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6/28/10

"Service Pistol Duty and Self-Defense Loads" by: DocGKR

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When comparing well designed duty handgun ammunition, there are minimal differences in penetration depths and temporary cavity effects, as noted below in the gel shots by Doug Carr:





As you increase bullet size and mass from 9 mm/357 Sig, to .40 S&W, to .45 ACP, more tissue is crushed, resulting in a larger permanent cavity. In addition, the larger bullets often offer better performance through intermediate barriers. For some, the incremental advantages of the larger calibers are offset by weapon platform characteristics. As is quite obvious from the photo above, NONE of the common service pistol calibers generate temporary cavities of sufficient magnitude to cause significant tissue damage. Anyone interested in this topic should read and periodically re-read, “Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness” by Urey Patrick of the FBI FTU, as this remains the single best discussion of the wound ballistic requirements of handguns used for self-defense -- it is available at: http://www.firearmstactical.com/hwfe.htm .







Keeping in mind that handguns generally offer poor incapacitation potential, bullets with effective terminal performance are available in all of the most commonly used duty pistol calibers—pick the one that you shoot most accurately, that is most reliable in the type of pistol you choose, and best suits you likely engagement scenarios.

The following loads all demonstrate outstanding terminal performance and can be considered acceptable for duty/self-defense use:

9 mm:
Barnes XPB 105 & 115 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Federal Tactical 124 gr JHP (LE9T1)
Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)
Winchester Partition Gold 124 gr JHP (RA91P)
Winchester Ranger-T 127 gr +P+ JHP (RA9TA)
Federal Tactical 135 gr +P JHP (LE9T5)
Federal HST 147 gr JHP (P9HST2)
Remington Golden Saber 147 gr JHP (GS9MMC)
Speer Gold Dot 147 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 147 gr JHP (RA9T)
Winchester 147 gr bonded JHP (RA9B/Q4364)

.40 S&W:
Barnes XPB 140 & 155 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Speer Gold Dot 155 gr JHP
Federal Tactical 165 gr JHP (LE40T3)
Winchester Ranger-T 165 gr JHP (RA40TA)
Winchester Partition Gold 165 gr JHP (RA401P)
Federal HST 180 gr JHP (P40HST1)
Federal Tactical 180 gr JHP (LE40T1)
Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)
Speer Gold Dot 180 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 180 gr JHP (RA40T)
Winchester 180 gr bonded JHP (Q4355 or S40SWPDB1)

.45 ACP:
Barnes XPB 160 & 185 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Federal HST 230 gr JHP (P45HST2)
Federal HST 230 gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
Federal Tactical 230 gr JHP (LE45T1)
Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP
Speer Gold Dot 230 gr +P JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr JHP (RA45T)
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr +P JHP (RA45TP)

Notes:
-- Obviously, clone loads using the same bullet at the same velocity work equally well (ie. Black Hills ammo using Gold Dot bullets, Corbon loads using Barnes XPB bullets, etc…)

-- Bullet designs like the Silver Tip, Hydra-Shok, and Black Talon were state of the art 15 or 20 years ago. These older bullets tend to plug up and act like FMJ projectiles when shot through heavy clothing; they also often have significant degradation in terminal performance after first passing through intermediate barriers. Modern ammunition which has been designed for robust expansion against clothing and intermediate barriers is significantly superior to the older designs. The bullets in the Federal Classic and Hydrashok line are outperformed by other ATK products such as the Federal Tactical and HST, as well as the Speer Gold Dot; likewise Winchester Ranger Talons are far superior to the old Black Talons or civilian SXT's.

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Basically all the standard service calibers work when using good quality ammunition.

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The keys are:

-- Cultivate a warrior mindset
-- Invest in competent, thorough initial training and then maintain skills with regular ongoing practice
-- Acquire a reliable and durable weapon system
-- Purchase a consistent, robust performing duty/self-defense load in sufficient quantities (at least 1000 rounds) then STOP worrying about the nuances of handgun ammunition terminal performance.



Since 1985, at various times I have been issued, qualified with, or authorized to carry the Beretta 92F & M9, Sig P228 & P226, S&W 3913 & 5906, Glock 17/19, S&W 4013 & 4006, Sig P220, S&W 4513 & 4566, various 1911’s, as well as several S&W revolvers including J, K, L , and N-frames. I also have a fair degree of experience with Browning Hi-Powers, Glock 22/23 & 21, various HK pistols, as well as the recent S&W M&P pistols. I have been certified as an armorer on several of these systems. All of these handguns had both good and bad characteristics. I have been lucky to have gotten to travel around the country and world quite a bit and gotten to see what other units and agencies are using and assess how their weapon systems are functioning. There are many pistols which will give adequate service for routine law enforcement or military duty use. The number of pistols which are reliable, durable, and ergonomic enough for very demanding law enforcement tactical and harsh military special operations use is much smaller.

Unless your department picks your caliber for you, pick the platform you shoot best, then decide on caliber from there. Basically all the standard service calibers work when using good quality ammunition; the platform picked tends to dictate the caliber. Currently the best duty pistols going right out of the box are probably the 9 mm Gen 3 Glocks, S&W M&P 40/45's, as well as the HK P30 and HK45.

