My Carry Ammo And Pistol ( What I Use And Why)

I find recently that more people are asking me what I use as my CCW setup and the kind of ammo I carry. I usually don’t speak about it much because so many people have their opinion and rarely care what others use anyway.  But ,it has come up a lot lately . A few of the others have already addressed this in the past as far as their taste goes. So, I am going to spend a few minutes writing about it, and some of my other habits that I feel are worth doing.

I read everyday it seems, from some one saying they can not carry anything bigger then a sub com-pact. Because its not comfortable and makes them tired. Not that its hard to hide. Just that it’s “heavy”.   Well. I am not one of those guys.  I carry a full size government model Colt 1911XSE all day, every day of my life. And, I carry at least  two spare magazines.  Now most of the time, the mags are all Wilson 8 rounders. But, in the winter, at night I will sometimes use the Wilson Combat 10 round magazines.


I use all the Wilson mags and find them great, but recently I have been using the newer version of the mags with the slightly larger base pad that comes with some other improvements from Wilson.  The base pads come with numbers on the bottom., and I put a little pain marker paint on the numbers 1 through 3 on each magazine I carry. This way if one does develop a problem, I can come back to it later and ID which one it was.


As far as the ammo goes, I am very particular. I have very strong feelings about the round I use because I want to make sure it will save my life and not let me down.   The round that is my carry round is the Corbon DPX 185 grain +P DPX solid copper hollow point with the factory advertised muzzle velocity of  1075FPS.  I have used a chrony to check this claim and I find it to be so close to the claimed velocity that i feel no need to nit pick.

It is pricey but it is worth it in my opinion. I have tested it ever since I discovered it and have seen it do some pretty amazing things.  I was going to write up some of what I had seen this round do over the years in a well organized paragraph or two. But while looking for some details on maybe the powder the factory uses, I ran across this post from” DeltaKilo,” A MOD over at the 1911forums and I thought it was perfect to relay,here. He says about everything I wanted to say, but better.   Here are his comments below.

Every test I have read on the round by others has shown a consistent penetration of 16-18″ through both Bare Gel and 4-layer denim. I have seen it penetrate auto glass and car doors and still penetrate 14″ and expand consistently. In every case, it expands to .65″ (average of maximum diameter of petals and maximum diameter of body, actual petal tip to petal tip diameter closer to .85-.9), regardless of barriers.

I have personally seen the bullets punch through a 1/8″-thick plate of steel and penetrate 14″ and expand on the other side.

Yes, your average lead hollowpoint will show 13-15″ penetration and expansion through 4-layer denim, and will expand of .65-.8″ on average. However, they can stumble when going through barriers, and show possible failures going through extremely thick materials such as heavy winter coats and leather. Most of the proven hollowpoints in the Ballistics Info sticky don’t have that problem, and will penetrate OK.

But I believe, based on their performance, the DPX round is the BEST hollowpoint you can get right now. Bar None.”

I agree.  This is very well said and a good description of the round.   I have also seen personally the 185 DPX +P penetrate mild steel and still expand and a few unscientific personal tests on a deer carcass back in summer of 2010, showed me destruction and penetration I had not seen before. Seeing how it performed after I laid a winter coat and cotten T SHirt over the ribs and fired through it really sealed the deal for me.  I also shot the round through 8 auto windshields to determine how it held together ( unscientific and very informal) really impressed me.  On a side note, all of my personal defense rifle ammo  uses the Barnes TSX solid copper hollow point. barnes makes the bullet for the Corbon load and the rifle rounds are the same kinda thing. Solid copper that is Very effective. I use the 70 grain solid copper TSX in my 5.56. This is the same bullet used in the US SOF  “Brown Tip” 5.56 OPTIMIZED round.  I also feel that even if all that fails.  It is still a .45 caliber bullet and if you  think that does not matter, well…  Whatever you want to tell yourself is fine with me.


Some people report that the round will not always feed reliably, but I have not seen that happen. But, as I said before, I do not bother with “tight” or “hard fit” guns for self defense or fighting. I think it is a terrible idea and I have gone into detail on why in past posts.   My gun is the Colt 1911 XSE which is a combat gun, made to combat specs with a few improvements but not a hard fit target gun.

