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Thread: CCW ammo, factory vs handloads

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    CCW ammo, factory vs handloads

    So my recent trip to the range, most of my 380 ammo shot just fine but I did get 3 rounds that took a second strike to fire. This leads me to believe if I want to carry consistent ammo I either need to start depriming prior to cleaning brass, and really check the primer pockets for debris/clean them with the tool. I checked the balistics tests for recommended and it appears at the current velocities the golddot HP would expand well for my purposes if I wanted to handload. The 90gr Hornady Critical defense got the nod for 380 factory ammo and I already have the ranger bonded for my 38 specials. Just curious what everyone else is running for the belly guns. 9mm and up the penetration and expansion tests looked a lot more reliable with different bullets and I would have more rounds in the chamber than my bersa.

    Here's the post in question I was reviewing:

    http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/self...llistic-tests/

    edit: had a few credits and I always like powder valley, ordered some gold dots and XTP bullets to test in my guns. Will just baby the brass and see what results I get at the range. Couldn't stand the price of factory ammo...
    Last edited by DerekP Houston; 09-28-2017 at 11:56 PM.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Looks like I'm switching ammo. I've been carrying the 135 grain Federal HydraShok. But those expansion results are pretty poor. I have a load worked up w/ XTPs that shoots the same POI. Not as cheap as cast but a whole lot cheaper then shooting the SD ammo. I think it's time to switch to the Federal HST ammo.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Well from this lovely debate, the issue comes with that you have three sides to the issue.

    1. lawyers who say that if you load your own ammunition and use it for self defense, that the fact you used handloads will convict you just for that.

    2. cops, and professional testimony givers like ayoob who have seen to many people try to load ammunition on their own and do so badly. Most notably in the departments of "wont cycle gun" or "doesn't go bang".

    3. ammunition companies and other profiteers. they use the same components they sell to you, and sell them at a higher price. a far higher price.

    In GENERAL the consensus among hand loaders is that they make ammunition in the basement that's better functioning in their own guns and more reliable then what the factory makes.

    In general, the gun industry considers gun users to be complete morons that cant be trusted to do anything on their own. Thus they want us to use 32 dollar a box of 20 "self defense cartridges" that in most calibers don't break even with a .38 special +p 158 gr LSWCHP fbi load in a snub...

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    I understand your points just not really interested in anything lawyers have to say, that myth has been disproved and that will be Texas law shields problem if they have to defend me.

    Then venerated fbi load did not perform as well as I expected it would nor did some of the pricier options like star and rip loads.

    I don't mind paying for the performance, if it's warranted. I would only shoot 20 rnds at most every month or so to empty my magazine and test function.

    I'm almost positive my results in light primer strikes were the result of high primers or not being fully seated. I'll use a single stage for my sd rounds and clean the primer pockets for each before I retest. Not a big deal with plinking ammo but the ftf on first pull had me concerned with carrying it for sd.
    Last edited by DerekP Houston; 09-29-2017 at 09:57 AM.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
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    Thanks Yall!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    On the failure to fire issue, I agree it is probably primers not seated fully. I used to use hand priming tools and had issues like that. I have arthritis in my hands which makes hand priming tools painful and difficult to use.
    I now use on press priming where I have a lot more leverage and control of seating depth.
    I haven't had a failure to fire due to an improperly seated primer since I changed priming methods. I also don't clean out the primer pockets before priming on my handgun cartridges.

    As far as bullets used, I load the Hornady 124 grain XTP. It expands well over a range of velocities and shoots accurately in my weapons(9mm). I have practice ammo that uses cast boolits that shoots to the same point of impact with similar accuracy.
    Last edited by tazman; 09-29-2017 at 08:10 AM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Rick Hodges's Avatar
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    With the 380 I am more concerned with penetration than expansion. I know expansion is nice but not if the round doesn't penetrate more than 5" through winter clothing and into where it needs to be. My 380 uses Ranch Dog 95gr. FP's at just under 1000 fps and I call it good as it gets.
    That said, my everyday carry is a 40 S&W with 180 gr. Gold Dots.
    Je suis Charlie

  7. #7
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    I would seriously question the logic of carrying a .380 in defense of one's life when there are so many more effective choices! Granted any sidearm is better than no sidearm, and in recent years there have been improvements in ammo that put the lowly .380 into the "effective enough" energy zone to do the job.

