Choosing the Right Ammunition

Posted by Team Springfield

Sep 8, 2014 9:00:00 AM

When buying a handgun, first-time buyers might not know which ammunition to choose, as a wide variety is available. The various types of ammunition include ball, wadcutter, jacketed-soft point, jacketed-hollow points and round-nosed lead bullets. Always refer to your manufacturer-provided owner’s manual for ammunition requirements. To best understand which is right for you, each type should be fully dissected, including weighing the pros and cons of why one might be better for novice firearm owners as compared to another. Additionally, it is important to consider how much ammunition to buy, which varies depending on your intentions for the handgun and how often you intend to practice at a range.

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What’s Your Purpose? 

The first major factor playing into which type of ammunition you are putting in your firearm is the purpose behind shooting. When you load your handgun, are you intending to use it for self-defense or will you be firing off a few rounds at the local range?


  • Self-Defense. If you are loading your firearm with the intention of having it available for self-defense purposes, first it must be reliable and function in your firearm properly. Then you want ammunition that has “stopping power.” This refers to ammunition that may more reliably stop an attacker in his tracks and force him to cease  hostilities. The best ammunition in this case may use hollow-point type bullets, which are designed to expand and stop once it has struck its target.
  • Hunting. If you are a hunter going after wild game, accuracy, power and bullet performance is everything. Handgun ammunition designed for hunting is usually loaded to very high pressure levels to extract the utmost in velocity. They are also usually much larger calibers chambered in pistols designed expressly for the task. These factors allow for better performance of the projectile on target. Not all calibers suitable for personal defense are good or even permitted for hunting. Check the hunting regulations in your state for more details.
  • Shooting Range. If your primary goal when loading your firearm is to get some practice at the shooting range, there are various types of target/range ammunition available. This is usually the most economical ammunition, loaded with less expensive, full metal jacket (FMJ) or solid lead bullets, specifically intended for training and practice.


How Much Ammunition to Purchase

The decision on how much ammunition to purchase at one time again depends on preference. It’s no secret that ammunition is sometimes hard to find. It’s also becoming significantly more expensive to purchase. With that being said, it’s prudent to stockpile a reasonable amount as you may not be able to find the exact loading you desire the next time you wish to obtain ammunition. And since you never know when you’ll need it, and it’s better to have too much than too little. It is important to remember, though, that some stores will limit the amount each customer is allowed to purchase. Get it when you can!


Springfield Armory®

At Springfield Armory®, we are proud to offer a wide selection of high-quality personal defense firearms. While many retailers require you to compromise on price or quality, we offer you both. To find out more about our products, contact us with any questions you may have.

 11 Things To Consider When Buying a Firearm

Topics: First Time Gun Buyers

Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual.  These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory®.