Alternating ammo in mags?


Romans5.8

New member
This is something my grandpa used to do. He owned a gun store, and alternated the weights of his hollow points in his "cash register gun" (.32spc semi-auto from the early 1900s! And a .44spc revolver). The idea being that whether he needed a lot of penetration, or a lot of expansion; he had both.

On his home defense gun (.45ACP; well that and a Mossberg 500 but we'll ignore that one for a second), the first and maybe second round is FMJ and subsequent rounds are hollow point defense rounds. The idea here being (because, unlike his store, since he lives with just my grandma and has a rural home, there's not a concern of the bullet going through and striking someone else in his mind) that the first or second round will have excellent penetration, and even perhaps less lethality. If they are going to survive (He's not likely to miss, he was a competitive shooter for 30 years), it would be with the FMJ's and not the hollow points. What he always told me with his home defense gun is, if they don't get the message in the first shot, then they have the rest of their life to figure it out with the subsequent shots.

Just got me thinking, do any of y'all do something like that? I'm not a fan of carrying FMJ due to the concerns of a through-and-through shot injuring someone else. But it got me thinking about how alternating lighter and heavier loads of the same defense ammo (Federal HST 124/147 9mm for example) might actually be beneficial, two rapid on-target shots and one is sure to be the ideal bullet for the job.

Not sure if it's something I'd mess with or not (concerned about reliability with that?) but I thought it was interesting. Do any of you do something similar? Especially in a revolver where the reliability concerns don't exist. Heck, in a .357 you could alternate .38spc and .357 and it wouldn't care a bit!
 

Nick Burkhardt

New member
Would not matter close up, but at range distances I have noticed different point of impacts for 9mm 115gr, 124gt and 147gr weight. Under stress you are not going to remember what is coming out next. With that being said, the bottom two rounds in my magazines (first loaded/last out) are +p so the extra kick lets me know that I am almost out.
 

Romans5.8

New member
Would not matter close up, but at range distances I have noticed different point of impacts for 9mm 115gr, 124gt and 147gr weight. Under stress you are not going to remember what is coming out next. With that being said, the bottom two rounds in my magazines (first loaded/last out) are +p so the extra kick lets me know that I am almost out.

Huh. That's pretty smart. Kind like some military units who use tracers in the bottom of the mag.
 

GB-Boater

New member
2nd and 4th are FMJ in mine.
With the temps we have in Wisconsin it's quite possible the bg is wearing heavy clothing. You need to consider the season in the north.
Second reason, if it was someone in a vehicle your hollow points are pretty much useless. A FMJ would go through the door.
 

Romans5.8

New member
2nd and 4th are FMJ in mine.
With the temps we have in Wisconsin it's quite possible the bg is wearing heavy clothing. You need to consider the season in the north.
Second reason, if it was someone in a vehicle your hollow points are pretty much useless. A FMJ would go through the door.

I wonder which scenario is more likely. (I'm not saying which is, I'm genuinely wondering). A heavily clothed bg so heavily clothed modern ammo won't adequately penetrate or will be slowed so much that it won't do much damaged - or a bg who is behind a car door but still being aggressive, OR an individual standing near or behind the bg who could be struck by a through-and-through FMJ (or on the other side of a wall, etc.)

That's always been my concern about carrying FMJ. Hollow points stay in what they hit and some can penetrate heavy clothing pretty well and still expand.
 

gunnerbob

PEW Professional
No, I don't alternate the ammo in my magazines... It's either FMJs or JHPs in the entire mag. Why? Removing a variable and in theory, improving reliability. Is it wrong to do it? No, it's not... do what makes you happy, just know why you're doing it.
 

Romans5.8

New member
No, I don't alternate the ammo in my magazines... It's either FMJs or JHPs in the entire mag. Why? Removing a variable and in theory, improving reliability. Is it wrong to do it? No, it's not... do what makes you happy, just know why you're doing it.

