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Old January 3, 2021, 02:17 AM   #101
Frisco
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1. Reliability
2. Accuracy
3. Quality Manufacturer
4. Bonded Core JHP
5. Higher End Of Velocity for Caliber Chosen

(From 38Spl to 45ACP)

I am not "married" to a brand. I seem to find myself carrying Critical Duty across the spectrum for the last 5 years because it fulfills all the 5 criteria above. I have fallen into the habit of carrying a Glock 34 and a pair spares almost exclusively with a Glock 48 loaded with a 15 round SHIELD magazine as a BUG for the last 2 years since all this BLaMTIFA crap started, and the Critical Duty is more than satisfactory (for me) in both platforms.

We're living in the best time for ammo technology ever in my opinion, so just about any premium quality JHP from a quality manufacturer will do the job.

Last edited by Frisco; January 5, 2021 at 10:25 AM.
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Old January 20, 2021, 04:12 AM   #102
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meat vs jello

First we determine the task: Civilian? LE? Military? Special needs?

Civilians shoot people differently.
Speer Gold Dot
Hornady
(380 = R-P 102g Golden Saber)



Never ignore actual results.
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Old January 20, 2021, 12:37 PM   #103
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These days, the choice comes down to what you can find. I feel for the folks that just bought a new gun in a different cartridge than they already had.
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Old January 22, 2021, 06:44 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghbucky View Post
I don't want this to devolve into an argument over which caliber or bullet is 'THE BEST!!!!1111'

What I am interested in is HOW do you make a decision on what SD you buy?

FBI research? What the military or law enforcement uses? Whatever is on sale? Other people's research or recommendations?
For me it was a matter of practicality and compromise. I am old, fat, and not in good health. My belly precludes wearing a belt and anything on it. Being retired and a recluse, my only contact with people is in a Walmart parking lot. Therefore, I have concluded that the most likely scenario for needing to defend myself, would be walking to or from my truck in the process of getting groceries. If I knew that I would going to need to use deadly force, I would carry a short barreled autoloading shotgun loaded with #4 buckshot, slung across my chest. However, I have concluded that is not very practical for reasons that should be apparent. Therefore, I carry a snub .38 in a pocket holster and use hopefully adequate situational awareness. It is all a matter of compromise.
Addendum: Given that I have Walmart bring my computer-ordered groceries out to my car due to some Nimrods still not wearing masks, the most likely threat now is an attempt at car-jacking. However, the power door locks on my latest vehicle are my first line of defense, the Chief's Special in my pocket is the second line of defense.
I got a little off track here. I "chose" Winchester 125 grain hollow points inasmuch as that is what the store had in stock when I bought the gun. Obviousaly I did not consider the choice of ammunition much of a priority.

Last edited by dahermit; January 23, 2021 at 08:14 AM.
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Old January 22, 2021, 07:44 AM   #105
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Wow! I guess I’ll keep it going. I think by the posts you see how confusing this all is. I am all about logical paths and results confirmation.

So, at first humans all shot ball. Then we got cocaine. Then there was the 1986 Miami shoot out where Then police hollow points were developed. Those were mildly effective.

Around this time, the fbi developed their ammunition test protocol so they could effectively select ammunition. LINK

Evan Marshall tried to determine the effectiveness in 1992. It told us what calibers and hollow points were effective based on his incapacitation definition. As much as it gave answers, it created debate. IMO, the biggest debates were 9mm lovers complaining that it looked less effective than 40/45/357. Also, 357 looked like a death ray!

Greg Ellifritz 2011 also has a nice article HERE
Greg has different, but similar results.

So, hollow points that work will work for me. To effectively choose a current production hollow point, I use Luckygunner’s test results. I look for ammunition that all 5 open up to the largest diameter with proper penetration and no fragmentation. So basically is penetration in range, are there no larger fragments, which opened up the largest. I also am willing to give up some performance to get a mainstream brand like Speer, Remington, etc. I also look for the correct bullet weight. For example, a 180gr bullet from a 40 s&w will generally shoot poa, bet a 135gr will be off a bit. Not much at 3 yards, but measurable at 25 yards.

