Previously, I wrote about my basic layout for home defense, and why I like to have my weapons laid out in such a specific way. In this article, I’ll go over my thought process for choosing ammunition, and what types of ammo I have throughout my house.
Generally speaking, I select the type of ammunition that will inflict the most damage if I ever have to use it.
As I’ve said before, in my opinion, home defense starts and ends with a shotgun. It is absolutely the best weapon that I own for self-defense. My 12-gauge shotgun is a permanent fixture above my nightstand, and it’s always loaded with Winchester PDX1 shells.
There are plenty of different home-defense shotguns, both slugs and buckshot. Choosing the best load for your shotgun should be based on your use. If your shotgun is primarily meant for close-range engagements, buckshot would be your best bet. If you might use it at further distances, a slug would perform admirably.
My personal favorite round is Winchester PDX1. This specific round has three buck pellets surrounding a slug. The result is an extremely deadly round. However, there are plenty of different shotgun rounds that could meet your needs.
Regardless of caliber, hollow-point ammunition is going to be your best bet for defense purposes. Jacketed hollow-point ammunition expands on impact, as opposed to traditional target ammo, which does not. For defense use, this means that once the bullet hits your target, it will expand and impact more tissue. As a result, the round is much deadlier. While it is more expensive, hollow point ammunition is worth it for defense purposes.
There are a few different types of rounds used in 5.56 ammo that are used in AR-15s. There is the standard full-metal-jacket ball ammo, hollow-point ammo, and also barrier blind ammunition. Barrier blind is a relatively new type of ammunition, and represents the most modern ammunition technology. Based on initial testing, barrier-blind ammunition performs very well.
However, high-grain ball ammo and hollow-point ammo also perform well in AR platform firearms. In other rifles, most quality hunting ammunition will perform well for home defense use.
Overall, the number of different types of ammunition available can be overwhelming. As a general rule of thumb, more propellant means a faster bullet, which means a deadlier round. However, there are a few other things to keep in mind. Modern improvements in ammunition, such as jacketed hollow point and barrier-blind ammunition, perform extremely well. They do an excellent job expanding when they hit their target. This expansion creates a much deadlier round then the traditional full-metal-jacket range ammo. When it comes to shotguns, buckshot is probably your best bet, but once again, there is modern ammunition that has both a rifled slug and buckshot built into it.
What do you prefer for home defense ammo? Share your thoughts in the section below: