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Standard vs. Premium ammo

Glad to see Paul do a video on this topic.  I've talked about this here and there before.  I use 124+P GD in off-duty G26.4 since that is what is issued.  However, in my other 9mm's (including my son's and wife's 9mm's) I use Remington UMC 115 standard pressure HP's.  I've posted a video on some gel testing through two layers of denim in the other section and it does well.  In .40 I like WWB 180 JHP and I've also posted video of it in gel tests doing well.  More importantly to me, they come in 50 round boxes that are locally available.  And at a good price.  

Your thoughts on the video/topic...
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
For my EDC I don't mind buying top shelf defensive ammo because I go through it at such a slow pace. If I was buying ammo to load all my weapons for repelling assault, I'd definitely follow your lead. I've always figured that my stockpile of ball ammo would suffice in a SHTF situation, but some bargain HPs would be an improvement.
I buy most of my SD ammo from SGAMMO online. They sell the 50 round boxes and I can generally get it cheaper, even with shipping from SGAMMO than I can from local stores.

I try to cycle our ammo once a year. We have been carrying 147gr HST, thinking about going to 124gr HST, just for a change.
(07-24-2018, 03:16 AM)Ronin.45 Wrote: I've always figured that my stockpile of ball ammo would suffice in a SHTF situation, but some bargain HPs would be an improvement.

For SHTF situations I think FMJ's are sensible way to buy.  Generally speaking you get more bang for your buck.  I picked up a 150 round box of Winchester Forged steel cased 115 9mm for $24.  That's $8 for a box of 50 which isn't too bad at all in this day and age.  Other brands were pretty close but I don't recall trying the Win steel cased 9mm before (I might have but don't recall) so I figured to give it a shot.  1190 fps at the muzzle is listed so it's on the warm side.  Winchester has a 124 NATO that I'd like to try out as well.  

A hundred round bonus box of Remington UMC 115 HP's IIRC are around $29 so figure $15 and change for a box of 50.  That's less than a box of 20 or 25 of some of the premium lines.  So it's more expensive yet not so much that I can't pick up a box for the wife and son to occasionally train with so they know exactly what their SD loads will feel like and how they'll shoot.  Same with the WWB 180 HP's for the .40 which are $22 for a box of 50.  And as I've mentioned, they're almost always available at Walmart, particularly since I have four Walmart's in less than a 15 minute drive from my house.  I like that, a lot.  

So generally speaking I'll go deep with FMJ but I'll usually have at  least a box of 50 HP's on hand at any given time in 9mm and .40 S&W, not counting what's already loaded in the appropriate firearm.  

So the question becomes;  is my 124+P Gold Dots better than my standard pressure Remington UMC 115's?  On the surface the seemingly obvious answer is yes.  How much better is a harder question to answer.  The Rem UMC in that testing video penetrated 12 inches through two layers of denim from a 3 inch barrel.  Velocity was 1003 fps, expansion was .567 and retained weight was 114.2 grains.  If I were up north where they generally have heavier clothing I might think about a different round, but in Florida that should be acceptable.  With the caveat that this was one round in one test.  The velocity spread was from 1004 low to 1034 high for five shots.  That's also not bad at all.  A 124+P GD is very likely to penetrate farther and have larger expansion, all things being equal.  


There is more to 'better' than those stats.  For my purposes, and I've mentioned this before, the wife is recoil sensitive due to carpel tunnel syndrome and other disabilities.  So there is a real, physical limitation to consider.  Obviously in a 17 ounce LC9s a standard pressure 115 is going to be softer than a 124+P which hopefully would translate into longer training sessions and less flinch anticipation for a better shot.  I'd rather her have a better shot or shots with a standard 115 than a crappy shot or shots with the 124+P.  So from that perspective the Rem UMC is the better loading.  And it probably is closer in performance to the various 115 FMJ's that we normally train with.

A link that I provided in that video thread that has some good information:

Terminal Ballistics Testing Remington UMC 9MM 115 Grain JHP
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
The Winchester 124gr NATO meats the mil specs and it is good stuff. Any of the NATO loads would be my minimal standard. As far as keeping a box of JHP on hand, my box is an ammo can for both 9mm and 45GAP. I will buy the occasional box of factory ammo to compare it to a similar load of mine.

I have a partial 50 round box of Black Talons in the ammo cabinet but every other pistol round in the cabinet is one of my handloads. I will develop an accurate load for a bullet and load an ammo box. Reloading gives me match grade ammo at a little less than bargain basement ammo costs. I have target JHP, coated lead, and heavy plate for the range. The Hydra-shok JHP are my first choice of my bullet inventory for an OS situation. After that I have a couple of expanding JHP and then the coated lead. The coated lead is still soft enough that it gives decent expansion. I even have some "last resort" cast ashtray HP's for my 1911 9mm.
Dave raises a great point - often overlooked in many areas. "How much better?" I'll give a guitar example

Guys will haggle and argue about these strings or those strings, this guitar or that. At the end of the day, the string is .00001% of how you sound. As long as they are not old and in tune, you pretty much get what you get. If they had put the time that they spend shopping for strings and debating strings practicing, they wouldn't care about the strings.

Premium ammo is the same thing in my opinion. The most awesome ammo in the world that hits them in the lower left stomach or misses their head is just not not going to be nearly as good as WWB that hits them square in the face/chest.

I think the reality of the stuff is that in a small percent of the cases a shot that would have been almost-but-not-quite effective might get turned into an actually effective shot.

That said - I generally run something sporty in SD/HD guns.

My 100 pigs experiment applies here. Shoot 100 - 120lb pigs (Farm ones, not boars) with FMJ's and then do the same thing with HP's. Let them all run around in bunch while shooting. You get 5 minutes (3 sec per shot). How many pigs do you HIT, how many do you STOP, and how many do you KILL.

I always like the .22 vs .45 version of this. I think this is a much much more accurate representation of "What would actually happen" than the FMJ vs HP "What might happen under optimal conditions" version that gets discussed.

How well you shoots is probably 99% of the equation.

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