Categoriesself defense

How to Reload a Shotgun

A 12 check is an incredible weapon. It has for some time been utilized in the forest and over water to put meat on the family table. It has likewise been a famous device for home guard, looming over the mantle of numerous a pioneer lodge. Yet, to do any of it, you need to realize how to reload a shotgun appropriately.

In the domain of home safeguard, the shotgun stays a suitable alternative. Simply the sound of a racking shotgun is typically enough to make would-be crooks genuinely reexamine their lives.

In any case, one of the shotgun’s significant shortcomings is its restricted ammunition limit. The normal brandishing shotgun just holds 3 to 5 shells in the magazine, in addition to one in the chamber. The last thing you need is to be mishandling to reload your weapon when your everyday’s life is on the line. So in case you’re running a shotgun for any application (home protection or else), you need to realize how to keep the thing took care of.

We will walk you through how to adequately reload a shotgun for home protection. While this article is certainly intended for the shiny new shotgunner, prepared shooters in the crowd may get a stunt or two too.

The Need to Reload

Regardless of the normal shotgun’s generally low ammunition limit, it isn’t possible that you’ll require huge loads of ammunition to successfully wipe out a savage danger. As we referenced, shotguns are exceptionally compelling weapons. The simple sound of that notorious siphon activity sends shudders of fear through anybody on its getting end.

Nonetheless, I’m a firm adherent to the familiar maxim, “Karma favors the pre-arranged.” And since in fact conceivable you’ll have to reload your 12 measure to ensure your family, you should be ready for that situation.

On the off chance that you do wind up expecting to reload your home guard shotgun, you’ve most certainly arrived in a lovely frantic circumstance. Consequently, we’ve picked the easiest, most secure reloading strategy we could consider.

Are there quicker methods? Totally. Simply look at the opposition circuit and you’ll see some shotgunners reload quicker than you can flicker.

In any case, the normal shotgunner is certifiably not an undeniable level contender. While speed is certainly a resource with regards to reloading in a home guard circumstance, the straightforwardness and dependability of the strategy is similarly as significant. Possibly more so.

Reloading Under Fire

To the extent guns go, the standard shotgun isn’t especially convoluted, particularly when you’re managing the basic siphon activity assortment. Reloading them isn’t especially confounded either… essentially not when you’re shooting single targets and possess a lot of energy for a relaxed reload.

Notwithstanding, in a home guard circumstance, when you’re under pressure (and perhaps enduring an onslaught), that basic cycle can turn out to be really confounded in a rush, particularly on the off chance that you haven’t invested a lot of energy rehearsing.

There are in a real sense many reloading procedures. Procedures utilized by serious shotgunners are extraordinarily noteworthy. Obviously, these folks have reloaded their weapons a large number of times. They could do it blindfolded in their rest and never start to perspire.

In a self-preservation situation, your body will encounter an enormous adrenaline dump. That adrenaline flood is the body’s regular reaction to push, and is planned to control you through “Acute stress.”

The impacts of adrenaline are not all sure. People react diversely to an adrenaline flood. Notwithstanding, normal responses incorporate a diminished capacity to think unmistakably and trouble zeroing in on explicit items. Adrenaline additionally causes a quick expansion in pulse which can cause a deficiency of fine engine abilities and a terrible instance of “the shakes.”

In case you’re shaking, can’t think straight, and struggle zeroing in on objects, you will have a truly challenging time pushing a 2 ¾-inch shotshell into a comparably measured stacking port.

Clearly you need the capacity to rapidly reload your home protection shotgun. Be that as it may, the strategy we’re going to share isn’t the quickest. All things being equal, it is basic, solid, and requires negligible cognizant idea and manual skill.

Where to Keep Your Extra Ammo

Before we get into the points of interest of reloading, we should discuss admittance to ammunition for that reload.

In a home guard circumstance, you will not have the opportunity to lash on a vest or sling on a bandolier. You likewise don’t have any desire to bumble through an end table or firearm protected to find additional rounds. The best spot to store your additional home guard ammunition is directly on your shotgun.

The two most normal alternatives are a side-saddle on the collector or some kind of stock mounted shell transporter. In the event that you would prefer not to utilize one of these adornments, be ready to stuff some additional 12 check shells into the pockets of your pajama pants before you go research what just went knock in the evening.

