Why I zero my handguns with practice ammo (rather than carry ammo)

The old-school advice used to be to zero your carry guns at your chosen distance (that’s 25 yards for me — see previous post) with your carry ammo, then to use practice ammo that shoot to the same POA/POI.  After all, the reasoning went, it’s where your gun shoots with carry ammo that counts in the real world.

That was good advice back when there were precious few good, and even fewer proven, carry rounds in a given caliber.  But today, modern ballistic design has given us a plethora of excellent carry choices; every major manufacturer has at least several in any caliber.  Remember, most of your shooting will be done with the less expensive practice ammo, and that your skill development in part depends on those practice rounds going to POA.  So it makes more sense to me to zero my guns for the inexpensive (but good) practice ammo that’s most easily available to me (right now that’s WWB), and then choose — and I have a wide choice — a carry round that both meets my expansion/penetration criteria and shoots to the same POI as my practice ammo.

Progress can be a wonderful thing!

Finally: I’ll hit this point often and hard: if you carry a gun for self-defense, you have to know the law. Invest the money you’d spend on shaving a tenth of a second off your splits with Andrew Branca’s book or seminars — it’ll pay far greater dividends. Visit this link to learn more, and use the discount code “streetstandards” for a 10% discount.


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