several torso-shot folks dodge serious injury to organs when fmj handgun bullets somehow slide by them. I don’t know how it happens, but it does.

    One I vividly recall was a habitual hoodlum that I found down in an alley. He was shot seven times in the chest and abdomen with a 9mm and survived. The trauma team at the County hospital said some of the guys organs were punched with holes, primarily a lung and his intestines, but it looked like other bullets just pushed the stuff aside as they passed by. I was told at the time if the shooter had used expanding bullets they felt the internal damage would have easily been fatal.

    Since the majority of handguns aren’t great “stoppers” to begin with, I agree with the others who say putting a bit more of the odds in your favor by carrying good expanding bullets makes sense. :)

    Stay safe.
     
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  2. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Seriously... how many of you go hunting with FMJ ammos? There's a reason folks spend the money on hunting ammo or expensive bullets to reload, there's a reason to spend the money on SD ammos or expensive bullets to reload for SD (if you choose that route.)
     
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  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Not marketing. Would you drive on bald tires in the winter? Why not, they're tires aren't they? So, an expanding bullet has better stopping and over-penetration characteristics than ball ammo that might pass through taking most of its momentum and energy on to injure someone else.
     
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  4. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    All ammo is defensive ammo. Some of it just works better than others.
     
  5. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, and the premium stuff with bonded JHP bullets will hold together and penetrate reliably
     
  6. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    A word of caution about the validity of the Lucky Gunner ammo tests. Clear gel doesn't possess the same density as typical human soft tissues. It also doesn't possess the same shear and strain rates. The result is bullets expand less in clear gelatin and penetrate deeper. Finally the clear gelatin solution as mixed by the manufacturer is not consistent, which means the same lot of bullets fired from the same gun will demonstrate different terminal performance characteristics from gel block to gel block.
     
  7. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    80 % of my training is with .22lr. 19%+ of my training is FMJ centerfire with my EDCs and < 1% is with carry ammo. That said, I have a goodly supply of all of the above and obviously carry the carry ammo wich is Federal HST +P for the most part.
     
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  8. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Actually, there are a variety of reasons for that, only part of which are "stopping power" (or whatever performance evaluation criterion you want to apply here) and officer safety. The other part is departmental liability. So they are making a decision, based in part, in potential fiscal consequences, particularly in areas where the government entities are self-insured.

    Hunting isn't self defense and most people don't hunt with FMJ because of local state laws. Seriously, how many states allow deer hunting with fmj bullets? If those laws were not in place, you would find a lot of people hunting with FMJ.
     
  9. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Not every hunter makes that choice. Those who do want one shot kills. When I shoot a caribou, I want it to fall over on the spot and not suffer. Other hunters buy the cheapest crap they can find. (Winchester yellow and green box, WWB, PPU...any basic, cup and core bullet.)

    Beat me to it. I believe every state bans FMJ for hunting.
     
  10. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I think not.
     
  11. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Why do you think that is?
     
  12. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I'm one of them. I really like the principle underlying the Glaser Safety Slug. (Not enough that I would deem it an excuse to not practice/train.) One thing I've heard of that projectile is that they often fail to penetrate heavy winter jackets. (They even offer a "winter" version of their product now.)

    I've never heard of anyone, civilian or law enforcement (outside of the Air Marshalls) who use them. Can't even find them on shelves in years.
     
  13. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    For the same reason the Geneva Convention bans hollow points from war. They'e too effective. Shoot an animal with a FMJ and you get a .30 inch diameter entry and exit wound. Animal runs for miles leaving a very small blood trail. A hunter usually won't recover that animal, and in the mean time, the animal has had endure a slow, agonizing death. It's counter to fair chase and ethical hunting standards.
     
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  14. toivo

    toivo Member

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    I don't think the "user experience" is going to be that much different between FMJ and defensive ammo. What you want to be sure of is that the defensive ammo will cycle properly in your pistol. Once you're sure of that, you can practice with the cheaper stuff.
     
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  15. Paul R Zartman
    • Contributing Member

    Paul R Zartman Contributing Member

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    Hmmmm...I guess I'll weigh in on this.
    I store an replace a minimal amount of so called high performing JHP for all my hand guns. I shoot alot of cheap JHP and others at the range too. I AM WHAT SOME MAY CALL "CHEAP " . Ammo is a expensive commodity right not and should not be taken lightly.
    When I carry, I load cheap ammo first for the first couple of shots "possible scare tactic" then my high performance for the rest of the load, works for me...but mostly I would duck and cover till the need to protect myself or others arises. Love thy neighbor.
     
  16. film495

    film495 Member

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    feel free to post any information that says carrying ammo you don't regularly practice with makes you a better shot, and I'll consider switching from carrying the ball ammo I practice with. can't come up with that? OK, I'll keep carrying fmj ball ammo, and not give it another thought.
     
  17. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    Hague Declaration III in 1899. They were talking about Dum Dums but the wording was any bullet designed to flatten out or expand in the body
     
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  18. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    FWIW Paul Harrell on mixing ammunition

     
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  19. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Yes, you DO want to use premium defensive JHP ammo. The reason we invest so much research into building better hollow-points is that they all suck. We use handguns because they are small and convenient, but they are way underpowered for the job.

