Self-defense ammo affordable enough to practice with?

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Self-defense ammo affordable enough to practice with?

Postby Grayskies on Fri Sep 03, 2021 2:44 pm

I want to buy Federal HST 9MM 124gr but it's hard to find (Like all ammo these days) and it’s so expensive that practice isn’t going to happen. Even Federal Punch is very expensive, what’s with this ammo coming in 20 or 25 round boxes instead of 50 round boxes?

Is there something out there that has decent performance and is affordable enough I can practice with it regularly?



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Re: Self-defense ammo affordable enough to practice with?

Postby crbutler on Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:38 pm

You practice with your SD ammo?

I practice/shoot matches with my cheap reloads.

I think I’m going to stretch my SD ammo for another year. Given the military keeps it for decades, my 2 year old carry ammo will just be kept another year.

Of course I ran like 10 magazines through when I brought the stuff to make sure it was reliable. Left about half a case for social purposes.

I used to use the round in the chamber up with a practice session, but since stuff got scarce, have been saving it.

If I have to use handloads with coated lead bullets, it’s better than depending on my amazing (not) MMA skills, or abscence thereof.
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Re: Self-defense ammo affordable enough to practice with?

Postby Grayskies on Fri Sep 03, 2021 4:30 pm

I use target ammo for most of my practice but I need to (minimally) shoot enough SD ammo to make sure it cycles properly and so I can get used to the recoil and point of impact.

I bought a lot of hydra-shok too many years ago for what I needed but that was at $20 per box of 50 and it’s nearly expended.

I’d like to run maybe 250 rounds through the new Glock 19 plus about 50 for the magazines for carry. I try to take carry and practice seriously and I've fallen short lately.


I have two other 9mms I keep about the house and I'll use the last of the Hydra Shok for those, I guess.
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Re: Self-defense ammo affordable enough to practice with?

Postby xd ED on Fri Sep 03, 2021 6:47 pm

I'm guessing few shooters who pay for the ammo they shoot use SD rounds for training.
It might address your concerns to hand load rounds that are as stout as your SD ammo. Duplicating blaster/ target rounds in 9mm is said not to make economic sense, but with ammo availability what it is, shooting enough of it, and the cost of SD ammo, it would pay off, I believe.
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Re: Self-defense ammo affordable enough to practice with?

Postby Holland&Holland on Fri Sep 03, 2021 11:01 pm

Right now it is shoot what you can get. SD ammo is no good if it is all shot and it is out of stock only available on gun broker for $5 per round.
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Re: Self-defense ammo affordable enough to practice with?

Postby Bearcatrp on Sun Sep 05, 2021 12:41 pm

Never shoot with SD ammo. Ball ammo seems to be on the shelves so find the same grain your shooting. Get on the lists of midway, brownells, etc and jump fast when you get notified.
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Re: Self-defense ammo affordable enough to practice with?

Postby linksep on Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:26 am

I just read that Sig Sauer Elite ball ammo (about $0.46/ea for 9mm direct) is close enough to their V-Crown SD loads (about $1.10/ea for 9mm direct) you can train with them interchangeably.

Otherwise find (or make) some rounds with the same weight projectile at the same muzzle velocity and that should be close enough.
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Re: Self-defense ammo affordable enough to practice with?

Postby Holland&Holland on Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:02 pm

Or just buy what you can. Few people are looking for 2 inch groups at 100 yards with their 9 mm.
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Re: Self-defense ammo affordable enough to practice with?

Postby UnaStamus on Tue Oct 05, 2021 5:59 pm

If you want to practice with your carry/defense ammo that’s your prerogative. That said, you don’t gain anything by practicing with it other than confirming POA/POI. Speaking from the LE side of the equation where we are not paying for the ammo we shoot (the department is), no LE agency that I am aware of practices with duty ammo. The only time LE will shoot duty ammo is when we qualify, and that amounts to about 100-150rds per year, max. If an officer fails their qual and has to reshoot, most of the time we just hand them practice ammo because we’re not going to keep wasting duty ammo on it. Under normal circumstances, duty ammo is 3-4x more expensive than practice ammo so no agency wants the expense of burning through duty ammo just to punch holes in paper or on steel. I’ve found that most quality commercial practice FMJ ammo (American Eagle, Speer Lawman, Magtech, etc) is pretty close in recoil and POA/POI to duty/defense ammo. If that’s what you want, then do your best to find ammo in comparable bullet weight and you should be okay.

As for the 50rd boxes, that is packaging generally only used for LE sales. When you buy that stuff commercially, it’s usually LE overrun or else special orders through certain distributors, but it’s all initially packaged for LE sales. Commercial sales are the 20-25rds
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