1911 (45 ACP): Speer 230 Gold Dot. Feeds slick, shoots well in every gun I've tried, rated well by most.
HiPower (9mm): CorBon 115 JHP (but may be changing to their PowRBall or DPX after some more testing). The 115 JHP feeds in any gun I would use for carry (but not all guns), always shoots excellent groups, and is rated well by those who will rate any 9mm load under 147 grains well. I like the Winchester Ranger 127 +P+ also.
J-frames (38 Spl): Remington 158 SWC-HP +P
On the .45's I like the 200gr +P GD's, my G-30 loves em' and the energy is in the 10mm range (500ft/lbs+)
On duty (when I dont have a choice) I carry .40 165gr gold dot per policy. Off duty & backup (when I have a choice) it's Ranger T or HST.
I trust what works most reliably in my specific guns, with the whole package of recoil+blast+flame+accuracy that I can manage. For me, that's two rounds I've found for my CZ P01 9mm: DoubleTap 124gr +P Gold Dots, or Federal Hydrashok Tactical 124gr +P+. Heads and shoulders above every other round I have tried. The DT's result in a lot of damage quickly, with short strings blasted at a side of beef. Much expansion, damage. I'd think they would work as well against a two-legged attacker.
I trust my life with what ever my guns feed. I'm a big fan of Federal HST, Rem GS and PMC Starfire. These are the main defense loads I test in all my autos(until they show they are unreliable in a particular gun).I'm want to add Win Ranger-T to the list but I can't afford to do it right now.
I carry .45+p 165gr CorBons in the G30.:yup:
I only have one choice. Remington Golden Saber. I carry the 185 +P or the reg. 230 grain in my SA 1911 45, and the 102 grain in my Keltec 380.
In my SP 101 I have 125grs Funnel Point (1475ft/s) and in G17 123grs Mega Shock and 124grs Funnel Point.
All 9mm ammo is handloaded to 1245ft/s.
I like to have the strongest posible food for my pets.
Recoil is no problem,and it s great to see how gelatine block sufers seriouse earthquake when hit with this.
Taurus 92 9mm: Until recently, I carried Federal EFMJ 124gr+P in two mags while one was stuffed with Black Hills 124gr+P. That stuff got too old for my taste, so switched out to 124gr+P bonded GS in all three mags. Hard tellin' what will strike my interest next.
Rossi .38spl: I have some S&W LSWCHP 158gr+P laying around, but though it looks like it has been stored well, I just dunno that I trust it. I'm waiting for Buffalo Bore to come out with their standard pressure 158gr LSWCHP which I almost expect to be the next Nyclad; meantime I'm carrying Magtech 125gr+P as this is what was available when I went to replace the S&W. This seems to be Brazilian copy of the Gold Dot, and it's very sedate for a +P round, having no more subjective recoil than my practice ammo (see my recent report for more details if you wish). My Rossi is not +P rated, and though I can't see a few +P hurting it, I've decided not to chance it. Additionally, I believe that +P is not required in .38spl.
In 9mm, +P just brings the ammo up to its original performance levels: After the world wars, the ammo makers began underloading 9mm due to the "iffy" quality of some guns being brought back as trophies. So far as I know however, the .38spl hasn't suffered from the same problem and should perform fine in its original chamber pressures.
Carpati .380acp: I carry WWB WinClean due to it having a nice wide meplat. I like the penetration of the ball round. When my buddy was shot and killed, it was with a .380acp loaded with ball. The bullet barely exited but was never found. I'm of the opinion it stayed in his body, shoring up on his relatively tight teeshirt and leaving a blood blister that only looked like an exit wound. There was not a huge investigation into the deal. Anyway, I carry that most of the year, except in deep summer which, in Indiana, can get pretty hot and humid. At that point I switch to 88gr Blazer HP as this stuff seems to expand in anything.
.22lr Revolver: I do not have a belly gun chambered for this, but recognizing that any of my guns may be called upon to fulfill a defensive role, I keep my woods gun, an H&R 929, loaded with Mini-Mag HP ammo.
Edited: I went back and reread the original thread. It didn't specify handguns, so...
Mossberg 500: Loaded with seven rounds of 00 buck, five more ready on the sling, as well as three slugs for longer range shooting. These are seperated by an empty loop.
Romanian Training Rifle: Accurate as it was from the factory, I've done more work to it with even more planned for the future. At this point I have no problem knocking the head off a squirrel at 25yds with the excellent open sights, and so it's loaded with five rounds of .22lr Mini-Mag hollowpoint. If I could find a centerfire that feels just like this rifle I'd buy it in a heartbeat. However, at this point I've not found that rifle yet, so I lack a centerfire rifle.
