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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I'm just curious here, but how did you determine your top pick or picks in defensive handgun ammo for either your auto or revolver?

I'll post my reasons a bit later.

Best and thanks in advance for taking the time to reply.

PS: I hesitated to post this as I've seen so many arguments get started over related issues. I would personally appreciate it if we'd state our own reasons and not attack anyone having a different viewpoint on this. Frequently there is more than one "right" answer to some questions. Thanks again.
 
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Frequently there is more than one "right" answer to some questions.
Steve,

When I took my test to get Nationally Registered as an EMT the Administrator told the Audience "Most of the questions have more then one correct answer, you have to pick the one that is most correct!"... great way to start a test. :roll:

For me, if it is a premium HP design, feed reliabley in my gun and made by a repretable manufacture I'll carry it and not feel "underguned".

Currently carry Quik-Shok in both my 1911 and my HP.
 

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For me, if it is a premium HP design, feed reliabley in my gun and made by a repretable manufacture I'll carry it and not feel "underguned".
I agree with Schmit, though I wish he had proofread his answer before hitting "submit." :wink:

Though there are some differences is the performance of "the good stuff" like Golden Saber, Gold Dot, Hydra-Shok, SXT, Ranger-T, etc., I don't think the differences are enough for most of us to be concerned about. Reliable function is the most important criteria.

Now, Stephen, I know you're not a newbie looking for load advice. If you really want to know how I pick my carry ammo, these days it is most often by price, but I am choosing from a list of "the good stuff" that I've tested in my gun(s). For example, in .40 S&W, I'll go with the 165 grain Rem Golden Saber, Speer Gold Dot, or Pro-Load Gold Dot, depending on what is cheaper at the time I need to order.

I will add, though, that sometimes I will reject a defensive load if it has too much muzzle flash, or if my chronograph testing shows unusually high standard deviations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello. First, I want to thank all who responded to this question and appreciate the polite manner in which responses were given.

My reason was to see the process by which others make decisions on "serious" ammunition and if there were any strong preferences toward "light and fast" vs "heavy and slow." I was very pleased to note that several placed both reliability and the ability to place the shot well near the top of their "lists." I've done no pencil and paper tabulations, but it appears that most seem to favor expanding ammunition that holds together and mention penetration aspects. A few favor ball in autos for both reliability and penetration and I SUSPECT because they also feel that placement will make up for any "lack of performance" between their FMJ vs. expanding.

A constant was that the vast majority read what they can find on testing of various loads and visit sites dedicated to such. Others cited expense, availability, and the ability to practice with either the chosen protection load itself or one that duplicates it.

There was a minority of shooters who also took into account what they'd seen when the particular load had been used in hunting. Some also compared the findings of "stopping power gurus" on both sides of the light/fast vs heavy/slow and picked loads liked by both sides.

In short, it appears to me that a majority of shooters on-line take full advantage of the information available, sift through it and see how it squares with their own views or informal tests.

This is a good thing in my opinion. I've asked the same question of various folks over the past few months in gunshops and find answers are generally more along the lines of "This is on sale," or "All are about the same, " or "I heard this was the best." When asked about what velocity they were getting out of their gun, about half didn't have a clue.

That was the reason I posted the question and it's not too surprising that the folks on-line seem to be better informed. Perhaps the half that had definitive reasons for their choices in the gunshops were on-line? That, I don't know.

My own regimen is to test for reliability. I'd rather have a so-so load that works each and every single time than one that has "nuclear effect," but not reliable. This part's fairly expensive as several different magazines must be used if an automatic. With a revolver, I just make sure that cases are easily extracted. Certainly, if there are any misfires or failures to fire, that ammunition must be rechecked or avoided, at least for me.

I then check for accuracy and I'm probably too hung up on such ammunition providing more accuracy than I can ever use under field conditions, but I cannot put that away. Too me, accuracy remains important.

Next comes expansion/penetration testing. In my "range reports," I've posted results from "scientific mud expansion tests," but I don't put too much trust in these. I test bullets in water and in "wet pack," bound newpaper print soaked in water for at least 24 hours. I then chronograph several rounds to check how consistent the stuff is shot to shot as well as lot to lot.

In most cases, I've managed to shoot a few varmints from coyotes down to see how well the ammunition actually works in living tissue. This has not been possible with some loads, but with several, it has.

When I find a load that I trust, I usually stick with it unless I begin to believe that something significantly better might be available. I then use the above process to see if a change is warranted as well as checking with sites dedicated to ammunition performance. I don't get in a big hurry as the fact that something "better" being available doesn't make what I have impotent.

Again, thank each and every single one of you for taking the time to respond. I sincerely appreciate it.

Best.
 
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