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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is more to choosing carry ammo than just "stopping power", velocity, and popularity. Few people will argue with the fact that reliabilty is the number one consideration, but what is reliabilty? Is it just the ability to function in a particular weapon? Personally, I look for overall quality and consistency, as well as water resistance and low flash.
After testing several brands and calibers of ammo for muzzle flash, water resistance, and performance in water and other media, I have found that premium loads perform the best overall. In .45 auto, .40S&W, and 9mm I prefer Winchester SXT, Remington Golden Saber, Federal Hydrashok, and Black Hills, all in the heaviest weights. I have also heard good things about Proload, although I do not know if their ammo is sealed for waterproofness. Hornady and CCI ammo failed my tests when left in a glass of water for two days, which really bugs me because I like ammo from both companies.
I have also noticed great variations in overall quality of ammo from most companies, including the big three. I have no problems with companies updating and improving their line of defensive ammo, but they should really make a note of it on the package so that consumers will remember to test the new product before deending on it. There is also a large quantity of Speer Gold Dot ammo, labeled as "Reclassified", which is being sold at gun shows and local gun shops throughout the country. I contacted Speer about this ammo, and it is, in fact rejected ammo that failed to meet specs. There is no way to find out why your particular box failed QC, so it cannot be relied upon. Speer reps. recommend against carrying this ammo for defense. It is good for function testing your particular weapon if you carry Gold Dot ammo. FYI :smile:
 

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I 'THINK' Eric the Ammoman had some 'reclassified' Speer Lawman in .40 for sale. Should this be avoided as well?

In fact here it is:



_________________
-Justin

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JLM on 2001-06-10 19:08 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Any ammo labeled as reclassified, or which sells for an unbelievable price should be used only for practice. I would also avoid most ammo sold at gun shows. Most of the ammo sold by dealers at shows has been exposed to extreme temperature changes due to travel in trailers and pickup beds across the country. Just my honest opinion of course...:smile:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Clay on 2001-06-10 20:47 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As an aside, I have noticed Winchester Silvertip loads in .40, .45, and 9mm have serious muzzle flash, more so than any other ammo I've tried. The 185gr .45 load in particular is extremely bright.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Jim! I tire of the typical asinine posts on "One Shot Stops" :smile: . There are FAR more important considerations IMHO. I tried to point out to a gentleman yesterday(to no avail) that good quality, fresh hardball was much better than corroded 10 year old Black Talon stuff from a gun show. I think the shooting industry is far more effective at marketing than any company advertising in Cosmo :grin: .
Regards,
Clay
 

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...which takes us to a good place for a question...

Where can you get "fresh" ammo? How do you know if your ammo is "fresh"?

I'd LOVE to know the answers to these two...Where can I get the answers? :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OOPS...my point was, if the ammo in question is corroded, has already been cycled through several firearms, and has water stains on the box, you may want to look elsewhere for your ammo :smile: . It's a crap shoot, I know, but how many people inspect their carry piece daily, but have never looked at each individual round in the gun, ever? That's dumb.
 

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LOL...agreed. After being dropped in the snow and left a week or so, I don't usually pick up my old ammo either...and while dated is better than nothing, it says nothing about how that batch was loaded or handled. It DOES help if you are "looking" for a certain "batch" that proved to be pretty good ammo...
...I think"Clay" is correct with the "it's a crap shoot" with the exception of buying directly from the manufacturer. The more hands eliminated from the "batch" the better!
I can't say beyond that except to always buy twice what you want in the hopes that after proof, you'll have at least that much left if it happened to be a "good batch" :wink:
 

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The excise taxes collected by the feds on "sporting" ammo are not collected on ammo sold to law enforcement agencies. These excise taxes finance various conservation programs and are levied on guns and ammunition intended for sale on the U.S. open market. All that the "reclassified" designation denotes is that the ammo was originally produced for sale to a law enforcement agency and that the distributor has now paid the excise tax so that he can lawfully sell the ammo on the open market.

In the case of the Speer ammo referenced, it may well be that it didn't meet the requirements of some agency and that may be the reason that the maker elected to pay the tax and offer it on the open market. There's no reason to doubt the veracity of the maker's comments. However, not all "reclassified" ammo is suspect.

