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I am curious what criteria people use when they choose their SD ammo.
 

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Today, it's pretty much whatever you can get.
 

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I just reasearch ammo reviews and ballistics online
and look at muzzle energy, penetration, and expansion.
Sometimes however I think some people go
overboard trying to find the next best thing.
 

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First criteria for me is +P in any given caliber. Most of my practice ammo is not because of availability and price reasons.
 

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It must feed in your weapon without a doubt. Now with some bullets being better than others you must know how to shoot and hit your target missing your target is not solving your problem.
 

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Research ballistics and what has been street proven. then I test in my autos to make sure it will feed reliably, some practice in my revolvers, but not as much as they eat everything.
 

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Assuming availability isnt a problem. My first criteria is dependability. It must shoot reliably in my gun, everytime. Second, I want a bullet with good penetration and consistent expansion. I use DPX rounds for SD in my .45's and 9mm's. I am still testing the .380 round.
 

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If you don't have your own testing facility and most of us don't, look into the research of others who do.

Pick out a few brands and types that will give you decent penetration and decent expansion from the barrel length you will be using.

Buy a few boxes of each and make sure they function well in your pistol.

Once you find one that fits the above, buy a lot of it (if you can) and once again run it through your pistol to be sure it is reliable.

Practice with ammo that feels the same to you as far as recoil and point of impact and practice some more.

Stick with it and until the next MIRACLE bullet is developed feel secure that your choice is fine as long as you give it a chance with proper shot placement.

bosco
 

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I fully agree with bosco.

I find a good defensive hollow point or expanding full metal jacket bullet (for a picky eater .45 I have) at a reasonable price (usually on the web), then I test for reliability and point of impact. If all works to my liking, I'll then buy at least 500 to use for carry. I shoot up my pistol or revolver's actual carry cartridges about once a month during one of my weekly range sessions. Hence, my actual carry cartridges get refreshed at least every month.

I don't chase what is hawked as the latest and greatest in defensive ammo.
 

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I look for depenability right at the top of the list.

2nd is a round I can handle well for follow up shots.

3rd is penetration. I like 12" of gel consitently.

4th is a nice consistent mushroom with a tip that holds together.

If a round meets these criteria, I stop there. Extra foot pounds of energy can only lead to the detriment of point number 2 above IMO.

I use the 125 gr. DPX in my light weight J frames. It meets all of the above goals without beating me up.
 

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Consult my Magic "8" Ball.:hand5:

Seriously--any premium SD load by a major manufacturer will work just as well as the next--provided you can put it on target. People just like to argue minutiae about "X" does better here...but "Y" does better here...twaddle.

So: any premium SD load that works reliably and shoots accurately in my pistols in my hands is just fine & dandy by me. If I can find it in my local shops, bonus!
 

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Consult my Magic "8" Ball.:hand5:

Seriously--any premium SD load by a major manufacturer will work just as well as the next--provided you can put it on target. People just like to argue minutiae about "X" does better here...but "Y" does better here...twaddle.

So: any premium SD load that works reliably and shoots accurately in my pistols in my hands is just fine & dandy by me. If I can find it in my local shops, bonus!
Truer words have never been posted here.
 

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For which gun?
I choose certain rounds for each gun.
My J-frame and I like the Federal Nyclad .38 Special.
My 686+ and I like Hydra Shock.
My Model 29 likes Corbon .
My Kimber likes Winchester Silvertips.

My revolvers aren't picky about what I feed them and the 1911 feed the Silvertips reliably. All of them have good ratings and I feel they will get the job done.
 

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I have to play with what I shoot. I can't help it. With the handgun I usually start with gallon jugs of water and graduate to roadkilled deer/hog head from local slaughterhouse. This has a tendency to get spendy really quickly. If you're not ready to spend the time and money to experiment with all the types of hollowpoints and the loads for each the previous "buy a good quality hollowpoint that your gun will cycle 100%" is great advice. Remember, however, you're betting your life on the gun and ammo. Buy the best you can afford. Saving a couple of bucks on ammo won't mean much when you're pulling the trigger in an effort to save your life and those of the ones you love.
 

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For me, in descending order:

Cycles reliably (has to work in your gun)

Controllable recoil (I plan on firing a burst, so I want fast follow-up shots)

At least 12" penetration

Reliable expansion

Low flash

Less noise

Of course, it helps if it's relatively affordable and available, too.:rolleyes:

I use 9MM Federal 124 gr +P EFMJ. Hard to find lately...:frown:
 

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Percentage of one shot stops.
That's almost totally dependent upon bullet placement and not on the round itself.

A .22LR right in the eye, between the eyes or middle of the forehead is almost guaranteed to be a one-shot stop, but no one would call a .22 LR a serious SD round.
 
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