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Practice Ammo


Ruin
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I've been the proud owner of a Sistema Colt 1911 for about 3 months now, and still haven't shot off a single round. My biggest problem is finding a good local range, but also ammo.

I'm looking for cheap, relatively decent ammo that I can fire off just to get some practice in. I'm not looking for anything spectacualr, just something that will do the job. At this point in the game I'm looking for quantity over quality really, but I don't want crap that will ruin my gun.

I'm not an ammunition specialist (but I know some of you are) and I'm looking for advice.

I also have a .41 S&W Revolver that I'd like to shoot as well.

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I have always been a believer in the statement "shoot what you carry", so I often unload 200gr Speer Gold Dot .45s.

Having said that, I have unloaded everything under the sun, and as far as quality target ammo goes I shoot Magtechs. Very clean and still has decent punch, so it does not feel dead compared to the +P. For pure quantity I have also shot surplus .45 ball ammo, and it was half decent stuff that didn't seem to dirty the gun too much.

.41 revolver ammo? Can't help you with that one. I'm a novice when it comes to revolvers. I shoot them when I get a chance to, but I have never owned one. Magnum revolvers are fun to shoot. Potent stuff.

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With the magnum, there really isn't going to be alot economical that you can shoot, unless you can mail order really cheap stuff. But it will be dirty, although it won't ruin your gun. Any kind of decent magnum ammo is kind of pricey, thus, unless you're like me and do all your own loading, magnums don't usually get alot of working out unless you have money.

As for the .45, surplus ball is good to plink with, and fairly inexpensive. Just make sure that if you keep something else in it loaded for defense or carry purposes, that you practice witha a box or two of that routinely as well.

If you are going to get to where you want to shoot alot, you may want to consider learning to reload. The initial investment can set you back the price of a gun, but then as you add guns to your collection, you need only add dies and supplies for that load, and generally, as long as you are a decent loader, and don't try to routinely fire ballistic missiles from your weapons, brass can be reloaded as many as 15-20 times.

Things to think about. :thumbsup:

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Thanks guys...

I'm not ready to look at reloading just yet. I just don't have the cash to put out there for it. It's easier to buy some cheap stuff little by little.

@Specter, do you know of anywhere I can get surplus ball in our area? Old Grouch's is a limited surplus store, but I don't know if he carries that kind of stuff. Or should I be looking online? And do you know of somehwere to shoot as well? I've been to the WPD range before, but you need a key to get in. I also know the Legion has a range but you need to be a member, which I'm not. Any suggestions?

EDIT:

While I have everyone's attention, what would you reccomend as a good carry/self-defense ammo? So I know what boxes to pick up as well.

Edited by Ruin
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Any cheap ball ammo is good for general practice. American Eagle, Blazer, and Winchester white box are fairly common. They're major brands (Federal and Speer for the first two) and won't cost you an arm and leg.

For defense ammo in a .45, I'm partial to the 200gr Speer HP. Makes sure it feeds in your gun before buying more than one box though. The large HP has a habit of choking some handguns. Otherwise any 200-230gr HP with a modern bullet should suffice (Hydrashok, Golden Sabre, Gold Dot, SXT).

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Thanks Rook.

I found Wolf ammo for $7.95 per box, or 6.80 for 20 or more boxes, the discounts vary based on quanitity. If my math is correct, than $136 will get me 1000 rounds, more than I will probably use in a year. Buy it all at once and get it out of the way. Is this a fairly decent brand to practice with?

I also found some ranges nearby through the NRA and wheretoshoot.org (IIRC). There's a range 6 miles down the road from my school.. but I'm not sure that the school will let me have guns on campus, lol. I need to check with security and see if they'll hold them for me. Maybe the range has safes or storage or something? Who knows. I'll look. :)

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1000 rds of .45 ACP ro $136 sound like a good price. :thumbsup:

I find that Wolf really gets the gun very dirty. I have shot Wolf through my Glock and HK and when I took them apart, they both looked like the inside of a used motor. I also recently shot just 500 rounds of Wolf through my M16 and it was not pretty.

Usually I shoot a bit of CLP or Tetra through the bolt holes on the gas rings and a bit on the cam pin a little after 500 rds, but with the Wolf the gun started "hanging up" a bit after 350 rds. Now granted I was dumping 30 rd mags straight through, but that still is not a lot before requiring extra lube.

Also, I found that some Winchester rounds really dirty your gun too. I have shot some that leave what looks like glitter all over the inside of your gun. It isn't a major problem, it is just annoying.

