Thursday, August 30, 2012

What are the Firearm Conditions of Carry?

There are 5 conditions of carry that were originally developed for a 1911 model handgun. Most of these conditions still apply to modern day semi-automatic handguns like the Glock, M&P, and Springfield XD. Although some of these conditions are inherently “safer” than others, they all still rely on the carrier’s own safety practices. I’ll cover these from safest to least safe.

Condition 4 – This is an empty chamber and no magazine in the weapon. I call this California Carry because this is/was the only way you could open carry in CA.

Condition 3 – This is an empty chamber, hammer down, and a loaded magazine in the weapon.

Condition 2 – This is a loaded chamber, hammer down, and a loaded magazine in the weapon. I’ve also heard this was hammer at half-cock for the 1911 folks. For the striker fired folks (Glock, XD, and M&P, et al.), this one does not apply.

Condition 1 – This is a loaded chamber, hammer cocked, safety on, and a loaded magazine in the weapon. For guns with no external safety, remember the trigger is the safety here. Keep your finger off the trigger and there won’t be any loud bangs. (Keep your booger hook off the bang switch!)

Condition 0 – This is a loaded chamber, hammer cocked, safety off, and a loaded magazine in the weapon.

Now, what condition should you carry your pistol in? In my opinion, you should always carry in Condition 1. If you’re not comfortable carrying in this condition, feel free to back down to the condition you are comfortable with until you can become comfortable with Condition 1. That will only come with training and confidence. Remember too, any operations other than drawing and releasing a safety will take precious time if you’re in the heat of a fight. If a bad guy already has the drop on you, do you really want to take the time to be doing fine motor skills like inserting a magazine or racking a slide? Sure, you can practice this all you want, but you’ll still never be as fast as you can be without having to perform those same tasks.

Be safe.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Can You Use a Good Laugh?

I don’t own a gun safe, so I have to take “extraordinary measures” to safeguard my firearms if I’m out of town. I hide guns in some of the weirdest places. If I ever die while I’m out of town, my girlfriend is going to have to hire bloodhounds to find all my stuff.

This Saturday, I was crawling into one of my favorite hiding spots with my AR when I knocked my head against something. Well, natural reaction is to jerk your head away from what you just whacked your head into, right? Well, try not to jerk it in the direction of the AR you’re carrying if you do. This will cause much cussing and leaking of blood upon your pretty and clean AR-15.

I think I smacked the bridge of my nose right into the top rail. I remember hearing something crack, but looking back I don’t remember if it was from my head or my nose. This will teach me to delay mounting optics. Course, if I had the scope mounted, I’d have probably put a nice goose egg on my forehead or broken my nose worse than I did. Or worse, damaged the brandy new Burris TAC30 scope I just waited 3 months for.

Anyway, I now have a nice 3/8” long “V” on the right side of the bridge of my nose that took 6 stitches to close up. They took some great x-rays of my nose and there’s no doubt it’s broken. Luckily it didn’t require being reset. After it’s stitched up is the wrong time for that in my opinion, but I’m not a doctor.

Moral of the story is “Buy a safe, dummy. It’s better than a busted nose!”

Be safe!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Selecting a Gun to Carry – Part 4 – What Accessories Do You Need to Carry?

Okay, this is the last part of this series. You’ve decided what method of carry best suits you, chosen a model of handgun that fits that method of carry, and you’ve decided what caliber to get that handgun in. Now what accessories do you need to carry with that handgun? What do you need on your “Bat-belt”? (If you’re like me, you’ll get used to being ridiculed about your “Bat-belt”.)

You need a holster. Whether you’re going to carry a pocket gun or something larger, you’re going to need something to keep that gun on your person and safe from negligent discharges. Holsters come in various materials such as nylon, leather, Kydex, or a combination of these. Get one that fits your gun, covers the trigger, and will prevent your gun from accidentally falling out (yes, it happens more than you think.) I would stay away from nylon. Although it’s light, they usually do not have a reinforced opening, which makes reholstering very difficult and risky. If you’re going to open carry, you may want to think about a retention holster such as a leather holster with a thumb break, a Blackhawk Serpa holster, or a Safariland retention holster. Don’t be surprised if it takes a few holsters until you find the perfect one for you.

If you’re going to carry on your hip, whether IWB or OWB, you’re going to need a good gun belt. A regular belt will stretch and not hold your gun close to your hip as it should. A good gun belt will be stiff enough to prevent the belt from rolling into a “C” under the weight of the gun. Belts are made by Blackhawk, Bianchi, Crossbreed, and many others. My favorite is A&G Custom Gun Leather. Don’t cheap out on the belt. In my opinion, this is where the comfort or pain of carrying comes from.

