Best Ammo for Your Glock

What Kind of Ammo Should You Buy for a Glock?

Isn’t it ironic that Gaston Glock, whose company has sold millions of pistols worldwide, fought off his would-be assassin using only his bare hands?

In 1999, Mr. Glock’s tax advisor Charles Ewert hatched a plot to cover up the millions of dollars he had embezzled from Glock Ges.m.b.H. by hiring a hitman to beat his boss to death in a car park. Crude, yet effective. Ewert didn’t factor Mr. Glock’s resilience into his plans. The 69-year-old endured multiple hammer blows to the head before beating his attacker unconscious, knocking out a few of his teeth in the process.

Both Ewert and his accomplice are still rotting in prison. Good.

Mr. Glock would surely rather spare you the inconvenience of being hammered, stabbed, bludgeoned, or otherwise mistreated by any villain. He invented the world’s first polymer-framed pistol for exactly that reason.

Although polymer frames are pretty standard for handguns nowadays, they made quite a stir when they hit the market back in the ‘80s. The media branded Glock pistols as “ghost guns” which couldn’t be picked up by airport metal detectors – despite the fact that more than 80% of a Glock pistol’s weight is steel, and even its dense Polymer 2 frame is dense enough to be seen using security equipment.

That’s the kind of informed reporting you can expect from the leftist media, as well as Big Tech which assists its efforts when it comes to guns. Look at how viciously they’ve demonized the AR-15 if you want another example.

All that aside…

What kind of ammunition should you buy for your Glock pistol for target shooting or self-defense? We’re going to proceed under the assumption that you have a 9mm Glock: a G17, G19, G19X, G26, G43, or G45. (These pistols all say “9×19” on their slides, because that’s what they call 9mm in Europe.)

If your Glock is chambered for something other than 9mm such as 10mm, 357 SIG, 380 Auto, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, or 45 GAP, our ammo recommendations will still have merit – most ammo manufacturers’ 9mm offerings are available as these cartridges as well.

If you have a 22 LR Glock, then we’ll give you some quick recommendations before moving on: high-velocity CPRN ammo like CCI Mini-Mag (part #30) for target shooting, Federal Premium Personal Defense Punch (PD22L1), or Winchester Silvertip (W22LRST) for self-defense.

Best Ammo for Your Glock

Best 9mm Bullet Weight for a Glock

Before we get to specifics, let’s address a couple new-Glock owners’ most common questions. First, what bullet weight is best? The short answer is whichever bullet weight you prefer.

Factory-loaded 9mm cartridges typically come with one of three bullet weights: 115, 124, or 147 grains. As a general rule, the heavier a 9mm bullet becomes, the slower the muzzle velocity it will achieve. 115 grain 9mm bullets are typically supersonic, which gives them a louder, cracking report. 124-grain bullets are a toss-up: They may deliver either a supersonic or subsonic muzzle velocity. 147-grain bullets are always subsonic.

Different bullet weights will affect your shots’ trajectories and how much energy they can transfer to their target on impact. These differences are minor, however, and factory-loaded cartridges with any bullet weight will allow your Glock pistol to feed and extract reliably. Without getting too bogged down in discussions on recoil and ballistics, the best 9mm bullet weight for your Glock boils down to whichever type of cartridge you prefer firing most. Try all three and pick your favorite!

Can you Fire 9mm +P in a Glock?

This is the second most common question among new Glock owners. The short answer is yes; all 9mm Glock pistols are rated to safely fire 9mm +P as well.

The long answer is still yes – with a precaution. Overpressure ammo like 9mm +P is loaded to generate a significantly more powerful chamber pressure. This added force is why the 9mm +P round’s bullet achieves a higher muzzle velocity, exhibits a flatter trajectory, and strikes its target with more energy.

But this added force will also wear out a semi-automatic pistol’s moving parts at an accelerated rate. While it is always advisable to train with the same ammo you would fire in self-defense, extensive target practice with 9mm +P ammo will wear out your Glock faster than regular 9mm.

What about 9mm +P+? That’s a hard no. There are no specifications for the amount of chamber pressure a 9mm +P+ cartridge can generate, so it’s safest for Glock owners to avoid it altogether.

Best Glock Ammo for Target Shooting

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

As with all semi-automatic firearms, the best all-around ammo for target shooting, range training and plinking with a Glock is loaded with FMJ bullets. The FMJ is comprised of exactly two components: a solid lead core, and a metal jacket that covers everything except the base of the lead core. This economical bullet possesses a hard enough exterior to prevent feeding jams and accelerated fouling of the barrel, and delivers recoil, point of aim and ballistic performance comparable to that of an analogous self-defense load’s jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullet.

Best 9mm FMJ ammo:

  • Federal American Eagle
  • Winchester USA
  • Remington UMC
  • Prvi Partizan
  • Sellier & Bellot

And many others. You’re fine trying out any kind of 9mm FMJ ammo you can get your hands on when you have a Glock. At worst the pistol will jam more than you would like, but that’s a problem you always risk when you go for cheap ammo.

Bimetal Jacket

A bimetal jacketed bullet is also an FMJ. It still has a lead core, but its jacket is made mostly out of steel (with a thin copper-washed exterior) instead of pure copper alloy.

A bimetal jacketed bullet will attract a magnet, but that’s not why many commercial ranges ban “magnetic” ammunition. A bullet that contains steel has a higher chance of ricocheting back at the firing line after hitting a hard surface. It may also create sparks or damage range equipment, which are also things that ranges don’t like.

