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AMMUNITION FOR "SELF DEFENSE"

AMMUNITION FOR “SELF-DEFENSE”

 Often I get asked about the best ammunition (in any given hand gun) for “Self-Defense”.  This question is far too broad for me to give specific and useful/meaningful answers to.  So if you’ve just emailed me that question, this short article is for you.

SPECIFICS ARE A NECESSITY

For starters, in many parts of the country, (never mind the entire world) folks are more concerned about being harmed by bears, moose, bison, mountain lion and even hogs than they are people.  So the term “Self-Defense” can only be defined by being specific. i.e. “self-defense against humans”, would mean just what it says, but “Self-Defense” is left open to interpretation. Guns are not toys and shooting people or critters is not an issue I wish to take lightly, so as a courtesy to my customers, I want to give you answers that are meaningful and will benefit you, so please be specific with me when asking for advice and I can in return be specific/meaningful/helpful with you. I am not willing to use to guess-work or assumptions in giving out advice that your very life or the lives of those you love, may depend on someday.

BEST AMMO

Next, there is no best ammo for “self-defense against humans” in any given popular handgun cartridge……your choice in ammo should depend on the conditions under which you carry and what you expect the ammo to do. i.e., do you “carry” in cold climates where the human predator may wear three coats? Do you want your ammo to have the ability to shoot through soft cover like car doors, windshields, stick frame walls, sofas or any other handy type of cover he may have jumped behind and still penetrate his heavy winter clothing?

WORRIED ABOUT OVER-PENETRATION

If you do not anticipate ever shooting a two legged predator that weighs over 150 lbs., never wears clothing heavier than a tee shirt, always stands facing you frontally and only attacks in bright daylight, then I will recommend ammo choices that are very different than if you anticipate the variable conditions that most of the real world may present if you are called on to shoot another human in defense of life. FWIW, this may be a good place to refer you to my article on CONCERNS OF BULLET OVER-PENETRATION IN CIVILIAN SHOOTINGS.

LARGE PREDATORS

If you are concerned with outdoor carry where harm from wildlife can and does often occur, then likewise, please be specific………stopping a 2,000 lb. Bison or 1,000 lb. AK Brown Bear requires much more from a cartridge than killing or dissuading a 170 lb. Mountain Lion or 130 lb. Wolf…………..If you care to read more on “outdoor” carry for wildlife threats, here’s my article on TRAIL AND CAMP GUNS.

Most of the time, ammo choices will involve trade-offs on some level as shootings rarely happen in controlled environments, where the ammo choice could be custom tailored before hand.

I can be of most help to you, if you will be very specific with me about what you expect or may need your ammo to accomplish. Thank you.

God bless,
Tim