Picking the Perfect .45 Ammo

Finding the perfect ammunition

When you get that masterpiece of a gun – a .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) – the first thing you want to do is shoot. That’s natural, but it’s hard to do without the right ammunition. Experts have debated the perfect ammo ever since the weapon was introduced. It was designed by John Moses Browning in 1905. Hobbyists want to take the gun out on to the range or to a competition while others want to use it for self-defense or home protection. So, the question remains – what is the perfect .45 ammo? If you’re looking for one brand or type of ammo to use as an all purpose round, you’re going to be disappointed. Some ammo will work well enough for all applications but won’t be ideal: self-defense rounds require ultimate stopping power that is best found in a hollow point, while target practice can use a less aggressive, less expensive round.

Choosing the Type of Ammo

The first thing you should do is decide what the ammo will be used for and then pick the type of ammo that will work best. .45 ammo comes in two styles: Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) and Jacketed Hollow Points (JHP).

Full Metal Jackets

FMJ ammo has a soft lead core encased in a copper jacket. It offers good penetration, but since there is no expansion, it is best used as a target round. If the round is used in a self-defense situation, it could over-penetrate and cause collateral damage.

Jacketed Hollow Points

JHP is the number one choice for a self-defense round. It features a lead core encased in a copper jacket, but unlike the FMJ, it does have expansion. The core of the bullet will expand upon impact, creating a larger channel than the FMJ. However, the copper jackets will slow down the round so over penetration is unlikely.

Testing the Ammunition

Enthusiasts know that the best way to find the right ammo is to do your homework. You can run a search and find out what others are using, and then based on the results, choose what is most appealing to you.

The Process

Testers use the following to determine the ballistics of ammunition. The tests will give you a good idea of what to expect and how to run your own tests. The tests are performed with a compact pistol, which is ideal for concealed carry. A gun with a larger barrel will yield high numbers for muzzle velocity and penetration.

  • Fire 5 shots of each with each brand of ammo to achieve a good average.
  • Shots should be fired from 10 feet away, the average distance in most defense situations.
  • Place 4 layers of fabric in front of ballistics gel to simulate real life situations; the fabric mimics heavy clothing.
  • Ideal penetration for the ammo iss 12-18 inches; shows adequate stopping power without over-penetration.

Regardless of which ammunition brand or style you choose, there is no substitute for practice. Never wait until a situation calls for action to learn how your new ammunition will perform.

Who Uses a .357 SIG?

.357 Sig ammo

In the mid-1990s, Swiss-German arms manufacturer SIG Sauer teamed up with Federal Cartridge (now Federal Premium Ammunitions) to develop a new cartridge to rival the .357 Magnum. The team designed the .357 SIG after the .357 Mag to duplicate the performance of the .357 Mag while offering shooters a higher cartridge capacity to be used in semi-automatic pistols. The target audience was law enforcement, which never fully embraced the new round.

Development of the .357 SIG

The .357 SIG ammo was introduced in 1994, only four years after the S&W released their .40 cal. The .40 S&W had been commissioned by the FBI after the 1986 Miami shootout in which two agents were killed and five were wounded. The FBI had requested a new load that would have the power of a .45 with lower recoil and faster reloading time. Although the .40 S&W wasn’t a perfect replacement, it was readily adopted by law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S.

At that time, neither law enforcement agencies nor the public was ready to embrace another round for a semi-automatic weapon. Therefore, the .357 SIG never caught on despite its superior performance record.

Ballistics

SIG designed the original of .357 SIG ammo was .357”, but then reduced the overall size to .355”, making it easier to reload. SIG created the first bottleneck commercial handgun cartridge manufactured since the early 1960s. Like the .357 Mag, it uses a bullet with 125 grains. It boasts an average velocity of 1,450 FPS and muzzle energy that exceeds 500 ft. lbs. The shoulder is alpha/2=18 degrees. The common rifling twist rate is 406 mm (1 in 16 in), 6 grooves, Ø lands=8.71 mm, Ø grooves=9.02 mm, land width=2.69 mm. The primer type is small pistol.

