ammo to use

kansashunterkansashunter Senior MemberPosts: 1,411 Senior Member
I am getting closer to starting the process for my ccl. I reload but I have heard to not use reloads for protection. I am getting ready to order some other ammo and wanted to get some defense loads to try but there are soo many to choose from. Brands, bullet type, +P, +p+ I don't know where to start. I am just looking for advice on where to start, then try it to make sure it functions for me. Right now I keep Mag tech RN in it in the house but at the time that was all I could find, I need to move up to something better now that it is available. I use 9mm in a XDM. I will apologize in advance if this has been discussed before, I rarely visit this part of the forum and the search feature is not much help.

Replies

  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    Take a look at any of the SD ammo available nowadays. I like the Hornady Critical Defense for my carry ammo.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,669 Senior Member
    These are what I keep in the wife's carry gun
    Speer 115gr Gold Dots $24.95/50
    http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/product_info.php/pName/50rds-9mm-speer-le-gold-dot-115gr-hp-ammo/cName/9mm-hollow-point-ammo

    I carry the +P version of these (which I can't find online currently)
    Federal 124gr HST $27.95/50
    http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/product_info.php/pName/50rds-9mm-federal-le-tactical-hst-124gr-hp-ammo/cName/9mm-hollow-point-ammo
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • gunrunner428gunrunner428 Senior Member Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    Any current hollow-point ammo in standard loading or +P should be completely satisfactory for your needs, from the "basic" types like Winchester Silvertip or similar (generally available in 50-count boxes) to "premium" like Federal HydraShok or Nyclad, Remington Golden Saber, Winchester SXT, Hornady Critical Defense, Speer Gold Dot, etc. The best advice, given often and by diverse members here, is to by a few boxes of multiple types, try them in your defensive sidearm, and choose one that is a.) absolutely reliable, b.) acceptably accurate, and c.) shoots to your pistol's point of aim, or decently close to this.

    Standard pressure (non- +P), +P, or +P+ is your personal choice - even "standard" 9mm is fairly "hot" compared to something like .38 Special standard loads, +P gives you extra pressure, and +P+ generally is considered to exceed most SAAMI standard pressures and can be hard on some guns. Selecting bullet weight is usually thought of as a compromise between light/fast and heavy/slow, but can be a way to fine-tune your load to your gun's sights - lighter/faster will tend to print lower at defensive ranges than heavier/slower.

    It may seem counter-intuitive that a lighter bullet shoots lower on target than a heavier bullet (doesn't gravity pull a heavier bullet lower?!?) but when you're talking about close, defensive range and the short barrels of handguns the heavier, slower bullet "rides" the barrel for a longer period of time, leaving the muzzle at a point later in the recoil impulse than a lighter, faster bullet and tending to print higher on that target as a result.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,836 Senior Member
    The wife is using Hornady Critical Defense in her 9mm...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Okay. Reloading. Some self defense experts, including Masaad Ayoob, recommend against home loads and to only use factory ammo that's typical for self defense ammo used by police. The reasoning is that if you're sued in civil court, some smarmy lawyer (is there any other kind?) will say "Tell the jury, Mr. kansas, why you felt it was necessary to load your own special, extra lethal ammo?" or similar.

    Other gun experts say they've never actually seen that used in a court. So that's your call.

    Regarding which ammo to use, there are so many good brands and all of them are effective for self defense. Which type is generally split between the lighter bullet and high velocity vs the standard weight bullet and lower speed. Both seem to work just fine, shot placement being the primary goal.

    Choose the ammo that works reliably in your XDM. That's essential. And of course choose some good well-known brand name and type that's specifically meant for personal defense. This usually means +P hollow points, but I'm certain there are other types that work just as well.

    Myself, I've converted all my handgun self defense to the Cor-Bon "PowrBall" brand. Why? 1-it's a respected brand name, 2-it has never given me the slightest problems in my 1911s, my XD, or XDM .45s, and 3-it has a rounded plastic "ball" that sits in the hollow point well of the bullet.

    Some compact pistols can balk at extremely deep-cut hollow points due to it catching on the feed ramp. The rounded plastic tip of the PowrBall provides a smooth nose. And no, it doesn't improve the ballistics, like a "shaped charge" -- the plastic hollow nose is too thin for that and it's not part of the design purpose. I suppose the smooth nose might help a teeny bit during flight but not enough to make a difference in the real world.

    But the most important factor is reliability and accuracy, and how the ammo feels to you. All major self defense ammo works about the same when you come right down to it.

    Another very small point to consider. Lighter, higher velocity rounds are physically lighter (duh) in overall weight than, say, FMJ ammo or even slower, heavier hollowpoints. A full magazine of the lighter rounds (18 in the XDM, right?) is just easier to lug around. I can clearly tell the difference with a full magazine of 13 rounds in my XD/XDM .45s. Not a big issue but just one small factor in the overall decision process.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    It may seem counter-intuitive that a lighter bullet shoots lower on target than a heavier bullet (doesn't gravity pull a heavier bullet lower?!?)