A stock-mounted shell carrier

there’s nothing bad about attempting some unique conveying techniques. A few shooters discover collector mounted side seats hard to utilize. Others out and out disdain a stock mounted transporter. There truly is nobody size-fits all choice.

You’ll need the ammunition in your shell transporter to be situated with the metal pointing down. This might appear to be irrational, since having the metal facing up would appear to keep your ammunition from exiting the circles. Nonetheless, in the event that you have a quality shell transporter, you shouldn’t have to stress over your shotshells dropping out. Besides, this direction makes it very simple to reload without reorienting your shells.

Easy Shotgun Reloading Technique

We will zero in on reloading a standard siphon shotgun since these will in general be the most well known. Notwithstanding, this procedure can without much of a stretch be adjusted for most self-loader models too.

I’ll concede I am in all out wonder of the reloading ability of some elite shooters. A portion of those gentlemen (and ladies) can reload a whole magazine in less than three seconds. It’s genuinely a wonderful thing. A large number of them can reload while never moving the shotgun from their shoulder.

I’m not that individual. While I’m sufficiently able to swing a 12-measure with all the position my little edge can summon, I’m a long way from an animal. My wrists are quite powerless and supporting the full weight of my 870 is troublesome, in any event, when I don’t have a mixed drink of adrenaline flowing through my circulation system.

Rather than battling with unbalanced wrists while attempting to reload, I drop the shotgun from my shoulder. Then, at that point, I fold the buttstock under my armpit while supporting the heaviness of the weapon with my help hand.

Tuck the buttstock under your armpit.

Before you begin ridiculing me for my silly wrists, this really has a few self-preservation benefits. These are some really genuine benefits, in any event, for shooters with a lot of chest area strength.

In the first place, this position gives you the benefit of reloading with your prevailing hand (which is likely undeniably more organized than your help hand).

In this position, you do lose the capacity to keep the gag on a possible danger. Be that as it may, it gives you the benefit of some additional strength and influence should somebody endeavor to incapacitate you while you’re reloading.

The last thing you need is for a criminal to take your shotgun and use it against you. Tucking the buttstock under your armpit makes it simpler to clutch that weapon in a battle. Also, weapon maintenance is vital in a self-preservation circumstance.

At the point when you need a shell, utilize the thumb of your prevailing hand to push the shotshell unware of present circumstances of your transporter, allowing it to drop into your hand. Cup your hand so it shapes a kind of enclosure the shell can drop inside. You would prefer not to need to pursue a rolling shotshell across the family room floor.

Slide the shell into the loading port and then push it into the tube with your thumb.

Ensure you’re holding the shell corresponding to the collector. Slide the shell into the stacking port and afterward drive it into the cylinder with your thumb. You should feel it fit properly when it is far enough into the magazine that the cylinder spring will make an effort not to spit it back out into your hand. You might have to push your thumb up into the magazine cylinder to get the shell to wait.

Do this process again until the magazine is full.

Loading the Chamber

It’s easy to tell when you’ve emptied the magazine, because you’ll get a heart wrenching click instead of the expected bang when you pull the trigger.

Slide the shell up the receiver until it drops into the ejection port.

In the event that you’ve totally discharged your shotgun, you’ll likewise have to reload the chamber. You’ll have to do this BEFORE you reload the magazine.

Open the activity, and fold the buttstock under your armpit. Snatch a shell from your transporter and slide it up the collector until it drops into the launch port. Then, at that point close the activity. When the chamber is stacked, you can raise the stock back to your shoulder to reconnect the danger or initiate reloading the magazine.

When to Reload

Bird trackers know the significance of having a full magazine. More than one tracker has felt the grievousness of exhausting a weapon similarly as a group begins working the baits. It is generally expected practice for hunting shotgunners to shoot two rounds, and afterward quickly reload two rounds. On the off chance that they fire three rounds, they reload three.

We need our reloading to be proactive, very much like the pre-arranged duck tracker. We would prefer not to delay until our home protection weapon is unfilled to ponder dealing with our ammo.

