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 Post subject: Defensive ammunition
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:31 am
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Location: Minnesota
What do you use when it comes to defensive ammunition? I personally use 9X19mm Federal HST 124 grain hollow points in my Glock 17, Glock 19, and M&P Shield.


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 Post subject: Re: Defensive ammunition
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:30 pm 
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Location: Washington
That is a good bullet. I think the standard pressure 147 grain version has a little better performance.

I've been keeping Critical duty 135 grain +P in my PT 99 AF for a while. There's better ammo available, but that would do the job, and it was what I could get my hands on at the time.

I've kept it partly because I'm a tightwad and don't want to buy a bunch of carry ammo, but mostly because I'm a tightwad, and have worked up a cast load that shoots identically, and I practice in fairly high volume. Switching would mean I would need to ackquire a new mold or two, and work up a new load. It would probably also mean I need to buy a lot more raw materials.

If I change it up, I will do one of the following:

1) Winchester T&D Defend 147+p. It is fairly affordable, and it just edges out best performer in both short and long and even carbine length barrels in numerous tests. Kind of a dark horse, but an excellent choice. The bullet design would normally be branded as a T-series, but it actually slightly outperforms some of the T series loads. It is similar, but not identical.

2) The federal 147 standard pressure. It's in the running for the best performance, whether in short or long barrel.

3) Hornady XTP handloaded by me and purchased in mass quantity. -- This would be just a convenience, since I could practice more with my actual carry load. I could be talked into some other component bullet if I saw good cost and availabiliy for a solid performer. If Federal sold thiers, it would be an obvious choice. I would probably load with CFE Pistol for the powder.

What I carry most often is my little 380 with Critical Defense in it. It's one of the handful of consistently good performers in that caliber. The other good performers are never in stock, so they don't count. A slightly better option is the 95 grain hornady XTP pushed to some velocity that I have written down somewhere. I've considered buying a flat of those and loading up a gross supply of them, but who knows if I will ever get around to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Defensive ammunition
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:46 am
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Location: Knoxville, TN
Usually 38+p 158g LSWCHP. Not fancy I know, but I like it. I did recently get a Glock 29 in case I start getting that fancy feeling, but currently most my 10mm ammo is probably too hot for HD or EDC. (I have a glock 20 also)

What do you think about Underwood or Hornady 10mm XTP in 155 or 180 grain? Open to suggestions there.

Also if anyone reading this feels the need to pontificate at length/rant about how much they hate 10mm just don't please. I don't care and don't want the topic to devolve into that. Thoughtful opinions are welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: Defensive ammunition
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:19 am 
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kar120c wrote:
Usually 38+p 158g LSWCHP. Not fancy I know, but I like it. I did recently get a Glock 29 in case I start getting that fancy feeling, but currently most my 10mm ammo is probably too hot for HD or EDC. (I have a glock 20 also)

What do you think about Underwood or Hornady 10mm XTP in 155 or 180 grain? Open to suggestions there.

Also if anyone reading this feels the need to pontificate at length/rant about how much they hate 10mm just don't please. I don't care and don't want the topic to devolve into that. Thoughtful opinions are welcome!


That's the only glock that I'm ever interested in owning.

I think 10mm is a great load, and that gun is surprisingly easy and comfortable to shoot.

As for hornady/ underwood. The hornady loads I've seen for similar stuff were not impressive performers, compared to others. I would chose another brand. However, under performing 10mm is still a decent option.

Underwood, and Buffalo Bore are very similar, so I will talk about them as though they are the same company here:
They have a few basic product lines:
1) popular component bullets from name brands pushed to hotter velocities, i.e. XTP, Speer Gold Dot, etc.
2) no name bullets with no description of origin. Just category. i.e. Lead hardcast semi wad cuttter, JHP....
3) Component bullets developed with specific manufacturers, such as LeHigh.

