The Most Commonly Asked Ammo Questions

Ammo FAQ for Beginners
Answers to all of your most commonly asked ammunition questions.

I am passionate about the politics which go hand in hand with protecting the First and Second Amendments. That said, I do think it’s a shame that guns and politics must have anything to do with each other at all. In a perfect world, Washington would be totally agnostic about Americans’ right to bear arms and have no incentive to infringe on it. In a perfect world, loving guns and ammo would mean you’re able to only care about guns and ammo.

I have a special disdain for corporate censorship, and not just because it’s disastrous for any sort of business which refuses to adhere to the woke left’s ideology, but also because it’s an affront to the right to free speech itself – something which no one has any right to violate, even if they’re not the government.

My favorite part about my job is answering new gun owners’ questions about ammunition. In some sense, people who actually know something about guns are less likely to support ridiculous gun control measures. Knowing that suppressors don’t turn pistols into undetectable killing machines, that there’s actually no such thing as an “assault rifle” despite what the “AR” in AR-15 suggests, and that hollow-point bullets actually help to prevent harm to innocent bystanders makes one much less likely to cheer for the efforts of gun-grabbing politicians whose agenda is fueled not by love for public safety but rather by their desire to solidify the government’s control over every facet of private life.

See? You can’t help but get political about ammo, even if all I wanted to do was go over new gun owners’ most commonly asked questions.

Ammo is not intuitive to newcomers. Every cartridge is named after a number, and the numbers don’t tell you very much about the cartridges they name. For example, it flummoxes people that they can fire 38 Special in a 357 Magnum revolver but not 357 SIG. After answering new gun owners’ questions about ammo for several years, I can safely say these are the ones that pop up most frequently.

ammo frequently asked questions

Can I Fire 9mm Ammo in a 9mm Handgun?

This is the number one question, hands down. Someone just took home a Taurus G3 or Glock 19 and wants to make sure they’re ordering the right ammo for it. Fair enough! It certainly doesn’t help that 9mm is also called 9mm Luger, or that the Europeans call it 9×19 (the numbers that are stamped on every Austrian-made 9mm Glock’s slide).

The hardest part about answering this question is doing it without making the customer sound silly. “Yes, you can fire 9mm ammunition in a 9mm handgun” sounds a little passive-aggressive, so I usually say something like “Yes indeed, sir or ma’am, your new handgun is designed to safely fire all manufacturers’ 9mm ammunition.”

Can I Fire 9mm +P Ammo in a 9mm Handgun?

This question’s nearly as common. People see the scary “+P” and worry that it’s going to blow the pistol to smithereens in their hands. That’s a fair concern because it would be very unpleasant to have that happen.

Overpressure ammo generates greater chamber pressure than standard ammo. This in turn gives the bullet a flatter trajectory and more energy to transfer to its target on impact. Virtually every modern 9mm handgun is rated to safely fire 9mm +P ammo as well. That added chamber pressure will wear out a semi-auto pistol’s moving parts faster, which is not an issue as far as ammo which you’d only use for self-defense is concerned, but you’d want to avoid doing a lot of training or target shooting with 9mm +P – or any other +P ammo, for that matter, unless you’re talking about a revolver which hasn’t got moving parts that overpressure ammo can accelerate wear and tear too.

Most manufacturers will say right in their firearms’ manuals whether or not they’re rated for +P. Barring that, Googling the name of your handgun plus “+P” will yield the information you’re looking for.

It’s harder to say when it comes to 9mm +P+. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) doesn’t have specifications for “+P+” and virtually no firearm manufacturer will recommend firing ammo that could theoretically be loaded to any conceivable pressure. With +P+ ammo, you want to exercise caution and probably avoid it altogether unless you really know what you’re doing. It’s not going to provide a huge advantage out in the field anyway.

Can I Fire 357 SIG in a 357 Magnum?

I touched on this one earlier. 357 SIG ammunition was developed much more recently than 357 Magnum, and it is designed for a semi-automatic handgun instead of a revolver. 357 SIG is named after the older cartridge because it was designed to emulate its performance, not because it is interchangeable.

Look at a picture of a 357 SIG and 357 Mag round side by side and you’ll see their cases aren’t even shaped the same; the 357 SIG is bottlenecked, so it could never fit in a straight-walled 357 Mag round’s chamber. Basically, if you order 357 SIG ammo for a revolver, you’re going to wind up with an expensive paperweight and nothing else.

To be sure: You can fire 38 Special and 38 Special +P in a 357 Magnum, but you cannot fire 357 SIG  38 Super. A 44 Magnum is also compatible with 44 Special ammo.

Can I Fire 22 WMR in a 22 LR?

Once again, two rounds with the same numbers in their names are often confused for one another. 22 WMR (aka 22 Magnum) is a whole heck of a lot more powerful than 22 LR. Even if it could chamber in a 22 LR pistol or rifle, it would succeed only at blowing up the firearm upon ignition.

You can fire 22 Short in a 22 LR, though. The shorter cartridge probably won’t feed correctly in a semi-automatic firearm, but it’s great for a bolt action 22 LR when you’re just shooting squirrels in your neighborhood or want to teach a very young shooter the ropes.

Can I Fire 300 Winchester Magnum in a 300 AAC Blackout?

Oh my goodness, no. The 300 Win Mag cartridge is way, WAY too big to chamber in a 300 AAC Blackout, and even if it could it would essentially turn your rifle into a claymore mine.