To lay it out plainly: Reload as you go. In case you’re not shooting, you ought to presumably be reloading.

Final Thoughts

This reloading strategy most certainly isn’t the quickest reloading technique. Be that as it may, it is basic and simple to dominate. It additionally gives you some additional influence that could assist you with clinging to your weapon if a gunfight unexpectedly transforms into hand-to-hand battle.

Very much like you should work on firing your home guard shotgun, you ought to likewise work on reloading it. Try not to think little of the force of muscle memory. In a distressing, crucial circumstance, it could be the most significant device in your shooting tool compartment.

In the event that you can’t come to the reach, you can utilize sham rounds to assist with building your reloading abilities. Faker rounds are intended to reflect the size, weight, and state of live buckshot, so you can securely prepare at home without jeopardizing the neighbors.

Need a few ideas for what to take care of your home safeguard shotgun? Look at our article on The Best Shotgun Ammo for Home Defense.

Alice Jones Webb

Alice Jones Webb



Categoriesself defense

Glock 17 VS Glock 19

A side by side comparison of Glock’s insanely reliable pistols – the Glock 17 vs Glock 19.

A next to each other examination of Glock’s madly solid guns – the Glock 17 versus Glock 19.

Choosing to get a Glock is the simple aspect. Choosing which Glock to get between the Glock 17 versus Glock 19, can be a bit trickier.

The Glock 17 and Glock 19 are two of the most well known guns available today. The two weapons are almost indistinguishable (the G19 and G17 share large numbers of precisely the same parts), which can make choosing the two extremely difficult.

We will analyze these two well known polymer-outlined guns so you can settle on a more educated choice with regards to which one is ideal for you

Is the Glock 17 or 19 Better?

The Glock 17 is a popular pistol for law enforcement.

The Glock 17 is answerable for starting the polymer gun upheaval and might be the most famous gun at any point created (Sorry, 1911!). There are at present more G17s being used all throughout the planet than some other handgun. The gun has seen administration with the Norwegian, Swiss, German, French, Russian, British, and Swedish Armed Forces. It is likewise the favored obligation weapon for law implementation organizations around the world.

In the United States, more G19s are sold every year than some other handgun. This is a significant achievement considering the G17 is all the more generally utilized by law authorization offices in the country. Most Glock 19s sold in the US go to the regular citizen market, with this gun being madly well known for hid convey.

It’s additionally important that the Glock 19 is the sidearm at present utilized by US Navy SEALs, MARSOC, and Army Rangers.

The Glock 19 is the best-selling pistol in the United States.

What makes these Glock guns so famous? Some would contend it’s essentially powerful showcasing. And keeping in mind that that might be consistent with a degree, no organization can keep up with a lot of the market for long with smart promoting efforts alone. Execution, dependability, reasonableness, and ergonomics have most certainly procured Glock’s darling status among American shooters.

Glock 17 vs Glock 19: Specs

Before we dive into the intangibles, let’s compare the technical specifications of these two handguns.

Glock 17 (Gen 4)
Glock 19 (Gen 4)

7.95 inches
7.28 inches

5.47 inches
5.04 inches

1.26 inches
5.04 inches

24.87 oz. (32.28 loaded)
23.63 oz. (30.16 loaded)

Sight Radius
6.5 inches
23.63 oz. (30.16 loaded)

Barrel Length
4.49 inches
4.02 inches

Magazine Capacity
17 standard (19, 33 available)
15 standard (17, 19, 33 available)

The greatest contrasts between the G17 and G19 on paper is size and magazine limit. The Glock 17 has a barrel and hold that are both practically a large portion of an inch longer than the Glock 19. The G17’s more extended grasp leaves space for a somewhat longer magazine that holds an additional two cartridges of 9x19mm ammo.


Actually, the Glock 17’s more extended barrel and sight span should give it a benefit in exactness. When secured a tight clamp, the G17 improves at 25 meters than the G19.

In any case, 25 meters is a lot farther than the normal true shooting situation. At typical commitment distances, even talented shooters will be unable to see a distinction, and just in case they are permitted to take quiet, painstakingly pointed shots. Since that is probably not going to occur in a battle or self-protection circumstance, the precision contrast between the two guns essentially vanishes anyplace with the exception of perhaps the weapon range.


