Author Topic: Wondering about your self defense ammo?  (Read 516 times)

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Offline crc4

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Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« on: January 23, 2023, 02:49:31 PM »
Wondering about your self-defense ammo? Is it the best? What's the difference between being shot out of a 2" barrel .38 special and a 4" .38 special? What's hype and what's not?

I recently heard Roy Huntington mention that there's all the hype and then there's science. Roy recommended this site for the science.


Brass Fetcher Ballistic Testing

https://www.brassfetcher.com/Handguns/Handguns.html

The gentleman who runs the site and supervises the controlled tests is a qualified expert witness and has worked with numerous government and private agencies. This is not fluff selling you one brand of ammo over another. This is scientific testing and the results.

Frankly, I thought I knew what was best. Turns out I don't. Reading this site has opened my eyes and has changed my mind about many of the ammo cartridges I've been carrying. I let my feelings get in the way of facts but now I know better. There're few things in life more worthwhile than exchanging incorrect thinking for better information.

Spend some time on this site. You may have your mind changed as well.

Offline SI VIS PACEM PARRABELLUM

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2023, 04:19:21 PM »
Here's the facts plain and simple. Shot placement is where it's at. You either stop the pump in it's tracks or you immediately shut down the processor anything less may have you in for a protracted engagement no matter what ammo or gun or caliber you're using.
I use the ammo that's shoots best in my guns and I practice.

Offline PA USPSA

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2023, 04:29:56 PM »
I use Federal 9mm 147 grain HST in my EDC (Sig Sauer P365).
2022 Accushadow 2

Offline Togmaster

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2023, 04:33:21 PM »
Here's the facts plain and simple. Shot placement is where it's at. You either stop the pump in it's tracks or you immediately shut down the processor anything less may have you in for a protracted engagement no matter what ammo or gun or caliber you're using.
I use the ammo that's shoots best in my guns and I practice.

Yes to this...then practice some more.
Let's go Brandon!

Offline Grendel

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2023, 04:48:44 PM »
Handguns are a poor choice for self defense, regardless of ammunition.  Their only advantages are concealability and portability.

If you expect to need a firearm, have a rifle, and better yet, friends with rifles.

As for ammunition choice, carry the ammunition you know your firearms will reliably cycle and fire. If it will only cycle FMJ, either carry that, or get another gun that feeds JHP if you want to carry it.

As for caliber, it doesn't really matter if you can't hit the broad side of a barn with a shotgun. Practice with what you carry and go from there - all the rest of the debate is just noise until you  do.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 04:53:01 PM by Grendel »
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Offline alp3367

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2023, 05:47:12 PM »
Here's the facts plain and simple. Shot placement is where it's at.

 This this this. You can blow somebodies heart out and they can still pull a trigger. Only for sure drt is brain and spine. One OIS that has stuck with me for decades was a trooper that was killed by a .22  because it caught him on the side where he wasn't covered by his ballistic vest which had stopped one shot that did hit it. Corporal Coates put FIVE .357mag rounds in the suspects chest. The suspect survived and was sentenced to life in prison. Corporal Mark Coates of the SC Highway patrol was killed by a single .22 bullet.

 This is not to say that you should use a .22 for self-defense. This is to illustrate the importance of shot placement.

PS - I carry Speer Gold Dot or Federal HST in 124gr, whatever I have currently found a better deal on. Find a quality HP in a reasonable caliber and train train train.

Offline PappaWheelie

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2023, 07:41:51 PM »
Cool ballistics website, crc4!
I endorse SI VIS's shot placement comments, and the Invisible 15 round RAMI
https://czfirearms.us/index.php?topic=96929.msg746657#msg746657
advantage; here's
https://czfirearms.us/index.php?topic=96929.0
a Punching Above Weight thread you may or may not have seen.
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Offline newageroman

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2023, 05:27:46 PM »
Speer Gold Dots for my 9,
the Fuddrunner gets handmade HOTT!! FTXs using the browing super slick brass DLC coated(preferred) or reg 230 ball(meh.)
I would recommend run more than one box of ammo through it. hollowpoints can mess up feeding especially on lower cost or higher custom guns.
Theres lots of bubbas that test with RN and carry HPs to save a dime - let that be them.
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Offline Cyanide

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2023, 03:30:37 PM »
Agree 110% about shot placement! Concerning JHP ammo, I've got quite a sizeable stash of Gold Dot, HST, Critical Duty, XTP, and plain ol' Remington Green & White Box "Paul Harrel Specials" in 9mm, and a good supply of SJHP for .38 Special and then .32 Long SJHP and Wadcutters for the revolvers my wife and Mom have.

