Short Barreled Pistols and the Ammo To Put In Them

Short Barreled Pistols and the Ammo To Put In Them

This is a discussion on Short Barreled Pistols and the Ammo To Put In Them within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have several Smith and Wesson revolvers with two and three inch barrels and several semi autos with short barrels. Most of the time, if ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Jungle Work's Avatar
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    Short Barreled Pistols and the Ammo To Put In Them

    I have several Smith and Wesson revolvers with two and three inch barrels and several semi autos with short barrels. Most of the time, if ever, are you are not going to get reliable expansion from hollow point bullets in short barreled gun with the exception of the .38 spl Gold Dot 135grn +P round that was developed specifically for short barreled .38sp/.357mag pistols.

    In my short barreled .380acp pistols and the one Colt 1911 .45acp Officer's Model with a 3 inch barrel I have, I stick FMJ Ball Ammo in them. Short barreled autos tend to be more ammo sensitive than their big brothers and I find that I will trade the occasional bullet that will expands for ammo that feed reliablily and that way I get decent penatration. So I carry the ball ammo.

    If anybody has any other information I'd love to hear it. I find the best information based on real world scientific study in this board,

    http://www.tacticalforums.com/

    in the Terminal Effects Forum. You can do a search to find the applicable caliber and firearm.

    Works for me. Mods, if you feel this belongs in the Ammunitioin forum, don't hesitiate to move it, but since were talking about the short barrled firearms carried by many for CCW I put it here. Your Call.


    Jungle Work
    Last edited by Jungle Work; August 29th, 2006 at 06:45 PM.


  2. #2
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    I think it works in either JW. here is fine IMO.

    I have stuck with Corbon +P 110's for snub use when I used to snub carry.
    Chris - P95
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    Member Array Hobbes's Avatar
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    Check out corbon, they make ammo specifically for short bbl autos. They also make expanding lead nose .45 IIRC so it's shaped like FMJ but supossedly performs like JHP.

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    There is the Gold Dot SB (AKA GDSB) ammo specifically tailored for handguns with Short Barrels.

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    I think your concerns are well founded....I have been using Federal's EFMJ (expanding full metal jacket) in 9mm. From what I have read, they won't expand as much as JHP's but they do CONSISTENTLY expand. Because they are a version of FMJ, they seem to be very reliable feeders.

    I have to order them from Natchez Shooters because no one has even heard of them here. I know they have a + P 9mm 105 gr. I also know they have 45 and some others but am not sure of the specifics.

    I know that the new JHP's are kinda sexy but I've read too much about ( inconsistent) failure to expand due to low velocity and plugging of the hollow point by fabric. I feel better with the consistency of these....just my 2 cents.....mike

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    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    My only problem with the Short Barrel loads is they increase the level of recoil and muzzle blast from what is usually already a very small and light gun to begin with. And I tested some Federal 124 grain Hydrashoks from the Glock 26 I used to own and found they expanded perfectly nearly every time. I had drapped some old blue jeans over the 1st jug.

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    Member Array Hobbes's Avatar
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    Does anybody have a link to expansion tests of different JHP 9mm ammo?

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    You will find a lot of info on Steve Camp's site http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/

    I also did some tests thru an R9 Here if you go look at #2 and #3 test pages - some pics of my wetpack testing.
    Chris - P95
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    Member Array Hobbes's Avatar
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    Thanks!

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    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    Everything else being equal,what you guys are worring about is that the shortness(length) of your bbl will decrease your velocity by how much ?? Enough to cut down on the performance of an otherwise great designed bullet(HP,powerball,Hydra-Shock,Gold Dot,etc.)??

    I believe that the velocity difference will not be enough to worry about,either expansion,or trajectory.

    Put 'em in COM and call it good. The BG won't know the diff. (Caution: I have never done any tests.)----------

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    Have consistently heard from a lot of people that have asked CorBon directly that the DPX round was specifically made for short barrells. All I have seen is the ammo data from the CorBon page, nothing from an independent source to back up this claim.
    “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” Thomas Paine

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    Member Array gotammo's Avatar
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    Shoot HPs if they expand great if they don't you shot them with ball ammo.

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    Back around '73 or '74, in Gun World Magazine (I believe Gun World, either that or Shooting Times) they had an article on the all-lead, hollow-point SWC which they described as the only commercially-available round that would expand reliably from a two inch .38 barrel. It gave two or three incidents of undercover/backup use where it did just that. Have carried the load ever since, both by Winchester and by Remington. Pure lead and it'll leave stalactites and stalagmites in your barrel after a few rounds, but for a concealed snub, I'm comfortable with them.

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    Member Array sevesteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSSZ View Post
    Everything else being equal,what you guys are worring about is that the shortness(length) of your bbl will decrease your velocity by how much ?? Enough to cut down on the performance of an otherwise great designed bullet(HP,powerball,Hydra-Shock,Gold Dot,etc.)??
    I don't think the difference is huge--Standard premium ammo is likely to work well. If you like Gold Dot, I don't see any reason not to get the version tuned for your barrel length--If it doesn't work better it's still a Gold Dot, it doesn't cost extra, and I've found it in all the stores that sell standard Gold Dot. It may be a small advantage, but I'm not going to willingly give up any advantage that doesn't cost me anything.

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    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    sevesteen, Yeah,you might gain a small(and I DO mean small)advantage with the "short bbl" stuff. I tend to believe that it is more a marketing gimic(same as the Hornady TAP stuff)

    I list it in my things to worry about during a gunfight.....well......about nil on a scale of 1 to10.

    As said, I feel that I will have more "pressing" things to take under consideration when the shootin' starts than 20(or so) fps. -------

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