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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering about your self-defense ammo? Is it the best? What's the difference between being shot out of a 2" barrel .38 special and a 4" .38 special? What's hype and what's not?

I recently heard Roy Huntington mention that there's all the hype and then there's science. Roy recommended this site for the science.

Brass Fetcher Ballistic Testing

The gentleman who runs the site and supervises the controlled tests is a qualified expert witness and has worked with numerous government and private agencies. This is not fluff selling you one brand of ammo over another. This is scientific testing and the results.

Frankly, I thought I knew what was best. Turns out I don't. Reading this site has opened my eyes and has changed my mind about many of the ammo cartridges I've been carrying. I let my feelings get in the way of facts but now I know better. There're few things in life more worthwhile than exchanging incorrect thinking for better information.

Spend some time on this site. You may have your mind changed as well.
 

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Although Brass Fetcher did some interesting slow-mo videos, there just wasn't a lot to the methodology or even direct comparisons to be made between brands, calibers and such. When I want to do a side-by-side comparison of ammo, I've found that it doesn't get much better than the Lucky Gunner labs. Check them out...

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Although Brass Fetcher did some interesting slow-mo videos, there just wasn't a lot to the methodology or even direct comparisons to be made between brands, calibers and such. When I want to do a side-by-side comparison of ammo, I've found that it doesn't get much better than the Lucky Gunner labs. Check them out...

I posted about Brass Fetcher because it provides useful information. No one site has the final word, but on Brass Fetcher you do have a recognized authority who has testified as an expert witness in terminal ballistics and wound capabilities.

I use Lucky Gunner all the time and have no problem with his findings and they have excellent videos about many firearm subjects. I do favor the tests of a known authority with proven qualifications.

Either is better than someone who claims without provable evidence that their "Super .45 acp will go through a tank at 500 meters" as those claims are mere hyperbole but quite common.

It's better to start with serious testing than advertising fluff and anecdotal claims.
 

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Even the best pistol ammo is merely adequate in most situations - and sometimes it's not.

I always keep this event in mind -


Extreme situation, and not something we would typically encounter, but it goes to show you that you need to be ready to follow-up over and over if necessary.

I lived in the area at the time, and remember hearing about it.

Glad he won.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting story. I wonder if the high-capacity pistols encourage a spray-and-pray attitude among law enforcement. One only needs to look at youtube encounters to see where three cops shot over 30 bullets at a suspect in the open and are lucky if 3-4 shots hit that suspect.

There can be the attitude that more fired rounds are better, but not at the expense of missing the target. Particularly where civilians are involved those missed rounds can lead to collateral damage and charges of negligence.

I don't have the answers but I do observe the tendency to overshoot and under-hit.
 

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Roy Huntington's recommendation of Brass Fetcher Ballistic Testing is a really great resource for understanding the science behind different types of ammunition. The controlled tests performed by a qualified expert witness give you accurate and reliable information. It's important to have the best information to make informed decisions. I recommend spending some time on the site, you may learn something new. I ussualy buy mid-city gun shop with 556 ammo, but I'm open to new places and types of ammo, so you could post more about the types you consider the best!
 

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Interesting story. I wonder if the high-capacity pistols encourage a spray-and-pray attitude among law enforcement. One only needs to look at youtube encounters to see where three cops shot over 30 bullets at a suspect in the open and are lucky if 3-4 shots hit that suspect.

There can be the attitude that more fired rounds are better, but not at the expense of missing the target. Particularly where civilians are involved those missed rounds can lead to collateral damage and charges of negligence.

I don't have the answers but I do observe the tendency to overshoot and under-hit.
I can understand how officers can be startled and shoot in a panic - though hopefully with proper training that doesn't happen.

There are many cases where dozens of shots are fired and the perp is hit 3 or 4 times. Sending all those rounds toward a target, but not hitting it, leaves plenty of room for innocent bystanders to be hit.

Not neutralizing the threat, and injuring an innocent person, would be one of the worst possible outcomes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can understand how officers can be startled and shoot in a panic - though hopefully with proper training that doesn't happen.

There are many cases where dozens of shots are fired and the perp is hit 3 or 4 times. Sending all those rounds toward a target, but not hitting it, leaves plenty of room for innocent bystanders to be hit.