Why buy magnetic ammo? Because it’s a lot cheaper. The bimetal jacketed bullet contains significantly less copper, which is an expensive metal and also features an economical steel case instead of a brass one (an alloy that is mostly comprised of copper).

Glock pistols handle steel-cased ammo just fine. The steel case’s main drawback is that it’s not as elastic as brass, so it won’t expand to seal the chamber as efficiently during ignition. This will permit more propellant residues to accumulate in the Glock’s action, which will make it dirtier.

Steel cases also don’t return to their original dimensions following ignition. While reloading steel cases is possible, it’s only worth the effort during an apocalyptic scenario when there would be literally no other way of getting ammo. (Plus steel cases have Berdan primers instead of America’s preferred Boxer primers, which complicate handloading even further.

Best magnetic FMJ ammo:

  • Wolf
  • Tula
  • Barnaul
  • Red Army Standard

Total Metal Jacket (TMJ)

A TMJ bullet’s jacket doesn’t leave its lead core exposed. Its jacket encapsulates 100% of the bullet, which prohibits hot propellant gasses from vaporizing any lead from the bullet during ignition. Because they produce significantly less toxic lead vapor (which will eventually accumulate on the floor if it doesn’t settle in the lungs first), TMJ bullets are often utilized in poorly ventilated indoor ranges.

Aside from its cleaner performance, the TMJ bullet offers the same performance as the more conventional FMJ.

Best TMJ ammo:

  • Federal American Eagle
  • Speer Lawman
  • Federal Syntech (Total Synthetic Jacket bullets have polymer jackets which increase a barrel’s lifespan, eliminate copper fouling in the barrel, and reduce the chance of dangerous splash-back, but also offer the same advantages as the TMJ.)

Frangible

A frangible bullet doesn’t contain solid lead and copper like a standard FMJ. Instead, it’s made out of compressed metal powders (usually copper and tin, but never lead).

When a frangible bullet hits a hard surface it disintegrates almost instantly. The frangible bullet’s ability to virtually eliminate the chances of a ricochet or splash-back from occurring makes it optimal for shooting steel targets, especially at close range. Like a TMJ, the lead-free frangible bullet also helps to keep the air much cleaner at indoor ranges.

Best frangible ammo:

  • SinterFire
  • PolyFrang
  • Speer RHT

Best Glock Ammo for Self-Defense

Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP)

The JHP is the gold standard as far as personal protection with a pistol is concerned. The hollow point bullet operates on a simple principle: When its nose cavity fills with pressurized soft tissue, it gets forced outward to deliver rapid terminal expansion within its target. The expansion enables the JHP to gouge a wider wound channel into its target than its original diameter alone would allow, transfer more of its energy outward instead of exclusively forward, and anchor itself inside of soft tissue to help prevent overpenetration that could jeopardize innocent bystanders.

Like an FMJ, a JHP’s jacket hardens the bullet for more reliable functionality in a semi-automatic firearm. Most JHP bullets designed for self-defense have notched or skived jackets, which are strategically weakened so they can control more uniform expansion over a wide range of velocities.

When it comes to selecting 9mm ammo for self-defense with a Glock, it’s good to look at what the pros use. In the United States, 65% of law enforcement agencies use Glock pistols (usually 9mm or 40 S&W, and occasionally 357 SIG). Among cops, two types of self-defense ammo are most commonly used.

  • Speer Gold Dot

The Gold Dot JHP bullet begins as a rugged alloyed lead core. This core is electrochemically bonded to its jacket one molecule at a time, which makes the Gold Dot bullet at once extremely well balanced and resistant to core/jacket separation (a phenomenon which can cause a bullet to lose weight and resultant momentum during penetration, which in turn may cause it to penetrate to too shallow a depth to effectively neutralize a threat).

The Gold Dot bullet’s nose cavity is formed via a series of precision die presses. The first controls how wide the bullet can expand; the second controls the bullet’s rate of expansion.

Note that the Speer G2 bullet, which features a hollow point nose cavity that is filled with pliant elastomer to prevent clogging with debris that could inhibit terminal expansion, is also excellent for self-defense.

  • Federal Premium HST

The HST bullet is similarly designed for optimal terminal expansion, with a nose cavity that is engineered to avoid clogging with fabric or other debris that could hamper its terminal performance. The HST bullet is additionally engineered to avoid core/jacket separation that could rob it of penetration depth, even if it must pass through a tough urban barrier en route to its target.

Federal HST and Speer Gold Dot cartridges both feature nickel-plated brass cases. These reduce metal-on-metal friction, which helps them promote smoother feeding and performance in a semi-automatic firearm. They are additionally corrosion resistant, as well as easier to see during a chamber check in poorly lit environments.

To drive the point home: Speer Gold Dot and Federal HST are both superlative self-defense JHP cartridges for a Glock pistol. (Any pistol, really.) Load either of these two cartridges in your handgun and it will be in the best possible condition to be used as a tool for personal protection.

Are other manufacturers’ JHP bullets inadequate for self-defense? Not remotely, no. Hornady, Remington, Winchester, Black Hills, Underwood, Barnes, Sierra, Prvi Partizan, PMC, Sellier & Bellot, and many other manufacturers also make fine self-defense ammo. But HST and Gold Dot – those are pretty much flawless.

Non-Expanding Bullets

You have another option when it comes to self-defense with a Glock pistol: non-expanding bullets. These may have brand names like ARX, Xtreme Defender, or HoneyBadger, but they all work on the same principle.

These bullets lack hollow point nose cavities. As the result, they feed a little more smoothly, as they lack flat nose profiles that could get stuck en route to the chamber, and they’re also incapable of clogging with debris that could inhibit terminal expansion.