I do a few other things to help insure the ammo will work for me when I need it.   I always measure each round to make sure they are the same length. I want no surprises, I visually inspect each round before it goes into mags for carry, I look for any problems. Like primers not exactly centered up, I check the neck and case mouth area for dints or dings, I also measure the length as I said before, I look for any discolorations and I roll them on a flat surface to see if anything obvious is out of whack.  I also use Never Dull or Mothers polish to clean up the tarnish off the cases and projectiles once a month.  I wear my gun no matter the weather or how much I sweat, and this gets on the gun and ammo eventually.  If you wear it all the time like you should, it happens. It takes just a little time and effort, but it keeps them clean and will not let anything nasty set in before I notice.   I also rotate out the ammo every year.  If you chamber and re chamber a round, it has to leave EDC use or at the very least inspect it carefully and rotate it out.  I carry a 1911 in condition 1, the way its supposed to be carried and I don’t unload it or empty it  unless absolutely necessary, so I do not end up damaging the top round often. But even doing a chamber check can eventually start a tiny bit of bullet set back, so I still rotate the chambered round out every so often.


Keeping them clean and inspecting them takes little time and little effort, but it could make a difference one day, even in your supposedly infallible glock.  I do recommend looking the ammo over closely when you buy it and before it goes into the gun. Of course, this is after accuracy testing and firing enough to know it will be OK in your gun. A lot of people have bored me with how much they just love to spend all day cleaning a gun even after only firing one round. But few of them seem to remember the ammo is -part of the system and needs the same care and attention.


Gear Sector GS-2P Slings

When looking for a quality sling for an AR15 type weapon, there are many different sling manufacturers out there. If you are like me and have several AR15’s and want to outfit all of them, this could cost you quite a bit of money. I personally want my slings to perform at a certain level and you must weigh what your rifles are used for. One thing that is always a concern for me, is not sacrificing quality for a cheap/ low cost sling. When I purchase an AR15 or other long gun, one of the first things I think about is getting a quality sling. A sling for your rifle is like a holster for your handgun, you simply must have one if you want to run your carbine effectively. It took me a long time and a lot of trial and error to find a sling that would be my all purpose go to sling.  Whenever I buy a rifle, the Gear Sector GS-2P Sling is the first accessory I think about and the GS-2P more than fits the needs.

FDE/Foliage Green GS-2P slings
FDE/FG GS-2P slings

I have been running Gear Sector slings for over five (5) years now, mainly the GS-2P Sling. The GS-2P has all of the features I look for in a two point sling and some unique features that are Gear Sector specific. One of the main reasons I looked at the GS-2P was the price. For the quality and features the sling provides, at what I consider a very low price point, the GS-2P allows you to outfit several rifles with an extremely good sling.

FDE/FG GS-2P slings
FDE/FG GS-2P slings
Pink GS-2P on Colt AR6720
Pink GS-2P on Colt AR6720

Sling Function / Features:

The GS-2P is an adjustable two point sling.  A two point adjustable sling will do just about everything you need a sling to do, whether you are using it on a Law Enforcement Patrol Rifle, home defense rifle or training/range/fun shooting rifle. I have used the GS-2P slings on duty rifles and on my personal rifles. It is built to allow the user to adjust the slack in/out on the sling for various rifle movements. If you are familiar with the Vickers Sling, the concept is much the same. Adjust the sling to fit with the pull tab portion of the sling all the way out. To release slack in the sling, for a weak side transition, pull the buckle back and release the slack in the sling, then dip your support arm out of the sling and transition the rifle to your weak-side. The sling will remain around the back of your neck.  To transition the rifle back to strong side, hook your support arm back through the sling and pull the pull tab portion of the sling picking up all the slack.

Releasing Slack on GS-2P
Releasing Slack on GS-2P
Transition to Weak-side w/GS-2P
Transition to Weak-side w/GS-2P
Taking up slack on GS-2P
Taking up slack on GS-2P

Sling Construction:

One unique thing you notice about the Gear Sector Slings is they are 1” in width. You might think this would make the sling uncomfortable or that it might dig into you but this is not the case.  I find the sling to be very smooth and fast. The sling is made out of MIL-W-5625 Tubular nylon webbing, which allows the sling to glide across gear and equipment. I have never had an issue with the GS-2P snagging on anything. The sling hardware is ITW GhillieTex brand hardware and the sling is double box stitched. Another plus about the Gear Sector slings is the nylon construction.  This particular nylon can be heated with a lighter to fuse frayed ends.  Once you mount the sling adapters you can cut off excess ends and melt/seal the ends.  This insures your sling will not fray or unravel.