Can I Fire 7.62×51 in a 308 Win?

Yes! These two cartridges share virtually identical dimensions. The commercial 308 cartridge is loaded to a very slightly higher pressure, so a 308 rifle’s chamber is perfectly equipped to absorb the 7.62×51 round’s energy. The difference between the 308 and 7.62×51 is so tiny, as a matter of fact, that SAAMI doesn’t consider it unsafe to fire 308 in a 7.62×51 either. Just take care that the minute differences in cartridge dimensions may give some precision-built semi-auto rifles a hard time cycling the cartridge it wasn’t specifically designed for.

Can I Fire 7.62×51 in a 7.62×39?

It is truly unfortunate that these two cartridges are named so similarly to one another because it causes a lot of people to mistakenly order the wrong ammo for their AK-47s. Make sure you pay attention when you order ammo online because 7.62×51 is absolutely useless as far as a 7.62×39 rifle is concerned – and vice versa.

Can I Fire 223 Rem in a 5.56×45?

Yes! The commercial 223 Rem does have slightly different dimensions than the military’s 5.56×45, but it’s close enough. The 223 is also loaded to a slightly lower chamber pressure, so a 5.56 chamber can handle it just fine.

But this is important: While a rifle that is exclusively chambered for 223 may safely fire 5.56 as well, we do not recommend it. The more powerful cartridge can damage a 223 rifle, even if it won’t necessarily explode to injure the shooter.

The 5.56 chamber will handle 223 serviceably, but it’s not optimal in terms of accuracy. If you really want the best of both worlds, consider getting a rifle with a 223 Wylde chamber. It’s specifically engineered to deliver the best performance with both types of ammunition!

Will a Certain Type of 22 LR Cycle My Semi-Automatic Firearm?

This one is really hard to say. Different semi-auto 22 LR firearms like different kinds of ammunition. In general, I advise sticking to 22 LR ammo with a supersonic muzzle velocity if you’re concerned about your semi-auto cycling properly. It should generate sufficient chamber pressure to make the gun feed and extract, but as a general rule, you should only assume 22 LR will function correctly if you’ve already tested it out.

Will an AR-15 Magazine Work in My Ruger 556, Danielson Defense DDM4, SIGM400 TREAD, etc.?

Yes. Most commercially available AR-15s may not have “AR-15” in their names, but they are AR-pattern rifles all the same. To be sure, some rifles are selective about which manufacturers’ AR magazines they’ll select. Cheap steel mags from South Korea, for example, are a little bit touch and go, but in general, a reputable American magazine manufacturer like Magpul or Hexmag is always a good bet for an AR-15.

What’s the Difference Between an FMJ and a JHP?

I could write a whole article about this subject. I’ve done it several times, as a matter of fact, but I’ll keep the answer short and simple here. An FMJ is the budget-friendly bullet you want for training and target shooting. It cannot expand as it penetrates soft tissue, however, so its terminal ballistics are not optimal for personal protection.

A JHP bullet costs more, so you would only want to train with JHP ammo if you want to become intimate with its performance. (Cops often do this.) A JHP is designed to expand as it penetrates soft tissue. This ensures the bullet can distribute more of its energy outward instead of only forward, inflicts a much wider wound cavity within its target, and also reduces the chances of dangerous overpenetration.

In short, if you’re looking for handgun ammo for personal protection, you want JHP ammo. There are exceptions to this rule, as some bullets like the ARX and the Honey Badger are designed to inflict wide wound cavities without expanding in the process.

Can I Use Frangible Bullets for Home Defense?

Frangible bullets are made out of sintered metal. The sintering process essentially compresses metal powder into a solid without melting it, which enables a frangible bullet to disintegrate when it collides with a surface harder than itself. Frangible bullets are optimal for shooting steel targets, especially at close range, because they virtually eliminate the chance of dangerous splash-back or a ricochet.

Many people reason that frangible bullets would be safer for home defense, as they wish to avoid penetrating the threat or a wall that could jeopardize innocent bystanders. This is good thinking, as a frangible bullet is indeed less likely to over-penetrate. That said, there is no guarantee a frangible bullet won’t punch through multiple layers of wallboard, so the safer approach is still far from foolproof. Furthermore, frangible bullets are not as effective at neutralizing a threat as solid metal expanding bullets. Stopping a threat as quickly as possible is paramount to your personal safety, which is something to keep in mind whenever you select ammo for personal protection.

Can I Reload Steel Cases?

Yes – but reloading steel cases is so difficult and time-consuming that it’s only worthwhile if there’s literally no other way to get ammo. For example, if you’re defending your desert outpost against Lord Humungus during the apocalypse, reloading steel cases makes sense.

There are two main reasons why you want to avoid reloading steel. First, steel cases have Berdan primers. These have two flash holes instead of one, so they’re a lot harder to line up correctly. Berdan primers sizes are also a lot less standardized than Boxer primers. Second, steel cases are rigid. They won’t return to their original dimensions following ignition like brass would have, so you’ll have to resize them. That is an absolute chore.

The Best .357 Magnum Ammo for Range Training

.357 magnum revolver

Using.357 Magnum ammo for range training gives the shooter options regarding the type of weapon. The ammunition switches easily from a handgun to a rifle for a well-rounded test of one’s skills. The .357 cartridge remains popular with trainers, hobbyists, and professionals because of its versatility. Additionally, a .357 Magnum handgun can fire a .38 Special ammo. The cases of the two rounds match each other except for the length. Manufacturers made that deliberate design choice to prevent shooters from firing the .357 from a.38 Special revolver. The .357’s pressure rates higher than a.38 Special and could cause harm to the shooter or damage to the handgun.


