The Best .45 ACP Ammo for Range Training

The .45 ACP is perhaps the most iconic of all pistols on the market today. It was designed by firearms legend John M. Browning for Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company in 1905. The round was tested over a period of six years alongside the Colt M1911 pistol. Both excelled during strict military testing and were quickly adopted by the U.S. military as a standard issue equipment, replacing the .38 Long Colt. The M1911 is the longest-standing military and  law enforcement handgun in the world.

The .45 ACP was immediately lauded as the best ammo on the market and was also chosen by the U.S. Cavalry and the U.S. Army. The military used .45 ACP handguns as official sidearms throughout WWI and WWII. They were issued until they were replaced by 9mm semi-autos in 1985.

The .45 ACP has had a regular presence in the history books. It was used in many military conflicts including Iwo Jima, Normandy, Korea, and the Tet Offensive. It was used extensively at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and was a favorite of outlaws Bonnie & Clyde and John Dillinger.

The .45 ACP on the Shooting Range

The .45 ACP is a favorite for range training with amateurs as well as competition shooters. Known for its high accuracy and deep penetration, the .45 ACP is known as a high performance round. It is also preferred by those that like to reload their ammunition or create wildcat rounds, loading their own ammo instead of relying on factory rounds.

Choosing Ammunition

Range training generally has its own set of rules, just like competitions. While governing bodies of most shooting competitions will not recommend specific types or brands of ammunition, they do have guidelines. When choosing ammo for the range, it is best to seek the advice of someone who is accustomed to shooting your specific ammo. Have fun  target shooting with different guns as well as a variety of ammo.

Reliability

Shooters require reliable rounds, so choosing the right ammo for your gun is crucial. Try shooting various bullet weights and brands.

Consistency

Consistency is another important aspect of choosing the correct ammo. Range training is the perfect place to test different types of .45 ACP ammo to gauge what will work best for you and your gun.

Cost

Shooters who spend a significant amount of time on the range can go through hundreds of rounds in a short period of time. Buying ammo online is an easy way to save money. Also consider trying different brands or sampling bulk or surplus ammo. Serious shooters may want to consider reloading rounds.

Testing .45 ACP Ammo

The only way to test ammo is to shoot a couple hundred rounds. There are specific protocols used to test ammunition, even if you don’t feel the need to learn about each type’s ballistics. The data collected during this type of test will help you down the road with making the right choice for ammo, whether you’re a competition shooter, law enforcement, or target shooting on the weekend.

The following is common criteria for collecting ballistics data:

  • Shoot from 10 feet away, which is the average distance in defense situations.
  • Using 4 layers of heavy fabric in front of ballistics gel to simulate real life situations.
  • Ideal penetration is 12-18 inches, enough to do damage without the risk of over-penetration.
  • Make 5 shots with each brand of ammunition to establish an average.

Consider using a compact pistol with a smaller barrel, if you plan to carry concealed. However, a longer barrel will provide greater numbers for muzzle velocity. This information will help you to understand things like penetration and muzzle velocity, as well as how to compare different bullet weights and calibers.

The Best .45 ACP for Range Training

Federal Ammunition: American Eagle 230 Grain FMJ

Federal Ammunition is always at the top of the list for range training. It produces a 230-grain .45 ACP cartridge with a full metal jacket, non-magnetic lead core, and non-corrosive Boxer primer. The brass can be reloaded up to five times, which makes it an affordable choice. The American Eagle .45 ACP is Federal’s newest production ammo, featuring clean-burning powder and ballistics like Federal’s Premium Personal Defense rounds. It is an ideal for practice shooting purposes.

Federal American Eagle Non-Toxic Primer 45 ACP 230 Grain TMJ

Federal’s American Eagle line has a solid reputation for manufacturing quality ammo at a reasonable price. This 230-grain TMJ was made specifically for range training. TMJ bullets fully encase the lead core to include the base of the bullet. They primers are free from toxic metals. It has a muzzle velocity of 890 fps, which is similar to their 230-grain JHP loads. It’s a great product to carry in your range bag.

Federal Classic Hydra–Shok Persona Defense

This 230-grain round has been on the market for a long time. The bullet is made with a central lead post to aid in jacket expansion while keeping the bullet intact. This allows the bullet to give consistent performance and is preferred by agencies like the FBI.

