Q – Which ammo for self defense?
A – What’s your life worth?  I will pass on the ‘washing machine survivors’ though.
I had another great private class yesterday.  One of the things I do at the range is I unload my carry gun of its high priced hollow point ammo and prep to use cheap practice ammo.  In the process, I usually stow my loaded mags (with carry ammo) in my range bag and trade to other mags for the class.  The chambered rounds have no where to stash easily so they typically go in my pocket.
Then, typically, those rounds show up in my washing machine.  Like these two did this morning (see picture).  Then I mutter something to myself about $2.00 going, literally, down the drain!  That prompted this article today.
I have had a lot of discussion lately about the “right ammo” for self-defense.


My answer is the same as always – the best ammo in my opinion is the high performance hollowpoint variety by a name brand in the most dependable gun you decide to carry.

Then the nuance discussion(s) begin.  What about this or that?  What about light and fast or slow and heavy?  This gimmick de jour or that one?  For me, it still boils down to bullet expansion, staying in one solid piece, penetration, and legal defensibility.  Call me old fashioned, but I really do look at my ammo inside my every day carry (EDC) as perhaps the last ammo I may load before I need it.  In a gunfight.  If it is worth carrying it around all the time, at least feed it well, right?

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999“] “What’s your life worth? More than a dollar a shot?” [/quote]
I have seen a lot of youtube shooting incidents lately and guess what?  I have reposted a lot of them on my Apex Arms Facebook page if you’d like to see some interesting ones. The shots happen fast and the threat might really not stop with two to the chest.  Just like we say in class, you plan to continue to shoot until the threat is no longer a threat.  It may take 10-12 shots, which may span 2-3 seconds or more.  Every bullet that leaves the barrel may be the most important bullet of your life.
For these reasons, I want EVERY single advantage to me in this fight.  Premium ammo provides me with the best chance of success.  Because of that commitment to the idea, I do not load damaged, or ‘washing machine survivors,’ or ‘it only hit the dirt once,’ or old ammo into my carry gun.  (Of course because I spent about $1.00 on it, I use my ‘washing machine survivors,’ and my picked-up-off-the-range ammo (after careful inspection) as practice ammo, but it doesn’t go into the EDC gun.)
Even though it is expensive at over $1.00 per round, what is your life worth?


These videos also que another discussion about ammo capacity.  The national averages support the theory that 5-6 shots will suffice for the average encounter.  But when it takes 10-12 shots in some of these documented situations – it sure doesn’t look like there’s a whole lot of dilly-dallying time to reload in these videos.
What does that mean to me?  It means I am carrying my doublestack, California neutered, full capacity gun more often.  I love my slim single stack, but with it and a spare magazine I have 16 rounds with a reload half way.  With my doublestack, I would start the encounter with 14 rounds and have a 16 round spare.
I have discussed this with over a dozen people who have been in actual shootings.  EVERY one of them said the same thing – nobody ever said they brought too much ammo to a gunfight.  After their encounter, they began carrying lots more than they did before.
Again.  What is your life worth?
Stay safe, practice with a purpose and often, and we will see you on the range.
PS – The washing machine survivors pictured are what I am carrying these days.  9mm Federal Premium Defense HST 124 grain HP and the 45 ACP Hornady Critical Defense 185 grain FTX.  This is NOT an endorsement in any way and I may switch to another – I only state it to answer the question I know will be asked!!!

PPS – I have never had a misfire from a washing machine survivor, but after going through the water, I just cannot trust it with my life.

ApexArmsAz.com  Real Classroom + Real Curriculum + Real Rangetime = Real Confidence.