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I’m fanatical about my carry ammo: it’s Hornady Critical Defense or, uh, Hornady Critical Defense. “Nominal tissue damage” just doesn’t cut it. So to speak. As for what I shoot on the range, meh. After my little contretemps with Remington re: their telescoped UMC 9mm ammo, clocking their .22 Hornet recall, no thanks. Other than that, I can’t be bothered. I know that’s lax. A gun writer should be anal retentive about cartridges; fully conversant with the pros and cons of every ammo brand in the land. Like Robb Allen, who reviewed three different types of .45 ACP cartridges for Yes, well, I go through a LOT of bullets. I buy what’s on sale. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.) You?

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  1. As someone who doesn't reload and is not a factory sponsored competition shooter nor a writer for any firearms publication , I *need* to buy what's on sale for range and training.

  2. I'll second that. Though my Buckmark can be a tad picky about what it likes to run. I normally go with Federal in a 550 round box from Walmart. It comes in at around $18. I had to get some Remington thunderbolt recently and it doesn't like that at all. It's one positive that it is a good way to practice failure to fire drills.

  3. If I am vaguely paying attention I will try to match bullet weight with my carry. Although velocity info is not necessarily standardized or even provided, so I don't know how much value that provides. Incidentally, I am not terribly picky about my 9mm carry. Not that I carry Winchester white box from wally world, but I will get whatever top-quality stuff is on sale. For my .32 its Cor Bon or nothing.

  4. For range ammo, I use the cheapest Russian crapola I can find as long as it's new crapola like Brown Bear. For critical defense, I use Critical Defense because I like the name. No, really. Here in the People's Kommonwealth of Massachusetts, it is wise to use ammunition with the word “defense” in its brand name. What prosecutor could argue with defense? On the other hand, I avoid ammo with names like “Black Talon of Death,” “Double Tap to the Privates,” or anything with the word "Extreme." If there was a hollowpoint named "Fluffy Pillow," I'd probably prefer that over all others.

  5. I fit the general trend as well… buying the FMJ ammo in bulk, although I do prefer WWB and Federal. I don't reload, but do shoot enough competitions that I have a nice assortment of once-fired brass in case I ever want to start. I was considering selling my spent brass to those who do reload, recouping some of the money. For PP ammo, I used Speer Gold Dot or Winchester PDX for my .45ACP and .40S&W guns. For my SHTF in-the-house gun, I use S&B #00 buck shot and have S&B 1-oz slugs on a side-mount. I have been buying a few boxes of Winchester PDX 12-ga Buck/Slug Defense ammo for an upcoming TTAG Gun Review (will be reviewing both a Mossberg 590A1 and the PDX ammo).

  6. I've got a huge selection of defensive ammo in .45 ACP and .357, including Hydra-Shocks, Cor-Bons, Black Talons and Starfires. Revolvers are idiot-proof (except the Rhino, unfortunately) and my .45 is an omnivorous glutton who will happily digest anything I feed it, including CCI 200-gr Flying Ashcans. Since I don't wear suspenders, however, I don't frequently carry my 4" 686 or my full-size steel 1911. They both weigh nearly three pounds when loaded.

    For my 9mms, which I do frequently carry, I'm with RF. It's Critical Defense or nothing. Fortunately, Critical Defense is a relative bargain in defensive 9mm ammo, at about $0.75 per round.

    Picky about practice ammo? Hell no, as long as it shoots and feeds! Soft-lead Handloads, commercial reloads, or bargain-basement FMJs all the way, baby.


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