For CCW and most urban LE duty, there are a lot of advantages in carrying a 9mm--easy to shoot one handed, relatively inexpensive to practice with, lots of bullets. When I injured my strong hand a few years ago and lost its use for several months, I found out how much more effective I was using a G19 weak handed compared to a 1911...

While I am not a big fan of the .357 Sig, if I was issued one and had lots of free ammunition available, I would have no issues about carrying one on a daily basis.

If I was in a department that issued .40 or was doing a lot of LE work around vehicles, I'd be strongly tempted to carry a M&P40. Lots of 180 gr JHP's that do well against intermediate barriers is a nice thing. In addition, I really like having a manual safety on a pistol that is used for uniformed LE use; I have twice seen officers' lives potentially saved when another person gained control of an officer's pistol, but the engaged manual safety prevented the weapon from firing--I don't like to think about the outcome if the pistols involved had been a Glock, Sig, XD, revolver, etc... The M&P40 w/ambi safety and possibly a Performance Center or Apex sear will be the service pistol I'll pick if I ever go back to patrol duties again.

The nice aspects of .45 ACP is that it makes large holes, can be very accurate, and offers good penetration of some intermediate barriers. Unfortunately, magazine capacity is less than ideal, .45 ACP is more expensive to practice with, and in general is harder to shoot well compared with 9 mm. .45 ACP makes the most sense in states with idiotic 10 rd magazine restrictions, in departments that give you lots of free .45 ACP ammo, or in situations where modern expanding ammunition is restricted due to asinine, illogical regulations.

As I've said before:

If you want a Glock, get it in 9 mm...

The HK45 and HK P30 are good reliable service pistols, but beware of HK customer service and parts availability.

These days, skip new Sigs, although the older German made Sig 9 mm’s are superb...

Unless you are issued one and have no other choice, forget Beretta.

XD's are a no go for serious use--the inability to retract the slide without engaging the grip safety makes one-hand injured operation very difficult with the XD--this is a deal breaker for me. In addition, in some government tests, XD's (particularly the .40's) have broken a lot of parts compared to other pistols being tested...I'll take a 9 mm Glock or M&P any day of the week over an XD.

The M&P may just be the best LE service pistol produced to date. I was involved in a M&P40 trial at a large agency where four M&P40's fired 7000 rounds each in 1 week without any significant problems. Up to this point, we have not seen any major problems yet with M&P's (primarily .40 & .45's).

A properly customized 5" steel-frame single-stack 1911 in .45 ACP is a superb, unparalleled choice for the dedicated user willing to spend a significant amount of money to get it properly initially set-up and considerable time to maintain it. Keep in mind with 1911 pistols that calibers other than .45 ACP and barrels shorter than 5" induce increasingly greater problems. I personally will not use any 1911 with a Schwartz firing pin safety (like on the Kimber II pistols) as I have seen high numbers of them fail; the Colt Series 80 firing pin safety is the only one I might trust for urban LE use, but they have also been known to fail in harsh environments (particularly surf zone and high dust) so I generally prefer a standard USG style 1911 pistol w/o firing pin safety. However, I personally would not choose to carry most stock or even semi-custom 1911's on duty without making sure they were set-up properly with reliable function, durable parts, and ergonomic execution. I firmly believe that if you want a 1911 for serious use, the minimum level of quality for a duty/carry weapon is the SA Pro model (either PC9111 or PC9111LR if you want a light rail); if you’re not willing to invest that much into the weapon system, don't get a 1911... I write this after being around quite a few 1911's over the past two decades of military and LE duty, including GI, commercial Colt, SA (Milspec, Loaded, MC Oper, Professional models), Wilson, Kimber, Nighthawk, Les Baer, and Para Ord, as well as custom pistols by folks like Bill Laughridge, Wayne Novak/Joe Bonar, Ed Brown, John Jardine, Hilton Yam, Larry Vickers, and Chuck Rogers. I'd strongly recommend anyone contemplating a 1911 for serious use read all of the material on 1911's here: http://www.10-8performance.com/Articles.html. For folks who want a .45 ACP pistol, but don't want to invest the funds and effort into getting a good 1911, they would be better served with the S&W M&P45 or HK45

In fact, these days, if I already didn’t have several 1911’s that were as reliable as my 9 mm Glocks, along with extensive accessories for 1911’s, I would just use an S&W M&P instead.

Whatever you choose, make sure you fire at least 500 and preferably 1000 failure free shots through your pistol prior to carrying it. If your pistol cannot fire at least 1000 consecutive shots without a malfunction, something is wrong and it is not suitable for duty/self-defense use.


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Here is a link to his post. http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887

5/30/10

Simple LCP front sight upgrade

BCM gunfighter Charging handle

Get the hell out of here!! Way over priced for what its worth in my opinion. I mean really 50 bucks?? Unless you just have a 50 spot to blow, stick with your oem charging handle. That is unless you want to be all tacti-cool with all the shizzy, snip, snap snap goodies..