If you carry a gun and don't carry anything else, you absolutely need to carry a cell phone. This is your lifeline. A gun doesn’t solve every problem. Use this to get the authorities involved to solve a problem instead of trying to solve it yourself. Generally speaking, the first person to call about an altercation of any sort is usually looked upon as the victim. This could come in handy if you ever get dragged into court, especially after a shooting.

You’re going to want to carry spare magazines, speed loaders, or speed strips. These need to be readily available in case you need to reload in the middle of a fight or because of an equipment malfunction. As with any piece of machinery, failures can and will occur, and according to Murphy, they’ll occur at the most inopportune time. A spare magazine affords you the opportunity to dump the old mag and reload a fresh one to keep you in the fight. How many you carry is a matter of personal preference, but generally speaking, if you need more than two spare mags, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A good digital voice recorder is nice to have in case of a run in with a law enforcement officer or anyone else that you might want to record as either proof your rights were violated or you didn’t start an altercation. I keep mine in a little cubby-hole in the dash of my truck. It’s handy to grab if I’m open carrying, or I can turn it on in case I’m pulled over.

A good flashlight is really handy at times. I carry a three cell Mag-Light in the truck, just in case. I used to carry a mini-Mag-Light on my belt all the time when I was an inspector. I don’t use a flashlight very often, but when I need one, I hate having to go hunt one up. For ease of operation, a flashlight should have a push button to operate it, whether it’s on the tail cap or on the body.  They’re just easier to operate this way, especially if your other hand is occupied at the time. Not only is a flashlight for lighting up dark areas, if it's bright enough, it can used to temporarily blind or disorient an adversary.

Lastly, a good knife is mandatory almost anywhere you go. Whether you carry it for defense, opening boxes, or just cleaning the dirt from under your fingernails, if you leave it at home, you’re going to need it at some point during the day.

So decide what you need and what you’re willing to carry along with you every day. You’ll adjust your Bat-belt inventory periodically depending on where you’re going and what you’re going to be doing.

Be safe.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Selecting a Gun to Carry – Part 3 - Which Handgun Caliber is Best to Carry for Personal Defense?

Once you've selected the firearm that best fits you and your carry-style, you are going to need to decide which handgun caliber is best for your personal defense. Some of the basic rules you’ll need to remember when choosing your personal defense caliber are:
  • With an increase in caliber, comes an increase in recoil.
  • With increased recoil, comes slower follow up shots.
  • Increased recoil is harder to control.
  • Smaller guns will have more felt recoil than larger guns of the same caliber.

Look at all the ballistic data for the different calibers your gun is available in. You’ll want to compare the penetration, velocity, and muzzle energy of different bullet weights for the same caliber. Of course, this will only muddy the waters even more, since there is no “perfect” caliber or bullet. The best you can do is find a happy medium between all of the factors.

When choosing a caliber, the general rule of thumb is to get the largest caliber you can comfortably and reliably shoot. Consider the size of the gun you’re thinking about buying and the calibers that that model is available in. Think about your own size. Can you handle your choice of handguns in this caliber? Can you quickly get a second shot off that will hit its intended target?

If you can, go out and rent your prospective handgun in the different calibers. Or maybe somebody at the range has that model and would be willing to let you try it out. I’ve even seen folks on internet forums solicit the use of other people’s guns in order to help them make a decision on a model of certain caliber. Sure, it’s always best to try before you buy, but if that’s not an option all you can do is make the best educated decision you possibly can.

Some other things to consider when choosing a handgun caliber are:

How common is the ammunition for this caliber? The three most popular handgun calibers today are 9MM Parabellum (aka 9MM, 9 x 19MM, 9MM Luger), .40S&W, and .45ACP.  The cheapest being 9MM. You generally won’t have a problem finding 9MM and .40S&W on the shelf at your local Wally-World. I quite frequently have trouble finding .45ACP though.

Can I afford to practice with this caliber? Look at ammunition prices where you’re most likely to buy it, whether it’s Wal-Mart or an internet site. Compare the prices of the different calibers. Remember though, there are ways to reduce the cost of practice ammunition. You can buy either new or reloaded ammunition in bulk, reloads being cheaper, or you can reload your own ammunition, which is usually the cheapest route of all after the initial investment to buy the equipment. If you go to this website ( you can see the range of prices by caliber and bullet type.