Of course, without nose cavities, these bullets cannot expand. Instead, they have grooves milled (or molded, in the ARX’s case) into their shanks. During penetration, these grooves scoop up soft tissues, pressurize them, and then jet them outward in lateral directions at high velocity. The end result is a cavernous wound cavity within said soft tissue, which has exactly the kind of effect you might imagine on a threat.

Final Thoughts

It is highly advisable to use ammo that is specifically designed for self-defense, for self-defense. Not only is its bullet engineered to deal maximal damage to the target – it is generally much higher quality than range ammo as well. Ammo manufacturers don’t go out of their way to produce unreliable range ammo, but they’re aware that an FMJ load’s failure to feed or extract won’t jeopardize the shooter’s life during a dangerous physical altercation.

Self-defense ammo is more expensive than target shooting ammo, of course. That’s why it’s okay to stockpile more affordable FMJ ammo for an emergency. It’s still perfectly capable of effectively neutralizing a threat, and its lower price point makes it much more affordable for the average American to stockpile a healthy reserve of emergency ammo.

home defense

Best Handguns for Home Defense

Whether you’re getting your first gun or your 50th, it’s important to choose the best handgun for home defense when it comes to protecting your family. A million things will run through your head when someone breaks into your home and tries to upset the balance you’ve worked so hard to create. It’s your right to defend yourself and you need the right gun to do it. 

Although, there are many factors to consider such as caliber, size, price, and brand. In this guide, we’ll provide some recommendations for the best handguns based on these factors. We’ll also help guide you through the process of making an informed decision on the right handgun. 

best handgun for home defense

Choosing the Right Handgun

Before we look at some guns, let’s talk about some of the factors used to determine the best choices. 

What Caliber? 

If you’re a gun novice, choosing a caliber might sound like a tall task but it’s not. It’s generally recommended to choose between a 9mm and .45 ACP but we suggest going with a 9mm. These bullets are smaller, cheaper, and more readily available at local stores so you won’t have to go to a specialty shop to find them. The smaller size means less recoil and a higher capacity magazine which makes a lot of sense for home defense situations. The 9mm is a lot easier to control and will certainly get the job done in the event of a home invasion. 

Fit 

Once you’ve decided on a caliber, the most important decision is to find a handgun that you can handle well and it fits you. Choosing a full-size handgun will mean that it feels a bit larger in your hands but the extra mass will be there to absorb the recoil and you’ll have a bigger area to grip. On the other hand, a smaller handgun will serve better for concealed carrying situations if that’s your plan and you could hide it in tighter places inside your house if that’s a concern. 

Overall, when it comes to fit you can only know what works by going out and handling some guns. If you’re a beginner, we suggest going to a local gun shop that has a range and trying out some guns to gain an understanding of the differences in size and fit from gun to gun. 

handgun for self defense

Safety 

This is a highly debated topic and we’re going to leave it up to you but simply plan on shedding some light on two scenarios. Scenario one is, you keep the gun in your bedside table as you hear someone smash a window in your living room. You wake up, grab the gun, and head to the top of the stairs as you look down and find someone rustling through your home looking for valuables. As you creep down the stairs they spot you and point a gun at you. Your initial response is to fire at them but you forgot to disengage the safety. The rest is history. 

Scenario two is the same with a handgun that doesn’t have a safety. That small decision could be what saves the lives of you and your family. While there may be some risks associated with a handgun without a safety, in the heat of the moment, most self-defense shooters will forget to disengage it. 

Sight 

Having a night sight is a nice feature because most self-defense shootings will occur at night. You have the choice of purchasing the sights that come with the gun you buy or purchasing an aftermarket product and having someone install them. Either way, we highly recommend getting a night sight because it will make a big difference when it matters most. 

Trigger

Playing into the feel of the handgun is the trigger. Each gun will have a slightly different trigger and some have an easier pull than others. Ideally, you want to find a trigger that marries sensitivity with stiffness because an overly sensitive trigger without a safety could be a disaster and a stiff trigger could be a problem too. You need to try the gun out at a range or store to truly understand how it will behave in a self-defense situation. 

Price

Since most of the best handguns for self-defense are striker-fired they’ll run between $500-1,000. Keep in mind that you can always find sales and you should also compensate for potentially purchasing night sights too. They’ll cost around $100 to purchase and if you buy aftermarket ones you’ll need to pay a special installation fee too. 

handgun for self defense

Best Handguns for Home Defense

Now that we understand some of the factors that go into making this decision, let’s take a look at some guns. It’s survival of the fittest whether you live in a suburban neighborhood or a 10-acre homestead, you need to understand how to prepare for emergencies and defend yourself. As preppers, we’re always preparing for something whether it be fishing when SHTF, stockpiling food and ammo, or developing rainwater capture systems. We must always be prepared. 

1. Glock 19 

The Glock 19 is one of the most popular self-defense handguns because of its ease of use and reliability. When you’re looking for something to protect your family, you need something that you can rely on no matter what. The 19 is the most popular model because it’s chambered in 9mm, uses a standard mag, and holds 16 rounds plus one in the chamber. 

Beyond the high capacity, you also get the reliability that only comes with a Glock. When you need it the most, it’ll be there to deliver. They also sell a ton of aftermarket accessories so things like night sights will be readily available, affordable, and anyone can install them. 

2. Sig Sauer P226 MK-25 

This handgun comes with a 4.4-inch barrel, night sights, and it holds 15 hollow points in the 9mm chamber. The thing that stands out about this handgun is its design and ergonomics. The trigger pull is so smooth, sensitive, and proper based on the amount of pressure applied. This handgun makes a lot of sense for home defense and that’s one of the reasons why it’s the most popular option. The only thing that can turn a lot of people away from this Sig Sauer is the price tag. You can expect to pay upwards of a grand or more for this home defense handgun. 

