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Want to be an ammunition expert?

Everything you need to know when it comes to ammo!

Ammunition is a vital aspect of the shooting sports! With so many different calibers, prices, types, and purposes, it can all be very confusing, but that's where we come in to help!

Ammunition is a vital aspect of the shooting sports! With so many different calibers, prices, types, and purposes, it can all be very confusing, but that's where we come in to help! As a new shooter, you do not need to know everything about ammunition, however, it is helpful to know some. The majority of new firearms will include the caliber engraving on the physical firearm. Additionally, most new firearms come with a user's manual that will indicate the ammunition needed and even specific information that may help you choose the perfect ammunition for your firearm! Feeling overwhelmed? Always feel free to come in or call and one of our knowledgeable team members will be happy to assist you!

Commonly Asked Questions:

What is caliber?

Caliber describes the physical dimensions, generally the diameter, of a bullet, measured in inches or millimeters. The larger the caliber, the more that price, recoil, effective range, and stopping power increase. Additionally, the more obscure or infrequent a caliber, the more expensive it may be!

What does grain weight mean?

The grain weight of a bullet refers to the mass of the bullet itself. The mass of a bullet affects its speed, stopping power, and penetration. Generally, the heavier the bullet, the harder the impact and expansion.

What are the most common calibers?

  • Each type of firearm has its own set of common calibers! Some calibers can be used in different types of firearms, giving that firearm a different purpose!
  • Handguns: .22lr, .380 ACP, 9mm, .40cal, .45acp, 10mm
  • Rifle: .22LR, 223 Remingtion, 5.56 NATO, 308 WInchester, 6.5 Creedmor, 30-06 Springfield, 6.5 PRC, 300 WIN MAG

  • Shotgun: 10GA, 12GA, 16GA, 20GA, 28GA, and 410GA

What is the difference between “rimfire” and “centerfire?”

Rimfire and centerfire are two words to distinguish how the firing pin strikes the primer of the cartridge. The primer in a rimfire bullet is built into the rim, while a centerfire bullet has a primer in the center of the cartridge. The firing pin hits the primer of a centerfire bullet, in the center, but in rimfire, the firing pin can hit anywhere to ignite the primer.

What is velocity?

Velocity in regards to ammunition is just simple physics! Velocity is simply a measure of the speed of the projectile the moment it leaves the barrel of a firearm. The velocity of a round is stated on the box of ammunition. The advantage of a higher velocity round is the straighter trajectory of the bullet as it travels. The disadvantage is that the higher the velocity of the round indicates a larger recoil and a slight drop in trajectory as the bullet travels.

What does +P mean?

“+P” is something we constantly see on boxes of ammunition, but what does it mean?! Simply, +P ammunition is a cartridge that has been loaded with a greater amount of gunpowder. The P stands for pressure, so added pressure = +P. The more gunpowder packed into a bullet, the more forceful the explosion. Most of the time, +P ammunition is utilized for defense ammunition, but be careful, not all firearms are built to withstand the extra pressure! If you are curious if your firearm can handle the added pressure, resort back to the firearms user manual.

What is the difference between aluminum, brass, and steel casing?

Ammunition is made of many parts, one of which is the casing. This casing can be brass, steel, or nickel… so many, right? Some people prefer one over the other, however, the firearm generally does not care. There are pros and cons to all three, though. Brass casing are widely known as the best and most common. They generally run smoother and more clean than steel and nickel. Brass casings can be more expensive, but mainly because they are corrosion-resistant and keep their shape, allowing them to be used for reloading. Steel cased ammunition is the cheapest option of the three due to the opportunity for more malfunctions. The majority of malfunctions caused by steel casings are a result of the carbon build up in the barrel. Lastly, aluminum casings and the most effective choice due to its light weight casing. Aluminum casings produce a moderate amount of gas when fired, putting it in the middle of the road when comparing the three.

What is green tip ammo?/ What does it mean when the tip of the bullet is colored?

Generally, color tipped ammunition indicates a specific purpose. Armor piercing or steel cased rounds have a green tip. Precision and hunting rounds are indicated by a polymer tip and, lastly, syntax rounds have a purple or red polymer tip.

What is the difference between FMJ and FMJBT?

Full Metal Jacket is an identifier on a large variety of boxes of ammunition, but what about Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail?? The difference between the two is in the shape of the bullet itself. Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail (FMJBT) has a more bubbled shape and thicker towards the back of the round. This shape creates a more wind resistant feature that is intended to improve the accuracy and trajectory of medium to long range ammunitions.

What is the difference between hollow point, soft point, and ballistic rounds?

Different types of ammunition all have different purposes….and prices. All ammunition is effective, but knowing the major different types can help you save money and achieve the intended goal. The three major types are hollow-point (also known as defense ammunition), soft-point, and frangible. Hollow-points physically have a hollow point, they are designed to expand on impact. The bullet's purpose is to remain in one piece while stopping on impact, thus, not exiting the target. Soft-points are considered the “half-way” point between hollow-points and Full Metal Jacket. The soft-point round will expand upon impact but does not expand enough to have the same stopping power of a hollow-point. Lastly, frangible ammunition has a scored tip and is, generally, used in sport shooting. The moment a frangible round comes in contact with the target it garments into many small pieces of debris.

Does size matter?

The intended purpose of your firearm will determine the necessary or optimal caliber size. As previously mentioned, the caliber is just the size of the round, which will be an indicator of its capabilities. However, the caliber and the grain weight are vital and equally important because the size and grain are identifiers for how much gunpowder can be packed into the round. If your purpose is training, there is no need for a huge caliber, but If your purpose is long range sport shooting, we suggest choosing a higher caliber!

Shotgun Shells Explained:

Shotguns, at times, seem like they are in an entirely different category…because they are. Shotguns shoot shells because, unlike normal bullets, shotgun shells are designed to carry multiple projectiles. The larger the gauge, the larger the round, and the more projectiles that can fit into it! Shotgun shells have a variety of purposes and are categorized by them; birdshot, buckshot, and slugs. Birdshot shells are used for field and small game or target loads. Buckshot shells contain larger projectiles and are commonly used for hunting large game for home defense. Lastly, slugs are a single solid projectile used for practice and sport!

What is the best round for self defense?

One of the most frequently asked questions in regards to ammunition is the best round for self defense. Well, the answer depends on the firearm. The most commonly used self defense round is 9mm, used in a handgun or pistol caliber carbine firearm. However, any caliber between .380ACP and .40 caliber are regarded as useful for defense. When using a firearm other than a handgun for self or home defense, the 12GA shotgun reigns the most common.