CWP, 3 October 2014 A.D.
Greetings Concealed Weapons Permittees,
***** Questions and Answers *****
Karl: Should we use “target” ammunition for personal defense?
I have been told to use better than “target” quality ammo,
though I do not know what that would be. Have I been talking
with the hollow point crowd? That we learned we should not
follow because step 1 is chambering and FMJ is more likely to
chamber than hollow point. Plus more mass/penetration with FMJ.
Jon: I believe that you should use "target" ammo for personal
defense. By this I mean round nose, full metal jacket,
standard velocity (as opposed to +P or +P+) ammunition.
Because it chambers more reliably than any other bullet type;
and reliable feeding is more important than terminal ballistics.
The gun must go bang when you pull the trigger.
I believe that "self-defense" ammo is grossly over priced.
My friend, <redacted>, was attacked by a pit pull. He fired
five rounds into the dog before it stopped its attack. None of his
bullets exited the dog. He was shooting copper jacketed
round nose bullets in a standard .45 ACP caliber.
Of all the commercially available self-defense cartridges,
this gave maximum penetration; and none of his bullets
exited the dog.
When defending against a car jacking, you may have to shoot
through your car door or window. When defending against an assailant,
you may have to shoot through the bones of his arms and rib cage
to reach a vital organ in order to stop the attack. So, penetration
is essential. Full metal jacketed round nose bullets give the best
Injury or death of innocent bystanders due to over penetration
of the intended target is a perceived liability concern, but not
statistically significant. [citation - Police Officers Safety
Karl: Brass vs. aluminum cases. Which do you prefer? Why?
Jon: Brass case ammunition is preferable because you can reload it.
Aluminum and steel cases cannot be reliably reloaded, because the
metal is not malleable enough. The aluminum and steel cased
ammo is generally cheaper. I have never noticed a functional
Karl: FMJ vs. TMJ. What is the difference? Which do you prefer? Why?
Jon: Full metal jacket (FMJ) refers to a copper, brass, or
bronze cup that is formed in the swaging process into a
uniform jacket of the lead bullet. The interior of the jacket
is usually coated with tin or some other metal so that the
heat and pressure causes a chemical bond between the lead
core and the jacket. So, they don't separate on impact.
There is also a copper wash or copper coating that is much
thinner than the jacket referred to above.
Total metal jacket (TMJ) refers to the bullet being completely
covered by the jacket. FMJ bullets usually have an
exposed lead base. The hot burning propellant vaporizes the
exposed lead, so you get some lead in the air. The TMJ is
supposed to prevent this.
If I were immortal, I would be concerned about lead. But,
having worked at the National Bureau of Standards (mass
spectrometry section and activation analysis section) where
we were regularly tested for lead (mercury, radiation, and
other things), I am satisfied that my lead exposure will
not reach a significant level within my life span.
Karl: With regards to 9mm bullets of 115, 124, and 147 grains.
Our lesson on stopping power suggests 147 is preferred. Correct?
Jon: Within the context of self-defense shootings,
I believe that penetration (FBI recommends 12 to 18
inches in ballistic gelatin) is the correct quantifier of
"stopping power". I believe that momentum (mass X velocity)
is the correct quantifier of penetration of a bullet in a human body.
Therefore, I believe that one should maximize the mass
of the bullet so as to maximize the momentum of the
bullet after impact (terminal ballistics).
(I realize that I have skipped a lot of steps in this argument.)
Karl: CCI seems to me to have a reputation of being a good brand.
Reliable and clean. Also PMC. But that sense is not informed.
Any brands you believe superior? Why?
Jon: I have never noticed a functional difference in
commercially available factory new ammunition.
They all seem to work just fine.
***** Training *****
"Review: NRA’s Personal Protection Outside the Home course"
by Chris Cheng
The NRA has a progression of courses for pistol:
First Steps Pistol
Personal Protection in the Home
Personal Protection Outside the Home
***** Tactics *****
"Shocking Facts About Gun Fights!" by Nick Irving.
"There is a simple solution to overcoming the symptoms
of adrenaline overload and get you back on top of your
game ... deep breaths. Your body needs the extra
oxygen to deal with the extra stress. Yes ... Just breath!"
"The key to hitting a moving target, within a combat
pistol range, is to simply aim at what you want to hit,
focus on the front sight, and squeeze."
[Don't lead the target.]
"Walk And Shoot…CQC Training Tip" by Nick Irving.
***** Gear *****
"FBI Training Division Justifies 9mm Caliber Selection"
I've followed the links, but I have not
been able to find the primary source.
So, I'm not sure of the authenticity.
Great pictures explaining what's
inside your ammunition. (Click on
the headings to get to the three pages.)
***** News *****
"Port Allen restaurant offers discount to gun-carrying customers"
by Kiran Chawla
***** Promotions *****
I recommend Target Sports USA,
I have purchased ammunition from them
many times. There is no shipping fee
when buying in bulk, 1000 rounds.
They ship FedEx ground. I have always
been pleased with their service.
If you get on their mailing list, they
will tell you when they have the
ammo you use.
***** Miscellany *****
Older postings may be found at
Lesson plans may be found at