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Posted: 8/21/2003 12:06:38 PM EDT
What ammo do you all use as your defense ammo? My dad swears up and down that hydrashock is the best stuff since sliced bread. What else is worth looking at?

Also, I'm looking at ordering a case of cheap ammo to target shoot/plink with. Wheres the best place to order from? Has anybody shot the Wolf ammo? I use their stuff in my Saiga and AK, but have never used it in anything other than 7.62. This will be in a .45.
Link Posted: 8/21/2003 12:18:15 PM EDT
G23-Win Silvertip JHP .40
Beretta 8000- Win SXT JHP 9mm
M4's- IMI M855 5.56mm
AK74's-Wolf FMJ's & JSP's 7.63x39mm
AK74's- Wolf FMJ's 5.45x39mm

Thats about all the guns I would use for "defense"
Link Posted: 8/21/2003 12:49:02 PM EDT
Unless you enjoy taking chances with your life on word-of-mouth hype and slick marketing campaigns - the hierarchy of criteria when searching for defensive ammo is this:
  • #1 RELIABILITY
  • #2 ACCURACY

  • Then last and least,
  • #3 estimations of bullet performance based on construction and delivered velocity

Of course #3 is where everyone spends most of his or her time. Agonizing over the tiny details regarding which hollowpoint is better than the other, which bullet penetrates enough (but not too much!) in cold blocks of gelatin, and to a significant degree; which handgun/high power rifle caliber is superior to the other - it’s verbal masturbation with an intent to mask a shooter’s shortcomings to what is truly vitally significant.

If your gun won’t feed the chosen round reliably every single time the action is worked, if you can’t group multiple shots quickly enough inside the kill zone of whatever you’re defending yourself against – what else can possibly matter???

Go by a couple of boxes each of hollowpoint (all the different brands are basically clones of eachother anyway), frangible, SWAT, penetrator, whatever trips your trigger – and go see which one gives you the best groups at the desired distance. Then go and buy a couple hundred rounds of the most accurate one and make sure they work in the gun and that you can control them adequately . If that particular brand of ammo doesn’t feed 100% out of your guns and mags – or if you’re not developing a feeling that you can call your shots – try another bullet.

If this means you end up shooting match grade ball – so what? Wouldn’t you rather hit your target with a FMJ rather than take the chance you’ll miss and take out an innocent – or worse – have the gun fail and then both you and the innocent end up dead?

To start carrying EFMJ’s or Powerballs or Hydra-shocks because such-and-such gun guru or trainer said something favorable about them is just plain stupid.
Link Posted: 8/21/2003 4:39:24 PM EDT
What caliber?
Link Posted: 8/21/2003 6:19:53 PM EDT
I prefer to use Gold Dot in a lot of my handguns, because they are pretty good performers and I can afford to shoot them often. I like to practice with my defense load. It's different with the 10mm. I look for hot loads with the 10mm. Winchester Silvertips are actually pretty good performers in the 10mm, and they are cheap enough to practice with.
Link Posted: 8/21/2003 8:20:44 PM EDT
I usually carry my reloads or standard FMJ/ball loads in my 1911. 200gr SWC at 900 fps should do the trick. Why? Because I can't afford to buy 300+ rounds of premium factory ammo for each of my 45ACP carry pistol to test reliability... but I have shot tens of thousands of rounds of this reload and I know it is totally reliable and accurate.
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 1:18:49 AM EDT
Win Ranger RA9T does everything i need a defensive handgun load to do.
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 2:19:41 AM EDT
.357mag - Gold Dot 125 grain.
.45acp - Gold Dot 230 grain or same in Hydra-shok

9X18 Fiocchi HP
.32acp Fiocchi HP

12ga. S&B 3 1/2 mag OO buck.
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 6:41:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2003 10:06:48 AM EDT by Dredd308]
I've been useing those new Taurus all copper Hex bullets for my 45.

Link Posted: 8/22/2003 8:59:24 AM EDT
124grain 9mm Fed Hydrashock
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 10:19:43 AM EDT
.45acp-230 grain Federal Hydra-Shok JHP...why?

Not because some old self-appointed "Gun Guru" gun magazine hack says so, not because some egg-head fired it into a block of Bill Cosby's Jello or into 79 Zip-Loc bags filled with water....

...because I have seen it's effectivness in person and up close....

It is, IMO, the best defensive load for the .45....
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 11:02:10 AM EDT
I've been looking at those, but wow are they expensive. I wont carry with something unless I've shot about 500 of them, and I can't afford 500 of those Taurus bullets, heh.


Originally Posted By Dredd308:
I've been useing those new Taurus all copper Hex bullets for my 45.

