How to choose the right ammunition

Choosing the right ammunition

Ammunition is a very broad topic. The choice of ammunition depends on the application. If you are new to the gun world, we will be skimming the basics ammunition and their uses.


Range and practice cartridges are mostly made up of FMJ bullets (Full Metal Jacket). People also use wadcutters and semi wadcutters since they leave nicer holes on paper.


Hunting ammunition should have an expanding projectile. Either hollow points or soft nose would do the trick. The end goal is to put down whatever animal that is being hunted in the quickest way. Expanding projectiles will create bigger wound channels and increase the chances of a quick kill.

A student participates in a civilian active shooter response course for concealed weapons permit holders on March 24 in Longmont, Colo


Self-defense ammunition should be expanding bullets. Hollow points are the most common. The goal of hollow points is to create a big wound channel.

Hollow points also limit over penetration. Over penetration in a self-defense scenario is very important since a person is responsible for every shot fired. The last thing a person would want is injuring a civilian. This is not legal advice nor is it intended to be. FMJ or any jacketed could be used but the chances of over penetration are almost guaranteed. Now not all hollow points will expand, expansion depends mostly on the speed the projectile is traveling at. If there is no expansion hollow point essentially becomes a solid projectile with similar characteristics to an FMJ bullet. Nowadays companies make different hollow points for different barrel lengths, but it is always good to test the ammunition.


One trick to practice without using premium self-defense or hunting ammunition is to shoot with range ammunition that has the same bullet weight as the premium.  This will give you a similar feeling when it comes to recoil. It can also mimic the trajectory.  It saves money and it gets more time behind the gun which normally concludes in accuracy and comfortability.