General Ammo Question

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General Ammo Question

LadyD2010
Ok so I didn't see a place to put a general ammo question so I hope its ok that I created this one. So, being the new shooting person I do not know a whole lot about ammo. Basically, what I do know is that FMJ is used what I am supposed to use at the range and that otherwise I have hollow points in it for personal protection.  I have been told to shoot brass ammo that it is better. I don't know any better so I am hoping to clarify this. Today, I was looking at some ammo online and I saw something that I wanted further explanation on.  I am somewhat interested in trying out the Golden Saber 9mm 124 grain, however, it threw me off when I saw that one along with Golden Saber 9mm+P 124 grain. What in the world is the +P?
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Re: General Ammo Question

John@OT
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Great Questions LadyD!!!

Brass is a strong metal to form cartridge casings with, but it is softer than the metals on a gun that the casing will come into contact with. On a semi-auto it helps to cushion the metal on metal contact as the gun goes into battery (the slide is fully closed with a round in the chamber - everything is where it needs to be for the gun to fire correctly). This is why we NEVER EVER EVER release our locked back slides without a live round or a dummy round (such as a snap cap) in a magazine. Releasing the slide on an empty gun can cause damage to the gun. People do it because "it sounds cool!" but if they knew what they were doing to their guns, they'd stop immediately.
In my opinion and most others, brass cased ammo is the way to go. CCI makes Blazer ammo and it comes with an aluminum casing. They do this for cost cutting and that's it. Once you shoot the aluminum cased round, you cannot reload it. The aluminum won't damage your gun but it cannot be reloaded. If you are not going to reload the Blazer is an okay target round. Blazer also does come in a brass casing too and the box is marked as such and the box is a brass (though it looks more bronze to me) and black color.
FMJ is a cheap to produce round, because of its easy feeding in most guns and it's lower cost we use it as target ammo. We do not use it for self defense because it can over penetrate and does not cause the type of large wounds that a premium self defense hollow point will. Armies use FMJ because they are shooting at soldiers who are wearing much heavier clothing, equipment, flak jackets and supplies. They need the extra penetration that an FMJ provides. We want to use hollow points because they will start to expand and slow down as they make a large wound channel for our attacker to bleed larger quantities of liquid life.
Ball ammo comes in either an all lead bullet or with a copper jacket FMJ - full metal jacket - practice round
FMJ also has a semi wad cutter design which is also for target practice it has a flat nose - practice round ( it makes a better self defense round than the standard ball FMJ bullet if you had nothing else)
The wad cutter is just a flat lead slug that barely sits out above the rim of the casing. This is used for practice only and is used in revolvers.
SMJHP are semi jacketed hollow points. The copper jacket comes up halfway and the top half of the lead bullet is exposed. This also is mainly found in revolver calibers such as .38, .357 magnum, .41 magnum and .44 magnum and .45 long colt.
JHP is the king of the self defense/personal protection bullets. The Jacketed Hollow Point is a lead core bullet that is surrounded by a copper jacket much like the fmj's, but it has a hollow nose cone. The larger diameter of the hole the more problems some guns have cycling them. We have more types of rounds available under the JHP designation than most others. A good JHP will consistently expand and retain almost %100 of its weight by not breaking up. There are many manufacturers of quality jhp's. The Golden Saber is not one of my top choices and neither are Hydro-Shock. Under water tank tests, hydro shocks broke apart and did not expand reliably. Golden Sabers have a bit better track record than the Hydro-Shock and I'd still use them if I did not have something that I felt was better.
Cor-Bon, Winchester, Remington, Hornady, Federal, Magtech and PMC all have commercially available premium self defense rounds. They aren't cheap so it's expensive to try them all at once. But.... you should shoot the round you are going to use for protection so you know how your gun will handle when they are fired. In the heat of the moment the less surprises we have the better.
I sure hope this rambling of mine has helped.
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Re: General Ammo Question

LadyD2010
Wow! I actually understood all that lol. But I still didn't get what the +P is lol.
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Re: General Ammo Question

John@OT
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Sorry I knew I forgot something!

The +P designation means more pressure - more power..... it's a hotter load than the standard round. There is even a +P+ round. +P isn't quite a magnum load but it does have a lot more pressure than the standard loads. You must always make sure that your gun can shoot +P ammo. Read your owners manual. If it does not list +P in the types of ammo you can shoot in your gun then DON"T. The higher chamber pressures can damage your gun and may even hurt you in the process.
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Re: General Ammo Question

LadyD2010
Thats ok....I just want to make sure that I know what it is before I buy it. My gun is an older gun so I wouldn't even try the +P just to be on the safe side in mine. Don't get me wrong I love power but I prefer to be safe and not damage my gun just for that reason. Thank you so much for explaining it to me. Now when my fiance tells me "hey baby, look at this ammo, its blah blah blah...." I really won't be hearing blah blah blah LOL
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Re: General Ammo Question

On Target LLC
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HAHAhahaaaaaaa..... blah blah blah..... I hear that a lot too!!!
Just because your gun is older does not mean it isn't rated for +P ammo. But I do understand that you want to keep on the safe side. I myself have .45's that are rated for very hot ammo, but I stick with the standard loads to keep the wear and tear down when having fun shooting. I choose to use quality standard load JHP's for self defense because I do not want any over penetration nor do I want to be responsible for the consequences of a bullet going where I never intended it to because it zipped through my intended target and becomes a loose cannon that could get me in a lot of trouble. I know that this may seem a bit overboard to some, but because I go over material and statistics in every one of my classes, I tend to be more cautious with my ammo selection for CCW.
Just say NO to socialism!
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Re: General Ammo Question

Kevin D.
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John's a big ammo guy. he knows his stuff, all im gonna add is DONT USE steel cased ammo. that crap is garbage! see post about Herter's Ammo in the forums
 ‎"its not the caliber, and its not the gun. its how well you perform, that completes the task at hand
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Re: General Ammo Question

LadyD2010
I read your post about the Herters, Kevin.....I am so leary of getting some that does that and with me being a new shooter I would probably get pretty pissed lol. I have faith in John thats why I asked him the all important question lol.