The .357 Magnum cartridge was designed and developed in the mid-1930s by a team of firearms enthusiasts. The project goal included creating ammunition that could compete with Colt’s .38 Super. Elmer Keith, Phil Sharpe and D.B. Wesson of Smith & Wesson and Winchester joined forces to top Colt’s breadwinner. Criminals began to outsmart police and the police needed to fight back. Colt’s .38 Super was the only ammo on the market that fired at over 1,000 FPS. High velocity gave the ammo the ability to penetrate auto glass and ballistics vests. The gangster era had begun, and the cops couldn’t take down targets when they hid behind their automobiles or wore bulletproof vests. The .357 Magnum ammo allowed law enforcement to retake the streets while providing a versatile round for military, law enforcement, and civilians.

Current specs

The design team modified the original .357 Magnum slightly to incorporate Sharpe’s bullet. Currently, it’s known as the .357 S&W Magnum or 9x33mmR. The rimmed centerfire cartridge houses a .357-inch (9.1mm) diameter bullet housed in a case measuring 1.29-inches in length. The total length of the cartridge is 1.59-inches. According to SAAMI, the ammo’s maximum pressure is 35,000 PSI with an average muzzle velocity of 1,090 FPS.

The 1924 design loaded the .357 load with a bullet weight of 158 grains. The muzzle velocity clocked at an impressive 1,510 FPS. Today’s loads offer less muzzle velocity but enough to make the round effective and deadly when needed.

Shooters chamber light carbines in .357 Mag ammo, often for use in guns similar to the American Old West lever-action rifles. Specs differ in a rifle. The ammo exits a rifle barrel at around 1,800 FPS. The high velocity makes the round more versatile popular guns like the .32-20 Winchester.

Popularity and Use

The .357 Magnum ammunition received notoriety for kicking off the “Magnum Era.” The .357 Magnum revolver sparked the attention of law enforcement and military personnel. Soldiers used the gun and ammo throughout WWII and the Vietnam War. General George S. Patton chose the gun as one of his favorite sidearms. He carried an ivory-handled S&W .357 Magnum revolver on one hip and a single action .45 Long Colt on the other.

Law enforcement, military personnel and members of the U.S. Special Forces still use .357 Magnum handguns, mostly as back up pieces to semi-auto pistols.

Shooters continue to choose the dual-purpose cartridge because it is powerful, inexpensive, and can be used in both.357 Magnum handguns and rifles. Most common uses include range training, plinking, home defense, hunting, target shooting, andself-defense. It offers excellent stopping power with manageable recoil.

Range Training

Seasoned shooters recommend regular range training regardless of the person’s experience. Range training keeps a person sharp and improves skills. It also allows shooters to test drive different guns and ammo to see which works best for their needs.

Shooting ranges operate in rural and urban areas. Rural areas host more outdoor ranges since there isn’t a concern about shooting into a building or street. Urban areas have more indoor shooting galleries due to limited space. The containment dampens noise, prevents collateral damage, and other concerns. Indoor ranges operate despite weather conditions. They often restrict caliber and weapon use where outdoor ranges are more accommodating to unusual requests.

Hunters prefer outdoor ranges because the terrain and atmosphere are similar to what they might encounter in the field. Shooting competitions occur most often at outside ranges.

Using Your Ammo

Shooting .357 ammo deters some users from taking it to the range due to a few downsides. First, firing a .357 indoors causes damage to the shooter’s ears, perhaps even if the shooter is wearing hearing protection. The loud report throws off a person’s accuracy and causes one to hesitate when making a second shot. Some shooters chose a .38+P to make follow up shots to avoid the noise. Second, some find the recoil to be too strong. This is especially true when the ammo is used in a short barrel, orsnubnose, revolver. Third, a bright muzzle flash causes temporary blindness in the dark. The latter proves to be a problem in a self-defense situation at night.

The real problem lies in the fact that many shooters practice with one ammunition and intend to use another. That makes no sense. Shooters must experience a certain comfort level with the gun and the ammo. If the combination causes problems, then the user should switch to another gun, ammunition, or both. Inexperience or discomfort leads to poor aim and inability to pull the trigger. The shooter freezes at the crucial moment, whether it’s in the field, or during a competition when faced with a large animal or intruder.


People train for many purposes, including hunting. The .357 ammo performs well against medium-size game like whitetail deer, hogs, and coyotes. Heavier loads face-off with large game like elk, caribou, and bear. Some hunters prefer big bore cartridges like .41 Mag, .44 Mag, .454 Casull, 460 S&W Mag or .50 Action Express. While the .357 gives off less energy, its small diameter and high velocity serve up deep penetration. The round is similar to a .45 Colt but with a flatter trajectory. Those specs make it highly versatile ammunition desirable to many hobbyists and professionals.

Bullet Types

Manufacturers develop new ammunition every day for popular calibers like the .357 Magnum. The most common styles include Full Metal Jacket, Jacketed Soft Point, Jacketed Hollow Point. The list below shows three common types of bullets and their uses.

