Ammo choice, are you a liability?

When it comes down to legally carrying a handgun in the defense of yourself, loved ones, partner, or teammate doesn’t just any old type of ammo work? With time comes knowledge, and what’s been found is that this is absolutely not true. For training and practice full metal jacket (FMJ), or more commonly known as “ball ammo,” is what is usually used due to its inexpensive cost and reliability depending on the brand. You can either buy these brand new, remanufactured, or many hand load their own.

On the other side of the scope you have what’s known as hollow point (HP), or sometimes referred to as a “defense load.” Every company has their own “whizz-bang” ability to market their type of HP rounds, but in the end they all virtually do the same thing. Unlike ball ammo which have a typical looking round nose bullet, a HP cartridge has a concave and hollow bullet tip. The reason is that in theory, when the round impacts human tissue it forces the hollowed out tip outward and it “blossoms” on contact. The expansion of the HP bullet causes maximal amount of damage due to it the sharp edges and its ability to potentially stay inside the adversary. Now I say “potentially” because nothing is guaranteed which is why regardless of what you carry, consistently holding yourself to a high level of performance and accuracy in your training can allow you to have a high probability of winning your fight.

Choosing quality HP cartridges aren’t cheap which is why many don’t see the point in carrying them. Choosing accuracy as your reasoning is all well and good, but can you guarantee the ballistics of your round once it enters clothing, tissue, or bone? What many fail to understand is the potential of what’s known as over-penetration. This is when the bullet enters the target and comes out the other side. Now obviously this can still cause significant damage but think of how much more damage would be caused if the round stayed inside and serrated certain areas. It’s similar to how it’s technically better to be cut with a clean, newly sharpened, straight edge blade compared to a dirty, dull, or serrated edge. Also, if the FMJ round does in fact penetrate where do you think you’ll be when your fight occurs. A parking lot, around other houses, in a heavily populated area? It’s not going to happen when you want and it sure as hell isn’t going to happen where you want it. If that round does in fact come out the other end, you have the high probability of collateral damage. The round discharging into a vehicle, house, or crowd of people. Wouldn’t you want a contingency plan in place if round placement evaded you?

When it’s all said and done it may be your right to own firearms, but it’s also your responsibility to not only train with your firearm but also carry modern ammunition. When it comes down to what to choose, there’s plenty of information out there as to what the FBI uses through effective prior testing. It should be a good list as to what you base your choices off of. Remember shot placement and accuracy should be held to the utmost importance but carrying rounds that could end the fight in a more timely fashion, could very well guarantee your survival.
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