With somewhat more weight than the G19, the Glock 17 ought to enjoy a benefit in the force division, as well. Notwithstanding, those additional two ounces aren’t actually enough to assimilate a lot of backlash. Attachment a few numbers into a backlash mini-computer, and you’ll discover the force energy created from a G19 and a G17, both completely stacked with indistinguishable 9mm Luger ammunition, just contrasts by .25 ft/lbs.

The primary concern: Both guns produce negligible force that is genuinely simple for even backlash touchy shooters to deal with.

G19 vs. G17: Weight and Concealability

The G17 and G19 have indistinguishable trigger draw and slide activity, which means even the most natural Glock shooters will struggle differentiating these two guns in case they aren’t focusing. I’ve really shot my child’s G17 during drills thinking I was shooting my own G19. I didn’t understand I had “some unacceptable” gun until I holstered and the additional couple of ounces on my midriff warned me.

Albeit the size and haul of these two guns isn’t too unique, it’s amazing how much a large portion of an inch here and two or three ounces there can feel when you’re carrying around a weapon the entire day.

Solace and simplicity of-convey are amazingly significant in an EDC weapon. Your gun will invest undeniably more energy in its holster than it will drawing in dangers to life and appendage. In the event that your sidearm is burdening your belt or delving into delicate tissue, you may be enticed to leave it in the firearm safe instead of convey it with you.

With somewhat more minimized measurements, the G19 is marginally simpler to disguise. In case you’re worried about printing, the G19 might enjoy a minor benefit. Notwithstanding, in light of the fact that they have a similar width, in any event, for disguise, these two guns aren’t too unique.

What Pistol Has a Better Grip?

The Glock 17 is by and large .43 inches taller than the Glock 19. That implies there’s fundamentally more land on the grasp of the G17. There are a few “specialists” out there in the shooting scene that guarantee the additional hold length can be tricky for shooters with little hands. Others guarantee the more limited grasp of the G19 will be awkward for individuals with enormous hands.

The G17 vs G19 grip

By and by, I haven’t met anybody (regardless of whether with small young lady hands or enormous, bulky man paws) who can’t progress between the two guns absent a lot of fight. Indeed, even the Glock Gen5s and their absence of finger grooves have pretty ergonomic grasp plans. The grasp width is indistinguishable on the two guns, and really the width will presumably have a greater amount of an impact on your solace than length will. (Except if you’re in a real sense Sasquatch. Then, at that point what happens next is anyone’s guess.)

Despite the fact that, I can’t tell a distinction between the two when I’m shooting, it’s likely best to give each a test drive to ensure you have a similar encounter.

Magazine Capacity

With two a bigger number of rounds than the G19, the Glock 17 truly will gloat around here. There are a lot of weapon proprietors who consider those two additional cartridges worth the extra size and weight.

The slightly larger Glock 17 magazine (left) next to the Glock 19 mag.

Nonetheless, it’s important the Navy SEALs picked the G19 over the G17, choosing the greater part of a Glock 17 was not worth the additional mag limit. Since SEALs routinely experience trouble makers in their profession, those two adjusts likely will not significantly impact the normal regular citizen shooter. Remember that, except if you’re utilizing your Glock in a law implementation or military limit, you’re bound to utilize it to escape a predicament than in an extended weapon battle.

Of course, two rounds doesn’t seem like that many… until you need them. 

If you’re worried about magazine capacity, you can always upgrade your G19 mags. Practicing your mag changes isn’t a bad idea, either. 

Which is Best?

Similarly as with most things in the realm of guns, “best” is a lovely emotional term with regards to Glocks.

In the event that you intend to add extras (like a gag gadget, red spot, or weapon light), the lighter generally speaking load of the Glock 19 is a decent spot to begin. The heaviness of additional items can amass rapidly, and the G19 is as of now lighter than the G17 by around two ounces.

The more drawn out slide and sight span of the G17 can somewhat improve exactness when you can’t (or rather not) add extravagant machines. It can likewise be a resource on the opposition field, in case that is your game.