I then compare this to what SG Ammo SGA has in stock and at what price. Today, that is almost nothing!
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Old January 22, 2021, 11:14 AM   #106
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Evan Marshall is right.
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Old January 22, 2021, 02:50 PM   #107
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Lowest cost. Its all close to the same and you can practice.
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Old January 22, 2021, 05:31 PM   #108
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It used to be with great research into the best I could afford. Now it's what's on the dadgum shelf, if at all.
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Old January 24, 2021, 08:37 PM   #109
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YouTube reviews. That's where I learned about G2 RIP.
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Old April 16, 2022, 04:39 AM   #110
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well, this is just me and my experiences.
i start with the caliber. for example, 45ACP ive been known to carry here and there.
i look into the kinetic energy range at what barrel legnth and figure out if that would be similar to what i am using.
then i look into data on real world shootings. for example, the remington golden saber 185 grain plus p has the best one shot stop for the 45acp based on what i saw. i then look and see if i can find it locally or online, and once i do i try to find a mold to cast lead bullets the same weight, and find a load that gets close to the same velocity so when i plink or go do some serious training, i am using a round that will have the same recoil as my carry rounds do.


its all a personal thing, for me its balancing being able to replicate the round, finding the box of manufactured ammuntion, and going from there
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Old April 16, 2022, 09:35 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnKSa View Post
I choose quality expanding ammunition that is accurate, reliable in my gun and made by a reputable manufacturer.It's worth noting that large and well-funded organizations that rely on ballistic gel penetration figures for ammunition selection have access to information on a LOT of real-world shooting data. If the ballistic gel figures didn't relate to real-world performance, you can bet that changes would be made until they found something that did provide useful information. But we haven't seen any such changes.

https://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/w...ics-gel-works/
"...we have learned that what works in this gelatin and looks good in the gelatin ends up being correlated and proven out on the street. ... So we we have a connection. What works in the gelatin here ends up working on the street there. I guess one really cannot emphasize enough that the gelatin is a very good model. "
https://www.policeone.com/police-pro...HMq6WMU8EUdlW/
"But properly prepared and calibrated 10% ordnance gelatin does produce penetration, retained weight, and expansion/fragmentation results that correlate very strongly with wounds observed in actual bodies."
https://www.customcollagen.com/balli...-test-results/
"Ballistic gel mimics certain properties of flesh more closely than any other substance. In fact, ballistic gel from Custom Collagen is so finely tuned to imitate the density of human organs that it’s even used by hospitals and universities to calibrate ultrasound equipment."
It certainly doesn't tell the whole story, but it provides results that are good enough that I would say worrying about the discrepancies isn't really worthwhile.
I no longer trust ballistic gel. I had a non-stick skillet that was worn out. Asked my son if he wanted to shoot it up with the 9. He said he did, so we set it up in front of the red dirt bank and he blasted away. My youngest son later on in the day dug some of the bullets out and brought them to me. No expansion. None. That particular bullet is very impressive in gel on You Tube.
It now makes me wonder if it will expand if first impact is a rib.
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Old April 16, 2022, 10:06 PM   #112
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Ballistics gel isn't perfect, by any means, but it's the best anyone has come up with so far and it's good enough that no one is even really looking for anything better--not even organizations that absolutely have the funding to do so.

You are correct that expansion in gelatin does not predict whether or not the bullets will expand in dirt, or when they hit steel. It does do a pretty decent job of predicting whether or not bullets will expand in meat though.

You are also correct that if a bullet hits a bone initially, that may compromise it's expansion. Bullets don't expand in bone very well-they may flatten out a bit, but they won't expand. Expansion requires an impact with some kind of substance that acts like a fluid--like meat, water, or gelatin. It won't work on dirt (unless it's very wet), bone or steel.
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Old April 16, 2022, 10:08 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reynolds357
I no longer trust ballistic gel. I had a non-stick skillet that was worn out. Asked my son if he wanted to shoot it up with the 9. He said he did, so we set it up in front of the red dirt bank and he blasted away. My youngest son later on in the day dug some of the bullets out and brought them to me. No expansion. None. That particular bullet is very impressive in gel on You Tube.
It now makes me wonder if it will expand if first impact is a rib.
It's not supposed to expand going through steel. It still needs to have some degree of barrier penetration as most of these cartridges are designed primarily for LE use and shooting through vehicles is a factor.
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Old April 16, 2022, 10:15 PM   #114
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Honestly? I asked Pax (AKA Kathy Jackson/Cornered Cat) "What do you have in your Glock right now?"

