Getting my first handgun tomorrow

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by Bertgamble2001, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Bertgamble2001

    Bertgamble2001 New Member

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    Hi all,
    I am picking up my first handgun tomorrow. It is the Springfield XD45 4" Service model.

    I have plenty of practice ammo that I bought online, but would like to get your opinions on what type of round to keep in the weapon for it's primary purpose; home defense.

    I have read that it is better to have hollow points because the bull nose style will go through someone, and you may have to shoot more times to make the bad guy stop. According to what I read, more holes equal more bleeding and that means a higher likelyhood of a fatality. My intention is to stop someone from hurting either myself or my family, not take a life.

    There are so many options when I go to the store that I can't decide. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    Bert Gamble
  2. Juker

    Juker New Member

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    Howdy Bert, and welcome to TFF. You're sure to get all kinds of opinions with all kinds of good reasons regarding ammo. A website you're sure to find interesting is www.theboxotruth.com - they do some fascinating tests with various types of ammo to see if they hold up to claims.

    I've been a .45 fan for 40 years. The greatest thing about a .45 round is its stopping power. While you may hear that a .45 will go through a body, it's also relevant that it takes major chunks with it on that particular journey. The .45 has fantastic stopping power, and in particular close quarters (the home), hitting an intruder with a .45 anywhere from head to toe is going to change their outlook on life.

    I've seen plenty of high-speed, high-tech new rounds. Hollow points are a step up from bull nose, but a standard .45 round will give you plenty of stopping power. One thing about special defense loads is that you should get some practice with them, and some of those loads get pricey in a hurry.
  3. Bertgamble2001

    Bertgamble2001 New Member

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    Well maybe I will just stick with the normal bull nose rounds then. At least for a while.

    Thanks
  4. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Put it to ya plain and simple Bert, If a FMJ has the capacity for 500 ft/lbs of delivered energy, but it penetrates all the way through an object, then how good is it if it imparts 60% of that force to the wall that was behind the object?

    Now, a HP that has the same delivered energy potential goes into the same object, but doesn't pentrate, ALL the force is delivered into the object. There is a reason that no defensive ammo on the market is ball ammo, stick with what is labeled for it's purpose and you'll be just fine.

    My personal choice for SHTF is semi-soft lead wadcutters, those are nasty nasty nasty when it comes to ripping stuff up. Make pretty round holes in targets, but man-o-man will they chunk up a watermelon. This isn't to say that I carry wadcutters for defense purposes, I prefer Fed HS's or XTP's.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  5. bayhawk2

    bayhawk2 New Member

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    Welcome Bert-In todays crazy crime filled world you almost have to have
    some kind of S/D weapon handy.The days of unlocked doors and
    windows are a thing of the past.I'm a fan of the .45ACP and the .45
    Colt.As W/W said,if the ammo is labled for S/D,then it's going to be for
    "stopping" the Bad guy.Stopping the threat.Good choice of weapons.B/H
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  6. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Bert, if you don't want to take a life, you should have bought a baseball bat! As to the bleeding thing. Yes, a bunch of holes in the human body will tend to cause them to die form blood loss if not treated. But that could take minutes, or hours! You might not live long enough to witness their death! Stoke that XD with some Hornady Critical Defense ammo. Unlike most other hollow points this one won't clog up when going thru other objects. Please get some professional training on Self Defense. It will make you a safer hand gun owner, and will give you some basic knowledge of what you are doing, and why.
  7. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    Hi Bert, Dittos what Carver said. No one here that has a firearm for either concealed carry or home defense wants to take a life; they want to save their own. I suppose some would be Billy the Kid might be just waiting for the opportunity to use lethal force, but you likely wont find them here.

    The thing is you shouldn't buy ammunition because you think it will be less lethal. You want ammunition that will do the job reliably at a reasonable price..remember you need to also practice with the same ammo you have on hand for home defense.

