Post by wilmsmeyer on Feb 20, 2016 12:18:07 GMT -5
You will get a bunch of different opinions on this. Here's mine:
1) Accuracy: It's is not as important as terminal performance in a VERY short range defensive sidearm. Even if you had a load that could bench 2" groups at 25 yds but a better bullet that grouped 4" at the same distance, I would take the better bullet because you will still put it in center mass fairly "easy" when defending at distances measured in feet. I have read that .45 hardball will glance off a skull if hit on a steep angle where a sharp edge HP will dig in.
2) Penetration: Of course you need it. You also do not want something that will go thru and penetrate a wall and then into the kids room. Hardball will penetrate like crazy in people and thin walls.
Weight: In a .45 even a "light" 185 is pretty heavy. In this caliber I would choose any good HP defense round in any weight between 185-230 that cycled flawlessly after running several boxes of it thru the gun to ensure reliability.
You are talking .45 here and I do not have one. If I did, these are my thoughts. Many of the same principles would apply to other pistols.
Check out TNoutdoors9 channel on youtube. He does some very extensive ammo tests and is very unbiased. You will find some interesting results there.
Post by wilmsmeyer on Feb 20, 2016 12:25:18 GMT -5
I meant to add that my carry gun in 9mm is loaded with 115 CorBon JHP's +P+. Supposed to be at 1,350 fps. If the woodchuck I killed with it two years ago @ 15 yds is indicative of what it will act like on a human, I'll be happy. It really ripped him up and I was very surprised actually.
In .357, when I carry it, Underwood 125 gr Gold Dots at an advertised 1,600 fps. In my GP100 4", they chrony 1,425. Pretty nasty.
To me the biggest "point" is reliability. I can fire off a whole mag of 230gr ball while another guy may shoot once and is busy clearing a jam. Everybody keeps coming up with new bullets for SD and I'm at the point where I've stopped listening. I know what works in each pistol for me and I know the strongpoints and weaknesses of each round. I would recommend quality ammo, practice with it to make sure it feeds and you know how the gun acts with it. One guy I used to shoot with carried a J-frame with (IIRC) Cor-Bon .38 P++, hottest .38 Spl made or something like that. We finshed up a IDPA match and someone made the comment if he could hit anything with it. At 10-12yds, standard IDPA target, out of 5 rounds he hit the target once in the shoulder. He had to fess up that it was the first time he ever shot that round in that gun after bragging on it for like a year.
Then there are the Clintisms, "You only use a pistol to keep their heads down till you can grab your rifle".
Another good one, "It isn't how you use your pencil, it's how you write your name".
Then there are all the gimmicks you can keep,
Last Edit: Mar 8, 2016 15:36:49 GMT -5 by rossman40
The tricky stuff is best left to those who are highly experienced in operating at the ragged edge of stability and sanity.
10-4 on the gimmick ammo. Granted, I would not want to be shot with any of them! As many have already commented:
1) You need functional reliability...especially in an auto. 2) Decent accuracy. These guns were not meant to shoot 1" groups at 25 yds so don't expect that. 3) Performance: This is a lot like the perfect hunting bullet debates. Some want 2 holes and some want to not fully penetrate. Some people want to make sure the bullets don't go thru the bad guy, a wall and into the kids room.
If my only pistol would only cycle ball ammo 100% and HP's 95%, the ball ammo would be carried. I might even have an HP in the pipe for shot #1 and followed by a magazine of hardball.
If you do carry a defense load and it's an HP, I would shoot several boxes to ensure it functioned well in an auto. If in a revolver, I would make sure it was fairly accurate and maybe not test as much.
Several hits center mass with any handgun is what it will take. Only 7% of single gunshot wounds from a pistol are fatal. Even if a "threat" is hit multiple times with a short barreled handgun even a 45 acp it could take 30 seconds or up to several minutes for the " threat" to expire and no longer to be a threat. A lot can happen in 30 seconds.
Shoot, empty magazine and reload till threat is neutralized!
Somebody comes in my front door and poses a physical threat, they are 15 feet away from, me what kind of bullet does it take to kill someone at that range?
