Beginner’s Guide to Concealed Carry Defensive Ammo

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Beginner’s Guide to Concealed Carry Defensive Ammo


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If a moment comes when you must use lethal force, you want to make sure every part of your concealed carry setup is dependable. The entire system is compromised if one part doesn’t work, leaving you vulnerable.

Having dependable defensive carry ammo is essential to defend yourself at that moment. A firearm is only as good as the rounds it contains, and there’s a wide selection.

But how can you know which type of defensive carry ammunition is best for your concealed carry setup? Continue reading to learn some of the common types of handgun bullets you can use in your handgun of choice.

4 Types of Concealed Carry Ammo and Common Handgun Cartridges

Before you dive into different brands, velocities, metal compositions and other minutiae, let’s take a look at four types of commonly used handgun ammo:

1. Round nose Lead

These bullets are known for high penetration with little expansion upon impact. They’re generally cheaper than other ammo types and have an extensive history. While you can use this type of ammo for self-defense, it’s best utilized in target practice.

2. Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

Like the aforementioned round nose lead bullets, FMJ rounds possess high target penetration ability and low expansion. This ammunition can be used for self-defense but is also best for the range due to its low expansion. One advantage it has over its lead counterpart is the amount of degradation to the barrel between shots is lessened due to its metal coating.

3. Wadcutter and Semi-Wadcutter

A wadcutter is a round designed specifically for target shooting, as the bullets punch clean holes through paper targets. Wadcutters have a flat end and are used for revolvers only. Semi-wadcutters have a flat head, but taper for semi-automatic handgun feeds.

4. Hollow point

Hollow point bullets are the gold standard for personal defense ammunition due to their low penetration and high-expansion design. They’re made to hit the target and nothing else.

The 4 Qualities of Ammunition Performance

Now that you know a little bit more about some common handgun cartridge types, here are four qualities you will want to use to decide if defensive carry ammo is right for you:

1. Bullet Expansion Rate:

Expansion is how wide the bullet becomes upon hitting the target. More expansion creates more damage to the target. The more a round expands, the more stopping power it has.

This is why hollow points are considered the gold standard for defensive ammo, as they have the highest expansion rate of any bullet.

    2. Bullet Penetration Depth:

    While it’s easy to think that the fastest bullet is the most effective, you also need to consider how your shots will affect the surrounding area.

    If you’re forced to use lethal force in a public space, a bullet with a high penetration depth could harm an innocent bystander. A high penetration depth can also be less effective in stopping a target, as it may create a cleaner pass-through.

      3. Amount of Recoil:

      While multiple factors lead to a firearm’s recoil after a bullet is fired, the ammunition caliber and type can lead to more or less power. Many times, it takes several shots to subdue a target, so you have to be able to maintain stability while firing. 

        4. Ammo Reliability

        The ammunition you carry must be dependable to be effective in self-defense. While this may seem obvious, cheaper, less reliable rounds can be enticing due to the lower hit on your wallet.

        However, you know you only have precious seconds to defend yourself in a life-or-death situation, and a squib load could render your firearm useless.

          Final Tips for Using Defensive Carry Ammo

          While picking an excellent round for your everyday carry is essential, here are two crucial factors to keep in mind when thinking about the perfect concealed carry setup:

          Ensure accurate shot placement.

          More important than any bullet you pick for self-defense is your ability to precisely hit your target. No matter what kind of ammunition you choose, you have to be able to hit your target. Regular practice at the range is a great way to make sure you connect when you pull the trigger. 

          Make sure to keep fresh ammo

          The best concealed carry ammunition is the kind you never have to use. This being said, it’s always a good idea to fire through your everyday carry ammo at the range every few months. 

          This way, you can practice firing with your round of choice and reload with fresh ammunition. Unlike ammo stored in a controlled climate environment, your concealed carry ammo will be exposed to a wide variety of temperatures and climates. The variation in environments can lessen the reliability of your ammunition over time. 

          Take Your Home Firearm Concealment to the Next Level

          When it comes to having the perfect concealment setup, you need to have an excellent place to store your firearm and ammunition in your home. Much like the ammo you use, you should depend on high-quality options. Keeping your gun hidden and inaccessible from unauthorized users is essential to a safer home defense system. 

          At Liberty Home Concealment, we offer a variety of options to help you maximize your home concealment plan. From tabletop options to wall art, we have offerings that can accommodate home and personal defense firearms of almost any size. 

          Check out our product page today to see our most popular sellers, or visit our contact page to get in touch with our team. 

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