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I currently have a P229 in 357/40 but I haven't had .40 in it for a while. I will be buying a P320 compact 9mm within a month or so.

I have been doing research as to which carry ammo to use and I think I've settled on the Hornady Critical Defense 115gr.

My question is what is a good practice ammo to use that is similar in point of aim and felt recoil?

Both price and availability are important factor.

Also if anyone have an opinion on a better carry round I'm all ears.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: greg0773,


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Posts: 205 | Location: Roanoke Va | Registered: September 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's been a while since I looked at the Hornady Critical Defense but I seem to recall that the 115 grain Critical Defense has inadequate penetration in ballistic gel. Adequate penetration is essential for effective terminal performance. A round which over-penetrates is preferable to one which under-penetrates.

A better choice would be a bullet of at least 124 grains. If you want a 115 grain load, my choice in that weight would be the Speer 115 grain Gold Dot. That's a warm load, as 115 grain offerings go. The Gold Dot 124 grain standard pressure Gold Dot is a prime choice as well.

Federal HST 124 grain standard pressure is a premium choice. Your best choice, though, may be the HST 147 grain load.

The +P stuff- I don't recommend this in smaller pistols, due to the added recoil. Speer Gold Dot 124 grain +P has for years been my choice for my G17 house gun, but that's a full-size pistol and mine has the added weight of a Surefire X300 WML hanging at the muzzle.

For pistols you might carry, you have to take into account one hand and especially weak hand shots. You don't need the added recoil from +P loads.

Here's an ammunition tester you can trust, and it seems my memory may have played a trick on me, because the 115 grain Critical Defense looks pretty damn good in this video. I may have been thinking of the .380 Critical Defense loading. Most .380 hollowpoint ammunition does not penetrate adequately in ballistic gel, with the FBI standard of 12 to 18 inches of penetration in calibrated ballistic gelatin.



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Posts: 99621 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you for the info. I went back and check the videos I watched and they were a few years old. So I think I will go with what I know the gold dot in 124gr. As far as practice ammo is any standard pressure 124gr round going to have a similar POA and recoil? Because I've found some great deals on bulk pac 9mm in 124gr.


__________________________
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

Albert Einstein
 
Posts: 205 | Location: Roanoke Va | Registered: September 06, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You can't go wrong with the 124 grain Gold Dot.

I don't think you can count on 9mm fmj practice ammo being up to par, pressure-wise, with quality hollowpoint ammunition. For instance, I've shot a lot of Federal American Eagle and while I don't have access to a chronograph, it's very soft-shooting. However, at 25 feet or less, I don't think you'll see much difference at all in point of impact between 124 grain practice ammo and 124 grain hollowpoint ammo, not enough to matter, anyway. Other members may be able to give you more specifics in that respect.
 
Posts: 99621 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is what Speer advertises about its “Lawman” line of FMJ training ammunition:
“Offers the same feel and point of aim as comparable self-defense loads.”

I assume that refers to its standard pressure Gold Dot loads. From a 4 inch barrel its advertised velocity is 1090 fps and the 124 grain GD “Personal Protection” load is advertised at 1150 fps. That’s not too significant in view of the fact that when I have students shoot 115 grain standard pressure training ammunition and 124 grain +P Gold Dot back to back they can feel a difference in recoil, but hardly enough for even novice shooters to comment about.

Added: I have had to use many different types of 9mm ammunition for training over the years, and the most obvious effects of variations in power levels are reliability in some guns and ejection patterns. I’ve seen some users have failures to cycle their guns with low-powered loads, and such loads are more likely to result in ejected cases being thrown straight back over (or even onto) shooters’ heads which annoys some people. Even in good times I never worried about different weight or power levels of the training stuff.




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Posts: 46083 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I keep Federal HST 147 my P320C. It shoots very smooth in it.
For range ammo I usually use 124gr FMJ from GA Arms.

I don't notice any significant difference between them when I do shoot up some of my older stock of carry ammo. The 124gr FMJ is a little more snappy but not much. The groupings I shoot at any distance are not tight enough for any difference to be noticeable.



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Posts: 3578 | Location: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: September 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Honestly Greg in combat / service type pistols, I wouldn’t worry about trying to find a practice load that perfectly duplicates the carry load. Any 115-124-147 grain bullet is close enough for practice.
Any difference will be so small to be meaningless.
To tell you the truth I have shot a few matches competitively that I won with multiple bullet weights and brands in the same magazine.
 
Posts: 3036 | Location: Finally free in AZ! | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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The thread starter may no longer be interested in the question he asked, but for anyone else pondering the same thing, I’ll mention again that I agree that it’s unlikely to matter for most training and drills with a handgun chambered for 9mm Luger. I was given a bag of hot NATO-spec ammo that I wanted to use up and when I fired a few rounds yesterday to see how it performed I noted that its recoil was definitely greater than my usual training stuff. I fired the rest of it in a long series of drills at different distances, and then switched to the milder loads to finish my session. During the high speed drills I never noticed any difference in which loads I was shooting.




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Posts: 46083 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And if you actually get in a gunfight, you won't notice recoil at all and most probably will get into auditory exclusion and tunnel vision.
 
Posts: 9909 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's some good info and testing comparisons. The biggest issue isn't what's best, it's finding anything on the shelf right now.

https://www.luckygunner.com/la...mmo-ballistic-tests/
 
Posts: 10097 | Registered: January 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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