Federal Ammunition Personal Defense

Federal Ammunition Company produces a 230 grain jacketed hollow point (JHP). It is often called the best large caliber for self-defense regarding to accuracy, precision, and penetration while maintaining close to 100% weight retention.

Hornady Ammunition Duty Defense JHP

Hornady manufactures this 220-grain, .45 ACP +P ammo is an FTX that offers ultimate stopping power. It has similar characteristics of Hornady’s cartridges, offering accuracy, precision, and penetration with maximum expansion.

Magtech Ammunition FMC

Magtech Ammunition has been manufacturing ammo since 1926. They produce all components used in their ammo including the powder, primer, and projectiles. The company’s strict quality standards ensure this 230-grain round will be reliable. Magtech’s reputation and high quality ammo have put them at the forefront of the industry.

Speer Ammunition Gold Dot JHP

Speer’s Gold Dot has an outstanding reputation for delivering clean products. This 230-grain jacketed hollow point (JHP) is an accurate round that gives controlled penetration that’s powerful enough to stop any threat.

Winchester Service Grade .45 ACP 230 Grain FMJ

Winchester is one of the oldest manufacturers in the country for good reason – they consistently deliver quality ammunition. Winchester Service Grade 230-grain FMJ is intended for those who spend a lot of time at the range and demand a reliable, clean-burning target ammo. They use new brass and Boxer primer to offer a highly accurate round to last you through your time at the range or throughout the competition.

Conclusion

Target shooting and range training are activities that can help you improve your skills while having fun with friends and family. Knowing which ammunition to use only enhances the experience as you hit the bullseye each time. To learn more about the .45 ACP check out this guide on “The Best .45 ACP Ammo For Self-Defense, Target Shooting, and More.”

Best Concealed Carry Calibers

Best caliber for concealed carry

Gun owners will rarely agree on the best caliber to use for concealed carry guns. Obviously, the type of gun will dictate, to a degree, what type of ammunition you will use. The type of weapon and ammunition will also depend on your level of experience.

Training

Novice shooters should complete a training course before shooting or buying any gun or ammunition. Range practice will guide you to choose the right gun and ammo for your unique situation. Instructors can help you decide which ammunition is comfortable for you to shoot, given power and recoil. The instructor will also help you to decide which type of ammo would work best in situations you may encounter. Most people carry concealed for personal protection. You should ask yourself why you want to carry concealed. The answers to those questions will help you choose between a .22, 9mm, .380, .357 or a many other choices.

Choosing the Best Caliber

Shooters choose the following calibers most often for concealed carry: .22LR, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .380 ACP, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 9mm. Each

.22 LR

The .22LR is a light round that many argue isn’t powerful enough for concealed carry. However, that’s not always true, especially if your aim is to scare off an intruder.

.357 Magnum

Munitions makers designed the .357 Magnum by adding more powder into the case of a .38 caliber. Law enforcement liked the round and it became a go-to for defensive shooting.

.380 ACP

The .380 ACP is a shorter version of a 9mm round. The ammo has light recoil and sufficient stopping power for this purpose.

.40 S&W

The .40 S&W was created by shortening a 10mm cartridge as well as reducing the powder charge. The round is larger than a 9mm, but it can fit in a pistol designed for 9mm. The round, a good choice for self-defense and concealed carry, remains a popular choice for law enforcement and civilians.

.45 ACP

Gun enthusiasts love the .45 ACP. Its incredible stopping power has made it popular with the military, law enforcement and those that want to carry a large caliber for protection. The only downside is it muzzle flash and recoil, which are still manageable for the right user.

9mm

The 9mm Parabellum is the most used ammunition cartridge in the world. Police and military use it for most pistol applications. It has good stopping power and is readily available from most manufacturers.

Conclusion

Shooters should educate themselves not only on the caliber of a round but also the various types of ammunition that are made for each. These include full metal jacket, hollowpoint, and soft hollowpoint, among others. You must discover which caliber is best suited for your use, is the most practical and most affordable. Once you do that, you will enjoy your weapon for many years to come.

Tried and True .30-30 Ammunition

Improved .30-30 ammunition

In 1895 Winchester launched the first version of the .30 Smokeless cartridge. It was made to be used in Winchester’s Model 1894 carbine and rifle. The rifle was a lever action repeating rifle. The ammo was also called the .30 Winchester Center Fire or .30 WCF. Winchester designed the .30 WCF as the first small-bore sporting cartridge created for smokeless powder in the U.S. It became the most popular hunting rifle in the history of firearms.