The 9MM Parabellum has been around since before WW I. It originated in Europe, which is why it is measured in millimeters, rather than fractions of an inch. It is about the smallest caliber that I would recommend for personal defense. 

The .40S&W has become very popular. Recoil is sharp due to the higher velocity of the bullets, but it is not unpleasant. It’s been my experience that the recoil of the .40S&W is slightly higher than that of comparable pistols chambered for .45 ACP.

The .45ACP has been around for over a century, and has proven itself as an effective personal defense round. This cartridge fires a relatively heavy bullet at relatively low speeds, which is effective, but does not take advantage of the way a slightly lighter bullet at higher speeds can be more effective, carry more energy, and recoil more softly. Part of the reason for this is the lower chamber pressure, compared to more recently introduced cartridges.

Remember, if you choose a caliber and don’t like it, you can always change your mind. Sooner or later, most people do. You’re not stuck with any gun after you buy it. There is always somebody out there looking for one just like it. Some handguns can even be changed from one caliber to another simply by changing the barrel and magazine.

Be safe.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Selecting a Gun to Carry – Part 2 - What Handgun Model Should I Buy?

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and buy a handgun to carry for your personal protection. Now you have to decide, “What handgun model should I buy?” There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a handgun for concealed carry.

·         Is the gun reliable?
·         Is it accurate?
·         Does it have the stopping power?
·         Does it fit your hand and are all the controls accessible?
·         Is it concealable?
During this process, the last thing you want to consider is the price. Sure, everyone wants to keep as much of their hard earned dollars in their own pockets, but we’re talking about something that could save your life. Once you’ve narrowed your search, you can start comparing prices and then work out a deal with a gun store. But that’s down the road. Don't start with a dollar figure and then try to find something that fits that instead of you.

The first thing you need to do is a little homework. Get on the web and look at the different models available by the popular manufacturers. Read reviews on the various guns, but try to stay clear of reviews by people or organizations that are being paid to review them. Gun forums like GeorgiaPacking.Org or can be a wealth of information. Go around to some of your local gun stores. Be careful with the information you get from some people behind gun store counters. There are people behind those counters that aren’t all that knowledgeable about guns. They are a minority, I think, but they are out there. Don’t be afraid to pick their brains about their firearm’s experience. You will come up with questions while you’re doing your research. Write them down and take them with you to the gun stores. See what kind of answers you get to the same questions from different people.

To help you narrow your search, I’ve put together a list of the more popular handgun manufacturers and some of the more important specifications for their guns. Some of the specs shown are:

·         Height – This is from the bottom of the grip to the top of the slide or frame. This affects concealability. The taller a gun is, the harder it is to hide under a shirt.
·         Width – Wider handguns are harder to conceal and could also be a grip problem for smaller hands. You should be able to operate all the controls on a handgun with either hand.
·         Weight –This will matter over the course of a day of carrying. It also affects recoil. Weights shown below are unloaded with the magazine.
·         Capacity – This is affected by height and/or width. It’s also a good comparison feature. The more cartridges you have in the magazine, the less reloads you’ll have to make.
DISCLAIMER - I did not include specs for any .380 handguns. I personally think some of these 9mm's are just as small and more powerful than the .380 counterpart. I did not include barrel length in the specs. Though a longer barrel gives you higher velocities and better accuracy, we aren't talking about very noticeable differences in a self-defense environment. I did not include pictures of every single model that I give specs for. The only difference between some models is the caliber. I also did not include any 1911’s in the list. They are a whole separate post in themselves. Some would also argue if they are a good beginner’s pistol.

Beretta -
Beretta Nano

Caliber - 9mm
Capacity - 6+1
Weight - 17.7 oz.
Height - 4.17"
Width - 0.9"

Beretta Px4 Storm Sub-Compact

Caliber - 9mm          .40S&W
Capacity - 13+1       10+1
Weight -        26.1 oz.     
Height -           4.5"
Width -            1.4"

Beretta Px4 Storm Compact

Caliber - 9mm          .40S&W
Capacity - 15+1       12+1
Weight -        27.3 oz.     
Height -           5.2"
Width -            1.4"

Beretta Px4 Storm Full Size

Caliber - 9mm          .40S&W     .45ACP
Capacity - 17+1       14+1         9+1
Weight -        27.7 oz.              28.2
Height -           5.8"                  5.9"
Width -                     1.4"