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

FMJ bullets cost less than other rounds which makes them ideal for high volume shooting at the range. The bullet houses a soft center metal (often lead), surrounded by a harder metal, usually copper. The ammo cuts small channels upon impact and as they travel into, or through, the target. FMJs work best in short-range shooting, target practice, range training, plinking, and competition shooting.

Hollow Points (HP)

Most people associate hollow points to self-defense and home protection. HPs cost more than FMJ, but the round performs better in face-to-face confrontations. The ballistics of HPs are comparable to the FMJ.

HPs work best as concealed carry for home protection use. The design allows the bullet to expand, creating a larger wound channel than the FMJ. The expansion offers excellent stopping power, halts attackers quickly and therefore, the shooter is protected.

Soft Points (SP)

Hunters choose soft points more than any other ammunition. The SP expands over and above an FMJ, which makes it ideal for stopping the target in its tracks. The round is comparable to an HP, except for the expansion. An SP allows the shooter to have more control. SP ballistics outshine other bullets, especially when they are made with a boat-tail design. Jacketed Soft Points (JSP) are another option.

Best .357 Mag Training Ammo

Sellier & Bellot 158 Grain FMJ-FN

  • 889 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 278 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Tula Ammo 158 Grain FMJ

  • 1,280 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Steel Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 464 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Fiocchi 142 Grain FMJ-TC

  • 1,420 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 142 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 636 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Hornady Critical Defense 125 Grain FTX

  • 1,500 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 125 Grain
  • FlexTip Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 824 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Magtech Ammunition 158 Grain .357 Magnum SJSP

  • 1,235 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 125 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 535 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Tula Ammunition 158 Grain FMJ

  • 1,280 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Polymer coated steel Casing
  • Boxer Primer

CCI Ammunition Blazer 158 Grain JHP

  • 1,150 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Jacketed Hollow Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • CCI Primer
  • 464 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Sig Sauer Elite Performance Ammunition 125 Grain FMJ

  • 1,450 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 125 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 584 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Magtech Sport Ammunition 125 Grain FMJ

  • 1,405 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 125 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 548 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel Ammunition 135 Grain JHP

  • 990 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 135 Grain
  • Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 294 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Hornady LEVERevolution 140 gr FTX

  • 1,440 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 140 Grain
  • Hornady FTX Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 644 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Ruger ARX 86 Grain

  • 1,650 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 86 Grain
  • Injection Molded Copper Polymer ARX Projectile
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 552 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Barnes VOR-TX, XPB HP, 140 Grain

  • 1,170 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 140 Grain
  • Solid Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 429 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Federal American Eagle Cartridge 158 Grain JSP

  • 1,240 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 158 Grain
  • Jacketed Soft Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 530 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy


.357 Magnum ammunition continues to be a popular round with many uses. Experts recommend extensive range training with any new ammunition or weapon. Situations happen quickly, often leaving the shooter without time to think. Preparing yourself can mean the difference between life or death. Consider trying several types of ammunition in different bullet weights before deciding which works best for your skillset, experience, and end use.

Best 10mm Ammo for Hunting

  • 10mm ammo for hunting


Hunting With 10mm Auto Ammo

Hunters can take credit for helping to revive the 10mm auto cartridge. The 10mm has suffered through some hard times, but in recent years hunters have discovered its accuracy and efficiency in hunting small to medium-size game. It follows that large game hunters experience the effectiveness on large game such as wild hogs, bears, elk, and even buffalo. The most success with large game comes from using rounds with more than 200 grains. Handloading ammo also gives the advantage to the hunter, not the game.

In field tests, the 10mm outshines the .357 Magnum as a superior and more powerful round. While .45 ACP has been a favorite of handgun hunters, the 10mm auto is more accurate, consistent, and has more stopping power. Tests show the 10mm has deeper penetration and creates a larger permanent wound channel than the .45 ACP. Additionally, the .45 ACP has an arching trajectory which lessens its effectiveness at 50-100 yards.

10mm Ammo History

The 10mm ammunition had a brilliant beginning in the 1980s. The FBI was looking for a round to replace the 9mm. The 9mm had been underserving its agents. Lt. Col Jeff Cooper took up the task. Cooper had worked with Norma and Smith & Wesson. He had dreamed of creating a .40 caliber round using a 200 grain bullet. The ammo would have a muzzle velocity of 1,000 feet per second (FPS) and 444 foot-pounds (ft.-lbs.) of energy. Cooper knew the round would be ideal for law enforcement. The original round contained a 170 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1,300 fps, muzzle energy of 600 ft.-lbs.

The FBI was eager to try out the new ammunition and adopted it along with the Smith & Wesson 610 10mm pistol. Unfortunately, it was only a short time before the feds realized some of the agents were unable to qualify in field tests. The 10mm was too hard to handle and the recoil affected the agents’ accuracy. The ammo was pared down to a 180 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 950 FPS. Smith & Wesson put the round into a compact cartridge and renamed it as the 40 S&W.

Bren Ten and Glock

Law enforcement embraced the 40 S&W, leaving the 10mm in the rearview mirror. Cooper’s dream nearly faded out. Glock decided to continue manufacturing 10mm pistols  as a law enforcement duty round, the 10mm shrunk almost to obscurity except for a small, but dedicated group of followers aided by Glock’s decision to keep their Glock 10mm guns in production. Popular 10mm pistols from Glock include the G20, G29, and G40.

