Self Defense ammo vs range ammo

This is a discussion on Self Defense ammo vs range ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I wouldn't keep the gun loaded in case the bad guy gets it first. The bad guy might be able to kill me with my ...

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Thread: Self Defense ammo vs range ammo

  1. #16
    Member Array byscutgunguy's Avatar
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    I wouldn't keep the gun loaded in case the bad guy gets it first. The bad guy might be able to kill me with my own gun, but he will have to beat me with it because it will be empty.

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  3. #17
    Member Array houdini's Avatar
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    all ways try some of your carry ammo to get use to it.

  4. #18
    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byscutgunguy View Post
    I wouldn't keep the gun loaded in case the bad guy gets it first. The bad guy might be able to kill me with my own gun, but he will have to beat me with it because it will be empty.
    Umm...

  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by byscutgunguy View Post
    I wouldn't keep the gun loaded in case the bad guy gets it first. The bad guy might be able to kill me with my own gun, but he will have to beat me with it because it will be empty.
    Your unloaded gun is a badly designed club, or an even worse hammer.

    Do you think you will have time to load your gun if you are attacked?
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  6. #20
    Member Array Moto4Fun's Avatar
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    I appreciate the advise (with exception to one post ;)),and will have to modify my routine. I still face the issue of my daily practices. I unload and reload the firearm daily. I go the range every 3-4 weeks sometimes less. If I were to only load each round into the chamber once, I would have to shoot all my SD ammo every time I go to the range, and that is not practical. I would rather not shoot the $1 per round ammo when I can shoot $.25 ammo. I can say that I have likely cycled all of my rounds through my chamber 2-3 times each, and a couple (the top two rounds in each Mag) 20+ times. They are all the same length, none of them have noticable setback. But I heed the advice provided and will change my ways.

  7. #21
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Should I practice with the "expensive stuff"? I have never shot any of the JHP through my gun, would it be good to run a couple boxes through?
    My rule, for any self loading pistol is 500 Rounds of any quality "practice" ammo to break the pistol in and then 200 Failure Free Rounds of my self defense ammo before I rely on it.

    This means that I need a good supply of ammo that I can obtain easily. Some of my carry ammo is now sold as "Training" ammo. I do this because it's too costly to always buy and test "the latest and greatest" ammo out there.

    I have to know that what I have in my gun will work, both in the gun and in my target. Usually there are reams of documentation as to the effectiveness of an older "Duty Load" as opposed to the newer rounds out there.

    Here's a Sample of what I carry:

    9mm: Federal 115 grain Hi Shock +P+ JHP
    40 S&W: Federal 180 Grain Hi Shock JHP
    .357 Magnum: Remington 125 Grain SJHP (Not a self-loader)

    The only two calibers that I carry non-training ammo in are the 38 Special and the 45 ACP, because I have a good supply of the "latest and greatest". That is not so with the other calibers.

    38 SPL: Gold Dot 135 grain JHP
    45 ACP: Federal HST 230 grain +P JHP

    The Training Ammo was at one time the "top shelf" defensive ammo, but bullet technology has improved since then. I'm OK with that, as it worked then, so I fail to see why it won't work now.

    My advice is to select an ammo you can obtain easily that has been proven to work and stick with it. If you change your ammo loads often it gets too costly if you "test" your loads like I do.

    Biker

  8. #22
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    I agree with others that you should shoot at least 50 rounds of SD ammo through a gun before you trust your life to that gun/ammo combination...
    +1

    Now I have only broke in two new handguns (working on the 3rd tomorrow or Saturday), but here are my thoughts.

    At the very least, first time I shoot a weapon I'm going to rely on for SD, I go somewhere they allow quick, one after the other, shots. In my case, thats a few hours drive to the family farm / acreage.

    I use around 25 target rounds. I then shoot one full mag of target rounds quickly.

    Next I start on a bok of 50 SD rounds. I save a mag full and put them aside. I fire the rounds. Then fill up the last mag with SD round and fire quickly one after another.

    Now I'm about at the 100 round mark. If feed is good, I'm ok with that firearm. However I'm still a little reserved.