Who Uses a .357 SIG?

The performance and smaller dimensions of the .357 SIG should make it a more popular cartridge among law enforcement, but it has never caught on. Many officers have chosen to adapt to a 9 mm Parabellum for their standard sidearm. It is a preferred round for many target shooters and those interested in home defense and self-defense. Unlike some smaller rounds, the .357 SIG is capable of causing hydrostatic shock, disabling, or even fatally wounding its targets upon impact.

Many large law enforcement agencies supply their officers with .357 SIG ammunition. Officers use the ammo in SIG Sauer models and Glock pistols. The Texas Highway Patrol adopted the round in 1995. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) followed suit. They had previously given their troopers a choice between the SIG Sauer P220 in .45 ACP or the SIG Sauer P226 in 9mm. From 1998-2013, The DPS issued the SIG Sauer P226 chambered in .357 SIG as a standard sidearm for its commissioned officers.

 

 

Fighting Back Against Civil Asset Forfeiture

Citizens Fight Back Against Civil Asset Forfeiture

Civil Asset Forfeiture is not a new thing. It has been a part of international law for centuries. British military seized booty stolen by pirates on the open seas. Customs officials confiscated goods from smugglers. As a result of limited resources and murky borders, military, and law enforcement seemed to have little choice if they wanted to stop illegal activity.

Civil asset forfeiture has taken a turn for the worst, letting law enforcement agents seize property without proof of any crime. In most cases, the owner of the property will never get it back. People that fight the system spend thousands of dollars in legal fees without any guarantees. Defendants cannot have legal counsel, causing many to give up the fight before they’ve begun. Many believe that policing for profit has gone too far, but lack the information to fight back.

State Facts

Civil asset forfeiture laws vary widely from state to state. Lawmakers have introduced bills to change the law to protect citizens. Lawmakers are studying federal laws. The statistics below are as of 2018:

  • Federal court and 35 states require the owner to prove his innocence.
  • In 5 states, laws depend on the type of property seized.
  • In 10 states and the District of Columbia, the government has the burden of proof.
  • Some states require citizens fighting asset forfeiture to pay the state’s legal fees.
  • In 25 states, law enforcement keeps 100 percent of forfeited assets. In nine states, law enforcement retains 80 percent or more of seized assets.

Recent Reform

Several states are taking steps to restore rights to their people. The judiciary is speaking out against civil asset forfeiture on a regular basis. In June 2017, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of civil asset forfeiture victims. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas vehemently opposed civil asset forfeiture during a case in March 2017.

Recent reforms by the state include:

Arizona

In April 2017, the Arizona State Legislature unanimously passed a bill on civil asset reform. Lawmakers were not clear on the new law, but it raises the burden of proof for law enforcement agencies.

California

In January 2017, a new law took effect requiring a criminal conviction before seizing any assets valued less than $40,000.

Connecticut

Connecticut requires an arrest before assets can be seized. Assets must be returned unless there is a guilty plea or conviction.

Georgia

The State of Georgia passed a modest civil asset forfeiture law in 2015. The law requires transparency and that funds raised from forfeiture must be used directly for law enforcement. Despite the reform, Georgia remains at the top of states with the worst civil asset forfeiture laws.

Minnesota

The state legislature passed bill SF 874, requiring a criminal conviction or an admission of guilt in order to seize assets. The state is now responsible for the burden of proof.

New Mexico

The state legislature passed a sweeping reform requiring a criminal conviction for asset forfeiture. Additionally, the asset forfeiture fund is attached to the state’s general fund instead of the seizing police department.

Pennsylvania

In June 2017, Pennsylvania passed a law creating innocent owner protections and increasing the burden of proof on police departments involved in civil asset forfeiture cases. The law requires a hearing before property can be seized.

Tennessee

State Representative and former state trooper Barrett Rich introduced a bill requiring a warrant for seizure, but was voted down. An amended version was passed, requiring an immediate hearing for property owners.