Birth of the .30-30

Shooters used the round in Marlin’s Model 1893 rifle. The company named it the .30-30 Smokeless or just .30-30 ammunition. The company added the second “.30” in reference to the standard load of 30 grains (1.9 g) of smokeless powder. Marlin wanted to launch the cartridge as part of its own line. They renamed the cartridge to avoid giving credit to Winchester, the company’s rival. The Union Metallic Cartridge Co. changed the name of its .30-30, as well.

Specs

A .30-30 cartridge is usually loaded with bullets weighing 150-170 grains (9.7–11.0 g), however, lighter loads are available. The cartridges can use up to 180 gr (11.7 g), but length restrictions of lever-action rifles commonly chambered for the ammo round limit their abilities.

Perfect for Hunting

Shooters call the .30-30 an entry-level gun for hunters. It has a light recoil which is easier to handle for novice shooters. It has an average range of 200 yards. The round is good for hunting medium-sized game like deer as well as black bear. Hunters report using the round on larger game such as caribou, moose and pronghorns. Seasoned hunters argue the effectiveness of the round on moose, especially at longer distances. Hunters use .30-30 ammunition for hunting moose in Newfoundland, Canada, but it is not recommended. It is not legal for moose hunting in Sweden, Norway or Finland because it does not meet the minimum energy requirements for the large game.

Tried and True

Firearms manufacturers sell guns that are far superior to the .30-30 when it comes to technological advances. However, many hunters return to their .30-30 rifles on a regular basis. Some hunters use the guns for a sense of nostalgia. Perhaps the gun was handed down through generation to generation, carrying with it decades of history, as well as memories. The gun might have been used to shoot for the first time or take down a prize target.

Some use the weapon because it is easier to shoot than those with all the extra bells and whistles. People like what they know. Additionally, a .30-30 rifle carries less weight which makes it easier to trek through woods and dense brush while tracking a target. Hunters get worn out by climbing hills (especially in the snow) with the excess weight of other equipment. In the end, it is the bullet and the aim that matters the most.

 

Best Hunting Ammo

Best Hunting Ammo 

Hunters choose their ammunition for the same reason as other seasoned shooters; they know what works and you’re not going to change their minds. Hunting enthusiasts use the .30-06 more than any other firearm, although the market has plenty of other weapons to choose from including handguns and ARs.

Types of Cartridges

Some shooters say that choosing your bullet is even more important than choosing your gun. Old school or high tech weapons won’t do anything without the right type of bullet.

Buyers pick Speer, Winchester, Federal, Hornady, and Remington cartridges more than any other. The cartridge will keep about 50 percent of its weight, but will drop off with high impact velocity. Many call this type the “standard” hunting bullet, i.e., the most common.

The second type is a bonded, plastic-tipped boat tail. If the bullet is bonded, the jacket and core are bonded together, creating excellent ballistics. The round will keep 65 percent – 80 percent of the initial weight regardless of impact velocity. Hornady Interbond, Swift Scirocco, Speer Grand Slam, Nosler Accubond, and Nosler Partition offer the best rounds in this category.

The third type is designed for bolt-action rifles. Bear hunters prefer the reliability of a bolt-action rifle with a round that will make a sure kill. Experts like the .338 Remington Ultra Magnum, .338 Winchester Magnum,.338 Federal Premium, .340 Weatherby Magnum, and .375 H&H.

The fourth type includes deep penetrating rounds. The ammo doesn’t have quick expansion, but they keep 80 percent – 100 percent of their original weight, despite high impact velocity. Barnes X, Swift A-Frame, Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, and the Winchester Failsafe offer the most popular rounds in this category.

Buying Hunting Ammo Online

You can buy hunting ammo online to save money, especially if you plan to be out in the field a lot.  Hunters find ammo for every type of prey from whitetail to elk to bear to small game.

Top Picks:

Hornady® Superformance™ Rifle Ammunition

Hornady uses an innovative powder blend that yields an additional 200 fps from a Superformance round. It results in a flatter trajectory, reduced wind drift, and superior accuracy.

Remington® Premier® Core-Lokt® Ultra Ammunition

Premier Core-Lokt ammunition does the job for taking holds its own when confronting a bear. It offers excellent penetration, retained energy, and high accuracy. The round retains 95 percent of its original weight and gives expansion two times the original diameter. It’s rated for terminal performance up to 500 yards.

