When it comes to self defense, you spent a lot of time deciding what gun to choose. Whether you opted for a snubnose revolver or 1911 pistol, a 9mm or .45, you researched which would be best for you and your needs and, ideally, even tried a few out before deciding. But did you do the same with your self defense ammo? Or did you just pull some off the shelf and fill your clip? Worse yet, are you walking around with range shells?
What You Need in Self Defense Ammo
When you have a self defense weapon, you have it to protect yourself. And to protect yourself, you need to be able to stop a threat, as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
Frankly, some bullets can’t make those kinds of promises.
That’s why you need good self defense ammunition, it has what range ammo doesn’t. Stopping power.
Full Metal Jacket vs. Hollow Points
When you’re looking at handgun bullets, you have two options: full metal jacket (FMJ) or hollow point.
The lead bullet in a FMJ is totally encased in a hard metal, forcing it to keep its form as it propels towards its target. Upon impact, a FMJ bullet mostly holds its shape and penetrates deeply.
The lead bullet in a hollow point is only partially covered in metal. When shot, these bullets hold their shape while travelling. Once they impact their target, the lead expands, causing the bullet to both slow down and grow in diameter. This leads to a larger impact area and less penetration.
Which is exactly what you want in a self defense situation. The hollow point solves two problems. First, it increases your bullet’s stopping power, making a 9mm and even a .380, powerful enough for self defense.
Second, self defense ammunition expands on impact, significantly slowing its penetration. In a confined or public setting, where self defense situations are likely to occur, this is a big deal. FMJ bullets like to travel, strong and fast, and sometimes pass through their target, potentially putting others in harm’s way. With hollow point bullets, over penetration isn’t an issue.
If have a self defense weapon, carry self defense ammo. You’re not protecting yourself if you don’t.