lots of ammunition in case

Tips on How To Choose the Right Ammunition for Your Gun


It's not always easy to match the right ammunition to your gun because there are so many different types of guns and ammunition— getting it correctly is vital. If you use the improper ammo for your gun, you risk harming or killing yourself and anybody else who happens to be nearby. Buying ammunition is tricky. Before deciding on the bullet size, you need to get the right caliber of your gun. Especially if you're a new gun owner this could be tricky but yet great fun. This article will help make sense of all the terms you've heard about but couldn't quite understand.

If you're considering buying ammo, you should first be aware of the following:


Read the Instruction Manual

So, you begin with the instruction booklet. The sorts of ammunition you should use with your gun will be discussed in the manual that came with it. You can look for a handbook online if you bought the gun from a third party and it didn't come with one. Electronic versions of your gun manual are usually available on the manufacturer's website and other locations.


Types of Ammunition

Because there are so many various kinds of ammo, it's crucial to know exactly what you're searching for to make sure you obtain the appropriate one. When purchasing bullets, keep the following in mind:



gun with two bullets

Credit: The Range 702


Make sure you know what caliber ammo your gun uses so you can acquire the proper kind. You can't shoot ammo that isn't designed for a specific firearm, so do your homework before purchasing. In the owner's manual for your firearm, you should find a list of the types of ammo it accepts, and make sure you buy exactly what's suggested. 


Centerfire VS Rimfire

rimfire casing vs centerfire casing

Credit: Target Barn


There are two types of cartridges that bullets are available in. Rimfire ammunition is normally allocated for pistols, whereas centerfire ammunition is typically reserved for rifles, however certain older rifle types can use rimfire ammo. The entire inside edge of the cartridge serves as the primer to fire the bullet within, making rimfire ammunition smaller and less expensive. Because of its composition, centerfire ammo is usually larger and may withstand more abuse. Because the primer for the bullet is a small section on the center of the base of the cartridge rather than the full edge, centerfire ammunition is classed as such. It's also worth noting that rimfire ammo has a lower muzzle velocity than centerfire ammunition, which helps distinguish them.


Type of Bullets

different types of bullets

Credit: NRA Family


This is where the power of choice comes into its own. If you have a.22 handgun, you'll need to purchase rimfire ammunition, which is the sole option in certain areas. The bullet type you purchase, on the other hand, comes with additional alternatives, allowing you to select the bullet type that's best for you and your situation. Full metal jacket (FMJ), semi-jacketed (SJ), lead round nose (LRN), armor-piercing (AP), soft point (SP), hollow point (HP), and other bullet types are available. Each of these bullets performs a particular function, making them better suited for certain tasks. Before you buy, learn everything you can about bullet types, as here is where performance variances originate.


What Does Each Bullet Type Do?

different bullet heads

Credit: Concealed Nation


As previously noted, there are numerous changes in bullet type. While the bullet's size and cartridge type have an impact on its performance, the bullet's design has an impact as well. The following are some of the most common bullet styles today:


Full Metal Jacket(FMJ)

A Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) bullet contains a soft core made of lead that is covered in a tougher alloy metal like cupronickel or gilding metal. These rounds have a higher penetration rate against soft tissue and are designed to hold their trajectory. Because they do not expand much when hitting their target, these rounds are suitable for target shooting. In self-defense, the disadvantage of FMJ is the danger of unintentional effects further down the range.


Hollow Point Bullets

When hollow-point bullets are fired, they expand, leaving a wider hole in the target. A bullet with a full metal jacket would surely hurt, but the wound would be smaller and easier to handle. When a hollow point strikes a target, it inflicts a huge, painful, and internally devastating wound on the target, thereby stopping them in their tracks.


Soft Point Bullets

A soft point bullet is a cross between a hollow point and a bullet with a full metal jacket. These are bullets that have a soft point at the tip that expands as they reach their target. This type of bullet allows a shooter to have the best of both worlds, which contributes to their appeal. Because these bullets do not expand when shot at moderate speeds, they are best employed with rifles.


Choosing Ammo for a Specific Purpose

Different types of ammunition are appropriate for various situations. Your intended use will guide you in selecting the appropriate design and strength, as well as how much money to set aside for ammo.


Firearms are used for three main purposes:

Shooting at a Target(Target Shooting)

shooting at a target indoor range

Credit: Unsplash


You don't need powerful or expensive ammo if your purpose is to have fun with your pistol. Expensive ammo means less firing, and strong bullets mean a lot of recoils, which can be annoying. With a low-cost-per-round and low-recoil cartridge, you can shoot more and have more fun. 


Self Defense or Home Defense

woman holding gun in self defense

Credit: American Gun Association


Buying personal defense ammo selection is a little different. Overpenetration, or shooting through the target, is not an issue with target ammo at most ranges. If you're in self-defense, having your bullet pass through your intended target and maybe hit an innocent bystander is the last thing you want to happen.

Ammunition for your concealed carry pistol should be designed for home defense, such as hollow-point bullets. Hollow points are designed to open up as they enter the room. This slows down the bullet and reduces the chances of it going through the chosen target completely.



man hunting aiming in sky at bird

Credit: Ducks Unlimited


You need a bullet that will expand and cause enough damage to the animal to promptly and humanely kill it. This is why slugs should be used when hunting with a shotgun.

An FMJ bullet should never be used for hunting because it will not kill the animal and will most likely pass through it. Due to the fact that most hunted animals are larger than humans, hunting ammunition requires deeper penetration than defense ammunition. More power is better for hunting, which means choosing ammo that has a high muzzle velocity. This usually entails using a bullet of greater caliber.

When buying a rifle or handgun ammo, keep this in mind: if your primary goal is to go hunting, you should acquire something bigger up front.


3 main purposes of firearms




This article will assist you to decide the proper ammo for your firearm if you are a new gun owner. It's crucial to understand not only how much ammunition you'll need, but also what you'll be doing with the bullets you choose.

After reading this blog, you will know how to choose the right ammo for your gun based on its stated function.

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