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Do any of the experts recommend using target ammo in your carry guns?


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#1 CHICAGO HANDGUN OWNER

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 09:00 AM

Do any of the experts recommend using target ammo in your carry guns? My accuracy is much better with target ammo than with the hotter "self defense" ammunition so why not just use this ammo all the time? Also I think "target" ammo would kill someone just as fast as the "self defense" loads. Are there any studies that show that self defense bullets make you more dead than target bullets? Won't a torso or head shot with a target bullet get the job done just as well as the hollow points or high grain bullets? Isn't shot placement accuracy more important than having the most powerful bullet? Also I think "target" bullet is a misnomer since all bullets can be lethal. 



#2 RandyP

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 09:09 AM

Yes, ANY projectile is 'potentially' lethal just like any projectile is 'potentially' non-lethal. ALL shooting incidents are unique events and very few universal conclusions can be drawn from them. It's what makes caliber wars rather pointless.

 

It is a ballistic fact that most hollow point ammo produces a larger wound channel vs FMJ.

 

It is also true that the reason most folks use 'practice' ammo is because it costs a lot less and they want to fire more rounds in training to hopefully develop better accuracy. As a skill and should the SD need ever arise, however unlikely that is.

 

HP ammo is pretty much universally recommended in center-fire calibers for self defense.


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#3 mauserme

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 09:14 AM

Do any of the experts recommend using target ammo in your carry guns? My accuracy is much better with target ammo than with the hotter "self defense" ammunition so why not just use this ammo all the time? Also I think "target" ammo would kill someone just as fast as the "self defense" loads. Are there any studies that show that self defense bullets make you more dead than target bullets? Won't a torso or head shot with a target bullet get the job done just as well as the hollow points or high grain bullets? Isn't shot placement accuracy more important than having the most powerful bullet? Also I think "target" bullet is a misnomer since all bullets can be lethal.


I'm not an expert but I'd suggest that, in a self defense event, you adjust your thinking to stopping the threat rather than making a kill shot.  Stopping the threat may end in death, but it doesn't have to.



#4 Birdhunter1

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 09:14 AM

Target ammunition typically uses bullets that don't expand and often your best accuracy is not usually found at higher velocities.  Self defense ammo will have higher velocities which makes bullets expand better, cause more tissue damage and usually helps with deeper penetration (not always but it helps). 

 

 

Would it subdue an attacker, yes a bullet placed into the brain of anything will do the trick, and doesn't need alot of power to do that.  Good luck under stress doing that.  I think if you will try more self defense ammunitions you might find some very well shooting rounds.  With all the 'fancy' 9mm self defense loads out there I have found that the standard 124 gr Hornady XTP (not a +P round) shoots very well, cycles well and tends to make things dead that I have used it for.  Yes there are other 124 and 115 gr rounds with more speed, yes there are other rounds with more accuracy, but that 124 XTP shoots as tight of a group as it needs to.


Edited by Birdhunter1, 18 May 2019 - 09:15 AM.


#5 jim123

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 09:35 AM

What gun are you using? I let my dad who never shoots try a Glock 17 we rented at a range. I loaded 1 "target practice" bullet, 1 Remington 115 gr hollow point from a 100 round box, and 1 Corbon 115 gr +p. He couldn't tell the difference. 



#6 soundguy

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 09:39 AM

I'm no expert...

I see no need for "hot" loads, +P or +P+.

At the range I use 124gr Speer Lawman. With a smaller occasional carry gun I go with the 147gr. It feels a little less snappy. For carry I choose the Gold Dot with specs closest to the practice ammo for that gun.

I like the Speer philosophy...

 

When you train, you want ammunition that is reliable, with feel and point of aim that’s as close as possible to your self-defense loads. You also need it to be affordable. Speer® Lawman® ammunition brings great consistency at an attractive price, and also features reloadable cases. Find your ideal training load in a variety of calibers from 32 Auto to 45 Auto. With excellent accuracy and ballistics similar to Gold Dot® loads, it offers the most realistic practice possible.

 

I'm making this part up just for me... I don't think I need to worrry about the penetration a hotter load might provide. I won't be shooting through car doors or cover that might slow down a bullet. I want a round (and a gun) that I can reliably shoot every time. No surprises. For cops and others that may find themselves in a combat situation, this may be different.


Edited by soundguy, 18 May 2019 - 09:39 AM.

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#7 Mr. Fife

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 11:03 AM

Experts in New Jersey have determined that target ammo is better than hollow points for self defense.
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#8 NRApistol

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 11:38 AM

Do any of the experts recommend using target ammo in your carry guns? 

None that I know of.  You shoot to stop the threat, not shoot someone else unintentionally .  An ideal self defense bullet would transfer all of its energy to the threat and not leave the body.  Hollow points are less likely to over penetrate than full metal jacket rounds. The FMJ can pass through the threat and a wall with enough mass and energy to kill an innocent person behind the wall. 


Edited by NRApistol, 18 May 2019 - 11:39 AM.

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#9 Euler

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 11:39 AM

Experts in New Jersey have determined that target ammo is better than hollow points for self defense.