Link Posted: 8/22/2003 3:50:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By commiegun:
What ammo do you all use as your defense ammo? My dad swears up and down that hydrashock is the best stuff since sliced bread.



And with respect to your father, he WAS absolutely correct- ten years ago. Today, that's not the case anymore.

Read more about this from reputable sources- screw the Fuller index or any such nonsensical dribble. Firearms Tactical Briefs, (no link, sorry), and other sites will put you on the right path here, if you have enough time to sift through the sources. (again, no links, sorry).

Speer Gold Dot is probably the best type of round to carry for all-around protection. Deep penetration, great expansion (even through heavy clothing, which plugs and defeats the hydra-shock design), good accuracy, and outstanding reliability.

Look for the heavier loads- 124 or 147 gr in 9mm, 165 or 180 gr in .40 (the lighter weights for shorter bbls, like 3.5 inches or less), and the 230 gr .45ACP.

Link Posted: 8/22/2003 4:15:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2003 6:56:43 AM EDT by dissipator556]

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
1.)RELIABILITY 2.)ACCURACY 3.) estimations of bullet performance based on construction and delivered velocity



WRONG ANSWER- Nothing personal here, but you're just not current or correct with your assumptions- Here's the right answer:

1.) RELIABILITY (duh, of course it has to go bang every time, and also not KB in the process). All other points are moot without reliability, so I agree on that being tops.

2.) Bullet construction,- because the bullet must be capable of penetrating enough tissue to cause hemmoraging and do so with the largest hole possible. Accuracy is also important, but ask the FBI if bullet construction is important (remember that ACCURATE center of mass shot from a win silvertip that didn't penetrate to the felon's aorta?)


3.) Accuracy- this is important, but a distant third. For selecting quality carry ammo, this is really a red herring. The point is moot, for three important reasons:

A.) Because NO major brand of commercial ammo- from Hydra-shock to Golden Saber and Gold
Dot, SXT, etc., has a critical accuracy
problem. They are all reasonably accurate,
some slightly more than others. (And NO, the IQ, magsafe, or glaser to be included in this- they are pure junk, NOT quality carry ammo).


B.) Remember the range that almost all
defensive shootings occur at- you are almost
never going to fire your pistol at a target
of more than 7 yards. These 25 yard accuracy tests are just not pertinent to carry ammo tests. At short, realistic distances, any quality commercial defensive loading is going to do what you need in the accuracy department. However, all of these are not created equal- for instance, the hydra-shock is now at the bottom of the list, with the Gold dot at the top (usually).

C.) The accuracy of your ammo (assuming it is reliable and well constructed), has almost nothing to do with your ability to shoot center of mass in a defensive situation. Much, much more important are breath and trigger control, proficiency at point shooting (at short to medium distances), and proper mindset. I.E.- If you're shaking like a leaf, jerking the trigger, and breathing like a greased-up hog, it doesn't matter if you're shooting match grade, super-duper, grand champion ammo. It's an insignificant worry.


If this means you end up shooting match grade ball – so what? Wouldn’t you rather hit your target with a FMJ rather than take the chance you’ll miss and take out an innocent – or worse – have the gun fail and then both you and the innocent end up dead?


As I just explained, your assumption looks good on paper, but is critically flawed. You are wrongly assuming that ammo selection will make that big of an ACCURACY (edited to correct) difference in a defensive shooting from a benchrest it sure does, but
not in a real-life encounter.



To start carrying EFMJ’s or Powerballs or Hydra-shocks because such-and-such gun guru or trainer said something favorable about them is just plain stupid.



Definitely agreed, and probably the most important thing for newbies to realize.

Link Posted: 8/22/2003 4:20:13 PM EDT
Federal Hydra-Shok. 230 grain .45ACP, 129 grain .38SP +P
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 4:20:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By skeetar:
I've been looking at those, but wow are they expensive. I wont carry with something unless I've shot about 500 of them, and I can't afford 500 of those Taurus bullets, heh.

My goal isn't to start shit with everybody on this thread, but you're a little off base with the 500 round policy. Generally, about 100 rounds will tell you what you need to know. If you're shooting a reliable pistol to begin with (sorry 1911 fans, your baby is too finicky), then 100 is all you need.

What you do is your business, but I don't know what I would do if I had to buy 500 of every new load! I find that after I establish reliability, I can experiement with what target loads perform similarly on paper. The cheaper Speer Lawman fmj is loaded to the exact specs as the expensive Gold Dot, so I can practice with a cheaper ammo that shoots to the same POI, with the same recoil, flash, etc.