    Honestly, I feel best after I reach the 500 mark. In addition, I do try out a few different types of ammo, during that 500 round break in, just to see how that ammo does.

    GL, and enjoy the getting to know you process.
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  9. #23
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    Why do you unload your pistol everyday?
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  10. #24
    Member Array alnitak's Avatar
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    I only get to the range about once a month. But I generally shoot at least one mag of SD ammo (the mag I've been carrying), and then the rest of the time is spent with range ammo. Of course, this is after I have shot at least 100 rounds with that SD ammo after some testing of various types to figure out what I'm carrying. If I decide to switch, and I've tested that ammo in my gun before, I will still shoot 50 before switching, just to make sure I'm good to go.

    I like the idea of using your spare mag to cycle chambered rounds through. Set back can occur. So, when I have to unload, I will take the chambered round and put it on the bottom of either the spare mag, or the loaded mag (if I only have that one with me).

  11. #25
    Senior Member Array ASSA9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moto4Fun View Post

    is there a common practice for doing this, should I be shooting this ammo and renewing it on occasion, and does the bullet/cartridge sustain any damage getting cycled in and out of the chamber?
    Yes, it can cause bullet setback,but if you need to save money on
    high end ammo, buy a set of dial calipers and use them to
    insure that setback is not happening .
    Check your ammo about every three to five chamberings
    using a new unchambered round as your standard
    and you can be sure about your ammo.
    Zoe: "Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?

    Book: "Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps."

  12. #26
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    I will not chamber the same round more than three times, and two is preferred.

    Biker

  13. #27
    VIP Member Array LongRider's Avatar
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    I am assuming you have properly broken the gun in and run 200 rounds of your SD ammo through your gun to be sure it cycles and functions perfectly in your gun.

    Yes ideally you have practice mags and carry mags that will reduce the number of rounds you cycle in and out of your mags.

    My first concern is about your being one short in your spare. Stop doing that top it off and leave that mag alone.

    What I do is chamber a round drop the mag and top it off. Now when I unload to dry fire practice or whatever. I remove the mag, than cycle the chambered round out into my hand not into the air to hit the ground should I fail to catch it. Examine that round if it is dented or anything other than pristine I shoot that round. If it is OK I pocket it to use to top off the mag. When I reload I insert the mag chamber a round than top off the mag with the round that was chambered and is now in my pocket.

    Doing it that way means only two rounds are effected. The chambered round and the top round in the mag. They get cycled back and forth each time you unload and reload. After I have done that half a dozen times or if either show any sign of wear I use those two rounds in practice. All your other rounds are unaffected as they have remained in the mag. The end result is that you will use very little of your carry ammo.

    Now if you unload each mag to use that mag for practice. Be sure that the top two rounds your are cycling through the chamber stay separate from the rest of the rounds in the mag. Make sure those two rounds remain your top two rounds. The other rounds should not be affected as they are not being cycled through the chamber. However every time you remove them from the mag check each and every one if any appear worn or in less than pristine condition replace them. They should be OK but if you have any concerns shoot that mag every six months and in time you will see they are just fine.

    In over 30 years I have had zero FTF or any issue with my carry rounds. Hope that helps
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  14. #28
    Member Array Moto4Fun's Avatar
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    This is good information. To clarify:
    -I only have two mags, so I empty both when I go to the range and shoot my bulk ammo.
    -I empty the chamber a couple times per week for legal transportation. (I don't have CCW here in California, and from what I have read, nobody would dare ccw without a license)
    -I empty the chamber to dry fire and handle/keep familiar with the gun.
    -I have yet to cycle through the SD ammo. I bought one box of 20 to keep in the gun.

    From this thread I have learned:
    -Pick a SD ammo and keep enough on hand for practicing with it and refilling both mags and the chamber.
    -Get additional Mags for SD ammo or practice or "topping off the chamber.

    Does any SD ammo come in 50 rd boxes? What SD ammo is a good/great value (good price, easily available, acceptible ballistics)?

  15. #29
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    If you have a Bass Pro near you, or if they will ship to you, check out the Winchester SXZ ammo they have there. They have a target load and personal defense load. Same shape and weight bullets so you get the same recoil and function with your practice ammo and with your self defense ammo. These come 50 to a box.
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