Rosco

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rosco Benson on 2001-06-13 09:35 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Roscoe, all I know is what the rep. from Blount told me about Reclassified ammo. Blount also owns Federal, so I would bet that any reclassified stuff from them may be defective as well.
Anyway, I refused to believe all the b.s. about the Speer stuff that I heard in gunshops and read on the net, and I am glad I called Speer.
The bottom line is, you just can't be sure about why a particular box was reclassified. If it sells for a "too good to be true" price, be very suspicious.
It just kills me seeing all these people who are positively anal about their firearms go out and buy surplus junk at a gun show for defensive use. That is positively insane.
 

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Again, there's no reason to doubt Speer's explanation.

While this may be opening a whole 'nuther can of worms, if one is concerned about the quality and reliability of his ammo, shouldn't he just "roll his own"? After all, only by so doing can he be assured that his primer has a cake and an anvil, that his case has a flash-hole, and that the cartridge is charged with the proper amount and type of powder. The factory-assembled cartridge requires that we take these matters on faith.

It boils down to the question of whether you would prefer to jump a 'chute that you packed yourself, or one that came from a parachute packing factory.

Rosco

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rosco Benson on 2001-06-13 12:48 ]</font>
 
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My solution may not work for everyone but, when I choose my carry ammo, I only puchase it by the factory case, 1,000 rds of the exact same lot # and componenets all with current dates, factory fresh. Yes, this is expensive and no, it really isn't.
I then test the ammo judisciously and then and only then does it go into one of my personal defense guns.
I never, ever carry ammo that came "off the shelf" or surplus ammo.
I have an agreement with my dealer and he does not open the ammo, it remains in the plastic wrap until testing time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Loading your own ammo is the way to go, if you have the option, which I do not. I do the same thing that David does as far as buying an unopened case direct from a large distributer or manufacturer. It's cheaper overall, and you can be pretty sure that you are buying "fresh" ammo :smile: .
When it's all said and done, I have Never had a problem with any factory loaded centerfire ammo in the 20 years that I have been shooting, on a weekly and oftentimes a daily basis.
 

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...agreed
...It's the only way I can think of to be sure you're getting similar ammo. Nothing wrong with reloading. It just gets expensive using all quality components and spending the QC time most of all :wink:
 

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Carrying ammo that's loaded by yourself (handloaded) for personal defense is financial suicide if you ever get involved in a shooting!

Ammuntion selection criteria I use is this:
1. reliability - must work all the time in this particular firearm.
2. accurate - must shoot at least 3" at 25 yards
3. optimal stopping power - must have a descent (85% or higher) track record in real life shootings.
4. Optimal penetration - must not penetrate more than 15" in gelatin.
5. Controllability - I must be able to fire this round in a particular firearm very quickly as well as accurately.
6. muzzle flash - must be minimal.

I have done my research as far as what ammo I will use for personal defense and I like to keep up to date as to what's happening in ammunition development.

I have shot quite a bit of what would be called "reclassified" ammo. It is called seconds by some manufacturers. I use it for practice and sometimes in IDPA matches. It is the same as my carry loads, however there "may" be a problem with it. I have found primers missing, scratched and dented primers, dented bullets and yes, even a few without powder! That's why they were sold as "Seconds"!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Captain on 2001-06-18 10:15 ]</font>
 

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On 2001-06-18 10:12, Captain wrote:
Carrying ammo that's loaded by yourself (handloaded) for personal defense is financial suicide if you ever get involved in a shooting!
I've got to ask for specifics here. Can you cite a case in which the use of handloaded ammo caused a problem? I'm not so sure there really IS a monster under the bed.

Rosco
 

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Yeah and how you can tell as well...With so many "manufacturers" out there...Do they all have to submit "samples" to an agency or what? I just love ammo that I load, I know "everything" about its' history and that it'll work everytime...I'll use whatever I "know" works for me...and if I can't get to my supply of a certain batch, I'll get a substitute that works...I'm not sure this is a good subject...always trashes the thread it starts in...and this is a GOOD THREAD...
 

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Roscoe,

I know that you have some serious connections that can probably site a case or two at minimum where it was brought up in a defensive shooting. The cost incurred is the extra expense of needing expert witness testimony in the criminal portion as well as more time ($) for attorneys and your personal liability in the civil case. Good luck if you wish to carry home brewed ammo!
 
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