AND NO, I DON'T WORK FOR SPEER OR KNOW ANYONE WHO DOES. I know that it must sound that way sometimes, but I am that impressed with what I have seen from them- personal experience as well as other people's real research/testing.
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 11:26:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2003 11:27:33 PM EDT by skeetar]
Oh, don't get me wrong, I know my standards are set rediculously high. I know its hardly practical to set my limit at 500 rounds. But it makes ME feel SAFE and EVERYONE has their own limit about what makes them feel safe.

Call me crazy, I don't mind :D

edit - The caps are there on instinct, i wasnt yelling or being angry
Link Posted: 8/23/2003 12:12:16 AM EDT
skeetar, I don't find 500 rounds unreasonable. In fact, I prefer to shoot 1200 rounds straight through without problems for my sidearm and ammo combo to make the grade. Yes, I carry a 1911, but even when I carried SIGs, I still did the 1200 round tests. My life or someone else's could be on the line and I wnat to be sure that the weapon and the ammo works together.
Link Posted: 8/23/2003 4:13:13 AM EDT
Unfortunately, guns are still individuals. I've found, for example, what works best in a given handgun varies from gun to gun. So while gold dots might be best in your gun, I might find that SXTs work best in my gun of the same make and model.

And try to put cost in perspective. Just what is the value of your very own butt?

Spend the money to buy a couple boxes of the top candidates and shoot them through your gun. It's a small investment when you consider the gain.
Link Posted: 8/23/2003 5:53:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By knightone:
skeetar, I don't find 500 rounds unreasonable. In fact, I prefer to shoot 1200 rounds straight through without problems for my sidearm and ammo combo to make the grade. Yes, I carry a 1911, but even when I carried SIGs, I still did the 1200 round tests. My life or someone else's could be on the line and I wnat to be sure that the weapon and the ammo works together.



[sacrasm]Yeah, I know the feeling- I have to get at least 100,000 rounds through any weapon to make sure it is ok- especially those damned revolvers. And that number should be tripled for bolt-action rifles.[/sarcasm]

Link Posted: 8/23/2003 6:11:45 AM EDT
.50 BMG 700gr. JSP's

Seriously, Winchester's "white box" .45 auto 230 grn JHP.

It has a nice round profile, which ensures reliable feeding, and my Series '70 has yet to choke on one of them. They're also available for $15 per box of 50 (as opposed to $15/20 for Hydra Shoks or others), so I can actually "practice what I preach".

I haven't seen expansion tests of the .45 load yet, but ammolabs did an expansion test on the white box 9mm load, and it seemed to hold its own with most other loads, except the really hot stuff like Ranger Talons or Gold Dot +P's.

Even if it doesn't expand, it's still a 230 grn. .45.
Link Posted: 8/23/2003 6:28:24 AM EDT
First two rounds HP followed by FMJ.

Tj
Link Posted: 8/23/2003 8:04:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2003 9:17:28 AM EDT by Dredd308]

Originally Posted By skeetar:
I've been looking at those, but wow are they expensive. I wont carry with something unless I've shot about 500 of them, and I can't afford 500 of those Taurus bullets, heh




I've put about 300 thru thru my gun.
I dont have any worries, I have a H&K USP45 compact, the only thing HK's dont like is Wolf ammo.
Link Posted: 8/23/2003 1:37:37 PM EDT
I'm sticking to the 180 grain hydrashock in .40

Most important thing to me is my defense ammo has the same POI as my reloads I use for competition. The reason being is I shoot 2 pistol matches a week (400 round) so I reload the best ammo for my pistol. I then try to find a defensive round that matches it's POI.

I loaded one round of my reloads, followed by one round of each defensive round I tested. Then I fired off a rest. The Hydrashocks were very very close. In a self defense situation I'm more confident that the hydrashock are going to hit right were I expect them to, be it a precision aimed shot, or fast indexing.

If you shooting .40 in competion, I think the 180 grain hydrashock is very close to most peoples jacketed .40's that make the 165-170 powerfactor.
Link Posted: 8/23/2003 3:39:05 PM EDT
135 grain, Federal Hydra-Shok, .40 caliber

Why?

It is round nosed, so I get the reliability of a FMJ round.

It is hollow pointed, so I get the performance of an expanding round.

It is 135 grains, so it has enough 'zip' to penetrate up close.

It has proven itself in action against live targets (feral hogs).

It penetrates, it expands, it feeds well.

And to top it all off, its name is 'Personal Defense'. If I ever use the ammo against a litigous individual, the jury WILL hear its name...Personal Defense.

'nuf-sed.

