Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby thx997303 » Thu 19 Nov 2009 9:40 am

Depends on how hard the lead is - hard-cast bullets will not expand a significant amount


A given, but the essence of using lead is trial and error until you find what works the best. Bear in mind I am speaking of a flat pointed ( that sounds wierd) bullet. See the designs with the wide flat tip. http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog ... lmol2.html

Is this necessarily a bad thing if the design intent of a hollowpoint is to expend all its energy in the target and not exit? Does jacket separation result in significantly less penetration of the lead core? If the two components take separate courses within the target, might not the additional damage that results more than offset and decreased penetration?


The jacket is light enough that it will not usually create much damage on it's own, but the difference in a few grains to the mass of the lead slug seems to reduce penetration noticeably. Add to that the larger frontal area of the expanded slug, and penetration COULD be drastically reduced.

And the rounds are designed to expand and penetrate to the FBI minimums. Not to "expend energy" which is a moot point IMO. Muzzle energy tells me nothing. Also, hollopoints are not designed to not exit the target. That's the design of frangible rounds.

In the case that the hollowpoint becomes clogs, doesn't it, in effect, become a solid, flat-point bullet and would then have the same penetration characteristics of a hard lead bullet of the same weight?


Don't we expect the round to work as designed? Is it not designed to expand? If it becomes a solid, then no it will not work as well as a lead slug of proper alloy. It would work as well as FMJ.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby MarshallDodge » Thu 19 Nov 2009 9:58 am

What about the issue of velocity with lead bullets? Running a lead bullet beyond 1000 fps has always been a no-no in my book. To get a lead bullet to work at higher velocities, they have to be harder, which means they expand less.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby thx997303 » Thu 19 Nov 2009 11:20 am

Not true, I know several people who push Wheel weight alloy lead to velocities of 2000 fps +

Proper bullet fit is the key, and is a work of trial and error to find the proper fit. Leading actually tends to be either too small of bullet, or over hard alloy.

Also, many molds are sold that cast a bullet with a shank meant to take a gas check. With gas checked bullets, you can generally run velocities closer to jacketed.

And finally, lead bullets can be "paper patched" which is essentially a partial jacket made of various different papers. These rounds can be pushed to jacketed velocities with absolutely no leading, but I have not heard of anyone paper patching handgun bullets. It is also a tedious process.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby MarshallDodge » Thu 19 Nov 2009 2:37 pm

thx997303 wrote:Proper bullet fit is the key.

I find that to be another reason not to use lead bullets unless you are comfortable with loading your own and using them in a self defense scenario.
Last edited by MarshallDodge on Thu 19 Nov 2009 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby divegeek » Thu 19 Nov 2009 2:41 pm

thx997303 wrote:Also, hollowpoints are not designed to not exit the target. That's the design of frangible rounds.

Hollowpoints are designed to expand in order to decrease penetration, and especially overpenetration, to allow them to expend their energy creating a wider wound channel (greater volume of damage) rather than taking that energy to whatever is beyond the target. Frangible rounds are intended to do exactly the same thing, but moreso. It's not a difference in goal, just a difference in degree.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby MichaelD » Thu 19 Nov 2009 4:40 pm

thx997303 wrote:I'm not saying the loads above aren't good, but I can't help but notice the lack of testing on lead rounds.


I honestly have no idea if DocGKR has tested pure lead bullets or not. It's my understanding he only tests rounds when an LE or military agency has requested it.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby thx997303 » Thu 19 Nov 2009 4:49 pm

If that is the case, then it is quite unlikely that he would test lead rounds.

Divegeek, you got me there.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby Scherzburg » Wed 25 Nov 2009 2:05 pm

divegeek, do you know if / who makes Frangible rounds for a .40 S&W and a .45ACP? Is there any ballistics data that shows the wound cavity of the Frangible rounds?

Just a fleeting thought, if less than lethal rounds are available right now for shotgun loads, is it likely hand gun amunition will be next? If so, wouldn't autorney's have a hay-day sueing every LE Officer for not choosing a less than lethal load?
Sorry, just one of those random thoughts. :raisedbrow:
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby MarshallDodge » Wed 25 Nov 2009 2:53 pm

Scherzburg wrote:divegeek, do you know if / who makes Frangible rounds for a .40 S&W and a .45ACP? Is there any ballistics data that shows the wound cavity of the Frangible rounds?

Just a fleeting thought, if less than lethal rounds are available right now for shotgun loads, is it likely hand gun amunition will be next? If so, wouldn't autorney's have a hay-day sueing every LE Officer for not choosing a less than lethal load?
Sorry, just one of those random thoughts. :raisedbrow:

This would be the reason that the Tazer has become so popular.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby xRapidDavex » Wed 25 Nov 2009 3:17 pm

The lawyers can have a hay day if they want. There's no way I'm going to shoot non fatal loads against an assailant using fatal ones.

I'm also not going to take the time to ask him what he's using before defending myself or others.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby divegeek » Wed 25 Nov 2009 5:52 pm

Scherzburg wrote:divegeek, do you know if / who makes Frangible rounds for a .40 S&W and a .45ACP? Is there any ballistics data that shows the wound cavity of the Frangible rounds?

The only manufacturer I'm at all familiar with is Glaser. Ballistics data and real-world results both show that Glaser safety slugs tend to produce nasty but shallow wounds. They do not achieve the penetration into a human torso that is required for good stopping power. They're also way too expensive for most people to shoot enough of them to verify reliable functioning.

I'd stick with JHPs.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby ranger45 » Sun 13 Dec 2009 12:51 pm

What about DRT Ammo? They make some very impressive claims, but it would be interesting to see more independant testing. They are also a bit pricy.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby divegeek » Sun 13 Dec 2009 5:51 pm

ranger45 wrote:What about DRT Ammo? They make some very impressive claims, but it would be interesting to see more independant testing. They are also a bit pricy.

Their claims are a little too impressive, to me. Sets off my "snake oil" alarm. Stuff like "The DRT bullet possesses the power to kill instantly and inflicts massive damage in even its smallest versions."
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby thx997303 » Sun 13 Dec 2009 8:14 pm

Interesting they claim bubbles in lead cores.

Commercial FMJ rounds and many JHP rounds are Swaged.

Swageing is the process of pressing lead into the jacket with enough pressure to make the lead "flow" when at room temperature. Any excess lead is extruded through holes in the dies specifically for that purpose.

The lead cores are either cast at a specific weight, or cut from lead wire. These are already highly uniform.

Seems they are trying to capitalize on a non-issue.
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Re: Recommended self-defense loads for 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP

Postby ranger45 » Sun 13 Dec 2009 8:45 pm

divegeek wrote:Their claims are a little too impressive, to me. Sets off my "snake oil" alarm. Stuff like "The DRT bullet possesses the power to kill instantly and inflicts massive damage in even its smallest versions."


Yea,that's what I mean. It would be nice to see some independant testing.
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