3. Ruger GP100

When you’re looking for the best handgun for home defense you need something with great reliability and stopping power and that’s why we had to throw the Ruger GP100 into this article. It’s a .357 Magnum with great simplicity, excellent ergonomics, and perfectionist reliability. We also find this to be a great option for inexperienced gun owners because it’s easy to handle, load, and fire with limited recoil. It’s a great option for those of you who are unsure about the desire to own a handgun for self-defense. 

4. Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 

Here we have one of the newer M&P models which stands for Military and Police. It’s one of the best 9mm handguns on the market, hands down and it comes with a variety of customization options and accessories for those who are into that. It has a 15+1 capacity and a total barrel length of 4-inches. 

One unique feature about this handgun is that it comes with optional dual-sided thumb safeties so both righties and lefties will have an easy time disengaging the safety. There’s also a magazine disconnect safety that will prevent the handgun from firing once the magazine is removed. These are some of the reasons why we recommend this gun as a great choice for nervous homeowners who may have young and curious children. 

5. Sig Sauer P365

When this handgun premiered in 2018 it was considered one of the best concealed carry handguns out there. With its portable size, subcompact double stack, and new 15 round magazine, it does seem like that. It also comes with night sights and a pinky extension for those with larger hands. This makes it a great choice for portable home defense as well. The handgun is small enough to hide in the house while still making it accessible. It also has the necessary stopping power and limited recoil for nervous handlers. If you’re looking for a soft shooting gun that is accurate with an awesome trigger, this is a great choice and it comes at a price that won’t scare you away. 

6. Ruger SP101 

Small, durable, and beautiful is what we say about the SP101. This handgun is the perfect choice for both concealed carry and home defense. It comes in a wide variety of calibers including .357, .22LR, and .38 Special. It’s known for incredible reliability, great value, and consistent performance. 

The gun comes with a triple-lock cylinder that guarantees great reliability and it comes with an aesthetic stainless steel finish which looks great. The main thing we love about this gun and many Rugers, in general, is the sheer number of customization options from caliber, to size, to barrel length, to accessories. There are so many things you can do with this gun and it’ll quickly turn you from a gun hater into a gun lover. 

Final Thoughts 

Choosing the best handguns for home defense is one of those decisions many of us fail to do before it’s too late. Being prepared is key, whether that be honing our survival skills or stocking up on supplies for a “rainy day.” We must always be prepared. We believe that every home should have a firearm for protection. When push comes to shove, it’ll be the only thing standing between you and the evil that lurks in the night. Any of the recommendations above are great choices for personal home defense.

The Best .357 Magnum Ammo for Home Defense

The iconic .357 Magnum ammo stands out as a top home defense round. Choosing a gun and ammo for home defense is much different than choosing one for self-defense. Most experts say that using a shotgun for home defense is the way to go. Easy to shoot with less chance of liability or collateral damage. This is true. However, 00 buckshot isn’t always a deterrent to an intruder in your home. Additionally, not everyone can operate a shotgun as easily as a handgun. Lastly, homeowners can conceal a handgun easier than a long gun, making it easier to get to in the moment.

A .357 Magnum revolver makes an excellent choice for home defense. The.357 Magnum ammo provides reliable accuracy with adequate stopping power. Homeowners sleep better knowing the family is protected by one of the most classic types of ammunition on the market. Experts laud .357 Magnum ammo for its versatility. Shooters choose the round because it is inexpensive, readily available, and usable for plinking, hunting, range training, target shooting, and home defense. More powerful ammunition exists but the .357 is easy to control and easier to shoot.

Some object to using a .357 as a home defense weapon because of the excess weight. The argument proves valid if the gun is for concealed carry. However, a home defense weapon stays in the home, hopefully in a lockbox, until needed.

Handgun vs. Rifle

.357 Magnum ammo brings versatility to the table in that it can be used in a handgun or a carbine. The impressive round fires at about 1,400 FPS from a revolver and 1,800 FPS from a rifle. The developers created the round to be strong enough to confront criminals, including those wearing ballistics vests. While a neighborhood intruder is unlikely to wear a bulletproof vest, the stopping power is still important. Such power presents a possible downside in that it can go through drywall or a door, causing collateral damage.

Using a .357 Magnum Revolver

Pop culture makes carrying a large caliber gun fashionable. A Colt .45 will scare an intruder but do little else if the gun is too much to handle. a .357 Magnum revolver backs up the threat to protect the home and the people inside. Benefits to using a .357 Magnum revolver include:

Easy handling. Revolvers, especially those with longer barrels, are easy to aim and shoot. The heavy weight benefits the shooter with superior accuracy. They also allow the user to fire quickly.

Revolvers operate without fuss. Revolvers belong in the “what you see is what you get” category. The shooter forgoes adjusting bells and whistles. Point and shoot. Home defense situations call for fast action.

Revolvers remain popular which means they are affordable and easy to find.

Lastly, .357 revolvers fire .38 Special rounds. The rounds match in every way but their length. Shooting less powerful ammo helps novices handle the recoil. It also allows for a lighter trigger pull on guns with a short barrel length, like a snubnose.

Advantages of .357 Mag Ammo

Shooters credit .357 ammo with power and ease of use. Some advantages to the ammo include:

  • Various factory loads. Most manufacturers produce a wide variety of bullet weights and types for .357 Mag. From 110 grains to 180 grains.
  • Reload with ease. Handloaders save money and experiment with reloading .357 cartridges to create bigger and better rounds.
  • Easy to find. Most stores, outlets and online sites carry .357 ammo. This makes it simple to comparison shop and buy in bulk.