    That said, it would be hard to find .45 ACP ammo that wasn't up to the task of home defense. Contrary to common belief it is very rare for a round to pass through center mass of a human body. If you don't believe me talk to any law enforcement officer that has personally used lethal force in the line of duty or who has investigated many shootings by handgun.

    Handgun calibers are relatively ineffective as man stoppers when compared to long guns. I know I'll get some argument from others on this but penetration is often not sufficient to reach vital organs with even the more powerful handgun calibers. An FMJ round may be even more effective than HP due to increased penetration. Consider the fact that the U.S. military has effectively used FMJ ammo both in handguns and rifles for over a hundred years.

    What I suggest you do is compare several types and brands of ammo for accuracy and reliability in your pistol. I happen to like Winchester white box 230 gr FMJ, but I do happen to have a box of Remington Golden Sabers that i bought on someones recommendation a few years ago. It functions well in my 1911's but i can't attest to it's relative effectiveness when compared to FMJ. But honestly either is going to do the job against a home invader.

    By the way, welcome to TFF.
  8. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    IMO, any hollow point that feeds correctly. If you hit them with the 45 round in the upper body they aren't going to be messing with you long.
  9. Bertgamble2001

    Bertgamble2001 New Member

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    Thank you all for your input. As far as training goes, I plan on taking safety and defense training at my local gun range. My wife will be joining me.

    Purchasing this gun is a big step for me and I take it very seriously. I never thought of myself owning a gun, but as I get older I guess I feel less confident in my abilities to defend myself and family.

    Thankfully I have never had an occasion in my life where a gun was necessary, but you just never know.

    Thanks again, and I really love this site.

    Bert Gamble
  10. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hello and welcome. You have already recieved some good advice here but I want to comment on you wanting to stop but not kill someone. Like some have said, nobody wants to kill another human being, but will do so if need be. One case senario I would like you to consider is this. In a world of sue happy people and lawyers you may be better off if you shoot to kill. If they can, they will wheel your assailant into the courtroom all bandaged up and crippled and play on the hearts of everyone they can. If they are dead, its your word and your word only. No matter what, your life will change forever. I just hope it never comes to that. If I was wanting to just "wound" I wouldnt have chosen a .45 to begin with.
  11. Juker

    Juker New Member

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    Amen, Brother DD.

    It is always a privilege to see another responsible citizen join the ranks of loyal, legal, law-abiding gun owners.

    As a husband, parent, homeowner, and citizen, it is not incumbent upon me to discern the intentions of an intruder. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that invading someone else's home is illegal. I don't care what they're about, and I will not give them the opportunity to do harm to me and mine.

    And amen to all those contributing ammo advice. The 1911 .45 has been putting down the bad guys for 100 years. I have a variety of firearms, but the .45 and 12-gauge pump are my go-to weapons.

    You will get terrific "explanation, demonstration, and practical application" at a firearms/self-defense course. As they can't offer it, I further recommend night drills - getting out of your bed in the dark and readying your firearm. You'll be surprised what you learn by doing this.
  12. Bertgamble2001

    Bertgamble2001 New Member

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    I think that I may not have made myself as clear as I should have in my question.

    I understand that there is always the possibility of a fatality when guns are involved. My concern was that if I were to use the bull nose rounds, more shots might me needed to make the person stop, and with more shots the likelyhood of a fatality increases. If I were to be more apt to stop someone with one shot using defensive rounds (because of the increased stopping power), it might mean completing the objective with less destruction.

    The reason for chosing the .45 was simple. I did not select it for the power. I chose it because I was more accurate with it than any other handgun I tried. I shot three types of 9mm and one 40 cal before the range operator suggested I try the 45. I was a bit apprehensive because I thought the larger caliber whould have more recoil, but it was actually less than any of the others, and I was much more accurate.

    Again, thank you all very much

    Bert
  13. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    Double D, you are a wise man.

    Bertgamble2001.......you are a good people to want to "just stop", but I would think of it this way. If they put you in the position to fire your weapon at them (most people would stop when the 45 is pulled).....then its all between them and their higher power. Don't stress over it....if its one shot or five. You protect you and yours, whether its stopped and breathing or stopped and dead... bottom line.

