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How do you pick your carry ammo?

This is a discussion on How do you pick your carry ammo? within the The Ammo Can forums, part of the Armory Talk category; I would like to know how everyone picks their carry ammo. I usually look at ballistic information on the web, watch you-tube videos and run ...

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Old 07-04-2010, 01:48 PM   #1
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How do you pick your carry ammo?

I would like to know how everyone picks their carry ammo.
I usually look at ballistic information on the web, watch you-tube videos and run a box of ammo through my gun to make my decision. I am interested in more in depth testing of my ammo in the future.
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
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I usually chrono the loads as well to see how they do in MY gun verses what the factory said it did in their test barrel. Then compare that with the fps and energy data that I'm looking to get.

I suppose you could also test whatever load you liked in wet phone books or consumer grade ballistic gelatin.

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Old 07-04-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
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Tough to go wrong w/ what your local PD carries. THey often use well tested rounds. Regardless, you should always test fire your chosen ammo in YOUR gun, 50rds min from fully loaded carry mags. If you are just curious, wetpack testing is easily done by the backyard scientist.
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:40 PM   #4
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I read this:

Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

It's by one of the foremost experts in the field of terminal ballistics. He's done the ballistics testing, he knows what he's talking about.

Then, I choose one of the suggested loads in the caliber, take it to the range, and try it out. If it runs 100%, and shoots with what I deem acceptible accuracy and control, I say it's good to go.

I also tend to choose the heavier bullets for any given caliber; they tend to have a slight edge in penetration, and still expand properly.

The suggestion of going with what the local PD runs with is also not a bad idea, as long as your pistol likes it.

But the bottom line is--you've gotta shoot it first, and verify it's reliability. Checking for expansion and stuff is fun, and I won't dissuade anyone from doing it (done it plenty m'self), but any modern, premium JHP is gonna expand just peachy.

FWIW, I mainly run with 9mm and .45 for my carry calibers; I like 147gr HST, Gold Dot, and Ranger-T in 9mm, and 230gr .45 pills in the same makes. They all run 100% in my carry pistols, and I can usually find one of them when I'm in the mood to buy more carry ammo.
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:09 PM   #5
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I usually go for speer gold dot's if I can't get those I grab corbon's but I do have some winchester white box for SHTF situations and some PDX's in my backup stash.
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
Tough to go wrong w/ what your local PD carries. THey often use well tested rounds. Regardless, you should always test fire your chosen ammo in YOUR gun, 50rds min from fully loaded carry mags. If you are just curious, wetpack testing is easily done by the backyard scientist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
I read this:

Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

It's by one of the foremost experts in the field of terminal ballistics. He's done the ballistics testing, he knows what he's talking about.

Then, I choose one of the suggested loads in the caliber, take it to the range, and try it out. If it runs 100%, and shoots with what I deem acceptible accuracy and control, I say it's good to go.

I also tend to choose the heavier bullets for any given caliber; they tend to have a slight edge in penetration, and still expand properly.

The suggestion of going with what the local PD runs with is also not a bad idea, as long as your pistol likes it.

But the bottom line is--you've gotta shoot it first, and verify it's reliability. Checking for expansion and stuff is fun, and I won't dissuade anyone from doing it (done it plenty m'self), but any modern, premium JHP is gonna expand just peachy.

FWIW, I mainly run with 9mm and .45 for my carry calibers; I like 147gr HST, Gold Dot, and Ranger-T in 9mm, and 230gr .45 pills in the same makes. They all run 100% in my carry pistols, and I can usually find one of them when I'm in the mood to buy more carry ammo.
+1 on both of these, youtube is the worst place to get information on carry ammo, I wouldn't choose a doctor from information on youtube nor a baby sitter.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:11 PM   #7
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Given that the two factors that really matter, from what I've read here and elsewhere, are will it go bang every time you pull the trigger, and can you place the shots on the target, I think the all the measurement and hoopla of bullet x versus bullet y is of less concern. Really, do two quality bullets of similar characteristics differ in the tests by more than, say 5-10%?

So I've chosen a round I can afford to shoot regularly, and there's an FMJ round from the same maker that's similar enough to give me more practice for my buck.

Added to that is the bonus that my chosen round is made locally by a well respected company, and I can buy it at the LGS for prices not far off from the cost of other name brands at WallyWorld. So more of my money stays within my town's economy.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
Tough to go wrong w/ what your local PD carries. THey often use well tested rounds. Regardless, you should always test fire your chosen ammo in YOUR gun, 50rds min from fully loaded carry mags. If you are just curious, wetpack testing is easily done by the backyard scientist.
Isn't this hard to do since some LEO ammo is sold exclusively to PD only? And rarely does a shop sell LEO ammo to the general public. Take for instance the Winchester SXT, hard to find a shop that'll sell it to the GP.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:10 AM   #9
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Tpop9 I'm just down the road in Scotsboro, AL. I usually hit up Larry's about twice a month to use the range, but have not found any LEO ammo there. I have bought some online at ammunitiontogo. It did cost a little more due to the shipping but if you buy a few boxes the shipping cost is not as bad.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:46 AM   #10
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I run mine through as real world tests as I can. I put together wet packs with various barriers in front of it and measure expansion and penetration. Right now Remington's Golden Saber has good marks. Hornady's XTP's did not do so well. One thing I learned is shot placement is king above all else.
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