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Gun Talk
Are you a gun fanatic as well? If so, you'll want to talk to other owners about what you own in this forum.

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Old 01-27-2012, 05:46 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Reedo302 View Post
Just thought I'd share my philosophies on rounds to carry and why. This gets asked a lot, so I figured that I'd share some thoughts. If you have some favorites, feel free to share them as well.


Bonded bullets:

I tend to prefer bonded bullets. Some people out there make claims that bonded bullets over-penetrate, and non-bonded bullets do a better job of creating wounds due to fragmentation. Bonded bullets were created for penetration, but they were created to eliminate the problem with fragmentation. Non-bonded bullets will fragment, and not predictably. There's usually jacket separation, which reduced the integrity of the lead core, and then the lead core can either fragment into pieces, or else the core can overly-flatten and deform. All of this can cause under-penetration, and I would rather have a bullet over-penetrate as opposed to under-penetrating. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time in a vehicle and may have to shoot through a door or window, or if you live in areas where people wear more clothing layers due to colder temps.

Bonded:




Conventional (non-bonded):



My preferred loads by caliber:

.380ACP
Hornady TAP 90gr FTX Critical Defense: This is one of the fastest and highest pressure .380 loads on the market. It is also one of the few that has 200+ft-lbs of muzzle energy. The biggest draw-backs of the smaller "micro calibers" are the lack of penetration and performance from hollowpoint bullets. Clothing can possibly clog a JHP cavity creating poor expansion. When you consider that this is a "carry" round, the likelyhood of shooting through clothing is pretty high. The cavity of a 90gr .380 bullet is pretty small and likely easily clogged. Having the polymer filler allows the round to work correctly and predictably, making this the best option in my book.

9mm Luger
Speer GoldDot 115gr +P+: This stuff is HOT. 1300fps and 432ft-lbs of energy make this thing scream out of a barrel. This is a bonded bullet, and the added performance of the +P+ makes this thing one of the most powerful loads on the market for the 9mm. The added pressure allows this round to work well in medium and shorter barrels, but the maximum benefits come from a full-size pistol.
Hornady 135gr +P FlexTip Critical Duty: For full-size or mid-size frame guns, this is a fantastic option. It's an advanced design that has modified the Critical Defense FTX bullet to more of a partition-style design using Hornady's InterLock design. The construction makes it very effective at penetrating barriers while still delivering results of soft tissue.
Speer GoldDot 124gr +P ShortBarrel: For carrying a smaller or subcompact pistol, this ammunition is well-designed. The powder is different, giving a better burn in the short barrel. Also, the hollowpoint cavity is larger for better expansion at lower velocity.

.40S&W
Federal Tactical 180gr HST: The 180gr is slower than the 165gr and 155gr loads, and has less energy out of the muzzle, but design still allows the 180gr to penetrate into targets better and deeper than the lighter counterparts. The 180gr is proven performer. The very wide hollowpoint opening allows it to work effectively through clothing.
Hornady 175gr FlexTip Critical Duty: While this round is more designed for the longer barrels, the bullet design still functions out of shorter barrels. Still, for mid-frame and full-size guns, this is a very ideal cartridge with excellent barrier penetration.

10mm Auto
Hornady 200gr XTP: This is just a heavy sledgehammer of a round. Having used this load for deer hunting, I can tell you that it is a seriously devastating round with exceptional performance. This benefits barrier penetration due to the ability of the round to maintain inertia upon impact and continue to carry that energy through into the target. While it may not penetrate as deeply in soft tissue, it will penetrate consistently if it hits bone due to that added mass. I would recommend this round for large frame guns like the Glock 20 w/ 4.6" barrel or a 1911 w/ a 5" barrel. The XTP bullet was one of the first bonded bullets on the market, and it is a very consistent performer.
Hornady 165gr Critical Defense: 165gr loads work about the same as 155gr loads, but have more inertia. This, matched with the FTX bullet makes this round a good carry load for more compact platforms like the Glock 29. The higher velocity will make sure that you get good performance from a compact size pistol. The design gives it excellent performance, but you won't have as much of a possibility of over-penetration.

