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Old December 28, 2014, 05:51 AM   #26
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I'll run about a magazine a year of my carry ammo through my auto. That's after shooting quite a bit more initially to convince myself of its reliability.

For my carry revolver I'm still working out of a box of 50 Remington +P LSWCHP ammo I bought 20 or so years ago.

My practice ammo for the auto is no weaker than what I carry. I don't practice with +P in the revolver only because I see no need in beating up my 36 no-dash. It isn't carried nearly as much as it used to be.
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Old December 28, 2014, 10:50 AM   #27
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"It doesn't work that way, there is a reason why the ammo is cheaper. Not all ammo is the same. Practice with what you are going to carry all the time.

As for money, I guess it would be cheaper to practice with your SD ammo then a $200,000 medical & surgical bill or a $10,000 funeral.

Stay safe as to shooting straight, use you SD Ammo.

OK I have to disagree with this, sorry Jim. Now I will agree that not all ammo is the same, for instance I certainly would not expect Tula to perform anywhere as good as American Eagle when it comes to practice ammo. But I have no issues what so ever using AE as my regular practice ammo and then running Federal HST for SD. Lets face it box for box AE is a lot more affordable per case than the HST. The only real importance when it comes to shooting SD ammo is to shoot enough to ensure it will run in the gun, and with modern manufacturing of both guns and ammunition it is not to difficult to achieve reliability. Providing you are using a quality gun like Glock, Sig, S&W and quality ammunition like Federal HST, Winchester Ranger or Speer Gold Dot.

Just for fun lets do some quick comparisons:
AE 40 S&W 180g FMJ has a velocity of about 1000FPS and a muzzle energy of 400 ft.lbs.

Federal 40 S&W HST 180g JHP has a velocity of about 1010fps and a muzzle energy of 408 ft.lbs.

A whopping 8ft.lbs. difference, oh no!

AE 9mm 124g FMJ has a velocity of about 1150fps and a muzzle energy of 364 ft.lbs.

Federal HST 124g JHP +P has a velocity of about 1200fps and a muzzle energy of about 396ft.lbs. of energy.

Now you have a little bit of spread of 32ft.lbs. but still not enough to make a noticeable difference.

This brings me to my next point. Unless you are running real extreme differences in power between your practice and SD ammunition you will not notice it. Under the stress of a lethal force encounter there are physiological responses of the body. One of those is the loss of fine motor skills which the perception of recoil will fall under. The body instantly goes into survival mode and the senses that the brain feels is most important to the bodies survival are what get heightened. This is where the time distortion, auditory exclusion and tunnel vision come into effect. Tunnel vision is a result of visual acuity to precisely see and react to a threat. Time distortion is a result of the brain working at an accelerated rate to solve the life threatening problem at hand which intern makes everything seem to be moving in slow motion. Auditory exclusion is result again of the brain saying that is not necessary at this very moment so it shuts it off until needed, hence when asked people say my gun sounded like a BB gun and I thought it was malfunctioning(also ties in to you won’t feel the recoil).

To further exemplify the lack of perception of recoil I have been fortunate enough to train and have many conversations with Rob Leatham. He has told me that even with all of his extensive shooting experience and 100,000’s or rounds fired every year even he can’t tell the difference in power of ammo during matches, which at this point in his shooting career causes him very little stress. So if a person that shoots as much as this man can’t tell the difference between loads in a low stress situation what is the likelihood of a novice shooter noticing the difference in recoil in a high stress situation?
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Old December 28, 2014, 01:13 PM   #28
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AE 9mm 124g FMJ has a velocity of about 1150fps and a muzzle energy of 364 ft.lbs.

Federal HST 124g JHP +P has a velocity of about 1200fps and a muzzle energy of about 396ft.lbs. of energy.

Now you have a little bit of spread of 32ft.lbs. but still not enough to make a noticeable difference.
Whoa! THIS is really good to know.
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Old December 28, 2014, 02:19 PM   #29
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My carry ammo for my P238 is the Buffalo Bore 100 gr. +P+. It's a flatnose bullet that will penetrate 32 inches of ballistic gelatin. Practicing full time with this ammo would not only create excessive wear and tear on the gun, but would be prohibitively expensive.

I practice mostly with WWB, the 100 round boxes from Walmart. Since any self-defense shooting I'm likely to encounter is going to be at a range of under 10 feet, I'm not that concerned about group size, etc. although this gun shoots pretty tight.

My practice with this gun consists mainly of quick point-and-shoot firing, trying to keep quick 3-shot bursts inside an 8 inch circle at 8-10 feet. The cheap ammo works just fine for that.

Don't worry about things like the "feel" of the ammo. In the crushing, suffocating stress of a self-defense situation, you won't even notice it.
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Old December 28, 2014, 03:16 PM   #30
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When I go shooting, my carry ammo is rotated out, the first thing downrange. Then, depending on how good I was with that, I may decide to keep shooting it. If I had been practicing regularly, it's generally just the first mag. If not....well, it can take me upwards of a whole box to get back to where I should be. Like now, I haven't been shooting for a long time, due to a variety of reasons. I'll possibly go through a whole box of HydraShoks next time, maybe half if I'm lucky. But it will always be what I carry, and nothing else.
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Old December 30, 2014, 08:04 PM   #31
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I've found that relatively similar loads are indistinguishable to for me.

My carry loads for .45 ACP (PDX 1, or Critical Duty, mostly) feel the same as 230 FMJ rounds.

For 9mm, I like to practice with 124 grain NATO ammo (WWB or similar) since its relatively cheap and shoots pretty much the same as the +P rounds I'll carry (PDX, Gold Dot, or Critical Duty).

At least that's what I've noticed with my carry guns.

Now something like my LCR, +P PDX vs el-cheapo wadcutters... yeah, significant difference and I really should practice with the +P's more.
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Old January 13, 2015, 10:07 PM   #32
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Practice with what you carry. Confidence helps to control fear, controlling your emotions (fear) helps you survive.

You must know that your weapon and ammunition will function every time. You likely will not have time to think about it when you need it.

Don't carry reloads in a defensive weapon, practice with the weapon you carry, practice with the ammo that you are going to carry in the weapon.

This builds confidence. Confidence helps manage fear. Controlling your emotions helps you live.
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Old January 16, 2015, 12:16 AM   #33
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After my carry ammo has been chambered several times and unloaded for cleaning etc. it gets run down range. Otherwise range ammo is the least expensive rounds I can get in quantity. Variety is the spice of life they say. Besides, if the SHTF, will you be able to get what you like to carry? Wouldn't you be a bit ahead of the game to know that other rounds WILL work? Or better even, knowing that some won't?

One more idea I'll share. Consider family members. If you are a Glock 26 guy, pick up a 27. Sometimes you'll have access to one or the other. Few years back 9mm was far more available than .40 S&W. recently it's been the other way around. And I'm no fan of conversion barrels on carry pieces. Aside from extractor differences, the potential increases for an eventual mismatch in a carry weapon. Save conversions for safe queens and target shooting. Potentially rendering it useless due to wrong mag, extractor, you name it. Why complicate your life? I'm a proven moron. Keep it simple for me please.
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Old January 16, 2015, 12:38 AM   #34
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I shoot 250 rnds a month through my duty gun (Glock 22)

I shoot once a month, usually about 150 rnds with one of my off duty guns (which are now a Glock 19 and a Glock 42)

I also have .22 conversion units for the G19 and G22 on their own frames, and usually shoot them several times a month. I prefer to shoot them about once a week, but both conversion units really need CCI Mini Mags to function well, and we all know how hard it's been to get .22LR the last few years (although that seems to be loosening up a little bit lately.)

We shoot duty ammo for qual once a year at the PD and then replace it. I usually do that myself when qualifying with my off duty guns.
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Old January 16, 2015, 03:09 AM   #35
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Most factory loads are crap. I load my practice ammo to the same specs as my SD ammo so the POI will be the same. I run my SD ammo though all my guns first to make sure there are no FTF problems then I load my practice ammo.
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Old January 16, 2015, 03:33 AM   #36
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I just fired some Remington UMC 125 grain .357 magnum SJHP loads at the range, boy they were hot! Just as hot as the old full power 125 grain loads. Here is a video I took of the muzzle flash:

I carry Federal Personal Defense .357 magnum 125 grain SJHP in the Ruger GP100 that's in the above video. This load has similar velocity and energy to the above Remington Wal-Mart bulk box I was using in the vid. It was nice to shoot them through the gun, I usually just practice with .38s but it's always good to run some full power magnums in the gun just for familiarization.
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Old January 16, 2015, 06:30 PM   #37
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I don't shoot my carry gun as much as I should. Recently, I've had other priorities. Also factory ammo is quite steep here so when I do shoot my carry gun it is with different ammo: lighter bullets at moderate velocity. Not ideal, but better than nothing.
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Old January 16, 2015, 08:17 PM   #38
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Always practicing with full power loads only teaches the shooter how to consistently flinch.
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Old January 16, 2015, 08:23 PM   #39
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Well, at least theres consistency.

Actually, it doesnt work like that. Most of my reloads duplicate pretty closely the ammo I carry in my gun. I dont have any flinch issues, and I shoot all the time.
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Old January 16, 2015, 09:26 PM   #40
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If you are flinching cookie then you need to shoot a lesser caliber period.
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Old January 17, 2015, 10:07 AM   #41
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The most costly component in a round is the bullet. To assume that "cheaper" ammo is weak or substandard, or cannot duplicate your premium defense load is throwing money away. You can often find the exact same load as your defense XTP or HP with a FMJ for a fraction of the price. If it feels similar, functions the same, and it hits the target in the same place, how would using it make you any less prepared.
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