Cooper and his 10mm team partnered with Dornaus & Dixon Enterprises to create the Bren Ten pistol, a gun made specifically for the 10mm. The gun was featured on the mega-hit cop show Miami Vice. The Bren Ten was wielded by fictional detective Sonny Crockett. The popularity of Crockett’s character and the show caused the demand for the Bren Ten to skyrocket overnight. A fatal mistake was made when Dornaus & Dixon rushed the gun into production without sufficient testing. The pistol had reliability and quality control issues. 10mm magazines were in short supply. The company went bankrupt in 1986.

Colt then stepped in and introduced the M1911 Delta Elite for 10mm.

Today, the ammo is making a comeback. Several companies are producing new 10mm handguns, including CZ, Glock, Kimber, Rock Island Armory, and Sig Sauer. Major ammunition manufacturers produce 10mm auto ammo. They include: Barnes, Buffalo Bore, CCI, Corbon, Double Tap, Federal, Fiocchi, Hornady, Remington, Sig Sauer, Speer, Underwood, and Winchester. The rounds range from 90 grain to 220 grain bullets; 180 grain and 220 grain bullet weights are the most popular.

Best 10mm Auto for Hunting

A 10mm cartridge excels as hunting ammunition. The bullets are measured for accuracy, maximum expansion, stopping power, and range in the field. While there are several types of effective handgun hunting ammo, the 10mm auto provides more power than a .357 Magnum. 10mm ammo is also a good all-purpose round that can be used for target practice, plinking and self-defense.

Small to Medium Game

Hunting small to medium game requires less power than if you were targeting a bull elk or grizzly bear. However, even small or medium-size game shouldn’t be underestimated. Using 10mm ammo ensures that your prey will go down the first time and not run off into the woods to suffer and die hours or days later.

While many brands and styles fit the bill, the top rated 10mm auto rounds for hunting small to medium game include:

Barnes: VOR-TX Ammunition 155 Grain XPB Hollow Point Lead-Free

Barnes XPB pistol bullet is new production. The company promises that it will alter handgun hunting forever. Penetration has been increased up to 25% over traditional lead-core bullets. VOR-TX ammunition uses a precise system to ensure consistency and accuracy.


  • 1,150 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 155 Grain
  • Hollow Point Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 455 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Hornady Ammunition: 180 Grain XTP

Hornady offers this 180 grain XTP as a multi-purpose pistol ammo. It’s great for whitetail deer hunting and other small to medium-sized game. This reliable cartridge has excellent expansion, up to 60% of the original diameter.


  • 1,200 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain XTP
  • Hollow Point Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 650 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Remington Ammunition: 180 Grain UMC FMJ

This 10mm auto is a new production round made by Remington. The 180 grain bullet is good for high volume shots and effective against medium game like whitetail deer.


  • 1,150 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 529 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Underwood Ammo: 155 Grain XTP JHP

Underwood Ammo is known for producing power and reliability in its 10mm rounds. The 155 Grain XTP jacketed hollow point uses Hornady eXtreme Terminal Performance (XTP) bullets for deep penetration, accuracy and maximum controlled expansion.


  • 1,500 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 155 Grain
  • Hornady XTP Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 774 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Large Game

Diehard fans of handgun hunting rely on few calibers to take down their prey. The top three are: .357, 10mm and .45 ACP. The 10mm is frequently chosen over the .357 for its stopping power, and over the .45ACP because it’s slightly easier to handle. In fact, 10mm auto rounds serve as a good multi-purpose round.

Hunters seeking big game stick to bullets in the area of 150 to 220 grains, with 180 grains on average.

The best 10mm auto ammo for hunting large game includes:

Buffalo Bore: Heavy Outdoorsman 220 grain

Buffalo Bore is a top choice among hunters out for big game. Heavy Outdoorsman 220 grain bullet is ideal for penetrating tough hide and bone in everything from boar to elk to bear. The muzzle energy allows the 10mm load to penetrate even the toughest critter at 25 yards, the maximum distance recommended for a semi-auto pistol.


  • 1,200 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 220 Grain Trophy Bonded
  • Jacketed Soft Point Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 651 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Doubletap: 180 Grain Controlled Expansion JHP

Doubletap is relatively new to the scene. Since 2002, Doubletap has been known for creating powerful ammunition using premium bullets. An excellent round for hunting, the Controlled Expansion JHP stands up to big game. The cartridge has deep penetration and impressive controlled expansion.


  • 1,305 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Trophy Bonded
  • Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 611 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Double Tap: 180 Grain Bonded Defense® JHP

Doubletap uses high quality components to deliver maximum performance. The company is a top producer of 10mm ammo. It uses a bonded core bullet to offer excellent penetration, maximum expansion, and terminal performance. Each round is tested under strict guidelines by employees.


  • 1,305 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Trophy Bonded
  • Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 681 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Federal Ammunition: 180-grain Trophy Bonded JSP

Federal introduces this new production 10mm round. Its ballistic gel test shows that it offers the power necessary for handgun hunting. Hunting big game requires controlled expansion and deep penetration to be effective. The rounds are loaded into brass casings that are ideal for reloading.


  • 1,275 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Trophy Bonded
  • Jacketed Soft Point Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 650 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Federal Premium: 180-grain Hydra-Shok JHP

Federal Premium manufactures a Hydra-Shok round that promises to stand up to medium and large game. The power is similar to a 40 S&W with excellent terminal performance. Deep penetration and maximum controlled expansion make this round a great choice for handgun hunting.


