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Hornady TAP Ammunition


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  • Hornady TAP Ammunition

    I was wondering what anyone thought of this ammo. All I know is what I've read in the latest magazines. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with it and how it performed (good or bad). My dept. carries Speer Gold Dot 40 cal. (but we can carry other ammo if we want to purchase it) and I was wondering how it compared to that as well. I'm mainly looking for off-duty ammo for personal carry. Thanks in advance.
    A society that makes war with its police had better learn to to make friends with its criminals.

    Glock 22 (Issued)
    Kimber TLE-RL II (SRT)
    Colt LEO AR-15 (Patrol and SRT)

  • #2
    My dept issues winchester ranger for .40 or .45 but I've heard good things about hornady TAP, they also have a new TAP line that is even higher quality.
    Illegitimi non carborundum - Don't let the bastards grind you down.


    • #3
      Email Hornady from their sight and they will send you an LE spec perfomance bulletin. I got it. To tell you the truth, their pistol stuff is designed to do what everybody elses does...punch a hole of certain dimensions in a block of cold jello.

      It should be of some comfort to know that you ammunition will perform to specification in the event you are ever attacked by a jello monster.

      They also spec out their TAP rifle ammo in the same flyer.

      Several years ago I spent an afternoon on the range with an engineer from Federal. He brought all their LE ammo out and shot block of gelliten. All performed within the recommended FBI specs.

      Next we shot everybody elses LE ammunition. It all shot within the recommended FBI specs.

      After a long sit down he expained that he can design a bullet to perform within just about any parameters that the cartridge will permit, and that is exactly what they had done.
      Last edited by Runnin' 87; 07-24-2005, 09:17 PM.
      "In my life I have met many people who were quick to point a finger, and but a few that cared enough lift one"



      • #4
        I've also found two types of the pistol ammo. One is in a black box and has a silver/ pewter colored casing and the other is in a red box and has the standard brass casing. Any known difference? I sent an email to them and requested their LE performance specs so hopefully I'll be able to answer a few of my own questions when they reply. Does anyone carry this specific ammo on or of duty? If so, what do you think of it?
        A society that makes war with its police had better learn to to make friends with its criminals.

        Glock 22 (Issued)
        Kimber TLE-RL II (SRT)
        Colt LEO AR-15 (Patrol and SRT)


        • #5
          Hi - I a new poster, long-time peace officer.

          From what I know of Hornady TAP ammunition, which is now also released to the public for self-defense, the powder used is specially chosen so that it gives the desired velocity with the lowest possible flash. Since self-defense (and especially home defense) is more likely to occur during twilight or the hours of darkness, this is especially important if you want to get off a second shot without being blinded from the first one. I like the performance of the XTP bullet anyway, with their advertised reliable expansion and penetration at many velocities - so that is what I have now set aside for my .45 Mark IV and .44 Taurus backup home defense pistols.

          But have LEO's on this forum made some range comparisons between the other so-called "self-defense" pre-packaged ammo to check the muzzle blast at night? I would think that this is a very important situation before having a whole law enforcement agency switch to a certain brand, given the nature of police work, and the fact that gun encounters are rarely one shot affairs.
          Last edited by JohndeFresno; 08-17-2005, 12:40 PM.


          • #6
            You can view some Hornady TAP FPD ("For Personal Defense") rounds at:
            Last edited by JohndeFresno; 08-17-2005, 12:45 PM.


            • #7
              From what I've been hearing from those very good in the know, the pistol ammo isn't some of the best stuff on the market. Their rifle on the other hand, is imho, the BEST 5.56 round for LE. The 77gr stuff ROCKS!
              Nobody ever wants to have to fight, but its a darn good idea for someone to know how.


              • #8

                I'd like to know more of what you have heard. What, specifically, is lacking with the Hornady TAP or TAP-FPD ("For Personal Defense") round? What is better, specifically?

                Who have you heard this from or where did you read it? Speer's Gold Dot bullet was manufactured specifically at the request of the FBI, who wanted a better round after the Miami Massacre, and knowing that Federal agency, I suspect that it is the Speer bullet that you have heard is "better." Having worked for two county agencies and two State agencies, I know how good FB-1 is at public relations and getting their opinions and "the credit" out to the press.

                Not that the Gold Dot is not a great round, but I suspect that they currently get more than the lion's share of credit for producing a sound and modern projectile, just as Colt and S&W did for many, many years with their law enforcement handguns, despite the proliferation of other quite excellent and less expensive brands that were available. As a side note, when the FBI moved away from their 2 and 4 inch revolvers (was it Colt?), then and only then did our LE agencies realize that the world did not revolve around Hartford, Connecticut. I wish my fellow officers were a little more circumspect and less naive when it comes to taking one agency's recommendations as gospel, even if it is the highest paid LE agency in the land.

                So if your "people in the know" are FBI sources, I would encourage you to look at the Police Marksman Association articles and other mainstream police firearms organizations for more info; or Guns & Ammo; or the NRA magazines (hunting and firearms publications); or best yet, take some rounds to your favorite shootin' place and run some tests. I have learned through my 30+ years in law enforcement that the FBI has some great training, but they are not always right. Even their unarmed self-defense training techniques have changed through the years in a manner that speaks of some contradictions (e.g. cuff the guy first, or cuff the guy after a search - it has changed in my career; or their baby, the 9mm, being the best round until many of their agents were slaughtered while using this anemic ammunition in a Miami shootout). Yet since they are a highly visible Federal public agency, you will find that they tend to minimize their mistakes until they become all too apparent to LE officers in the field, possibly afraid that their credibility is otherwise at stake. To me, this in fact hurts their overall credibility, especially in the field of their historical recommendations on firearms and ammo. I am speaking, of course, outside of the official stance of my employer - as an honest-speaking individual law enforcement officer who reloads and tests these rounds.

