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redrover3569 11-01-2010 08:05 AM

How do I find what my gun likes?
I'm looking for opinions on a good way to go about finding out what ammo a new gun likes. For example: Should I buy small boxes of a few different kinds of ammo and load different mags with it and cycle through the mags say 3 times. Kind of a best of sort of thing to see which ones hold continuously good groups. How will I know what's ammo related and whats technique?

NGIB 11-01-2010 08:59 AM

Kind of depends on the gun in question. TBH, I haven't found much difference in name brand commercial FMJ ammo like WWB, Blazer, Federal, etc. I don't use the steel stuff like Wolf so I have no experience there. Self defense ammo is a whole different ball game as their are tons of different bullet designs from "flying ashtrays" to ammo that mimics FMJ - so a bit of testing is necessary. In general I've found Speer Gold Dots to be reliable in every gun I own. In my .45s (all 1911s) I use either Gold Dots or Cor-Bon PowRball...

FreedomFighter69 11-01-2010 10:11 AM

If the gun will handle a magazine full without any problems your usually good to go.
This is pertaining to feed and function. Accuracy wise it will take you about a month to find what your gun shoots best. That's a lot of rounds and wear and tear on your gun.
You'll also be spending a fortune ! Defensive ammo is double the price of standard or mil-spec ammo. When you find one that feeds well and shoots where you aim, stick with it.
Most likely your gun will like a few defensive ammo's and you'll be able to have some variety too. Then instead of wasting money on trying ammo that your not sure of you could stock up on some. The magazine articles always tell which ammo works best for the gun they tested. Usually if it works for the testers gun, it will work in yours if it's the same make. If they tested a Springfeild XD in 40 S&W, and it worked best with lets say Winchester PDX 1 Bonded, then it should do pretty much the same in your gun as well.
Now this doen't mean the groups will be the same, but the functionality will.

redrover3569 11-01-2010 05:36 PM

New...totaly new here.
I feel quite dumb here. I know nothing of defensive ammo and I only get to go to the range about once a month. The gun is an FNP-45, which is my first handgun, which I bought simply because I liked it. Think of me as a kid here,which is pretty much what I am at this stage, with no one in my personal life to help direct me. I think maybe I'll try to find a local instructor that will work with my schedule and ask the question later when I have more knowledge to draw from.

Squirrel_Slayer 11-01-2010 06:34 PM

Trust me, I am far from the "be all, end all" when it comes to handgun knowledge, so I am just speaking from personal experience. My Kimber .45 will chew through any kind of ammo except for flat nose stuff. So I just tend to stick to 230 gr. round ball ammo. My pistol is a little quircky in that it shoots Blazer really accurately, and then I have shot a few boxes of STI Lawman through it and the groups opened up. When I buy factory ammo, I just save the moeny and get Blazer. But this is rare in that I reload for that pistol, and I like to taylor my ammo for my preferences. I load mine kind of on the light side. They still cycle the gun with authority but I can definietly feel they are not as hot as factory loaded ammo.

I would think that Blazer should be a safe bet for you though.

CA357 11-01-2010 06:46 PM


Unfortunately, the process is trial and error. You can save some time and money by trying the ammunition that the tests recommend. However, each gun is unique and results may vary.

Start out by shooting inexpensive FMJ to break the pistol in and to be sure of function. After you trust the pistol to function, test the recommended ammunition and see what works best.

Just buy single boxes of the expensive stuff to try out. If it won't work well, you'll know it quickly you won't go broke finding out. After you gain more experience in general, you'll be able to make your judgment more quickly based on personal experience.

We all started somewhere and nobody knows it all, so enjoy the process and have some fun with it.


NGIB 11-01-2010 07:23 PM

I've owned 2 FNP's (9mm & .40) and both were very forgiving ammo wise. For range fodder, stay with whatever is cheapest at Walmart - usually Blazer or Federal. For defensive ammo (JHP - jacketed hollow point) some experimenting will be required...

redrover3569 11-01-2010 07:50 PM

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I called and talked to someone at the range and found that there is an instructor there for no more than the cost of admittance. I've only been twice. Now I can get my feel right then I'll worry about the gun. Expect to hear about improvements in the future.

CA357 11-01-2010 08:06 PM

I don't know what your experience level is red, but make sure you are a safe gun owner. A basic gun safety class will help you immensely and also broaden your knowledge base in general.

robocop10mm 11-01-2010 08:33 PM

First get the gun broken in. About 200 rds should suffice for the FNP. Then decide whether you want 185 gr, 200 gr or 230 gr. IMHO the Speer Gold Dot is very hard to beat for accuracy, reliable feeding, terminal performance and cost effectiveness.

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