    You also need to understand, with a 45 regardless...the chance that they will suffer a life threatening wound is pretty high. Take yours out and pop a watermellon, a can of corn........whatever and get an idea of what its really about. I have shot many different calibers and the 45 is a beast. I would choose it before a 357 mag or 44 mag...not that it is necessarily more powerful.
  14. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    To get back to the original question about ammo, well, they make the hollow point self defense ammo to have more stopping power than conventional ammo. So I would say that in most cases, your chances of stopping someone is always better when using that type of ammo. There are numerous studies that have been conducted on every type out there. The hornady critical defense ammo is one of them that has a polymere ball in the tip that helps with not clogging with clothing and therefore allowing maximum expansion. I recommend this ammo. I am certain that if you shoot me with any 45, my first reaction would be to go get the hole fixed, and whatever I was originally after would not be so important anymore.
  15. ozo

    ozo Active Member

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    "I plan on taking safety and defense training at my local gun range. My wife will be joining me."-Bertgamble2001
    The statement above is the greatest thing I have heard lately !!
    We, as men, wish to always protect our loved ones.....sometimes we
    are not available. Ask the many women, wives, and children around us
    that are also 'participants' in home/self defense and you may hear words like
    "don't worry Dad-Honey-Baby, I'm good".
    Kudos to your wife Bert.
  16. ozo

    ozo Active Member

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    Bert, I might add this advice as I always do to anyone that is new to self defense
    using a firearm, whether alone or joined by their family members:
    Personally, I believe more than one gun should be had. Some people are not
    comfortable with a pistol. One of my friends' wife could not get used to practicing
    with a handgun, she fought with him, complained mostly about the 'flip' when fired,
    but was still completely all for learning. After getting her a pump shotgun with a pistol
    grip, she was an instant natural ! I love a 12ga pump more than anything else for
    home defense, period, end of story, BUT you can't wear it on your hip or keep it in
    your purse. I honestly don't believe anyone on this planet would not know WHAT that sound was when that gun is racked. In the dark confronting an intruder, even if you had no more ammo, I would bet a pump shotgun being racked would still be effective.
    Just a thought for when you grow your collection.
    P.S. Some of my female friends are truly a 'Rambo' with a handgun BTW.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  17. hansom

    hansom Former Guest

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    Bert , everytime you point your gun at someone the likelyhood of a fatality is likely,no matter what ammo you used, get used to it , wrap your mind around it or get rid of your gun and buy some mace.
  18. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    I don't want to beat a dead horse here or be rude, but I want to point out that your comment above (in bold font) is illogical. You are saying you want an ammo that will inflict a one shot stop that isn't lethal or offers the greatest opportunity for survivability.

    If you want to stop an assailant with one shot, by neccessity it needs to be one which will likely result in death. In other words, the ammo that will require the fewest shots is the most lethal. In fact there is only one guaranteed one stop shot. That is one that is placed from about the nose down to the throat that severs the cerebral cortex.

    Another is one to the heart which is approximately the center of the chest. But even if a round totally destroys the heart a BG can still maintain the motor ability to pull a trigger for up to 15 seconds. That's a long time.

    The ammo you choose is secondary to a well placed shot which is why practice is so important.
  19. Bertgamble2001

    Bertgamble2001 New Member

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    I would like to thank all of you for your thoughtfull advice. I have read and understand all of the opinions and have selected The Winchester Supreme Elite as my defensive round. I have shot a box and they cycle well through the gun.

    Unless there are objections, I will consider this horse not only dead, but also turned into glue and being used to stick stuff together as we speak.

    Thanks again
    Bert
  20. ozo

    ozo Active Member

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    Oops, da horse woke up.....sorry.
    Bert, I hope you and your wife have a sh**load of fun with this new endeavor.
    As you engage in training for a useful tool, I wish more that you both find the
    time you spend together more enjoyable than a task. Please keep us posted.
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