Specs

Smith & Wesson ordered changes to Elmer Keith’s original bullet design. The bullet was reshaped to Philip Sharpe’s specifications. Today, the .357 S&W Magnum rimmed centerfire cartridge with a .357 inch (9.1mm) diameter bullet. The case measures 1.29 inches in length. The total length of the round is 1.59 inches. SAAMI states the maximum pressure is 35,000 PSI; average muzzle velocity is 1,090 feet per second (FPS).

Bullet Types

An experienced shooter knows bullet types and their uses. Manufacturers create new bullet types to accommodate popular calibers like.357 Magnum. Common styles include Full Metal Jacket, Jacketed Soft Point, and Jacketed Hollow Point. The list below shows the three common types of bullets and their uses.

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

FMJ bullets cost less than hollow points or soft points. This makes them ideal for high volume shooting including range or target practice. The bullet houses a soft center metal like lead, surrounded by a harder metal, usually copper. FMJs work best for short-range shooting, plinking, target practice, range training, and competition shooting.

Hollow Points (HP)

Hollow points relate mostly to self-defense and home protection. HPs cost more than FMJs, however, the round performs better in face-to-face confrontations. The ballistics of HPs are comparable to the FMJ. The HP design allows the bullet to expand, creating a larger wound channel than the FMJ. The expansion stops attackers quickly and therefore, the shooter is protected.

Soft Points (SP)

Hunters choose soft points over most other ammunition. SPs expand more than an FMJ, which creates ideal stopping power. SPs compare to HPs, except for the expansion. An SP allows the shooter to have more control. SP ballistics outshine other bullets, especially when they are made with a boat-tail design. Jacketed Soft Points (JSP) are another option.

Bullet Weights

Bullet weights control the power of the projectile as it leaves the gun barrel. The number of grains determines the weight.

Heavyweight Bullet Characteristics

Heavy bullet weights lower the velocity of the ammo. A heavy bullet works well in short-range situations including home defense. It is less affected by weather or minor changes in wind. The downsides include heavier recoil and the likelihood of over penetration.

Lightweight Bullet Characteristics

Lightweight bullets travel fast. The lighter the bullet, the faster it travels. The lightweight means the bullet will retain a better trajectory, and therefore, accuracy at long distances. The bullet’s high velocity brings with it the chance for over penetration. An advantage is less recoil.

Best .357 Magnum Ammo for Home Defense

Experts showcase top choices for .357 for home defense. Each brings the power, accuracy and velocity needed in any home defense situation. The downsides for the .357 include a bright muzzle flash, stiff recoil, and loud report. These items distract newbies from maintaining accuracy on multiple shots. However, using a bullet with fewer grains will lessen these issues. Ammo types and weights should be based on the shooter’s knowledge and skill level. Practice is imperative.

Top choices for home defense ammo include:

Federal Ammunition 158 Grain JHP

  • 1,240 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 539 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Buffalo Bore Tactical Short Barrel 158 Grain JHP

  • 1,400 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 606 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Federal American Eagle Cartridge 158 Grain JSP

  • 1,240 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Jacketed Soft Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 530 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Fiocchi 142 Grain FMJ-TC

  • 1,420 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 636 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 135 Grain JHP

  • 990 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 135 Grain
  • Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 294 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Hornady Critical Defense 125 Grain FTX

  • 1,500 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 125 Grain
  • FlexTip Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 824 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

CCI Blazer 158 Grain JHP

  • 1,150 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Jacketed Soft Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 464 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Tula Ammo 158 Grain FMJ

  • 1,280 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Steel Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 464 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Barnes 140 Grain VOR-TX JHP

  • 1,265 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Jacketed Soft Point Bullet
  • Copper Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 498 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Federal Premium Power-Shok 158 Grain JHP

  • 1,240 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 539 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Ruger ARX 86 Grain

  • 1,650 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 86 Grain
  • Injection Molded Copper Polymer ARX Projectile
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 552 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Hornady American Gunner 125 Grain JHP XTP

  • 1,500 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 125 Grain
  • Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 624 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

PMC Bronze 158 Grain JSP

  • 1,471 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Jacketed Soft Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 759 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Sellier & Bellot 158 Grain FMJ-FN

  • 889 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 278 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Federal Premium Barnes Expander 140 Grain JHP

  • 1,400 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 140 Grain
  • Jacketed Soft Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 609 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Remington Ammunition: 110 Grain SJHP 

  • 1,295 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 110 Grain
  • Semi Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 410 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Conclusion

Experts never agree on the ultimate home defense ammunition. However, .357 Magnum ammo appears at the top of the list due to its stopping power, accuracy, availability, and reliability. The ammo carries the power necessary to dominate in any situation in a revolver or lever-action carbine. Where larger calibers bear the burden of possible over penetration, the .357 ammo is less likely to go through the target to cause collateral damage. The .357 Mag ammo gives the homeowner peace of mind, knowing that the protection is there if needed.

The Best .44 Magnum Ammo for Self-Defense

.44 Mag ammo

The .44 Magnum has been called “the most powerful gun on earth” and, at one time, that was true. While other guns have stolen the title from the iconic round, the .44 Mag remains a favorite with handgun hunters and those looking for a solid self-defense ammunition. It hits its target hard and fast, leaving a deep channel in its wake. The .44 Magnum intimidates novice shooters with good reason, its strong muzzle flash and heavy recoil are hard to handle without ample practice.