She told me 124 grain Speer +P Gold Dots and that's what I bought.

She also told me anything on Doc GKR's list would be fine.

https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....f-Defense-Ammo
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Old April 17, 2022, 03:39 PM   #115
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FBI round

I carry the FBI round in the FBI revolver. So, there’s that.
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Old April 17, 2022, 05:19 PM   #116
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I started carrying Barnes XPD a while back because it used to be easy to find. Low recoil (9mm), accurate and shoots to the same point of aim as most of my 115 and 124 grain practice ammo. I've got a few boxes of Federal HST as well, shoots to the same point of aim but the recoil is a little more noticeable. As far as I can tell the XPD has been discontinued and is now called Vortex, tried a few boxes and it shoots the same. Those are all for a Glock 19 and a Glock 17 clone.

For the occasions where I carry my Sig 938 I go with Hornady Critical Defense, it has slightly better performance (according to the internet...) out of a short barrel than the Barnes.
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Old April 17, 2022, 05:23 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TunnelRat View Post
It's not supposed to expand going through steel. It still needs to have some degree of barrier penetration as most of these cartridges are designed primarily for LE use and shooting through vehicles is a factor.
But it should expand in wet red clay.
A 147 HornadyXTP expands beautifully in same scenario. I tested it after the first bullet failure was discovered.
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Old April 17, 2022, 05:24 PM   #118
TunnelRat
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How do you choose your SD ammo?

Idk what to tell you (I’m not sure how clay and ballistics gel compare as mediums). If it concerns you that much carry something else. I would hope ammunition companies put more into their testing than an ad hoc experiment with limited samples in a backyard setting, but that might not be true.


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Old April 17, 2022, 07:09 PM   #119
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I read the article linked in Moonglum's post 117. I appreciate it.
Newer info is of value.

It still often comes down to "Yeah,the label on the shelf says the Gold Dot should be right here in this empty space..."

What is #1 choice is likely sold out. So is #2 and #3.

Hypothetically:

Suppose hardball and handloads can provide practice ammo.

At 75 cents to $1.50 a shot,maybe a new gun has been "proven" (sort of) reliable with 200 rounds of something on down the list,but on the shelf.

Such as 115 gr Hornady Critical Defense or 124 gr Fiocchi JHP. 200 rds,no hiccups.

On the day I find 100 rds or less of Gold Dot,maybe 50, OK,I can buy them.

But what do I load my mags with? I need to do some reliability testing.

But what about a reliable supply? I don't like the idea of jumping around, using a different ammo every time I have to buy.

I know handloads for carry are not a good idea.(No need to argue that here,please!! Do a thread search! That horse has been beaten)

I suppose I could find some Gold Dot bullets to handload,and shoot a couple hundred. Find a precious box of factory. loads for carry.

Not my first choice,but,for now,what was on the shelf was 115 gr Critical Defense. Its ammo.
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Old April 17, 2022, 07:52 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiBC View Post
I read the article linked in Moonglum's post 117. I appreciate it.
Newer info is of value.

It still often comes down to "Yeah,the label on the shelf says the Gold Dot should be right here in this empty space..."

What is #1 choice is likely sold out. So is #2 and #3.

Hypothetically:

Suppose hardball and handloads can provide practice ammo.

At 75 cents to $1.50 a shot,maybe a new gun has been "proven" (sort of) reliable with 200 rounds of something on down the list,but on the shelf.

Such as 115 gr Hornady Critical Defense or 124 gr Fiocchi JHP. 200 rds,no hiccups.

On the day I find 100 rds or less of Gold Dot,maybe 50, OK,I can buy them.

But what do I load my mags with? I need to do some reliability testing.

But what about a reliable supply? I don't like the idea of jumping around, using a different ammo every time I have to buy.

I know handloads for carry are not a good idea.(No need to argue that here,please!! Do a thread search! That horse has been beaten)

I suppose I could find some Gold Dot bullets to handload,and shoot a couple hundred. Find a precious box of factory. loads for carry.

