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Home Defense Ammunition for Handguns

Having decided to get a firearm for purposes of defense of the home you might be wondering about the best home defense ammunition.  Go intowhich type of handgun is right for me a gun shop, or even to your local Wal-Mart, and your eyes may bug at the sheer volume of ammunition that they sell for a given caliber of fire arm.

Today we are going to help you choose what kind of ammo to use with your handgun. We are not going to be going into detail about, or even mentioning, the various brands on the market, instead we will be talking about the characteristics of the ammunition you should use in home defense, and why.

Hollow Point

When purchasing handgun ammunition for purposes of home defense, hollow point is the way to go. There are several reasons for this, but first let’s look at some of the reasons for not going with some of the other common types of ammunition out there.  A look at the various types of handgun ammunition out there, we see that they fall into one of a few different types: there are those designed for target practice, those designed for penetration, and those designed for stopping power.


Target practice ammunition, sometimes called wadcutter bullets, are not suitable for home defense because they are designed specifically for shooting targets, not intruders. Wadcutters tend to have a lighter powder load, leading to a lower velocity projectile, that while capable of potting nice round holes in a paper target is not so good at penetrating a body deeply, nor doing that much damage when it does.

Full Metal Jacket

There are those rounds designed mainly for penetration, and these include solid lead billets that are either fully or partially jacketed in a harder metal, commonly copper, with a heavier load of powder. Most shots from one of these rounds will probably be a through and through, especially at the ranges in most home defense situations, and the jacketing will mean that the bullet doesn’t deform as much as it passes through your opponents body. This leads to two main problems, first that the shots do less damage as the bullet passes through a relatively small area and doesn’t have a chance to do as much damage, and second a round that does straight through your opponent can hit somebody else, possibly one of the people you are trying to protect.

That leaves us with bullets designed for stopping power and that is where hollow points come in. Hollow point bullets, and those like them, are designed to expand upon impact. They are given a lot of powder, but the wounds they create are much larger and more damaging than those created by jacketed ammunition. And over penetration is less likely as the flattened and deformed bullet is slowed and often stopped by the body of the person it is passing through. Heavy damage plus lack of over penetration is a big win when looking for ammunition for you handgun in a home defense situation.

Let us know in the comments what you recommend for home defense ammunition.

If you are interested in reloading and achieving ammo independence, click here.

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