    When of course, gravity pulls them down at the same speed, air resistance taken out of the equation. A kilogram and a gram fall at the same speed. Unless of course you figure in the precise difference in bullet mass compared to the Earth's mass. Then of course there's the Einsteinian time and mass dilation to take into account (only for very very high velocity bullets, naturally, ha ha)

    Good to mention the +P+ types, too. I'm not a big fan of those because, yes, they can often exceed standards, and also, they're a lot harder to find. Go into any decent LGS and you can get the Gold Dot or Hornady or HydraShok, all +P I think.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • gunrunner428gunrunner428 Senior Member Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    When of course, gravity pulls them down at the same speed, air resistance taken out of the equation. A kilogram and a gram fall at the same speed. Unless of course you figure in the precise difference in bullet mass compared to the Earth's mass. Then of course there's the Einsteinian time and mass dilation to take into account (only for very very high velocity bullets, naturally, ha ha)

    Grrr, it's late, I'm tired, and about to log off to hit the sack... I figured I'd get flack from somebody for oversimplifying my thoughts. :whip2: Thanks a bunch, Sam. (Joking, of course! I knew it was gonna happen.)

    My point with heavier handgun ammo is the thought many rifle shooters have, and that's at longer rifle ranges, a heaver/slower bullet has a more pronounced arc in its trajectory as it started with a slower velocity, dropping more dramatically at range - thus, a lower bullet strike on target. For handguns at defensive range, this effect actually appears to be reversed, a slower, heavier bullet impacts higher on target due to the tendency of the slower bullet to leave the muzzle later in the whole bullet travel/recoil cycle.

    The overall point of the issue is this: while many "fixed" handgun sights are drift-adjustable for windage, elevation is pretty much non-negotiable without changing out the sights for something with different geometry. This isn't nearly as limiting as it would seem - with different weights of bullet you can experiment and more often than not find a 9mm bullet with a weight and velocity that prints just where your gun is pointing with its sights aligned.

    Shooting low with 124-grain +P loads? Try 147-grain loads, or a standard-pressure 124-grain, and you may find your bullet strike rises with no other change to the sights or the gun. Shooting high with those same 124-grain loads? Try swifter-moving, lighter 115-grain loads, and you may dial right in. Or you may find that everything you try, bullet weight and/or velocity notwithstanding, hits the same point of impact on the target, and you can count yourself fortunate to have such a leeway in ammo selection.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    "Shooting low with 124-grain +P loads? Try 147-grain loads, or a standard-pressure 124-grain, and you may find your bullet strike rises with no other change to the sights or the gun. Shooting high with those same 124-grain loads? "

    You are over-thinking something simple, stick with one bullet weight that shoots well, a premium brand PD ammo.
    To correct for elevation, I have used a dot of nail polish on a fixed front sight as a reference.

    You should not have to correct for much when using a standard defensive load at defensive distances, target work requires adjustments since range distances vary.

    I use Federal Hydrashok HP out of a subcompact .45 acp handgun, and it is very accurate and has mild recoil for such a lightweight handgun.

    Federal ammo was My last department issued / approved ammo, and it has always worked well in any of the handguns I have owned.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,051 Senior Member
    Regarding reloads: There was a case in New Hampshire, I believe, where a police officer shot a hostile drunk driver. The man attacked the officer during the arrest, and the officer fired his Gold Cup, sending a handloaded Speer 200 gr. JHP into the man's face. He survived and sued the officer during a civil suit, I believe. The officer was using reloads as he couldn't get the factory ammo, and when the case occurred, good quality ammo was not easy to get. He won the suit, but at great cost to the department. Don't forget a possible civil suit, depending on the state you live in.

    The big reason not to use reloads is exemplified in a case where a man loaded some light loads for his wife. She was depressed, and committed suicide. The light loads deposited no powder residue, making it look like the gun was discharged much farther away than it was. The load data was inadmissible in court as it was defendant manufactured evidence. As there was no factory exemplar, and using the remaining reloads was impossible due to it destroying existing evidence, the man was convicted. Factory ammo provides an exemplar for the defense in that they can use other ammo and show by powder deposition and performance that things were as you say they were. You can't do that with handloads.

