Monday, October 15, 2012

Diamonds and pearls...

So the Hi-Point test is finished over at Gun Nuts, and it was being discussed over at Pistol-Forum.com. The author, Tim, noted that he had caught flak on a Hi-Point fanboi forum (if it exists, there's an internet fan forum for it, no exceptions) about his practice of not trying to chamber the same round too many times because of, you know, bullet setback and eventually messing up the primer*.

He seemed surprised by this, which caught me off guard, until I remembered that he'd probably only ever been shooting with friends and peers at the range or at gun school, and had never been shackled to a counter at a gun store or a table at a gun show and forced to deal with the hoi polloi at Copenhagen halitosis range. I therefore felt it necessary to point out that:
"I can tell you from personal experience that any Cletus unwilling to shell out more than a buck-and-a-half for a pistol is going to hand down his solitary loaded magazine of dollar-a-pop holler points like they were the frickin' family silver." 
Seriously, ammunition manufacturers are missing out on servicing this lucrative market by not offering garishly painted JHPs with dangerous-sounding names in ten-round blister packs. I'm not kidding when I say that I've seen Cletus and his buddy Jasper go in halfsies on a box o' them there Hydro Shocks, 'cause you want some good stuff to put in your new gun after you leave the range.

If you're on a low budget, and Lord knows I've been there as often as not, I truly believe you're better off with ball ammo that you know runs in your low-budget heater than some brand of sooper dooper JHP that you've never even function-checked in your gat.

39 comments:

Bob said...

Love all the noir-era gun slang: gat,heater. What, you couldn't find a way to work in roscoe? ;-)

Joseph said...

Too bad Jeff Foxworthy already did the redneck thing, otherwise you could make a bazillion dollars doing "You might be a Cletus..." jokes on tour.

Akin to this is the guys at matches searching for that last .38special casing like it's made of gold (cowboy shooters reload, period).

If you're poor, you're poor, but it doesn't excuse stupid.

docjim505 said...

Tam - sooper dooper JHP that you've never even function-checked in your gat.

Perhaps I'm giving my self more (less?) credit that I deserve, but I've done this sort of thing in the belief that (A) a bullet is a bullet; (B) the process of getting a cartridge from the magazine into the chamber is not complicated, and; (C) firearms designers understand how to make their guns such that they'll function with anything. This left me staring bemused at my surplus P6* as it absolutely REFUSED to digest Golden Sabre 147g JHP's.

I suggest that MOST shooters are casual, a-box-every-six-months types who also know whatever they know about firearms from playing MOH or reading cheap action novels, and therefore have no idea that a firearm really can (shall we say?) perform better with some ammo than with others.

===

(*) Prior to picking up my P6 - one of the best purchases I ever made - I had wondered what all the hoopla about Sig's was all about, and whether they could POSSIBLY be worth the hefty price.

Now I understand.

akornzombie said...

You've got a point about the ammo, Tam.

My Taurus 1911 eats Wolf steel cased ball like it's popcorn and no hiccups.

Yrro said...

Hornady beat you to it, Tam.

http://www.hornady.com/ammunition/zombiemax

Critter said...

sounds like some of the customers at my old hang out, Dollar Bill's Pistol Parlour and Ammo Imporium, down in Lower Alabama.

Firehand said...

Didn't help matters when companies started putting the premium hollowpoints in little 20-round boxes and charging close to what you used to pay(and I don't mean ten years back) for a 50-round box. Some people see that little box, work out prices, and just don't want to use them up unless they have to.

One reason I still hit gun shows: some of my favorite ammo dealers do carry the premium stuff in 50-round boxes, and when you compare "Hmmm, 20 rounds for $25 vs. $30 for 50..." guess which you buy?

Tam said...

Premium JHPs intended for the sporting or "civilian" market have come in 20 round (or 25 in the case of Hornady or Remington) boxes at least since I started working in gun stores back in '93.

The only stuff that comes in 50-rd boxes anymore is the lower-end stuff, and JHPs intended for LE sales. (HST, SXT, et cetera.)

Anonymous said...

I had a young airman from Willow Grave NAS tell me that Hydro Shocks
had a pointy bone sticker in the middle. The bullet was designed to stick in the bone.

My boss on the range/store had a rule that we would not buy or trade for Hi-Points, Jenning, FireStare and EA Witness because they were more trouble than were worth. I tried to be diplomatic about it but others were pretty direct. Fanbois can get pretty irate when you diss their prize potmetal.

Gerry

Caleb said...

With the exception of the now infamous Black Talons, there is no bullet other than the Hydra-Shok that has more BS internet lore built up around it.

It's kind of insulting to me as a civilian consumer that Federal doesn't market their much better HST round to us.

Dirt Sailor said...

