web analytics
Categories
1911 45ACP American Classic ammo B45R JHP Metro Arms Rock Island Armory SDS Imports

My Thoughts Regarding 1911s and Jacketed Hollow Point Ammunition

One thing I’ve never done is attempt to carry a 1911. Carrying means I’ve to test JHP before committing to carrying. Everyone knows (or should know) that most 1911s don’t always readily shoot JHP.

I currently have shot 429 rounds from my SDS Imports DB45R 1911. Most of that ammo has been FMJ. Since I’ve been curious about it’s carry capabilities, I’ve been trying to shoot JHP from it, initially with mixed results.

I initially shot Remington HTP 185-gr JHP, which generated several failures to feed (FTFs).

I also shot Federal LE 185-gr JHP as well (maybe 25 rounds), which also generated some FTFs.

I documented in a previous post that I’d shot International Cartridge Corporation’s (ICC) 45ACP 155-gr frangible hollow points. For the most part, these shot without issue. That ammo can be used as defense ammo.

This past week, I shot 20 rounds of Underwood ($$$) 45ACP +P 230-gr JHP. 8 of the 20 rounds generated FTFs. I was using Wilson Combat mags with this ammo. Since this ammo is expensive and since it generated so many FTFs, I will stop shooting that ammo through the DB45R. Once I suspect that the gun will shoot it without FTFs, I’ll test the ammo again.

I shot Inceptor ARX 118-gr defense ammo (non-JHP), using the WC mag. There were no FTFs.

I shot PMC Bronze 185-gr JHP (non-SD ammo), using the WC mag.. There were no FTFs.

I shot Hornady Critical Defense 185-gr JHP, using the WC mag.. There were no FTFs.

So, I now know that I can use the following ammo as viable ammo for self defense:

  • ICC 155-gr FHP
  • Inceptor ARX 118-gr
  • PMC Bronze 185-gr JHP
  • Hornady Critical Defense 185-gr JHP

I plan to continue to shoot the PMC Bronze JHP ammo as range ammo, to continue the break-in process of the DB45R 1911.

During this round of testing, I also shot the same ammo listed above from the Metro Arms American Classic Commander (ACC) 1911 chambered in 45ACP. Note that I didn’t shoot the Critical Defense nor the Inceptor ARX from this gun, since the projectiles will almost certainly feed without issue (I tested them by chambering a round of each make, as well).

I shot most of the ICC 155-gr FHP ammo from the ACC 1911. There were initially a few FTFs, but I believe the issue was a worn recoil spring. I replaced the recoil spring and the FTFs disappeared.

I shot Underwood (again, $$$) 185-gr +P JHP from this gun, using the WC mag. This ammo was almost TOO hot, but in the gun’s defense, it isn’t as heavy as the DB45R 1911, so there’s less weight to mitigate the recoil of this hot ammo. The ammo was so hot that I had to pause in shooting the 8-round mag, since my hand was in pain. Even so, there was only one FTF, but I’m sure this may have been because the ammo was so hot that I was beginning to limp wrist.

The Remington HTP 185-gr JHP was tested the visit prior to this visit. There were some FTFs.

I also shot some of the Federal LE 185-gr JHP…there were two FTFs with that.

The rest of the listed ammo shot without issue. I’m at 520 rounds shot through this 1911, so it may be close to being broken in, which is why there’s less issues with JHP with this gun.

I also shot my RIA Rock Ultra 9mm MS 1911. I also have a RIA Tac Ultra MS 1911 which has a 22TCM barrel and spring, as well as a 9mm barrel and spring. I installed the 9mm barrel and spring for this range visit.

Both 9mm MS 1911s ran without no feed issues whatsoever. I shot several types of SD ammo, some of it JHP and some of it frangible ammo. I did have one failure to extract (FTE) with the frangible ammo when shooting the Tac Ultra, but that’s to be expected with 100-gr ammo (this ammo make was Hevi-Shot).

I was extremely impressed with the 9mm MS 1911s. I’m thinking of just carrying the 9mms instead of the 45ACP 1911s.

I’ll continue to document the testing of shooting the defense ammo.

Categories
ammo ammunition BPT Browning BXP flat-nosed FMJ JHP

What’s the Purpose of Flat-nosed FMJ?

