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The Very Best Ammo For Home Defense

The Very Best Ammo For Home Defense

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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.

You Don’t Need A Firearms License For This Weapon!

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:

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  1. Your opinion on the best ammo for a Springfield M1A/,308; long range and medium range if you please.

    • the best ammo for the M1A that I have found is a good quality 165 grain soft point in Winchester, Remington, or Federal. This round expands on impact and creates a devastating wound channel. Use caution using this caliber weapon for defense. It will go through walls and most targets. You need to know what is down range from your target. This ammo is good for animals up to and including elk if the range is not too great. I use 200 yds as a rule of thumb. If used for defense it is good to 800 yds on men if you can shoot well enough. This weight bullet is also very accurate in a .308.

  2. In the house, I prefer .40 S&W Hollow Point. For outside, I load my 12GA with .00 Buck and Rifled Slug alternately with 5 shells available (I’m not hunting, so dowel comes out). In the house, I would drop to the opposite knee from the intruder to shoot upwards and not penetrate to hit one of the family. Outside, I could care less. Their ass would be grass! ! !

  3. inside the house and with the distances involved a 12ga load of 7 1/2s work just fine. And will not have the over penetration problem of buckshot or slugs with any missed rounds. Inside walls will stop most of the shot unless you almost in contact with the wall.

  4. TheSouthernNationalist

    My set up is 12 gauge Mossburg pump loaded with #4 bird shot so it doesnt over penetrate, side arm is Springfield .45 semi auto, and if I need to reach out further, a Ruger mini-14 loaded with .223

  5. Regarding ammo for an M1A, Using soft or HP ammo, buy what is closest to M80 ball nose configuration.
    The rifle like the M1 Garand was designed to use spire pointed bullets.
    Exposed lead can be chiseled off or worse jam itself while attempting to enter the chamber.
    If chiseling does occur, accuracy will be degraded at longer ranges.
    Myself, with 7.62 NATO or Cal. 30 M2 even 7.62X39 I only use ball ammo, at self defense ranges it is deadly enough without nose enhancement.
    Besides, I know it will feed and work.
    I live in a rural area, and I don’t worry about over penetration, just under penetration.
    Now on shotgun, 12 Ga. OO buck is the best for close in and dirty, you don’t need 3 inch magnum either.
    There is plenty of military surplus ammo on the market, relatively cheap means you can store plenty for any future situation.
    For handgun, HP is the best bet, just make sure your gun will feed it properly.
    For a revolver, no problem with any configuration.

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