    HAVING SAID THAT, I have been telling my concealed carry students lately, right now there is a shortage, and it can be tough to find any at all. If all you have is FMJ, carry it and use it. The difference isn't as dramatic as some people think it is. For the first year my wife was carrying, all we had was plated lead reloads, so that's what she used.
     
  20. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I actually have one Glaser as the bottom round of each carry magazine of my 2 .45 ACP's. I became a believer in them first when I fired a .380 Glaser at a full beverage can at about 5 yards, (at several dollars per round you do not want to waste them.) and all I found was the base of the can. The spray hit me, and still went by me. Then years later I got to see the forensic photos of a victim who was shot in the head at very close range with a .38 Glaser. It was not pretty. It was very effective, more damage than JHP would do, and much more than FMJ would. They are in the bottom of my mags as a 'get off me', contact distance round.

    So you'd rather carry inefficient ammo that may cause you much more civil litigation should you have to use it (in that FMJ rounds passing through your assailant and striking that nice young pregnant lawyer's daughter behind them might get you a 3 fer 1) simply because you fear a tenth or two of difference in POI vs. POA might cause you the same end result? Does not compute. Or is it the increased cost? How much is your life post shooting worth to you?
    Lemme guess; you're also in the 'bird shot is OK for shotgun HD use' camp, too.

    I'll toss that one back at you: Feel free to post any information that says carrying ammo you don't regularly practice with makes you a worse shot, and I'll consider switching from the Federal HST 230's I have in my .45 ACP's. (Plus the Glaser on the bottom)

    I will say from my own personal experience from rotating carry ammo by shooting it, if anything, it is more accurate than the FMJ and LRN 230's I practice with.

    FL-NC is a guy who had to use FMJ to shoot people with. (Well, some of it might have been OTM) I'm sure he'd have rather had HP or SP ammo in the sandbox. You, film495, have a choice. Yes, FMJ is better than an empty magazine. But there are so many better choices out there, why would one not avail themselves of them?
     
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  21. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. I always get the two conventions mixed up, despite years of LOAC training.
     
  22. reverseturn

    reverseturn Member

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    Its pretty much "settled science" that a good hollow point bullet is superior to FMJ round nose bullets for self defense and police work. While the FBI and other agencies must have the info oddly enough I've looked pretty hard via internet search and could not find any information on "just how much better" it works in the real world (not in gelatin testing).

    Given that Hollow point ammo works better to me it boils down to a finances and priorities.

    You might be just about flat broke (In my early years I've been there with a wife, babies and living on a shoestring). If buying the premium ammo means you have to defer replacing that bad tire or not changing the oil or worse thinking twice about letting your sick kid go to the doctor, the moral and rational thing to do is
    buy the cheapest ammo that works in your gun and spend the difference on far more important priorities. IMO The improvement in the odds of prevailing in a dangerous situation by being armed is almost all due to having a functioning loaded firearm. What projectile comes out of that gun effects the odds to a lesser extent.

    You might have ample funds where buying the expensive ammo has no effect on what else you can afford. Its more a matter of not being a sucker or the principal of not paying too much due the marketing hype (and there is hype). Just shop around for the best value among the multiple good choices available (as in Trunk Monkey's list). I load Golden Sabers in several caliber guns because at the time it was by far the least expensive (bought it by the case) quality round. Not the latest technology so no longer hyped but works just fine. You will likely never use the high cost ammo in a high stakes situation but you have the satisfaction that you took the extra step

    There is the middle case of having enough for the necessities and a few luxury items. Then it is your call as to what is important to you.

    BTW: I've seen enough videos of hollow points that don't function as hollow points because they don't expand when tested. I would make sure whatever I buy has some evidence that it actually works as it should.
     
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  23. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    LOAC?
     
  24. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    There is a large variety of self-defense ammo out there, and by and large it's quality stuff which will provide adequate penetration and expansion.

    So pretty much anything that you fancy, which also reliably cycles in your firearm and is accurate, is suitable.

    I would recommend staying away from the latest and greatest super-whamodyne, magic armor piercing, heat seeking, incendiary, explody bullets.

    Mostly because they're marketing hype for a bullet that promises far more than it can actually deliver.

    Here's what I shoot and carry in my 9mm and .45 ACP:

    For my Colt 1991A1, I carry Speer Gold Dot, 230 gr. hollow points. They have a muzzle velocity of about 850 fps, which matches my chosen target ammo, which is Winchester White Box, 230 gr. jacketed ball. Same mass, same muzzle velocity...which means functionally I can't tell the difference on the range. Point of impact is the same with both. And the Speer Gold Dot cycles reliably.

    For my Beretta 92FS, I carry Speer Gold Dot, 115 fr. hollow points. They have a muzzle velocity which matches my chosen target ammo, which is Winchester white Box, 115 gr. jacketed ball. Again, it cycles reliably and I can't tell the difference between the two on the range: point of impact is the same and the gun cycles reliably.

    My recommendation for self-defense ammo is pretty much the same: find something that closely matches what you target shoot. Buy a few boxes (of different brands) and run them through at the range and see how they cycle in the gun. Also check your target to see how they compare with point of aim using your target ammo.
     
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  25. Ernie Bass

    Ernie Bass member

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    Kiss-Training ammo is training ammo. Self defense ammo is for self defense. IMO there is not much difference when shooting the two during training. Especially given the fact that you are shooting to center mass as fast as possible.
    To carry training FMJ in today's world full of crowds could make you a killer of the innocent. A enormous High risk.
     
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