    As for what ammo to use: whatever is 100% reliable in your firearm, hits reasonably close to point of aim, and has good performance. In that order.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,903 Senior Member
    Buy a factory SD rnd that you like, can get when you need it so you can practice enough to feel confident in using it. Which one is so much of an issue as supply.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • shootershooter Senior Member Posts: 1,186 Senior Member

    My point with heavier handgun ammo is the thought many rifle shooters have, and that's at longer rifle ranges, a heaver/slower bullet has a more pronounced arc in its trajectory as it started with a slower velocity, dropping more dramatically at range - thus, a lower bullet strike on target. For handguns at defensive range, this effect actually appears to be reversed, a slower, heavier bullet impacts higher on target due to the tendency of the slower bullet to leave the muzzle later in the whole bullet travel/recoil cycle.
    In the current issue of "American Handgunner", Mike Venturino has an excellent discussion of this very concept in his article titled "Point of Aim Vs. Point of Impact". (March/April 2012 issue) As has already been pointed out, he says "….as soon as the bullet begins moving down the barrel, recoil begins pushing the barrel upward." So it is that heavier, slower bullets have more "barrel time" and the muzzle rises more before the bullet exits. This seems counter intuitive at firsts but that's the physics of it.

    Joe
    There's no such thing as having too much ammo, unless you're on fire or trying to swim!
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    And none of that matters in the average up close PD encounter @ 7-10 feet.

    Use premium grade factory new ammo.

    A reason most service sidearms have fixed sights.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Oh, gunrunner, you and I both knew I was joking around with gravity vs bullet weight. We were just having some fun. And neither of us even began to calculate the gravitational attraction of the star Sirius or the coriolis effect. Darn.

    For handguns at self defense distances, bullet weight makes almost no difference at all, as you know. A "zippier" round can cause more muzzle flip, depending on the center of mass of the pistol, how it's being held, whether the shooter is trying to "comp" for excess recoil, and so on.

    But if the pistol is held firmly and the distance is, say, 30 ft or less, where the bullet strikes isn't as dependent on bullet weight as it is consistency in manufacturing the round and in the pistol being of sufficient quality to handle hotter loads. kansas w. his XDM 9mm has the luxury of using a very reliable and sturdy pistol and it can shoot about anything with impunity, and with accuracy.

    Once he settles on a particular brand, he'll adjust to its ballistics after some practice and he'll then be hitting his target reliably.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Doc, good advice. I think we all agree, so long as kansas chooses a premium quality brand of ammo that functions with total reliability, that factory ammo will also fire with consistent recoil and point of impact. Once he gets used to its specific kick, he'll be fine.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • kansashunterkansashunter Senior Member Posts: 1,411 Senior Member
    Thanks for the info. The place I was going to order from has a decent price on golden saber so I will start there. I am going to have to try a heavier bullet, all my practice reloads have been 115 grns. I bought some 147 grn. RN before I started reloading and have never shot it. I tend to shoot low most of the time so I am going to try the 147's and see if it changes. Of course with me doing the shooting and trying to get my trifocals, sights and target lined up I just shoot patterns anyway. Someday I am going to try a lazer but that is another topic. If I can and the weather cooperates I will try the 147's this weekend and let you know if it raises the group.
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    I am getting closer to starting the process for my ccl. I reload but I have heard to not use reloads for protection. I am getting ready to order some other ammo and wanted to get some defense loads to try but there are soo many to choose from. Brands, bullet type, +P, +p+ I don't know where to start. I am just looking for advice on where to start, then try it to make sure it functions for me. Right now I keep Mag tech RN in it in the house but at the time that was all I could find, I need to move up to something better now that it is available. I use 9mm in a XDM. I will apologize in advance if this has been discussed before, I rarely visit this part of the forum and the search feature is not much help.

    My advice? Forget what the boxes say about how good their bullets work when shot into jello. Try different brands, see which one never fails to fire out of your gun, and of those, which make the smallest little groups. I would rather shoot FMJ that I know will work 100% of the time and will hit where I aim than brand X ammo that might hang up.

    Now I am not saying that I use FMJ, I don't. But I am just making a point that too much hype gets put into ammo when often times people tend to forget the important things, like making sure the ammo works out of your gun!

    Now, there is nothing wrong with trying to duplicate your loads you use for carry purposes to get some cheap practice with a round that is similar to what you carry....
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • gunrunner428gunrunner428 Senior Member Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Oh, gunrunner, you and I both knew I was joking around with gravity vs bullet weight. We were just having some fun. And neither of us even began to calculate the gravitational attraction of the star Sirius or the coriolis effect. Darn.

    I know, Sam, it's fun falling into technical discussions and watching them spiral out of control. I've been fortunate to have owned two duty-size revolvers that shot EVERYTHING I put through them to the same point of aim - a Ruger Security Six and a S&W Model 15. Once the sights were dialed in, it didn't seem to matter if I was using mouse-fart wadcutters, duty +P loads, or in the Ruger full-on 158-grain magnum fodder, they put 'em in the boiler room at any reasonable combat range. Now if I stretched their legs to 50 or 75 yards, then the "Arkansas Elevation" started getting a bit dicey...

