Self Defense Ammo

If you’re considering purchasing a firearm for personal defense, there are a number of important decisions that need to be made before you buy. The primary decisions are which model and caliber handgun you’ll carry, and these are important considerations.

You need a firearm that is comfortable to carry and shoot, and it needs to be chambered in a caliber that produces manageable recoil and generates enough energy to stop an attacker. Many new shooters spend a great deal of time researching which firearm best suits their needs, and, since this is a gun you are relying on to protect your life and the lives of your loved ones during a dangerous encounter, this is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

Relatively few shooters, however, spend much time selecting the proper self defense ammo, and that is a mistake.

A bullet’s effectiveness or “stopping power” has a great deal to do with how that bullet is constructed. Lead bullets, for instance, tend to expand very rapidly, because lead is a soft metal. For this reason, all-lead bullets aren’t considered an optimum choice for self-defense. Even in powerful calibers like the .40 Smith & Wesson and .45 ACP, lead bullets tend to deform rapidly and don’t penetrate as well as copper jacketed bullets, and that lack of penetration can cause serious problems in a defensive shooting situation.

At the other end of the spectrum are full metal jacket bullets, often referred to as FMJ. As the name indicates, these bullets have a core (usually made of lead) that is fully surrounded by a copper jacket. Because copper is harder than lead, these bullets tend to penetrate very well; because they do not expand, however, there is relatively little transfer of energy or damage when compared to other bullet designs.

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