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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, folks! Just looking for some good advice. For a couple of years, I’ve been using Remington 9mm JHP as my daily carry ammo. I could buy it at Walmart, it was cheap (maybe 30 cents per round), and I’ve put a couple hundred rounds through each of my handguns (XD-S and XD Mod.2) without a single misfire, misfeed, or failure to eject. In other words, it works great, and it’s so cheap I didn’t mind firing a magazine of it each time I went to the range (and then reloading with the range ammo). Unfortunately, Walmart stopped selling it, and when I went to my local gun shop to buy more, the guy there said I shouldn’t be using such cheap ammo for my daily carry. He talked me into buying a box of Federal Premium HST ($25 for 20 rounds). Now I’m torn. I don’t feel comfortable trusting a new type of ammo without first putting some rounds through to test it (maybe 50-100), but that’s going to be quite expensive. So, I’m wondering, why should I do that? How will I be better off using this more expensive ammo, since what I was using before was reliable and cheap? I’m open to make the change if there are valid reasons to do so. Thanks!
 

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Do you really want the cheapest possible option when it comes to saving your life?
 
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All other factors being equal (skills, shot placement, etc.) better ammo can get you better results. For me, personally, I want every advantage I can get in a critical defense situation.
Want to see results? Lucky Gunner Labs did an excellent presentation across a wide variety of defense ammo. Take 9mm 124gr JHP as an example. Look at the results for Federal Hydrashok (somewhat older cartridge) vs the newer Federal HST. Both show good penetration, but the newer HST has much better expansion and was more consistent across the test. This is generally true across all older vs newer cartridge technology.
All that said...
- Shot placement and firearms proficiency are more important; exotic ammo alone won't save you.
- They're still handgun rounds and pale in comparison to rifle or shotgun ballistics.
- There's also not a night/day difference in effectiveness across common calibers, which makes the whole caliber argument kinda silly.
 

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It is damn expensive proving the expensive stuff is reliable in your gun.
Reliability trumps all else. The Remington ammo is reliable and HST, Gold Dot etc offer potentially better performance. Your and your pocket book's call.
 

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Op, those Remington JHP’s will probably do you just fine but read up and check out a few videos on the federal HST HP’s. Every one of my semi-autos ranging from 9mm to 40S&W to 45ACP all get loaded with those when they are stored, or carried. I have complete trust in them that they’ll do the job about as good as anything else out there and another thing, there’s documented FBI ballistics results on them too.


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147gr HST FTW.
For starters, your LGS is selling you factory ammo at boutique prices.
Buy it online in 50rd boxes for waaay less than the buck+ plus per round your LGS is charging.
 
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Target Sports USA has their 1/2 price sale going on again for Gold Dot LE... $17.50 for box of 50. Problem with that is... if you are not a Prime member... the shipping cost can get expensive if you only buy a box or two. They do the same 1/2 price sale on the HST quite often.

That all being said... I've used the Remington's in the past.. and shot them into dead deer (and the occasional injured one)... and they expanded very well. I wouldn't hesitate to carry them if that's your price range. But with 1/2 price options such as above... going with the better ammo is a no brainer IMO.

My two pennies of course. :)
 

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I use HST in all my carry guns. You should use whatever ammo has the best results in your firearm. Ballistically speaking it’s going to be very hard to beat HST. Which by the way, you can buy 50 round boxes of at Target Sports USA for $40. Free shipping on bulk orders.
 

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I use HST in all my carry guns. You should use whatever ammo has the best results in your firearm. Ballistically speaking it’s going to be very hard to beat HST. Which by the way, you can buy 50 round boxes of at Target Sports USA for $40. Free shipping on bulk orders.
If I remember right, they were called the HST tactical, those ones that are the same as the HST’s that come in the fancy plastic box of 20, but come in a cardboard box of 50.


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If I remember right, they were called the HST tactical, those ones that are the same as the HST’s that come in the fancy plastic box of 20, but come in a cardboard box of 50.


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They have a couple different kinds. The HST is usually called Law Enforcement. I just checked. $39.99 / 50 rd. box at TS USA.
 

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OP, premium ammo has more consistent penetration and expansion (especially through heavier clothing), as noted previously. You should be able to find it online for about half what your LGS sold it to you, perhaps even less if you wait for the right sale.

And yes, it's still on the expensive side to test it for reliability in your gun, but ultimately it is worth it, in my opinion.

But I will say, if the budget was *really* tight, I would be willing to carry the "cheap stuff" (as long as it was hollowpoint of course) and wouldn't feel like I was giving up enough to worry much over it.
 

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Something else to keep in mind, these are pistols, not rifles. Unless it’s a full-power 10mm load coming out of a long barrel, there’s a lot that just makes sense in a quality self-defense round. They may cost a little more, but I love the peace of mind knowing that with proper shot placement that any one of my pistols will do the job with FBI tested expansion and penetration to stop an attacker.


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Bone Frog Club usually has the HSTs and Gold Dots for around $20 for a 50 round box plus shipping. You have to join the club first tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Do you really want the cheapest possible option when it comes to saving your life?
Thanks for your reply. The guy at the gun shop basically used the same argument, i.e., "How much is your life worth?" Well, if that's the criterion I'm going to use, then I should search for the most expensive ammo I can find. Maybe I can find some ammo that costs $1,000 per round. That would show how much I value my life. That, of course, is a foolish argument. My question is simply this: WHY is the more expensive ammo better than the less expensive? If they are both reliable and do the job I need them to do, then why should I choose the more expensive option? What are the actual benefits associated with the more expensive ammo?
 

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Thanks for your reply. The guy at the gun shop basically used the same argument, i.e., "How much is your life worth?" Well, if that's the criterion I'm going to use, then I should search for the most expensive ammo I can find. Maybe I can find some ammo that costs $1,000 per round. That would show how much I value my life. That, of course, is a foolish argument. My question is simply this: WHY is the more expensive ammo better than the less expensive? If they are both reliable and do the job I need them to do, then why should I choose the more expensive option? What are the actual benefits associated with the more expensive ammo?

It is more expensive because more people buy it. Supply and demand. Why is a Ferrari more expensive than a Camaro? It is better because it expands and penetrates more reliably.
 
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