Written by Jason Hanson. Republished with permission from spyescapeandevasion.com
A Peoria, Arizona man named Dave B. awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of his security alarm going off. Dave immediately jumped out of bed and retrieved his handgun loaded with hollow point rounds. As Dave went to investigate the alarm an intruder with a blowtorch was setting the carpet in his home on fire . . .
Dave and the intruder got into a physical struggle at which point Dave fired a single round from his .357. The round struck the suspect who immediately retreated out of the home and was caught by police. The suspect is still in critical condition at a local hospital.
Clearly, Dave did what he had to do to protect himself from this crazy person who wanted to harm him. Also, he had good ammunition that did its job and got the intruder to retreat.
The fact is, many folks spend a ton of time choosing the right gun for home defense but they don’t give enough thought to the type of ammunition to use. After all, it doesn’t matter if you have the world’s best firearm if you’re feeding poor ammunition through it.
One of the most important gun and ammo decisions is choosing a caliber that will be effective and that you are capable of accurately shooting. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I always encourage people to go to their local gun range and rent different guns to find what works for them.
I often hear from people that they want a .45 or .40 because they want the best stopping power. The truth is, with so many advances in bullet technology, you can be just as effective with a smaller caliber gun — as long as you are using the right ammunition. (All of my home defense guns are 9mm. These include a Glock 19, Sig Sauer P226, and Smith & Wesson M&P.)
Once you’ve chosen a caliber, you need to choose the type of round. A hollow point bullet is one of the most effective self-defense rounds. The bullet expands upon impact and causes more damage than a regular (a.k.a., full metal jacket) round. Since hollow point rounds expand on impact they deliver all the energy from the bullet into whatever they hit, reducing over-penetration of the bullet.
Another factor to consider when selecting your ammo: the weight of the bullet. The lighter the bullet, the faster it travels (and, typically, the greater the penetration). If you choose a heavier bullet it will travel slower and, usually, penetrate less. Depending on the gun, heavier bullets often produce greater recoil, limiting the accuracy of follow-up shots.
I recommend a bullet weight that somewhere in the middle, such as 124 grain. I wouldn’t go too far in either direction from 124 grain because it’s important to have a balanced combination. I use Speer Gold Dot and Federal HST (below) for self-defense. Both of these brands are available in different calibers.
Whenever you find a round that you want to use for self-defense I highly recommend you go to your local shooting range and test the ammo with your gun. You want to make sure that the ammo feeds correctly and there are no issues with your gun while using that ammo.
The bottom line: when you choose a gun for self-defense you trust that gun with your life. You also need to pick ammo you trust (but verify).
Effective ammunition is important, but shot placement, and multiple hits until the threat stops are the most effective means of stopping your attacker.
You are correct, Rabbi. But he DID mention that in the article, when talking about recoil. Big recoil can ‘mess up’ even your first shot, because you will likely ‘flinch’ as you pull the trigger. And certainly will mess up follow-up shots!
Of course, the factor not addressed directly is the difference in each shooter in size and strength and skillful techniques. But that is why he instructs that each of us should ‘test’ multiple different weapons and ammo… to SEE what combination works best for us! And HOPEFULLY, that testing will ‘measured’ by how accurately the hit the target…with their first shot and all following shots! (-:
A LOT of guys — and some ladies — talk about “Blowing Away” the ‘bad guy’… with the biggest and baddest caliber gun and ammo they can get their hands on!! And don’t think about what or who those rounds will hit AFTER blowing big holes in the ‘perp’… Do they live in an apartment, with neighbors in every direction and thin sheetrock walls..? Are the children’s bedrooms in the direct line of fire from the master bedroom and the front door entry area..? Are they likely to be in a shopping mall, or Church congregation, or restaurant full of innocent people..?
