Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Ammunition-Gunsmithing > Ammo
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-11-2012, 10:12 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 67
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
Default Best Practice Ammo vs Defense Ammo

With some low-cost reloaded ammo I've bought, I have started a period of practicing with the same ammo I am now keeping ready in my guns for home defense and for personal defense: 165 gr JHP. It seemed like a good idea to try to use the same ammo for practice and for actual defense.

How true do you think this is? I felt that having the exact same recoil and trajectory characteristics might be important. I'll try it for a few months and then see for I do on some other ammo such as the 180gr JHP I used to use.

I used to think if I used 180 gr FMJ for practice it would be OK to fire the 180 gr JHP for defense. What difference does it make?

FMJ is generally much cheaper than JHP, at least in factory new ammo.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-12-2012, 12:23 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 5,345
Likes: 558
Liked 1,072 Times in 585 Posts
Default

I don't see any reason to use HP bullets for practice particularly, but it is useful to use the same bullet weights (or close) for practice as for defense.
Once a shooter starts shooting groups instead of patterns, the difference of POI can become noticeable. I have one fixed-sight Browning HP .40 Practical that shoots to POA with 165gr, but shoots enough higher with 180gr to cause misses on plates at 20yd.
__________________
NRA/ OK CHL Instructor
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-12-2012, 08:40 PM
125JHP's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: high snor'n desert
Posts: 930
Likes: 185
Liked 162 Times in 106 Posts
Default

I try to load my practice ammo so that it hits the same POI as my SD stuff. I tend to use Berrys CPL and cheap XTP for practice although recently I have started drifting toward plain ol lead due to raising costs..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-13-2012, 03:03 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 634
Likes: 0
Liked 70 Times in 50 Posts
Default

Quote:
With some low-cost reloaded ammo I've bought, I have started a period of practicing with the same ammo I am now keeping ready in my guns for home defense and for personal defense: 165 gr JHP. It seemed like a good idea to try to use the same ammo for practice and for actual defense.
All JHP's are not equal. For self defense purposes I keep my semi auto's loaded with high quality factory self defense ammo or police surplus ammo. I would not consider using inexpensive reloaded or re-manufactured ammo. The chance of having to use a firearm for self defense in a lifetime is very small, even much smaller chance it will need to be fired. Regardless of the odd's, I want the best performing, reliable ammo I can have should such an event occur and how well any small companies reloads perform is too much of an unknown to rely on them.

Practice with the same load used for self defense isn't important IMO and going to a lower quality ammo to do so makes no sense. If the reloads are cheap enough to practice with then use them at the range but get some good factory SD or police surplus ammo to keep loaded when things go bump in the night. If similar ammo is an important factor to you then get some major factory 165 gr SD ammo by Federal, Remingotn, Winchester, Hornady or Speer.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-13-2012, 03:44 PM
XTrooper's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NE PA
Posts: 1,329
Likes: 360
Liked 507 Times in 171 Posts
Default

People make too much of this. It's not nearly as important what ammo you use to practice with as long as you practice. If you practice enough to become proficient with your weapon of choice, when you feel like you're one with your handgun, it doesn't matter what you shoot through it, you'll hit what you shoot at.

If can find practice ammo using the same bullet weight as your carry load, then you may as well buy it rather than something else, but it isn't critical that you do so. Shooting your actual carry ammo, which is undoubtedly more expensive than practice ammo, isn't a good use of your resources.

Shooting 200 rounds of practice ammo will do you a lot more good than 50 rounds of your favorite JHP.
__________________
Steve
NJ State Trooper (rtd)
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #6  
Old 04-13-2012, 05:34 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: God's Country
Posts: 2,242
Likes: 325
Liked 1,116 Times in 632 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by XTrooper View Post
People make too much of this. It's not nearly as important what ammo you use to practice with as long as you practice. If you practice enough to become proficient with your weapon of choice, when you feel like you're one with your handgun, it doesn't matter what you shoot through it, you'll hit what you shoot at.

If can find practice ammo using the same bullet weight as your carry load, then you may as well buy it rather than something else, but it isn't critical that you do so. Shooting your actual carry ammo, which is undoubtedly more expensive than practice ammo, isn't a good use of your resources.

Shooting 200 rounds of practice ammo will do you a lot more good than 50 rounds of your favorite JHP.
Well said. Just shoot enough of you favorite self defense ammunition to assure that your pistol will function 100% of the time with that ammuntion. Point of impact with the practice load is not critical as long as the self defense load hits to point of aim.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-13-2012, 06:13 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 4,225
Likes: 57
Liked 1,082 Times in 659 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by XTrooper View Post
People make too much of this. It's not nearly as important what ammo you use to practice with as long as you practice. If you practice enough to become proficient with your weapon of choice, when you feel like you're one with your handgun, it doesn't matter what you shoot through it, you'll hit what you shoot at.

