You said it, Damen. The gun is, above all, a tool, one that requires care in its use. No more good or evil than the hand that uses it. Nothing would please me more than this helping to save even just one life by responsible gun ownership.
Think anyone can sticky this thread to keep it easy to find?
Firearms are many things, from self-defense weapons to hunting implements to competition shooting to hobbies to collectibles. What they are not, however, is good or evil. A firearm will not jump up and shoot you on its own. However, no matter what application a person decides to employ them in, they must always be respected and not treated in a cavalier fashion.
I would love to know that the advice given in this thread had saved a life, but I'd be satisfied to know it made any difference at all even if it was just to make someone who's dicking around with a firearm stop and say to themselves "Oh, I shouldn't do that."
And yeah, I'll second the motion to sticky this thread.
What is stopping you from using cheap 9mm ammo for practise and carrying the expensive but better ammo for the real deal? Unless there is a huge difference in the power it should not matter what brand of ammo you use while practising.
Just wanted to throw in my two cents here.
As Chit said; all guns are not
created equal and neither is ammo. I'll give you an example here and point at the M1911 semi-auto. The design has been in existence for 102 years and it is one of, if not the most, copied and reproduced firearms of all times and is by far the most copied and produced pistol. In over 100 years, the M1911 only had one significant redesign and that was in the '20's that gave us the M1911A1. The basic design, though, has remained the same, from the grip safety to the magazine to the locking barrel. However, even with all that time, the actual dimensions of the pistol can vary widely to the point that you won't be able to replace a part without some final fitting, usually done by a professional gunsmith. Because of that and the wide differences in barrels, barrel ramps and tolerances, different types of ammo will behave differently. Some 1911s will be extremely reliable but others won't. The Remington 1911, for example, is notoriously picky about what ammo you can put through it.
My own M1911A1 is an example of this. Mine is a Sistema Colt from around 1960. What this means, basically, is that while it was made in Argentina, it is a Colt design built on Colt machines by Colt trained workers. It has done everything I have wanted it to but sometimes it would have days where it was picky about what kind of ammo got run through it. Federal FMJ rounds would feed no problem, but sometimes it would jam with lead round nose. After examining it I discovered that the barrel feed ramp was cut narrow. On either side of the feed ramp, the chamber edge was cut vertically, so this made it really easy to catch any round but full metal jacket. This meant that I couldn't trust it to chamber my Federal Hydra-Shok hollow-points reliably because of the inherent flat tip on hollow-points. A while back I ended up swapping barrels to one with an extremely wide feed ramp (horizontal cuts) and I am now confident that it'll eat any round I want to feed it.
However, at the time I could not be sure how picky my old barrel would be with the Hydra-Shoks because it cost over $25 dollars for a box of 20. Compare that to a box of Federal American Eagle FMJ rounds and they (used to) run around $18 bucks for a standard box of 50.
The only reason I'm not blasting through box after box of Hydra-Shoks is a simple case of economics. I can't afford to drop over a dollar a round when a typical range session will leave me around 200 rounds lighter.