Originally Posted by W. C. Quantrill
I believe in efficiency, and I load all my handguns with Kieth semi wadcutters. They do the job, no matter what the task.
At sort of an impasse over ammo myself.
I've heard it said that on the autopsy table,examiners can't really see a difference between the wounding created by ball and HP,and also can't really tell the difference between specific calibers.
If they find a projectile,they send it to ballistic examiners who can then pinpoint the exact caliber,among other things.
Its pretty well known that with some calibers,like .380acp,HP won't expand very reliably,and when it does,it severely limits penetration.
With that in mind,I chose the Buffalo Bore hard cast flat point when I had a .380.
Hunters of large,dangerous game,as far as I've been told, swear by solids with flat points.The theory behind this is that such ammo penetrates deeply without any energy given up to expansion,and the flat nose crushes tissue much like an expanded HP,rather then "slipping thru" tissue like ball.
Honestly,I can't think of any animal as dangerous as man.That being said,were not exactly on the high end of the "large" scale when compared to other predators like bears and such.I would reserve my choice for non-expanding flat nosed bullets for the calibers that traditionally do not perform very well with HP.
There was also a bunch of tests by Brassfetcher not too long ago that really got my attention.He fired popular cartridges in popular calibers into a synthetic skin covered simulated bone plate.
The results,IMHO,were shocking.
Having to shoot thru stuff might happen.More likely then that,the person your shooting will be clothed.But its almost a guarantee that they will have a ribcage and other bone mass protecting their vitals from your fire.
Shooting at the vitals of the upper torso,you've got maybe a 50/50 chance that your bullet is going to have to punch bone.Spinal cord/head and the odds are almost 100 percent that your going to have to hit bone first.
In the typical service calibers (9,.40,.45) all of the JHPs clogged up with the bone simulate.From the expensive to the moderately affordable,premium ammo just got plugged right up,just like the old school stuff does by the barrier and clothing tests.You literally might as well be shooting ball.
But there were some cartridges that were the exception.
The Barnes Tac all copper JHP performed quite well.
So did Federal EFMJ.
But they didn't do so well in the "lower powered" calibers like .380 and .38 special.
Its become my opinion that for absolute reliability in a HP design,it takes more,ALOT more,then what even the current crop of "high tech" HP designs have to offer.
THAT BEING SAID.
I still use some of the JHP's that "failed" this test.
IMHO- its better to have something that might expand,giving you better terminal ballistics even if the best odds you get are 50/50,then something that wont.
A personal defensive gun,as a primary rule,should have something that will feed reliably,as others have made quite clear in this thread,and it should also have something that will give at least 12 inches of straight line penetration.
After that,its up to you to put the bullet where it will do the job.Because a dynamic situation degrades our "surgical shooting abilities",its usually the best practice to place multiple hits on target as fast as we can.
So the characteristics of reliability,penetration,and not being so ridiculously powerful that it precludes fast follow up shots are probably the best rules to follow when selecting your ammunition.
Theres alot to bear in mind when choosing ammunition,not the least of which is price.
But everything besides those three rules,IMHO,are just flourishes,icing on the cake,you know- the little extras.
I suppose if I could afford 60 bucks or so for 50 rounds to the tune of at least 200-300 rounds for practice alone I might go with the Cor-Bon DPX.
But in the end,I know that the cheapest ball,when it gets solid hits,will do the same thing that expensive loads will.
A mid range compromise like the Remington Golden Sabre or the Federal HST when you can find them on sale are good choices.
Just make sure you practice enough to get those hits with whatever you choose.