Beretta 92FS

Caliber - 9mm 
Capacity - 15+1
Weight - 33.3 oz.     
Height -  5.4"
Width -   1.5"

Bersa -

Bersa Thunder Pro

Caliber - 9mm          .40S&W
Capacity - 17+1       13+1
Weight -        30.7 oz.     
Height -           5.5"
Width -            1.45"

Bersa Thunder Ultra-Compact Pro

Caliber - 9mm          .40S&W     .45ACP
Capacity - 13+1       10+1         7+1
Weight -        23.0 oz.              27.0
Height -           4.75"                5.1"
Width -                   1.45"

Glock -
Here is a handy reference chart that shows all the Glock model numbers, sizes, and calibers. I'm just going to touch on a few.


             G19           G23          G21

Caliber - 9mm          .40S&W     .45ACP
Capacity - 15+1       13+1         13+1
Weight -        21.6 oz.              26.5 oz.
Height -           4.75"                5.1"
Width -            1.18"                1.28"


            G26            G27          G30

Caliber - 9mm          .40S&W     .45ACP
Capacity - 10+1       9+1          6+1
Weight -       19.75 oz.             20.1 oz.
Height -           4.17"                4.76"
Width -            1.18"                1.1"

Kahr Arms -
I couldn't lift pictures off the Kahr website, so here is everything in their line up.
              CW9         CM9           CW40            PM40         CW45            PM45

Caliber - 9mm          9mm          .40S&W         .40S&W     .45ACP          .45ACP
Capacity - 7+1         6+1           6+1               5+1          6+1               5+1
Weight - 17.7 oz.      15.9 oz.     18.7 oz.         17.7 oz.    21.7 oz.         19.3 oz.
Height - 4.5"            4.0"           4.62"              4.0"         6.32"             5.79"
Width - 0.90"           0.90"          0.94"             0.94"        1.01"             1.01"

Kel-Tec -


Caliber - 9mm
Capacity - 7+1
Weight - 12.7 oz.
Height - 4.3"
Width - 0.88"


Caliber - 9mm
Capacity - 10+1
Weight - 14 oz.
Height - 4.3"
Width - 1.0"

Kimber -
Kimber was another web site that I couldn't lift a picture off of, so here again is a link to the picture. Kimber is probably best known for their 1911's.
Solo Carry

         Caliber - 9mm
         Capacity - 6+1
         Weight - 17 oz.
         Height - 3.9"
         Width - 1.2"

Ruger -
Ruger also manufacturers single and double action revolvers, other models of semi-automatic pistols and just recently broke into the 1911 market.

Ruger LCR (Lightweight Compact Revolver)

Caliber - 357 magnum
Capacity - 5
Weight - 17.1 oz.
Weight - 4.5"
Width - 1.875"

Ruger LC9

Caliber - 9mm
Capacity - 7+1
Weight - 17.1 oz.
Height - 4.5"
Width - 0.9"

              SR9        SR40

Caliber -    9mm      .40S&W
Capacity - 17+1       15+1
Weight -  26.5 oz.    27.3 oz
Height -           5.52"
Width -            1.27"

              SR9c       SR40c

Caliber -    9mm      .40S&W
Capacity - 10+1       9+1
Weight -          23.4 oz 
Height -           4.61"
Width -            1.27"

Sig Sauer -
Sig manufacturers other models of semi-automatic pistols including 1911's.
Caliber -    9mm      .40S&W
Capacity - 15+1       12+1
Weight -          34 oz 
Height -           5.5"
Width -            1.5"

Caliber -   9mm       .40S&W
Capacity - 13+1      12+1
Weight -          32 oz.
Height -           5.4"
Width -            1.5" 

Smith & Wesson -
Smith & Wesson also produces a larger assortment of small, medium and large frame revolvers and 1911's.

              SD9VE      SD40VE

Caliber -   9mm       .40S&W
Capacity - 16+1      14+1
Weight -          22.7 oz.
Width -            1.29" 

            M&P9 Shield      M&P40 Shield

Caliber -   9mm                .40S&W
Capacity - 7+1                 6+1
Weight -              19 oz.
Height -                4.6"
Width -                 0.95" 

               M&P9      M&P40      M&P45

Caliber -    9mm      .40S&W     .45ACP
Capacity - 17+1       15+1         10+1
Weight -    24 oz.     24.3 oz      29.6 oz
Height -     5.5"        5.5"          5.5"
Width -      1.2"        1.2"          1.2"