Nosler Partition

Nosler is a good all-around bullet. It lacks high accuracy compared to some but has high terminal performance.

Federal Premium Trophy Bonded Tip Rifle Ammunition

Vital-Shok line is modeled after the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw® cartridge but gives increased performance. The polymer-tipped, boat-tail cartridge has downrange accuracy, and the solid copper shank has reliable penetration.

Conclusion

Experts know that almost any type of ammo will work well if you’re a good shot, but it doesn’t hurt to start off with the best.

 

 

Best Ammo for Competition Shooting

 

Best Ammo for Competition

Competition shooters use a variety of ammunition to achieve the best possible score. Regulations for competitive matches do not specify what ammunition should be used. Long time competitors and serious firearms enthusiasts use wildcat rounds, loading their ammo rather than relying on factory brands. However, novices shoot factory ammo most often, as it is less expensive. Others prefer factory ammo because of the reliability.

Choosing Ammunition

The governing bodies of shooting competitions do not recommend specific brands of ammunition, but they do have guidelines. Shooters may reload their ammunition or use factory brands. However, experts give recommendations to newcomers on choosing the right ammo for the right match. Seasoned shooters have preferences as to the caliber they shoot, so it is wise to ask several different people for advice. A 9mm enthusiast won’t give good intel on shooting a .357 Magnum, just as a fan of a .45 ACP probably won’t have an opinion on the best .22 LR.

Compatibility

Guns deliver ammo in different ways, so it’s important to find ammo that is compatible with your gun. Shooters use different guns for different competitions, so it’s likely that the ammo will change as well. Experts show newcomers the importance of finding ammo that their guns like, meaning that they will perform as expected without misfires or jams.

Reliability

Shooters rely on their guns and ammo to perform every time, so reliability is a crucial part of choosing the right ammo. Competitors dealing with misfires and other issues get distracted and could possibly lose the match. Besides, using an unreliable tool is an annoyance.

Consistency

Consistency goes hand in hand with reliability. Competitors need a round that will perform correctly, not only the first time, but every time. The ammo must fire properly and maintain accuracy throughout each shot and each round if the shooter has any hope of winning. Smart shooters pay attention to grain as a way of gauging a consistent and accurate round.

Accuracy

A gun determines its accuracy. This means that a gun with a heavy recoil tends to be less accurate than a lighter gun since it can throw off your aim. Competition shooting is about hitting the target, not taking down an assailant. For that reason, choosing a smaller caliber, such as a .22 LR or 9mm may deliver the best results in certain categories.

Cost

Competition shooting requires many hours of range practice. Therefore, shooters use a massive amount of ammo. Buying ammo in bulk is the best way to go to reduce cost. Competitors using large calibers find that buying bulk or surplus ammo can save a great deal of money. Wildcatters also have an advantage if they are able to buy their supplies at a discount price.

Seeking Advice

New competitors often seek advice from seasoned shooters on the range or at competitions. Old timers are happy to share their experiences, including what ammo might work best for your particular event.

 

 

 

Rocking the .38 Special

.38 Special ammo remains popular

Smith & Wesson Introduced .38 Special ammo in 1898. S&W designed the centerfire cartridge as an alternative to its .38 Long Colt. The military had used the Long Colt as a service cartridge, but complained that it lacked stopping power in battle. Law enforcement officers from the 1920s up until 1990s, used the .38 Special as a standard issue service cartridge. WWI soldiers carried the round into combat. The revolvers and ammunition faded from every day use, but remain the symbol of the law.

Shooters buy .38 Special rounds frequently for competition shooting, pest control, target practice, and self-defense. Most opt for a full metal jacket round for plinking or range training while jacketed hollow point rounds are chosen for self-defense and personal protection.

Military Use

The U.S. Army used the .38 Long Colt as a standard issue sidearm from 1892 – 1911. However, as the M1892 progressed, the military said that the round was no longer effective. They complained that it performed poorly during the Spanish-American War as well as the Philippine Insurrection. Soldiers said the ammo wasn’t accurate, nor did it have adequate stopping power.

Smith & Wesson produced the .38 Special Military and Police revolver in 1902, which quickly gained recognition among troops and civilians.

In 1909, Colt also introduced a revolver chambered in .38 Special ammo. The gun compared to the .38 S&W Special, however, Colt’s firearm had the flat-pointed bullet design.

