Training vs. carry ammo

This is a discussion on Training vs. carry ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'd like to hear some opinions about a topic that I've been curious about for some time. Masaad Ayoob has been of the opinion for ...

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Thread: Training vs. carry ammo

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    Member Array Showman's Avatar
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    Training vs. carry ammo

    I'd like to hear some opinions about a topic that I've been curious about for some time.

    Masaad Ayoob has been of the opinion for some time that it isn't a good idea for there to be a big power and performance difference between the ammo that one trains with and what is carried "on the street". He cited the Newhall incident of 1970, where one factor that could have caused a problem was the difference between the "mouse pop" .38s the California patrolmen trained with and the "Elmer Keith Memorial Magnum" .357s they fought for their lives with.
    He always advocated training with the same bullet weight one fought with, too. Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Showman; August 5th, 2012 at 05:25 PM. Reason: error

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    Member Array lyodbraun's Avatar
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    Its always good to train and practice with your carry ammo.....

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    No disagreement with Ayoob, but keep in mind that there is a pretty big difference between the .38 training ammo commonly used in the past and full-house .357 mag ammo. The good news is that with most autoloaders today, the difference in intensity (blast and recoil) between practice ammo and carry ammo is nowhere near the difference between standard-pressure .38 and cop .357.

    You also have to keep things in perspective. When I practice with my .38 lightweight snub, I use my wadcutter reloads which are on a par recoil-wise with the 130 gr FMJ, but both are easier shooters than the +P loads which I carry in the gun. But it's not a fun gun to shoot, and after 50 rounds I'm happy to switch over to something "soothing" like a .45 1911. But I end my snub practice with a couple of cylinders of the carry ammo. My point here is that a snub is not an easy gun to shoot well, and I'd rather keep my skills fresh with a lighter (but not light) load that allows me to shoot more rounds.
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    In the world of auto pistols there is very little difference in recoil between practice ammo and carry ammo. The most commonly carried revolver is a .38 snub which for all intent and purpose is a belly gun were the difference in recoil between a wadcutter and a +P will be negligible.
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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    No disagreement with Ayoob, but keep in mind that there is a pretty big difference between the .38 training ammo commonly used in the past and full-house .357 mag ammo. The good news is that with most autoloaders today, the difference in intensity (blast and recoil) between practice ammo and carry ammo is nowhere near the difference between standard-pressure .38 and cop .357.

    You also have to keep things in perspective. When I practice with my .38 lightweight snub, I use my wadcutter reloads which are on a par recoil-wise with the 130 gr FMJ, but both are easier shooters than the +P loads which I carry in the gun. But it's not a fun gun to shoot, and after 50 rounds I'm happy to switch over to something "soothing" like a .45 1911. But I end my snub practice with a couple of cylinders of the carry ammo. My point here is that a snub is not an easy gun to shoot well, and I'd rather keep my skills fresh with a lighter (but not light) load that allows me to shoot more rounds.
    Excellent answer! The snub is to save your life, not to shoot at the range for real enjoyment. I put the Houge rubber grip on mine to cut down on the sting you get after the 50 round mark.
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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    I don't know anyone who can afford to shoot their carry ammo as their everyday range ammo.

    It's a good idea to do so but impractical with cost concerns.
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    As a separate but related point of information to this thread, if you maintain your semi-auto firearm with a cartridge in the chamber, it is a good idea to replace that cartridge on some kind of regular basis if you use different ammunition for training purposes. The ejection of that cartridge imparts a degree of stress on that cartridge, which could cause a failure of that cartridge as it is continuously ejected and then replaced into the chamber everytime you switch over from your defense ammo to training ammunition in the firearm.

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    Senior Member Array tclance's Avatar
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    When practicing with 1911 I usually use Federal Champion .230gr fmj. Actually shoot very well through the gun, Cost about $30
    for 100rd box. For carry ammo I use Hornady Critical Defense .185gr at around $20 for a box of 20. I actually shoot them better then the Federal but can get kind of costly when shooting 3-400 rds!!

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    In my 9mm and .40 semi-autos, I really don't think the difference between practice and carry ammo is significant enough to effect how I would shoot in a situation. With the adrenaline likely flowing through my system, I don't think I'll even feel any recoil.

    There is a BIG difference between .38 range loads and a hot .357 magnum. Though they'll both shoot through a .357 chamber, they are different cartridges. In a semi-auto, you are only using one caliber. If I carried a magnum caliber, I would spend some time practicing with full power, magnum rounds instead of exclusively practicing with the shortened versions.

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    Its just to expensive. Range ammo is there for a reason

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    Practicing with any thing is good. If you can shoot you can shoot it don't madder much .38 or .45 . 380,9mm what ever you grab.
    Now if you trying to be number one at the range then shoot then shoot the same weapon and rounds all the time.
    I bet a large chunk of cash I can shoot .38 in my 357 for a month and will still hit the target the first time I put a 357 back in it.
    Same with other weapon I shoot 115gr 9mm ball out back all the time but for SD I load them with different rounds depending on the weapons.
    bet I still hit the target the 124gr or the 147gr HJP is not going to throw me off.

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    VIP Member Array dawei's Avatar
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    FWIW, in the last few months I have used the same ammunition both for practice and carry. Specifically..........
    • CCI ® Blazer 357 Magnum 158gr JHP

    I pay $20.89+tax for 50 rounds which I feel is pretty reasonable compared to a lot of other like ammunition.
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    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    I've mixed 124-147gr SD loads and 115gr target loads into the same mags before and to be perfectly honest I usually can't tell with any certainty which one is being shot.
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    Ex Member Array ComplexKaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Showman View Post
    I'd like to hear some opinions about a topic that I've been curious about for some time.

    Masaad Ayoob has been of the opinion for some time that it isn't a good idea for there to be a big power and performance difference between the ammo that one trains with and what is carried "on the street". He cited the Newhall incident of 1970, where one factor that could have caused a problem was the difference between the "mouse pop" .38s the California patrolmen trained with and the "Elmer Keith Memorial Magnum" .357s they fought for their lives with.
    He always advocated training with the same bullet weight one fought with, too. Any thoughts?
    I doubt the rounds they carried played any part in the 4 CHP officers death.

    Almost every day I pass the site in which they were killed and the sign that bears all four of their names. They were trained a certain way back then in the CHP academy and one technique that got them killed was the fact that they were trained to pick up their brass. One of the officers was found with empty casings in his hand.

    It was more training and not caliber that got them killed.

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    Ex Member Array ComplexKaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComplexKaos View Post
    I doubt the rounds they carried played any part in the 4 CHP officers death.

    Almost every day I pass the site in which they were killed and the sign that bears all four of their names. They were trained a certain way back then in the CHP academy and one technique that got them killed was the fact that they were trained to pick up their brass. One of the officers was found with empty casings in his hand.

    It was more training and not caliber that got them killed.
    well wait I maybe wrong

    Setting the record straight on the Newhall Incident

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