Of all the factors that one considers when preparing to defend yourself and loved ones with a firearm, ammunition selection is one that is most immersed in conventional “wisdom”, folklore, and outright falsehoods, and as such is one where most newer gunhands, and more than a few seasoned gunslingers, fall victim to bad info.
All the common handgun cartridges- 9mm Para., .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .40 S&W and the much beloved .45 ACP, all have their vocal fans, and seething critics. We’ll touch on the most common myths, but with all the noise surrounding the topic, it is often best to forget what you think you know, and begin with a fresh take. Below, I’ll take you through an overview of how bullets do their work, and what makes good ammunition, well, good. Let’s get started!
How Do We Stop Our Attacker?
The ammunition industry has seen great leaps forward in the last 30 years. Modern projectiles are more effective and reliable than they have ever been. Thanks to modern wound ballistic analysis we now know there are only two methods by which bullets will result in incapacitation of an attacker. One is psychological the other is physiological, i.e. your bad guy will either give up after he is wounded, or you will wound him enough that he is physically incapacitated, typically from blood loss or central nervous system damage.