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Ammunition: You Get What You Pay For

Ammunition is a very tricky thing when it comes to the shooting industry. There are so many questions you have to ask yourself when it comes to ammunition and this only becomes compounded if you are an inexperienced shooter. Does it matter if the grades of ammunition are different depending on what they are being used for? Is cheap ammunition less effective than more expensive ammunition? These are just a couple of the questions that go through a shooter’s mind when they are trying to select the best ammunition for their needs. Questions regarding ammunition are continually being debated even amongst the most experienced shooters, and this most likely will not end anytime soon as technology continues to progress. Today I am going to weigh in on the “ammunition debate”.

What are you using it for?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is what you are using the ammunition for. Are you using it purely as recreation, are you shooting competition, are you using it for personal protection, or even hunting?

For a lot of us who shoot, we may need it for a combination of reasons. If that is the case, you really need to make sure you use the appropriate ammunition for each activity. For example, I participate in competition pistol shooting. The only economical way I can continue engaging in such an activity is by shooting reloaded ammunition. On my major competition months, I will easily shoot 1000 rounds of ammunition. As you can see, engaging in that volume of shooting several times a year becomes quite the expensive hobby. By reloading I can save anywhere from 33% to 50% off buying factory-made ammo and it serves my needs just fine.

However, I also rely on my firearms for personal protection. There is no way in God’s green earth that I would ever use reloaded ammunition for this. There are two main reasons why I personally will not do this:

  • Dependability. When I am relying on something to save the life of my family as well as myself I am not going to go for the cheapest option – I am going to go for the best option. Yes, I reload my own ammunition, but even though I am doing it myself and know that I am doing it correctly, there are still too many variables. This is not worth saving a few dollars on a box of ammo.
  • Legalities. If there was to be an altercation and you had to use your firearm, the legal ramifications are even more technical than when you use factory ammunition. Again, it is not worth risking that just to save a few dollars on some ammunition.

If you just like to shoot for recreation, you probably don’t need to purchase the premium brand of ammo. Keep in mind that some of the cheaper brands will leave your firearm dirtier, requiring you to clean it more often. However, if you don’t mind cleaning your firearms a little more often than normal, then using cheaper ammo is not a big deal.

The Different Types of Ammunition

There are big differences in ammunition when you consider the lead type, hollow points, full metal jackets, ballistic tip, hunting tip and again your remanufactured ammunition. There is a price tag for each bullet and a specific job that it is supposed to do. So again, make sure you have pinpointed exactly why you need the ammo and then buy accordingly.

Ammunition for Self-Defense Purposes

Now, if you are questioning ammunition for a defensive handgun then you want something that is going to stop an attacker from harming you or your family. This means that you need a bullet that offers penetration. This is why you need a bullet that has about a foot of penetration potential when you are considering ammunition for self-defense purposes. Don’t use anything more than this because then you stand the chance of hurting someone else besides the attacker.

Basically, ammunition is a very personal thing especially if you are relying on this ammunition to save your life. Just like the caliber of firearm you choose to own, there are many different factors that go into it. What may be good for one guy may not be best for the next.

The reality is that not all ammunition is created equal and you will get what you pay for. But if you only need reloaded ammunition then why pay for factory ammunition? However, if you are depending on that ammunition to potentially save your life – well then that is just priceless.

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