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Discussion Starter #1
Dear Folks,
I realize I may be insulting some of you who are more informed and financially better off than myself by even asking this question.

The fact remains I am still a newcomer to the idea of using a pistol-only when required and clearly permissable by local law- in self defense. I only know as much as I do because I have spent the past 10 years practicing at the range and studying everything I find credible on the Web, including Mr. Camp's hipowersandhandguns.

That said, I live in a very small town and the only source I can find for 9mm (the only pistol I own, so caliber selection is easy) JHPs at a reasonable price (again, required for me) is at the local Wal-Mart. It is therefore very tempting to accept that the Rem/UMC 115 grn. JHPs are the best compromise I can find between quality, lethality, and affordability. (Their code L9mm1B). Do any of you find this completely unacceptable? Am I making a big mistake?

Thanks for allowing a "newbie" question.
Dave
 

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Hello and Welcome Dave,

If it the best ammunition that you can find for practice and SD, than you are doing the best you can with what you have at hand.

The more important consideration is to stay practiced with the load that you carry and "shot placement" is everything.

Should you decide to upgrade your selection, there are certainly a plethora of internet sources for more "exotic or specialty" ammunition that you can order and have delivered to your home.

My favorite is www.midwayusa.com The biggest problem that I have is that I am never home when the UPS man arrives and requires a "adult signature".

Again, welcome to the forum!

Chris
 

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Hiya Dave!

The only silly question is the one that isn't asked.


I used to be able to buy 'premium' ammo but since going out on disability I've stuck with the bargain stuff (and using up stocks of old ammo on hand). I find tests of dollar-per-shot ammo academically interesting but not of much practical use for my situation.

The USA 115gr JHP at Walmart was a good deal at $12/50 (functionally same as Silvertips that were $25/50). Last few times I checked they didn't have any 115gr, though they had the 147gr version. Per Stephens tests the 115gr expands reliably. The 115gr Federal Classic (9BP I think)is supposed to be as good but I've _never_ seen any around here.

I've switched over to the L9mm1B from Walmart both in the old HP and the Grocks, and have been checking out the new Browning with it. All have run 100% with it so far. At $17/100 I can afford to burn it for practice and shoot enough to feel secure in my pistols functioning. Plus its fun to roll plastic drink bottles with JHP as they really take off. :)


Hope this helps some.


Regards,

Pat
 

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Hello and first off the bat, welcome.


"I realize I may be insulting some of you who are more informed and financially better off than myself by even asking this question.No, sir. There are no "experts" here, just interested folks sharing what they've seen or think or asking for information they don't have from others who very well might.

The fact remains I am still a newcomer to the idea of using a pistol-only when required and clearly permissable by local law- in self defense. I only know as much as I do because I have spent the past 10 years practicing at the range and studying everything I find credible on the Web, including Mr. Camp's hipowersandhandguns.

That said, I live in a very small town and the only source I can find for 9mm (the only pistol I own, so caliber selection is easy) JHPs at a reasonable price (again, required for me) is at the local Wal-Mart. It is therefore very tempting to accept that the Rem/UMC 115 grn. JHPs are the best compromise I can find between quality, lethality, and affordability. (Their code L9mm1B). Do any of you find this completely unacceptable? Am I making a big mistake?While bullet/cartridge/caliber selection occupies much internet space and is an important factor, it is not the only factor and probably not the major one in determining the outcome of a lawful defensive shooting. It is one that we can usually "control" and there's just lots and lots of discussion on it. The primary differences I've seen between the newer "designer rounds" is that they perform more consistently over a wider selection of scenarios than the "old technology" bullets. I do not think that this suddenly equates with only the new being effective and the old no longer being so! Despite the Miami Fiasco, I'm very aware of some folks who were "stopped" and are still "stopped" from the frequently maligned Winchester STHP in 115-gr.

From what I've seen the "value pack" and "generic" Winchester, Federal, and Remington ammo consists of ammo that doesn't quite meet specs, be they dimensional or velocity spreads, that the respective companies have set for their ammunition. Most seem to be in FMJ, but there are also JHP's available. Winchester quietly "tweaked" the 115-gr. STHP for a bit deeper penetration and their generic "USA 115-gr. JHP" is the same bullet but w/o the e-nickle finish on the bullet. (Originally, several of the STHP line had aluminum jackets, but I believe that now this is only true with the .32 ACP.) When I've checked this ammo over the chronograph, it frequently is pretty darned consistant; other times not so close in velocities, but I've not seen any that were way, way off as in 200 ft/sec or so.