I carry a PMR 30 with one chambered and 28 in the magazine for this very reason , 40 grain Speer Gold Dots . All my PMR’s function flawlessly with this ammo and I am very accurate with shot placement so I do not feel under protected at all . I carried a 9mm for 20 plus years and made the switch to the 22 WMR after Kel-Tec introduced this pistol and I assured myself of it’s functionality and reliability . I have been a supporter of the 22 magnum round for years because of it’s versatility and now with the newest ammo available , the function and reliability issues have been taken care of in my opinion . I would have no qualms squaring off with someone who is carrying a larger caliber weapon and more importantly , the prospect of multiple attackers is a strong consideration that I think the PMR addresses . I never liked the prospect of having to reload after 7-10 rounds and I also don’t like the accuracy of a smaller framed , big caliber pistol . My PMR is very light , very accurate , holds plenty of ammo and is very deadly . I have carried a variety of other calibers and frame sizes since 1989 and I am very comfortable with the full size pistol that weighs just over a pound loaded .
Heard it said once that helps to carry what ur local law enforcement carry. If heaven forbid we ever had to use deadly force it would aid in our defense whether it be limited to a LEO interrogation or a full blown DA prosecution.
It only helps convince a jury that your ammo choice is a valid defense load. Depending on the particular DA and cop it may make them consider you a wannabe cop yourself. Unfortunately there’s just no winning with a DGU.
Good point. Looking like a wanna be cop makes you look like you desired a shooting. Very possible scenario.
With hollow points, higher velocity tends to lead to less penetration because they open up to a greater degree…
Yes, he’s wrong about that. Who knows if the guy worked for the CIA, but whatever it’s still a government outfit. Having worked for the CIA implies many things, that you are necessarily a gun expert is not one of them, But it’s a decent article. The advice “stick with middle of the road trusted ammo” is certainly good.
You got it. Unless you are in paramilitary operations or spent a lot of time in hot spots most Intel officers don’t normally carry.
Culinary Institute of America, maybe ????
Thank you. STB410 is cringing right now.
I’m going to disagree with one point: in 9mm the 147 grain hollow points have shown increased expansion compared to 124 grain.
The FBI experts claim the 147 grain 9mm is preferred.
“Worked for the CIA”….OK, but was he working in the Special Activities Division as a Paramilitary Operations Officer?
Nah. Secret squirrel from the mail room.
Egggszactly. I can’t imagine any actual CIA officer who was “operational” ever coming out and writing anything like this. An analyst does not equal an operative. That said I think his advice was fine, I disagree on some parts of it but I won’t get in to that. What I don’t like is the need to fluff it up with “former CIA officer”. That really, really, does very little to me in terms of adding credibility. Former cop, former USA SecOps, former USCG member even, former CIA “officer” (whatever that means) should be taken with the same amount of credibility as your local mall security officer.
Agreed Vhyrus. Lucky Gunner has done some really great ballistics tests on handgun ammo. Here is a link to the 9mm section. (good stuff)
Those tests were excellent for establishing a understanding of what different rounds will do. I liked the results they had with Sig V-Crowns and went with those.
I too load my night stand 9mm Ruger with the 147 grain Speer Gold Dots , this is very good ammo and I have tested it against my 45’s 200-225 grainers and my 40 calibers 150-180 grainers and I love these 145 grainers a lot . They reside in my self defense magazines as we speak .
Good info but I do not agree with the statement by the author that a lighter bullet will penetrate deeper then a heavier bullet, should be the opposite with a small variation based on projectile velocity and diameter.
Yeah, he has no freaking idea what he is talking about. Dangerous nonsense.
Agreed, and this so call gun expert site published that bullshit. Just sad.
Another factor to consider when selecting your ammo: the weight of the bullet. The lighter the bullet, the faster it travels (and, typically, the greater the penetration). If you choose a heavier bullet it will travel slower and, usually, penetrate less.
Not in my experience.
What Andy said.
Gold Dot, HST, Critical Duty, Ranger-T. Are there really any other options? I know there are, but these are the best. Everybody has an opinion, but these rounds have been proven. Those first two have an awful lot of law enforcement proof of effectiveness. You can get all of these rounds for pretty good prices in 50-round boxes!