  • 1,030 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Trophy Bonded
  • Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Nickel-plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 424 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Fiocchi: Defense Dynamics Ammunition 10mm Auto 180 Grain JHP

Fiocchi is known for producing reliable, high quality and consistent handgun ammo. Defense Dynamics 180 Grain JHP is an excellent choice for hunting large game due to its velocity and controlled expansion.


  • 1,250 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain
  • Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 624 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Sig Sauer: V-Crown 180 Grain JHP

SIG V-Crown ammunition offers maximum stopping power. Its V-shaped main cavity is on top of a deep narrow trail giving maximum expansion, deep penetration, and superior weight retention. Reliability and dependability are optimal.


  • 1,250 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet
  • Nickel-Plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 624 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Speer: Gold Dot Handgun Personal Protection 200 Grain HP

Gold Dot is always at the top with high quality, accurate and reliable ammunition. Speer introduced the 200 Grain HP round at the 2018 SHOT Show. This ammo has excellent terminal performance. The ballistic gel tests show expansion up to .75”. This round is more than powerful enough to take down any prey in its sights.


  • 1,100 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 200 Grain
  • Hollow Point Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 537 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Underwood Ammo: 150 Grain Xtreme Hunter

Underwood refers to 150 grain Xtreme Hunter (XH) as the ultimate hunting round. It is new production from the popular Xtreme Defender line. The copper body and optimized nose flute helps the lightweight ammo reach maximum penetration. It has an expansion rate of 100% and permanent wound cavity. The 150 grain bullet makes it easier to fire with minimal recoil. It’s an excellent round for reloading.


  • 1,425 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 150 Grain
  • Hollow Point Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 677 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy

Underwood Ammo: 200 Grain Hard Cast Flat Nose

Hard cast flat nose bullets are the top choice for hunting large game as well as fending off wild animals like bear and wild boar. Flat nose bullets pierce tough hide and bone while maintaining a nose forward position which is vital for maximum penetration. Underwood Ammo uses flash suppressed powder to save your vision when firing in low light.


  • 1,250 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 200 Grain
  • Flat Nose Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer
  • 694 ft-lbs. Muzzle Energy


10mm auto ammo nearly became extinct after the introduction of the 40 S&W. Glock and Colt manufactured 10mm auto pistols which saved the day for Jeff Cooper’s creation. Today, the 10mm cartridge is making a comeback in many areas: hunting, plinking, target shooting, self-defense and range training. It is still used by some law enforcement agencies. The 10mm is a good all-round choice for multiple activities which helps maintain its popularity. Die-hard 10mm shooters swear by it for handgun hunting and have the records to prove that the round is here to stay.

Remington Arms

Remington's long history

Remington & Sons was founded in Ilion, New York 1816 by Eliphalet Remington II (1793–1861). Eliphalet Remington knew he had the skill to build a better gun than ones he could find on the market. Remington was 23 when he entered a shooting competition and took second place. Although he didn’t win, his flintlock rifle got a lot of attention. Remington was approached by many of the other shooters by the end of the day, asking to buy one of his guns. His company had become official with the help of his father, a blacksmith.

On March 7, 1888, the company was sold to Marcellus Hartley and Partners. The group included sporting goods chain Hartley and Graham of New York, New York. The company also owned Winchester Repeating Arms Company and the Union Metallic Cartridge Company. The company changed its name to the Remington Arms Company and moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The Remington Arms Company

Remington is the oldest firearms manufacturer in the U.S. Remington is also the largest producer of rifles and shotguns in the U.S. They are the only company that makes firearms and ammunition. The original Ilion, New York plant is still standing and making high quality goods. The site also has a retail store and museum.

During WWI, Remington landed several military contract, including Enfield rifles for Britain M1907-15 Berthier rifles for France, and 1891 Mosin-Nagant rifles for Russia. Remington almost went bankrupt during the war when the Russian Imperial government ordered a large number of guns but had no way to pay for them. They insisted that the guns were faulty and refused to pay. Eventually, the U.S. stepped up and bought the guns, saving the company.

Remington Expands its Catalog

The 1920s saw a new period for Remington. They began making household utensils, cash registers and cutlery like hunting knives and pocketknives. They also began to sell clothing with the Remington logo, something that they discontinued in 1955.

DuPont bought Remington Arms in 1936, during the height of the Great Depression. It was also the year Remington went international, buying an ammunition manufacturer in Brazil.

In 1940, Remington built an ordinance plant in Independence, Missouri. They company opened five plants during WWII, one of which manufactured their legendary M1903 .30-06 Springfield bolt action rifle.

In the 1990s, Remington returned to making handguns.

Remington Ammo Today

Remington continued to build on its product line in the 21st Century. It began to make security and surveillance systems along with firearms and ammo. Remington created Spartan Gunworks, a subsidiary tasked with making an affordable high-quality shotgun.

In 2007, Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity company, bought Remington. The company’s name changed, ending with its current name – the Remington Outdoor Company.

The company had several good years until it saw a drop in sales and profitability. They filed for in March 2018.


Comparing Handgun Calibers

Comparison of various calibers

Experts argue over which handgun calibers are the best. They compare accuracy, price, and stopping power. Each has an opinion as to what gun and ammo works best in a specific situation. Following are comparisons between the .357 Magnum, .38 Special, and 9mm.