Modular Weapon Adapter/Accessories:

With the way the GS-2P is built, with quick release buckles at the ends of the sling, you can customize the GS-2P sling to any attachment point on your rifle, using the Gear Sector Modular Weapon Adapters.  These adapters are inexpensive and you can pick the adapters to fit the mounts you may already have or want to purchase for your rifle. I have also purchased extra adapters to mount on rifles so I can move the GS-2P from one rifle to another.  This allows for one sling to be used with several rifles.  You simply use the quick release buckles to remove the main body of the sling from one rifle and snap it onto another.

Modular Weapon Adapters
Modular Weapon Adapters
FG GS-2P on Colt LE6920
GS-2P on Colt LE6920

As you can see in a few of these pictures, I can move the main body of the sling from a 5.56mm rifle to a .22lr rifle, without having to completely un-mount the sling adapter attachments points. Simply leave the adapters hard mounted to the rifles and transition the main body of the sling over. Although I prefer to have a sling for every rifle, this is a way to lower your cost but still use several rifles, until you get the funds to purchase another sling. You can also buy adapters to quickly move the sling to a completely different platform (i.e. an AK variant). Buy a snap hook adapter for your AK and you have one sling that will work with two different rifle systems.

Adapter on M&P15-22
Adapters on M&P15-22
FDE GS-2P on LE6920
FDE GS-2P on LE6920

For an AR15 with Mil Spec Stock, I like to use the Gear Sector Stock Adapter.  This adapter lines the sling parallel to the bore of the rifle and is very comfortable while transitioning from low ready/patrol carry to the ready/firing position.

Stock Adapters
Stock Adapters

For a Magpul MOE, CTR or any other stock with multiple mounting slots, you can just use the supplied standard adapter to mount the sling to the stock. If you have QD points on a stock or rail, you can buy the QD adapters or add QD’s to the standard adapters. Gear Sector also has a full line of picatinny rail mounts and sling endplate mounts, that are specifically made for the Gear Sector 1″ slings. In a few of the pictures in this article, I am using a Gear Sector Rail Mount 1″ Loop in conjunction with KAC rail panels, to mount the GS-2P.

Modular Weapon Adapters
Adapters on / MOE stock / Tactical Link Z-360 mount / Daniel Defense rail
GS-2P on MOE stock & Daniel Defense rail
GS-2P on MOE stock & Daniel Defense rail

Final Thoughts:

There is nothing not to like about the GS-2P. It will do everything you want an adjustable two point sling to do. In fact, at the low price point and countless adapter mounting options, the GS-2P does it as well and in my opinion better, than most. There are several slings out there that I really like but most of those are pushing twice the cost of the GS-2P. I like to run the GS-2P’s hard and my older GS-2P’s looks just as good as the newer ones I have. I feel a two point adjustable sling is the minimum and in most cases the standard sling for a multipurpose carbine. If you are looking for a sling that will fill your LE Duty rifle, Personal Defense rifle or Range/Training rifle needs, the GS-2P is a sling you should take a long hard look at.


ICE Training RAC Holster Quick Thoughts

The holster was kindly sent to us from Rob Pincus for T&E, M was the first “Glock guy ” to give  his initial thoughts on the new RAC . We will be having more and longer T&E review from Duncan coming soon to give a wide cross section of thoughts.So check back for a part 2.

We here at Loose Rounds recently came to be in possession of an ICE Training RAC holster for review. The holster is molded kydex with 1.5 inch belt loops which can be flipped to give a small change in ride height. It is available for 9mm/.40 cal Glocks, S&W M&P (9/9c), and Springfield XD SC’s in right or left hand models. Weapon retention is handled solely through the snug fit of the weapon in the holster with no other retention devices or adjustment in weapon tension.

IMG_0591 IMG_0594

The holster we tested is sized to accommodate the 9mm/.40 cal frame Glock handguns with the G26/G27 fitting flush. The G19/G23 and G17/G22 will fit with increasing amounts of the muzzle end of the slide protruding from the holster.