History

Elmer Keith designed the .44 Remington Magnum in 1955. Keith, an Idaho rancher, writer and firearms enthusiast, had made a name for himself when he created the .357 cartridge. Keith’s goal was to make an all-purpose round to be manufactured by the Remington Arms Co. Remington produced the cartridge but it was slated to be used in the Smith & Wesson Model 29. As such, S&W is usually credited with introducing.44 Mag ammo to the public. However, Ruger introduced its ammo first, attached to their new single-action .44 Magnum Blackhawk.

Unlike John Browning and other designers, Keith’s aim was to create a round that was practical for multiple uses. The premise paid off, making Keith’s ammunition popular with a wider audience.

Development

Keith spent years making custom loads for the .44 Special before he created the .44 Magnum. He based the new ammunition the .44 caliber bullet but used a high-pressure load to ensure that the new ammo could fire a heavy bullet. The bullet made the ammo faster and stronger than anything the public had seen.

Design

Keith had originally intended for the .44 to be used for self-defense, hunting, and target shooting. The round is strong and packs a hefty punch. The .44 is precise, giving the shooter as much as a 90% accuracy rate.  However, the high-pressure causes it to have a heavy recoil and muzzle flash, making it less than ideal for novice shooters. Those that find the .44 Mag a bit too intense may opt for the .44 Special, a slightly smaller cartridge with less recoil.

Specs

Remington created the .44 Mag as ammo for a revolver, however, it can also be used in other guns including lever action rifles, carbines, and semi-automatic pistols.

The .44 Magnum cartridge uses a bullet with 240 grain (gr), has a velocity of 1,350 feet per second (fps), and puts off a muzzle energy of 971 foots pounds (ft-lbs). The .429-inch lead bullet sits in a straight-walled case that measures 1.285 inches long. The total length of the ammo is 1.61 inches. It uses a large pistol primer. It can be loaded to a max pressure of 36,000 pounds per square inch (psi).

.44 Special

Some shooters revert to the .44 S&W Special, a smaller round with has less recoil. Experts say shooters should test both types of ammo to choose the one with the most comfort. The .44 Mag has high pressure, so it can only be used in guns chambered for the round.

Popularity

The .44 Magnum wasn’t selling well in the marketplace until 1971 when Clint Eastwood made his debut as “Dirty” Harry Callahan. Dirty Harry was the lead character in the movie, a hard-boiled San Francisco police detective who routinely faced off with criminals that plagued his city. Dirty Harry stands toe to toe with a wounded bank robber when he delivers his famous speech:

“I know what you’re thinking: ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do you, punk?”

After the movie hit the theaters, Eastwood’s devotion to his S&W Model 29 and .44 Mag skyrocketed sales and kept the Model 29 and its ammo at the top for decades. It’s hard to tell how many thousands have practiced that very line in front of the mirror.

The .44 Mag is no longer the most powerful handgun in the world, but its popularity will live on forever.

Self-Defense

Seasoned shooters often disagree regarding the .44 Magnum as a top choice forself-defense purposes. Experts claim that the .44 Mag is too powerful because of the round’s deep penetration. Inexperienced users can easily cause collateral damage through over penetration or run the risk of shooting innocent parties.

Shooters should know that .44 Magnums aren’t all the same. Some guns can be used for  home defense while other, less powerful weapons are better suited for sports and target shooting.

Best .44 Mag Self-Defense Ammo

Buffalo Bore: Anti-Personnel 180 Grain Lead Hollow Point

This round is touted as one of the best for self-defense. It is a no nonsense ammunition designed for self-defense and eliminating two-legged targets. It has a Muzzle Velocity of 1500 fps and a Muzzle Energy of 899 ft-lbs.

Buffalo Bore: Anti-Personnel 200 Grain .44 Spl Wadcutter

According to Buffalo Bore: “This load is designed to permanently and quickly disable human threats.” This powerful round offers a Muzzle Velocity of 1300 fps and a Muzzle Energy of 751 ft-lbs.

Federal Ammunition: 240 Grain Fusion

This medium-priced American-made Fusion bullet with brass casing delivers 887 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy.

Federal Ammunition: Hydra-Shok 240 grain Personal Defense

The new production Hydra-Shok 240 grain Personal Defense round is an excellent choice for concealed carry and law enforcement agencies. The center-post design delivers controlled expansion. The notched jacket gives maximum penetration. It offers a Muzzle Velocity of 1180 fps and Muzzle Energy of 742 ft-lbs.

Fiocchi Ammunition: 240 Grain JSP

Coming in at the same price as the Remington, this foreign made 240 grain self-defense round offers 1838 FPS velocity.

Hornady Ammunition: JHP XTP Load

Hornady XTP is highly recommended by seasoned shooters. The American-made self-defense cartridge makes the list for the best .44 self-defense ammo. It’s slightly more expensive than the Remington, but also more powerful. It boasts 1150 FPS Muzzle Velocity.

Remington Ammunition: 240 Grain HTP Rounds

Top of the list of the best .44 ammo for self-defense. Available in 240 grain SP and SJHP rounds, this American-made defense load is inexpensive, but powerful. It boasts 1180 FPS Muzzle Velocity and 742 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy.

Speer: Gold Dot Handgun Personal Protection 44 S&W Special

Speer Gold Dot has an excellent reputation for quality and accuracy. This 200 grain hollow point has plenty of what it takes for self-defense. It offers 875 fps of Muzzle Velocity.

Winchester Ammunition: Platinum Tip 250 Grain JHP

A bit more expensive than the other brands, Winchester offers this American-made self-defense cartridge with 1250 FPS Muzzle Velocity.