.357 Magnum

The .357 Magnum was introduced in 1934. It was designed using the S&W .38 Special as a model. Phil B. Sharpe, Elmer Keith and D. B. Wesson of Smith & Wesson and Winchester collaborated on the ammunition, lengthening the case of the .38. The team’s purpose was to create ammunition that could compete with the Colt .38 Super Auto. The Colt .38 Super Auto was the only round that offered muzzle velocity above 1,000 FPS. The ammo’s high velocity was imperative as a deterrent to bootleggers and gangsters who had been using bulletproof vests and automobiles as shields. The .357 helped police target their adversaries and the ammo became a top choice for law enforcement. It also introduced the “Magnum Era.” The dual-purpose cartridge is used for self-defense, hunting, and target shooting.

.38 Special

Smith & Wesson introduced its .38 Special ammo in 1898. S&W created the centerfire ammunition as an alternative to the .38 Long Colt. Law enforcement officers embraced the .38 Special from the 1920s until 1990s. Police used the .38 Special as the standard issue service cartridge. WWI soldiers carried the round into combat. The revolvers and ammunition faded from everyday use but remain the symbol of the law.

Shooters buy .38 Special calibers frequently for self-defense, pest control, competition shooting, and target practice.


DWM firearms designer Georg Luger introduced the 9x19mm Parabellum in 1902. Luger created ammunition to be used as a service cartridge for the Luger semi-automatic pistole. The 9mm was accurate and compact. 9mm pistols hold more ammo than previous models. Luger showed the ammunition to be lethal at 50 meters.

World War I introduced submachine guns. Submachine guns used 9mm ammo to penetrate field gear, an important aspect of eliminating the enemy. The ammo played a big part in World War II. The military and law enforcement agencies accepted the 9mm immediately. The 9mm replaces the .38 as a standard issue sidearm. Civilians followed suit, using the 9mm for self-defense due to its size, weight, and low recoil.


Each handgun caliber has its merits. The .38 is a classic ammo for a revolver. People use the ammo for self-defense and concealed carry. It has a longstanding history of being used as military and police sidearms.

The .357, based on the .38, is a more powerful round. Like the .38, it can be chambered in a revolver, but is also common in a semi-automatic.

The 9mm is the most popular ammunition in the world. It has replaced the less powerful .38 for military and police use. A wide variety of weapons are chambered in 9mm. Although more expensive then the .38 or .357, a major benefit of the 9mm is the mild recoil and the increased capacity of the magazine.

Making the Choice

The differences between the three types of ammunition are negligible. The user determines the need and use for the ammo and the calibers. In most situations, any of the above will work well. The gun plays a part in the choice, as well. Making a choice on ammo should be based solely on the need and experience of the shooter.



Concealed Carry Tips and Safety

Man showing how to carry concealed

People carry concealed weapons (CCW) for various reasons, the most common of which is for personal protection. Gun owners must be trained and pass a test before they’re allowed to have a concealed firearm. States vary on their laws regarding CCW, so you shouldn’t assume that you can carry in any state. Some states, such as Virginia and California ban concealed weapons altogether, while others, such as Massachusetts and Illinois, ban them in specific areas of the state. Know your laws before you travel. If at any time you are pulled over by the police, you must tell the officer immediately if you have a loaded weapon in your vehicle. Otherwise, the consequences could be dire.

Choosing Your Gun

Gun owners must pick a gun that suits them regarding cost, weight, grip, caliber, and recoil. Common guns for concealed carry include .22, .357, .380, 9mm, and .45 ACP. You shouldn’t take advice from anyone other than a trained professional on which gun is best suited for you. It must feel comfortable; powerful enough to do the job but not so powerful that you won’t hit the target. Gun choices depend on what will work for you. There isn’t a certain type of gun for men and one for women.

Tips & Safety

Choose the Right Holster

Experts know that there is no one-size-fits-all holster. A holster should be made for the gun you use. The holster should fit snugly on the gun and be comfortable to wear, without blocking the safety or sights. Some people like to carry on the hip, while others prefer to use an inside the waistband or ankle holster. If people want their weapons to be hidden, chances are that the gun will be inside the waistband of their pants. Movies and TV shows often show people carrying a gun in the waistband of their pants, with or without a holster. A holster is the smarter way to go as it keeps the gun close to the body. Companies like Sneaky Pete and EAA make holsters for belts that look like phone or device cases. Since most people carry a phone, the holster blends into the background.

Carry-Friendly Clothes

Some clothes make it impossible to carry concealed, especially in the summertime. If you want your gun to remain hidden, consider wearing shorts with a firm waistband, a light overshirt, or lightweight pants. Whatever you choose, make sure your access to the gun isn’t hindered.

Carry Position

Most people carry a gun on their hip, so it’s the first place someone will look. You can move the gun to a slightly different position, such as two or four o’clock, which changes your silhouette and makes the gun less obvious.

Correct Posture

Standing up straight is good for your body, and for carrying a concealed weapon. It helps to hide the gun because your clothes will hang straight and not show off the outline of the holster or firearm. Good posture will also help with your shooting technique.


People often get shot due to the unsafe handling of their guns. Follow these safety tips and be careful. Also, remember that pulling a gun should be the last resort; if you pull it, be prepared to use it.


Fiocchi Ammunition Changes With the Times

Logo for Fiocchi Ammunition

Giulio Fiocchi is a legend in the munitions world. His story seems to be one made by chance, yet the Italian accountant took an opportunity that created one of the most respected ammunition companies in the world.