NJ "experts" (i.e., the state legislators) determined that HP ammo is too scary for private individuals to use (or even to own).

To the original point, target vs. defense rounds are all about FMJ vs. JHP, not the charge. Regular P is plenty of P. I've seen posts by people who firmly believe FMJ is fine for self-defense, but legal precedent says otherwise. In the 49 states that aren't NJ, if your FMJ round shoots through your target and hits someone else, you could face criminal charges (like manslaughter or murder of the innocent person) for not using JHP.
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#10 Flynn

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 11:47 AM

Personally I'm of the opinion that it's better to be loaded with something you are comfortable shooting then something you are not.

 

That said instead of using 'practice rounds' or 'top end high power SD rounds' if you want a compromise get some generic hollow points and practice with those as well as carry those, then if the situation does arrise you are familar with the rounds in your firearm.  IMO no need to add additional strees the in the back of the head worrying about the difference in the hot loads that are in the gun when the poop hits the fan.

 

Of course SD ammo almost always offers better on paper paper results, but at the end of the day being able to actually hit the target with a well placed shot will outweigh what is written on paper.


Edited by Flynn, 18 May 2019 - 11:49 AM.

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#11 InTheAir

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 12:12 PM

It’s funny, I am kind of the opposite. I practice with the cheapest bulk ammo I can find (often Walmart Winchester White box, but sometimes something online). I carry Federal Premium HST, and occasionally shoot a magazine through my carry gun just to rotate the ammo. It is pricy, so I don’t do it too often.

I find that my groupings are much tighter with the pricier ammo than the bulk. However I have never done a blind test, so it could be that I am stepping up my game knowing it is different ammo. I think next time I am out I will try a blind test to see if I can see the difference.
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#12 NRApistol

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 12:14 PM

Won't a torso or head shot with a target bullet get the job done just as well as the hollow points 

NO.  I show an NRA training film in my Defensive Pistol class that demonstrates why we recommend hollow points for self defense.  In the film a 5 lb ham resting on a stool is shot from a distance of about 10 feet with a 115 gr FMJ and a 115 gr hollow point from a 9mm service pistol.  The FMJ entry wound is about the size of a nickle and the exit wound about the size of a golf ball and did not even knock the ham off of the stool.   The hollow point tore out a chunk bigger than a soft ball and threw the ham off the stool. 


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#13 MagSlap

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 12:32 PM

Funny story....

Yesterday I was at the range with a guest...

Brought along a few pistols....

 

I decided to put a few rounds down range with my carry pistol. A Glock 26.

I had a spare 10 round mag.  Used some 115gr FMJ target rounds.  Fired...Loaded more...  Turned to chat for a few seconds...turned back and grabbed the magazine with my carry rounds...accidentally.

These are Winchester Ranger T series 127gr +p+.

I fired the full 10 rounds.

Loaded another mag (target rounds)....ran fine.

Then...I realized...I think I shot my carry rounds! (Stop laughing!!!!)

(Luckily, I had a spare 15 round mag with the same carry ammo.  So I transferred those rounds to the standard 10 round mag)

 

Point is...I didn't even realize I shot my 'hot' HP rounds until I went to slap that mag back in to reholster.

 

Perhaps it something like that would be obvious with a smaller pistol, but as far as it went with a G26...I never even knew the difference. 



#14 mikew

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 12:35 PM

One concern that I used to see in discussions of this type was the ineffectiveness of hollow points in lesser handgun rounds.

Or with all rounds, when the cavity fills with layers of outer clothing during cold weather [preventing expansion].

 

But that was a while ago.

In the interim, I have seen attempts at better HP ammo, bush as hydroshock with the post in side the cavity,
and types of high-velocity low-weight personal protection ammo.

I like the kind with the polycarbonate ball covering the cavity.
I  think it prevents feed ramp problems, and I bet it resists fouling the cavity with cloth or leather.

I wonder if NJ considers the ball-tipped ammo to be the dreaded hollowpoints.



#15 papa

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 01:13 PM

Do any of the experts recommend using target ammo in your carry guns? My accuracy is much better with target ammo than with the hotter "self defense" ammunition so why not just use this ammo all the time? Also I think "target" ammo would kill someone just as fast as the "self defense" loads. Are there any studies that show that self defense bullets make you more dead than target bullets? Won't a torso or head shot with a target bullet get the job done just as well as the hollow points or high grain bullets? Isn't shot placement accuracy more important than having the most powerful bullet? Also I think "target" bullet is a misnomer since all bullets can be lethal. 

 

You tube has all kind of test results showing gel tests of many different calibers , weights and hollow points , plus FMJ .  Google you tube and your choice of ammo and there will probably be a video of a gel test being done.

 

The FBI standard for penetration is 12 to 18 inches and that is what most hollow point ammo manufacturers strive for.  This is so you don't have to worry about hurting or even killing someone who is behind your target in a self defense seanario .

 

The .380 acp is a great example of people saying you should use a FMJ . This old saying is false because it has been shown that the Hornady 90 gr. XTP  load is the best for defense out of the short barrels of most .380s .

