Ammo questions?

Discussion in 'Firearm Related' started by VolGrad, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    I always have trouble finding good home defense ammo when I am at a shop. If they have anything at all for HD, they only have one choice.

    I have 9 mm covered once Bulldawg and I meet up but needed to replace/refresh my .40 and .45.

    I went to Shuler's and found the following.

    For .45 they had 230 gr Federal HydraShock. I snapped it up on sight. When I looked for HydraShock rounds for my .40 they didn't have them. All they had were Federal Low Recoil (I think 155 gr.) and Hornady TAP in both 155 gr. and 180 gr.

    I went with the Hornady 155 gr. Was this the right choice? How does this round compare to the HydraShock? I don't know much about either other than everyone seems to like the HydraShock and Speer Gold Dots.

    I can't follow all the physics and ballistics stuff so in plain terms, can someone explain briefly the advantages/disadvantages of the different grain #? How will 155 vs. 180 gr. affect accuracy? Recoil? No charts and tables please, just plain English (eg faster, harder, straighter, more accurate, etc).

    Does anyone know anything about the Low Recoil? What would you be giving up? Is this a marketing ploy?
  2. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired Active Member

    If the shape/contruction/material of the bullet and the powder charge pushing it remain contstant a heavier grain bullet will hit with more kenetic energy than a lighter one (most refer to this as "knockdown power") The same bullet being heavier will also have a tendancy to be slower and drop at a faster rate. At self defense ranges this drop would probably be insignificant.

    Low recoil usually means less of a powder charge so you would loose both speed and kenetic energy. Could also mean a lighter bullet since a lighter bullet would produce less felt recoil than a heavier one using the same powder charge.

  3. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    So, if I understand you, the 155 gr .40 round would be slightly faster and flatter in trajectory than the 180 gr .40 round. It would also have less knockdown power.

    Would any of these factors actually differ significantly in a home defense situation? Recoil? Knockdown? Accuracy? I mean at 7-15 yards would the difference to me be noticeable? Would the difference to the perp be noticeable?
  4. tace

    tace New Member

    Honestly, at best there will be a 1% difference in performance at 7-10 yards. Low recoil could mean that the powder they used burns slower than their other ones. Meaning, less of a snap but probably compareable performance from a 4 inch and longer barrel.

    The real point is, at SD distances, if you couldn't kill someone with the heavier round you wouldn't be able to kill that person with the lighter one, and vice versa.
  5. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

    Just practice with both and see which one you can be more accurate with and which one you are more comfortable with.
  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    There is not really any "knockdown power," which is why USMC-R put it in quotes.

    With all of that having been said, a lighter bullet will recoil less, and a smaller charge of powder will recoil less. The opposite is also true.

    The diameter of the bullet is the minimum you are going to get when passing through a person. A good expanding round, like you have named, will open up quite a bit larger. A heavier bullet will have more momentum and thus tend to penetrate more flesh than a lighter bullet (this also comes into play when bullets fragment, meaning that a bullet which goes to pieces fails to retain its weight and will not penetrate very far, leaving a wound that is ghastly in appearance but not very effective at stopping a determined attacker).

    "Flatter trajectory" is not a factor I consider in a self defense handgun.

    I have said before that I prefer the largest caliber I can handle loaded with the heaviest bullet of good construction for the gun. For me, that means 45. I am also comfortable with .40. Many people here are comfortable with 9mm. I also carry .357 and a puny .380, depending on the circumstances. Usually, smaller caliber bullets go along with smaller handguns, so a large round may not be concealable in some circumstances.

    Ammunition capacity will generally go down as the diameter of the bullet goes up, and the converse is true, so there are trade offs with whatever choice you make.
  7. lsu_nonleg

    lsu_nonleg New Member

    Find a load that you like in a firearm (ie, accurate, non blinding muzzle flash), then buy the rounds in bunches from . I get my boxes of Hydrashoks from there. is a bit cheaper, but their selection is more hit an miss. There may be 100,000 rounds of EFMJ available, but no 230 grain Gold Dots, etc.

    I love to support local gun shops, but I don't like getting bent over on self defense ammo packaging and prices meant more for the guys that say things like, "Dood, these are the ones that go through solid steel doors!"
  8. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

    A hollow point bullet is a hollow point bullet.

    I like Winchester Ranger T or Silvertips when I can get 'em, but it really doesn't matter to me.

    Next time you're in the Savannah area check out Mission Essential in Hinesville and Dean Forest Pawn and Guns in Pooler. Both of them carry lots of SD ammo.
  9. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    Thanks for all the info. Maybe next time I need good carry ammo I will put together a group buy from
  10. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

    I haven't heard good things about ammoman, just to let you know.
  11. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    What did you hear?
  12. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member


    I see people giving bad reviews over there... I don't like the search feature, so I can't find specific examples right now.