View Full Version : Training with sub-prime ammo
I know what the general concensus is, that we should train with what we carry. I would like to propose a different manner of thought, and see what you guys think.
I say it is best to practice with the cheapest ammunition that will not permenantly harm your gun. I say this because it is more likely to produce FTF's, FTE's, etc. This would be beneficial to come across while training so that even though your carry ammo will be much more reliable (hopefully), you want it to be a fmailiar enough process so that it will be easy to quickly rectify and re-engage. Any thoughts?
There is nothing automatically wrong with your line of thought.
Caveats are that your ammo must be safe, and the number of malfunctions can't be distracting, either from your mental focus or from the objective of the training session.
A less expensive training round that meets the weight and FPS of your carry round will help more I think. Training for problems your carry ammo does not give you is not good in my opinion.
I think that you can't go wrong with training with the cheap ammo, as long as you've shot enough of your carry ammo to have discovered any issues that your gun may have with it, that it feeds properly, etc. Also, I think you need to put some of your carry ammo down the pipe regularly to make sure that it still works reliably, ie as your gun wears, etc. Other than that, should be no issues using cheap ammo. Can't hurt to be prepared for FTF/FTE/etc...
I am taking a couple of Gun Fighting classes this year. All say bring X number of rounds of quality ammo to class. Well quality ammo is hard to find. I have been searching for quality ammo at normal prices and Wally World has that on short intermittant times. I now have 1500 rounds of Factory 9MM 115Gr Hard ball to take the classes. I also have been reloading since 1972. Nuff said. I have a twin set of Dillon SDB's. My reloads match the Factory High Priced stuff. The schools do not allow reloads. So I shoot my reloads at the local range and take the Factory stuff WWWB to class. I also chamber check all rounds. Out of 1200 WWWB I found one 9MM 115GR FMJ round loaded into a non headstamped case with red primer sealer on the bottom of the bullet. I wonder how that found it's way into the 100 round WWWB I have in my shop?
In my experience there is acceptable ammo, and there is crap. I won't put crap ammo (A-Merc for instance) into any gun I might need to rely on. If ammo is so 'cheap' as to be known for frequent malfunctions, I wouldn't use it.
The things that cause a lot of ammo related malfunctions (no powder, not enough powder, poorly seated primers/bullets) can easily lead to catastrophic malfs (cracked parts, blown barrels) even in 'tough' firearms. They can also lead to malfs that are not quickly or easily correctable during practice (blown primer in AR for instance).
Typical, corectable malfs are more easily and safely replicated by the use of dummy cartridges, snapcaps, a friend loading the gun for you (ball and dummy drills), etc.
I don't think one needs to practice w/ Fed HST or sim. carry round. I think it is benefical to practice w/ ammo that nearly duplicates your carry ammo in recoil & POA. It makes little sense to me to practice w/ light target loads & carry +P. So I reload my practice ammo & can match any perfromance level I want inexpensively w/ a cheaper bullet. For those that only shoot WWB, it's better than not practicing, but I feel you need to shoot more of your carry ammo to stay familiar w/ it.
I know many people don't like reloads at all but I have always been fine with shooting them on the range ... until this past Saturday.
The range I use has signs posted 'NO RELOADS', however if you ask them for range ammo they give you a box of 100 9mm for about $22 which they have reloaded ... so I have shot roughly 300 rounds of their stuff.
This Saturday I was going through my routine when 'BAMM' this puff of smoke and my clip drops right out of my G19 and hits the ground.
The Range Master is right there before I even know what happened. My hand has a very slight burn to it, but quite a bit of black on it. The Range Master field stripped my 19 and pulled out the cartridge which has blown-out back near the rim.
He laughs and says I was lucky because usually this can damage the weapon!!!! Yeah ... pretty funny stuff!!
Any thoughts on this (besides don't use reloads - I won't)?
i practice with the same grains of ammo that i load for safety purposes. In the .40, my practice ammo is 165 and 180 grain fmj winchester white box, in the pf9 it is 124 and 147 grain fmjs of varying brands. I do shoot a bit of +P defense rounds out of the pf9, for practice because i often load it with those. That is some recoil. Its like holding onto a grenade.
"sub-prime" ammo? is that WWB? or is that Wolf? or A-Merc? All three are less than ideal, but some are better than others. I'll use WWB; I won't touch the other two.
As far as using it to do malfunction drills? I guess that's just looking on the bright side.
I use WWB with no issues. It is clean and functions my guns just fine. I have never shot Wolf or A-Merc, but I have read in several places both good and bad about Wolf. Never read anything about A-Merc.
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