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A question on defensive rounds and practice

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Old 01-05-2017, 12:05 AM   #1
jayb514
 
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Default A question on defensive rounds and practice

I've only had mine for a little over two weeks. I've put a 100 round box of federal through it, 8 rounds of Hornady Custom 124 gr xtp and not a hiccup.

I want to try some Federal 124 gr hst. Funny thing happened during my search for this round. I went to a local range where the guy behind the counter said it would be a waste. He said the pf9 is not an expensive gun. It wasn't meant to be a range gun. Just find what is reliable and stick with that. He said all hollow points are basically the same. Some may expand more than others big whoop. They're all gonna hurt and shot placement and reliability is what counts. He actually said that all this shooting paper is bs and it goes right out the window when a real defensive situation occurs.

Now, there is truth in much of what he said. I take issue, however, with the notion that because the pf9 is not $500 it cannot or should not be fired a lot. How can I get used to the gun and practice with it if I don't shoot it and shoot it a lot? My reaction in a defensive situation has to be muscle memory based. I have had officers and federal agents tell me that when the moment comes if you have to think you'll probably miss or not even get the shot off. The question before the court is this: Am I crazy or is he wrong?
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:13 AM   #2
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I've always been confused by the "range gun" distinction. The range is where you practice with your guns so you're less likely to screw up if you have to use them. Any gun you carry is (should be) a range gun.
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:48 AM   #3
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Typical ignorant gun store employee.

I would agree that we as gun owners spend a little too much time on the search for the magic bullet but that's it. I would suggest you do a little research on JHPs, find a few you like and then test them in your gun.

You should shoot your carry gun regularly. Also look for some good training if it's available in your area. Shoot and train as much as is practical for you. Yes, it won't be exactly like a real gun fight but it's the next best thing.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:54 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input. I also found it odd that I went in intending to purchase something and rather than do that he talked me out of buying anything in the store.
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Old 01-06-2017, 04:05 AM   #5
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I actually ended up buying a second PF9, it was a great deal so I couldn't pass it up. It actually worked out well because I shoot the original one most of the time and carry the second. It's not necessary but since I have two I might as well.
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:13 AM   #6
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Multiple things:

First, the gun store employee is a por source of information, both this individual and as a gross generalization.

Second, all hollow point amo is not created equal. Federal HDT is a good choice, there are several close competitors.

Third, practice is a key aspect of training for self defense. The trouble is that most people have no idea how to train, and tend to reach out to poor quality training resources. If you are serious about learning to defend yourself with a firearm, THIS is where most of your research energy - and eventualy money - should go. Do not neglect the legal aspects - USCCA is a good place to start.

Fourth, feel free to practice with your PF9. I would not put the PF9 in the category of a heavy duty range gun, but my idea of heavy duty and your may be very different. I think little of shooting 300-400 rounds per session, and I train regularly. I would not expect the PF9 to keep up with my trainign regimen. At the end of the day consumables dominate my costs, and much more durable handguns are available for not that much more than a PF9.

Fifth, a PF9 is a light, small carry gun. If it suits your carry requirements and proves reliable in practice, by all means cary it.

Sixth, go find a local IDPA match. Go watch a few stages. Talk to people. IDPA is a game, but people even minimally equipped and competent in this game are vastly more prepared than most.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:15 PM   #7
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The way I look at it, each technical aspect that we dwell upon simply fine-tunes something else. It's a ladder of diminishing returns.

Quibbling over bullet type makes the wound channel more damaging once the bullet has penetrated sufficiently.

Trying for better penetration improves the chances of hitting something vital once a shot has reached the other person.

Training for shot placement and combat mindset makes you more likely to achieve hits, assuming the gun goes bang when it's supposed to.

Optimizing reliability makes the weapon more likely to function when you need it most - if you already have it at hand and not in the safe back at home.

Comfort and concealability mean the gun is more likely to be in your possession when things go sideways. Safe queens are irrelevant when your life is in danger.

I'm sure I missed a few steps, but you get the idea. Now start at the bottom and work your way up. You have a gun and it's pretty compact. It must be reliable enough, or you'd have mentioned that as the main reason to test fire it. So find some ammo that you can afford to practice with *and* penetrates well enough *and* leaves a nasty wound channel. In that order of optimization. Then head for the range or some other suitable training facility. Lather rinse repeat.

This kind of thinking is why I switched my P3AT from fancy hollow points (I think they were XTPs) to plain old Fiocchi JHPs. They look kinda scary from the business end and cost half as much per cartridge. Then I bought an armalaser to make training for gross motor / point shooting more efficient with less ammo. The overall cost is a wash and my aim is getting better. When I can hit the target with every shot, that might be the right time to revisit fancy bullets.

But actually my next priority is to make the darn pistol function 100%...

Summary: the range guy is sort of halfway right, but it doesn't matter anyway unless he's your personal firearms trainer too.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:26 PM   #8
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Meant to say: when i can hit the target (paper) every time, that might be the right time to revisit fancy bullets *and* get higher quality tactical training. Because training itself follows the ladder of diminishing returns too.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:35 PM   #9
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I just got the +1 extension and it feels great! Will probably shoot tomorrow and hope to find better control. Now that I can get a full grip on her I think Kelly and I will be very happy together.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:22 AM   #10
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Had a bad day at the range. The extension looks great and feels great but every, and I mean EVERY round caused the magazine to eject. I took off the extension and put the stock one back on. Same issue all over again. Is it the mag release or maybe the follower? I was so stoked and now I'm so bummed.
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