Everything we have for ammo functions reliably and is accurate (some more than others), and I'm not one to get too hung up on which ammo is the "Best of the Best of the Best" per FBI testing protocols. Again, back to shot placement being first and foremost.

Offline Wobbly

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2023, 05:34:28 PM »
I think the biggest thing we can all agree on is that specs on 9mm are always improving. This because the big names are investing millions in on-going testing to be able to win lucrative government contracts at the Federal, State and local levels.

So if you have defensive ammo that's been sitting around in your safe for the last 15+ years, then while it may be "good", it may not possibly be the best any more.
In God we trust; On 'Starting Load' we rely.

Offline Phyffe

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #10 on: Today at 03:05:04 AM »
I thoroughly agree and respect the opinion of the people who posted that shot placement > ammo choice.

This is why I have consistently chosen to buy CZs, as I felt this was the brand that gave me the best accuracy for my money.

Still, I have to think that given that men are not perfect, we will not be perfect shots, and given that we will never be as accurate in an actual engagement as compared to shooting at pieces of paper (and I can hear the keyboards clicking "train, train, train" already), I still like to think that for a less than optimum shot, a better performing round is always going to be desirable.
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Offline radagast

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #11 on: Today at 06:53:24 AM »
   YEP ! An FMJ on target beats a hollow point in the trees every time !  Wife and I try to shoot at least one mag of our defensive ammo on each visit to the range. We load mags for each other, don't use a set pattern, and slip in the occasional snap cap too ! Although the difference is minor, it's nice to know it's consistent between our pistols.
"Let there be light"  and there was muzzle flash !

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #12 on: Today at 12:36:41 PM »
It's got to be reliable.  Feed into the chamber, fire when the primer is hit by the firing pin and eject the empty hard enough to make room for that next round.

Mine needs to be accurate.  Accuracy is often a relative thing.  Small groups are what I look for.  Yeah, I know, everyone says you can't shoot small groups when you're excited, hurt, etc.  But if you have a chance, or a need, to shoot a small spot and hit it then those 4 or 5" groups at 12 yds. won't cut it.  And I don't want to run closer to the target before pulling the trigger.

Expansion?  Hey, ballistic gel is usually pretty perfectly uniform.  Meat and bone is not.  I've shot enough wild game with rifles to see bullets from the same box, loaded with the same powder/primers to the same specs do something different today than tomorrow, or even different this afternoon than earlier in the day.

Hollow points are small bullets trying to do what a big bullet does coming out of the barrel - be bigger.

I know "they" say 9MM is effective these days.  Do you look at the many videos of police shooting people?  Do you notice how many times they shoot and how many time they hit and how long it is before it's over?  Sometimes those videos are just downright scary.

Yeah, I carry a 9MM sometimes.  A .40 most of the time.  And extra mags.  I'm too old to run fast and I can't hobble very far. ;D
I just keep wasting time and money on other brands trying to find/make one shoot like my P07 and P09.  What is wrong with me?

Offline crc4

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #13 on: Today at 01:07:59 PM »


I know "they" say 9MM is effective these days.  Do you look at the many videos of police shooting people?  Do you notice how many times they shoot and how many time they hit and how long it is before it's over?  Sometimes those videos are just downright scary.


What's amazing is that three cops can empty three magazines at an exposed thug and be lucky if the thug has three hits. Spray-n-pray over shot placement. That's not the fault of the 9mm cartridge - that's the fault of cops' poor shooting and training.

Offline SI VIS PACEM PARRABELLUM

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Re: Wondering about your self defense ammo?
« Reply #14 on: Today at 02:02:33 PM »


I know "they" say 9MM is effective these days.  Do you look at the many videos of police shooting people?  Do you notice how many times they shoot and how many time they hit and how long it is before it's over?  Sometimes those videos are just downright scary.


What's amazing is that three cops can empty three magazines at an exposed thug and be lucky if the thug has three hits. Spray-n-pray over shot placement. That's not the fault of the 9mm cartridge - that's the fault of cops' poor shooting and training.
Yeah it's not the 9mm that's the problem it is still shot placement. I don't give a rats rear end if you carry a .45acp, .357 mag or a .44 mag shot placement matters. The other very big issue that everyone seems to overlook today is the proliferation of types of super potent drugs  that keep people on their feet when they should fall over in pain. Years ago you didn't have fentanyl, super heroin or the marijuana they have today that has been cultivated to enhance it's potency. You have to shut down the processor on perps that are high on that stuff or they won't quit.

 

anything