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Choosing your carry ammo

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  • Choosing your carry ammo

    Let's talk about muzzle flash. Statistics show that you are more than likely to engage in a deadly force encounter during periods of limited visibility. This means late at night or very early in the morning. You want a small and/or dark muzzle flash signature.

    You're going to get some kind of muzzle flash, so you want the smallest flash possible. Then, you want the flash to be as dark as possible. They run the gamut from dark red, to red, to dark orange, to orange, to yellow, to white. Preferrably, you want dark red.

    How do they get a small, dark red muzzle flash? By using different powders and additives, which cost more money. So no, when you buy the cheap Winchester and Remington regular box HP's, you are not getting the same ammo that you get by purchasing the "more exotic, more expensive" HP's. The cheap hollowpoints are using cheap powders that give you a big ol' white or bright yellow flash at night.

    This flash helps the other guy pinpoint your location, but any flash will do that to some extent. Where the real harm comes from is that the brighter and lighter the flash, the worse your night vision will be effected and the longer it will take for your eyes to recover.

    Most of the "exotic, expensive" HP loads use flash retardant powders. I know for a fact that the Winchester Ranger SXT and Speer Gold Dot loads do, as well as the Remington Golden Saber Bonded (has to be the Bonded load, not the regular Golden Saber) and Federal Hydra Shoks. I'm pretty sure the Hornady HST and Critical Defense loads do, but I'm not positive.

    Here's a drill I do with my students during night force courses that I teach. I have them stand at 7 yards at night with no flashlight. They are able to see the cardboard IDPA silhouette with their own, unaided and night-adjusted eyes. I have them fire 1 round of their carry or duty load, wait until they can accurately see the target and fire a 2nd shot. If you don't have flash retardant powder, it's going to take you up to 5 seconds or more (depending on how bad the flash is) to reacquire and engage your target. 5 seconds is a world of time in a gunfight and puts you WAAAY behind the curve.

    Anything thing that you usually get with the more exotic, expensive HP's is nickel-plated cases. These aid in extraction and enhance reliability, as well as fight corrosive better than regular brass. but they're not a must-have in my book.

    So, here's my criteria for carry ammo:
    1. 100% reliable in the firearm I will be using it in
    2. Reasonably accurate (#1 is more important that #2)
    3. Flash retardant powder
    4. The bullet design has a street-proven record of success

    LE agencies insist on flash retardant powders, so why shouldn't you?

    It's knowing that when I get up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, the Devil says, "Shit! He's awake!"

    Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: "You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?" The soldier replied: "We will shoot twice and go home."

    "There are so many Russians, and our country so small, where will we find room to bury them all?" - anonymous Finnish soldier

  • #2
    Good stuff, that's what helped make my decision on my carry ammo. I really like the Winchester Ranger SXT 127+p+.
    " If you want peace,prepair for war "- Imi Lichtenfeld
    '' I don't like to fight, I like to win!" -Me