The Colt Detective Special

John Henry Fitzgerald, an employee at Colt, designed the “Fitz Special” in the mid-1920s. Fitzgerald’s snubnosed revolver was a pared down version of the .38 Special Police Positive Special. He believed that reducing the barrel size would make it easier for law enforcement officers to carry concealed. He shortened the ejector rod and removed the front of the trigger guard. Fitzgerald shortened the ejector rod, removed the trigger guard, and changed out the hammer spur so it could be a faster draw. Colt made some alterations to the design of the Fitz Special and rebranded it as the Colt Detective Special. Since its release in 1927, the six-shot revolver has been called the most iconic snubnosed revolver in firearms history.

Self-Defense

People choose the .38 Special as a standard for self-defense purposes. Police officers carried lead-nosed rounds, dubbing the ammo “.38 Special Police.” It is known for deep penetration and causing extreme damage to its target. Shooters choose the .38 Special for concealed carry when use with snubnose revolvers. The small size is easy to conceal in a purse, jacket, or in an ankle holster.

Target Shooting

Competition and target shooters purchase full metal jacket bullets as a preferred round, followed by hollow point. Likewise, when range training, the FMJ is the preferred choice as it doesn’t expand when impacting a soft target. Target shooters choose the ammo for its economical price and aren’t dissuaded by the less than perfect performance.

Experts train novice shooters with .38 Special ammo because of the ease of use, low noise, and low recoil.

Best .44 Magnum Ammo for Target Shooting

Best ammo for target shooting

Firearms enthusiasts have one thing in mind when they see a .44 Magnum – Dirty Harry snarling, “Make My Day.” The iconic 1970s movie boosted sales of the gun and kept it soaring ever since. Clint Eastwood cherished his S&W Model 29 and called the .44 Magnum “the most powerful gun in the world.” The statement wasn’t exactly true, but Dirty Harry was cool, and no one seemed to care.  The .44 Magnum has been surpassed by more powerful cartridges, but the legend keeps the gun in the public eye. Surprisingly, law enforcement never embraced the .44 Mag as one might expect.

The .44 Magnum is most often sought as a self-defense weapon. The round will do the job, but it may be more than what the shooter bargained for when firing the monster revolver. The recoil is heavy, and the muzzle flash is equally strong. It is especially daunting to novice shooters and those of a smaller stature. Hunters also flock to the .44 Mag for medium to large game although there may be better choices for bear and big game.

History of the .44 Magnum

The .44 Magnum was designed by Elmer Keith, the legendary sportsman, writer and firearms enthusiast. Keith is well known for developing the .357 Magnum. Keith began to design the round by lengthening a .44 Special cartridge and altering the bullet weights and grains of powder. The final product was designed in 1950, and available on the commercial market in 1955.

The .44 Magnum is a large bore cartridge that was first introduced in 1956. An accurate, deeply penetrating round, the .44 Mag was originally designed by Elmer Keith, an Idaho rancher, writer, and firearms enthusiast. Keith had previously developed the .357 Mag cartridge and solidified his reputation in the firearms community. Keith set out to create a multi-functional cartridge and convinced Smith & Wesson and Remington Arms Co. to manufacture it for the Smith and Wesson Model 29. Although Remington manufactured the first. 44 Magnum at Keith’s request, S&W is credited with introducing the .44 Mag to the public. Not many people seem to remember that Ruger beat S&W to market by a few months with a .44 Mag version of its single action Blackhawk revolver.

Development

Keith had intended for the .44 to be used for hunting, self-defense, and target shooting. The cartridge is strong and packs a big punch. The .44 is extremely precise, giving the shooter as much as a 90% accuracy rate.  However, the high-pressure causes it to carry a heavy recoil and muzzle flash, making it less than ideal for novice shooters or people of smaller stature. Those that find the .44 Mag a bit too intense may opt for the .44 Special, a slightly smaller cartridge with less recoil. Shooters should experiment using both rounds to find which is best suited to their style and experience. Note that .44 Special cartridges can be fired from guns chambered for a .44 Magnum, but the reverse is not true.

While the .44 Magnum seems to be the perfect bullet for self-defense experts often rebut the choice due to its deep penetration. They claim that the cartridge is too powerful for in-home defense and may cause collateral damage.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all .44 Mag ammo is the same. Some brands and grades are appropriate for self-defense while other, less powerful, grades are more appropriate for target and sports shooting.

