My regular carry ammo has been hard to come by for the past couple of years. I try to replenish my carry ammo every year, and I also try to standardize it across all of my carry pieces. I want high quality, effective ammo that functions well with what I carry. I buy it as if my life depends on it, because it just may. I buy it all at once, so it is the same bullet and loading.

For 9mm, I switched to Critical Defense 135gr FTX back in 2019. For the PDW, I use the Critical Duty +P version of the same 135gr FTX bullet. Both of them have started getting expensive at more than $1 a round.

In .45ACP: I just switched to the Speer Gold Dot G2 230gr +P. I got a good deal on it from Lucky Gunner at $27 per 20 round box. Thanks to those of you who pointed me to the Youtube video of the gelatin testing. It looks to be every bit as good as the original Gold Dot. I got a few boxes.

I still have plenty of .40S&W and .357Sig. I don’t shoot or carry them a lot, so I don’t need to buy any this year. In fact, I can’t tell you the last time I shot either caliber. That’s odd, because when I was competing in IDPA, .357Sig was my ammo. I really liked the way that it recoiled straight back and gave no real muzzle flip in the pair of black Stainless Sig229s I was competing with.

Next up: revolver ammo. I am critically low on both .38 Special and .357 Magnum. I have less than 200 rounds of each. I just don’t want to pay a dollar a round to replace it at this moment. Maybe later this summer.

Categories: Guns


Stalingrad Fountain · May 17, 2023 at 7:02 am

Fiocchi is my favorite Parabellum and it is actually made in the USA.
Finally took photos of the lotus flower looking expanded 230gr. Speer Gold Dot on a quarter and the mushroom looking 124gr. Federal Hydrashock on a dime, plucked from wooden fence post with knife.
A nice gun shop within walking distance and prices are down but still much higher than it used to be with quality 9mm (Federal) around $35 a box and about the same for .45 in 50 count box.
Needing another IWB holster for summer use, easier to conceal than extra mag, which fits on belt that is used for cold weather seasons.

Pat H. Bowman · May 17, 2023 at 8:43 am

I look for Federal HST in the 50 round boxes. They are marked LE, but that doesn’t seem to mean anything. Used to get them for $28-30 a box–for 50–but lately it’s $39-42. Still a good deal. HST has performed well in every test I’ve seen.

Joe Blow · May 17, 2023 at 9:06 am

. 357 has become unobtanium.
I have almost convinced myself I need to purches the 686+ammo that is for sale around here, so that I have more ammo for my existing 686!
I mean, it wouldn’t mind having a brother, either, just saying…

John · May 17, 2023 at 10:50 am

I don’t know if you’ve checked them out, but Ammoseek dot com lists .357 mag starting @ 42cents/round, although the choices are kinda limited. .45 is similarly priced. LOTS more choices on the practice ammo side.

    Divemedic · May 17, 2023 at 11:21 am

    I regularly use Ammoseek, but you have to be careful. Every idiot with a reloading press is making ammo, and you never know what you are going to get. My first, and most important, criteria for war shots is reliability. It needs to be consistent with velocity and reliability. For that reason, I stay away from the Eastern European stuff like Bear, Wolf, and S&B. I stay away from unknowns.
    For war shots, I stay with Federal, Speer, Hornady, Cor-Bon, companies like that.

Bad Dancer · May 17, 2023 at 12:21 pm

Another fan of the critical defense/duty here. I’ll normally end up on those, Fort Scott, or Underwood for my carry 10mms. Shame Hornady discontinued their 200 grain XTPs

Aye 38/357 is just not there for the prices anymore I wonder if they’re not producing as much so the economy of scale isn’t the same or some other factor.

What are your thoughts on carrying your own reloads for a defensive weapon?

    Divemedic · May 17, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    I don’t reload. Buying the tools, setup, and components just don’t save enough money IMO to justify the time, effort, expense, and risk (double charge, half charge, etc) to bother.
    So I have no opinion on reloads for self defense.

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