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Reloading for self defense rounds HP vs Ball ammo?

I have started handloading and have a question on loaind rounds for a 45acp. Is there a difference between loading for a target round vs a self defense round? Do self defense rounds have more powder for more velocity?

Also my colt 1911 Govt model does well with hard ball ammo, but sometimes gets jammed with Hollow points. Is it okay to seat the bullet on HP so that it is longer than the length stated in the loading manual? I think if the round was longer, but still able to fit in the magazine, it would have better contact with the feeding ramp? Can anyone give me some pointers?

'Back in the day' when I was just a novice reloader I went through this, 'top of the chart' thing, and loaded my cartridges as hot as I could possibly make them. Then one day that, 'little light bulb' came on; and I realized that it was better to use lower powered loads that I could fire more accurately and more often into a target's COM. So, that's what I've been doing for better than a quarter century, now - Firing more accurately and more often with lower powered pistol ammunition!

Let me be perfectly frank: Eagle Scout is a whole lot smarter than he looks. (At least in his avatar!) SWC bullets are, indeed, a better way to go with self-defense pistol ammo. Personally, I really get sick of listening to and reading about how great these hollowpoint bullets are all of the time. In my opinion, if JHP's were so frigg 'in great, how come nobody's military forces use them - Not even our new found friends, the former Communists?

I've regularly carried moderately powered, FMJ, self-defense ammo for many years, now. During all this time I've never shot an innocent bystander or, 'sent one flying' through a neighbor's wall. I mean, truth be known, I have a personal firearm safety record many times better than the New York City Police Department. As a society we need to, more or less, grow up and get over our media-inspired fear of the big bad legal boogeyman. FMJ ammo is no more nor less dangerous than JHP.

ONCE THEY ARE, 'IN THE AIR' ALL BULLETS ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS - That's a real world fact of life! I genuinely try to be very careful with ammunition. I deliberately download my ammo in an effort to place more rounds on target, AND place them on target in the shortest possible amount of time. So, what are the bullets you really have to worry about? (Ready?)

1. Clean misses!
2. Peripheral hits!
3. 'Pass-throughs'
4. Any bullet fired by either a lightly practiced, or low-skilled individual.
5. Recklessly fired rounds let go by someone who either didn't know, didn't care, or didn't pause long enough to take his intended target's background into consideration. (A bullet won't discriminate; and incoming rounds always have the right-of-way.)

The same question keeps coming up over and over again: 'What's the best gun I can use for home protection?' (If I hear, 'pump-action shotgun' one more time I think I'll just puke!) The savvy answer is, ANY GUN as long as:

1. You know how to shoot it quickly and well.
2. Your home is more than, 'just the place where you live'.
3. You know how (and when) to move.
4. You've taken, at least, one decent course in skillful home defense.
5. You are aware of the best, 'choke points' and areas of, 'target vulnerability' around your home.
6. You have previously planned your response, AND established the most ideal open, 'lines-of-fire'.

Chuck Taylor once told a story about an embassy guard who was standing in the middle of a crowded ballroom dance floor when two terrorists, armed with machine guns, calmly walked into the ballroom, moved toward the center of the dance floor, went back-to-back, and began to level their machine guns at the crowd. Then, they suddenly died exactly where they stood without anyone else in the room being injured! (I doubt either one of them knew exactly what hit him!)

What happened? That embassy guard had watched these two men come into the room and walk toward the center of the dance floor. He immediately started to move directly at them; and, as the distance closed, he dropped down to the floor, folded one leg beneath his buttocks, and with his pistol pointing, more or less, at the ceiling he shot both machine gun wielding terrorists through the head with military regulation FMJ ball ammo! Yes, the expended rounds DID, 'pass-through'; however, the after-strikes went into the ceiling.

Now, THAT is how it should be done; and, you can do it with ANY HANDGUN and ANY AMMUNITION, too. Obviously, this embassy guard had already preplanned his response to whatever might go wrong; and his preplanning made all the difference between the right and the wrong people dying that day.

I appreciate Cane Toad's comments on Mas Ayoob's all too frequent scare tactics. I, also, find myself wishing that Mas would find something else to write about. In fact the older I get, the less I find myself agreeing with him - Especially about police killings like that of Amadou Diallo which was, in truth, a police, 'circle jerk' with guns and EXACTLY WHAT no competent gunman should ever do with a firearm.

It's not the ammunition; it's not the gun. It's the man behind the trigger and how self-disciplined, well practiced, and trained he happens to be. Everything else is either surrealistic courtroom melodrama, or just plain ill-informed internet bull hooey.

Oh, yeah, seat your pistol bullets to the proper depth. If they don't work well, use something else - OK.

Wolfe Publishing's "Handloader" Ammosmith Bullet Casting 101 Dec 2009

Handloading Magazine

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