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modern handgun ammo

Gun_FightThe first rule of gunfighting:

#1 Have a gun

Practice is a close second.

News reports OFTEN have guys emptying magazines towards each other missing their intended targets in a big hurry. The guy who hits first wins… or more accurately, Loses a lot less, because nobody actually wins a gunfight. Everyone is wounded to some degree.

Caliber matters as does ammo. Modern construction like Hornady’s Critical Defense has changed the caliber equation. 9mm is now where .40 was a few years ago. 38 Special and even .380 have become effective defensive ammo. I wouldn’t have said that about them until recently, though .38 sufficed for a long, long time.

By the way, Critical Duty is made for law enforcement protocol that includes factors unrelated to real world effectiveness. Critical Defense is just what the name implies. That’s my current favorite.

A mix of slow fire, target shooting with some action shooting is my ideal. Slow fire gets the fundamentals in order. It is important to get that foundation right before you go any further… and to refresh those step-by-step actions from time to time.

Timed action matches add a tiny stress level and encourage you to learn to shoot faster without sacrificing accuracy… okay, and they are fun. Reloaded ammo (or lots of money) is almost a must as action matches always burn a lot of ammo. They are also a place to make friends and to see what serious shooters can do.

There is no substitute for burning 1,000 rounds a week practicing for this game. Do not get confused. The guys who can go three times as fast as you are extremely rare in the real world and have little other in their lives but this target shooting sport. I haven’t tripped over a single one of the really high-performance practical pistol shooters who is preparing for anything but recreational shooting matches. But DANG they are fun to watch, and just leave you shaking your head.

All of the above is about handguns. There is another top-tier rule of gunfighting:

A handgun is only to fight your way to your long gun.

As you can see in the links below, handgun energy is a fraction of rifle or shotgun energy. There is a reason that in times and places of social unrest, people carry rifles and shotguns at low-ready. Handguns are handy, but if your environment is really dangerous, they fall short on firepower.

The handgun chart displays my unwillingness to take the time to format it properly, but the key information is there with caliber on the left and energy on the far right being the most important information. Compare that to the long gun data and you will see what I mean.

Handguns can be carried easily and conveniently on a regular basis. They are good defensive tools equalizing for factors of size, numbers, gender, youth, agility, weapons and evil intent… assuming you have one and know how to use it.

The shotgun energy page is the real story for home defense and close range defense. While not nearly as popular, 20 gauge is my reigning champion. But you should read that whole story and decide for yourself.