Choosing the Right Self-Defense Ammo, A Detailed Guide

You probably already know why one would use self-defense ammo, but you may not know what makes it different and the effects it could have.

Self-defense ammunition is designed with specific features to maximize effectiveness and safety in real-world defense situations, setting it apart from other types of ammunition like target or practice ammo.

Here’s why it’s different:

The Two Types of Defense Ammo: Hollow Point (HP) and Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

Full metal jacket bullets are made with a soft, usually lead, core encased by a hard metal shell or “jacket”. They are designed for deep penetration and a steady trajectory, making them perfect for target practice. The most common, however, is the hollow point, and they are exactly what they sound like. They differ from FMJ because they expand upon impact, which reduces penetration but gives them a lot more stopping power. It expels more energy and causes more damage than FMJ.

How to Choose the Correct Ammo

Before purchasing any firearm for your own defense, there are a few things you have to consider before making your decision. You have to decide on which model and caliber handgun you are going to carry. You want your firearm to be comfortable while carrying and while shooting. It needs to be chambered in a caliber that produces manageable recoil and generates enough energy to stop an attacker.

You also have to consider the penetration depth. The standing depth is between 12-18 inches. 

Next is expansion; you don’t have to worry about the specifics as long as the expansion is consistent. Lastly, you have to consider the weight retention of your ammo, how long it will stay together when it hits something. Ammo that has strong weight retention is better.

These distinct characteristics make self-defense ammo particularly suited for situations where the user may need to stop an aggressor quickly and effectively to protect themselves or others.

Before purchasing any ammo, do take the time to research, test, and select the right ammunition.

For home defense, a variety of guns are suitable, including handguns, shotguns, and carbines. The selection here is based on extensive use, reliability, ease of maintenance, availability of ammunition, and cost-effectiveness, avoiding exotic cartridges for practicality. The top picks include the Springfield Echelon as the best pistol, the Taurus Raging Hunter for revolvers, the Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol for semi-auto shotguns, the Mossberg 590A1 for pump action, the Ruger PC Carbine for pistol caliber carbines, the Marlin 1894 for lever action, and the Gen 5 Glock 19MOS for a crossover/EDC option. 

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