Texas Citizens Fight Back

Texas has the worst civil asset forfeiture laws in the United States. Horror stories abound regarding forfeiture.  Texas Appleseed, a criminal justice reform advocacy group, has released a guide showing citizens how to fight back. Lawyers created a free toolkit for citizens. Defendants can use sample pleadings to fight forfeiture in court.

Jacqueline M. Allen, an attorney with Dykema, helped the group create the toolkit. “People in civil asset forfeiture cases do not have the right to court-appointed counsel, so this toolkit is designed to empower people with the knowledge they need to get their property back if they cannot afford to hire an attorney and if they cannot find free legal help.”

Protect Yourself

You may think it’s impossible to protect yourself against civil asset forfeiture. However, it’s not always the case. Below are tips that can help to protect you and your property:

  • Establish innocent ownership. You should require renters to sign a lease with a clause stating that illegal conduct is prohibited on your property.
  • Do thorough background checks on renters and house sitters.
  • Exercise dominion over your property. You should visit your rental property regularly and keep documentation of the visits.
  • If you carry large amounts of cash, obtain fresh bills from your bank. Nearly 90% of all money has drug deposits on it, which can be used as evidence of criminal activity.
  • Record actions taken to prevent illegal activity on any property that you own or rent.

Concealed Carry Weapons: Protecting Yourself in Public

Protecting Yourself

There is a lot of information out there about protecting yourself at home, but little about self-defense in unfamiliar places. It can be tricky if you don’t know the lay of the land, especially in a foreign country.  Whether you are out and about alone or with friends or family, it always pays to take certain precautions:

  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Keep valuables out of reach of passersby.
  • Don’t go into strange areas alone at night.
  • Carry car keys in your hand when walking to your car.
  • Remain a minimum of a foot away from your car if you are unlocking it manually. (Some thieves will wait underneath a person’s car and grab their legs to pull them to the ground.)
  • Never flash money. Keep small bills on the outside if bills are folded over to dissuade thieves from thinking you have a lot of cash.
  • For women, always hold your purse by the body and not just the strap – thieves will cut the strap and make off the with the goods. Chances of catching them are almost nil.
  • Carry defense spray on your key chain for emergencies.
  • If you are in a foreign country, program emergency numbers into your phone to save precious moments in a time of crisis.
  • Carry a concealed weapon when possible.

Awareness and Avoidance

It’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings. This is especially true if you are in an unfamiliar situation – a strange city, foreign country, etc. Danger doesn’t always come from the creepy guy on the corner, or someone who happens to be walking down the same street. It can be the person sitting next to you at dinner who steals your credit card or someone casually walking through a parking lot at a shopping mall. Pay attention to your personal space. If someone is invading it when it isn’t necessary, move away. Part of self-defense is avoiding dangerous situations. Avoid talking on the phone while walking through potentially unsafe areas as it will distract you from your surroundings.

Self-preservation

There are times when confrontation cannot be avoided. Know how to protect yourself. Taking a self-defense class is paramount. If traveling with your family, teach children what to do in case of emergency. You can practice together to take away the fear factor.

If you are unarmed and confronted by someone with a gun who demands your money or jewelry, give it to them. Those items can be replaced; your life isn’t worth the risk. Make a mental note of the mugger so you can recall those details when reporting to the police.

If you are on equal ground and neither of you is carrying a weapon, fight dirty. Remember the following acronym: SING. Hit the person in the Solar plexus, stomp on his Instep, smash in his Nose, and lastly, hit him in the Groin. Nose, eyes and throat should be the first choice – if the mugger can’t see or breathe, he’s going to stop the attack. The groin, while common, may not be as effective if the person has been using substances. He simply won’t have the same pain reaction as someone who is sober.

Where appropriate and legal, carrying a concealed weapon may be your best line of defense. You also want to know how to handle a gun properly, so taking safety classes is a must. Also, be aware that the best weapon for a woman may not be the same as for a man. Do your research and find out which is the best gun for you. As always, drawing a weapon should be the last resort and, if you pull it, be prepared to use it.