Not neutralizing the threat, and injuring an innocent person, would be one of the worst possible outcomes.
That same panic and spray-and-pray also apply to those civilians who carry guns who haven't trained and studied. Civilians can't call on qualified immunity and the government money and protection either. All the more reason for civilians to know when and when not to shoot, and shot placement verses panic shooting.
 

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I've watched numerous videos with ballistic gel and four layers of denim all calibrated to FBI standards and the bullet that did the best every time was the Federal HST. For penetration and expansion, the performance was excellent. Visit tnoutdoors9 YouTube channel or shootingthebull410 channel. These guys tested all kinds of bullets. After watching these, Federal HST is in my carry guns.
 

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Interesting story. I wonder if the high-capacity pistols encourage a spray-and-pray attitude among law enforcement. One only needs to look at youtube encounters to see where three cops shot over 30 bullets at a suspect in the open and are lucky if 3-4 shots hit that suspect.

There can be the attitude that more fired rounds are better, but not at the expense of missing the target. Particularly where civilians are involved those missed rounds can lead to collateral damage and charges of negligence.

I don't have the answers but I do observe the tendency to overshoot and under-hit.
The answer is training. Real training; not “target practice.” 👍
 

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I’ve shot and killed many things over the years, with both .45acp HP ammo, and 9mm HP ammo; all shot from handguns.
The bullets that I was able to recover looked just like the pics in the gun magazines; and killed everything that I shot. I’ll take that over someone else’s opinions based on shooting gelatin blocks, or whatever.

So, no. I don’t “wonder if my self defense ammo is good enough.”
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I’ve shot and killed many things over the years, with both .45acp HP ammo, and 9mm HP ammo; all shot from handguns.
The bullets that I was able to recover looked just like the pics in the gun magazines; and killed everything that I shot. I’ll take that over someone else’s opinions based on shooting gelatin blocks, or whatever.

So, no. I don’t “wonder if my self defense ammo is good enough.”
Good for you as that works for you. But I like science, reading what a certified expert says, seeing what tests reveal, and basing my decisions accordingly. I enjoy seeing where I've been wrong in my assumptions. Others might too who don't have your vast experience. Those that wish to read tea leaves and chicken bones to reach their decisions are welcome to do that too.
 

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My .02¢ is to just buy quality ammunition and practice with the gun or guns you carry it in. Is some better than others. Probably, but most of the defensive ammo manufacturers are not going to go cheap and able to get the job done.

Also, as a LEO I have never been to an agency that trained to "spray" rounds. There is shoot until the threat is ended but those need to be (should be) aimed rounds, or aimed as well as can be done based off of the fact that you are in an active gun fight or other deadly force situation. The default setting is two rounds center mass and reevaluate (if possible). If there are confirmed center mass hits and the threat continues to be an active threat then, again, if possible transition and go for a head shot to try and turn off the computer that is generating said threat. LEOs are human though and all the training in the world might still come out a little wonky under pressure.

As an example I know of a Deputy Sheriff in Colorado who exited his vehicle on a traffic stop. He hadn't even cleared closing his door before the driver of the stopped vehicle began firing at him after stepping out of his car. The Deputy drew and returned fire. He fired multiple rounds. Some of those were in the ground between himself and the offender because he was pulling the trigger as he was bringing his gun up on target. Stress can be a killer. In more ways than one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My .02¢ is to just buy quality ammunition and practice with the gun or guns you carry it in. Is some better than others. Probably, but most of the defensive ammo manufacturers are not going to go cheap and able to get the job done.

Also, as a LEO I have never been to an agency that trained to "spray" rounds.
I don't think nor did I imply that any agency trains to spray rounds. Nonetheless, that's exactly what appears to be happening with officers. I understand stress. I was in LE for ten years. I also know that style of rapid shooting with an occasional hit isn't working. Officers need more firearms training with an emphasis on hitting the target.
 

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I hate when every body brings up the Grammins case as the reason for everything ammo, gun, caliber or why I carry an Abrams tank but it might not be enough. Go to any forum and this crap always comes up. It’s like the lottery of gun fights and of you look at the full police report there are a lot of discrepancies in it. Nothing wrong with Commander Grammins he’s a great person and officer but he’s become the poster child of literally every reason why it’s never enough. It’s the boogeyman shooting that gets constantly brought up.
 
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