.45 Auto
Hornady 200gr +P TAP FPD/TAP CQ XTP: The 200gr load is the best of all worlds with the .45ACP. 230gr loads have issues with barrier penetration due to low velocities. They do well against soft tissue, however. The heavier 200gr bullet mixed with the +P power increase make this a good option that allows barrier penetration while still causing exceptional soft tissue damage.
Federal HST 230gr +P: This is another option for the .45. For people who prefer the heavy 230gr bullet, the HST offers a lot in the way of expansion and penetration ability for a round that is only pushing 950fps. With 230gr loads, I am a big advocate of +P options for the added 100fps of velocity.


As you can see, I tend to prefer the Hornady, Federal and Speer loads. I have used loads from these companies extensively for the past 10 years. I have found their offerings to be very consistent and reliable, with reliable feeding/operation in all of the guns I've owned.
Reedo,

I know you listed your favorite 9mm but I'm interested in your opinion of the Federal Hydra-shok 9mm 135gr JHP.

Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:10 PM   #42
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I've used Hydra-Shoks extensively for years. I've shot through windshields, car doors, construction materials, into kevlar, etc. For a non-bonded bullet, they're pretty decent. Hydra-Shoks do have issues with the tip clogging in clothing, and they do have really definite jacket separation issues, which leads to fragmentation problems. They are decent enough for going through intermediate hard barriers like winshields and such, but there's noticeable spalling and deformation, which makes the following penetration into your perp shallower.
With that being said, I still wouldn't want to be shot by one. In most circumstances, the Hydra-Shoks perform quite well for what they are and for being essentially antiquated technology. Basically, as long as the bullet is capable of penetrating at least 12" into ballistic gelatin, it's sufficient. The Hydra-Shok does, so it works okay for personal defense applications. For 9mm, the advantage comes with penetration, so as long as your round is still supersonic and you're not using target FMJ ammo, you're generally fine.
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:43 PM   #43
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:58 PM   #44
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So it looks like carrying my Full size XD9 IWB might be exacerbating my lower back issues, I started noticing the pain for a few weeks but didn't made the connection till now. Anyone else hear of or experience lower back pains carrying IWB?

Right now I'm considering a few options

1)New Gun belt - Heard it's supposed to spread the weight more evenly, but I'm not sure this will completely fix the issue

2) OWB Holster- Any recommendations? I like the Raven Concealment Phantom so far

3)New smaller carry gun- I checked out a few handguns tonight
-M&P Compact- Probably my favorite so far
-Glock 26 - It felt ok with the extended mag
- XD Sub compact - Familiar Platform, though it appears to be a bit thicker than the M&P

I also considered a KAHR, but it seems like my hands are too big for a single stack...is this weird? Any other big handed folks carry Kahrs? I'm really partial towards going single stack
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:49 PM   #45
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I would go with the Raven holster. Then, go with a smaller gun. My first suggestion was going to be a Kahr P9 or something similar, but I guess that won't work. Either way, cutting weight by going to a smaller gun is not a bad idea.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:06 AM   #46
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Thanks

So can you help me understand the drawbacks of smaller weapons for folks with big hands? What specific issues will I notice? drawing? accuracy?

Can the grip be modified?
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:09 AM   #47
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Thanks

So can you help me understand the drawbacks of smaller weapons for folks with big hands? What specific issues will I notice? drawing? accuracy?

Can the grip be modified?
It can affect all of the above. You can improve through training of course. Less to grab, harsher recoil, etc.

I carry an XD40 Subcompact everyday IWB. It was a slight adjustment to shoot with it because my pinky would slip off the gun. I bought these, they work very well with the regular mag. The extended mag isnt a problem

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/11593-1.html

Like you, I also have a full size XD9 as well. I don't like to carry it CC, but it is nice to OC
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I agree with JonJon.

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Old 02-05-2012, 01:55 AM   #48
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What Jon Jon said.
You always need to train heavily with a new gun platform to become proficient. However, it's important to have a gun that fits your hand.
I would recommend a small 1911, but the Springfield EMP is only 2oz lighter, and the Kimber Ultras with aluminum frames are only 3oz lighter. Compare that to an M&P9c, which is almost 7oz lighter. You lose almost a half pound of gun weight by going to a subcompact polymer gun. Either way you go, you will lose ammo weight by going to smaller mag, and that does make a difference.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #49
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Thanks for the input JJ & Reedo.

So I rented the PM9 at the range this weekend and put some rounds through it. I shot it fairly well, though I did experience some Trigger Sting, I guess this has to do with with my grip? (thoughts?).
While the grip is thin for my hands, I like the length of it, and I'm thinking it might work with some grip sleeves?

