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Old November 26, 2012, 10:43 PM   #1
Koda94
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performance benchmark for purchased ammo?

Does anyone have a performance benchmark for purchased ammo? If so, how do you measure or define that mark? Are there any web sources already detailing?

What I am after is a benchmark value for performance of each caliber without regard to ammo manufacturer. When I go to a decent gun store to buy ammo, there is often so many boxes, brands offerings to choose from I just want the best. I realize there is a lot of variables here and so its important to be flexible in that, but a simple benchmark would be nice. My guess would be to average the top 3 muzzle energies of your favorite calibers. For example, why buy 45acp with less than 400 ft. lbs. for self defense?

I copy and pasted some muzzle energy data from random manufacturers websites into a spreadsheet, created an average top 3 column, then filtered by alph-numeric... the results were interesting.

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Old November 27, 2012, 12:18 AM   #2
BarryLee
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You might try this site:

http://www.ballistics101.com/
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:21 AM   #3
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I use this guide when buying a caliber I have not owned before, or know very little about. The guys who wrote this have published work to their names. Does that mean they are experts? Who knows? However, they do know more than me.

This is a guide to help you select the best ammunition for your defensive firearm. Most of these opinions are based upon the work of Massad Ayoob, Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow, police officers who have extensively studied the issue of firearms, ammunition and stopping power. I refer all interested parties to the excellent series by Ayoob (In the Gravest Extreme, Stressfire, The Semi-Automatic Pistol in Police Service and Self-Defense, Stressfire II: Advanced Combat Shotgun) and the comprehensive book Stopping Power by Marshall and Sanow.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:31 AM   #4
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thanks for the links, a lot of good information worth looking at in both. A quick glance at the ballistics101 site seems to do what I was with my spreadsheet.... except its already done
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:43 AM   #5
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Hmmmm........... Had I known about that site, I might not have purchased copies of Ammo and Ballistics and The Ammo Encyclopedia.
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Old December 1, 2012, 10:24 AM   #6
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Try brassfetcher.com. I think that will answer your question.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:27 PM   #7
Koda94
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Dragonheart, thanks for that link there is some good information there. That site, in part, is what I'm looking for...

I wish I had the time to average out all the different brands and their loads for each caliber and present it in a spreadsheet like I sampled.... would take forever though to complete.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:11 PM   #8
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Over the time I've worked as a firearms instructor and armorer, the things I've come to look for in ammunition have become increasingly simplified.

I want it to have been made by one of the major American ammunition companies, and preferably, one of those who have acquired years of successful experience in providing duty/service ammunition to LE/Gov agencies.

Ideally, it ought to use one of the more modern hollowpoint bullet designs that have been exhaustively tested to meet a range of the performance standards commonly being requested for LE/Gov use.

If one of those aren't available at any particular time, though, I'm not uncomfortable falling back on some of the old-style hollowpoint loads that have seen service for many years. Given my druthers, I just like the more modern designed bullets that have exhibited the potential to be able to more consistently & robustly expand across a range of conditions & circumstances. (I'm not a big enthusiast of "Bonded" pistol ammunition, but then I've often observed that the non-LE firearms enthusiast often seems to be more interested in such things than the broad range of other firearms instructors I've had the chance to meet over the years. )

Whatever brand/load is chosen, then it needs to demonstrate that it can reliably & consistently feed, chamber, fire, extract & eject from my pistols, or any issued pistols I might be using from time to time.

Muzzle velocity & energy? As long as it falls within the normal range expected for whatever caliber/load is involved, meaning QC by the manufacturer, I don't really look at the numbers or use them for comparison purpose. They just need to run within the stated/specified velocity window (which is pretty important when it comes to helping provide for optimal, reliable functioning in semiauto pistols).

"Stopping Power"? Sorry, but unless we're talking about disc brakes in motor vehicles, I don't pay much attention to the term ...

Just my thoughts.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:24 PM   #9
Buzzcook
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Pick what shoots most accurately out of your gun.

It can get kinda pricey, but it's also lots of fun. Try several different types of ammo keep the one that shoots best. Rinse and repeat.

Penetration and expansion are similar across a broad range of bullets. Worry about that later.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:48 PM   #10
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Good replies and POV's... gets me thinking about it.

first, agree 100% shoot whats most accurate and reliable above all. To clarify, my original question is not about 'stopping power'. (my sentiments about that term are the same as fastbolts...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzcook
Penetration and expansion are similar across a broad range of bullets. Worry about that later.
I think my post is regarding that 'later' part..

I will admit I don't target shoot as much as I should, or would like... would no way compare to many members here in this forum, ammo is expensive. But I have owned guns all my life and have no need to play with newer designs etc.... ok, I really want the new Sig P938, but that sort of thing does not happen much . What I own I have owned each one very long times and am the original owner. They are name brand, reliable, and I have been able to shoot accurately with them for years. I have put many different ammo brands thru them with varying bullet types and no jams.

So with regard to Buzzcook's statement help me learn more. Is penetration and expansion similar across a broad range of velocities or [muzzle] energies?
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Old December 3, 2012, 12:30 AM   #11
Carne Frio
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The terminal ballistics forum at M4carbine.net
has the best collection of data and information
on the subject. It's very well moderated.
http://www.m4carbine.net/forumdisplay.php?f=91
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Old December 3, 2012, 08:37 AM   #12
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All of this would be simpler if you reloaded your own ammo.
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:02 AM   #13
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If you can place the shot where it needs to go all of this performance data is rather unimportant. Shot placement is 95% of the equation. Ballistics are way overrated. As far as "what is the best?", it will be different for every gun. I believe you are maybe overthinking this a bit.
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:00 PM   #14
Koda94
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to clarify, I am not looking for the 'best' ammo or load with the most "stopping" power. I am only considering performance benchmarks for comparison.

There has been support for choosing what is most accurate and reliable... marksmanship is most important and I agree this trumps all. I just want to compare calibers by some benchmark, and not to say that one is better than the other. True, I may be over thinking this but that's the fun of it, this is just something I am reading about in my spare time... perhaps I will share what I find here in a nice summary. In the end there is some information I will learn from this and that's all I am after is to learn more.... I guess in my own creative way. Consider all the threads on here comparing grains, types, loads, calibers, etc. all looking for "the best"... I figured the community at large here would have an opinion beyond shot placement, otherwise why would anyone shoot +P?

I have already learned a bit more from some replies to this thread and many thanks to those who contribute. The information on brassfetcher.com and ballistics101 is informative. In my OP I guessed muzzle energy for a benchmark but ballistics101 highlights penetration which is a good performance benchmark for self defense and hunting.

I've played around with my original spreadsheet a bit more and added a penetration column to compare against other benchmarks like energy. It will take some time, but if I think the results are interesting I will share just keep in mind like most studies they are inconclusive.

Thanks everyone for their replies
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