Ammunition is in most cases made up of 4 main components.
- shell case
When you buy ammunition, you will notice grain weight or grain and a number. The grain weight listed on the box refers to the weight of the bullet and NOT the powder charge. So more is not always better. Less is not always better.
Please don’t refer to ammo as bullets. it makes you look uninformed and can cause a problem. People have ordered bullets thinking they were getting a great deal on ammunition and all they got were bullets.
In Florida we use 2 types of handgun ammunition. one type for practice and another for self defense. The practice ammunition is less expensive. Practice ammunition is FMJ or full metal Jacket. It has a copper jacket around the lead core. Self defense ammunition has a hollow point and is called JHP for jacketed hollow point. When the hollow point hits water based material it is designed to expand and slow down rapidly. The expansion makes the bullet larger and more likely to impact vital structures, hopefully stopping the attacker. The hollow point bullets are much less likely to over penetrate the attacker and continue on into an innocent bystander behind them.
The video below demonstrates the different effect the 2 types of bullets have on water. Hollow point bullets wont make people explode.
Carry Ammo aka Defensive Ammo
We use JHP (Jacketed hollow points) in our defensive hand guns for self defense (in states where is it legal to use hollow points). Hand gun rounds need to be thought of as drills (as opposed to a death ray). They just make holes. If a hollow point round works the way it is supposed to, it will make a bigger hole than the caliber it started out with. Another benefit of the hollow point round is that it is less likely to over penetrate the VCA (Violent Criminal Actor). If the bullet stays in the body of the VCA or has lost almost all of its energy by the time it exits then collateral damage is minimized.
Some times when VCA’s are shot we get a “psychological stop”. That is they are shot and physically still able to threaten your life, yet they decide to run away or otherwise give up. This is a great result but we cannot count on it. With every round we fire we are attempting to physically stop the VCA. We do not shoot to kill. The VCA may die from the force required to physically stop her/him. We are not shooting to wound. We are We don’t get to determine when the shooting can stop. It was started by the actions of the VCA and it will stop when the VCA is no longer a threat.
We do not recommend that you use unproven ammo. When you have defended yourself and the prosecutor looks at your case, she/he will see the brand and type of ammo you chose. The more that looks like the ammo your local law enforcement carries the better. If the name of the ammo implies something that the prosecutor can use to help convince the jury that you were looking to kill or punish rather than stop the VCA, then your claim might be weakened in the eyes of the jury.
We use FMJ (full metal Jacket) ammo for practice. FMJ is less expensive than our carry ammo.
Ammo supplies often times get short near political seasons or after a mass active murder event. We suggest you figure out how much ammo you shoot in a year and have that much on hand all the time. Then you can buy ammo when it is on sale. You may find a particular brand of ammo you like, yet you can’t always find it available, so stock up when it is available. We also suggest you store your ammo in a quality safe that is bolted to the floor. Ammo stored in a cool dry place without massive temperature fluctuations will last for many years.
A word on caliber. The FBI recently adopted 9mm as its official carry caliber. Many police departments and regular citizens have done the same. When doctors are treating gunshot wounds from modern defensive rounds they cant tell by the wound alone which caliber was used. 9mm, 38, 357mag, 357sig, 40cal, 45cal.
By Kathy Jackson
Where to buy ammo
Your favorite local gun shop. They treat you right so return the favor.
or on line