I wanted to quickly mention that with some makes of ammo (ie, Browning or Winchester), you see flat-nosed and JHP.  Most people think flat-nosed is for guns that have issues feeding reliably (vs. JHP, which can sometimes jam a gun such as a 1911).  That’s not always the case, though.

I’ll use Cabelas’ ammo description of Browning Performance Target (BPT) ammo as a reference:

  • Same bullet wt. and velocity as BXP Personal Defense Ammo
  • Provides the same feel at the range as self-defense ammo
  • Black-nickel shell plating improves reliability and feeding

Confidence at the range corresponds to confidence in self-defense situations. Browning’s Performance Target Pistol Ammo provides the same performance as BXP Personal Defense Ammo. Matched-performance ammo has the same bullet weight and velocity so you get the exact same feel at the range as you will in real-life situations with your BXP Ammo at a lower cost. Created with the highest standards of innovation, precision and technology. Black-nickel shell plating improves reliability and feeding.

There’s a product that matches this ammo, only it’s JHP. They’re meant to compliment each other:

Notice that the above rounds are JHP.  The first depicted box of ammo is FMJ but shares the same bullet weight as the JHP product and has the same velocity as well.  The FMJ is meant for the range (practicing/training).  The personal defense ammo (the JHP) is meant for defense — you can train with it but it is not cheap and is sold in a box of 20 (vs the 50 of the FMJ).  The FMJ mimics the JHP ammo (it’s nose is flat to mimic JHP).  It’s bullet weight and velocity is the same so that you can train as if you were using the JHP variant of this ammo.  This is ideal, instead of having to spend a lot of money training with your defense ammo.

Winchester also uses the same scheme.  I think that’s pretty cool, but wanted to inform folks of this, in case they’re not aware.

Categories
.45 ACP 147-grain 9mm ammo JHP SD SP2022

Ammo!

I bought some ammo today from Walmart.  While this is nothing special in itself, I did get 100 rounds of WWB .380 FMJ since I don’t have much range ammo in that caliber (I’ve a crap load of self defense ammo in .380, though).  They didn’t have much else that I trusted, brand-wise…Tula, which is on Bersa’s Do Not list, and Remington, which I’ve grown to not trust.  So, I grabbed the WWB since I’ve never had issues with that brand.

I also bought 100 rounds of WWB 9mm JHP in 147-grain, since I rarely see that weight of 9mm in Walmart. I’d have bought more than that if I thought my wife wouldn’t complain about it.

I forgot to check what SD ammo they had, especially for 9mm.  I’ve some Remington in JHP but my carry gun does NOT like it.

I also need to check to see if my Metro Arms 1911 will eat JHP, especially since it is a 1911.  I’ve a bunch of .45 ACP but I think it’s almost all Remington, which tends to be dirty and also not be consistent with powder charge.

I’ll take the Metro Arms and the Bersa with me on my next visit so I can get some SD rounds through them.  If the Bersa is trust-worthy, I’ll consider carrying it…I just need an Alien Gear holster shell for it.

I’d been thinking of carrying my SP2022 (I love it’s trigger and decocker), but I still think that gun is a bit large for carry…the mag base plates with the pinky extensions don’t help it, either.

Categories
1911 22TCM 45ACP fail to extract fail to feed JHP TulAmmo Winchester

Recent Range Visit

Last night I visited Elite Shooting Sports to shoot my .22TCM MS 1911 and Metro Arms ACC .45ACP 1911.

First, I started out with the .22TCM 1911.  I was immediately accurate with it (well, accurate enough considering I’d not shot it since April 2015, I was shooting it pretty well):

From 7 yards

I then moved the target out and focused on the head:

From 10 yards

I then moved to the .45ACP and didn’t fare as well.  The last time I fired this handgun was Feb 2015:

7 yards out

The recoil took me aback.  Now, when I first shot this gun, it felt great in my hands.  For some reason, it didn’t feel great this time around, but this could be because I’d just shot the .22TCM 1911, which has VZ grips.  It could also be because I’m more used to 9mm now (this gun has substantial push/recoil, even with it being a beaver-tailed).  Here’s more:

I stayed 7 yards out, since I was having issues putting lead onto the bulls-eye

I can’t understand what I was doing wrong.  Yes, I’m aware of target analysis and what it means when I’m grouping to the lower left of the target.  I actually took my time with several magazines to ensure I was properly actuating the trigger, but I was still hitting lower left.  Although I was able to touch the bulls-eye, I wasn’t able to do it consistently.  I couldn’t hit the head of the target, either.