In the event that you intend to utilize your Glock as a disguised convey weapon, the somewhat more modest components of the G19 could play in support of yourself, particularly for more modest shooters where a strong handgun is bound to print. In any case, talking from individual experience (and as a meager outlined individual), there isn’t a lot of contrast between the two, particularly when I plan my closet around disguised convey instead of the reverse way around.

The Glock 19x

If you’re having trouble deciding between the G17 and G19, the Glock 19x may be the answer to your prayers. This “crossover” variant is Glock’s attempt to combine the best of both worlds. They took the best features of the G17 and G19 and wrapped them up into one practical polymer package. 

The G19x has the G17 frame and the G19 slide. It is perfect for anyone who wants to conceal  a duty-sized weapon. As a bonus, you still get those two extra rounds the G17 provides. 

The G19x Specs:

  • Length: 7.44 inches
  • Height: 5.47 inches
  • Width: 1.3 inches
  • Weight: 24.83 oz. (31.39 oz loaded)
  • Sight radius: 5.98 inches
  • Barrel length: 4.02 inches
  • Magazine capacity: 17 standard (19, 24, 31, 33 optional)

Final Thoughts

Because the Glock 17 and Glock 19 (and the Glock 19x) are so similar, determining which will work best for you can be difficult. The good news is there is so little difference, that even if you don’t choose the “right” one, you’ll still have a damn good pistol.

Categoriesself defense

The Best Self Defense Ammo – Ballistic Testing

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A massive test of self-defense ammo with ballistic gelatin and a treasure trove of data for shooters.\

The team tests 143 different handgun loads through a 4-layer barrier into ballistic gelatin. Enjoy the treasure trove of data and see how each round compared under identical testing conditions to other ammunition options.

Welcome to the Self Defense Ballistic Test – our effort to give you a ton of data to help you determine the best self defense ammo for your needs.

What is ballistic testing? Well, ballistics is essentially the study of how a bullet performs under different circumstances. A bullet’s trajectory, speed, and terminal ballistics can all be measured and studied.

We tested our lineup of hollow point ammunition, which includes 175 different loads, covering five of the most popular calibers – 9mm, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, .380 Auto, 357 Magnum (added on 9/19/2018), 38 Special (added on 10/17/18) as well as 10mm and 22 WMR (added 4/22/19). We then analyzed and compared the data against the set of performance standards used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a resource for you to use when shopping for and considering self defense ammo.

We’ve also analyzed each caliber individually using the data collected in this test. If you’re interested in learning more about each caliber, please head to the individual posts below:

It is always best to familiarize yourself with and be prepared with the ammunition you plan to use. You don’t ever want to be caught off guard with unfamiliar ammo. When it comes to picking a self defense round to trust your life with why would you ever make a blind purchase?

We understand that for most people the demanding nature of a project such as this is not easy nor cost effective to make a go at it alone. We wanted to bridge that gap by laying out as much raw data as possible. Our goal wasn’t to tell you what ammo you should use but rather show you as many different loads side-by-side so you could make the best decision for your needs.

Ballistic Test Basics

There are many different variables to take into account when testing self defense ammunition.

Ammo that performs well out of one pistol may function poorly when fired from a handgun of a different size or make. Finding the ammo that works best with your handgun and meets your personal needs is what matters most. That’s why it’s important you get real trigger time with the ammo you’re potentially going to trust your life to.

For this project we followed many of the guidelines the FBI uses as testing requirements for their own duty ammunition. This helped us measure performance standards such as penetration depth, retained weight, and the expansion capabilities for each hollow point projectile.

By analyzing the extensive data from our test you will be able to clearly see how each round performed under our test conditions. Whether you’re just getting into shooting or if you’ve been around firearms your entire life, we think everyone will be able take away some new and useful information from the test result.

FBI Ballistic Testing Protocol

The FBI test protocol runs through a full cycle of eight test events. Each event is designed to test a hollow point bullet by shooting the ammo through barriers such as wallboard, steel, and auto glass before penetrating ballistic gelatin. The ammunition is then tested for velocity and accuracy. According to the FBI, the results are an assessment of a bullet’s ability to inflict effective wounds after defeating various intervening obstacles commonly present in law enforcement shootings .