I also shot a Glock 26 and a Kimber Aegis Ultra, both of which I've now ruled off my list.
The Kimber's trigger was pretty awesome (short and sweet) and it's definitely on my wishlist down the line, but the gun is just as heavy as my XD, so it wouldn't meet my current need for a carry gun. The Glock my least favorite, grip was too short and recoil seemed harsher

I am a little concerned with Kahr's reputation for being "finicky" though (I've had 3 different gun shop guys tell me that), because of that, as well as their price, I'm putting the PM9 at the bottom of the list for now (at least till I shoot a few more guns)


I've also started researching the Walther PPS and the M&P9C, but will need to shoot them this weekend, but for now here is my list

1)Walther PPS
2)M&P 9c
3)Kahr PM9

Any feedback on the Walther vs the M&P?
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:01 PM   #50
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The Kahr is finicky until you have it broken-in. You need to shoot at least 200rds through it, but as many as 300. You will know when it's broken-in, because it'll all of a sudden become instantly 100% reliable.
You could also consider a larger Kahr model, like the P9, CW9 or the TP9. All range from 15-18oz. Very light, and very decent quality.

I would definitely not discount the Walther and M&P. Both are highly rated. They're both good quality. Thing is that the Walther and Kahr are single-stacks, and the M&P is a wider double-stack. It depends on the ergos. The PPS is 19.4oz. Heavier than the Kahrs, but lighter than the 21.7oz M&Pc. If weight is seriously an issue, I'd be looking for a single-stack option. 7oz is a big weight drop, but 9oz is even more. Dropping 10-13oz is even better.
The other option is to consider a Smith&Wesson airweight revolver, but I'm personally a fan of autos and would never deviate from an auto.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:19 AM   #51
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Yeah, I created a spreadsheet a few days ago with all the dimensions, mag capacities and weights of all 6 guns I'm considering. The Kahrs consistently win-out in the (less) weight category, so they are hard to overlook. The PPS came in second.

I will shoot both the PPS and the M&P9c this weekend and maybe a bigger Kahr (I'll admit I'm already pretty biased towards the PPS, but we'll see)

I'm with you on the revolver thing, I'd rather stick with a semi

Last edited by Ghostie; 02-09-2012 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:04 PM   #52
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I shot both the PPS and the M&P9c today.

I definitely shot the M&P better and it had the most natural fit of all the guns i've shot so far. (I'd love to own one for target practice/home defense ..awesome gun!)

But unfortunately it's just as wide as my XD so i'm concerned about being able to conceal this OWB.

I think the problem with the PPS is the fact that the grip is angular which takes some time to adjust to. I'm wondering if a grip extension would round it out

Decisions decisions.......

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:23 AM   #53
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*Grip Sleeve* not Extension
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:31 PM   #54
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I just placed my order for a PPS 9mm and a PK380 (for my wife), I also ordered a new Gun belt, extra 8rd magazine and Limb saver grip...guns should be here tomorrow.

Has anyone used holsters from Palmetto Tactical Gear? Curious about their quality, since they are a little less pricy than the Raven Concealment.

Last edited by Ghostie; 02-22-2012 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:37 PM   #55
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Walthers are here! Can't wait to go shooting this weekend.

Now my hunt for the perfect holster begins

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Old 02-27-2012, 10:12 AM   #56
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Hey Reedo (or anyone else) do you have any feedback on the Comptac Infidel Holster?

I'm thinking of ordering the Infidel rather than the MTAC because of the minimal profile. What am I losing by not going with a traditional IWB holster like the MTAC?

Thanks
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:44 AM   #57
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Nothing more than I'd be able to read on the website or a forum.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:16 AM   #58
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Yeah i've read the descriptions online.

I guess what i'm looking for is actual user feedback on weapon stability in the INFIDEL vs a something like an MTAC, which is built on a wider platform

Seems like most of the reviewers i've found have tried one or the other. I'd prefer to hear from someone who's tried both.

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Old 03-07-2012, 05:25 PM   #59
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Signed up for my carry class, taking it in mid April!

So far put 1200 rounds through the XD9, still love it. Cleaned it after the first 200, haven't since and there have been no issues at all.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:16 PM   #60
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Signed up for my carry class, taking it in mid April!

So far put 1200 rounds through the XD9, still love it. Cleaned it after the first 200, haven't since and there have been no issues at all.
Nice. Where at?
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