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Old 12-08-2005, 08:49 AM   #1
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Carry Ammo

This has probably been asked before.

What is the best factory carry ammo for
380 ACP
38 Spl
9MM

I've been using Win Silvertip in 380 and 9mm but wonder if there's anything new and better out.
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:56 AM   #2
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SilverTip is good, but so is Hydra-Shok, SXT, Gold Dot and Golden Saber. Check with your local PD and see what they are carrying and consider using the same.
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:49 AM   #3
 
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There is NO MAGIC BULLET!

In the very beginning we need to establish that shot placement is far more important than ammo. Secondly, it is imperative that any selected ammo be totally reliable in your specific weapon. Having said all of that and IF there are no other important considerations, then the FBI standard of at least 12"-15" of penetration with EXPANSION into 10% ballistic geletin is desirable. The ammo must also be available in sufficient quantities to prove reliability and to allow sufficient practice.

There is currently NO .380 round which will penetrate 12"-15" and also expand. Everything is a compromise. Consequently, some folks carry a good FMJ in order to achieve penetration and forego any expansion. Some folks carry mixed loads of FMJ and HP. Now, the premium brands of .380 HP ammo are pretty much the same. That includes Gold Dot, Ranger T's, Corbon DPX, Federal HST and Remington Golden Saber. There is no SAAMI standard for +P in .380, but there is a round that is a little faster in short barrels that some others. That is Santa Barbara ammo which is a Spanish Police surplus round available from such sources as Southern Ohio Gun. It's an open nose lead filled bullet with a jacketed base. Lots of folks are carrying that and some are mixing it with one of the premium HP rounds mentioned above. It's very cheap too!

For short barrel .38's there is no question that the Speer 135 gr +P is the best and ONLY round that will penetrate sufficiently and also consistently expand. IMHO it has no competition in Snubbys. It does not necessarily perform best in longer barrels. I'm going to reserve further comment and allow someone else to recommend a .38 round for longer barrels.

In 9mm there are several good choices. Debatably the best is Winchester's 124 gr Ranger T. It has performed admirably in both gello testing and on the street (as far as data is available.) The Ranger T in 147 gr is a good performer, as well. You probably couldn't go wrong chooseing any of the other premium rounds from the other manufacturers, as well...

DO NOT buy the Winchester SXT ammo available to civilians. It has NOT been tested by Winchester, it has been inconsistent in other testing, and it is OVERPRICED. The standard Winchester Personal Defense Ammo (much cheaper) appears to be the exact same ammo at a much cheaper price. Ranger ammo for LE (only by Winchester policy) is good in virtually every caliber and is available from limited sources.

Winchester's Silver Tip and Federal's Hydra-Shok were among the best 20 years ago. However, I believe there are better choices available today and I've mentioned them. Those rounds are NOT BAD, but I believe there are slightly better rounds available now.

Finally, Sam's suggestion that you select and carry what your local PD carries has a great amount of validity. I never heard of any PD that use anything that I havn't mentioned above. Although PD's frequently select from the lowest bidder, they normally don't select substandard ammo.

Remember, establish that any selected carry ammo works reliably in your specific weapon and then practice with it so that you can reliably hit where you aim. That means more than the type of ammo you choose. Good Luck!
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:07 AM   #4
 
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Find a decent hollow-point, manufactured by a reputable company, that will function reliably in your weapon, and don't worry about it.
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:29 AM   #5
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Re: There is NO MAGIC BULLET!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutch45
Federal's Silver Tip and Hydra-Shok were among the best 20 years ago. However, I believe there are better choices available today and I've mentioned them. Those rounds are NOT BAD, but I believe there are slightly better rounds available now.
Hasn't the "silver-tip" always been a Winchester product?
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
and fargo asked

Hasn't the "silver-tip" always been a Winchester product?
And the answer is a resounding, YES.
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:04 PM   #7
 
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Re: Carry Ammo

Quote:
Originally Posted by jebt
What is the best factory carry ammo for
As above....