Ins and Outs of Self-Defense

The increased awareness of violence in our society has been the impetus for citizens taking measures for protection whether it’s on the street, in a public venue, or in the safety of one’s home. Self-defense is the act of protecting oneself from harm. This generally means an act of aggression on the part of another. There are various forms of self-defense from calling law enforcement to avoidance, confrontation, and at times, the use of a weapon. Each has its benefit, but you should use the utmost care and intention. The decision of which method of self-defense to use is vital and depends upon the situation and the individuals.

Law Enforcement

In many cases, calling law enforcement is the best form of self-defense. Officers can deal with most situations in an effective manner. This may be the wisest choice if someone is prowling outside the home or following you on the street. There are times, however, when calling law enforcement may not be the best option. This is especially true if someone confronts you with violent conflict or police are not immediately available in your area.

Self-defense Techniques

Self-defense techniques vary widely from carrying a personal alarm to verbal de-escalation, although most people think of martial arts when it comes to physical self-defense. Most communities have programs wherein basic self-defense classes are offered. Gyms, martial arts schools, and community centers are good places to start when looking for training classes. Programs typically combine forms of martial arts to teach students how to avoid dangerous situations, get out of choke holds, or disarm a perpetrator. When considering a class, be sure that the instructor is qualified to teach and can offer the best instruction based on your physical health and situation. Once the class is over, don’t file away the information and forget it. Practice with family and friends to stay prepared.

Armed

Armed self-defense is common, particularly in a person’s home environment. However, with weapons there’s a chance that someone can get hurt. The most common form of armed self-defense is the use of a handgun. While it may be the most effective, the user needs to know how and when to use the weapon. An untrained person is far more dangerous than a criminal and more often than not will cause unnecessary damage.

Before choosing a handgun, do your homework. Research popular calibers and brands to learn which might be the best fit and then visit a reputable dealer who can give professional advice. Obviously, you will want to take safety training classes and practice on a regular basis even after you feel comfortable handling a weapon. Lastly, when it comes to using a weapon for self-defense, don’t ever pull it unless you intend to use it. And if you use it, make it count because you might not get another shot.

4 Self Defense Weapons Every Woman Should Carry

When it comes to self defense weapons, there’s more out there than mace and oversized flashlights. Maybe you don’t think you’re at risk, so protecting yourself doesn’t seem necessary. Perhaps you think carrying one weapon, say a mini revolver, is enough to protect you, regardless of what happens.

But what if an attacker comes from behind? What happens if he kicks your gun out of your hand?

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable. These four self defense weapons can keep you safe in a variety of situations.

Concealed Carry Firearm

While you shouldn’t solely relay on a pistol for self defense, don’t leave home without one. If you’re unsure what’s the best self defense gun for women, choose one you can control, but still has stopping power. And always use self defense ammunition.

Tactical Knife

If you need a self defense weapon in close range, you may not have time to draw your handgun. In these cases, go for a good quality tactical knife. Find one that’s lightweight and has at least a three inch blade for self defense. Chances are you won’t kill someone with a knife, but in a tight situation, you can cut and run, getting out of the situation as fast as you can.

Pepper Spray

In some cases, you may not want to use your firearm, or even your knife. Maybe you don’t have your gun on you or maybe you know your perpetrator. Over 80% of rape victims know their assailant. Pepper spray is easy, quick, and more effective than you may think. It works just as good on dogs as it does people, and you can spray it behind you as you run away. But remember, pepper spray doesn’t stop your attacker. It only slows them.

Kubaton

A keychain weapon, a kubaton (sometimes kubotan) is made from a hard plastic or metal, no more than 5.5 inches long, and about a half inch in diameter. You can use it strike an attacker or to apply extreme leverage or pressure. These self defense weapons blend in with your keys and others rarely notice them as a striker. What’s more, when your kubaton’s on your key ring, you always have it nearby.