Cleaning can be a big issue for me, as I sometimes go out shooting for the day at a private range, and I'll bring more than just a couple guns, so at the end of the day I have to clean quite a few. 5,000+ rds in one day can add up to a lot of cleaning, so clean ammo can be a big incentive.

Edited by jchung
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I can echo jchungs sentiment that Wolf is dirty, also some of the older Wolf is Lacquer coated, that lacquer may cause build up in the chamber as some have had it melt due to the heat associated with longer, more agressive shooting sessions. The Steel case may also be a bit harder on your equipment than brass, but if it works, shoot it. You didn't buy the Sistema as a safe queen.

I have also found Winchester White Box (Wal-Mart) to be dirty as well, I typically shoot Magtech Reloads from the range ($10.00/50) in my .45 when I don't have access to ammo from my buddy that reloads.

I use a full mag of 14 Winchester RA45TA 230gr +P in the gun when it's kept for home defense.

Edited by Whisper_44
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Thanks again for all the help guys. I've always believed "you get what you pay for." I'm too much of a novice at this to be working with overly-dirty ammo for right now. Maybe some day I can downgrade a bit when I can handle the effects of it.

My next best options are:

FMJ PMC 1000 rounds for $180 (with limited availibility because of Iraq, according to this).

FMJ Aguila 1000 rounds for $180 (or $9.50 for a box of 50).

Is either one of these better than the other?

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PMC wasn't bad from my own experience, I used to shoot quite a bit of the 230gr ball back in the day, as it was pretty cost effective.

I can't comment on Aguila from personal experience, but I have heard some positive comments regarding their Sub-Sonic 22lr ammunition. Imported ammunition I believe?

By Centurion Ordnance Inc. out of Texas

As far as cleaning goes after dirty ammo, it doesn't require any greater skill, you just need to be a bit more thorough, a few extra passes with the CLP, I use a boresnake myself, and in the 14+ years I have owned my handgun, I have never found the need to do more than a field strip type of takedown, for lube/cleaning.

So don't be skeered ;)

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So don't be skeered ;)

The Sistema was my grandfather's... he passed in October. He had quite an extensive gun collection (mainly of rifles and shotguns). I escaped Masachusetts with 3 of his guns, the Sistema and S&W being his, also a basic Remmington pump-action 12ga. Long story made short, the rest of his guns were sold... leaving a big black mark in the family. I'm the only one who has any of his guns now that are still in the family <-- heavy burden

I've just had the gun sitting and tucked away, I haven't even bought a cleaning kit for it yet because I haven't used it. I'm trying to prepare myself before I start activley shooting. Once I: decide what ammo to buy, buy a cleaning kit, get a better case, get saftey equipment, and sit down with a friend of mine who was a cop for 20+ years on proper handling, saftey etc etc then I'll be ready to go (he's already helped me give it a good cleaning).

I'm just using you all to help me gather up some info before I get started. ;)

Here's the link to Aguila Ammo, for future reference... pretty easy to find though, haha.

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Go with PMC. I know it's quality. I don't know about Aguila centerfire ammo, but I have some of the rimfire stuff. Let me say this: It's good stuff but some of the nastiest smelling ammo I have ever shot. They make it in Mexico, but they must use bat guano for priming components. It's also dirty as well.

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Go with PMC.  I know it's quality.  I don't know about Aguila centerfire ammo, but I have some of the rimfire stuff.  Let me say this: It's good stuff but some of the nastiest smelling ammo I have ever shot.  They make it in Mexico, but they must use bat guano for priming components.  It's also dirty as well.

What do you mean by nastiest smelling? Does it smell like burning carcasses or something?

I have never shot the Aguila stuff, but I can personally back up the decent quality of PMC.

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Sounds good. Hopefully I can get some PMC. $180 for 1000 rounds still isn't too shabby in my opinion. I've dropped that much in gas in under two months... :wacko:

@Whisper, I've always had a respect for guns. Anything that can end someone's life deserves to be handled properly and effectivley... no screwing around for me. :thumbsup: I can't believe that some people do overlook it. Because the two pistols are mine, my girlfriend and I are the only two people who know where thye are. My mom and sis have no clue, and will continue to have no clue. My girlfriend only knows because the place I have them hidden was her idea.

As always, thanks for the help guys.

Whisper suggested "14 Winchester RA45TA 230gr +P" ammo for defensive/carry ammo.

Does anyone else have a round that they favor?

