Carrying more than one type of ammo?

Now this is something I do not do but I was just curious as the other people’s thoughts.
I have seen this with those who employ a shotgun for home defense but not in a handgun EDC situation.

I recently saw some discussion where someone was carrying their standard EDC ammo but in their backup magazine carried something totally different that had greater penetrating power. His concept was if I need to get through a wall or automobile glass I can drop my mag pop in my spare and get the job done.

Not so sure you would ever have that kind of time and certainly I do not want to shoot through a wall if I can’t discern my target. Maybe I’m not thinking correctly but I don’t see a great benefit.


For a private citizen concealed carrier, I don’t really foresee needing to shoot through a barrier and having the time an opportunity to have that thought, stop, change magazines, and then go back to shooting through the barrier.

Also, there are IMO very good self defense JHP choices that do fine through intermediate barriers even (very tough barrier) auto glass.

Right now I’m carrying Speer Gold Dot, very tough bonded bullet that does well in all manner of testing and has a great street record/cred going back a long time (such as with NYPD).

I like KISS. Keep it simple stupid. IMO, worrying about which ammo you’re using, which mag you have in, making changes…that’s probably not going to work well in a life or death lethal force DGU…I think it more likely a person would fumble the mag swap and end up disarmed due to not having ammo in the gun, that be in that situation, switch mags, and then justifiably and necessarily make the stopping shot(s) with the second mag that would have failed with the first. I just…don’t see it


I don’t carry two different loads EDC on the street but I do carry two different loads in the woods.
One mag (in the gun) has 255grn. Hard cast for bear and the spare mag has 185grn Hornaday C.D. HPs.


Now, going the other direction, I have done something similar…when I was out West and in Alaska a couple times carrying a big bore revolver, I put a typical lighter more concealed carrier appropriate JHP in the gun around town but then when I hit the trails and got out and away I swung the cylinder out and switched to my flat nose gas checked hard cast lead max penetration ‘bear rounds’…and then back when returning to town.


Before I lost all my firearms in a tragic boating accident I typically carried a magazine with several hollowpoints first (about half a magazine,) and the rest ball ammo. My “at home” gun had all hollowpoints.


While my extra rounds have always been the same on rare occasion, a different kind of JHP till i got more of my preferred…

I have found a kind of ammo I plan on getting for my revolver and handgun to have in a spare mag or strip.

The ammo is Fort Scott Munitions, their TUI ammo. Took some to my range when they had a free ballistics gel testing to see how your carry ammo performed, I bought the TUI for the fun of it…

It actually performed well, as good or slightly better than the underwood extreme penetrator ammo…

Im actually eventually planning to get some for the 44mag, 10mm, 9mm, 380 if they have it and such for my 1 of my spare mags…

Reason being, depending on carry of the day, if i have a predator of the 4 legged variety and the first mag didnt do the job, the 2nds mag has more penatration…

Probably not necessary for the 10mm or 44 magnum but I like to keep some things the same between carry platforms and reloads, even though different platforms with some different holster, safeties etc, reloads and grabbing mags or ammo strips, some consistency…

Most my guns use the same JHP ammo except when the barrel is shorter and needs a lighter bullet for proper velocity…


Why is it okay for a shotgun but taboo in a handgun?


Why? If the JHPs do not stop the threat, how will simple ball-holes help?

during the warmer months I carry a typical defense load like Hornady Critical Duty or Defense. Come fall and winter though I was advised by someone with real world experience to carry +P FMJ rounds for the additional penetration, as people tend to layer up this time of year.

I don’t carry both at the same time though… it’s either one or the other


I’m not saying it’s okay just that that’s what I have observed.


I don’t think that advice was necessarily based on full knowledge of the topic at hand.

Coats and clothing, if anything, result in more penetration because the hollow point cavity clogs, doesn’t expands, and penetrate more while expanding less (not ideal).

If you look up the gel tests using heavy layers of denim as a reference, the goal is for a JHP through clothing to have the same expansion and penetration as bare gel, and the good ones are basically the same or the ypenetrate ever so slightly more and expand ever so slightly less.

Which is to say, I matter of factly disagree with carrying FMJ in the winter because you are worried your JHP, which penetrate adequately in the summer, suddenly won’t

A good defensive JHP should be the standard year round unless you are talking about something too weak to reliably expand and penetrate, like a .32 auto or smaller


To me, this kind of fit’s into the category of “What IS self defense”. If I’m dropping a mag to change projectile type am I still defending my self? Or am I perpetuating a gun fight.


Its interesting what you say about a JHP causing more penetration when hitting clothing as it contradicts the reason i was given to carry FMJ :slight_smile:

As it was explained to me the idea behind using a high speed (say 115 to 124) grain +P FMJ over a defensive hollow point round is that when the hollow point hits thick clothing it dramatically slows down due to the cavity being filled with material/causing premature expansion, as opposed to the super hot FMJ that carries on through.

I’m off to the you tubes to see if i can find any tests! :stuck_out_tongue:


Premature expansion is definitely not what happens when a JHP clogs with clothing/fabric. That type of material does not cause it to expand.

The YouTubes will have what you are seeking, one of my favorite sources of information, lots of big name big sub and view count channels with good stuff.


Lehigh Defense Extreme Penetrator for all rounds. Doesn’t clog up like traditional hollow points and doesn’t jam up in semi-auto firearms designed for round nose ammo.


My logic may be a bit screwy. So I would defer at all times to your experience versus my experiment. One does not know what type of threat they may face. My feelings are JHPs may be good against an attacker face to face or even at a distance. If things really get bad ball has a better chance of penetrating a barrier like a car door, or a homemade vest.

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In my opinion we have to set back and consider the most likely situations we are going to encounter. Are we more than likely going to encounter someone with body armor or having to deal with a car? If we loadout ammo based on the extreme it possibly could result in over penetration creating collateral damage such as in the home with a loved one the other side of a simple interior wall or an innocent bystander from a deflected round.


Does ball have a better chance of penetration of a car door than say a Gold Dot or HST? Is there a test somewhere where we can see that? I think I’d wager the bonded JHP does better through an intermediate barrier than a standard FMJ.

I struggle to see the scenario where you are acting in self defense, shooting somebody in a car, can’t shoot them through the window, have to shoot them them through the door, know this, change magazine for better penetration, and then shoot them through the door…and this is unavoidable (reasonably and safely) justified self defense


Sounds like a prepping for the O.K. Corral right now. lol. So, is this what we’re doing now?


I think it’s just a civil discussion between ball and hollow point I think if we look hard enough you can probably find a situation for every type ammo out there but my point is what are we most likely going to encounter. Each person’s lifestyle may be a little different and some a lot different. Sure that has something with it