TRG
Link Posted: 8/23/2003 7:06:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
First two rounds HP followed by FMJ.

Tj



How come?

BTW I use a mag of Federal JHP HydroShocks and a mag of FMJ's nearby for home defense gun.
Link Posted: 8/24/2003 7:42:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
135 grain, Federal Hydra-Shok, .40 caliber

Why?

It is round nosed, so I get the reliability of a FMJ round.

It is hollow pointed, so I get the performance of an expanding round.

It is 135 grains, so it has enough 'zip' to penetrate up close.

It has proven itself in action against live targets (feral hogs).

It penetrates, it expands, it feeds well.

And to top it all off, its name is 'Personal Defense'. If I ever use the ammo against a litigous individual, the jury WILL hear its name...Personal Defense.

'nuf-sed.

TRG



Sorry boss, as much as I like you, I have to side with Brouh, Tat, and Troy on this one. Regardless of what the round does to hogs, the 135gr personal defense is under-loaded to 9mm specs, and doesn't penetrate nearly enough. Expanision through clothing is terrible, as with all hydra-shock.

Check it out for yourself- shoot some hogs with Georgia Precision's hot 165gr .40 S&W (w/the gold dot bullet)- compare that expanded round to the hydra-shock.

Now, if you're recoil sensitive, I can understand needing that anemic loading, but why not just go with a 9mm if you want a load that mimicks 9mm ballistics?
Link Posted: 8/24/2003 7:03:58 PM EDT
Texas Ammo 200gr JHP. I think they're the Hornady XTP, 1250fps. My 1911 eats evrything I've put through it just fine, and my practice ammo is 200gr FMJ at about 1000. POI is close enough for gov't work, In fact, I seee very little difference at 25 yds with most loads, maybe I'm just not good enough for it to show up.
Link Posted: 8/24/2003 7:55:54 PM EDT
Haven't tried these yet, but I'm going to:

ammoman.com/40_EP_DESC.htm

Link Posted: 8/25/2003 5:04:09 AM EDT
Just remember...which ever hollowpoint you do carry...just make sure that you can hit what you are aiming at, or that vaunted round will not mean a damn thing...

I have had a lot of people I know that carry and buy every lastest and greatest self-defense round that comes out swearing by that one until the next one is released, but never devotes that same energy to just practicing...
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 5:44:56 AM EDT
.45 - 230gr HydraShok...have killed some stuff with it..

9mm - 127gr+P+ RA9TA Ranger..hotter than the hammers of hell.

.40 - Speer 155gr Gold Dot.

.38 - 158gr Win LSWCHP +P

.32 - Glaser Blue

.22 - CCI SGB 40gr HV solid (have a case of it, good thing since they quit making it.)


Link Posted: 8/26/2003 12:31:16 PM EDT
.45 ACP - Either the 230 gr Winchester Ranger or 230 gr Speer Gold Dot

.40 S&W - Either 180 gr Speer Gold Dot or Winchester Ranger

9mm - Winchester Ranger 127 gr +P+, Winchester Ranger 147 gr or Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P

.38 Special - Remington 158 gr lead +P HP's or 148 gr lead full wadcutters (for the airweight snubbies)

.357 Magnum - Winchester 145 gr Silvertips (although this isn't my favorite caliber)

.223 - Black Hills 68 gr BTHP for the 1:9 twists and Black Hills 75 gr BTHP for the 1:7 twists

.308 - Hornady 155 gr AMAX or any of the premium 150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip loads

12 gauge - Federal Tactical 00 buckshot and Rottweil Brenneke slugs.

-Charging Handle
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 12:42:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bulldog1967:
Haven't tried these yet, but I'm going to:

ammoman.com/40_EP_DESC.htm

ammoman.com/eps/efmj1.jpg



Don't waste your money. They expand unreliably and as a result don't do much in the way of tissue damage.

Stick with Gold Dot and Rangers.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 4:08:17 AM EDT
I prefer Hydra Shok. But all of the premium hollowpoints are loaded to pretty much meet the same ballistic standard. Find what hits to point of aim in your gun, that you can control and will feed 100 percent with at least 200 rds. Then find some FMJ that hits to the same point of aim. Then PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. And did I mention PRACTICE. Oh and have some fun shooting while your doing all this.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 1:29:55 PM EDT
Fellas, another bit of advice here....don't try to match defensive loads to your practice ammo. Instead, match your practice ammo to your defensive loads. That makes far more sense.

