Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What ammunition to choose?

I just wondered if you had any experience with HORNADY CRITICAL DEFENSE 
AMMUNITION?  What do you carry, assuming availability?  As for me, I 
currently carry Hornady HP XTP.  I have kept about 1400 rds. of 
Winchester FP full metal jacket ammunition for my backup cache in the 
event of market collapse such as happened after the last presidential 
election. These are available locally in Wal-Mart for about $34.00 for 
100.   The price and availability permits regular range trips and 
training classes while giving a little peace of mind about what the 
future might hold.

Hornady makes good ammo. I dont have experience with that particular model but in general Hornady will not let you down.
This is basically what I go for in the different calibers.

As awful as it is for defense, if this is all you have you do not want to go with bulk ammo since the reliability of bulk is mediocre to say the least. I preffer CCI Stingers which are one of the hottest offerings. Velocitors are also pretty hot and a bit heavier which is good since a light 22LR HP may fail to penetrate. If you can´t find that then Yellow Jackets are an acceptable alternative. Whatever it is you´ve got to shoot at least 500 rounds of it before you trust yor life to that particular 22LR (Ah!)

When a round is designed to be light and fast then that´s often your best shot and this is the case of 9mm, In Argentina they´ve  experimented a lot with 147g truncated cone FMJ. This was supposed to be marginally better than 124 FMJ round nose, marginal being the part to keep in mind. For 9mm I like Gold Dots +P 124gr JHP. These have a 90% one shot stop rate according to some studies, and the street reputation is very good. Basically its just good ammo that should do its part if you do yours, and always remember there´s no magic bullet so train to shoot as much as needed until the bad guy goes down.

40 S&W
My Glock seems to like Wolf ammo a lot. I”ve heard some bad things about it but in mine it works nice. That lacker its painted with sometimes sticks in the chamber when the gun is hot but it has still worked reliably for me. If push comes to shove its acceptable ammo for defense as well, pretty hot stuff. For defense, I also preffer light weights offered by Gold Dot or Federal.

357 SIG
This is my favorite caliber for defense. For 357 SIG I choose Gold Dot as well. It will push the 125gr JHP at over 1400 fps in the Glock 31.

12 Gauge
While 00 buck is supposed to be the best shotgun load for defense, I”ve heard from people that have shot more humans with it than most experts tell me that 4 Buckshot has worked even better for them at the typical close ranges. Either load will be effective and the old wives tales of people always standing and laughung at you after getting a blast of 12ga in the chest are just that. Granted, no single round of any kind gives 100% stopping power, but the Argentine cops I´ve talked to that have used it often against criminals all tell the same thing: After putting a shotgun shot into the bad guys center of mass, the threat is very much over. He may live or not but he´s out of the fight (again, most cases, there´s never 100% certainty)

Rifle Ammo
The bulk ammo available for rifles is generally of the military type that will perform well. Stick to military type ammo for semi auto rifles and avoid shooting hunting ammo in them unless you´ve extensively experimented with them. There´s two reasons for this. First, it may be designed for bolt action rifles and may not feed well in your semi auto. Second, it may not have a strong enough crimp on the projectilce, and this may loosen with the back and forth ratling of recoil.
Hornady and other brands make excellent premium ammo for semi autos for defensive purposes. If you can afford to test it until you're sure it works in your gun well, that's your best option.
In general avoid ammo that over fragments since this has proven to be a poor stopper. If you have choices between JHP and soft points, in general soft points will hold together better. This is just in general cases and it may vary depending on what brand and type of ammunition you´re shooting.
Take care!
Join the forum discussion on this post!


russell1200 said...

Hornady TAP rounds are designed to be low flash so that you are not (at least as badly) blinded by flash if firing at nignt. Since a large percentage of self-defence situations take place at night that is a reasonable design goal.

They have police and non-police versions. Some of the police versions are ultra light and fast, and others are designed for light barrier penetration. They are not AP rounds so I don't believe there are any legal restrictions.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on ammo for .45 ACP?

Anonymous said...

"Any thoughts on ammo for .45 ACP?"

230 grain ball. It won't expand but it sure as hell won't shrink. :)

How about 230 Federal Hydra-Shok.

Gallo at GTA.

Rich said...

I recently took a defensive rifle class with John Farnam.

His recommendation, hands down, was Corbon DPX.

Anonymous said...

I lean more and more towards hardball in all calibers, with head shots and center mass hits. Reliable. Best penetration. Cheaper so you can practice and store in bulk. I'd only go hollow point if I were concerned with shooting in crowds or penetrating walls. I have every confidence in shutting someone down with good placement of hardball.

Anonymous said...

Hydrashock, across the board, is a poor choice for defensive ammo nowadays.

Gold Dot, HST or Ranger-T are far better choices.

Ref 12 gauge ammo; I'm not a fan of 4 buck due to seeing failures of that size to penetrate enough to get the job done. OO buck is a far better choice.

For .223/5.56, ball ammo ain't bad, any of the heavy OTM bullets work very well if your gun has a 1/7 twist barrel. Any of the bonded type tactical police loadings are the best choice, but they run like $1 per round.

Double Tapper said...

This topic is an endless debate among amateurs and professionals.

Regardless - Rifles are rifles and pistols are pistols. Roughly 80% of those shot with a pistol survive. About the same percentage die when shot from a rifle. A 55 grn FMJ .223 from a Wolf casing is very lethal. Ditto for the x39, x51 and the 30/30 round nose.

In hand gun caliber, smaller mass and faster velocity produces more energy. Regardless of the caliber, over 400 ft/lbs are generally preferable for a good stop. So look for a nice expanding +P lightweight bullet in your favorite caliber.

fitpro said...

Corbon DPX is the official ammo of Suarez Int'l. I carry it in every mag I use for EDC.