Whatever you can feed aAT LEAST 100 rounds through your firearm without even one failure and YOU shoot well enough to hit your target consistently.
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Old 12-10-2005, 08:30 AM   #8
 
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For 9mm I carry the Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P JHP. What I like about these is that I can buy these in "for practice only" flavor from ammoman.com at a real good price for practice and in first quality flavor at a higher price from another vendor for carry purposes.

Moe
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:55 AM   #9
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My .380 digs corbons. I've never really heard anything bad about corbon. They seem to be accurate.

I like hydra-shoks because they look cool, but there's no way in hades I'm trusting them for carry. I'm not fond at all of federal's primers. They, and olympic are the only brands I ever had a centerfire rd not fire. No, it doesn't mean its going to happen every time, or that no other brands make mistakes, but when it counts, I don't want to hear "Click!" on a LOADED chamber. To me, faulty gear is worse than no gear. At least with no gear, you know what you have to work with.
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Old 12-17-2005, 03:35 PM   #10
 
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I like FMJ in my .380, HP's in anything bigger.
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Old 02-01-2006, 03:06 PM   #11
 
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Best carry ammo for 9mm is:

Ranger T in 147-gr.: RA9T
Golden Saber in 147-gr.
Double Tap's 124 or 147-gr. Bonded Gold Dot
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Old 02-01-2006, 04:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 147 Grain
Best carry ammo for 9mm is:

Ranger T in 147-gr.: RA9T
Golden Saber in 147-gr.
Double Tap's 124 or 147-gr. Bonded Gold Dot
And you speak with such authority based on????
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:51 AM   #13
 
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I have been very pleased with Remington's Golden Sabers in every caliber I've tried. They have been very accurate and consistant.

I put a box and a half of the 102grn Sabers through my late Mother's Colt 380 Gov't. They worked perfectly and were VERY accurate. I don't know if a 102grn .380 has enough velocity to expand, but it sould have decent penetration.

I'd carry the Golden Sabers, but that's just my $0.02, YMMV.
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Old 02-03-2006, 05:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smle
I don't know if a 102grn .380 has enough velocity to expand
Not an issue in modern (post-1990) ammunition, so you can pretty much disregard that old saw about "needing a minimum of 1,000 fps for a JHP to expand in soft tissue." Just wipe that from your mind.

Since Tom Burczynski's release of the "machine in a bullet" StarFire, you'll find that his HS2 and EFMJ, and the earlier Black Talon (Corzine and Schluckebier), Golden Saber (Schluckebier) and Gold Dot are engineered to perform (i.e., expand) at specific velocities.
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:30 PM   #15
 
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Thanks for the info Dean. I'm thinking of getting another .380 for CCW. (My Mother's pistol was stolen )
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Old 02-04-2006, 07:14 AM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Speir
Since Tom Burczynski's release of the "machine in a bullet" StarFire, you'll find that his HS2 and EFMJ, and the earlier Black Talon (Corzine and Schluckebier), Golden Saber (Schluckebier) and Gold Dot are engineered to perform (i.e., expand) at specific velocities.
Based upon my own observations and research I agree. Why are these velocity ranges such a "secret"?

What are the approximate velocity ranges or where can I find them for various calibers?
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Old 02-04-2006, 07:44 AM   #17
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Why would you suggest that they are "secret," Hutch?!? That's silly.

Look in the ammo-maker catalogues… just about every cartridge of which I am aware has a "default" nominal (pardon my redundancy!) velocity that's published.
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Old 02-04-2006, 08:02 AM   #18
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I think the best advice given was by the Chubby one. We've been over this subject so many times it gives me a headache. Chubby gives good advice, heed it. For all those who disagree with his advice, argue until your either blue in the face, or start to agree with Chubby.
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Old 02-04-2006, 08:13 AM   #19
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O, and Hutch? There is a "magic bullet!"

It's the one I practice with!
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Speir
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O, and Hutch? There is a "magic bullet!"

It's the one I practice with!
I like that
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