I don't do it either. Was just curious if others did though and how they did it.
 

schadenfreude

New member
Mixed ammo in magazines offers no benefit unless you know when you are going to need to switch ammo in the midst of a gunfight. One would have to be clairvoyant to do that.

In many circles, mixing or alternating ammo in one's magazines is seen as the mark of a beginner or worse, as the mark of an incompetent.
 

NotTwoShure

Active member
Wow, I have had thoughts of this but thought I was the only one. I don't but maybe next time I am out at the range I shall try with the old stand by, the wet phone books, just to see how my groups are and the action of the books as they tumble. The area I live in is very small and so are the books so I have to put more than one together, some times I buy books at the library that are out of date and large such as how to on the Windows Vista and such. Thanks for the posts and I shall follow this thread to see how it plays out.
 

COLTSIN1

New member
Alternating rounds is asking for issues and I see no advantages unless maybe your using a revolver. This could also cause feeding issues in auto pistols.

There will be a day when following JESUS will be against the law.
 

JimPage

New member
I did that once. When 9/11 happened, we were unsure of what would happen. We feared roving bands of terrorists striking individual houses randomly and that sort of terrorism. My shotguns were loaded alternately with buckshot and deer slugs. Rifles with their respective hunting rounds. Pistols with normal home defense/protection loads. I'll probably do the same again in similar circumstances.
 

POP CHARLIE

New member
I load jhp only in my 1911, they will knock the average man off his feet and are less likley to go through and hit an unintended person. I think you are asking for more trouble than it's worth using different ammo in the same mag, but thats your choice.
 

nosaj

New member
I do alternate rounds in my pistol mags. First 2 are JHP and then i alternate between FMJ and JHP for the remaining 6. This includes 2 spare mags as well. Never know how the BG will present themselves....type of clothing, holding some kind of shield, ...etc.
 

bofh

Banned
I do alternate rounds in my pistol mags. First 2 are JHP and then i alternate between FMJ and JHP for the remaining 6. This includes 2 spare mags as well. Never know how the BG will present themselves....type of clothing, holding some kind of shield, ...etc.

I recommend looking into proper JHP ammunition that has barrier penetration capability, such as Federal HST Tactical, Hornady Critical Duty, Speer Gold Dot LE. All these rounds go through light barriers (heavy clothing, sheet metal, wallboard, plywood and glass) and penetrate deep enough into a BG after passing through the barrier.

Hornady has even the test results on its Web site:

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wolf_fire

New member
I hear those that mix their ammo state that you don't know what the BG will be wearing. OK, what if they are wearing summer weight clothing and every other round is FMJ. Now you KNOW that those rounds will go through and through and hit the person behind.

If you truly think you need both types of ammo, keep a spare mag of the other around. Or, when it's cold out in the cold areas where people wear heavier clothing load up with FMJ's and when it's warmer, load with JHP. But to mix and match in the same mag is going to give you problems when you need it. There is also a drill practice to do that I would highly recommend. It's called the body armor drill. Two quickly to center of mass. If that doesn't stop the threat, send a round to the ocular cavity. (Some call this the 2 and 1 drill). If you are carrying JHP and they don't penetrate C of M, then follow up with the ocular cavity shot.

Load what you need and if you're not sure what you need, do more research. If you have more than one need, carry a spare mag with that load in it.
 

Rocketgeezer

New member
I see no real problem with alternating ammo in a mag as long as you are double sure that your gun cycles well with each type of ammo, I have a rather large stash of different 45 acp ammo so 2 or 3 different types of Hollow point and a FMJ or two, would work just fine for me
 
I have three mags for my XD .45.
I have each one loaded with a different type of JHP.
One mag Gold Dots, one Buffalo(?) Bore 185+p and one with PDX 230.
kinda my way of covering the basics.
All ammo above is flawless in my gun but do have different points of impact.
YMMV


Sent from behind Enemy Lines.
 

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