 

Like I said , go to you tube and do some research .

 

My opinion ..... never use FMJ for defense unless that is the only thing you have on hand at the time needed.



#16 Bubbacs

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 01:21 PM

Defensive rounds or target rounds, which would make you more dead?

Color me confused as dead is dead.

#17 mikew

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 01:54 PM

 

The .380 acp is a great example of people saying you should use a FMJ . This old saying is false because it has been shown that the Hornady 90 gr. XTP  load is the best for defense out of the short barrels of most .380s .

The Hornady 90gr FTX .380 is one of the ones that I was thinking of in terms of the plastic insert.

I think it is loaded similarly to the XTP.



#18 McCroskey

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 02:22 PM

Hollowpoints have a dual purpose: to stop inside your target which will both deliver greater knock down force and help protect innocent people in the area from getting hit by a projectile that may otherwise pass right through your target and strike them. You need to think of the innocent people who may be around or inside homes or businesses if you suddenly need to defend yourself. And hot load rounds are unnecessary, regular old 9mm, 45 ACP, 357 Mag, 38 special or similar is perfectly sufficient to stop any assailant.


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#19 Windermere

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 02:33 PM

Look at the warriors on the south side. I’m pretty sure they’re not shelling out the extra dough for hp. They get filled with holes and come back to fight another day.
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#20 NRApistol

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 02:40 PM

Defensive rounds or target rounds, which would make you more dead?

Color me confused as dead is dead.

Dear confused, the goal is to stop the threat. Death may be a side effect, but not the goal.  Ask a seasoned deer hunter how far a deer can run after its "dead".  I once shot a deer that after field dressing discovered that the heart had been completely destroyed.  Exploded into pieces.  That deer ran 65 paces before it fell.  A "dead" man can do the same.  Focus on stopping the threat.  On a side note, which sounds better?  Your honor I shot that guy to kill him. OR Your honor I shot that guy to make him stop.


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#21 Bubbacs

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:53 PM

Maybe I forgot the purple
Maybe when saying something is dead it is dead
But either way the OP is getting his results!

Just FYI his words not mine, more dead!

How soon we forget..........

Edited by Bubbacs, 18 May 2019 - 03:54 PM.


#22 Mr. Fife

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 03:57 PM

The OP's words will come back to haunt him should he ever have to fire, even if there is no fatality. You can't prove intent, but thinking like his makes it easier for a jury to decide.
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#23 NRApistol

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 04:25 PM

Maybe I forgot the purple
Maybe when saying something is dead it is dead
But either way the OP is getting his results!

Just FYI his words not mine, more dead!

How soon we forget..........

Sorry, without the purple I could not judge your intent.  I thought the OP asked a good question that required good answers and I see no reason his question would ever come back to haunt him. 


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#24 NRApistol

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 04:36 PM

The OP's words will come back to haunt him should he ever have to fire, even if there is no fatality. You can't prove intent, but thinking like his makes it easier for a jury to decide.

Can you show me one time that a jury EVER based a self defense shooting justification on the basis of ammo used?  


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#25 InterestedBystander

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 04:48 PM

The only time Ive seen FMJ suggested was in small caliber discussions e.g. .25 ACP and that was based off penetration and performance ballistic testing.
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#26 FST_Kent

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 06:48 PM

Can you show me one time that a jury EVER based a self defense shooting justification on the basis of ammo used?

 

 

Massad Ayoob will probably have some examples from cases he's been an expert witness for.

 

I emailed him once and he got right back to me and I've never taken one of his courses, but should have by now.

 

mas@massadayoob.com

#27 NRApistol

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 07:05 PM

 

Can you show me one time that a jury EVER based a self defense shooting justification on the basis of ammo used?

 

 

Massad Ayoob will probably have some examples from cases he's been an expert witness for.

 

I emailed him once and he got right back to me and I've never taken one of his courses, but should have by now.

 

mas@massadayoob.com

 

You are guessing.  There are no known cases of a jury ever basing a self defense shooting verdict on the type of ammo used.  The question is was the shooting justified. Someone PROVE me wrong.


Edited by NRApistol, 18 May 2019 - 07:06 PM.

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#28 Euler

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 07:26 PM

I don't think the issue is whether a self-defense shooting of the attacker is justified based on ammo.

I think the issue is whether the collateral damage (i.e., a "through-and-through" hits an innocent party) is chargeable based on ammo.
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#29 NRApistol

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 07:41 PM

The question was: "Do any of the experts recommend using target ammo in your carry guns?"

 

As an expect in self defense shooting and without teaching a class on this forum, pure and simple THE ANSWER IS NO !!!

 

Carry on......................


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#30 FST_Kent

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 07:52 AM

You are guessing.  There are no known cases of a jury ever basing a self defense shooting verdict on the type of ammo used.  The question is was the shooting justified. Someone PROVE me wrong.

 

 

I'm not making a guess.  I gave the contact info for an expert who would know if the type of ammunition used in a self defense shooting has ever been questioned by a prosecutor.

 

Ayoob would know.






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