I’m running Corbon+P 115’s currently. All LGS’s that were around today didn’t have HST or the Critical Duty, so I’ll give these Corbon’s a whirl.
My two absolute favorites are Hornady Critical Duty for 9mm and Winchester Ranger hollow points for .40 S&W. I don’t think anyone makes a better bullet for either caliber.
I believe it was ShootingtheBull who found the Critical Duty to overpenetrate, while the Critical Defense hit the sweet spot, so to speak. The former has a denser jacket than the latter so that it is better able to defeat barrier defense such as windshields, car doors, walls and the like.
As I recall, S T B 410, determined that one of them was intended for longer barrels (more than 4 “, so slightly higher velocities), and the other one for shorter barrels (less than 4”, so slower velocities). I am not positive about which was which, but as I recall the Critical Defense cartridges were intended for the shorter barrels.
S T B 410 determined that the performance of each bullet was very good when fired from the correct barrel length, and sub-par when fired from the incorrect barrel length.
“Don’t mind me, I’m just remodeling your carpet with this blowtorch…..” And a physical struggle with blow torch man. I think Dave hesitated when he should have been shooting.
Buckshot is best for these moments.
Exactly my thoughts as well.
Blowtorch (pressurized propane) + Buckshot = Big Boom! NOT recommended, sparky!
They were indoors M-L, not wing shooting at 25+ yards…no spread. However, an unwieldy shotgun at close quarters is a questionable choice.
Ditto. The only physical altercation would between the firebug and a 230gr projectile.
If your dwelling construction and location allow it, consider slugs over buckshot. I cannot see any human being in this world that will remain standing and functioning after taking a shotgun slug (either 20 gauge or 12 gauge) to the torso. And if you only hit them in the midline of their arm or leg, they will no longer have use of that appendage making it quite a bit easier to fend them off.
If you live in an apartment or condominium where you share walls, floors, and/or ceilings with other people, then I would go with BB size shot to minimize the lethality of any projectiles that blow through one of those shared walls, floors, and/or ceilings. Along the same lines, if your neighbors’ homes are within several feet of your home and neither your home nor their homes have masonry walls, I would again go with BB size shot to minimize the lethality of any projectiles that blow through your exterior walls toward their exterior walls.
“One of the most important gun and ammo decisions is choosing a caliber that will be effective and that you are capable of accurately shooting.”
I would add to Hanson’s statement that another factor is speed. Namely “that you are capable of shooting accurately and quickly.” Many encounters are not stopped with one round. So the ability to fire round after round accurately and quickly is advantageous.
“Another factor to consider when selecting your ammo: the weight of the bullet. The lighter the bullet, the faster it travels (and, typically, the greater the penetration). If you choose a heavier bullet it will travel slower and, usually, penetrate less.”
This is a generalization. It may be generally true, I don’t know. However, I would refer one to published ballistics testing for actual results on the particular ammo that you are considering. There are often secondary effects. Lighter bullets may travel faster and expand more quickly, this may decrease penetration. Heavier bullets do have higher sectional densities (a characteristic prized by hunters for generations). This may improve penetration. These are theories. Demonstrations of performance may be seen with the old FBI style terminal ballistics testing (bare gelatin, wallboard, denim, auto windshields, etc).
For example if one considers Federal ammo, one should visit the law enforcement section of their website. That section lists FBI protocol test results.
Doesn’t sound like a terminal ballistics expert at all.
Just get a gun caliber that Hornady makes Critical Defense or Critical Duty ammo for, buy gun and ammo. Done.
Hornady’s Critical Duty and Critical Defense are made in many calibers. That really doesn’t narrow down your choices.
Taking your advice, I could wind up with a tiny .380 that’s so snappy it’s no fun to shoot and hard to shoot accurately. Or I could wind up with a nice, heavy .45 that doesn’t fit my hands very well.
Choosing the best self-defense tool for you and your needs is quite a bit more complicated than you suggest.
“The truth is, with so many advances in bullet technology, you can be just as effective with a smaller caliber gun — as long as you are using the right ammunition.”
