I know that many of you rush to the nearest store when it has a sale on ammo. In fact, I have done it myself. There’s not ever been a time when I’ve heard anyone say, “I have too many bullets.” I’m sure some of the vets out there who’ve been in firefights have actually wished they could say that. But in a concealed carry, its important what you put in your magazine.
When it comes to defense, I want a projectile that is going to expand—to create as big a hole as possible, increasing the chances of stopping a threat. For this I’m willing to shell out a little more money, and I won’t have to buy more than a box to fill my magazines.
Surplus ammo—specifically full metal jacket—at a decent price is great for the range, however.
Which comes to my first point:
FMJ is Best Left for the Range
Bulk ammunition is prime for range time. But I’m talking about full metal jacketed ammo. It makes nice, clean holes in paper; eradicates balloons; all without breaking the bank. But the same can be said about tissue.
The thing about using full metal jacket in your concealed carry pistol is that it’s going to penetrate and pass through the body. If no vital points are hit (i.e. the heart), an assailant could still proceed in his assault for a few minutes. That’s no good.
Instead of FMJ, I primarily use a critical defense hollow points, or center point expanding cartridges for concealed carry. Defense ammo usually comes with a few extra grains (for you beginners, that means the cartridge has a little more powder which gives the load a little extra velocity). Upon contact the projectile mushrooms and penetrates deeply, making a larger wound; as it passes through tissue, it slows down.
I want every shot to count if I must resort to using my pistol. The larger the wound, the faster a predator is disabled.
My only suggestion is to do a bit of trial on defense rounds to discover for yourself what different defense ammunition does versus others. There is are different ways to do this, either by breaking out the ham steak, a watermelon, ballistic jell—whatever. But you’re going to want to use something that’s going to allow you to see how the projectile passes through something similar to tissue.
After you’ve carried your defense ammo for a while, there will be a time for you to change it out. I wrote another post about how often you should change your concealed carry ammo; it goes into depth that your ammo has been through whatever your pistol has—and will therefor need to be changed out. The cartridges are not “bad,” but you should change them and use the previously carried bullets at the range.
What defense ammo do you use in your concealed carry pistol?
Hannah Staton holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith where she also is a Writing Tutor. She was issued her Concealed Carry License in 2016, but has grown up around firearms her whole life. She is a Contributing Editor and Copy Writer for Clinger Holsters. She is an artist, cigar enthusiast, poet, and an avid shooter. She resides in Van Buren, Arkansas with her dog, Sunday and spends as much of her free time either with her family or making art. You can find her on Instagram @hr.staton or reach her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org