Superior Ammo

The .44 Magnum has excellent good accuracy. If you load it with a heavy, non-expanding bullet, this cartridge can easily shoot through hard targets without trouble. The limiting factor of its cartridge is not terminal ballistics, but rather the trajectory of the bullet. It is going to work better if you limit your range to 100 yards or less when shooting. The casing of this ammo is slightly longer compared to other cartridges to prevent the far higher pressure cartridge from being chambered in when you are shooting, and in turn preventing possible deaths and injuries.

Compatibility

Guns deliver ammo in different ways, so it’s important to find ammo that is compatible with your gun. Shooters use different guns for different targets, so it’s likely that the ammo will change as well. Experts show newcomers the importance of finding ammo that their guns like, so they perform as expected without misfires or jams.

Reliability

Shooters rely on their guns and ammo to perform every time, so reliability is a crucial part of choosing the right ammo. Shooters dealing with misfires and other issues get distracted and could possibly lose the match. Besides, using an unreliable tool is an annoyance.

Consistency

Consistency goes hand in hand with reliability. Target shooters need a round that will perform correctly, not only the first time, but every time. The ammo must fire properly and maintain accuracy throughout each shot and each round if the shooter has any hope of winning. Smart shooters pay attention to grain as a way of gauging a consistent and accurate round.

Accuracy

A gun determines its accuracy. This means that a gun with a heavy recoil tends to be less accurate than a lighter gun since it can throw off your aim. Plinking and target shooting are about hitting the target, not taking down an assailant. Ensure that you can handle the .44 to hit your target.

Cost

Target shooting requires many hours of practice. Therefore, shooters use a massive amount of ammo. Buying ammo in bulk is the best way to reduce cost. Target shooters using large calibers buy in bulk to save a lot of money.

Best .44 Magnum Ammo for Target Shooting

Black Hills 240 Grain

Black Hills is known for producing reliable, high quality products. This new production round is Boxer primed with reloadable brass casings. It delivers a Muzzle Velocity of 1260 fps.

Buffalo Bore Anti-Personnel 180 Grain Lead Hollow Point

This round is touted as one of the best for self-defense. It is a no-nonsense ammunition designed for self-defense and eliminating two-legged targets. It has a Muzzle Velocity of 1500 fps and a Muzzle Energy of 899 ft-lbs.

Buffalo Bore 240 Grain Deer Grenade +P

Deer Grenade +P Ammo was designed specifically to do maximum damage to medium sized game and does not penetrate like a hard cast bullet. It offers about 30% penetration as a typical flat-nosed bullet, perfect for target shooting or taking down shallow game like whitetail deer. Deer Grenade has a Muzzle Velocity of 1550 fps. Great choice for the Redhawk or Super Blackhawk.

Cor-Bon Barns DPX 225 Grain 

Cor-Bons Barns DPX uses a solid copper hollow point bullet. It has a lighter recoil and faster recovery than most heavy weight rounds. It offers deep penetration while maintaining soft tissue integrity. DPX has a Muzzle Velocity of 1350 fps.

Federal Ammunition American Eagle 240 Grain Fusion

This medium-priced American-made Fusion bullet with brass casing delivers 887 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy.

Fiocchi Ammunition: 240 Grain JSP

Coming in at the same price as the Remington, this foreign made, jacketed soft point, 240 grain self-defense round offers 1838 FPS velocity.

Hornady Ammunition 200 Grain XTP

HornadyXTP is highly recommended by seasoned shooters. The American-made cartridge makes the list for the best .44 hunting ammo. It’s slightly more expensive than the Remington, but also more powerful. It boasts a higher velocity of 1500 fps.

PMC Bronze .44 Remington Magnum Ammunition JHP 180 Grains

Poongsan Corporation makes “PMC” (precision-made cartridges) ammunition for competition shooting and hunting. The company has a solid reputation for high quality and currently exports more than 100 different types of ammunition. This jacketed hollos point has a high velocity of 1,750 fps.

Remington Ammunition: 240 Grain HTP Rounds

Top of the list of the best .44 ammo for self-defense. Available in 240 grain SP and SJHP rounds, this American-made defense load is inexpensive, but powerful. It boasts 1180 FPS Muzzle Velocity and 742 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy.

Winchester Ammunition Supreme Partition Gold 250gr 

Partition Gold offers a low velocity resisting weight loss upon impact. The bullet’s rear lead core is locked in place for extra bullet integrity. It offers a Muzzle Velocity of 1250 fps.