                We don't engage in firefights with Jello. I suspect that this denim-covered medium is overplayed as a test product, and I prefer to read what the latest statistics, published or learned from other officers, tells me about the effectiveness of a round.

                So it is with Hornady. I don't work for them, or have any financial interest. But I am beginning to suspect that their bullet is the best on the market for LE and defense use. Two weeks ago, I ran some tests with a handload that sent a .44 Magnum 200 gr. XTP bullet out the tube at around 1550 fps - pretty much a standard factory loading - and the round stayed intact after penetrating more than halfway through the second of two 4X4 pine posts that were abutted together. When I split the second post, the bullet was intact and slightly expanded, believe it or not. The lead core was still firmly embedded in the copper jacket, and the bullet was remarkably well formed. I am confident that this would make short work of any marauding black bear, given a proper head shot. That load is now my camp self-defense load for any marauder out there - two or four legged. (I don't expect grizzly attacks in my part of the country).

                This was just one more example of what I have read from many knowledgeable gun authors, including articles found in Guns & Ammo, the NRA American Rifleman, and extremely prestigious publications.

                In a nutshell, it is this: Although the Gold Dot seems to expand impressively in fabric-covered gelatin at a specific velocity, the XTP expands reliably (albeit not always as well) as the Gold Dot, which appears to be the standard by which all other rounds are judged. And more importantly it does so at a wider range of velocities, and in many sorts of media.

                What happens, for instance, if you must take a shot at a felon who has ducked behind car window glass? As the bullet loses velocity in passing through the glass, how much will its dimished velocity degrade its ability to expand in the target that it was intended for? I think that Hornady's configuration is much more reliable under these circumstances, and nobody can argue that it is a tough bullet, not prone to separation.

                But I have not run comparison tests as exhaustively as I would like to, due to time limitations. Perhaps I will this year. On the other hand, if you have some specifics as to why "Hornady does not perform that well," please post the url's for all of us!

                Here is one (of many) sites that supports my reluctance to take the "FBI Standard" as gospel:
                It talks about how the FBI Firearm Standard has already changed(!); because police marksmen and knowledgeable rangemasters discovered that the old Gold Dot was not all that it was cracked up to be. This site explains how to spot the new "good" Gold Dot ammunition. Remember, cops' lives are on the line, here - and despite exhaustive testing and a more than reasonable period of time since the initial tests, the "experts" have changed their minds again. As I've posted elsewhere, I'll stick with the first handgun that I ever carried - Colt Gov't. MkIV with a hollowpoint .45 - to keep me alive in daily encounters. I no longer am a tactical type "field" officer, but I still carry it as my concealed carry and off-duty weapon. Now, I prefer the Hornady TAP rounds.

                If you sense that I have a complaint about the FBI, it is that they historically act as a major influence on the selection of firearms and calibers by most U.S. law enforcement agencies (Federal, State, County and Municipal) but are characteristically (again and again) slow to admit their mistakes - that "Don't Embarrass the Bureau" line. I am interested in what latest information is available on the Speer/Ranger/XTP self-defense ammo debate. As for now, I think the XTP has it hands down, not to mention other factors like their special lubrication on each TAP round.
                Last edited by JohndeFresno; 08-18-2005, 01:47 PM.


                • #9
                  Actually, I haven't heard it from the FBI. I got my info from a weapons specialist at Crane Indiana (USN weapons research facility) who was testing ammo for CT teams and also an NYPD Transit firearms instructor/SOC officer. Also, my agency did extensive testing before, coincidentally, selecting Gold Dot as our new issue ammo. Also, San Diego County CA had an ammo test they published about a year ago detailing small arms ammo testing which found the TAP to be good ammo, but not near the "best" for pistols.

                  IMHO, the best ammo for fighting will NEVER come out of a pistol which is why I have a 5.56 any time I expect gun play to happen. My 9mm 124grain Gold Dots have proven satisfactory in testing by FBI, NYPD, DEA, and numerous others and I am happy with it as an issued round. However, I do feel our old issue ammo was better, that being Winchester Ranger SXT (ie. Black Talon) 127grain +P+. Problem with that round was that it was hella expensive and hard for novice shooters to control in a rapid fire situation. I've still got a mag or two laying around full of it though

                  Like I said, rifle ammo, the TAP is schweeeeeeeeeet . I'm just not sold on it yet as a pistol round. SXT, Gold Dot, and Hydra Shock are my preference.
                  Nobody ever wants to have to fight, but its a darn good idea for someone to know how.


                  • #10
                    GREAT post - thank you for the information. Looks like I need to do some extensive testing or more research with the TAP vs. the Gold Dot, that latter of which which would be my second choice across the the board for pistol ammo. Hydra Shok is an old favorite, and they helped to really modernize our defensive ammunition many years before the phrase Gold Dot was thought of. I still have some of the the earliest Hydra Shok .38 rounds (from the 60's) that are simply inverted lead semi-wadcutters, flush with the top of the shell casing, with small lead pillars in the center!

                    Can't argue with the 5.56 for defense; kinda hard to conceal under my t-shirt, tho'!


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