Incidentally, Speer has a economical line of practice ammo sold under the Lawman label. This stuff uses FMJ bullets and is loaded so it shoots to the same POI as the defensive ammo with the same bullet weights. You can carry the Gold Dots for serious use and practice realistically and cheaply with the Lawman. IMHO, the Gold Dot is much better bullet than the Hydra-Shok. It is much more consistent in terms of expansion. Now that there is a good quality yet cheap practice load available that shoots to the same POI, that's only one more incentive for using it.

-Charging Handle
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 3:29:36 PM EDT
Agreed, CH- in 9mm especially, hydrashock really sucks. Gold dot is my choice for all calibers, usually in the medium-heavy weight range.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 7:00:00 PM EDT
230 Gr Remington Golder Saber. They are nice and rounded up front and I have no function issue with this round at all. 100% reliable functioning is more important than everything else put together.
Link Posted: 8/28/2003 10:44:07 AM EDT
The first two in the .45 are Glaser 145 Gr. +P Silvertips, the next 6 are Speer Gold Dot 230 Gr. JHP. The Glasers aren't cheap at $3.50 apiece, but it is a small price for little peace of mind.
Chris Cheng
Link Posted: 8/28/2003 11:56:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2003 11:57:20 AM EDT by Dredd308]
What to what YOUR round does thru clothing?

Ammo Lab


Link Posted: 8/28/2003 5:05:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2003 5:06:51 PM EDT by blkgun223aholic]
.40 Cor-bon 135's. Why becaues it comes very close to a .357 mag. 125gr Which is a proven man stopper.
I like the .357 sig also but thats another story.

I don't know anything about killing hogs, thats not what my carry gun is for.


I will stick with what Evan Marshall says about stopping power, to me he makes the most sense.

All my carry guns I load with Cor-Bon. Except on occasion when I carry a .32 or .380 then every other one is a Mag Safe.
Link Posted: 8/28/2003 6:47:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/29/2003 4:37:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/29/2003 4:47:13 AM EDT by Charging_Handle]

I will stick with what Evan Marshall says about stopping power, to me he makes the most sense.


I seriously hope you are being sarcastic. Anyone depending on this man for legitimate information is depending on a poor source indeed.

While he may seem to make more sense on the surface, consider why. Most people, when looking at information, want to choose the easy way of getting from Point A to Point B. Lazyness is just human nature. Well, flipping to page 109 and getting a 95% stopping power rating seems like the way to go. Unfortunately it's not that easy. There are too many things to consider. On top of this, there isn't one single credible person in ballistic science who will agree with Evan's claims. Not one. And there is a good reason for that. What he does isn't science, unless you consider pseudo science a true discipline. It's not difficult to choose quality ammo. All you need to do is find a load that is reliable and shoots well in your gun. If the bullet penetrates a minimum of 12" and expands robustly, in bare gel or denim covered gel, then you likely have a suitable load. It isn't brain surgery. You might also wish to test it for muzzle flash as well if you wish. But that is really all that's necessary. If a round doesn't meet that standard, forget it and look for another one.

Below I will post some links from credible researchers who show how flawed Marshall's "One Shot Stop" stuff really is. Then I will post some links to some credible sources for ammo data. I think any reasonable person after viewing this would have to reconsider using Marshall as their source of data.


www.firearmstactical.com/streetstoppers.htm

www.firearmstactical.com/sanow-strikes-out.htm

www.firearmstactical.com/marshall-sanow-discrepancies.htm

www.firearmstactical.com/undeniable-evidence.htm

www.firearmstactical.com/marshall-sanow-statistical-analysis.htm

Gee, I wonder why the military, FBI, most police units and informed citizens DON'T choose Marshall for ammo data!

Now, here are some places where you can go get RELIABLE and CREDIBLE ammo information, tested by people who stick to true science...meaning the results are always repeatable and conducted in a manner where the data actually means something:

www.tacticalforums.com

www.firearmstactical.com

www.ammolab.com

Or go to our own ammo forum over in the AR section and pose your questions for Troy, Brouhaha, Tatjana, Forest, DevL, me and several others. The data we give you will come from credible sources...sources that don't write books to sell for a profit. It may take a bit longer to examine the findings and require a little more work, but taking this route will give you a better idea of what a bullet will do than looking at a meaningless 1 shot stopping percentage.

I did not write this to flame you or to flame Marshall and Sanow. But I did respond in an effort to steer you toward the tons of information that suggest Marshall's information has serious shortcomings. In effect, he stands alone in the ammo terminal performance arena. Being involved in shoot-outs is very serious business. Therefore I feel one must use good weapons, good ammo, be a good shot and have knowledge of and make use of good tactics. Again, I just don't see Marshall as being anything besides a weak link in that chain and I had to speak up.

-Charging Handle



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