My answer depends on what category.
Category 3 stuff tends to be good performance at whatever the claimed intent is. max penetration = max penetration, etc.
Category 2 stuff is hit and miss, and they both change around the components without distinguishing the change, so you can't count on any product like this to be good or bad. The unbranded 180 grain JHP ___FPS load that performed well on the test might not be the same projectile as the one you get when you order it. That's useless for serious purpose.
Category 1 is theoretically impressive, but in every single test I've seen, very dissapointing. Simply put, those component projectiles are engineered to work at a particular impact velocity. Push them too fast, and they over expand or fragment, and underpenetrate. I've read and watched dozens of tests, and they are ALL that way. Better to get the gold dots from speer at normal velocity, or the XTP from hornady at standard velocity. It will work better, and with less recoil too.

As for what is the best 10mm defensive load on the market now? Dunno. This guy's videos are a sensible place to start: https://www.youtube.com/user/ShootingTh ... query=10mm

I'm not up to date with exact product lines, but I followed all of that closely a couple years ago. I would not buy Buffalo Bore or Underwood 10mm JHP for defense against people. I would buy their hard cast SWC for woods duty where deep penetration is an issue. But that is the sort of thing I would make myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Defensive ammunition
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:22 am 
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post script. 10mm is plenty hot enough, even considering most factory loads are loaded light of its capabilities.

I don't think it makes sense to hot rod most handgun loads, 10mm even less so. There are less components available for it, and they are going to be tuned for a narrower range of velocity. They will work best at the speed they were made to work.

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 Post subject: Re: Defensive ammunition
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:38 pm
Posts: 1902
Location: Arkansas, USA (NWA)
In 380, penetration is not a strong point. Placement (reaching the vitals) is key. In an LCP sized gun, I go for penetration.

Buffalo Bore Flat Nose Hard Cast Lead 100gr "+P". Penetration in gel blocks is impressive. Don't expect a hollowpoint to perform from such a tiny 380 ACP, and the lead retains mass well and seems to bounce less on bone.

Report and recoil in even a short barrel are great for clearing the sinus cavity if congested. These loads deliver energy and penetration beyond any other 380 I've come across. 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Defensive ammunition
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:03 am 
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Location: Arkansas, USA (NWA)
May I mention, thinking of switching from LCP to Sig P365. Capacity and caliber are fantastic for the size. Doesnt seem like giving up much.

Haven't handled one yet, and will give a year or three to let Sig work out the bugs like it usually does... Not toention their prices usually come down 30 percent after a few years. :roll:

XTP is what I was considering going to in a "full growed" 9x19. 17mm cases are so very limiting. But I guess that's why the guns can be so small.

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 Post subject: Re: Defensive ammunition
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:50 pm 
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A few hp do perform adequately in 380.

IMO, +P 380 is a bad idea. The pocket pistols gave paper thin barrels. The locking systems, frames and recoil systems are made without much margin of error.

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 Post subject: Re: Defensive ammunition
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:32 pm 
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Nephilim7 wrote:
May I mention, thinking of switching from LCP to Sig P365. Capacity and caliber are fantastic for the size. Doesnt seem like giving up much.

Haven't handled one yet, and will give a year or three to let Sig work out the bugs like it usually does... Not toention their prices usually come down 30 percent after a few years. :roll:

XTP is what I was considering going to in a "full growed" 9x19. 17mm cases are so very limiting. But I guess that's why the guns can be so small.


Keep the LCP, add a 365. The thing I love about a micro 380 is you basically never have an excuse not to carry, and it never feels like a burden. Just about everything else is just enough bother, that you are relieved to take it off at the end of the day.

A S&W shield 9mm is a better all around gun, and the one I would rather be carrying, but if I find an excuse not to carry that, I will still have the 380. I think the same logic applies to the 365 which looks like a decent gun. I haven't handled one yet though.

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P.M. me if you want help:
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I'm a firearms/NFA attorney in Wa. Let's combine business, pleasure, and stamps.

http://www.youtube.com/user/armaggedonite


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