IMG_0583 IMG_0588 IMG_0589

I’ve been using the holster on and off for the last couple of months and have found it to be solidly made and comfortable to wear all day without issue. I like that it has a small footprint as kydex holsters go, given that it is made with the minimal amount of kydex necessary.

It conceals as well as any kydex outside the waistband holster can, though it still lags behind an inside the waistband holster or good leather OWB pancake holster. I don’t find kydex OWB holsters to be as good at concealment as the rigidity of the material causes it to stick out and not conform to the shape of the body. Not that any of that is a knock on this holster, it does ok for what it is.


I have two main complaints with the holster. The first is the lack of any sort of retention adjustment. The holster does a passable job of retaining the weapon without it, but I would prefer to have it. When turned upside down I was able to cause the weapon to fall out of the holster with some light shaking. The weapon isn’t going to fall out while walking, running or during most any other daily activity, but I could foresee it coming out in some of the more odd ball firing positions currently en vogue. No back flipping Spetznaz style hatchet throwing moves if you want to keep your pistol.

My second complaint is with the outer half of kydex and how it is shaped around the trigger guard. Due to its shape, when I draw the weapon I invariably hit the joint of my middle finger on the kydex. It’s nothing a bit of dremel work wouldn’t fix, but something I would think the manufacturer should address. I find it distracting to a smooth draw and will lead to a sore spot after repeated draws during a day on the range.


I found the holster to be a basic no frills model but well made and fairly priced.  I do question what role it fulfills.  It’s marketed as a range and carry (RAC) holster so lets examine that.  It doesn’t conceal well enough for me to pick it over an inside the waistband holster or a good leather pancake outside the waistband holster and without any sort of security or retention devices I would not use it as any sort of uniformed duty holster.  So that leaves using in at the range, but then why practice with a holster on the range you’ll never use to carry anywhere else.

I’m not trying to slam the holster as I don’t think it’s a piece of junk, I just don’t see why someone would pick it over a myriad of other holster choices out there.

Duty/Defense Carry Ammunition Selection

We get a lot of questions about what is the best duty or defensive ammunition for your carry firearm. I really like to simplify this question for people and here it is: If the round does not meet FBI standard test protocols for Law Enforcement Duty Carry, (meaning it has actually been tested by the FBI and meets their standard), then it more than likely will not perform to the standard you want for defensive carry.

Having witnessed several department tests on duty rounds and their performances on different barriers, I have several rounds that I prefer. One thing that I have noticed through testing on duty ammo, is the manufactures don’t bring any of their civilian production lines of defensive ammo. This says something to me, like those rounds are not going to perform like the FBI tested rounds.

What is the FBI test Protocol? Well the FBI is looking at expectable penetration in barriers; including bare ballistics gel, heavy clothing, drywall, plywood, sheet metal and auto glass, of 12 to 18 inches in soft tissue, after passing through these barriers. Also, uniform expansion and bullet retention weights after passing through those barriers and impacting soft tissue. You should probably not be carrying anything else in your defensive firearm that is not listed below.

Handgun Ammunition Penetration
Handgun Ammunition Penetration

Now there are several rounds that are not listed, that I would carry, as they are by trusted manufacturers and are the civilian equivalent of the LE/FBI tested rounds. I would say, you are safe if you carry any defensive HP round from Speer Gold Dot, Federal Tactical/ Bonded or Winchester Ranger T. as they are consistently listed. While there are round’s that say they meet FBI test protocols, these test are done buy the particular manufacture, who is trying to sell ammo to you.

Before you decide to carry a round for self defense, research it and don’t just believe what the manufacturer claims the round will do.  I personally will not carry any round in 9mm, .40 or 45 that is not from Federal, Speer Gold Dot or Winchester Ranger. Ammunition is constantly evolving and over the last 15 years great strides in bullet technology have been made. When new ammunition comes out, that claims to be better than all others that have come before it, ask yourself has this been tested by those who carry everyday and demand performance in all barriers?

