The handgun is the most popular type of gun because of its size and variety. It’s helpful for different kinds of situations whether it’d be for self defence, hunting, or simply practice. Being small has a ton of advantages like inconspicuousness and ease of handling while also being intimidating enough once shown.
There are various kinds of handguns as well like revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. Each one has a certain model from different manufacturers designed to shoot a certain ammo calibre that you can get at Outstanding Munitions. If you aren’t sure how these rounds differ from one another, then here’s a short guide that can help you:
Handgun bullet types for different situations
The first that you need to know is that all handgun bullets come in two common broad categories. Both have very specific properties that make them only ideal in certain situations. As a gun owner in the United States, you have plenty of factors to consider when choosing which ammunition to load into your firearm.
Full metal jacket
The most common type of bullet is the full metal jacket or FMJ so Outstanding Munitions always carry more of it in stock. It’s also a lot cheaper to manufacture than the hollow point so it also costs less at any store. This makes the full metal jacket the ideal rounds for target practice whether you are a newbie or someone who just likes testing new guns at the shooting range.
The iconic property of the FMJ is how it can retain most of its size after impact. Thus, it can easily push through the intended target and exit on the other end. It’s dangerous to use for self-defence as an innocent bystander behind the assailant you’re shooting at can also be hit. Punching a hole also doesn’t have stopping power to stagger the target, especially if you are using small cartridges.
Jacketed hollow point
The jacketed hollow point, or simply hollow point, is the ideal bullet for self-defence. Its tip expands upon impact, making it dull enough to stagger the target as they feel the push of the blunt projectile. This punch is also a lot more painful than an FMJ as it also widens at the point of impact, thus affecting more muscles and bones. It’s also popular for hunting as the force is generally painful enough to take down a doe even if it wasn’t a lethal hit.
The downside to relying on hollow points is how this bullet type is generally a lot more expensive to manufacture. Outstanding Munitions can still supply what you need but just know that it is also more expensive than the FMJ. Although not ideal for target practice, it’s the advised alternative for self defence. The expanding projectile either stays within the target’s body or drastically loses momentum after the first hit, keeping bystanders safe from stray bullets.
The best handgun calibres in the United States
Calibre refers to a live round’s size and they are typically named after the bore of the gun in which the bullet is meant to pass through. The bullet needs to be in a compatible fit with the barrel in a way that it would fit enough at the tip to get the rifling marks from the gun.
Other parts of the name can include configurations like the +P meaning that it comes with increased pressure than its normal variation. There were plenty of bullets made throughout the years as manufacturers aimed to make the best rounds to outfit the United States military and police forces. However, these three have remained as some of the most reliable calibres in history:
9 mm Parabellum
The most widely used calibre is the 9 mm Parabellum, also known as 9 mm Luger or simply 9 mm. It comes with a high pressure cartridge packed in a small casing for light handguns. The bullet is light and small but flies at a high velocity with minimal air resistance, allowing it to punch through any targets cleanly. There have been many guns designed for it given its popularity, availability, and relatively weak recoil. Some of them are fully automatic submachine guns.
Popularised by movies featuring hardened gunslingers, the .357 magnum is one of the most popular cartridges used by police officers. However, many hesitate to carry it in enclosed spaces as every shot can be deafening for the users. It’s reliable for outdoor shootouts as it has a long effective range and accuracy compared to the 9 mm. Hunters also find this calibre reliable for self-defence as its loud noise can scare off other predators. The only downside is its relatively powerful recoil that can cause sprains or shoulder pains for inexperienced shooters.
If you want a cartridge whose performance is in between the 9 mm and .357 magnum, then the 10 mm Auto is the best alternative. It was once the standard round used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at some point in United States history. However, they later opted out for the 9 mm as its recoil is too powerful and the gun that chambers it is too big for some agents.
However, the 10 mm Auto is still a reliable cartridge that is now popular among game hunters. The guns for it are big but can be outfitted with accessories to help optimise its power. It’s also a great side-arm for self defence against any four-legged predators or for hunting a deer.
Factors to consider when choosing a handgun calibre
Although these three are generally considered the best types of handgun ammunition, Outstanding Munition also carries a lot of other calibres. Each one is designed to solve a certain issue that above three cartridges had so plenty of gunslingers will prefer them. Beginners are primarily advised to use 9 mm exclusively but you can choose a specific calibre by considering the following factors:
Size of the gun and size of the bullet it’s meant to fire
A lot of gunslingers begin their interest in firearms from their interest in specific gun models. If you got a gun as a gift or inheritance, then you should base your ammo choice on its barrel size. Many types of guns can fit several types of calibres like the .357 magnum revolvers being able to fit .38 Special. Both ammunition are almost identical so a gun meant for the former can be loaded with the latter. However, a .38 Special is shorter than the .357 magnum so the other way around is not always applicable.
Potential recoil strength for you and your gun
Every cartridge essentially creates explosions to push the bullet out of the casings, thus each shot harms the gun. It is the basis of any firearms’ lifespan, usually based on how many shots it takes before the gun is broken. This explosion also causes the recoil that pushes the gun backwards after every blast.
The intensity of the blast is directly proportional with the size of the cartridge which you can tell between the differences of a 9 mm and a 10 mm. However, using a large calibre, like a .44 Magnum, isn’t safe as some can experience strained muscles or shoulder dislocation. Any ammunition larger than a .45 Colt is unnecessary for a handgun.
Your target and shooting location
If you are not restricted by a single gun in your possession or troubled by recoil strength, then your only other concern should be the situation where you plan to use it. Hunters need calibres that should be powerful enough to both travel up to a 100 yards and take down a deer. For self-defence, you should be able to carry a light gun that you can aim properly and not hurt you when shooting.
As for space, you do not want a strong calibre when entering a closed space because of how the echo can hurt you. Heavy guns are also too unwieldy in a cramped room, anyway, so it’s always better to carry small pistols for close-range self-defence.
Why use a handgun over other firearms
The most direct answer as to why you should use a handgun over any other firearms is precisely for its small frame. It’s light, concealable, and accurate, making them ideal for target practice. Although high-calibre weapons are common, carrying one can still cause discomfort among the public.
Another trait that made the handgun popular is how it is carried by a holster. It can be a high-calibre magnum with a considerable weight but it is still carried by the hip, ready for action. Others prefer smaller-framed pistols that they can conceal using a variety of straps, allowing United States police officers to stay undercover without being unarmed.
What makes handguns ultimately favoured, however, is the availability of its ammunition. Outstanding Munitions sells all of the popular calibres from different brands. Feel free to browse your options on your next visit.