For our testing purposes we slightly deviated from the strict guidelines so that our results might reflect more of what a civilian may encounter in a self defense situation. We understand though that every defense situation is unique and we cannot just blindly group every shooting into a single category.

With that in mind, our test focused more on one of the eight test events in which the ammunition penetrates heavy clothing prior to impacting the ballistic gelatin. While these guidelines are in no way an absolute set of rules for testing self defense ammo, they provide a great backbone to build off of.

Ballistic Gelatin

The FBI uses what’s called 10% Ordnance Gel as their test medium. It is made of organic material, and is a massive hassle to deal with when testing ammunition. This makes storing the blocks for long periods of time difficult unless you have a commercial size freezer on hand. The blocks are also very opaque, making it hard to measure the damaging effects of the hollow point projectiles.

To avoid those hassles and have the opportunity to scale our project we used 10% clear ballistic gelatin material from Clear Ballistics to simulate living tissue. Each block used was six inches square by 16 inches long. Each block was calibrated for testing by Clear Ballistics prior to shipment.

10% Clear Ballistics Gelatin Block Dimensions

We fired each round included in our testing from a distance of ten feet, following the FBI standard, measuring from the muzzle to the front of the block.


A round’s overall performance can be greatly affected by the material or barrier the bullet travels through before impacting a target.

In real world defense situations you may find yourself dealing with a number of different barriers in between your firearm and the vital impact zone to take down a threat. This long list can be things such as other body parts, clothing, glass and a number of other obstacles that can alter the performance of a bullet.

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While you can expect to see a decline in bullet performance when testing with heavy barriers such as wallboard and glass, a soft cloth barrier can actually hinder performance of a projectile just as much. Clothing materials tend to cause real problems clogging up the hollow tip of some brands of ammunition. This can prevent the round from expanding, in return making it less effective at stopping a threat.

Failure to expand due to hollow point tip clogging with clothing barrier – 9mm Speer Gold Dot 115gr.

For our condensed version of the FBI test we opted to to simulate shooting through typical heavy cold weather clothing as our intermediate barrier. We placed the barrier in front of the gel, which consisted of one layer of Denim (14.4 ounces/yard), one layer of Polartec 200 fleece, one layer of cotton dress shirt (3.5 ounces/yard) and one layer of cotton T-shirt material (5.25 ounces/yard).

Unless someone is trying to attack you on the beach it’s not all that uncommon to potentially encounter a threat wearing similar heavy clothing. Understanding how your self defense ammo performs when impacting this barrier can give you a leg up on a potential threat.

We fired all rounds tested at a distance of approximately ten feet from the front of the muzzle to the edge of the gelatin block’s fabric barrier.

Ammunition Penetration

To meet the FBI penetration standard, a handgun bullet must consistently penetrate on average a minimum of 12 inches and a maximum or 18 inches into ballistics gelatin. This ideal penetration depth translates to reliable bullet performance to affect vital organs within a human target despite mitigating factors, such as angle of impact or intermediate barriers.

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According to the FBI Test Protocol, “Given minimum penetration, the only means of increasing wound effectiveness is to make the hole bigger. This increases the amount of vital tissue damaged, increases the chance of damaging vital tissue with a marginally placed shot, and increases the potential for quicker blood loss.”Along with barriers, many other factors help determine how far a bullet will penetrate a target; The velocity at which the projectile is traveling, the design of the bullet itself, even the rate of expansion will all help determine the penetration depth.

Ammunition Expansion

Successful Expansion After Encountering Clothing Barrier – 45acp Federal HST 230gr +P

A consistently expanding self defense round is an attackers worst enemy. When a hollow point projectile impacts a target, the hollow cavity causes the bullet to deform or “mushroom” resulting in greater internal damage to a living target after impact. The expansion of a HP bullet creates a large wound channel, leaving devastating effects.Rounds that have a better rate of expansion typically penetrate less than rounds that do not successfully expand. This explains why FMJ ammunition generally isn’t considered a great choice for self defense, no real expansion takes place.

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As far as successful expansion goes, a commonly used measurement is an expanded diameter at least 1.5 times the original diameter.  This generally results in an adequate amount of expansion for a given caliber resulting in a “bigger hole” or wound cavity.