If I have a choice in the matter I'll be using a rifle but if a pistol is what I have anything will work if you shoot it well and it's reliable. Windows, windshields, and people (unless you know they have armor on) have this in common: if first shot doesn't get the desired effect you keep hammering in the same spot til you get what you want. People in armor or on drugs will require different treatment.
Where the scenario you mention plays into your training is cadence work and shooting cadence on targets that don't drop with with one shot.
If you are very close, is it a bad idea for a head shot? Yes, center mass is easier and probably the best bet under extreme duress. But, if you are close and if you have some sort of mental/tactical advantage...is a head shot out of the question? I've thought about this many times and my opinion is that it is situational.....case by case. You might not know the answer until the moment you decide you need to squeeze.
One thing you may be able to count on is that the head shot will not have to defeat armor. A head shot will probably turn the drug induced lights out right away. And, unlike hunting game, you are not worried about blowing the jaw off an animal that will be left to suffer a horrible death.
You probably do not know if this is a good idea until you are in the situation of having to make the call in my opinion.
Let's take the people that do not practice, people who are new to guns/shooting, people who have no training, people who have not thought out many different scenarios, and people who have no clue about anatomy out of the equation. Talking about guys/people who shoot a lot, think a lot, read a lot and plan for the unexpected all the time.
What you can do under real stress is different than what you can do on the flat range. It's really hard to replicate that stress for training but the closest thing is physical exertion and a timer. If you want a prayer of being able to do it on demand under stress you need to be able to do it under the most stressful training environment you can create. The axiom is cliche but true, "Amateurs train until they get it right, professionals train until they can't do it wrong. "
I like to warm up on the range then work various drills for cadence and transition. I then stress shoot and if it's at work it's a stress competition. The stress of exertion, time,and competitive drive will always expose flaws. It let's you know just where your lowest level of training is.
Amongst guys I know who have lots of experience I only know one guy who intentionally head-shot a dude and he did it with a sniper rifle and because there was not another choice. Most guys will never use their pistol so most can't give advice about how well they do or don't work (myself included). I think most really proficient and experienced shooters still shoot center of mass. I'm only going to the head as part of a failure drill.
Nice wrap up. I have tried to do hurried shooting. Double taps at 7-10 yds with the 9mm. The first shot of each double tap is usually in the zone but the second may miss or just cause an "Edge" hit. Even the OK hits are not precise. It is eye opening. However when shooting calmly and slowly I can hold a big ragged 3" hole with a few mags. Huge difference.
I guess the fog of combat, the rush of adrenaline can cause the proficient shooter to miss...a lot! The head shot should maybe be reserved for the instances where a person has a tactical advantage, is not under fire and is competent.
Training seems to be very important. Arm chair cowboys are just that.
Hope I never have to find out! Hope you never have to find out!
I'm not saying a double tap is bad because there is a time and place: when things are close and fast. I'm also just as likely to be dumping a mag until he falls as double tap. The key is to train yourself to shoot and not come off the gun. Training double taps teaches guys to shoot and lower their gun in experience. Stay on the gun and shoot as fast as you can control the gun until your assessment is that you are no longer in danger. Reload and reassess.
I train 3 to 5 shot strings on cadence way more than double taps. I want all the speed in my transition from rifle to pistol and then a real deliberate drive of my pistol out from my chest acquiring sights and breaking my shot really well. If I'm just training with a pistol all the speed is in my movement to the gun and draw them slower deliberate drive out as above. Larry Vickers says, "Speed is fine, accuracy is final." I'm full cliches but guys remember them when you are teaching them.
If you have never done it I would recommend attending a good pistol or pistol and rifle course. It's eye opening just like shooting a competition is eye opening. Pat McNamara ran a course for us six years ago. Some guys went to a Raydon Tactics course the next year. We sent guys to TigerSwan three years ago. The last one we did was with Northern Red and they were great. I know a couple of the guys that teach there and recommend them. There are lots of good courses though and they travel all over so you can find one close to you.