I work at a gunshop and range and can pretty much test, try and carry whatever round I want.:banana: . Seriously, it has it's benefits.
For 9mm I use 124gr Hydra Shok in the pistol. 124gr Gold Dot for the spare magazines. I like the Hydra Shok performance and don't mind if it fragments. I can not see any lack of penetration. It performs as good as anything through light cloth shop rags we test with. The Gold Dot expands less and penetrates more, thus why I use it for spares. I don't use +P except for my 9mm Ruger PC, and it gets 124+P Gold Saber.
In .45 ACP I use 230gr Gold Saber or Hydra Shok, depending on what's laying around. No preference. I've seen lots more core and jacket separations with the Gold Saber. For sure no lack of penetration there, and the jacket is big and heavy enough to make a separate wound path. Sometimes I fill my spare magazine with Gold Dot, for the same reason as I do in 9mm. In my .45 carbine I use Cor Bon +P 185gr. Makes good use of the long barrel, and hits hard.
In 10mm, in a revolver, I use 180gr Hydra Shok until the Double Tap order comes in. I believe I'll use the 135gr JHP.
When I carry a compact .40 I use 135gr Quick Shok. Don't have a steady source yet, so I may switch to the Federal HST 155gr. This bonded bullet really impressed me. It's Gold Dot with a plain jacket instead of an electroplated one. I have a supply of 155gr Starfire PMC and would use that again if I ever ran out of the others. I think that's an under appreciated bullet.
My permanant BUG is a Kel Tec .32 with Cor Bon, also used in my girlfriend's Beretta. I put "Flyer Wires" in all the magazines to prevent any possibility of rimlock with a short, powerful load. In testing in wet newspaper, I never got a .32 Hydra Shok to expand. The Silvertip was good, but tumbled more than it expanded, the Gold Dot was good, not great. The PMC plain JHP was a solid performer. If I had a .32 that didin't like the Cor Bon, I'd use this stuff, and it's cheap too.
For .380 there is only one consistantly great load, the 102gr Gold Saber. If your gun feeds and cycles it, it's top of the line stuff. Before that I used a lot of Hydra Shok, and would do so again.
Bought a new car and it has a smaller gun pocket than the old one, so I have a Beretta .22 in it for now. For powerhouse .22LR defense:rolleyes: It's Quick Shok in the gun, Stingers in the spares. I'm thinking about buying another Kel-Tec .32 to take it's place. It's a small compartment.
In .38 I use my stock of Nyclads in standard and 125gr+P. For the Speed strips and speedloaders I use mostly Gold Saber or Hydra Shok. The only reason for that is that the tips of the spares get beat up being carried, and the fully jacketed rounds are tougher. The 110gr standard pressure Hydra Shok is the only standard pressure round easy to find in my area. The girlfriend's bedside SP101 has +P+ in it, the only gun I would fire it in.
.357 mag, 125gr Federal SJHP . (period)
Yes, placement is everything, but I want to have the best advantage just in case. We all jerk the trigger sometimes, right? I like rounds that expand or fragment. I don't mind a little jacket separation, the core seems to still penetrate the same anyway. I don't like too much +P in my 9mm. Why make it kick harder? The virtue is an easy and fast shooting gun. I'm still not much of a fan of subsonic, low expansion bullets in any caliber. The slow .45 rounds are still good expanders and the exception. I like the DPX in .38, but sometimes expansion was unreliable in the 2" snub. The only EFMJ I tested was a +P .45 and it kicked more than the 230's I was using, by a small but noticable amount. But it expanded no matter what it was shot into. Both are worth a further look. I don't like the XTP with the shallow hollow point. The newer TAP load is better, but I'm not ready to switch yet. In my way of thinking, it might make a good load for a spare mag instead of Gold Dot.
Well, long night at a slow job. Thanks for reading this far. Shooting stuff is fun, go test your own stuff. All you need is a 5 gal bucket, some newspaper, water, and an old Tshirt. Oh yea, and a few boxes of assorted ammo and a few dozen different opinions to test.
in my Wison CQB it's Hornady tap 45acp 230gr.
in the P7M13 it's 124gr or the 147gr gold dots.
In my .45s, I currently load Winchester Ranger SXT 230gr JHP. In .380, I use the 90gr Gold Dots.
GP-100,Win 145gr 357mag silvertips
65-3,Win 145gr 357mag
10-7,Fed 158gr 38spl
Bulldog,Win 200gr 44 spl
P-11,Fed classic 115gr JHP's
3914,BH 115gr +P jhp's
with gold dot bullets