Weight Retention of the Bullet

The weight retention capabilities of a self defense round can help a bullet achieve outstanding performance or fail completely. If a projectile breaks apart upon impact to a target the loss of weight that occurs can result in a corresponding loss of power. Sure, shrapnel can be deadly long term, but the main goal of stopping a life threatening presence is to stop that target as soon as possible.

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Going back to the FBI protocol, “with the single exception of damaging the central nervous system, the only way to force incapacitation upon an unwilling adversary is to cause enough blood loss to starve the brain of its oxygen and/or drop blood pressure to zero. This takes time, and the faster hemorrhage can occur the better.”

Ammo Velocity and Energy

One of the final steps in our testing process is to shoot the ammunition with a ballistic chronograph to measure the muzzle velocity of each projectile. The chronograph consists of two optical sensors that records the passage of the bullet over them. This helps us measure the muzzle velocity and muzzle energy of the ammunition being tested.

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All bullets behave differently at various speeds, so it is important to know the rate at which your handgun fires a certain brand of projectiles. The more consistently your self defense ammunition performs, the more reliable it is to you.

Firearms Used for Testing

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This is another aspect of FBI protocol that we didn’t strictly adhere to. Instead of strictly using full size duty handguns we chose one firearm for each caliber that a civilian might be more likely to carry concealed.

Our 357 magnum test results were obtained using a Smith & Wesson 640 J-Frame revolver with a 2.125″ barrel.

Keep in mind that the length of your firearm barrel can have an effect on the velocity of a fired bullet.

Generally speaking, the longer the barrel the greater velocity a round will have. In other words, just because one load appears to be perform as the best self defense ammo with one firearm or barrel length, it may not always be so effective.

Takeaways – What’s the Best Self-Defense Ammo?

Self defense ammunition can be looked at like an insurance policy. You want something reliable that you can depend on when you need it most. If you wouldn’t trust your home or car with a low quality insurance policy, why would you trust your life with ammunition that might not perform when needed?

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Always test your ammunition with your firearms to make sure it performs reliably. Like we mentioned earlier, each pistol is different, and a round that works well out of one may fail in another. It’s often hard to dismiss a brand completely just because it doesn’t perform as expected with a single handgun. Again, something that looks the best with one firearm may not be best in all pistols.

For example, you may have a go-to ammo brand for your trusty 9mm handgun, but you’re wanting to make an upgrade to a larger .45 caliber pistol. Understanding how your favorite brand performs in a different caliber is key to making that transition. If the round fails to perform as needed, then making the switch to a larger caliber was in a sense pointless unless you’re willing to look at other ammo brands.

One example of this scenario can be seen below. 9mm Speer Gold Dot 115gr. ammo appears to deliver overall poor performance when fired from our M&P Shield, but the 45 ACP Speer Gold Dot 230gr. ammo fired from our Ruger SR45 looked like a real winner.

9mm Speer Gold Dot Ballistic Results
45ACP Speer Gold Dot Ballistic Results

Carry ammunition that you feel comfortable shooting. You might like the idea of a +P round, where the extra velocity may help you in some cases, but if you don’t like the extra kick it produces it may not be the right round for you. Never stop educating yourself when it comes to your firearm and the ammunition you use and trust your life with. Remember, consistency is the key to good performance. in a new tab)

Quick Links to the Test Results: in a new tab)

9mm Ammo

40 S&W Ammo

Proofreader’s Notes:

On April 24, we added two extra types to our testing. You’ll discover 22 WMR and 10mm loads currently added to our undertaking. For the 22 WMR, we utilized a Ruger LCR gun with a 1.87″ barrel. For the 10mm, we utilized a Glock 29 with a 3.78″ barrel.

On September 19, 2018 we added an extra type to our test outcomes. On this date we added 22 distinctive 357 Magnum burdens to the task. Results in this group archived while utilizing a Smith and Wesson 640 J-Frame Revolver with a 2.125″ barrel. Any remaining conditions for testing were indistinguishable from different tests.

On March 27, 2018 we added an extra 16 burdens to our test outcomes. These outcomes included one that we’ve been gotten some information about a ton, Winchester’s Ranger T JHP. This update incorporates new test brings about 9mm, 380, 40 S&W and 45 ACP.