The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 16, 2018, 04:31 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: July 14, 2002
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 1,485
Something Else To Think About When Choosing Your Self Defense Ammunition

So whenever I am shaking down a new gun I like to run a mix of ball weights and of course some defensive ammunition.

I have pretty much settled on Gold Dots and HST as my go to defensive ammo so that is generally what I run in my testing phase. Today however I was cleaning out some old stocks of ammo and I had with me some Gold Dot, HST, Hornady TAP, Hydra Shock, a little Golden Sabre and some fairly old Remington Green and White Box hollow points.

So we all know to function test our defensive ammo. I am also of the mind that any decent, reliable defensive ammo is about as good as their peers. One thing however most folks don't take into consideration if they just grab a cheap box of HP defensive ammo is the flash of the powder. The cheap stuff usually doesn't use low flash powder...................
So about that old Remington Green and White Box HP stuff. Holy Pink Floyd Batman, what a light show. Fairly inconsistent as well. This stuff would definitely distract you in ANY kind of low light as it was distracting under direct light.

Now I am not saying a box of cheaper grade defensive hollow points are ineffective crap just pointing out, mostly for folks new to the game, that low flash powder makes a big difference. I had a mag loaded up with a mix of Gold Dot, Hydrashok, TAP and the stuff above. When you hit that cheap stuff it was like a camera flash.

So anyhoo, might be something else to keep in mind for the new shooters to consider as most of the time we tend to hammer reliability of a given load and forget to mention other factors like consistency and flash.

As always, take care, shoot safe,
"Is there anyway I can write my local gun store off on my taxes as dependents?"
cslinger is offline  
Old February 16, 2018, 08:35 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: January 26, 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 555
I've only been in two real life shootings...once as a soldier, and once as a civilian.
In both instances, I can honestly say, I never noticed the muzzle flash at all.
peacefulgary is offline  
Old February 16, 2018, 08:38 PM   #3
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Location: ohio
Posts: 60
Thanks for the above information. I never considered “flash” when purchasing defense ammo.

Learn something new everyday.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin. Wisdom of Will Rogers.
fastlane is offline  
Old February 16, 2018, 08:41 PM   #4
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,368
The main problem with a high flash level is that in a low-light situation, it will tend to blind the shooter (me), something that may not be good.

But I definitely recommend against a mixture of ammo in a magazine for serious use. Keep the ammo to what works and is consistent.

Jim K
James K is offline  
Old February 16, 2018, 08:55 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: July 14, 2002
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 1,485
I am sure in a real shooting auditory and possibly visual exclusion may happen but I can say there is basically no muzzle flash with higher end ammo. Lower end stuff can look and did look like a rifle caliber in a too short barrel.

As for mixing rounds in a magazine HELL NO. I just do that if I have mixmaster self defense ammo to burn and it’s a decent test of the function of the Gun and magazine. I WOULD NEVER SUGGEST staggering ammo / mixing ammo for a real self defense load.

All I was trying to get across is we(experienced shooters)tend to harp on new shooters to test any ammo they plan to use for SD for reliability. I just thought it might be worth noting that higher priced ammo may not be hugely more effective ballistically but there are other factors as well such as flash signature to the shooter and consistency.

So basically if you are buying self defense ammo and looking at a 20 round box of PDX1/HST/Gold Dot//Golden Sabres. Etc. and comparing it to a 50 round box or White Box JHP or Rem Green and White Box etc. that there is more at play then simple ballistics / bullet design.
"Is there anyway I can write my local gun store off on my taxes as dependents?"

Last edited by cslinger; February 16, 2018 at 09:03 PM.
cslinger is offline  
Old March 15, 2018, 07:40 PM   #6
Join Date: October 31, 2017
Location: South Florida
Posts: 90
Thank you cslinger.
It is a point I will always remember.
Thankfully I have always used the good stuff...

SpeerLE Gold Dot 124g JHP for defensive and either Federal American Eagle or Blazer Brass 124g FMJ

Mackie244 / Bud
Mackie244Bud is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:27 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.05725 seconds with 8 queries