Not my first choice,but,for now,what was on the shelf was 115 gr Critical Defense. Its ammo.
Why not carry handloads? I trust mine better than any factory load. My carry loads are new factory primed brass, Weighed charges, finished off by a die that again full length sizes the case and will remove (or crush case) if any sizing defects or bulges were created in loading process.
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Old April 18, 2022, 02:35 AM   #121
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That thread topic has been beaten to death. No need to redo it here. Use search. I trust my handloads,too. Absolutely.
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Old April 18, 2022, 07:23 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by reynolds357 View Post
Why not carry handloads? I trust mine better than any factory load. My carry loads are new factory primed brass, Weighed charges, finished off by a die that again full length sizes the case and will remove (or crush case) if any sizing defects or bulges were created in loading process.
You may want to consult with your attorney about the wisdom of carrying handloads.
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Old April 18, 2022, 01:20 PM   #123
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1. Start with a big hole
2. Size down until the gun weighs what I’m willing to walk around with
3. Put whatever is sold at a good price, or the target ammo I build for best accuracy.

Right now, that’s .38 special double ended wadcutters going about 800 fps. In a Ruger LCRx 3” that drops into my field jacket. Not one darned tactical thing about it.

Walking in the woods, I’m just an old sportsman out shooting pinecones, not looking for trouble. Far from it. My attorney says that target loads are just what law abiding citizens shoot at the range and happen to have around. Tommy Tactical is the one with an image problem.
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Old May 31, 2022, 03:04 PM   #124
reynolds357
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You may want to consult with your attorney about the wisdom of carrying handloads.
It is a myth that hand loads will make you any more liable than factory loads In Georgia, Deadly force is deadly force. When deadly force can be used, you can use a stick to the head, hand load, factory load, 50 BMG, spiked mace on a chain, concrete block.. ..Take your pick.
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Old May 31, 2022, 03:33 PM   #125
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It is a myth that hand loads will make you any more liable than factory loads ...
I'd not be quite so emphatic, as there are a number of circumstances where the use of handloaded ammunition may create more of an exposure to doubt, as well as potential civil liability.

Sure, its' easy to state that deadly force is deadly force, but if a question arises regarding the circumstances in which the deadly force was used, as stated by the victim using the handloads, it may be less easy to answer than if factory ammunition was used.

For example, the big names in ammunition have been reported to keep exemplars of their production runs, meaning the ammunition can be checked against it, if needed. If the distance alleged between attacker/victim may become a question - meaning creating doubt of the veracity of the victim's claims in other aspects, in the minds of investigators and jurors - the use of factory ammunition allows for checking forensic evidence with similar ammunition. Not as easily done with handloads, since it's only the victim's word how the ammunition was created and loaded. Look at the link below, scrolling down to the section on Gunshot Residue Analysis:
https://nj.gov/njsp/division/investi...evidence.shtml

It may be a fuzzier matter to debate whether loading their own defensive ammunition shows any particular state of mind of a victim, and it's often claimed that a good attorney can overcome smoke & mirror claims and problems that arise in an investigation and court case ... but that still costs money and time, and why create a situation where the attorney has to work any harder (and charge you more money) than must be done?

Also, as a former avid handloader myself, I've seen how some components (primers) can unexpectedly become an issue, as well as monitoring the amount of powder in a hopper, temperature humidity during handloading, etc may introduce factors not anticipated.

As a LE firearms trainer who has also worked in classes attended by private citizens, I've seen more ammunition-related failures occur with handloaded ammunition than with factory ammunition ... and that's considering that factory ammunition has been involved by the many hundreds of thousands of rounds, which is a LOT more than handloaded ammunition has been brought to classes.

When obvious handloaded ammunition problems have arisen during classes, the usually responses from the shooters affected by them has been, "But that's never happened with my handloads before?!?", or, "But that's never happened with the handloads my friend has made for me before?!?". Maybe not, but it sure happened that time on the range, causing a problem for the shooter and slowing everything down for everyone else while the resulting problem had to be corrected. Imagine that happening outside the range, when someone desperately needed the ammunition to work as desired?

Not saying it can't happen with factory ammunition. Just saying that I've seen it happen much more often with handloads people have brought to a range session, and among a much smaller sample size than with factory ammunition.

You pay your money and you take your chances.

Absolutes are hard to come by, granted.
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