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Thread: Preferred SD ammo?

  1. #1
    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Preferred SD ammo?

    Mine pretty much fall to Federal HST and Speer Gold Dots, with the exception of my PM40. I was most impressed with Winchester Ranger-T 165 grainers in it.

    I rarely, if ever, CC my 10mm, but it's loaded with 155gr Hornady XTPs when I do.

    So, what do you prefer to carry, ammo wise, and why?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    HST & Gold Dot

    They've done well in all the testing myself and........others have done.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

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    Moderator Jayhawker's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Hornady TAPs 230 grain in the 1911....not sure if they still make it, but I laid in a good supply when I was still working.... The .38 Spl snubby gets129 grain Federal Hydra Shok +Ps
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    Senior Member LMLarsen's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Gold Dots, HydraShoks, or Rangers in my .40 and .45s; Rangers or Silvertips in my 9mms.
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    Senior Member breamfisher's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    TAP or Gold Dots.
    Overkill is underrated.

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    Member Hondo341's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Gold Dots in my .40 G22, since that is what the Sheriff's Office issued me and I have about 300 rounds of it. And, Federal Personal Defense for my Ruger LC9s Pro.
    "People are responsible to play a role in their own safety." Sheriff David Clarke 2016

  7. #7
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    I don't pay much attention and couldn't say other than it's HP. I doubt there's a dime's worth of difference in any of them, since there's just so many ways you can skin a cat.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member NCFUBAR's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Gold Dots, Ranger Ts, HSTs mainly. Since Palmetto State had the Gold Dot deals a few months back I have a huge stash of them in 9mm and .45acp along with their 64gr .223.
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    Senior Member TrueTone911's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    I have decided I am most comfortable with Gold Dots. I have others, Critical Defense, Golden Sabers and HSTs. But when I buy now, it's always Gold Dot.

    All the HD ammo I shoot at the range is accurate enough. So I guess for me, it boils down to what I think will penetrate and expand reliably. Based on penetration and expansions tests I've seen on various sites, knitepoet's tests included, I get the warm fuzzies loaded up with Gold Dots.

    Trying to buy up all the Gold Dots I can before the laws here change and I can no longer buy online. Don't want to go through a background check to buy ammo.

    Edit to add: I have also fallen into the light and fast camp. I prefer lighter bullets for the velocity. 115gr 9mm, 185gr .45 ACP and 125gr .38 Special.
    Last edited by TrueTone911; 09-07-2016 at 02:31 AM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member LMLarsen's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Oh, and Federal Personal Defense 00 12ga in my 870.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member bisley's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    I use any name brand hollow points. Lately, I've been buying Hornady XTP 147 gr. 9mm, and the same in 230 grain .45 ACP. For years, I carried the Winchester White box hollowpoints, when they were widely available. They were the cheapest thing on the market and were sold 50 to a box.

  12. #12
    Moderator Wambli Ska's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Mostly Gold Dots.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member snake284's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wambli Ska View Post
    Mostly Gold Dots.
    I'm no authority on hand guns by any stretch, but I like something that expands well and won't go through three walls. I've been using Winchester Train and Defend. It's relatively low velocity and expands well. I'm thinking I like it, but I'm not sure of anything until I've used it. And thank God that hasn't happened yet. I'm guessing it will work well enough if I do my part. I need to send Zee a couple boxes and let him test it on a pig.
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    Senior Member cpj's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene L View Post
    I don't pay much attention and couldn't say other than it's HP. I doubt there's a dime's worth of difference in any of them, since there's just so many ways you can skin a cat.
    This.
    And I'll add, since all testing is done in gel and gel only shows how bullets react in gel not people, I'll take my chances. I'd wager 90% of all "performance" is pure advertising driven tactical operator BS.
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    Senior Member bobbyrlf3's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    I feed 'em what they shoot well.
    For the .45s, they get Winchester PDX-1 230gr and ProGrade (loaded with 230gr Hornady XTPs).
    For the .357s, it's Hornady Critical Defense 110gr (.38spl), and Hornady LeveRevolution 140gr (.357mag).
    For the .44s, Hornady LeveRevolution 225gr (.44mag), and Hornady 300gr. XTP for 4-legged encounters.

    Of course, there are additional options that each of them shoot well, for the after-cleaning ammo switch.
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  16. #16
    Member KSDeputy's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    I carry Federal 165 gr. Hydra Shok in my CS 45.

  17. #17
    Senior Member JasonMPD's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    I'm closely familiar with the lethality of HST and HydroShok ammo at practical distances. Either will work.

    Just deliver in multiple rapid doses.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member JasonMPD's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpj View Post
    This.
    And I'll add, since all testing is done in gel and gel only shows how bullets react in gel not people, I'll take my chances. I'd wager 90% of all "performance" is pure advertising driven tactical operator BS.
    To some degree. There are time tested hollow point designs, like Winchester Ranger, Speer Gold Dot, et al. There are generic designs also, and they will wound.

