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pw24
02-25-2010, 10:09 AM
I understand most of you use a different type of ammo for HD purposes, usually a more expensive type. My understanding is that you want to make sure your gun fires it correctly, it feeds ok, and is reliable. I imagine you then would practice with your HD ammo at the range. Do you also use cheaper target type ammo? I'm trying to understand what I should be shooting at the range, and obviously don't want to only shoot the high end stuff as I'd go broke quick. Can somebody give me an idea of how many rounds of HD ammo I should fire, compared to target at a typical range session. thanks.

CornFedWB
02-25-2010, 10:12 AM
Personally I'll shoot like 1 mag an outing. Hornady TAP. Critical defense whenever it's not backordered for a month.

j1133s
02-25-2010, 10:15 AM
I understand most of you use a different type of ammo for HD purposes, usually a more expensive type. My understanding is that you want to make sure your gun fires it correctly, it feeds ok, and is reliable. I imagine you then would practice with your HD ammo at the range. Do you also use cheaper target type ammo? I'm trying to understand what I should be shooting at the range, and obviously don't want to only shoot the high end stuff as I'd go broke quick. Can somebody give me an idea of how many rounds of HD ammo I should fire, compared to target at a typical range session. thanks.

HD ammo is too expensive to shoot exclusively at the range for practice. But you need to shoot enough of it to verify function; I usually shoot 100rnds initially. Then I'd shoot 5 rnds every now and then just to cycle old ammo out of my gun.

Black Majik
02-25-2010, 10:18 AM
Honestly, there really isn't any reason to keep a huge quantity of expensive premium defensive ammo if your sole purpose is home defense. Others like to keep a hefty stash, but is it really necessary? I would say no.

I would buy a variety of premium ammo to try in your gun. Minimum of 50 rounds flawlessly (for that specific gun) for consideration of HD use. Whether or not you choose to practice with your HD ammo is up to you. Honestly, there isn't that big of a difference in recoil.

More practice with FMJ is better than no/some practice with HD ammo. Civilians who take self defense classes almost always just bring FMJ WWB/BB/wally world ammo.

The only time I shot up premium JHP ammo was for rotating carry ammo. They would get lint in the magazines or check for bullet setback. It was easier to fire off the old ammo so I could clean the magazines every couple of months.

Fishslayer
02-25-2010, 1:09 PM
At home the semiauto is loaded with Winchester XTP hollow points. I found some Winchester White Box JHP of similar shape. I tried those out to make sure the gun was OK with HP ammo. I ran 5 rounds through all four magazines. If I didn't have those I would have bitten the bullet (so to speak;)) and done testing with the $1+ a round stuff. When things go bump in the night is an inconvenient time to find out your semiauto won't feed your HD rounds.

The .357 wheelgun is loaded with some off the shelf Remington +P hollow points. Not really worried about a FTF with a revolver...:D

At the range it's my light handloads or cheap commercial range fodder. Like Black Majick said, practice is important than what ya practice with.

Snake eyes
02-25-2010, 2:41 PM
This is the way I look at it-

If an individual weapon will fire a full mag of a particular ammo without ANY issues, this gives me the confidence that THAT weapon will fire THAT ammo with REASONABLE reliability using THAT mag. And I believe that "reasonable" reliability is the best that anyone can hope for. I don't believe that ABSOLUTE reliability exists.

I used to think it was necessary to fire a full box or more of HD ammo to acheive confidence of reliability, but what can a full box tell you that a full mag can't? Firing a hundred issue-free rounds doesn't garuntee that round 101 won't jam.

Despite our best efforts, and the widespread belief that "MY" weapon is perfect, relying on a firearms "reliability" for our lives is always a crap-shoot.

robert101
02-25-2010, 5:44 PM
I too agree that about 50 rounds of the good HD stuff is worth while for confirming your gun will function. I also like to find out if my point of aim has changed with my HD ammo. Many times different ammo will shoot high, low, or just make unusually large groups. I want to confirm the accuracy as well. It might not make to much of a difference at 7 yards, but at 15 yards it may.

ChrisTKHarris
02-25-2010, 5:48 PM
My .45 is loaded with Red Dot bonded JHPs.

Call_me_Tom
02-25-2010, 6:46 PM
I shoot the cheap stuff at the range. I see no reason to practice with expensive HD rds.

BillCA
02-25-2010, 6:49 PM
When you select your home defense ammo, also look to see if that manufacturer or another one produces a "generic" version. E.g. Who makes a 9mm 124gr bullet at the same velocity as your HD load? These generic loads should give you a point of impact (POI) close to the point of aim (POA). For range practice, this is more critical than the bullet shape or type. Switching to your HD load won't make a huge difference in POI.

Since Semiautos are sensitive to bullet shape, powder charge and other variables, it's definitely a good idea to run them through your gun to establish their reliability.

But what if you own, say, a Beretta 92 with 15 round mags? You don't have to fire 15 HD loads at a time to prove your favorite JHP's work.

With an empty mag, load the last 3 rounds as JHP. Load 4 FMJ's, then 3 JHP's. 2 FMJ's and 3 JHP's, plus one in the chamber.

This tests the ability of the JHP to function the slide and chamber the next 3 rounds of JHP without stuttering. These are probably the most critical rounds - the first 4-5 shots from a full magazine. Rounds 6-8 help test with a half-full magazine. The last three determine if there are any issues with the last few rounds in the mag. Repeat for any magazines you rely upon regularly.

To further save money on HD ammo, if you load your HD firearm, load only the first 8-9 rounds with premium ammo. The balance can be older style JHP or just FMJ. This allows you to load 2 pistols from one 20-round box. In any HD situation where you've had to fire more than 8 shots, your day isn't going to get any simpler. You're now shooting to survive until authorities arrive.

Keep in mind that price does not always determine effectiveness, otherwise we'd all be using Glasers. You can get a very good defensive load using what some call "outdated" designs - Hydrashok and silvertips come to mind. This becomes important if you have several guns to feed. Lastly, always look online for 50 round boxes instead of the more expensive 20 round boxes.

ledman
02-25-2010, 6:54 PM
I shoot the cheap stuff at the range. I see no reason to practice with expensive HD rds.

Ditto. I have one box of Ranger LEO 9mm HP I keep for defense at home. I mean, if I don't get them with the first 15 rounds, well...I will sell my guns and buy a rock.