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Should You Shoot Your Defensive Ammo

June 10, 2020
Kevin "KJ" Jarnagin

I debate constantly with myself. I know what you are thinking. KJ is either a little crazy or he is full-blown crazy. We all have small debates that continually rattle through the mind. I debate on whether or not I should shoot my defensive rounds through my carry gun.

Defensive rounds cost more than range ammo. This is the biggest hang-up when folks head to the range. That is a big blow to my pocketbook if I send 200 rounds downrange. Full-metal jacket loads are easily attainable and in my mind make sense if I am just plinking at the range. However, how do I know if the rounds I choose to carry function properly each time that trigger is pressed? Well, I don’t know unless I sacrifice a few Benjamins and let loose a time or two.

Black Hills ammo is great for defensive use but how often do you shoot it through your defensive gun? You may want to start practicing with your defensive rounds.

Another argument I have is why not trust the manufacturer to produce the finest product to work in my pistol. Well, not all ammo is created equally and not all manufacturers go to the lengths that some others do. Take Black Hills ammo for example. I’ve been shooting their ammo for quite some time now, and I have yet to see anything from them that doesn’t function flawlessly in any gun. So, I should just trust what they produce, right? I don’t think that is the case. I want to know what I am getting and what my gun can expect to see a steady diet of.

Black Hills knows what they are doing when it comes to ammo production. A company that produces ammo for some of the elite military forces should be trusted, but you have to know what that ammo is doing downrange. Take the HoneyBadger round for example.

The Black Hills HoneyBadger round is a deadly one. Make sure you know what your ammo is doing in your defensive guns before carrying.

Before Black Hills Ammo produced the HoneyBadger round there wasn’t anything like it on the market. You had your Jacketed-Hollow Points, but nothing that stood out like the HoneyBadger. When you shoot this round into ballistic gelatin there is no deformation of the bullet. In fact, you could make the case that these bullets could be reloaded after fired. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have any experience with them and just thought they might be a fad, but holy crap they work and they eat through anything. It really is impressive stuff. Plus, they offer it in just about every handgun cartridge out there – even 45-70.

Here is where I continually land on the debate whether or not I should shoot my defensive ammo. Yes, it is more expensive, but I have to understand my ammo and the gun's performance. A JHP won’t act like a HoneyBadger bullet, and that is completely by design. I trust what Black Hills is doing, but I have to make sure all is good with my defensive gun.

There is no doubt you should shoot your defensive ammo through the gun you trust you’re your life. Shoot what you can. If it takes you a while to find what works in your gun make sure it happens. It could very well save your life. I like to feed my gun what works, which makes for a happy gun.  ~ KJ

Kevin Jarnagin
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind

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