Handgun Ammo FAQs

9mm ammunition is, without a doubt, the most popular handgun caliber. It was first developed by Austrian designer Georg Luger in the early 1900s, and is the most widely used round in the world of handguns. The 9mm versatility, performance characteristics and affordability make it a tough choice to beat that is especially popular with enthusiasts of concealed carry and self-defense practitioners.

Absolutely nothing! They are identical and different in name only. Despite what name these rounds carry, when you hear someone refer to a 9mm, they are most likely referring to a 9mm Luger or 9x19mm Parabellum which are one and the same cartridge.

No, not at this time. We have plans to do so in the future but California’s firearm laws prevent us from doing so, at least for now.

Most unmodified Glock 19 pistols handle all newly manufactured 9mm ammo without problems. Ultimately, the choice of the best ammo for your Glock 19 will be based on what you use your Glock for.

If you are looking for 9mm rounds that create the least recoil then you will want to use subsonic loads. For 9mm this means rounds that use 9.5 grams (147 gr) bullets or less and travel at velocities of 300 meters per second (980 ft/s). With subsonic loads, balancing bullet velocity and weight are important to ensure that the ammunition will still reliably cycle in semi-automatic firearms. When purchasing ammo for low recoil you are looking for very light grain weights.

When looking for the cleanest burning 9mm ammo you want to find ammo that uses very clean-burning powder, “non-tox” primers and fully encapsulated bullets (TMJ). Typically $0.05 to $0.10 more per round higher in price than regular ball ammo, they are a great choice for indoor range shooting.

The FBI contract for new duty ammunition was awarded to the Hornady ammunition company for their 135gr 9mm +p Critical Duty round. Testing reveals the best expansion plus glass penetration characteristics. The Secret Service has been using Speer Gold Dot 124gr 9mm +p as they replaced their .357sig caliber/.40s&w and other pistol calibers. Winchester was given a contract for frangible training ammunition.

A lot of folks might think the US Military would use hollow point ammo like the police or FBI/CIA agents do, but they actually only use “ball ammo” or full metal jacket (FMJ) ammo. This is because the rules of the Geneva Convention agree not to use “fragmenting rounds” in combat, although the US never signed that specific agreement, they have almost always abided by it.

If you are looking for 9mm ammo for home defense, over penetration or penetration through walls are usually your biggest concerns. In that case, jacketed hollow point (JHP) ammunition like Hornady 9 mm Luger+P, 124 Grain XTP, American Gunner can be a better option than FMJ ammo as it slows down more when it hits drywall.

Most 9mm ammo is not subsonic but there are manufacturers who do make it. Always check the box to see if it’s subsonic or not. Almost all makers of subsonic 9mm Luger ammo will make a very clear effort to point that fact out on their packaging. As a rule of thumb, you can expect almost all 158-grain FMJ (full metal jacket) 9mm ammo to be subsonic.

The .45 ACP cartridge was designed in 1904 by John Browning and began production in 1905, to be used in the prototype Colt semi-automatic .45 pistol that he also designed. The cartridge would go on to be used in the M1911 pistol adopted by the U.S. Army in 1911. This ammunition also served the M1911 pistol adopted by the Army in 1911 and used by U.S. Armed Forces until 1985. It is still in use today by varied law enforcement agencies in the U.S. including the FBI Hostage Rescue team and LAPD SWAT as it is renowned for its superior stopping power. The second most commonly used handgun caliber in the world (behind 9mm) it is also known by different names, like 45 Auto, 45 Automatic Colt Pistol and 45 Cal.

A generally more preferred caliber for home defense, a .45 ACP bullet might be less likely to go through walls. However, the 9mm may be more comfortable to use, though it could possibly cause more damage indoors and outside the immediate, intended area because of over-penetration.

When it comes to 45 ACP ammunition, like all ammunitions, it depends on what you are using it for and your personal tastes. Shooters practicing at a range sometimes prefer to use .45 auto full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets in their target guns. Perfect for practice, they are inexpensive and frequently available in quantity they represent an excellent value. For a low-cost option in .45 ACP ammunition, steel-cased cartridges are a good choice, while reloading enthusiasts will generally select brass-cased cartridges. Concealed-carrying shooters prefer to choose a cartridge that has less penetration and higher stopping power, such as a jacketed hollow point (JHP).

The larger bullet .45 caliber round generally has the “knock down power” to neutralize an adversary with one shot. Pistols that fire 9mm rounds are generally more accurate and can also carry more cartridges.

Full metal jacket (FMJ) rounds are the choice for many shooters when selecting .45 ACP ammo for target practice. Additional benefits are that they can be bought in quantity, are reasonably priced and readily available. For people who compete in target shooting competitions semi-wadcutter (SWC) rounds are often the best choice. SWC ammunition produces clean cuts on paper targets making it easier to evaluate and score than other ammunition.

Different variations of the 45 Auto cartridge have been used by the US Armed Forces over the years. Included have been wadcutters, tracers, and line throwing rounds, among others. The US military has been using jacketed hollow point (JHP) cartridges in battle since 2015 because they are more effective and have better stopping-power than regular FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) cartridges.

45 Auto and 45 ACP are different names for the same cartridge. ACP is an abbreviation for “Automatic Colt Pistol”. 45 Auto is the shortened version of “Automatic Colt Pistol”.

The 10mm is slightly more powerful than the .45 ACP as shown in the following ballistic data:

Muzzle Velocity: 1,008 fps
Muzzle Energy: 406 ft/lbs
Velocity at 100 yards: 917 fps

Muzzle Velocity: 840 fps
Muzzle Energy: 368 ft/lbs
Velocity at 100yds: 792 fps

Most professional or highly experienced shooters agree that, in general, for a self defense application JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) is going to be more effective than a FMJ (Full Metal Jacket). The most cited reason is that the JHP will likely do more damage to the target than a FMJ while being less likely to overpenetrate and continue on to damage other, unintended targets.

The “.45" describes the barrel diameter which is roughly 0.45 inches or 11 mm.

Rifle Ammo FAQs

Shotgun Ammo FAQs

Rimfire Ammo FAQs