Conclusion

Plinkers and target shooters may not always agree on using .44 magnum ammo. The .44 Magnum is a powerful gun that is not well suited to concealed carry. It is an excellent choice for self-defense although some claim that the .357 Magnum is easier to carry and aim. Choose what round suits you best, practice, and make the end decision for yourself.

 

 

.380 for Self-Defense

.380 is a popular off duty weapon for police.

People who carry concealed for self-defense often choose larger calibers for their stopping power. The .380 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) remains one of the most popular rounds on the market. Shooters prefer the round because it is lightweight and easy to carry with minimal recoil and muzzle blast. Police officers often carry a .380 as a backup weapon. Hobbyists and competition shooters choose the ammo for backyard shooting, competition and plinking.

 Development of .380 Ammo

John Moses Browning created .380 ammunition for the Colt Model 1908 Pocket Pistol in 1908. Browning designed the ammo after the .38 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) cartridge, which was made for blowback pistols. The military used .380 ACP ammo until it was replaced with the 9mm.

In 1912, .380 ACP ammo was introduced in Belgium, where it was named the “9mm Browning Short.” Military forces used the round throughout World War II until many replaced it with the more popular 9mm cartridge.

Other names for .380 ACP cartridges  include 9mm Browning, 9mm Browning Court, .380 Auto, 9mm Short, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, and 9×17mm. The .380 Auto should not be confused with .38 ACP.

The .380 Auto for Self-Defense

People looking for a self-defense weapon may choose the .380 ACP for its accuracy. The round has a moderate recoil and muzzle blast which works well for novice shooters. The round feeds easily and the guns chambered for this round are dependable. The ammunition is better than the .32 Auto, especially when it comes to stopping power. As a result, the .380 ACP has become the standard minimum chambering for law enforcement, military and self-defense use.

The popularization of the 9mm caused a decrease in sales for the .380 ACP until the mid-2000s, when the demand increased for lightweight pistols suitable for carrying concealed. Manufacturers have responded to the demand for weapons chambered in .380 ACP and have also begun to mass produce the ammo to be sold in bulk. The mass production allows consumers to buy .380 rounds for less money at retail sites as well as through online markets.

Stopping Power

The stopping power of .380  ammo is sufficient to stop a threat.  Some experts dismiss the round because it is smaller and less effective than larger handgun calibers. For example, the 9mm has more firepower, but the performance isn’t much different. The .380 round performs like a .45 cartridge rather than the .32 ACP, which is closer to its size.

While the cartridge may be weaker than larger calibers, the lower recoil is a benefit to novice users since the gun is easier to fire. The shooter also has less recovery time and can fire faster, which means a great deal when the shooter is acquiring a target. Manufacturers continue to chamber handguns for the .380 ACP, including subcompact models that are ideal for concealed carry.

 

 

 

How to Make Wildcat Cartridges

WIldcat ammo includes all shapes and sizes

What is a Wildcat?

Wildcat ammo, AKA “wildcats,” are custom-made rounds. People create the rounds rather than ammo companies. People make wildcat cartridges to improve upon existing rounds to get better accuracy, range, performance, velocity, etc. The downside  is the lack of precision. Law enforcement and military can’t use the rounds because of the differences.

Creating Wildcats

Creating a new type of ammunition can be  fun. Patience, time and skill to make a good round are key. Makers of wildcat rounds want to create something new or to change a load that doesn’t meet their needs. Below are the reasons for creating a wildcat:

  • Increased efficiency: Increased efficiency means better accuracy.
  • Increased energy: The round increases energy by changing the capacity of the case or changing the caliber.
  • Higher velocities: A higher velocity is a result of reducing the caliber or increasing the case capacity .
  • Greater consistency: Changing the diameter, weight or velocity will increase consistency and accuracy.

Methods

Methods used to make wildcat rounds include:

Fire Forming

Fire forming changes bullets in one of two ways. The method changes the parent case by cold forming. Then it is loaded with a light bullet and light powder, and then loaded and fired from the gun of choice.

Cold Forming

Cold forming changes the case by using heavy lubrication and then carefully forcing it into the right reloading die.

Trimming

Both fire forming and cold forming  have the same problem: The case is too long for the end product so it has to be trimmed to the correct length. Trimming is a standard reloading method.

Changing the Case Diameter

Changing the case diameter expands the range of bullets that can be used in the case. Shooters refer to it as “necking up” or “necking down,” Changing the diameter can improve the wind resistance, power and/or velocity.