Conclusion

The .44 Magnum is a powerful gun that is not well suited to concealed carry. It is an excellent choice for self-defense although some claim that the .357 Magnum is easier to carry and aim. In the end, personal comfort and performance wins the day, leaving the choice to the shooter.

.40 Cal S&W Replaced the .38 Special

.40 Cal S&W comparison

Designers from Smith & Wesson and Winchester introduced the .40 Cal S&W cartridge in 1990. The ammunition was designed along with Smith & Wesson’s Model 4006 pistol, months after receiving a request from the FBI for a new type of ammunition.  However, one week before the ammo went to market, Glock introduced the Glock 22 and Glock 23, chambered in .40 cal.

Development of .40 Cal S&W

The Federal Bureau of Investigation requested that S&W create a new ammunition to replace their standard issue sidearms. The request came after a 1986 shootout in Miami. Two bank robbers confronted FBI agents and a shootout ensued. During the standoff, agents realized that they could not reload and fire fast enough to take down the criminals. The bank robbers killed two FBI agents and wounded five. Agents killed the bank robbers.

The FBI stated that the .38 Special revolvers were no longer sufficient for their agents. They requested to replace them with semi-automatic pistols. Agents asked Smith & Wesson to develop a new type of ammunition that could be retrofitted into 9mm semi-automatic handguns. S&W and Winchester developed the .40 Cal, based on 9mm and .45 ACP ammunition. The new medium-velocity round had the same accuracy as a 9mm while using the specs of a 10mm load. The FBI approved the ammo and hoped it would prevent another catastrophe like the one in Miami. Shortly after the FBI adopted the round, law enforcement agencies across the country switched to the new ammo. Although the FBI no longer uses the .40 Cal S&W, it endorses the Sig Sauer P226 and P228, both of which can be chambered in 9mm and .40 cal. The U.S. Coast Guard uses the .40 Cal S&W as a standard issue sidearm.

Specifications

The .40 Cal S&W is a medium velocity cartridge ideal for concealed carry and self-defense. It uses a 0.40-inch diameter lead bullet that can range from 105 to 200 grains. The casing measures .85 inches long, .424-inch at the base. The cartridge has an average pressure of 35,000 psi. The muzzle energy is higher than the standard pressure of a .45 ACP, with 350-500 foot-pounds of energy. Ballistics performance tests in the 1980s and 1990s prompted experts to refer to the .40 Cal as “the ideal cartridge for personal defense and law enforcement.”

Use for Self-Defense

Civilians choose the .40 Cal for the fact that it is easy to use. It has a light recoil, which makes it an accurate round. Self-defense and home defense situations require accuracy and adequate stopping power. Consumers can choose a variety of options for design and bullet weight. Shooters choose the .40 Cal S&W for the same features that were required by the FBI and law enforcement, including a high magazine capacity, light recoil and high muzzle energy. Although the .40 Cal S&W isn’t a highly sought after ammo, most firearms manufacturers offer compact and sub-compact models chambered for the round.

Law Enforcement and The .45 ACP Ammo

Finding the perfect ammunition

Military and law enforcement personnel have gone through a series of changes in standard issue weapons over the past couple decades. At one time the .38 Special reigned supreme. Today 9mm is carried by 67 percent of law enforcement agents, but that by no means is their only choice.

Since the early 1900s, the .38 Special was standard issue for most police departments across the U.S. The 10mm was slated to take over the top spot but didn’t last long. In the 1980s, the FBI commissioned the manufacture of the .40, which some law enforcement officers still use. It was replaced by the 9mm in the 1990s.

Most officers see the 9mm as a “reasonable round” for a duty pistol. While it may be considered standard issue, there are many agencies that allow their officers to choose their weapon, either as a standard issue or as a backup piece. The variety comes from a number of reasons. Some police forces have different requirements for their weapons. There are some departments that simply cannot afford the latest and greatest handguns. Lastly, some departments require their officers to purchase their own weapons. In the latter case, it is not uncommon to see a wide variety of calibers including9mm, .40, .45, .357 SIG, and 10mm.

Currently, the most popular guns used by police departments are Glock, followed by SIG Sauer. Yet, there are still departments that swear by their .45 ACP.

History of the .45 ACP

The .45 ACP is the most “American” of all pistols on the market. Introduced in 1905 by Colt and designed by weapons legend John M. Browning, the .45 ACP was an instant hit with the U.S. military. After a series of field tests, the ammunition was adopted as the standard issue for Colt’s M1911. The ammo’s stopping power also made it a favorite of the U.S. Cavalry, and the U.S. Army followed suit. .45 ACP handguns were the official sidearms of the U.S. military throughout World War I and World War II, and up until they were replaced by the 9mm in 1985.

The .45 ACP was well matched to the 1911 handgun. In 1918, it was adapted to be used in John T. Thompson’s .45 machine gun. The “Tommy Gun” was invented to be used as a trench gun during WWI and perfected during WWII.

The .45 ACP has a long and storied history. It has been used in many conflicts including Anzio, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Korea, and the Tet Offensive. It was a favorite round at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, and commonly used by Bonnie & Clyde and John Dillinger.

ACP for Self-Defense

Most people think of civilians when they think of “self-defense.” However, law enforcement officers have the ultimate job when it comes to defending themselves as well as others. When it comes to self-defense, how does one choose the perfect .45 ACP ammo? The uppermost factor is stopping power. Officers must be sure that their rounds are going to stop targets in their tracks. Other factors include accuracy and reliability.

