If you read some guides on the web or in gun mags about best practice for defensive carry, they will almost ubiquitously counsel you to train with your defensive ammo – what you actually carry in your handgun – at the range.
At first thought, this might seem like nonsense. Defensive loads produce more recoil and are way more expensive than target loads like 9mm full metal jacket. Plus, at the range, you’re just punching paper. Why would you waste expensive Federal HST (for instance) on that?
Isn’t it a waste?
Well, not exactly. The reason so many writers (and others that practice concealed carry) are hung up on this issue is because of the fact that every different load will perform differently, even from the exact same gun.
Let’s take a closer look at this.
As an example, we’ll consider 9mm full metal jacket. Usually, FMJ target loads have relatively light load data compared to defensive loads.
That’s one reason that they perform differently. But the other is the bullet itself.
Remember, an FMJ round has a smooth, round nose with no sharp corners. There’s nothing to get stuck on a magazine’s feed lips, on a feed ramp, or on the edge of a chamber.
Feed ramps, specifically, can present a problem. Feed ramps that are not smooth, which have sharp angles, or which are stepped, can all easily jam hollow points – but not always FMJ ammo.
Which means this: you take your handgun to the range, fire some FMJ through it, and think you’re good to go.
But that same gun might completely jam when you load it with hollow points. That’s the problem right there.
What you don’t want is ever to have to draw your handgun in earnest, only for it to jam when you pull the trigger.
This is the main reason that it is critically important that you train with the ammo you actually shoot, which, for defensive applications, shouldn’t be 9mm full metal jacket ammo.
There are some other minor reasons dealing with recoil, and it’s also true that most hollow points are not as accurate as FMJ rounds, but at close ranges, these considerations are usually negligible.
The above reason, however, cannot be overlooked. If you do carry for defensive purposes, make sure you train with the ammo you actually carry.
It is essential to understand how well your handgun will perform with that ammo if you ever need to use it.
Where to Restock Your 9mm Full Metal Jacket Target Ammo
Is your local shop out of target ammo or the defensive ammo you prefer to shoot? If so, don’t waste more money driving farther and farther out – that’s still a gamble anyway.
Get it online at Bucking Horse Outpost. They carry a huge assortment of popular handgun ammo in common calibers (9mm, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and many others) and tons of defensive and FMJ target ammo in the mix.
Save some time, get it online.