What Kind of Ammunition Should I buy?

Apart from the smart assed answer that you should get what fits, look at your firearm. The manual, the barrel or frame will show the caliber* (see article entitled “What Does Caliber Mean”) of ammunition that your firearm can use. If you do not have the manual, go on line. It is there.

The real question is, “What kind of ammo within the many offerings that fit my firearm is good for home defense?” A cartridge that yields a bullet that stops the intruder is the answer. The offerings can be confusing. Remember the one you have is infinitely better than the one you buy next week!

For practice, use blunt nosed, or round nosed bullets. These are the most common and the cheapest. They would work for home defense, but they have limitations. Full metal jacketed*, round nose bullets are used in many automatic pistols. Our military uses these fully jacketed rounds, but that is by treaty, not by choice. They would much rather use hollow pointed bullets*.

To make sense of the choice let’s take a look at what happens when a bullet hits the soft tissue of an assailant. With a full metal jacket round nosed bullet the wound channel is fairly straight and the bullet may pass thru the victim. With enough velocity, it may enter anything behind the victim. A hollow point will expand as soon as it strikes. This makes a much wider wound channel and may break up. This has the potential to cause more damage. The round nosed bullet must strike a vital area to cause enough damage to stop the assailant. Some hollow pointed bullets spread or break up in an inconsistent manner that makes it difficult to predict the outcome.

Modern technology has been used to design bullets that expand upon entry and consistently deform. These are available from Hornady and Cor Bon ® among other manufacturers. These are my choice for home defense and for carry ammunition. They strike the targeted bad guy and cause enough damage to stop most attacks. If someone is on heavy duty drugs, just causing pain will not stop and attack. You must stop them by stopping their body.

Do not carry reloaded ammunition*. Do not develop “hot loads” * for personal protection. Reloads are perfectly fine for range ammo and will save you some money. You do not want to hear a lawyer tell a jury that you hand crafted the ammunition that was meant to kill, not injure your attacker. Juries are not made up of concealed carry experienced gun owners.

Remember: Use ammunition that matches the application.



Bruce Hosea J & B Ventures, Inc. bruce@jbventuresabq.com
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