Letter from Dr. Sidney Zweibel Re: Recommended Ammunition?

Dear Jim:
Congratulations on your blog’s tremendous success! I will continue to pray to Yahweh for your continued blessings. I have a few questions on the weapons topic that I would appreciate your learned response on.

1.) I certainly understand your opinion on the .223 round, but for those of us that currently possess weapons chambered in .223 what type and load of .223 would you recommend? Are you familiar with the Hornady 60 gr. Spitzer cartridge?

2.) What manufacturers and types of rounds do you recommend for the .45 ACP? Are you familiar with the Hornady FMJ flat-point?

3.) Do you recommend any soft point or hollow points for .223 or .45ACP?

4.) I am storing some rifles for barter and trade; do you suggest a silicon sock for fire prevention?

5.) What types and models of scopes do you suggest?

As always thank you for your excellent insights. B’shem Yahshua Moshiach, -Dr. Sidney Zweibel, Columbia P&S

JWR Replies:
1.) I do not generally recommend .223 hollow-points because most of them are designed with thin jackets for instant expansion. That makes them very well-suited to prairie dog hunting, but not for hunting two-legged varmints! Buy hollow points only if they have thick jackets. I have not tested the Hornady 60 grain Spitzer, so I cannot make an informed judgment about it. My recommended “group standard” load for 5.56mm is the NATO SS-109 62 grain FMJ load. However, keep in mind that it takes a tight rifling twist to properly stabilize bullets heavier than 55 grains. ( 1 turn in7″ or a 1-in-9″ twist.) Many of the early AR-15s and Mini-14s have long rifling twists (typically 1-in-12″) and hence they are only suitable for 55 grain projos.

2.) The CCI “Lawman” .45 ACP 200 grain hollow point is excellent and quite favorably priced. My buddy Fred The Valmet-meister refers to them as “the flying ashtrays ” because of their cavernous hollow points. They expand very reliably. The Winchester Silvertip and Golden Saber, and the Federal Hydrashok are also excellent .45 ACP loads. One key proviso: be sure to test fire several boxes of any potential new load to confirm both accuracy and reliable feeding. DO NOT buy in quantity until you find a load that functions smoothly, with ZERO failures to feed or failure to eject. I would much rather carry a pistol loaded with ammo with an inferior bullet design (even full metal jacket “ball“) that feeds 100% then I would with some “awesome expander” than only feeds 98% of the time. It is the 2% of rounds that jam that may get you killed!

The Hornady FMJ flat-point feeds just as well as round-nosed 230 grain ball in my M1911s.

3.) Again, I do NOT recommend .223 hollow-points. (See #1, above.) For .45 ACP, see #2, above.

4.) Silicon-treated “socks” or “sleeves” work well, assuming that a gun is properly cleaned and well-oiled. Storing guns in most other types of gun cases is sure way to induce rust. However, depending on the humidity of your climate, you may have to take more elaborate protective measures. Install a Golden Rod brand dehumidifier in each gun storage space. You will of course also want to also protect all of your guns from burglars. I recommend buying a large gun vault (or vaults), bolting them to the floor, and preferably hiding them behind false walls. That will deter all but a master criminal.

5.) I prefer tritium lit scopes. For 5.56mm semi-autos, I like the Trijicon TA-01-NSN. For .308s semi-auto MBRs, I prefer the Trijicon TA-11E with a .308 cam and either the “donut of death” or the chevron reticle. (Try each type before you buy.)