             M&P9c      M&P40c      M&P45c

Caliber -    9mm      .40S&W     .45ACP
Capacity - 12+1       10+1          8+1
Weight -    21.7 oz.   21.9 oz      26.2 oz
Height -     4.3"        4.3"           4.8"
Width -      1.2"        1.2"           1.2"

Springfield Armory -

Springfield Armory is another website that you can't copy pictures from, so here is a link to the XDM pictures. Springfield also carries an XD line that are similar to the XDM. They are also a manufacturer of 1911's.
XDM 3.8 Compact

Caliber -     9mm             .40S&W           .45ACP     
Capacity -   13+1             11+1               9+1          
Weight -     28 oz.            28 oz.             25 oz.    
Height -      4.75"             4.75"               4.55"        

XDM 4.5

Caliber -     9mm             .40S&W           .45ACP     
Capacity -   19+1             16+1               13+1          
Weight -     32 oz.            32 oz.             31 oz.    
Height -      5.6"               5.6"                5.75"        

Now you just need to find one that fits and feels good. I wanted to try to explain on here how to tell if a handgun fits your hand or not, but Cornered Cat does a great job of explaining it over at her website. While you’re out groping guns, it's a perfect time to see how well they will conceal, if that’s how you plan to carry. Ask to see the different models in holsters and try some on for size. This will also let you see how readily available holsters are for each particular model and how they fit you.

If you go to a gun store with a range, ask if they have guns to rent. This is a great way to really test a guns accuracy and reliability. This is how I selected my M&P. I actually rented two guns and shot them side by side to compare them. And don’t forget those Internet reviews.

Don’t worry about the caliber just yet. I’ll get into that in my next post. Just go find the right model for you. If it takes visiting less than four gun stores, I’ll be surprised. 

Be safe.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Selecting a Gun to Carry – Part 1 - Should I Open Carry or Concealed Carry

Open Carry (OC) versus Concealed Carry (CC) has been a hotly debated topic for years. It’s not my intent to get into that debate here. What you need to decide is if you will open carry (if the law allows), if you’ll concealed carry, or as some folks do, both. I normally carry concealed. Personally, I don’t want the hassle by John Q. Public or the local constabulary. You have to decide what best fits you. I’m going to list some pro’s and con’s to each for you to ponder. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with them, but they may help you decide.



Element of surprise when the need arises                          

Nobody knows it’s there, unless you tell                                              

Concealed carry can afford you the element of surprise should you find yourself in a store being held up. There are an infinite number of scenarios, but when you carry concealed, it’s your option to get involved and bring a gun to bear or not. This applies whether you carry open or concealed, but if you’re carrying concealed, you can choose to intervene or not.

My favorite reason for concealed carry is that I’m the only one that knows it’s there, unless I choose to let you in on the secret. It was a strange feeling when I first started carrying. I remember going to the car wash one afternoon and sitting outside next to one of our local county police officers while we waited for our vehicles to get done. I sat there occasionally glancing his way as he sat there fairly relaxed, and I just wondered what he’d say if he knew I was armed (and not dangerous).


Slower to draw from concealment

Wardrobe changes may be necessary

Drawing a pistol from concealment will take longer than an open carried pistol. Depending on your holster and amount of training, it may not be much slower than drawing an openly carried handgun. But when every 1/100th of a second counts…

If you’re going to carry concealed, you’ll have to decide if you’re going to carry inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waistband (OWB). If you normally wear slacks, a dress shirt, and a jacket, concealment shouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as you never remove your jacket or the wind doesn’t blow it open. You can carry either IWB or OWB. If you’re going to need to remove your jacket, you’ll have to use an IWB holster where you can tuck your shirt in over your handgun. If you normally wear jeans and a t-shirt, you’re definitely going to have to use an IWB holster. Concealment for you is going to be more of a challenge. Some states that do not allow open carry, have laws against printing (that obvious bulge under your shirt that can only be a firearm) so you may need to consider this when selecting a handgun and a holster. Don’t be surprised if you have to change part of your wardrobe to adapt to concealed carry.

I’m normally a jeans and Polo shirt man. I had to buy shirts that fit a little looser, and hung a little longer to conceal my handguns. I’m 5’7”, 165 pounds, and I can conceal a full sized 1911 in a Milt Sparks Summer Special II holster. I can conceal a full size M&P45 in a Crossbreed SuperTuck in the same clothes, but not as well. It conceals better in the winter for me.