Tame, I have to disagree with you about those $1/round JHPs Cletus in buying. Why would he buy those, when he can go to Walmart and get Winchester White Box JHP's at $0.60/per.

Bubblehead Les. said...

On a Related Note: Ever notice how those same Cletii who freak out over buying the Good Stuff will shell out several hundred dollars at the Gun Show from "Uncle Billy's Reloaded Specials!" table?

The Raving Prophet said...

I used to balk at the $1/round prices for quality JHP defensive ammo.

Then I realized that if I ever needed to actually USE said ammo for its intended purpose, the cost of enough of that stuff at full retail to function check it for reliability and a decent stock for future use is rather less than even one hour of a decent lawyer's time. In other words, it would cost more to explain the use of anything else than it would just to use the good ammo from the get go. And that's assuming it works as advertised; there's NOTHING more expensive than defensive ammunition that won't work when you need it to defend yourself.

Penny wise, pound foolish; sounds like a good description of the human race in general.

LCB said...

I practice with ball ammo for several mags...but always finish with a mag or two of my JHP's. That way I get plenty of inexpensive practice...but I'm still sure my JHP's work in my S&W.

FYI: I own a HiPoint carbine. It's a lot of fun to shoot and inexpensive. But I'd never rely on it for anything other than plinking.

Anonymous said...

The 'eventually messing up the primer' should only apply to rifles that have a floating firing pin that comes into contact with the primer when a round is chambered. DocGKR's quote was regarding an AR-15.

amcz said...

People buy overpriced a/v cabling in the form of Monster Cable, so why wouldn't people buy overpriced Monster Ammo?

Anonymous said...

Messing up the primer? Never heard of that one. -- Lyle

NotClauswitz said...

When you said Copenhagen I got all misty thinking about the ferry from Helsingør to Helsingborg and the castle there and Hamlet and the little mermaid - until I realized you meant some nasty mouth-crap that skeezy Rednecks use to inflame their gums like betel-nut...
Winchester whitebox JHP's run fine in old Betsy but the Remin'tone ones don't and Yrro beat me to it - isn't that what Hornazy Zombie ammo is, their "Critical Defense" with plain brass and a green button??

Geodkyt said...

I figured that was the marketing plan for Glasers, Pow-R Ball, DRT, etc.

Colorfully packaged ammo at ridiculous prices, that yields questionable performance.

Of course, I carried WWB 230gr JHPs in my 1911 until I had fired enough good stuuf through them that I felt comfortable carrying them. Precisely because the WWB JHPs were cheap enough that I could shoot 200 rounds of them in the first 100 rounds I owned the gun. Before the WWB JHPs were "certified" in my gun, I schlepped WWB FMJ, because I trusted it to work after only the first box.

Now, I'm comfortable with several different flavors of 230gr JHP, including Georgia Arms, Remington Golden Sabre, and Winchester SXT. (Would be comfortable carrying Black Talon, if I could find some in good condition at "shooter" prices.) All of these have the following similarity -- I've shot 150-200 rounds minimum of it through my pistol before trusting it.

I'm actually more comfortable shooting my Beretta 96D with 155gr Silvertips than ball -- because I had 1000rnds of the Silvertips fall into my possession, so it's shot more of that than any other loading.

Geodkyt said...

". . . first 300 rounds I owned the gun."

103david said...

I always remember William Hickock's observation when someone asked him where to aim in an armed confrontation. His quote, as I recall it, went something like this, "When you shoot them in the belly, the fight's pretty much over right there."
One might recall, Wild Bill was among the few that really knew their business. And while he was using a .36 Navy Colt he still understood that the first priorities were to use something that alsway worked, to hit the bastard, and do it first.
What specifically you hit them with is considerably down the list of priorities.
In other words, one's foe, upon receiving your gentle ministrations, whether to the tip of their nose, their big toe, or their navel, is guaranteed to find the experience distracting and likeley will cease doing whatever it is you wish them to cease doing and go on to do something else
Hmmm, that's gunfighting 101 for you. I think I should make a T-Shirt with that on it.

Will said...

@103david:

" is guaranteed to find the experience distracting and likeley will cease doing whatever it is you wish them to cease doing"



There are enough failure-to-stop incidents involving ball ammo in CIVILIAN shootings to make your statement somewhat stupid, or at least wildly uninformed.

You need a reality check. I suggest starting with the writings of Massad Ayoob, Chuck Taylor, and other writer/trainers of their experience level.

Terminal performance of cap&ball revolvers with dead soft lead balls is a bit different from ammo that autos require to function correctly.

KM said...

I grabbed the wrong mag off the table the other day. I noticed too late that my empties had a shiny quality to them - something that Blazer doesn't.
Yep, $1 a pop of 40 cal Speer short barrel hollow points going into paper. Since I already spent a BUNCH to make sure they cycle the G27 a long time ago, I was only slightly amused.

