So, you have a new gun. Now, it’s time to load it up with the right ammunition to put it to use. If you’re unsure where to start, you’ve come to the right page. Here, we will guide you in choosing the right gun ammunition.

The Manual

As with any machinery or equipment, the first step should be reading the manual of your handgun. It will detail the various types of ammunition that you should use. In case your handgun doesn’t come with a manual, you can search for it online. You can also go to the manufacturer’s website to find the manual. Don’t attempt to tinker with the gun without a manual on hand.

The Caliber

When you have read the manual, it’s time you choose ammunition by caliber. Let’s say, you have a 9mm firearm; therefore, you need 9mm ammunition for it. There are three places to match the caliber:

  • The caliber must be engraved somewhere on the firearm.
  • The caliber is written on the original manufacturer’s box of ammo.
  • The headstamp, which is the bottom of the cartridge, also has the caliber on it.

The Target Ammo

The best ammunition for practicing range time with your gun is when the bullet portion is fully encased in metal, called a full metal jacket. The box must also feature the abbreviation FMJ on it.

This type of ammunition is inexpensive, and on the side of the box, you will find the grain. If it’s 9mm, you might see 115, 124, or 147 grain, which all refers to the bullet’s weight. With that, the higher the number, the heavier the bullet.

The Personal Defense Ammo

When choosing personal defense ammunition, it should be intended for personal defense. With this, you need a cartridge with a hollow point bullet. This type of ammo is built to open as it enters and slows the bullet down, and decreases the chance of it passing entirely through the target.

The +P

If the manual says you should use ammo that has been designated as +P, be mindful. A lot of manufacturers don’t recommend this kind of bullet because it is an overpressured round that is meant for personal defense. With this, the bullet has a higher velocity.


It’s essential to run some of your personal defense ammo through your firearm in a range. Test it out and make sure to practice safety at all times. Moreover, you need to be able to depend on the ammo you chose for your concealed carry firearm. It’s also a good idea to shoot your personal defense ammo through concealed carry firearms regularly to get a feel of the recoil.


When you have a gun, choosing the right ammunition is important. Therefore, keep in mind this information when you’re looking for ammunition. The manual is very important. However, if you bought your gun from a third party, then you can always look up the manual online. Finally, make sure you only get ammunition from reliable providers; otherwise, you could get into trouble!

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