    However, police shoot and kill hundreds of people a year with hollow point ammo. Even if this doesn't draw a comparison to "generic" hollow points it makes a very strong anecdotal case that they work handily.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers

  19. #19

    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Gold Dots anytime! They are my first preference in my .40 and .45. These bullets expands very well and are highly reliable.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member shotgunshooter3's Avatar
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    Right now I'm using Hornady 115gr Critical Defense. However, it is nearly time for my annual "shoot up my SD ammo and buy more" and I might switch to Gold Dots.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Diver43's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    I have a lot of Ranger 180gr ammo in .40SW so will continue to use that
    In my carry guns (G43 or SW Shield) all magazines got swapped out after the last range session. Now loaded with Speer Gold Dots 124grs.

    Z's science test helped change my mind
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  22. #22
    Senior Member bobbyrlf3's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Zed's work has also given me the notion that some additions to the supply are in order. HST and Gold Dots in all of my current chamberings will be added over the course of the next few months.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member bobbyrlf3's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Has anyone else made any changes in light of the R&D Zee has provided?
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    I use Hornady XTP in my CC guns. They cycle well in the guns I have (that's the primary reason why)

    I have NOT done extensive testing, research or comparisons, however, with other possible choices

  25. #25
    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyrlf3 View Post
    Has anyone else made any changes in light of the R&D Zee has provided?
    Not from Zee's R&D, from from my own, when I conceal carry my 10mm, it's now loaded with 135gr EFMJ with a moderate charge of BlueDot. (Because there is NO published data for that bullet, and it has a LOT longer bearing surface than any other 135gr bullet, So I picked a midrange load for Nosler 135gr)

    They're the best SD bullet I've found at being able to perform with the 10mm's higher velocity. I COULD load other bullets down to 40S&W velocities to be within their design parameters, but why carry a 10mm if you're going to castrate it?

    Field load is a 180 XTP with a worked up max load of BlueDot

    It spends a LOT more time loaded with "field carry" ammo, than it does my SD loads
    Last edited by knitepoet; 12-01-2016 at 09:21 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheriff Jim Wilson on FB
    Rubbing people's noses in stuff is rarely the way to get what you want.

  26. #26
    Senior Member bobbyrlf3's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by knitepoet View Post
    Not from Zee's R&D, from from my own, when I conceal carry my 10mm, it's now loaded with 135gr EFMJ with a moderate charge of BlueDot. (Because there is NO published data for that bullet, and it has a LOT longer bearing surface than any other 135gr bullet, So I picked a midrange load for Nosler 135gr)

    They're the best SD bullet I've found at being able to perform with the 10mm's higher velocity. I COULD load other bullets down to 40S&W velocities to be within their design parameters, but why carry a 10mm if you're going to castrate it?

    Field load is a 180 XTP with a worked up max load of BlueDot

    It spends a LOT more time loaded with "field carry" ammo, than it does my SD loads
    There's no substitute for real science! It is interesting to me to know the motivations behind more experienced shooter's ammo selection. If one takes the use of a firearm seriously, I think the ammo deserves at least as much thought as the gun.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.

  27. #27
    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    group shot of a bunch of the SD loads I have tried into wet newsprint


    2 of the EFMJs shot into water jugs
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheriff Jim Wilson on FB
    Rubbing people's noses in stuff is rarely the way to get what you want.

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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    For big, powerful (.357Mag, .44Special, .45ACP, .44Mag, .45Colt) calibers, it's all good, whatever's on sale. For lesser calibers like .22WMR, .380ACP, and .38Special, I have found that Hornady Critical Defense works reliably and accurately in my guns, so that. My only 9mm guns are military - a Luger and a Walther P1, so for reliability's sake, I use FMJ.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Big Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Mostly Gold Dot and XTPs.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
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  30. #30
    Senior Member Big Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Preferred SD ammo?

    Don't discount some good oldies like the 158 grain SWCHP factory cold/soft swagged lead bullets to use or reload in .38 SPl or .357

    Even if they don't expand you still got the SWC design which was an improvement over Lead Round Nose bullets in itself. And even LRNs can be lethal (any bullet can and has) and have been used to good effect, but depends more on shot placement and where they are hit, not the best choice especially with all the great choices out there these days

    Same in .44 caliber like 240 grain SWCHPs in .44 Spl, not a bad choice and better than RN.

    .45 ACP, the 230 grain FMJ/Hardball is pretty good like it is and has proven to work for many decades, but again use a better design and if that fails you still got a .45 cal hole which is bigger than a lot of smaller calibers even if they expand to their max. The lower (in comparison) velocity @ 830-850 fps also helps leave more of its energy in a target than smaller diameter bullets zipping along at 300 fps faster like a FMJ 9mm is one rationale I read about for its effectiveness.

    There are no Magical Bullets.

    Just some thoughts on this topic. I think we can debate forever and some will argue until the cows come home about this or that load. Just pick what you shoot well, shoots and functions well in your guns and you feel comfortable and confident in.

    Best is Have A Gun, know how to use it, practice practice practice with said or similar loads and remember, any gun is better than none.

    Be safe!
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