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FMJ or range and JHP for carry, is that bad?

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Old 01-09-2009, 04:13 AM   #1
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Default FMJ or range and JHP for carry, is that bad?

LOL, my CCW will arrive in a week or two, so I guess I'm coming up with more dumb questions to ask ya'll now. Would I be ok using FMJ's at the range and carrying JHP's? Would the different ballistics characteristics make THAT big of a difference if I ended up having to fire my weapon in self defense? I plan on firing a few JHP's just to see how they handle relative to normal FMJ's, but I don't want to blow tons of money going through a bunch of Gold Dots at the range. I'm thinking of getting a Glock 19 because the ammo is cheap (about half the price of my FiveseveN ammo) and easy to find, and I can afford to practice with it much more. But if I'm going to have to PRACTICE with expensive JHP rounds in order to prevent myself from not being able to hit the broad side of a barn in a SD situation, then it kind of defeats the purpose.

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Old 01-09-2009, 05:21 AM   #2
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I think very few shooters use HPs all the time. You will need to find an HP that works well in your carry gun and exercise a box or two to gain the confidence with the combo. Then I would practice with comparable weight and load in FMJ.

I rotate out my vintage carry ammo on a biyearly basis. I shoot up the box and replenish with fresh ammo for the next 6 months.


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Old 01-09-2009, 05:48 AM   #3
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You don't need to shoot carry ammo for your practice. The design of the bullet is not the factor here, it is the powder charge and the bullet weight.

Of all the basics from stance, to sight alignment, trigger control, etc; the only one that ammunition/felt recoil really influences is follow-up.

I buy a quality ball ammo with a bullet weight close to my carry ammo. For instance if I carried 230 grain .45 ACP, I would try to avoid 185 grain practice ammo. Even that difference in bullet weight isn't going to make a large difference in felt recoil, so don't worry if you can't find them the same.

What you want to avoid is always shooting dramatically under-powered loads. If you carry a .357 Magnum will full magnum loads, then ideally you don't want to practice only with .38 special target wadcutters because the recoil will be significantly more with the magnums. This doesn't mean that you can't enjoy shooting wadcutters, just make sure you shoot enough magnum ammo to understand the difference.

Also, if I was given the choice of only using target wadcutters to practice or not practicing at all, bring on the wadcutters, I'll take the trigger time.


Even though you didn't ask, IMO the Glock 19 is a far superior carry gun to the FN 5.7 pistol. More concealable, more affordable, and arguably better (some say much better) ballistics.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:23 PM   #4
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Yeah, I was looking at an FNP 9 for my main carry weapon, but it's still almost a full size gun, and I think I still may have trouble carrying it without a jacket. I loved the FNP 9, but the Glock 19 is more concealable and there's a used-like-new one going for $439 so I didn't want to pass that up. I can always get the FNP 9 later on once I get that LT pay in and start filling out my arsenal a little more and after this political scare is over. I may still carry the FiveseveN when I have a jacket or at least have it in the car. I'm really comfortable shooting it and love the accuracy and how easily I can lay down follow up shots. Plus the power is nice to have sometimes, who knows, I may need to be able to punch through a car or into an engine block at some point .

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Old 01-09-2009, 01:08 PM   #5
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You need to make sure (absolutely sure) the pistol will reliably feed the carry ammo. Many advocate a 200 rd minimum before certainty is attained. The Gold Dot, on the other hand, has a reputation for feeding like ball. IME, if the gun will feed ball, it will feed Gold Dot. I would shoot a box of the GD ammo and feel good if there were 0 stoppages.
No problem at all with FMJ practice. Anyone who shoots exclusively carry ammo is either not shooting enough or has more money than sense.

On the Glock vs. FNP vs. Fiveseven issue. IMHO the glock has some peculiarites (grip angle, trigger pull/reset) that are unique to Glocks. I will not fault someone's desire to own/carry/shoot Glock. If you want a Glock, own only Glock so no matter what gun you pick up it will point the same and shoot the same.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
You need to make sure (absolutely sure) the pistol will reliably feed the carry ammo. Many advocate a 200 rd minimum before certainty is attained. ........

Spot on. need to "break in" the gun with FMJ, get yourself broken in with FMJ with that gun, then shoot a few boxes of your carry ammo. Glocks are the AKs of the pistol world so you probably won't have an issue with reliability, but need to practice and shoot her a good bit. The diff between FMJ and great quality HP ammo can be more than you think, just not severe. Most important part of the equation is your confidence, remove all doubt from your mind about the reliability of what is under your shirt in the holster.
Good luck!
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:54 PM   #7
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Go to the range with two, one gallon water jugs. Shoot one with a FMJ and one with a JHP. You will see a big difference.

Or you could just watch this

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Old 01-17-2009, 03:36 PM   #8
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Practicing with ball or lead swc bullets is what everybody does. The MAIN 2 factors are: make SURE your selected HP ammo WILL feed, and know EXACTLY where they will shoot (point of impact) in relation to sight picture compared to practice ammo.

The nice thing about using SWC or roundnose lead bullets is once a year, I can dig out the dirt bank in back of yard that I use as backstop for backyard range, and recover much of the lead to recast.
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