    Rather than read some paid writer's blog in a gun rag or manufacturer's claims, shoot it into some red clay and dig the bullet out, see how deep it goes and how it expands. Next time you are hunting and bring down a whitetail, throw an old jacket over it and put a couple of rounds into it's chest. Examine the wound channel and the recovered bullets. These two simulations will give you a much better estimation of what your edc loads will do should you have to depend on them. The same tests done with other more widely accepted self defense calibers will show you in an instant WHY those calibers are preferred. YMMV..
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  8. #8
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    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGuy View Post
    I would seriously question the logic of carrying a .380 in defense of one's life when there are so many more effective choices! Granted any sidearm is better than no sidearm, and in recent years there have been improvements in ammo that put the lowly .380 into the "effective enough" energy zone to do the job.

    Rather than read some paid writer's blog in a gun rag or manufacturer's claims, shoot it into some red clay and dig the bullet out, see how deep it goes and how it expands. Next time you are hunting and bring down a whitetail, throw an old jacket over it and put a couple of rounds into it's chest. Examine the wound channel and the recovered bullets. These two simulations will give you a much better estimation of what your edc loads will do should you have to depend on them. The same tests done with other more widely accepted self defense calibers will show you in an instant WHY those calibers are preferred. YMMV..
    Usually I carry an lc9s 9mm but the bersa 380 is always in my car in case I forget, and I occasionally carry it as the holster is more comfortable. I know there are "better" choices caliber wise but my wife is looking to get her chl this year and she likes the same gun. Other than my gut I'm a bit on the "smaller" side for concealment wise. If its open carry it doesn't matter as much and I'll carry my M&P 40 which passed all of the requisite tests with no issues in penetration or expansion. Just too dang hot most of the year here and I don't have 'winter coat' barriers to worry about like places up north do.

    The tests appeared to be very thorough, not your typical gunrag waste of space to advertise and it's been updated a few times as new rounds come out. If I had a location to test in wetpack newspaper or such I would be more than happy but I'm limited to public ranges at the moment.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
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    Thanks Yall!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekP Houston View Post
    Usually I carry an lc9s 9mm but the bersa 380 is always in my car in case I forget,
    Well you earn a point for this one, if they break in your car and get it, they ain't got a more formidable gun! But then it is offset by leaving a firearm in a car so 1 ball 1 strike!
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGuy View Post
    Well you earn a point for this one, if they break in your car and get it, they ain't got a more formidable gun! But then it is offset by leaving a firearm in a car so 1 ball 1 strike!
    Fair enough, it is in a locked center console at least . And if they steal it I'm only out 200 bucks, it is a cheap throw away for a reason. When the shields were on sale + rebate i seriously considered replacing it but couldn't justify it at the time.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
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    Thanks Yall!

  11. #11
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    Derek, Thank You for the post....The Dallas Medical Examiner used to put out a similar list back in the 1970's and all the L.E. picked their ammo based on their results....Paul
    When guns are outlawed only criminals and the government will have them and at that time I will see very little difference in either!

    "Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems man faces." President Ronald Reagan

    "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the law breaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is acoutable for his actions." Presdent Ronald Reagan

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    And if they steal it I'm only out 200 bucks, it is a cheap throw away for a reason.
    Problem isn't how much money you are out, but rather what they do with that gun.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    In the .380 I'd tend to agree that it might get the penetration you need vs. just about any wonderful HP from that caliber and barrel length. If you go to the Box o'truth website you can view many different Fackler Box tests they have done and form better opinions about what works and what doesn't. I think he even does some tests with ammo folks send him. GF

  14. #14
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    The statement about the winter coat barrier was a good point and makes the 380 a valid choice.
    Here in Illinois, we get both seasons and a little bit in between. During the cold months, I like to have a little more power.

