In my opinion:
-FMJ for range use, purely because it's the cheapest and the FMJ seems to be perfectly able to punch a hole in paper. Brass case because that's the most acceptable in most ranges. Federal is decent. Speer is decent. I'm sure other stuff is fine too - I haven't tried many brands myself. Send a couple of hundred rounds down range to make sure your gun is good.
-Quality Jacketed Hollow point for self defense use. I use Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P. This is a very popular round and price isn't important for this use because you're not going to fire a lot of it and your life is important. Fire a box or two to make sure it works well with your gun. It's rare these days, but some guns are picky with some types of hollow point.
-Fire the same weight for practice FMJ as you pick for your self defense. I picked 124gr because it's in the middle of the range of available weights. If all you do is practice with 147gr and then you buy 115gr hollow point for SD then you *may* have an issue you weren't aware of until it mattered. The chance is slight, but why increase the odds?
-Buy online in bulk, assuming your state allows you to do this. You should be able to find decent FMJ 124gr for $11 a box (50 rounds) including shipping costs, plus or minus a buck or so. You can also buy "law enforcement" packs of self defense ammo meaning a box of 50 rather than a total ripoff box of 20 for a similar price at your local store. It is the same ammo.
1000 rd case - 9mm Federal American Eagle 124 grain FMJ Ammo AE9AP | SGAmmo.com
50 rd box - 9mm Speer Gold Dot 124 +P LE Hollow Point 53617 | SGAmmo.com
or 50 round box - 9mm Speer Gold Dot 124 grain Standard Pressure LE Hollow Point Ammo 53618 | SGAmmo.com
"Self defense" ammo is nothing more than good quality hollow point. Sure, there are some weird other types out there, but in general you get a good quality hollow point and you have your self defense ammo. That's what 99% of people out there are doing.
You mentioned you're going to clean your gun before you take it to the range. Good! Clean it, lube it, then rack the slide a hundred times or more to simulate (under less load) the action of the mechanism under fire. Then take it apart and look for any issues with wear on the slide/rails. Look for places where you should have placed lube and put some there. My personal opinion is that grease it better than oil. I've found that oil migrates when you store your gun and it truly doesn't offer as much protection as oil when the gun gets hot. I use mil-comm TW25 which again is very popular among the gun geeks.
Amazon.com: TW25B Grease 0.5 oz Reclosable Syringe: Sports & Outdoors
The syringe has lasted me a year so far, and I bought the 4oz tube to refill the syringe when I eventually use it up.
You fool!!! You're going to get yourself killed with that ammo!
Originally Posted by Spovik
Just kidding! :)
FYI, range fmj is not loaded as hot as sd stuff is (even standard pressure sd ammo) and the difference in recoil between 115 and 147 is negligible... As almost all fmj Walmart ammo is 115 grain and almost all sd ammo is not 115 grain I think it's kinda pointless to bother worrying about practice and carry weight bullets matching.
Originally Posted by nwbackpacker
First off, I would check with the range you will be shooting at if it's an indoor range. I have run into some indoor ranges that don't allow jacketed bullets. I guess it's simply to avoid separating the jacket fragments from the lead scrap. I personally know of one indoor range that requires shooters to purchase the range's ammo in order to shoot there, non jacketed lead rounds of course. Outdoor ranges usually are no problem.
Originally Posted by RAC55
Exactly what I have run into. Now I need to find a descent range, I would LIKE to find one that is BOTH indoor/outdoor.
As far as ammo goes, I will most likely TRY to stick with the federal 115 gr. FMJ, for cheapness. For SD, I am going to give the hornady critical defense, and the gold dots a shot.
That's the first ive ever heard about matching the gr. Load. Most say that for range, shoot the cheapest the gun will handle smoothly, but practice now and then with the SD ammo.
The federal 115 grain FMJ at Walmart, runs $12.97 for a 50 box. The same exact ammo at gander mountain runs $14.99.
First, before ammo, I have to get cleaning stuff :) I have a seperate post about that...... thanks guys.
Good to know, and I deffinately will. However wouldn't grease be more difficult to clean than oil? By my way of thinking the powder is going to mix with the grease and make it gummy........
Originally Posted by nwbackpacker
Welcome from Virginia.
For practice/target shooting FMJ ammo is fine. I prefer Federal myself, but I will use the others also. I find Winchester white box to be quite dirty when fired. Tula is also quite dirty, along with it being a steel cased ammo Vs brass casing. Some guns do not like the steel casing, some function with it like anything else. As a beginner I'd stay away from it. Remington seems to work without problems and is pretty clean shooting. You'll need to try different brands to see what shoots best from your gun. Good luck and good shooting.
I've head of the 9mm critical defense having issues with hard primers. Hornady claimed to have fixed it, but the reports kept coming. Personally, I only used it in .45 and had zero issues with it. I was actually very impressed with the uniform expansion I saw during some backyard testing. It fed great in both my compact and full size 1911, as well as my Glock.
Originally Posted by Acrid
I switched to Double Tap purely because I got a good deal on it. Works just as well, IMO.
I have Gold Dots in my .40's, and am VERY impressed with those. One shot kill on every critter that needed one.
Congrats on the new permit, gun, and welcome to the forum! It's great to see new and younger folks getting into sport/recreational shooting. Also, it's good to read that you have the presence of mind to get out there and ask questions. You'll get answers all over the board as to what is best to use. The one standard would be that FMJ is cheaper and more commonly used at ranges for practice. I use and prefer Sellier & Belloit, Speer Lawman, American Eagle, and if you have a Cabela's nearby, Herter's (manufactured by S&B). All of which are FMJ in various weights. For SD, I use Speer Gold Dots. My suggestion would be to try several brands, find what works best for you and your firearm. I stay away from Tul Ammo based on what I've read. Some don't mind it. Also, if you haven't already, try to get some pistol safety and shooting classes under your belt from a reputable school or instructor.
Shoot safe and shoot often.
Welcome to DC from Central Florida!
Good choice on the LC9, and good choice asking for help.
I waste a lot of time on this guy's Youtube channel:
TNOUTDOORS9 Guns and Ammo Reviews - YouTube
As a newbie..let Wally World be YOUR "one stop shop" initially...Use the FMJ 115 gr Winchester White Box or Remington, or Blazer for your practice ammo. Settle on what YOU think your self defense ammo will be, buy a box, take it to the range, and run at least two magazines of the self defense ammo thru your weapon to make sure it functions without problems...From that point forward, practice with your FMJ and end your practice with one magazine of your self defense ammo...As you progress in your journey, you can adjust as you see fit...JMO
Welcome. What everyone has said on here is true. I use whatever is cheap for practice, usually the Winchester (WWB). For defense I have and use the Critical Defense without a single problem. I also use Federal Hydro-Shok and I usually carry the heaviest bullet for that caliber. The only thing I disagree with said so far is the Remington ammo. I've found it the dirtiest by far, much more so than even Wolf. I've used both in competition and the UMC gummed up my 1911 so much I almost couldn't finish the day with it. I can't attest to the TulAmmo yet though; I am going to shoot my first box of that in a few days.
Welcome. Great question. I like this site because you get so many good ideas from toehrs.
I agree avoid the Tula, but any of the others is fine for plinking.