Testing the Carry Load

A couple weeks ago I posted about choosing a carry load and some of the criteria that I like for a carry load to have. A couple things Inlisted were shootability, and accuracy. I have set standards I want a carry load to meet with some of those criteria. 

For accuracy I am looking for the ability to put 10 rounds in a USPSA C-zone at 50yd, and preferably everything in the A-zone. Since I am shooting a revolver,I trimmed the round requirement down to 5 rounds, just made life easier. This is as much a test of the shooter/ammo/gun combo asjust the ammo, but the ammo will make a difference here. 

Five rounds shot standing, unsupported at 50yd in DA.


The other category I mention is shootability. This is also as much about the shooter/ammo/gun, and is subjective based on personal performance standards. If someone is carry a round that is too stout,or has too much muzzle blast at night, etc. then those are problems. In semiautos it usually a function of caliber. There won’t be a huge disparity in felt recoil between good carry loads in a semiauto. In a revolver however, it can run the gammut from super low recoil full wadcutters to full house .357 Magnum. The size of the gun can go from super lightwieght in a j-frame, to quite a bit of heft in a L-frame or Ruger GP100. I am generally not willing to give up too much performance on the shootability side. The Hornady .357 Magnum Critical Duty I have been using definitely slows me down. That is something I am going to have to fix in relatively short order, or may e consider a different round. 

Whatever standards you decide to settle on as the minimum standard in these areas, make sure you test your carry ammo, in your carry gun, from whatever holster you plan to actually carry. If your combo of skill, gun, and ammo isn’t meeting those standards, then time to maybe consider a change somewhere. 

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