Federal HST 9mm 147 gr. JHP

ATK is  a defense company that the FBI usually awards contracts to for ammunition. ATK consists of Federal and Speer Gold Dot LE ammunition.  In late 2012 ATK was awarded a 5 year contract with the FBI and DOJ to supply Speer Gold Dot. 40 cal and Federal 5.56mm ammunition. These contracts are revolving. In 2009 Winchester was awarded a large contract. Consistently over the past two decades, Federal, Speer and Winchester have been the awarded winners in testing and contracts, for a few of the rounds they produce , that meet the testing protocols. Currently the FBI is carrying 40 caliber duty firearms but a move back to 9mm has been rumored as round technology has advanced. It is rumored that new FBI Academy attendees are being issued Glock 17’s. This is following a nationwide trend of departments switching from 40 cal to 9mm. My former department switched from Glock 22’s to Glock 17’s last year and I have been seeing this trend with other department. Most recently Texas DPS switched from .357 Sig to 9mm.

Speer Gold Dot 9mm 147 gr. JHP

The list below is not all inclusive, but it gives you a large section of ammunition to look at. Several rounds have been tested by the FBI and have been approved for carry or carried by the FBI at some point. A few of the rounds below, may or may not currently be in production. The rounds below do reflect a large amount of independent testing (i.e. by LE Departments or Subject Matter Experts) not the manufacturer. I have personally seen extensive testing on Federal HST, Gold Dot and Winchester Ranger-T, in 9mm 147 gr, 40 cal 180 gr. and  45ACP 230 gr. This is why the three particular rounds are my personal choice’s in these calibers.


The Rounds listed bellow in 9mm, .40 Cal and 45 ACP, have been tested extensively and/or meet your carry standard.


  • Barnes XPB 115gr HP (35515) such as loaded by Cor-Bon (DPX09115)
  • Winchester Partition Gold 124gr JHP (RA91P)
  • Winchester PDX1 124 gr +P JHP (S9MMPDB)
  • Winchester PDX1 147 gr JHP (S9MMPDB1)
  • Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP   (RA9124TP)
  • Winchester Ranger Bonded 124 gr +P JHP (RA9BA)
  • Winchester Ranger-T 127gr JHP +P+   (RA9TA)
  • Winchester Ranger-T 147gr JHP   (RA9T)
  • Winchester Bonded 147gr JHP   (RA9B/Q4364)
  • Speer Gold Dor 124gr JHP
  • Speer Gold Dot 124gr JHP +P   (53617)
  • Speer Gold Dot 147gr JHP   (53619)
  • Remington Golden Saber 124 gr +P JHP bonded (GSB9MMD)
  • Remington Golden Saber 147gr JHP (GS9MMC)
  • Federal Tactical 124gr JHP   (LE9T1)
  • Federal Tactical 135gr JHP +P   (LE9T5)
  • Federal HST 147gr JHP   (P9HST2)
  • Federal HST 124gr JHP +P (P9HST3)

.40 S&W

  • Barnes all-copper bullets (140 & 155gr) loaded by: Cor-Bon (DPX40140)
  • Winchester Partition Gold 165gr JHP   (RA401P)
  • Winchester PDX1 165 gr JHP (S40SWPDB)
  • Winchester PDX1 160 gr JHP (S40SWPDB1)
  • Winchester Ranger 165gr JHP   (RA40TA)
  • Winchester Ranger 180gr JHP   (RA40T)
  • Winchester Bonded 180gr JHP   (Q4355)
  • Speer Gold Dot 155gr JHP   (53961)
  • Speer Gold Dot 180gr JHP   (53962)
  • Federal Tactical 165gr JHP   (LE40T3)
  • Federal Tactical 180gr JHP   (LE40T1)
  • Federal HST 180gr JHP   (P40HST1)
  • Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)


  • Barnes XPB/TAC-XP 185gr HP loaded by:
    • Cor-Bon (DPX45185)
    • Taurus (TCB45ACP185HP)
  • Winchester PDX1 230 gr JHP (S45SWPDb)
  • Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP   (RA45T)
  • Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP +P   (RA45TP)
  • Federal Tactical 230gr JHP   (LE45T1)
  • Federal HST 230gr +P JHP   (P45HST1)
  • Federal HST 230gr JHP   (P45HST2)
  • Speer Gold Dot 230gr JHP   (23966)
  • Speer Gold Dot 230gr +P JHP (53969)