Necking Back

This uses a cold forming method to push the neck back, reducing the case capacity. Cold forming is used on rifle ammunition to make rounds for an autopistol.

Changing the Shoulder Angle

This means changing the casing to resemble a standard cylinder, which allows for a more efficient burn.

Rim Modifications

Experts avoid making rim modifications by hand. The process is difficult.  It is a highly difficult method usually performed by commercial ammo manufacturers.

Increased Case Length

Increased case length allows for added propellant. As a result, the round gains energy. The process is difficult, therefore it is simpler to make a new case than to change a commercial round. It requires special skills and tools.

Blowing Out

Blowing out uses a fire-forming technique. It moves the shoulder forward to raise the case capacity.

Should You Make a Wildcat?

We may not need new cartridges, but we still want them. The advantages they offer aren’t great; the gain rarely justifies the expense.  If you plan to make wildcat rounds, educate yourself. Makers should have skills for the dangerous process. Manufacturing rounds also needs enough space, special tools and equipment for each process.

Pros and Cons of the .40 Cal S&W

Pistols chambered in .40 cal S&W

The .40 Cal S&W is a rimless pistol ammunition created for the Federal Bureau of Investigation by firearms manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Winchester. The .40 S&W (10x22mm) was developed from scratch after the failed FBI shootout in Miami in 1986. The confrontation left two FBI agents dead, with five wounded. The agents fatally wounded the two criminals.

The FBI commissioned Smith & Wesson and Winchester to create an ammo that could be retrofitted into their existing 9mm semi-automatic handguns. S&W and Winchester based the new ammunition on 9mm and .45 ACP cartridges. The new cartridge would function as a medium velocity round mimicking the accuracy of a 9mm, but using the parameters of a 10mm load.

The team satisfied FBI requirements. The new medium ground ammo could be used by agents in a standard issue semi-automatic pistol. The FBI believed that the new standard issue would prevent another disaster like the one they faced in Miami.

Development of the .40 S&W

The FBI determined that the standard issue .38 Special revolvers had lost their effectiveness. They switched to 10mm cartridge and the S&W 1076 Auto shortly before the Miami shootout. The FBI determined the agents’ deaths were caused by lack of ammunition, heavy recoil, and the difficulty of reloading quickly in the field. It was imperative to find a new, more effective ammo to prevent future debacles.

S&W and Winchester completed the development of .40 Cal bullets in 1990, along with the Smith & Wesson Model 4006 pistol, six months after receiving the request from the FBI. The result of the collaboration was an ammunition with the stopping power of a .45 ACP round, with the ease of use of a 9mm.

The FBI adopted the .40 Cal S&W. Law enforcement agencies around the country quickly followed suit. The United States Coast Guard and police forces in Canada and Australia also adopted the .40 S&W and still use it today.

The FBI currently endorses the Sig Sauer P226 and P228, chambered in 9mm and .40 cal.

Specs

The .40 Cal S&W uses a 0.40-inch diameter lead bullet ranging in weight from 105 to 200 grains.

The middle ground ammunition has adequate stopping power for self-defense and concealed carry. The recoil is manageable for novice and shooters with a smaller frame.

The .40 S&W casing measures .85-inch-long, .424-inch at the base. It has an average pressure of 35,000 psi. The energy of the ammo exceeds the standard-pressure of the .45 ACP.

Based on ideal terminal ballistic performance testing in the 1980s and 1990s, the .40 S&W was touted as “the ideal cartridge for personal defense and law enforcement”. The .40 Cal S&W is almost identical to the ballistics of the .38-40 Winchester introduced in 1874, with the same bullet diameter and weight, as well as having similar muzzle velocities.

Alternate Names

  • .40 Caliber
  • .40 Cal
  • .40 Auto
  • 10×22mm
  • 10mm Kurz

The .40 Cal S&W for Self-Defense

The .40 S&W is attractive to civilians due to its ease of use and light recoil. People seeking ammo for self-defense situations demand accuracy and stopping power. The .40 cal meets those requirements. Consumers have a variety of options for bullet weight and design.

Civilians appreciate the same features coveted by law enforcement, including magazine capacity, muzzle energy, and light recoil. The round is accurate and easy to manage, making it ideal for concealed carry and self-defense. While it isn’t the most popular round on the market, most new firearms offer compact and subcompact models chambered for the .40 Cal.