As a new shooter, it can be very intimidating to head to your local gun store. While you are familiar with the caliber of ammo that you need, understanding what load to choose is another story. We’re going to go over the various types of ammo that is available from various manufacturers and how to choose which one you need for specific shooting applications.
A Look At Practice Ammo
You’re going to be spending a lot of time practicing your shooting skills. For this reason, you’re going to be looking for relatively inexpensive and widely available ammo. The cheapest cartridges out there feature a full metal jacket or FMJ projectile. This FMJ has a soft lead core that is encased in a harder metal.
The outer metal can be constructed of aluminum, stainless steel, brass, or steel. Typically, aluminum and steel casings are going to be the cheapest to purchase. They’re fairly easy to manufacture, which makes them less expensive than competition ammo. However, steel and aluminum shells are more prone to extraction issues.
Consider Your Gun’s Recoil
When picking practice ammo, you need to take into consideration the recoil that your gun produces. If you have a low caliber weapon, then you won’t have to worry about your weapon wearing down your hands and shoulders. However, if you’re going to be practice shooting with a high caliber weapon, it’s a good idea to consider purchasing light-recoiling loads. You’ll find these listed as small-bore rimfire cartridges, and they’ll work to reduce the amount of recoil that each shot produces.
A Look At Competition Ammo
Competition ammo is considered higher-quality ammo that provides better accuracy and more power than practice ammo. For these benefits, expect to pay a little more for your competition shells than you will for your practice shells. And, expect to be pickier when choosing which ammo to buy. When competitions roll around, you want to have every advantage that a bullet can offer on your side.
You’ll Need A Much Heavier Bullet Weight
In competition shooting, you’ll want to be prepared to shoot any target, including metal ones. These types of targets are going to need a heavier bullet weight than traditional practice ammo requires. In addition, heavier rounds are less affected by the wind than ligher rounds, which is a big plus for any competition shooter looking for an edge up. Each caliber has its own heaviest round. Some of the most common include:
- 9mm – 147 Grain
- .40 Caliber- 180 Grain
- .45 Caliber – 230 Grain
Select Your Jacket Metal Wisely
As you learned above, FMJ ammo is a great choice to keep the price of your ammunition low. Manufacturers offer a variety of metals in regard to the outer casing of the bullet. These include aluminum, brass, steel, and stainless steel. Aluminum and steel tend to be more prone to extraction issues than brass and stainless steel. To avoid getting any of your casings stuck during your competition shoot, always opt for stainless steel or brass FMJ casing. You can always buy guns & ammo from Palmetto State Armory to get the best deals on them.
When it comes to gun ammunition, there are many different variables. The specific bullet that you pick is going to highly depend on the application that you’re going to be using them for. As you discovered above, practice ammo should be relatively light, provide minimal recoil, and be fairly inexpensive. Competition shots, on the other hand, aren’t overly budget-friendly. Rather, they should be heavier loads with proper stainless steel or brass casings to ensure optimal efficiency during use.