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What do you mean by nastiest smelling? Does it smell like burning carcasses or something?

I have never shot the Aguila stuff, but I can personally back up the decent quality of PMC.

You have to smell it to understand, but everyone recognizes it. Pick up some of their .22 ammo sometime and find out for yourself. As I said, I don't know if the centerfire stuff exhibits the same 'qualities.'

Ruin, I believe the .45 ammo with the best record of one-shot stops (by Marhsall and Sanow) is the Federal 230gr Hydrashok. Something to consider at any rate. I'd also go with +P just for the extra velocity and be sure to do some shooting with your defensive ammo of choice before you use it.

Whisper, 14 rounds? Had a Para or something similar?

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@Rook

I haven't owned a .22 in a VERY LONG time, so I'll have to try and find someone that does. I think a buddy of mine might have a 1967 Winchester .22, so I'll see if he still has it. It is a funny thing, but I really don't know of anyone that I shoot with regularly that owns a .22. Even their kids shoot .223 or 9mm and now the 5-7.

As far as ammo for personal defense goes the best .45 that I have personally seen is the Speer 200gr .45+P. It was the only one that almost penetrated a Kevlar jacket that also had a very thin steel plate insert. Remington's 185gr Golden Sabre also did a fine job, as did the Corbon.

However, whereas the Remington and Speer opened up nicely, the Corbon's hollowpoint actually tended to collapse on itself. It was a weird thing, but this has happened to me a good number of times while shooting solid targets.

RooK probably gave you a good recommendation with the Federal too, as the rounds we shot did not penetrate too well, but they did mushroom VERY nicely. Maybe even a little better than the Speer or the Remi.

Edited by jchung
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Blasphemy! You should be hung for not having a .22! Run immediately to the nearest gun store and buy the first used 10/22 you see! :)

Speer has quit selling the old 200gr 'flying ashtray' in +P form (unless you're refering to the Gold Dot). You can still get it in the Blazer line, but only loaded to 950fps. Slow. I'm planning on using it myself, but only in home brewed stuff. Makes me more than a little ticked off that no one loads it hotter. Now, if you want some really hot .45 ammo, check out Double Tap http://doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/index.php He has one load that he says is just below +P rating but pushes a 200gr Gold Dot to 1100fps out a 5" 1911 barrel. Sounds good and McNett (owner) isn't one to exagerate.

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I tried hanging myself, but the boresnake snapped in half. Got some nasty scrapes from the bristles. :P

Thanks for clarifying that RooK. I did mean the Gold Dot 200gr at 1,080 fps, and 518ftlbs of energy.

Next time I buy ammo I'll have to try some of DT's stuff. However, I still have a bunch of stuff to go through first, and during the winter, I don't get to shoot much, so it tends to last a while.

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:o

Wow... tech talk way over my head. :P

Alright, I think I'm settled... If I have any more questions I'll ask.

I'll probably grab some Federal ammo as well to keep safe and secure. ;)

Thanks a ton guys... carry on with the tech talk if you want. :D

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Ruin, get us some pics of that Sistema of yours. :)

After I get some parts for my car, I'm trying to decide what to do to my 1911. I definately want a beavertail (along with a matching hammer and might as well get the sear too), but I'm wondering if I can get a 6" barrel and go the .45 Super route via Whisper's source. I think a 10mm conversion is out of the question. I really want a dedicated semi-auto hunting handgun and the .45 Super is very close to the 10mm with the longer barrel.

Whisper, ask that FFL friend of yours how much he'd want for the Olympic 6" Matchmaster slide in SS (SAS-6A- $215 MSRP), or any other 6" slide with front and rear sight cuts if he can get it cheaper, shipped to KY.

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Ruin, get us some pics of that Sistema of yours.  :)

Ask, and ye shall recieve...

n59701712_30012338_3679.jpg

This is the only one I have handy, of all three guns. I don't have a pic of the shotgun though.

If you want more, I can snap a few pics off also. IF you're wondering... they're all laying on my bedroom counch. ;)

The first thing I want to do to my 1911 is get a trigger job and really lighten it up a bit. Mine's rediculous right now (as far as I can tell). Once I get it on the range I can decide just how much I want it to come down.

Edited by Ruin
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Looks identical to mine, except for mines Hogue grips and parkerized finish. If your Sistema is made to specs (it is a Colt licensed copy, eh?) then you could drop in one of the many matched hammer/sear/spring kits avilable. Most run under $100 and offer 3-5lb trigger pulls depending on what you want.

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