Choosing Specialty Ammunition For Your Personal Defense Firearm

Posted on: 20 October 2022

Carrying a firearm for self-defense means being responsible for anything that happens when your use the weapon to protect yourself or someone else. The right 9mm ammo for your handgun is vital, and not every ammunition available will work for your situation. 

Self Defense Ammunition

Most 9mm ammunition manufacturers produce standard full metal jackets or ball ammo that you can use in your gun, and most firearms will feed the ammo through the magazine and receiver. However, there are some limitations that may not make FMJ (full metal jacket) ammo a good option for self-defense. 

FMJ ammunition is a standard casing with a lead bullet coated in a copper jacket or layer to allow it to move through the firearm smoothly and inflict less damage to the target. The origin of FMJ 9mm ammo came from designs used on the battlefield by NATO (North Atlantic treaty Organization) to limit casualties.

On the surface, this sounds like it would be a good round to carry. However, the jacket on the bullet causes the lead to stay together and the round to pass through targets. The bullet can bounce around and may have a trajectory that could allow it to hit an innocent bystander after passing through the intended target. It also limits the stopping power or energy transfer to the target, and if you must fire at an assailant, it is essential that the bullet knocks them off balance to stop their advance. 

9mm ammo for self-defense is often a semi-jacketed hollow-point round because it offers more stopping power but often does more damage to the target. Within the self-defense ammo category, there are many different types of bullets that are effective, so finding the right one for your situation is often a matter of trial and error. 

Matching Ammo To Your Gun

9mm ammunition used for self-defense is often different from one manufacturer to the next. The type of bullet used may involve a smooth edge along the front that feeds well and performs effectively, or it may have a design with teeth or a ragged edge that will better damage the target on impact. 

The more aggressive designs do not always work in every 9mm firearm, so it is a good idea to buy a couple of boxes of 9mm ammo and take it to the range to try it in your gun. Finding out the ammo does not move through the receiver well needs to happen in a controlled environment, not when you are on the street in a situation where you are defending yourself or others. 

This process of testing 9mm ammunition will help you decide the best design or brand for your firearm and allows you to choose one to carry for the best performance and most effective level of protection. For more information on 9mm ammunition, contact a professional near you.