You would probably still get decent performance with a 9mm using this type ammunition, particularly if the pistol has a 4" or longer bbl.
If the bbl is really short as on some of the little compacts, velocity swings below the bullet's threshold velocity for expansion could occur. Though not desireable, that does not mean that such a hit would be something akin to a flea bite.

The main thing to check in my opinion is reliability and with each separate lot of the lower priced ammo you buy. I have a STAR Model BM that normally feeds and functions just fine with Remington's UMC 115-gr. ball. A while back I took it and a new box to the range and it failed to extract repeatedly! I happened to have some of the older stuff available in my range box and it worked like a champ. I took a couple of the "new" hulls and a couple of the "old" home and measured them. The "new" lot's rim diameter was less and it was also out of round by nearly 0.01"! With that gun, this was enough. I guess this is just another version of the caveat to always check ammo for function in any pistol intended for serious purposes.

Remington's JHP has been changed over the years and in my own informal expansion/penetration tests, it does pretty good.

Between the UMC or the USA, I'd go with whichever worked best in my particular pistol. If they both run 100%, I'd go with the one that grouped the best. If still the same, I'd go with the brand costing less.

Best and again, welcome.



Thanks for allowing a "newbie" question."
 

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Dave,
thank you for thinking highly enough of this forum to make your first post. As Mr. Camp said, none of us are "experts" and just like you, we ask questions and share our experiences. There is no "magic bullet" that any of us know about. But you will find some of the best information about firearms and ammunition on this site.
Regarding your concern about Rem 115gr JHP ammo, if it works in your pistol reliably and you get good accuracy with it, that's fine. I've not tested the Rem but have tested Winchester's 115gr JHP "PP" low cost ammo from WalMart. It expanded and penetrated as good as some of the more expensive stuff. Remington ammo probably compares well with Winchester.

Hope you enjoy the site and feel free to ask any question you wish.

og
 
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I live in Thailand and my defense load is almost exactly what you have, except it is locally loaded with Remington parts and I guess Finnish VV powder. That 115 JHP grain loads average 1,229 fps in my G 17 and are accurate. The cavity looks more impressive than WWB.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My thanks to everyone, especially the well respected Mr. Camp himself and oldgranpa. I wrote a snail mail letter to the manger of my local Wal-Mart (tm) and sent a copy to corp. HQ. He now stocks the WWB Pers Prtction 115 JHPs for me, vs. the 147 grns which don't always function well in some guns like my P11. Testing by Two Pistol Packer on www.ktog.org suggests this rounds expands more reliably than rmngton/?MCs. Dave
 

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Dave,

Welcome sir. I get a lot of very valuable info from the folks here, and enjoy sharing what little I can, when I can. If we don't look out for each other, shame on us.

I really think the most important thing is to pick a round that your pistols handles with total reliability, whatever round that is. Then practicing with that round until you can shoot it well. Then continue to shoot to keep your proficiency high. I am sure there are probably some excellent very expensive, new and improved rounds out there.

But I think where you put the bullet is the real key. Any decent JHP will do its part if I do mine, in my opinion anyway. Especially if I can put 2 or 3 close together quickly if they are needed.

I taught law enforcement topics to my cohorts back in NC and have been a firearms instructor for what can sometimes be a depressingly long time. To me the only stupid/dumb question is one the person does not ask. I have asked my share and will keep doing that. Only way I know to learn something I don't know is to ask folks who do.

Enjoy the forum. In my short time here, I have found everyone to be extremely professional, very knowlegable, and very happy to share what they know with others.

twoguns
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Pat and others:

Also look for the newer post about "wetpack test" by Two Pistol Packer of Rem/UMC vs. WWB and the P11 vs. the PF9.

Be advised the very early ( serial numbers under 100 ) PF9s had some problems that have been corrected. See my post about "Generations" on the PF9 forum at www.ktog.org.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dear Folks,
I'm sorry I'm not always able to provide exact links. I don't have Net access at home right now and get limited time at the library. Thanks, oldgranpa.
Dave
 
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