If can find practice ammo using the same bullet weight as your carry load, then you may as well buy it rather than something else, but it isn't critical that you do so. Shooting your actual carry ammo, which is undoubtedly more expensive than practice ammo, isn't a good use of your resources.

Shooting 200 rounds of practice ammo will do you a lot more good than 50 rounds of your favorite JHP.
Agree with the above. However, I'll add that most defensive shootings take place within 30 feet. This means that you really don't have to be overly concerned about differences in the Point of Impact between practice and defense loads. At most it's only going to differ by an inch or two and that just isn't enough to matter.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-13-2012, 07:59 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,028
Likes: 5
Liked 360 Times in 263 Posts
Default

Inside of 10 meters, it really dont matter. As range increases, it starts to matter with varying degrees of importance.

However if your SD round is a lot HOTTER than your practice round, then second and successive shots would be affected due to different recoil characteristics of your typical FMJ practice load vs "full load" SD rounds.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-25-2012, 11:46 AM
Stu Honea's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Armuchee,Ga
Posts: 742
Likes: 225
Liked 246 Times in 133 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by XTrooper View Post
People make too much of this. It's not nearly as important what ammo you use to practice with as long as you practice. If you practice enough to become proficient with your weapon of choice, when you feel like you're one with your handgun, it doesn't matter what you shoot through it, you'll hit what you shoot at.

If can find practice ammo using the same bullet weight as your carry load, then you may as well buy it rather than something else, but it isn't critical that you do so. Shooting your actual carry ammo, which is undoubtedly more expensive than practice ammo, isn't a good use of your resources.

Shooting 200 rounds of practice ammo will do you a lot more good than 50 rounds of your favorite JHP.
I agree with this.I generally try to use the same weight bullet with similar velocities as my carry load in any particular pistol or revolver albeit FMJ or lead instead of the more expensive HP's,but it's not the end of the world if I have to use a different weight.I havn't reloaded in quite a few years but that is something I really need to revisit soon.
__________________
Blessed be the Lord,my Rock
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-25-2012, 12:36 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 4,111
Likes: 2,426
Liked 1,532 Times in 820 Posts
Default

PRACTICE-PRACTICE-PRACTICE.

Civilian and LEO shooting are different

Civilians can't shoot too much distance for self defense (Legal Issues)

LEO'S have to shoot at distances as the situation requires.

LEO'S also have whole governments to rise to their defense in support after a GOOD shoot.
__________________
NRA Pistol/Rifle Inst. RSO
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-25-2012, 01:39 PM
Absent Comrade
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ashland, Oregon
Posts: 1,205
Likes: 34
Liked 420 Times in 214 Posts
Default

As an LEO we almost never trained with duty ammo.
Too expensive and no gain after establishing duty ammo ran well.

Reminds me of a Glock armorers course I took. Chuck said the best lube for firearms was what ever someone else paid for.

I think you are over thinking the ammo.
Do you shoot IPSC, IDPA? Have you been to Thunder Ranch?
If no to the above, more training is more important than your practice flavor.

Emory

Last edited by crofoot629; 04-25-2012 at 01:43 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-27-2012, 01:25 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 12
Likes: 5
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default BTW, don't carry your own reloads

If you shoot someone with ammunition you have reloaded you open the door for plaintiff's council to paint you as a scheming, premeditating sociopath that prepared his murderous ammo with "malice aforethought." You would likely find yourself in front of a jury of non-handloaders, none of whom know anyone who handloads, and your attorney will have to convince them that this is a prudent, responsible activity. See the problem? It's a much better position to be able to testify that you just bought a box of what the dealer had on the shelf. Cor-bon, Golden Sabre, Black Talon (that name may not sit well with jurors, though), Personal Defense (much better), whatever. That's the stuff to carry.
The point I want to make is that you should consider how ALL of your actions could be construed, (i.e., "used against you in a court of law," etc... ) including what you chose to load your piece with.
(Personally, I'd like to see a .357 Magnum 125 gr semi-jacketed hollowpoint, loaded to around 1800 fps, and marketed under the name Bunny Puffs. Pack 'em in a pink box with flowers on it too.)
Chris.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-27-2012, 07:21 AM
blujax01's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: C-Bus
Posts: 6,104
Likes: 3,923
Liked 4,222 Times in 1,900 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by chriss2760 View Post
If you shoot someone with ammunition you have reloaded you open the door for plaintiff's council to paint you as a scheming, premeditating sociopath that prepared his murderous ammo with "malice aforethought." You would likely find yourself in front of a jury of non-handloaders, none of whom know anyone who handloads, and your attorney will have to convince them that this is a prudent, responsible activity. ...
Chris.
THIS.

Has never happened.
__________________
Not my circus~Not my monkeys
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #14  
Old 05-27-2012, 09:09 AM
baccusboy's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Seoul and Iowa
Posts: 280
Likes: 3
Liked 63 Times in 40 Posts
Send a message via Skype™ to baccusboy
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by blujax01 View Post
THIS.