The Best .45 ACP for Law Enforcement

These are the top choices for .45 ACP ammo for law enforcement as well as for personal protection. Each round on this list has been tested using stringent ballistics testing techniques.

Winchester 230-Grain Ranger T-Series

The Winchester T-Series features a hollow-point bullet in a reverse tapered jacket that has six “talons” designed to expand upon impact. It is designed to expand even after penetrating though tough barriers or heavy clothing. The round is also available in a +P load. The T-series is a top choice for American law enforcement officers.

Federal 230-Grain HST

The Federal HST is an extremely popular round for law enforcement and self-defense. It is one step up from Federal’s Hydra-Shok bullet which dominated the market for many years. The HST is used in many different calibers from the .380 Auto to the .45 ACP. Despite the fact that it is not a bonded bullet, it is currently one of the most popular rounds used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S.

Another Federal round worth mentioning is the Guard Dog line. While not as powerful as the HST, it is a solid choice for self-defense.

Remington 185-Grain Golden Saber +P

Remington Golden Saber +P uses a lighter bullet with 185 -grains. The light weight means that it has the highest muzzle velocity of the cartridges on the list. The Jacketed Hollow Point ammo hits the target hard. It offers deep penetration and reliable expansion without the danger of over-penetration. It’s a solid choice.

Magtech 230-Grain Bonded

Magtech First Defense Bonded ammunition uses a JHP bullet with a lead core bonded to the jacket. The bond means the bullet is less likely to separate from the jacket when striking a solid object. It is also likely to experience deeper penetration and expansion after impact.

Speer 185-Grain Gold Dot

The Speer Gold Dot line was specifically designed in the 1990s for law enforcement. Gold Dot bullets are bonded, which greatly reduces core-jacket separation. They also have an outstanding reputation for deep penetration, high weight retention, and reliable expansion. Speer Gold Dot is at the top of the list for many law enforcement agencies.

Speer 230-Grain Gold Dot Short Barrel

Similar to the 185-grain Gold Dot, Speer’s 230-grain Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel load uses a heaver-weight bullet. This design gives premium performance when used with shorter-barreled handguns. It is a top choice for concealed carry.

Federal Law Enforcement 45 ACP AUTO Ammo 230 Grain +P HST JHP

Federal is known for manufacturing quality ammunition with cutting edge technology. Federal’s LE line was designed specifically for law enforcement. The tip is designed not to plug upon impact with tough barriers or layers of heavy clothing. It offers deep penetration and terminal performance.

Hornady 200gr XTP

Hornady is known for its Critical Defense, often touted as an excellent self-defense round. That is true, however, the 200-grain XTP bullet is one step above due to its superior accuracy, reliable penetration, and expansion. The XTP features serrations in the bullet and a strategically weakened jacket that assists with expansion.

Conclusion

For more info about the .45 ACP and its other uses, check out The Best .45 ACP Ammo For Self-Defense, Target Shooting, and More.

Concealed Carry Weapons: Protecting Yourself in Public

Protecting Yourself

There is a lot of information out there about protecting yourself at home, but little about self-defense in unfamiliar places. It can be tricky if you don’t know the lay of the land, especially in a foreign country.  Whether you are out and about alone or with friends or family, it always pays to take certain precautions:

  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Keep valuables out of reach of passersby.
  • Don’t go into strange areas alone at night.
  • Carry car keys in your hand when walking to your car.
  • Remain a minimum of a foot away from your car if you are unlocking it manually. (Some thieves will wait underneath a person’s car and grab their legs to pull them to the ground.)
  • Never flash money. Keep small bills on the outside if bills are folded over to dissuade thieves from thinking you have a lot of cash.
  • For women, always hold your purse by the body and not just the strap – thieves will cut the strap and make off the with the goods. Chances of catching them are almost nil.
  • Carry defense spray on your key chain for emergencies.
  • If you are in a foreign country, program emergency numbers into your phone to save precious moments in a time of crisis.
  • Carry a concealed weapon when possible.

Awareness and Avoidance

It’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings. This is especially true if you are in an unfamiliar situation – a strange city, foreign country, etc. Danger doesn’t always come from the creepy guy on the corner, or someone who happens to be walking down the same street. It can be the person sitting next to you at dinner who steals your credit card or someone casually walking through a parking lot at a shopping mall. Pay attention to your personal space. If someone is invading it when it isn’t necessary, move away. Part of self-defense is avoiding dangerous situations. Avoid talking on the phone while walking through potentially unsafe areas as it will distract you from your surroundings.

Self-preservation

There are times when confrontation cannot be avoided. Know how to protect yourself. Taking a self-defense class is paramount. If traveling with your family, teach children what to do in case of emergency. You can practice together to take away the fear factor.

If you are unarmed and confronted by someone with a gun who demands your money or jewelry, give it to them. Those items can be replaced; your life isn’t worth the risk. Make a mental note of the mugger so you can recall those details when reporting to the police.

If you are on equal ground and neither of you is carrying a weapon, fight dirty. Remember the following acronym: SING. Hit the person in the Solar plexus, stomp on his Instep, smash in his Nose, and lastly, hit him in the Groin. Nose, eyes and throat should be the first choice – if the mugger can’t see or breathe, he’s going to stop the attack. The groin, while common, may not be as effective if the person has been using substances. He simply won’t have the same pain reaction as someone who is sober.

Where appropriate and legal, carrying a concealed weapon may be your best line of defense. You also want to know how to handle a gun properly, so taking safety classes is a must. Also, be aware that the best weapon for a woman may not be the same as for a man. Do your research and find out which is the best gun for you. As always, drawing a weapon should be the last resort and, if you pull it, be prepared to use it.