10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Ammo for Firearms

Did you buy a new gun recently? Are you still unsure about the best way to pick ammo for your gun? Below is a guide to help you buy the right ammo for firearms.

The pandemic and unrest in the country are pushing more people to buy firearms for protection. The first wave of gun sales began in March, and it later grew in June and July. The FBI uses tallies of background checks for gun sales as their basis for this statistic.

Many Americans already have some knowledge about guns from films and firearm classes. However, being a gun owner is different. You need to take care of your gun, and one way to do that is to use the right ammo or it.

We’ll discuss that below via ten aspects to consider when buying ammo. Keep reading to learn more about how to choose ammo for your firearms.

  1. Purpose of the Ammunition

First, consider what you’ll use the ammunition for. Are you buying ammunition for shooting practice? Do you intend to use it for self-defense? Will you use it on your guns for hunting?

Different ammunition types are available for different uses. For example, people often use target ammunition for target practice. They’re cheaper than actual ammo and more practical for shooting practice.

There is also ammunition for defensive purposes and hunting purposes. You need to know what you’ll use the bullet for so you can buy the right bullet for your purposes. You don’t want to use a bullet meant for training as your hunting ammunition, for example.

  1. Ammunition Type

US citizens own about 40% of the guns in the world. It also stands to reason that we’ve got a lot of ammunition to pick from. The only thing you have to do now is to learn how to find the best ammo that fits your firearm and preferences.

The common types of ammunition include the following:

  • Full-Metal Jacket (FMJ)
  • Open Tip Bullet (OTM)
  • Soft-Point Bullet
  • Hollow-Point Bullet (HP)
  • Ballistic Tip

Rounds for shotguns also come in two types: slugs and buckshot. These are also terms that you may come across when you shop for bullets. It’s important you know the purposes of each one and where they’re often used.

For example, OPM works best in the shooting range. The FMJ is a popular type that you may find in many homes. The best bullet type for self and home defense is the HP.

  1. Terminal Performance for Personal Defense

Protection is the top reason for gun owners for buying a firearm. If you’re buying ammo for self-defense, you want to ensure that the bullet has a good terminal performance. You’ll often find this in hollow-point bullets.

Guns used by law enforcement use hollow-point bullets. These projectiles often have a lot of energy and produce a lot of damage. Because of the cavity at the tip, hollow-point bullets expand upon impact.

This generates a larger wound channel on the target for increased damage. It also controls the penetration so that it reduces the risks of harming bystanders. This way, the bullet doesn’t over-penetrate the target and hit those behind it.

  1. Bullet Expansion and Damage

All bullets can hurt, injure, or kill a target. You must know that different bullet types have different levels of damage. The type of bullet influences how much damage it can give.

As we mentioned, hollow-point bullets tend to expand on impact. The idea behind it is that a bullet that creates a larger wound track results in greater damage. This is ideal for self-defense because it can incapacitate an attacker faster.

A bullet can also do damage in another way. Some bullets will not expand. Rather, they will penetrate the target and then come out on the other side. Bullets for hunting penetrate deep to get past thick skin and dense muscles of game animals.

  1. Bullet Size and Caliber

The size of bullets is also a crucial element to consider when buying ammunition. When people say caliber, they’re talking about the diameter of the barrel of the gun and the bullet size.

The problem is that new gun owners often mistake the bullet and ammunition as the same thing. This causes them to buy the wrong caliber that will match the ammunition of their guns. Remember, the bullet is only the metal projectile. The ammo is the entire thing you place into your gun that contains the bullet.

When you pick the caliber size of your ammunition, consider the energy, bullet weight, and velocity. Don’t forget to consider the price of a single round as well. Depending on the type of firearm you have, the caliber of your ammo will differ.

  1. Bullet Weight or Grain Weight

In ammunition, the grain refers to the unit of mass or the weight of the bullet. One pound is equal to 7,000 grains. In an ounce, there are 437.6 grains. Most bullets weigh between 15 grains and 750 grains.

You can find a range of grain weights for each caliber. For example, 9mm loads can come in 115, 124, or 127 grains. If you’re looking for a 95 or 110-grain load, you can still find it. It’s only quite rare or odd because that’s not the typical grain for 9mm loads.

The weight also has an impact on how accurate and fast the bullet will travel when you fire it. If you’re going for accuracy with your gun, some trial and error are due. Sometimes, your AR 10 is the most accurate with a 310-grain more than a 280-grain load.

There won’t always be a reason for it. You only have to try it with the gun and discover it for yourself. Also, factors like barrel length, twist rate, and many other factors affect how your bullet weight impacts accuracy.

  1. How the Ammo Handles in Your Gun

Ammo from different manufacturers will feel different depending on the type of gun that you’re using. If you have a couple of guns with the same caliber, try using the same bullet brand and caliber on them. Notice that each one reacts to the ammo you place in them in different ways.

The bullets may handle better in one firearm than the other. Consider how ammo handles in your gun before you start buying it in bulk. It may not cycle well or shoot true when you use it.

Get a feel for your ammo and how it goes in your firearm on the range. This way, you know which load is the best choice for it. Try to consider how heavy, hard, or hot the load is in your gun.

  1. Quality of Ammo for Firearms

For anything, always remember that quality is the key to safety. You likely also bought a high-quality gun because you know that quality is a means to ensure your safety. This idea also applies to ammunition.

Consider ammo brands like:

  • Nosler
  • Speer
  • CCI (Cascade Cartridges Inc.)
  • Remington
  • Winchester
  • Federal Premium Ammunition
  • Hornady

Using low-quality ammunition can do a lot of unwanted and unnecessary damage. It can destroy your gun, become unreliable when you shoot, and it can hurt a person. It can affect the components of your gun and the precision in the loading.

Often, cheap ammo has low-quality bullets, casings, and dirty powder. Cheap ammo may have gotten sent back because it failed quality control inspections. Consider the quality of your ammunition like the quality of your holster and gun.

  1. Cost of Ammo

Think of buying ammo as an investment in your safety or insurance policy. Consider its other features first and then the price. However, that’s not to say that you can turn a blind eye to the price of each round.

Note that you must only consider the cost of your ammunition after the terminal performance. This is especially important for gun owners who intend to use their firearms for home or self-defense. Cost plays a big role in how you choose your ammunition but always consider your safety first.

Also, larger rounds won’t always cost more than smaller rounds. Often, it’s the demand for the ammunition that will influence its price in the market. Serious shooters and law enforcement have a big impact on the demand for bullets.

  1. Quantity

Finally, when you consider choosing ammo for firearms, think about how much ammo you want to buy. The higher the price of the ammo, the less you can buy. The inverse is also true.

If the ammunition you want has a lower price, you can buy more of it. There is also ammunition you can buy in bulk for a lower price. However, remember that quality is always more important than quantity.

Also, remember that different bullet cases can weigh a lot. Consider this if you plan to go somewhere and you plan to carry your gun and ammunition with you.

Find the Right Ammo for Your Firearm 

That ends our guide to choosing the best ammo for firearms. Don’t hesitate to keep coming back to this guide whenever you need to check whether or not you’re getting the right ammunition. From picking the right type to checking performance, we’ve got you covered here.

We hope this guide on ammunition proved to be useful and helpful. If you want to see more content like this, go ahead and check out our other posts now and discover all the firearm guides you need!


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