  15. #15
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    When it is cold, I can conceal just about anything this side of an 8 3/8 inch N-frame Smith. My Sig P220 makes no more bulge than my 342 Smith, under my linesman's coat. I can go loaded for bear and no one will be the wiser. .357's and 45's,oh my. Though a full size 4 inch 38 gives me no qualms, yea though I walk...

    When it is hot, I expect to have to penetrate at most a hoody, a t-shirt and 6-8 inches of thug. A .380 in the pocket means I'm discretely armed. My home defense guns are loaded with plus P loads, mostly Remington 38 special, +p 125 JHP's. No airweights need apply, since, most likely, my wife may need to use one more than I, and she is recoil sensative. They were the duty round of choice (The Police Commission's, not necessarily mine) back when I carried a badge and a gun and I have seen the reports, autopsy and otherwise, where it worked.

    Give up on the notion of magic boolits. I know of three instances where in suspects took multiple 45 ACP hits, yet who continued to shoot, or in one case advance with a stolen pair of scissors. One ran over 50 yards before collapsing in an alley when he ran out of blood. Likewise, I spoke to the investigating officer's about a gang banger who took 2 32 ACP's to the chest and liver and died ere he ran 10 feet. Shooting straight is best stopper.

    Back on topic, I have carried handloads and would do so again if we have another "obamanation," where factory ammo is unavailable. I have HP moulds ranging from 32 ACP up to 45 Colt. Given a supply of 40-1 or softer, I can make my own boolits that will expand, shoot reasonably accurately and function well. I don't kid myself that I can produce ammunition equal to or better than the factorries day in and day out. But I can make a box of excellent ammunition If I apply myself. Mostly I make practice ammo.
    Last edited by rintinglen; 09-29-2017 at 01:46 PM.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  16. #16
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    9.3X62AL's Avatar
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    The biggest advantage that factory ammo has over home-rolled rounds is the sealants applied at case mouth and primer annulus. These prevent moisture or petrochemical vapors from affecting primer and powder reliability. My old shop's carry ammo in 40 S&W and 45 ACP is the Winchester White Box hollow points, which are the old Black Talon bullets dehorned and absent the uber-lethal black finish, once known as SXT Ranger. FWIW. These work--VERY WELL. I carry them and trust them. I reload practice ammo that duplicates their ballistics using cast bullets, and cycle through the carry rounds twice a year. This has been my regimen for 40 years of CCW and cop work. Failures to fire of factory ammo are EXTREMELY rare, and most such events are firearm faults.

    I have attended many prosecutor "staffings" at which homicide or officer-involved shootings are presented for review prior to charges being filed. As far as the D.A. was concerned, the question of "Handload vs. Factory Load" never came up. At all. In California, too--not a place known for being a fanbase of the 2nd Amendment. It just didn't matter. Expressions of my professional and personal opinion of Massad Ayoob's ravings have gotten me removed/banned from a couple bulletin boards, so I have become a bit more circumspect in my heresies as I have matured. But my assessments remain unchanged and unrepentant.
    Last edited by 9.3X62AL; 09-29-2017 at 02:37 PM.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    swheeler's Avatar
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    1. lawyers who say that if you load your own ammunition and use it for self defense, that the fact you used handloads will convict you just for that.

    That just doesn't make any sense, sounds like horse-hockey to me.
    Hell, I was there!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    9.3X62AL's Avatar
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    That has been my experience in criminal court. Civil court is more of a food-fight, but still "(M)uch sound and fury signifying nothing." (The Bard)
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    When a lawyer doesn't have enough of a case and needs to stretch things to fit, they will use the "You couldn't buy deadly enough ammo across the counter so you loaded it yourself." And if you don't think that won't fly, don't bet the farm on it, juries are made of the same idiots that elected Ob two terms.
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

    Lefty Red's Avatar
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    A good shoot is a good shoot. Besides, with ammo called Critical Defense, Guard Dog, Extreme Penetrator, or Ultimate Defense I don't see a problem with reloaded ammo especially if you have printed data showing the stats.

    I know legal shooting gurus have said it's bad, but no one has EVER presented a case where the ammo was TOO deadly.

    Lefty


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    I'll be needing that for squirrels and such.....

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