I was using TulAmmo and Winchester white box JHP.  The TulAmmo was inconsistent, power-wise, as I noticed that the slide moved slowly many times, so I switched to the Winchester and noticed less of that, but only shot maybe 25 rounds of it.  I still wasn’t hitting where I wanted, but at least the slide was acting normally when the gun went BANG.  Another thing — this gun does NOT like TulAmmo.  The ammo kept hanging on the feed ramp.  I didn’t notice this when I first shot it back in February.

Here are my range notes from February:

Half of the ammo was Remington UMC (green/white box).  47 of it was Perfecta FMJ.  I had 3 x FTEs with the black (original) mag.

This gun is FUN to fire!  The recoil is much less than the P220.  It is also very controllable, aim-wise — I nailed the bulls-eye several times and the majority of my hits were toward the middle when compared to the groupings of the other guns I’ve fired.

Back to this range visit.  The Winchester JHP did fine, but TulAmmo is dirty as hell…the feed ramp was heavily covered in carbon.  I can polish the feed ramp but I won’t.  I just won’t shoot TulAmmo as defensive ammo…that’s the best solution.  It’s the ammo, not the gun, and since this is practice ammo, it’s all good.
 
Very odd failure to extract situation here…I had to drop the mag to clear it (it wouldn’t rack back).  
 
I had several FTEs in Feb that I attributed to a possible mag issue.  I think that was a wrong assessment, since the mag would have nothing to do with any problems after the round has been fired.  I also had several FTEs with this range visit (2-3).  All of it was with the TulAmmo.  None of the Winchester FTE’d.  A friend suggested I was limp-wristing.  I don’t think I’ve ever limp-wristed a big caliber handgun before…I don’t think it’s happening now, either, but I’m not sure how to test for that, but like I said, none of the other ammo failed to extract.  I’m going to attribute this to the the TulAmmo.

 

Lesson learned – don’t shoot TulAmmo from this gun!

Notice in my notes that I had no issues controlling the gun, I was able to nail the bulls-eye several times, and most of the rounds were hitting toward the middle.  What has changed?  The ammo?  My perceptions on this gun’s recoil?  I’ll admit, when I first pulled the trigger, the recoil caught me off-guard (I’m used to firing 9mm).  It could’ve ruined the rest of my session with this gun.  Should I keep practicing with it?  I’m not planning to carry any of my .45ACP handguns, so it’s not essential that I train with this particular gun.  It’s a range gun, for now, but it does bug me that I can’t put lead on target with this gun like I can with my other handguns.  I just might change the grips, though (to a set of VZ grips).

And then, when I went back to my .22TCM, I found that I couldn’t hit anywhere near where I was aiming, when I had such a good session with it at the beginning of the range session.  I fired 25 rounds before deciding to quit for the night…I left the range in a bit of a fog.  I’m not sure why my aim was so jacked up after switching up guns…maybe I was slapping the trigger or maybe I the gun wasn’t properly centered in my hands…I don’t know.

 
 
 
 

 

Categories
.380ACP Alien Gear ammo CHP Cloak Tuck grip module assembly JHP P320 PP PPK/S Walther Winchester

Sister’s Birthday / P320SC Holster Fitment

My sister’s birthday is today.  She’s 40 years old.  I got tired of trying to guess what she wanted and asked her to tell me if she needed/wanted anything.  She said she wanted ammo.

She has a Walther PPK/S .380ACP.  She has a North Carolina concealed handgun permit and carries as much as she can (she’s also a federal employee, so she can’t carry anywhere near work…she can’t even leave her weapon in her car while on work property).

I bought her 200 rounds of Winchester Personal Protection JHP ammo.  It’s JHP ammo that is designed for defense (it is not range ammo).  I told her to ensue that she shoots 25 or so rounds to ensure the gun can fire the ammo without feed or extraction issues.

When speaking on the phone with her, she also stated she’d been watching my Facebook posts and had gotten herself an Alien Gear IWB holster (the Cloak Tuck 2.0).  I was very surprised, as I thought she was carrying in her purse.  She asked for belt suggestions.  I told her to go back to where she bought her gun (in Fayetteville) and ask them if she could try her 1.25″ belts (she shouldn’t need anything bigger for the PPK/S).  I told her that a good strong belt is essential but she’s already been wearing the holster and says it’s extremely comfortable for her.

