How to Ensure You're Getting the Right Ammo for Your Firearm

Posted on: 23 February 2021

When you walk into just about any gun store, you will likely see a wall filled with shelf after shelf of ammunition. With so many different options to choose from, it can be difficult to know what type of ammunition is best for your new firearm. In most cases, you will find that you require a few different types of ammunition since each bullet is designed to do a slightly different job. 

Calibers and Casings

The first thing you will need to determine when purchasing ammunition is what caliber bullet you need. While most guns are only designed to discharge one caliber of bullet, certain models can safely discharge multiple calibers. For instance, many automatic rifles are capable of firing both a 5.56 or a .223 caliber bullet. To ensure you are choosing the right caliber for your weapon, it is always best to consult your owner's manual. If you purchased a used firearm that did not include the original manual, you can easily find this publication online through the gun manufacturer.

When consulting your owner's manual, you will also want to refer to information regarding the bullet casing. This is the type of metal used to house the projectile or core of the bullet. Since not all weapons will perform well when using specific types of casings, you will want to choose ammunition that meets the requirements set forth by the manufacturer. A failure to do so could result in your firearm jamming. 


Another factor that you will need to consider is how likely a specific bullet is to penetrate its target. When target shooting, whether or not a bullet goes all the way through its intended target is usually inconsequential. This is because practice ranges are equipped with backstops that are designed to catch any projectiles that fully penetrate the targets. This allows you to purchase cheaper ammunition, such as a full metal jacket or FMJ bullet that is heavier and tends to penetrate further.

When choosing ammunition for home or personal defense, you don't want something that'll fully penetrate its target. This could result in the projectile passing through its target and striking someone else. For use in personal defense situations, bullets such as hollow points that are designed to mushroom on impact are a much better option since these projectiles slow considerably once a target is hit ultimately making full penetration far less likely. You can learn more by contacting local gun shops.