    Put me down for support of the "quality SD loads for the purpose", with the three factors of reliability, terminal performance, and acceptable accuracy as your guides. Kansashunter, the Golden Saber is an excellent round, with a good history and great engineering by a very solid manufacturer. Provided it meets the three factors, you've got a winner!
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    I know, Sam, it's fun falling into technical discussions and watching them spiral out of control.

    So what is the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,051 Senior Member
    African or European?
    Overkill is underrated.
  • gunrunner428gunrunner428 Senior Member Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    But two of them, working together, could carry a coconut...
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    But two of them, working together, could carry a coconut...

    But the European swallow is non-migratory, so even if two were to pair up, there's little evidence they'd fly to a coconut-rich climate to pick up their load. In fact, the swallows might...

    BOING!!!

    Look out! Run away! Run away!

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    But this is a temprate climate....
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,597 Senior Member
    like it centurion, like it.
  • tv_racin_fantv_racin_fan Senior Member Posts: 617 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    And none of that matters in the average up close PD encounter @ 7-10 feet.

    Use premium grade factory new ammo.

    A reason most service sidearms have fixed sights.

    I submit sir that it very much does matter. Suppose the said bad guy has your wife in a choke hold from behind and using her as shield YOU need to know exactly where that round you need to fire is going to go and knowing that round is going to point of aim may well be a matter of life and death. The thing that BP was sort of aluding to when he said the slug was the better choice for a shotgun. There could very well be times when the spread of buck shot is exactly what you don't need or that notion a shotgun not needing to be aimed might get someone killed. Now I aint saying that buck couldn't be made to work in that situation as I believe that it very well can BUT you going to have to KNOW how that buck is going to spreadn and how to AIM to cause that buck to hit what you want to hit and not what you don't.

    Setting yourself up for the average encounter might very well be a disaster for you or someone else when that aint what you find yourself up against.

    Kinda like the average encounter only 3 shots are fired so my 5 shot revolver carries plenty...or my little 7+1 Kahr is plenty... Not to me it don't so I carry two speed strips.. or two magazines. Heck my son is currently carrying 50 rounds.. so long as it aint bother him I say carry them and the couple three knives and the flashlight and anything else he bloody well likes.. in fact I have the habit of asking him does he want to carry one of mine when we venture out and sometimes he adds my 6" GP 100 and two speed loaders to his EDC.
  • ChuckXXChuckXX Banned Posts: 103 Member
    My strong suggestion would be to use Hornady Critical Defense for your 9mm. It is specifically designed to go in about 11 inches and no further. Therefore not going "thru" the bad guy and killing the 11 year old kid standing behind him. Think about it. You don't want some wild round that as the energizer bunny says "just keeps going and going".
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,051 Senior Member
    Sounds to me like Hornady's selling their lower penetration using the "it's not a bug, it's a feature!" logic.

    Most ammo that meets FBI standards won't go through after it hits the offender. That's part of the point of a hollowpoint.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    "I submit sir that it very much does matter. Suppose the said bad guy has your wife in a choke hold from behind and using her as shield YOU need to know exactly where that round you need to fire is going to go and knowing that round is going to point of aim may well be a matter of life and death. The thing that BP was sort of aluding to when he said the slug was the better choice for a shotgun. There could very well be times when the spread of buck shot is exactly what you don't need or that notion a shotgun not needing to be aimed might get someone killed. Now I aint saying that buck couldn't be made to work in that situation as I believe that it very well can BUT you going to have to KNOW how that buck is going to spreadn and how to AIM to cause that buck to hit what you want to hit and not what you don't."

    Hence the reason I spent so much time on the range shooting the same department approved / issued ammo.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • ChuckXXChuckXX Banned Posts: 103 Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    "I submit sir that it very much does matter. Suppose the said bad guy has your wife in a choke hold from behind and using her as shield YOU need to know exactly where that round you need to fire is going to go and knowing that round is going to point of aim may well be a matter of life and death. The thing that BP was sort of aluding to when he said the slug was the better choice for a shotgun. There could very well be times when the spread of buck shot is exactly what you don't need or that notion a shotgun not needing to be aimed might get someone killed. Now I aint saying that buck couldn't be made to work in that situation as I believe that it very well can BUT you going to have to KNOW how that buck is going to spreadn and how to AIM to cause that buck to hit what you want to hit and not what you don't."

    Hence the reason I spent so much time on the range shooting the same department approved / issued ammo.

    Now assuming some of you have a sense of humor. Let me add this to the mix. DoctorWho said the bad guy has your wife in a "choke hold" from behind and using her as a shield. Now lets just say for fun you have a REALLY BAD MARRIAGE" well now is your chance to solve 2 problems at once!!!!!!
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    Id be tough not to pull a Russian hostage....
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
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