Because those advances in bullet design only apply to bullets of a diameter .357 or smaller? Why not just trot out the “It’s only a difference of 1mm?”
What a load of BS. Just more regurgitation of the same tired old nonsense that wasn’t true fifty years ago and isn’t true now.
Everything you really need know about handgun stopping power:
Eight links to ammunitiondepot.com in one article? How much did they pay for THAT perk? Oops, and one free one I suppose.
Not that there’s anything wrong with it, I’m just curious.
The tag line of TTAG is “Exploring the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns,” and this is a former CIA officer, so any remuneration received by the author for plugging a website I am sure would be disclosed as a matter of ethics.
I am going to open up a can of worms but . . .
If you buy the logic put forth here at TTAG that smaller caliber rifles, with more rifle like cartridges, do just as well or better than larger rifles then fmj or solid projectiles are often better than hollow points out of handguns.
The cartridge matters but for mouseguns its definitely true. As you move up the kinetic energy scale expanding projectiles make more sense. In .357, at close distances, hollowpoints it makes sense. If you increase the distance or decrease the foot pounds of energy than they make less sense.
And over penetration is way over hyped. If I was so concerned about it as some people are I would not even use a firearm.
I’d respectfully point out a small but critical mistake in your article. Smaller, faster JHP generally penetrate less not more; and heavier, slower JHP generally penetrate more.
“Dave and the intruder got into a physical struggle at which point Dave fired a single round from his .357. The round struck the suspect who immediately retreated out of the home and was caught by police. The suspect is still in critical condition at a local hospital.Clearly, Dave did what he had to do to protect himself from this crazy person who wanted to harm him. Also,[ he had good ammunition that did its job and got the intruder to retreat.]*”
*Some would argue-good ammunition that did its job would not allow the intruder to retreat.
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This article gets me vote for most stoopid article put on this site this year, so far.
Wow. I only made it to the part where faster, lighter bullets penetrate more than slower, heavier ones. Oh, and apparently heavier slower bullet loads have more recoil than lighter, faster ones. Let’s see where some simple data collection gets us…
Item 1: faster, lighter bullets penetrate more than slower, heavier ones. We’ll use Speer Law Enforcement’s test data for heavy cloth and gelatin, because it is consistent and a wide range of loads have been tested and data presented. The bullets are also all generally constructed to the same general specifications:
9mm from a Glock 19
115gr @ 1250fps: 13.75″
124gr @ 1150fps: 14.61″
147gr @ 975fps: 14.93″
45 ACP from a Glock 21
185gr @ 1225fps: 12.63″
200gr @ 1080fps: 12.42″
230gr @ 900fps: 13.60″
So the heavier, faster bullets consistently penetrate deeper than the faster, lighter one. How about that.
This is because the inertia of the bullet is greater in a heavier bullet, and it is able to maintain its inertia longer. It is also because the sectional density of the heavier bullets is higher, which leads to better penetration This is borne out by the handgun hunting community, which commonly use hard cast or solid bullets in heavy weights at slow speeds to maximize penetration on large game.
With expanding bullets, the higher the velocity, the more expansion is generally caused. Expansion increases surface area, and decreases sectional density. So a faster, lighter bullet is going to expand more, and that expansion will limit penetration in comparison to a heavier, slower bullet of the same weight.
But Mr Hanson is an expert. The data must be wrong. Feel free to do your own research and see.
Item 2: more recoil from slower, heavier bullets. Recoil is a function of the mass of all ejecta (bullet, powder, gas), velocity of all ejecta, and the mass of the firearm. Here are some basic result from common rounds and guns. I merely input the available data from Hodgdon reloading data center, and ran it through a simple recoil calculator:
9mm from a Glock 19
115gr @ 1250fps: 13.09fps, 4.79ftlbs
124gr @ 1150fps: 12.84fps, 4.61ftlbs
147gr @ 975fps: 12.74fps, 4.54ftlbs
45 ACP from a Glock 21
185gr @ 1225fps: 16.77fps, 9.60ftlbs
200gr @ 1080fps: 16.00fps, 8.75ftlbs
230gr @ 900fps: 15.18fps, 7.87ftlbs
As can be seen from my roughly 10 minutes of data collection, the exact opposite is true. The recoil velocity and energy decreases as bullet weight increases and velocity decreases.