I really don't find this charging handle to be all that great. yeah sure the "tacti-latch" should not break, I repeat should not break. The finish I find not to be very friendly to staying lubed. The Finish seems to suck up the oil as if it was created by some, oil gobbling space creature sent to piss me off, by the intergalactic ar15 cosmic bling crew. This finish sucks.. I believe it to be some sort of duracoat. No where as smooth of a finish as a standard mill spec charging handle.

When I put the micrometer to it, the tolerances are the same. That being said, you still get the same wiggle up,down,left,right at the end of the charge. It will still wear the hell out of the right side.

I don't know, hopefully its just me. But for 50 hard backs I expected it to be a whole new design on the wheel. I guess it is for those who like the latch. I'm going to have to give it a big WTF for the average range plinker...

The more I look at this product the more Im inclined to just say, damned if you do, damned if you don't!! This thing better have a lifetime warranty. I should have just got the gas-buster ch for my 9mm upper. Since I ordered a YHM can last month.

Live and learn!!
Cromer

5/28/10

Ever wonder where the Cadilac emblem will go on your AR15?

I see a ton of AR-15 pictures and videos. Every time I watch one, I wonder where the Cadillac Emblem would go. I have always been bum-foogled to see all the gadgets. Trust me, I like gadgets, but do they all serve a useful purpose? How often is the rifle in the safe? Dollar for dollar does the usefulness and assistance factor in shooting equal out? Better yet, is it a stature or manly thing?

Why is it we feel more like a man when we have two hundred dollar rails, and one hundred dollar lights and eight to two thousand dollar or more optics? I do not think I or anyone will ever figure out this riddle. The accessories industry has grown leaps and bounds. The more I visit forums the more I see. Are we as consumers brain washed to think our rifle is junk if we do not have there products?

When I visit the range or attend local shoots with my friends I have in the past looked at each rifle as if it was a Billboard. Like a shoot-able advertisement. Some rifles are decked with all types of goodies. Mostly from the same company. Like magpul products. I wondered why this is? Occasionally I would ask the guy next to me, why? I would get the answer I expected, but mostly it just boiled down to why not.

Dollar for dollar I find the magpul products to be the best in the function and cost department. I began with a miad grip and trigger guard. I was so impressed with its texture and functionality I decided to get there new AFG (angled fore grip) being as I tended to shoot with my thumb along the left rail anyways. Wow, was I blown away! It was what I needed from the beginning. To boot that with its cost! The afg was incredibly cheaper than my tango down fg.

I have always wanted to pick up a CTR stock.. I wound up ordering the CTR and the AFG at the same time. HOLY BIG DIFFERENCES BAT MAN! I can't put my finger on where the comfort factor comes from but it is the digity, you know, snap shizzle snap snap!! Sweetness.

Now after I have been able to get out to the range several times over the past month and a half. I am sold on these products. Yet, I now look at my rifle and there it is.. A ADVERTISEMENT for magpul. I guess the answer to my original question has been answered. Some folks are just drawn to a manufacturer products for there functionality. Despite the cost. For me the cost factor is huge part. Although I don't seem to mind it with magpul because of there reasonable prices compared to some. Perhaps its the polymer, or relative new business. Either way Im sold and look forward to testing out there sight systems.

Other than that, I need to decide where to put my Cadillac emblem!!

Cromer

5/22/10

Hand gun shooting tips

Tip #1

No firearm needed to practice this.

  Practice drawing your "hand" from the holstered position. Bringing your shooting hand up to eye level and pointing your finger. Choose a stationary object. Be sure to point your finger and hold your wrist as you would hold your hand gun. The angle can change, depending on the firearm you have chosen. During the target acquisition be sure to sight down your hand and finger to be sure your pointing at the object. Repeat this several times and before shooting.

  Once you feel that you are pointing constantly at the object, add other stationary objects to move from one to the other. Now draw, point at object 1, then object 2, and so on and so on. Then repeat! It is all about the repetition. Over time you will build muscle memory that leads to speed and accuracy. Mostly in this exercise you will help to build upon your hand eye coordination, that will be added to other exercises in the future. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. No need to rush it.

  I will do a more detailed video on this in the future. Stay tuned, stay safe, and don't poke your eye out. LOL

Tip #2
After lots and lots of point practice. Implement your unloaded firearm. Be sure there is no ammunition in the same room with you. Now you should be quicker to point the front sight. Don't worry so much about the rear sight. Just watch the front, use both eyes and focus on the target.

Tip #3


Using both eyes to shoot will give you a wider range of view and you will be able to focus on the target better. Don't look at the front sight. Look past it but keep it in your line of sight. Remember If you cant see the target you more than likely cant hit it.

Tip #4


Old one but good one!

When draw practicing with your glock after point practice. Put a piece of card board in between your slide and barrel to free up the trigger. This will help with you feeling a smooth trigger pull. Combine this with tip #1. It will also save time on not having to reset the trigger. Do this before you begin trigger pull/break feel.

 
 
 
 
 
 





 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
More tips to come!! Check back often