AMMO Applications and Self Defense Effectiveness

Discussion in 'The Ammo Can' started by markjaey, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. markjaey

    markjaey XDTalk Newbie

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    The Brownells site lists ammo by application (i.e., law enforcement, training, self defense, etc.). The implication is that certain ammo is better suited to a particular task. Perhaps based on cost. Perhaps based on stopping effectiveness. Perhaps based on accuracy. I'm wondering, for home defense needs, why wouldn't, or why would, a training type ammo be as effective as a law enforcement type ammo or, a self defense type ammo? What are the difference to be considered when evaluating these rounds for a given neede?

     
  2. N.E. Tx.XD

    N.E. Tx.XD XDTalk 5K Member

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    Welcome to the Forum from Texas! :D

    Cudda66, Agalindo, and or Fred will be by here promptly. Our resident experts on the matter. ;)
     
  3. agalindo

    agalindo XDTalk 15K Member Founding Member

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    The big difference between range ammo and SD ammo is bullet construction. A bullet for range use just needs to be accurate there is no need for reliability, and expansion. SD ammo is designed from the ground up, to meet a set of requirements.

    1. accuracy.
    2. reliability
    3. penetration.
    4.expansion.
    5 low flash.

    The only reliable way to stop an attacker using a service pistol round is to hit the Central Nervous System (head,spine) this is not likely to happen, or by bleed out (damage major blood bearing organs and arteries.) A bullet that expands reliably and penetrates deep, will make a bigger and deeper (you must reach the vital organs at less than optimal angles) hole so it will cause more damage and stop an attacker faster. Quality HPs designed for SD will do this much much better than cheap HPs or FMJ. Quality SD ammo is ammo that is tested meets FBI protocol. It must penetrate a minimum of 12" of ballistics gel and expand, even after encountering, heavy clothing, wall board, sheet metal, car glass and plywood.
    A FMJ because of it's rounded tip will make a smaller hole that it's caliber. A .45 cal bullet does not make an .45 cal hole in tissue more like .33 cal a 9mm fmj more like .22 cal hole. An expanded HP will make a much bigger hole because it's expanded and because it has a flat surface to cut and crush tissue.
    Big holes damage more tissue and cause more wounding. The faster the bad guy stops the safer you are.
     
  4. Cuda66

    Cuda66 XDTalk 10K Member

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    What Agalindo said.

    I don't like how they split LE and SD rounds into different categories; while I haven't looked to see what the difference, is, almost any round that is geared towards LE carry and passes the FBI protocols would also be an excellent round for home or self defense.

    Then again, I rather despise how some companies are trying to convince people that they should use a neutered round for these purposes, because they aren't law enforcement (do you hear me, Hornady and Federal?).

    May I suggest some reading:

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

    and

    Thoughts on Service Pistols, along with Duty and Self-Defense Ammo Recommendations - M4Carbine.net Forums

    The first thread gives some good information on why we want to choose the rounds listed...the second has some of the same information, as well is a bt more updated on rounds that are available.
     
  5. Keltyke

    Keltyke XDTalk 3K Member

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    +1 What agalindo said.

    For SD, you want a round that RELIABLY penetrates deeply and expands widely. You need the most damage per round that you can get. There's a trade-off here. A round that expands widely may not penetrate as much due to the larger frontal area. LE agencies sometimes look for rounds that will penetrate hard objects like wood doors or auto glass. They may sacrifice expansion to get this result. LE agencies (if they supply the ammo) are also looking at cost. The absolute BEST round may not be the cheapest, so...

    Any of your top rounds are good. Speer, Win., Corbon, etc. Study the different ballistics tables found all over the 'Net and go from there. Whatever ammo you choose, make sure it's 100% reliable in your gun! I'd shoot AT LEAST a couple of boxes of it before I'd carry it.
     
  6. markjaey

    markjaey XDTalk Newbie

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    Thanks for the welcome.

     
  7. markjaey

    markjaey XDTalk Newbie

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    Thanks for the detail, Agalindo. I've done some homework but guidance, from the community, is best. Had no idea that a .45 FMJ leave a hole smaller than .45.

    I'm running a .45 XDm. I'll run through a few boxes to see what works best.

     
  8. markjaey

    markjaey XDTalk Newbie

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    Good reading recommendations, Cuda66 (nice ride BTW. One of my elementary school teachers had one and I've always liked the car).

    I'll use them as resources as I make my decision.
     
  9. lharrell79

    lharrell79 XDTalk 500 Member

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    I just looked at brownells site, and i'm not sure wth they got going on with all those different categories. Tactical category? What defines a bullet as tactical? At any rate, the suggestions given above are all good.

    FMJ's = deep penetration, and smaller hole
    JHP's = less penetration, and bigger hole
    Quality JHP's = good penetration, and big hole

    It's not rocket science. For SD pick a quality JHP, that YOU can shoot accurately, and is reliable in YOUR gun. All the rest is just snake oil and marketing fluff.

    Lucas
     
  10. markjaey

    markjaey XDTalk Newbie

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    Good guidance, Keltyke. Most of my shooting will be on a range. I have a couple of friends in LE and will get info on what rounds they shoot.

     
  11. markjaey

    markjaey XDTalk Newbie

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    Thanks Lucas. Never liked snake oil and I'm in sales!
     
  12. fredj338

    fredj338 XDTalk 10K Member

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    Well you certainly can, but it will cost you a lot more. Consider to get really good with your handgun, you are going to have to shoot somewhere around5K rds a year w/ an instructor along the way for osme of those rounds. Then to maintain those skills, you are going to have to shoot at least 100rds a month & that is a bare min IMO. At factory SD/HD JHP loads, you'll be broke.
    It doesn't really matter that you train w/ the best, say 180gr JHP @ 900fps, as long as your practice ammo has a simm recoil & point of impact. SO most train w/ cheaper FMJ of the same weight as their def ammo choice.
    SHould you just tick to FMJ? Sure, you could, but then you are handicapping yourself in a gunfight. You want the target to receive as much damage as possible for a quicker end to the fight. It's why we practice & train, to deliver the bullets effectively. Then handicapping yourself w/ FMJ is like not practicing IMO. So as noted, choose a brand name JHP, shoot at least 1 full mag form each carry mag to make sure it runs the gun. Then shoot FMJ for practice. Once a year, it's a good idea to throw a magazine of your def load downrange to make sure nothing has changed in you or your gun. Most will burn off their carry ammo once a year to play it safe. HD ammo, it can last along time inside the enviro of a home, but stillprudent to run a mag annually to make sure nothing has changed in the gun.
     
  13. lharrell79

    lharrell79 XDTalk 500 Member

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    Great advice. Mark, I practice with FMJ, and the JHP's that I carry for SD. In my XD45, I use Aguila FMJ's. They're cheap, clean, accurate, and feel identical to Speer Gold Dot HP's. For SD, I use Speer Gold Dot's. They're clean, accurate, reliable, and have reliable expansion as well. Plus, they can be bought in 50 round boxes.

    During a range session, i'll usually shoot about 200 rounds of Aguila FMJ, and then finish with 10-20 rounds of Speer GD's.

    HTH, Lucas
     
  14. markjaey

    markjaey XDTalk Newbie

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    I think they're just trying to confuse newbs like me. With the help of my friends @ XDT I should be fine! ;)

     
  15. markjaey

    markjaey XDTalk Newbie

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    This is great advice. Shooting range rounds and SD rounds makes sense. Finding range rounds with similar characteristics as my SD rounds is a smart approach. When looking for range rounds and SD with similar performance characteristics I'm guessing that similar ballistics like: weight and speed are important. Are there other considerations?



     

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