Huh. Again, the data must be wrong. Because Mr Hanson is an expert. No wonder this dude is formerly associated with OGA.
These data don’t really matter in the functional application of wound ballistics. Selecting a modern, well tested bullet design, in a reliable, effective loading, and practicing to make effective hits under stress are far more essential.
Just thought some facts and data might be in order.
Mathematical energy doesn’t always translate to terminal effectiveness. For example, in 40S&W, a 135gr bullet has more energy on paper than a 180gr bullet going slower. That is because the velocity number is squared in the equation. But higher velocity is often bled off (no pun intended) much quicker, leading to much-reduced penetration. Even if the energy is less in a heavier bullet of the same caliber, heavier bullets are often better performers in terms of stopping a threat.
I referred to penetration in inches and RECOIL energy in feet-per-second and foot-pounds. No mention of foot pounds of energy on target, because foot pounds (and any other mathematical energy numbers, are useless for measuring terminal ballistic effects. Those same figures are however pretty good for measuring recoil.
Useless in measuring penetration, yes, because that’s a distance. But not COMPLETELY useless. More energy transfer at impact = more damage. That’s the reason hollow points are effective, not penetration.
Nope. Living tissue is not damaged by mathmatical energy. It is damaged by things tearing, ripping, shredding, stretching, and displacing it. Things like bullets. Bullets that are smooth do less of that, unless they are moving fast enough and the right shape to deform, fragment, or tumble.
Hollow point bullets are more effective because they allow a larger surface area of tissue to be damaged for a given bullet diameter, not because of energy transfer. They also create sharp and ragged surfaces to tear and rip tissue.
Mathematical energy may have minor applications in making gross comparisons of widely different different loads, or determining what general category of rounds a given load fits in (“is this a more powerful round? Well it has 5000ft lbs and the other one has 500…so I guess it is more powerful”). But it really has no use in the terminal ballistic study of handgun wounding effects.
This was never a vehement argument, so please don’t take it as such. I just got so used to arguing the trolls amongst us is nice to argue with someone that’s rational…
I have never seen energy used in measuring ballistics. I’d wager a good part of that comes from the fact that tissue is so soft that the standard energy equations get real ugly, real fast.
But just on the surface of the argument, from a purely physics perspective, energy HAS to play more than a marginal role.
A bullet that passes through a target leaves some of its energy on the table. A bullet that stops inside is target dumps all of its energy. A good portion of that energy, likely upwards of 80% of it, goes into deforming the bullet. The other 20% ish goes into the target to stop the bullet.
Soft tissue doesn’t like ragged holes, but it also doesn’t like sudden shock.
All that not to argue the merits of ball vs hollow point, but simply that energy transfer is ALWAYS a factor.
Sure. In a very gross manner, energy obviously has an effect in wounding balistics. However, in comparison study and selection of handgun calibers for use on living tissue, it is irrelevant.
Yes, a 9mm has more energy available to open the hollow point and penetrate through barriers, a tissue medium, etc, than, say a 6.35x16SR. However, when differentiating between the performance of standard handgun rounds, it is only relevant in that it is available and adequate to do something (expand, penetrate). As its own separate function, and point of comparison it is irrelevant.
The things that make the difference between modern, properly designed and tested, highly quality handgun projectiles really come down to: how wide is the projectile as it penetrates, how far does it penetrate, how well does it hold up and function as designed after passing through a barrier, and how consistently does it do what it does in testing? Further, does it do that throughout the range of velocities expected.
As the performance envelope of standard pistol rounds are engineered to all do about the same thing, the energy of a given load is only relevant so long as it is sufficent to cause that bullet to perform as designed.
Comparing, or arguing about, the mathematical energy differences of standard pistol rounds is like arguing about and comparing the relative cylinder displacement, and torque output of economy-priced, asian-designed, mid-size sedans.