Has never happened.

George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin with cheap FMJ.

Now, how much do you want to bet me that, if he had used a handload or something like Zombie Max ammo from Hornady, we'd be hearing about it in the news today?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-27-2012, 10:14 AM
Pigirondan's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: California
Posts: 229
Likes: 18
Liked 31 Times in 25 Posts
Default

NATO 9mm is an easily obtained load. It's warmer than most junk 9mm reloads and cheap new stuff. (Wolf, Tula, etc..)
__________________
I believe in the wadcutter.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-27-2012, 11:46 AM
blujax01's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: C-Bus
Posts: 6,104
Likes: 3,923
Liked 4,222 Times in 1,900 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by baccusboy View Post
George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin with cheap FMJ.

Now, how much do you want to bet me that, if he had used a handload or something like Zombie Max ammo from Hornady, we'd be hearing about it in the news today?
So this hypothetical-never-happened paranoia says my rounds not only have to be factory ammo, certain kinds of factory ammo now are to be excluded?

Sorry, Friend. I'll stick with historical reality. The use of reloads has never convicted an innocent of killing someone in self defense.
Use factory ammo if you are more comfortable with it.

To the OP, it is recommended that you practice with the weight of bullet you also carry for SD. Otherwise, POA and POI will not line up and in the event of "an event" you'll have your hands full as it is. Learn to "aim small and you will miss small". It also would not hurt to run through a few rounds of the real deal during each practice so you'll be used to the recoil.
__________________
Not my circus~Not my monkeys
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-01-2012, 09:44 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: ohio
Posts: 398
Likes: 5
Liked 76 Times in 50 Posts
Default

Groo here
The load you use at the range need only hit about where your carry load
does and work the gun as required...
When wolf is at the door, we will do as we have trained...
If you have trained to drop shells into your hand and through into a bucked you will try [ lost some cops that way]
How hard your gun/load kicks , how much noise, how much flash,
will not matter, you will perform like you train...
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-08-2012, 12:47 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 31
Likes: 17
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Talking

All opinions have value. I enjoy the input. I've never had to
raise my firearm at anyone (hope never to have to) but all of
the entries from LEO's carry a lot of weight. I makes all kind of sense to practice with as close to what you'd carry. Practice
with what you carry as often as you can afford. But, get out and practice. Muscle memory is critical. I'm 61 and I would
probably still walk in a straight line and meet you in the corner of the school parking lot if the fire bell rang.
Good old muscle memory.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-08-2012, 01:05 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Austin, The Republic of Texas
Posts: 68
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
Default

Two points:

If you are using reloaded ammunition to practice and carry, excellent. Such that the costs are essentially the same. Just make sure the bullet you are using is a quality bullet. If you're using commercially available reloads, as long as they are reliable even better.

Some will argue the point that you are wasting money etc. My thought? If you can shoot the same ammunition all the time, without spending more money to do it? Do it. If you have to spend more money to do it, use a practice load of the same weight. Right now you're getting to do something most of us don't, make sure your weapon stays utterly reliable with your carry ammo.

Second point, I have yet to see ANY case where a prosecutor asked forensics to disassemble a cartridge and identify the components to see if it was a "reload" or "factory assembled" cartridge. No one has, yet, been able to convince me that a prosecutor or even a forensic scientist would know the difference between Federal factory ammo or reloaded ammunition using Federal head stamped cases. Could they determine the difference? Yes, but only if they KNEW to look for it. Frankly, I think this continued BS discussion on reloads versus commercial ammunition will eventually make it to light and lawyers (who are extremely smart) will pick up on it and make it a standard investigatory procedure. My thought is, our continued discussion of this irrational, and unfounded, fear, will be recognized by anti-gun, anti-self defense, enemies and will manifest itself. So my thought? Keep quiet and shoot your ammo. If you are in a self-defense shoot with reloaded ammo or ANY ammunition, keep your mouth shut, let your lawyer do your talking.

-Rob

Last edited by RandomMan; 07-08-2012 at 01:11 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
browning, glock, hornady, idpa, ipsc, winchester

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Ammo Thread, Best Practice Ammo vs Defense Ammo in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; With some low-cost reloaded ammo I've bought, I have started a period of practicing with the same ammo I am ...
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Who's got the cheapest practice ammo to feed this M57? rags S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 17 02-01-2011 07:59 PM
380 self defense ammo thumbs Concealed Carry & Self Defense 22 03-29-2010 10:47 PM
Practice Ammo Person Ammo 5 08-01-2009 08:38 PM
Has the cost of ammo changed how you practice? Ridge Runner Concealed Carry & Self Defense 42 03-01-2009 05:31 PM
Newbie(inexperienced)??-good, clean, non+P, practice 38 special ammo yanici Ammo 15 01-09-2009 11:22 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:38 PM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2013
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)