More comfortable than concealed carry

Faster draw than concealed carrier

Someone openly carrying a handgun will deter criminals

Open carry is certainly more comfortable than concealed carry assuming you’re using an OWB holster. Open carrying takes the gun off the body, allowing greater comfort and mobility in the hips. I sometimes dream about not having to cram a holstered handgun into the waistband of my already too tight pants, especially after a big supper.

Open carry is faster to draw from since you don’t have clothing in the way of the firearm that must be cleared. I shoot my local USPSA matches and they don’t require the use of cover garments. Now I’m slower than most to draw at these matches, but I’m faster than I am from concealment.

Although there are no statistics to back this claim up, it’s believed by many open carriers that they deter criminals from acting out their illegal plans. However, there are stories out there that will prove this theory. There are two places I always open carry; they are ATM’s and gas stations.


Draws attention by others


Open carry draws more attention because your sidearm is obviously visible to all around you. That does not mean it will be noticed all the time or that anyone will say anything, but they could. It’s even possible that someone will call the police to report a person with a gun, and from that you can expect a visit from your local law enforcement. And if they show up, you better know your rights and the local gun laws.

With open carry, you have to be alert and maintain possession of your handgun. There is always the chance that someone will be willing to try to take it away from you. You have to be willing to fight to retain possession. Open carry shouldn’t really be done without some level of a retention holster.

These are just some of the things you need to consider when deciding whether to carry open or concealed. 

Be safe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Selecting a Gun to Carry – The Series

So you’ve decided that you’re ready to carry a gun for personal protection. Now you’re faced with the daunting task of selecting the perfect gun to carry. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a firearm for personal protection. This series of posts will look at:
  • Which method of carry should I use? Open or concealed?
  • What model of gun should I buy?
  • Which handgun caliber is best to carry for personal defense?
  • What accessories do I need to carry?

Open or concealed carry is a hotly debated topic in the gun world. I’m not going to tell you how you should carry, but I will tell you some things you need to consider in order to make your own decision.

What model of gun you choose will depend on several key factors. I’ll go over some of the more popular models that you’ll see in the gun stores as well as what you should look for.

I’ll cover things you need to think about when selecting which caliber of handgun fits you.

Lastly, I’ll go over the accessories you’ll need to prepare yourself for carrying a handgun outside your home.

Please don’t expect me to have the answer for you in these posts. Only you know you and what you want, and how you want to do it. I’m just going to try to lead you down the right path.

Be safe.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Product Review: Freedom Munitions 230gr FMJ Remanufactured Ammunition

If you’re like me, you’re always finding new websites delivering the same products you’re buying somewhere else, and you’re asking yourself if you should leave tried& for this newly found supplier.

Well, I think I may have found my next source for 230 grain FMJ ammunition for range and USPSA use. After perusing, and seeing the care they put into producing their ammunition, I thought I’d give them a try.

I placed my Internet order on Saturday, August 4th. On Monday, a FedEx tracking number was created and I was notified via email. On Tuesday, August 7th, it left their facility and on August 11th, it was delivered to my door. The box arrived in great shape for a cardboard box with 50# of ammo in it. There was no damage to any of the contents. I thought this was really exceptional considering the box came to my house in southeast Georgia from way out in Washington.

When I finally got around to opening the box on Monday evening, I was pleasantly surprised to find the contents divided into 50 round boxes, and not loose in a single plastic bag. I visually inspected about 400 rounds for cracked, dented, or corroded cases. There were some dented cases, but none of the dents were more than 1/16” long and not more than about 0.010” deep. The rims looked and felt fine. The primers all looked to be properly seated. I borrowed a calibrated caliper from work to measure the overall length. Of the 100 or so rounds I inspected, they all ranged from 1.2595” to 1.2620”.

So with that done, today I went to the range to see how they shoot. I didn’t have a chrono to check velocities with. (I’ll try to bum one off a coworker in the near future.) I ran 100 rounds through my M&P without so much as a hiccup. No failures of any kind. This ammunition shoots fairly clean. Not much smoke at all. Granted I was outside, but there wasn’t much air moving and the most I saw was just a light wisp. I don’t think it would even be a problem on an indoor range.I wasn’t really set up to check the accuracy of this ammo, but at 7 yards I was consistently hitting a 3” x 5” target area, and that’s plenty accurate for range and match ammo, at least for me.

I give Freedom Munitions 2 thumbs up for their remanufactured 230 grain FMJ ammunition. So if you’re looking for a new source of range ammunition for your .45’s, give Freedom Munitions a try. Did I mention you can purchase either remanufactured or new ammunition from them?

Be safe.