Once again the same argument rears it’s head , without a single mention of the number one cause of death from gun shot …………………. BLEEDING .
It isn’t always a vital organ being ruptured or killed by a projectile that causes the death of the person being shot and it is even more rare for a human to be ‘ knocked down ‘ by a ‘ bullet ‘ or a barrage of them . It is however , very common for the receiver of the bullet , if they know they have been shot , to experience two to three times their normal heart rate and subsequently blood loss rate and they simply bleed out before a surgeon can mend them . Bone fragments are also responsible for a lot of bleeding and bullets nearly always encounter bone when traversing a human body . Many small caliber bullets have a greater propensity to bounce around when encountering bone and therefore create more bleeders as their momentum decelerates inside of a human body .
Unlike a cube of gelatin , which do not contain bone or blood vessels , doctors often shake their heads while a gunshot victim bleeds and dies .
Jim, what did I miss? Your numbers backup what the author said. More penetration and lower recoil.
Mr Hanson said “The lighter the bullet, the faster it travels (and, typically, the greater the penetration). If you choose a heavier bullet it will travel slower and, usually, penetrate less. Depending on the gun, heavier bullets often produce greater recoil, limiting the accuracy of follow-up shots.”
Simplified, he said lighter and faster penetrates more and recoils less than heavier and slower. That is patently false. In fact the opposite relationship exists, based on the data.
Where were the Editors for this article? Most of what Jim said is common knowledge. This so called CIA person is spreading a whole lot of bad information.
This is obvious info to gun people. But remember lots of new people are buying guns and frankly there are lots of unknowing people that will feed the gun WWB as a defensive load. So it’s a marginal article but the basic message is useful to certain audiences.
But it’s factually wrong. Especially about lighter, faster vs heavier, slower bullets’ comparative pros and cons. Having articles targeted at new shooters and a less informed audience is great. Giving that same audience bad info is just pathetic and sad.
I’ve fairly recently acquired experience shooting, and hearing another shoot, pistols indoors without hearing protection. Mine was a .45 ACP 200 grain +P Gold Dot. His was a 9mm round of unknown provenance.
I can report that the .45 round puts out a much more tolerable muzzle blast.
As for the CIA work bit, Raymond Davis is/was the right kind of CIA to talk weapons, but he didn’t have caliber options. 9mm is, for the US government, the new black. Recoil sensitivity is the reason, nothing else.
Is other fellow able to report on what he thought of your muzzle flash?
I don’t think the ammo actually did it’s job. The fact that the intruder was able to retreat is bad. If they were still in condition to retreat they were still in condition to attack.
Just a lot of factors other than caliber and bullet used.
I just switched from 124gr to 147gr HST. Tell me, is there actually a noticeable difference in recoil? I’d like to test it, but I can NOT afford to burn 2 or 3 boxes of HST on rapid fire testing lol.
I haven’t noticed anything significant. That being said, I usually end up with +P rounds because they are easier to acquire (I.e., don’t sell out as quickly). Still, the difference in kick is minimal.
Unless you are highly sensitive to recoil, no. It is not a significant difference, but it is perceptable. You would notice the difference between running the gun with mouse fart target loads and running it with +p. Not so much between standard pressure rounds of the same caliber.
That said, I suggest firing a group from a rest to ensure the point of impact and group size is the same as what you are used to. Some individual guns will print substantially different groups with different bullet weights.
Unless you are using a full size I think 147 is too much weight. The standard pressure velocity is only marginally higher than 45 ACP. If you want penetration use a 45 or suck up the snappyness and get a 40.
One of the reasons for carrying a 45 is that ammunition choice is less important. Even ball is fairly effective.
Sigh. Another expert article proving a .356″ 125 grain bullet does as much effective damage as a bullet with twice the frontal area and almost twice the weight.
Well, if the caliber difference matters so little, why aren’t we shooting .32 ACP? Since the smaller bullet is just as effective as the .45 and much easier to shoot, why isn’t it the defensive caliber of choice?
