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GUNS Magazine April 2013 Digital Edition - Page 8
Handgun ammo Pt. 1 Good choices abound for self-defense with autoloadinG pistols. B available in 100-round “Value Packs.” Remington UMC handgun ammunition is available with either FMJ or jacketed hollowpoints (JHP) bullets, and (for some cartridges) in 100- or 250-round mega-packs. Federal offers its American Eagle line which is not only a good value but in my experience very accurate. Black Hills Ammo has an exceptionally good value with its Blue Box line, loaded in once-fired surplus brass. I’ve shot many thousands of these rounds in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP and found it to be exceptionally good. A particular favorite is the .45 ACP Dave anDerson with 200-grain match semi-wadcut(SWC) lead bullet—super accurate uying handgun ammunition is kind of a good news/bad ter and pleasant to shoot. news scenario. The good news is there has never been Since I’m a reloader I prefer to a wider array of choices. The bad news is availabil- purchase ammunition loaded in brass ity and cost. Demand is high while costs of manufacturing cases. Even if you don’t reload you can ammo and transporting it to your local store are increasing. likely sell once-fired brass to someone who does, or sell the brass for Handgunners need a minirecycling, to help reduce your mum of two types of ammunet ammunition cost. nition. One type is for volume Some value-priced bulk shooting, to become familammunition would certainly iar with the handgun and be acceptable for personal develop basic shooting skills. defense provided it is loaded The primary quality of such with appropriate bullets, such ammunition is value for the as JHPs, but not FMJs. Roundmoney. nose, FMJ bullets are notoThe second type needed rious for excessive penetrais ammunition suited to the tion, potentially endangering purpose of the handgun, A handgun shooter should have two basic loads. For personal bystanders. And because their whether it is personal defense, defense, a premium load with expanding bullets such as Black Hills stopping power is minimal the red box or Federal Premium (above, left) are excellent hunting, or formal target Ammunition tendency is to fire a lot of shots, choices. For practice and training less expensive FMJ loads such shooting. Here the goal is as the Speer Lawman (above, right) mean more practice at less rather than stopping the threat performance, at whatever the cost. Black Hills Ammunition “blue box” (below) loads are assemwith one or two. bled using once-fired surplus brass. Dave has fired thousands of cost. Some of the top personalrounds and found them to be every bit as good as loads in Unless you are rich or a these defense loads are expensive new commercial brass. Excellent ammunition and an excellent value reloader, much of your hand- for practice and target shooting. compared to the bulk discount gun shooting should be with ammo, but in my opinion are value-priced ammunition. worth it. Generally they are Often sold in economical bulk loaded with well-designed and packs, this is ammunition carefully tested bullets, matched intended for target and practo specific velocity paramtice shooting. eters, to combine adequate Manufacturers, distribupenetration with good bullet tors and dealers save producexpansion. tion costs with high volume, Over the last 30 or so often using inexpensive full years, there has been considermetal jacket bullets for semiable development in personal autos. By choice I wouldn’t use defense ammunition. One factor FMJ bullets for defense or for on the supply side was innovahunting, but for making holes tion from small companies with in paper or ringing steel they good ideas (most of us older work just fine. guys remember the furor when These inexpensive, unpretentious confidently. Super Vel ammunition appeared). A loads might not get the press and Winchester offers a moderately second factor was demand driven, fancy ads, but they are important priced Winchester USA series often as law enforcement demanded more because they’ll teach you to shoot, called “white box” ammo, though not effective loads, concurrent with the and handle your firearm safely and by Winchester. Some cartridges are switch to autoloaders. WWW.BROWNELLS.COM W W W. G U N S M AG A Z I N E . C O M • A P R I L 2 0 1 3 SPONSORED BY 8