On a different note, I saw someone on the forums complaining about their P320 Subcompact’s round trigger guard and the fact that the grip module assembly might not fit in other holsters designed for other sizes of P320 handguns. Well, I’ve a P320 Compact shell for my cloak Tuck 3.0 IWB holster. I’ve the P320 Compact and have the parts to convert it to Subcompact. I converted it and tested fitment in the aforementioned holster…it fits without issue, probably because I’m using the Compact slide with the Subcompact grip module. In that configuration, the slide dictates fitment more than the SC’s trigger guard. That’s a good thing, since I didn’t want any more holsters / shells.

UPDATE:

Categories
+P ammo cartridge casing FMJ grain JHP round

Defensive Ammo

One thing I never ask about in gun forums is ammo recommendations.  Why?  Because the answers you get will be highly subjective in nature, and although there are some guys who want to play as scientists and provide ballistics research articles, charts and other such resources, what it boils down to is this:  there are no humans that are bullet-proof on this earth.  When a bad guy breaks into your home at 2am, more than likely he’s not wearing armor, so shoot what you’re most comfortable with, ammunition-wise.

The suggested choices are JHP (or, jacketed hollow points), though.  This is because JHP is designed to do damage to flesh, but will also be less likely to over-penetrate (ie, go through the targeted body and into another person or object that might contain a person — house or car or other room).  Some people actually prefer FMJ, or full metal jacketed, but unless you know the backdrop, that is a dangerous ammunition to use for self or home defense, as the over-penetration potential will be high.  The danger is that a round could over-penetrate an aggressor and be a danger to others in the house (or even a danger to your neighbor in his or her own home).

The question I would’ve asked on a gun forum is, what type of defensive ammo would you use and why?  This question wouldn’t pertain to ammo brand, but more of what grain bullet would be preferred.  Grain refers to the weight of the projectile, not the amount of powder in the casing.  Some ammo makers use lighter-grain projectiles, as since they weigh less than standard bullets.  For example, standard .45ACP ammo is 230-grain.  I bought 20 rounds of 185-grain .45ACP…while the round might not be hotter (ie, more powerful due to additional powder in the cartridge), the 185-grain round will travel faster than a 230-grain round with the same powder charge, since it weighs less.  As well, the round will fly straighter.  The heavier round will have more penetrating power since it would have more mass than a lighter grain projectile.  There are also heavier non-standard rounds.  For example, standard grain for 9mm is 115-grain and a heavier grain is the 124-grain or 147-grain 9mm round.

To be honest, it won’t matter what type of round you use.  What counts more is shot placement.  In a typical defensive scenario, if you hit center mass 5 times, a bad guy isn’t going to be walking away no matter what type of round you’re using, JHP or FMJ, 115-grain 9mm or 147-grain 9mm.  Even .22LR pistols can kill if shots are accurately placed (I’ve read several articles where people have killed intruders with .22 caliber handguns).

I’ve some +P JHP that I mean to experiment with (bought them from Gander Mountain in both .45ACP and 9mm…I believe it’s Remington).  +P usually means more powder than normal is within the cartridge.  I’m not sure if it is actually needed, but if I decide I want more, I know where to pick it up locally.

I also have that .22TCM 1911.  Many people assume that this gun shoots .22LR.  Uhmmm….no.  This round is a shortened and necked-down .223.  It has a lot of powder and when shot from a 5″ .22TCM 1911, muzzle velocities are well over 2000 feet per second (or FPS).  Commander-sized 1911s will shoot the round a bit slower (a tad under 2000 FPS).  Rock Island Armory also has a .22TCM rifle…when shot through that barrel, the muzzle velocity for this round exceeds 2800 FPS!  The round is JHP, but will still punch through 3/16″ steel with ease (video here).

Several good ammunition articles are here and here.

Categories
+P 2.0 Alien Gear Blackhawk CCW Cloak Tuck IWB JHP permit Pro Carry HD Remington SD Sportster

I Carried Concealed Today

I submitted for my concealed carry permit on 13 February 2015.  I received the permit on 21 February.  I’m now able to carry concealed.  Yes, that is probably a record timeframe of submittal and approval for the state of Virginia.