Then there’s the .25 ACP.
Penetration is a function of velocity, bullet design, bullet weight, frontal area, and the type of target hit. Heavy for caliber rounds have greater sectional density and tend to penetrate more in both pistols and rifles. Most of the big vendor JHPs in 115 to 230 grain in 9mm through .45 ACP do just fine. Federal HST and Winchester Ranger are my favorites. Critical Duty, Gold Dot, XTP are also great choices. The Lehigh Xtreme Defender also looks great, as does the Xtreme Penetrator for woods and hunting use.
None of them hold a candle to a good 12 gauge 00 buck or 5.56 round.
I strongly agree, but tend to go heavy: At pistol caliber ranges I don’t need speed, I need stopping power. A slower round that does not overpenetrate and delivers all of its energy to the target is the result that I am looking for.
I tend to go heavy in rifle rounds too. They buck the wind better, and whatever gets the job done is what I want!
9mm 147gr in either T-series or HST.
Lighter bullets don’t penetrate farther than heavy bullets. I grit my teeth and quit reading at that point.
Beware poorly vetted articles.
re the author:
Background / Experience
Graduate of Radford University
Former Central Intelligence Agency officer
Author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry
Writer for Combat Handguns magazine and Personal and Home Defense magazine
NRA Certified Instructor
Utah Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor
Skilled in Personal Protection, Risk Assessment, Firearms, Security Operations, Private Investigations, Counter Terrorism, Vulnerability Assessment, Emergency Management.
Hi. My name is Jason Hanson.
I was born and raised in Northern Virginia, but recently moved with my beautiful wife and daughter to Southern Utah. I spent 6 years with the Central Intelligence Agency. Although the Agency was a wonderful place to work, I could not see myself working for the government my entire life, so I left to start a security business.
Ours is a family run business, and without the support of my wife, Amanda, it would cease to operate. (Let’s just say her organizational skills are top notch and mine aren’t.) Over the past several years, we have been blessed to train thousands of Americans in personal protection, concealed carry, pistol, rifle, shotgun, and escape & evasion courses.
Our mission is simple:
First, if you’re serious about personal protection we’ll teach you the skills you need to know in today’s uncertain world. Second, we’ll do it in a relaxed and fun environment – none of that intimidating, military style. Because I don’t know about you, but I hated it when people did that to me during my various training at the Agency and other places. The bottom line is this: We believe there are few things in life as important as protecting yourself and the ones you love…We hope you’ll consider joining us for a training course, where our goal is to have you walk away with the confidence, skills, and knowledge to better protect yourself and your family.
No love for the scatter guns? Getting hit by a 12 ga or even 20 ga shotgun with birdshot will be a bad day even if you are wearing armor. Another thing to look at is a rifle/MSR. The end of the muzzle of a MSR is actually about as far from you as a two hand held pistol but has much more energy.
Here’s an excellent thread from pistol-forum in which noted ballistician Dr. Gary K. Roberts discusses choosing duty and personal defense handgun ammunition, and provides specific load recommendations based on how well they meet the FBI standards. https://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?4337-Service-Caliber-Handgun-Duty-and-Self-Defense-Ammo
There’s some nonsense here- the kind of person who agonizes over his or her firearm choice will do the same thing with the ammunition. People who don’t think about the ammunition don’t think a whole lot more about the gun. If you spent six months researching the pros and cons of Glock versus M&P, you probably spent at least that long researching 115-gr. 9mm versus 147-gr.
If you just bought a Glock because that’s the one you’ve seen on TV and your cousin or the gun store clerk said it was a good gun, you probably also just bought a box of ammunition at the same time and loaded her right up.
“…… A bullet that stops inside is target dumps all of its energy. A good portion of that energy, likely upwards of 80% of it, goes into deforming the bullet. The other 20% ish goes into the target to stop the bullet. ……”
So why do we continue to rely on hollow points? This is one of the reasons I am so impressed with the Ruger (Polycase) ARX. No deformation, no fragmentation, no over-penetration.