Handgun Ammunition Selection

Guns & Ammo 2

Guns & Ammo 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Practice Ammunition

When you are selecting FMJ ammunition for your range time, make sure that the bullet weight matches that of your defensive ammunition.

  • 9mm
    • Example: Use 115 grain FMJ for practice and 115 grain Hornady Critical Defense for carry and defensive use
  • .40 S&W
    • You should use 165 grain FMJ with 165 grain defensive loads or 180 grain FMJ with 180 grain hollowpoints.
  • .45 ACP
    • Use 230 grain FMJ with 230 grain hollowpoints.

Defensive Ammunition

  • Don’t be a cheapskate when it comes to defensive ammunition.
    • Hornady Critical Defense works well and has a rubber core that prevents the hollowpoint from getting clogged prior to expansion
    • CORBON DPX is excellent as well
    • Federal Premium Hydrashocks are good as well
Three Federal Hydra-Shok cartridges. From left...

Three Federal Hydra-Shok cartridges. From left to right: 230 grain .45 ACP, 165 grain .45 ACP, 147 grain 9mm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Posted in Ballistics, Handguns, Training
2 comments on “Handgun Ammunition Selection
  1. John Rock says:

    This is really helpful and something I honestly hadn’t even considered. I knew there was a substantial difference sometimes in what people practice with and what people shoot- and it’s not fiscally responsible, at least in my case as a “poor college kid” to practice with something like Ranger +p+ rounds and carry them, too.

    I have Critical Defense rounds for both my SR1911 and CZ-75 SP01 Tactical, and that’s what I carry. Good to know that they match up well with my Winchester white box and Federal FMJs that I pick up at Wal Mart (when they have them).


  2. Usually the American practice ammo and the American defense ammo of the same bullet weight will match up in terms of felt recoil.

    When you start playing with the Russian ammo, even the 180gr in .40 cal shoots really soft. The Russian ammo is generally not very hot from my experience.


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