I carried for the first time today.  I carried the majority of the day.  I decided to carry my XD 9 Mod.2.  The holster I used was a Blackhawk nylon holster (non-ambidextrous with no mag holder).  I was actually looking locally for the Blackhawk ambidextrous holster with mag holder (product #40AM06BK, specifically)…I tried two Walmart stores but someone has been opening the packages, removing the holsters and switching them, because I’d bought two holsters and upon getting them home, I’d found that the holster in the package wasn’t what was advertised on the package’s labeling.  The first holster wasn’t even close to what I was looking for, as it was a large holster made of slick black nylon.  The second holster (what I’ve since discovered is a Blackhawk Sportster in size 8) wasn’t what I was looking for but was a small holster that was able to hold my two sub-compacts and three compacts (I’ve no idea if it’ll hold my SP2022, but I doubt it…that gun borders on being full-sized).

So, if you’re looking for a cheap (~$20) holster, this may fit the bill.  Most people do not like cheap holsters, but it fit my XD 9 perfectly and didn’t feel uncomfortable.  I kept the holster at my 4-o’clock strong side and wore a long thick plaid work shirt over it (my wife said I wasn’t printing).  I probably need a better (stronger) leather belt, but the one I was using is actually pretty thick…there was only a tad bit of sag.  I’ll look for a better belt tomorrow, as the local gun stores will be open and I’m off work.

What other guns will fit in this holster?  My Glock 19 fits perfectly and will slide in/out without issue, as will my XD.  My Grand Power P11 fits well, also (not as good as the XD, though).  My P320 fits great but the take-down lever hangs on the inside of the holster when trying to remove it.  I’m wondering if a bit of tape will fix the issue, but I also realize that I should be glad I can use this holster with the other 3 guns without issue.  I want to reiterate that this is probably one of the few holsters you’ll find that fits the Grand Power P11…there are NONE specifically made for the P11, so I searched for holsters that would support guns of similar size/dimensions.

I’ve also ordered two Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB holsters:  One for my 1911 commanders and one for my XD 9.  I also ordered an extra shell for the Sig SP2022.  When I was looking, I saw that they had a two-holster combo deal, which was a lot cheaper than I’d thought it would be to buy two.  UPDATE:  I’ve received the holsters and conducted a quick assessment here.

The above pictures highlight a potential issue:  The 1911 shown doesn’t have an ambi-safety like my RIA does.  The right side of the holster doesn’t look to be able to accomodate an ambi-safety.  I’m not sure if that means I’ll have to alter the holster.  :/  UPDATE – No, the ambi-safety doesn’t cause any fitment issues.

I also bought a Pro Carry HD from The Holster Store.  It’s supposed to be an IWB holster but I keep looking at it, wondering, how the hell is it supposed to mount to your belt?  I guess I’ll see when I get it tomorrow.  Another thing that grabbed my attention (but only just now and not when I’d ordered it) was this blurb buried within the description:

The Pro Carry HD can be worn both both strong side and cross draw. For carrying this item in the small of back inside the waistband, you will need to select the opposite shooting hand.

I plan to carry my gun at the 4-o’clock position with this holster, but this holster won’t give me the option of carrying in the small of the back IWB, which limits me.  If I’m understanding the maker correctly, if I want to carry IWB in the small of my back with this holster, I would need to buy a left-hand holster?  Thinking on it a bit, and if that’s indeed the case, that would be the more comfortable way to draw a weapon from behind your back…I might order another of these just to try it out.

The Pro Carry HD is also described as being bulky by customer comments on Amazon, although some customers are defending it by reminding gun owners that they should be buying pants with enough waist room to allow for such a holster.

So, tomorrow, I trek to find a nice gun belt (or even two, if they’re priced decently).  I’ve one gun store in mind (Trinue in Warrenton), and if the pricing is too high, maybe Guns and Ammo Warehouse.  UPDATE:  I ended up going to The Gun Shop, which didn’t have any belts, so they sent me to Virginia Arms, and I left with a black Galco 1.5″ gun belt. I also plan to go shooting either tomorrow or Tuesday morning.  I need to begin the break-in process of the Glock 19, my P320, and my GP P11.  I will probably carry the XD there so that I can fire off a box of SD rounds (Remington HTP +P 115-grain JHP) to see how well the XD responds to that ammo.