If you want 50 round boxes of "LEO" ammo go to:

http://www.tds-us.com/catalog.php/tds/pg10243

9mm HST for $25. 45 HST for $28.

If you get on their email list they have some really good deals.

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Oh!! honey, I'm from eastern Ky,And I know people who bought a 'po boy gat, with "a box 'er high dollah shells" and have NEVER EVER Fired the wepon. the load the "clip" and leave it that way,sometimes for years.Many of them are prowd of never once fireing the pistol. Its a point of pride. At least bubba and cletus know how to use a pistol made in the last 60+ years. I once had a "good old boy" offer to sell me an 870 "cause it don't work no more" for 35$. It didn't work cause the good old boy had NEVER cleaned the wepon.Not in ten years ,he didn't know how. The action was packed solid with twiggs and leaf litter. After I cleaned It.....Turned out a realy nice 1958 wingmaster.

Firehand said...

Back when, picked up a Marlin .22 semi-auto rifle for cheap: "It jams some,maybe you can fix it." I had a pretty good idea why it was jamming, probably something to do with the gray sludge in the receiver.

From the smell, I think every time it got sticky they'd put a little motor oil in, but NEVER cleaned it. Stripped it, flushed out all the crap, lubed it properly and son still has it.

On the 50-round boxes, one dealer i can sometimes catch will have Winchester T-series and Gold Dot for $28-35 depending on cartridge; better price than the smaller boxes, and I think it's ammo I can trust.

Firehand said...

Very much agree it's worth it to use enough of the good stuff to be damn sure it'll function reliably in your carry piece. For that matter, I don't trust a new magazine till I've fired it with the carry ammo. Probably unnecessary, but I feel better.

MSgt B said...

Have you been following me around at gun shows?

wrm said...

Garish? Dangerous-sounding? Blister packs? Sounds like Extreme Shock.

[quote]
E-Shock rounds are engineered to expend maximum energy into soft targets, turning the density mass into an expanding rotational cone of NyTrilium matrix particles, causing neurological collapse to the central nervous system.
[/quote]

John Richardson said...

Copenhagen halitosis range

That paints a really vivid picture. I may have to use that phrase in the future (with attribution, of course).

Firehand said...

Premium JHPs intended for the sporting or "civilian" market have come in 20 round (or 25 in the case of Hornady or Remington) boxes...
They have; anyone know why?

Tam said...

Shooting from the hip?

It's because the guy who just dropped eight Benjamins on a SIG goes into brain-freeze at the thought of dropping more than thirty bucks on a holster or fifteen bucks on a box of ammo.

goober said...

It Just about function test for the pistol either. It is a function test for the shooter too. Most people don't realize how differently their hot ammo will act when compared to the ball ammo they practice with, especially in lighter models.

When my dad taught me to shoot is a kid, he use to load revolvers mixed withhot and light rounds at random intervals to teach me to focus on gun function and ignore recoil and so forth. How many people carry stubby 38 revolvers and shoot ball ammo for practice and have no concept of how different the plus p rounds they carry in it will be when they touch one off? I for one find shooting plus p out of my 2" 38 to be unpleasant at best, but at least I know to expect that when I have to stand and deliver some day.

Firehand said...

You ain't woofin'; can be a HUGE difference in muzzle blast/flash as well as recoil.

Not just ball and HP, but between HP and +P

Firehand said...

Tam, makes as much sense as anything else.

LCB said...

Firehand...speaking of muzzle flash...how many of us practice shooting our carry weapon in dah dark? I'm guilty of never firing mine in the dark...need to rectify that...

LCB said...

And before yah all jump on me...by dark I mean less than optimal light conditions...not pitch black.

:-)

Geodkyt said...

Goober--

And, that's why I generally shoot the cylinder of whatever carry ammo I have in there. It also rotates out the stock, so that I have a reduced chance of having oil-contaminated primers from ammo that's been there for years.

Geodkyt said...

(With revolvers, I should say).

Firehand said...

LCB, this was on a indoor range that had a couple of lights out; say early-twilight-level lighting, and it was still a friggin' surprise. Which led to the expected 'shirt on fire' comments.

I've had the chance to try various brands under those conditions, and it's one reason I carry Winchester or Gold Dot: no fireball.

Geodkyt, I've heard CCW teachers say "On your birthday, shoot the ammo you've been carrying and put new stuff in." Not as often as I'd suggest, but it at least sticks in peoples' minds and gets them to change it. Which, with the cost of filling a couple of magazines, a lot of people just won't do it more often(let's see, friend carries a M&P, two 17-round mags ~$50 in ammo...)