Birth of Fiocchi

In 1876, Guilio Fiocchi worked as an accountant in a bank in Milan. Fiocchi’s job included collecting debts from past due clients. During a trip to Lecco, Fiocchi met with the owner of a company that manufactured black powder and muskets. The owner told Fiocchi that he was unable to pay the loan and had gone bankrupt. Fiocchi met with his brother, Giacomo, and the pair decided to buy the ammunition business. Guilio secured a loan from his bank and the brothers bought the company. They named the company Giulio Fiocchi Enterprises.

The Great World Wars

The Fiocchi brothers renamed the company Fiocchi Ammunition (Fiocchi Munizioni). Fiocchi changed operations when the muzzle-loader was replaced by the breech-loader. Fiocchi made reloadable primer cases. The Fiocchi’s changed operations once again when black powder was no longer being used.

Before World War I, Fiocchi was dedicated to manufacturing ammunition for hunting and sports shooting. World War I brought the opportunity to make and sell ammo to the Italian army. The Germans seized Fiocchi Ammunition during World War II, but the company’s employees managed to hold them off from the ground. Sadly, Allied planes destroyed the original factory.

The Fiocchi’s built a new plant in 1946 after the war. The company upgraded its equipment and began to produce more advanced ammunition.

Being Resourceful

Fiocchi has always been a resourceful company, which may be because of Guilio’s financial background. Initially, the factory threw away its scrap metal. It was suggested that rather than throwing it away, they could use it for another purpose. The company began to produce metal snaps, saving its money. The fashion industry had made the use of snaps popular, so making the closures was short of genius. Fiocchi sold that part of the business in the 1980s for a large profit.

Giving Back

The Fiocchi family helps employees and the community by giving back. In 1904, Fiocchi built houses for its employees, provided childcare and paid for medical insurance, something that is still done today.

Fiocchi of America, Inc.

Fiocchi arrived in the U.S. in the 1950s, when it shared an Illinois factory with Smith & Wesson. The partnership ended when there were disagreements between the two companies. Things changed again when Carlo Fiocchi, great-grandson of Giulio, visited to the U.S. on his honeymoon. In 1983, Fiocchi of America resumed business in the U.S. and began to import ammunition.

Fiocchi couldn’t keep up with customer demand. Carlo and company president Paolo Fiocchi talked about building a plant in the U.S. to help them fill orders. History repeated itself when the Fiocchi’s bought land from a farmer who couldn’t make his mortgage payments. The fourth generation of Fiocchi’s now operate the company and it is stronger than ever.


The Iconic .22 LR

.22LR can be purchased in bulk

In 1857, Smith & Wesson introduced the .22 LR, which became the most popular rimfire cartridge in history. Enthusiasts use  it for target practice, training, plinking, sporting events, and varmint control. Shooters love the economical price and the fact that it is easy to buy in bulk. Shooters use the round in a variety of guns including handguns, shotguns, rifles, and submachine guns. Users appreciate the low recoil and small muzzle flash, which also makes it desirable for young and novice shooters.

.22LR ammo has four velocity ranges: subsonic, standard velocity, high velocity, and hyper velocity.

A Brief History

The .22 was designed for Smith & Wesson’s First Model. Designers modeled it after the 1845 Flobert BB cap. Weapons manufacturer J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. had combined a .22 Long casing with a 40-grain bullet used for the .22 Extra Long. Manufacturers have modified the bullet to accommodate additional grains of powder; currently, there are three types: .22 Short, .22 Long, and.22 Extra Long. The .22 Short is not often seen on the market although it can be purchased through online sources.

The .22 LR is interchangeable between guns which is a benefit for those using a variety of weapons. The round is not recommended for self-defense or large game hunting due to its lack of power.

Currently, the .22 LR is the only .22 rimfire cartridge seen on the market. The .22 Short is rare and in most circles has become scarce.


Despite the fact that the .22 LR doesn’t have a great deal of stopping power, it is still a common choice for self-defense and concealed carry. The round can be chambered in small and lightweight pocket guns, easily carried in a purse or jacket.  Experts say that the cartridge will work well in most up-close situations, as long as the shooter has good aim. Shooters can fire the bullet fast and accurately so multiple shots are a possibility if they are needed. Since many people shoot to scare away their target, the .22 will work just fine.

Experts say that the brand of ammo is important when choosing a .22 LR. While many brands work well, you will find, on occasion, some that jam or misfire. Shooters should test different brands to find the one that works the best with their weapon of choice.


Novice shooters use a .22 for target practice and training. The lack of power makes it safer for new users. The low recoil keeps the round from startling the shooter, thereby disrupting his posture and aim at the target. Countries restricting larger caliber bullets tend to permit the use of a .22 caliber.

It remains the bullet of choice for various organizations including the Boy Scouts of America and 4H Clubs. Military cadets use .22 LR cadet rifles for basic weapons and marksmanship training. The .22 LR is widely used in competition shooting, including the Olympic games, pistol and precision rifle competitions.




Powerhouse .50 AE

.50 AE Desert Eagle

The .50 Action Express was introduced in 1988. The cartridge was designed by Evan Whildin, former vice-president of Action Arms. Whildin designed the cartridge as part of a program to boost the performance of the semi-auto pistol by creating a new cartridge design. Whildin developed the Action Express line to travel faster and fire hotter than standard forms of ammo. When testing was complete, Whildin released the line to the public. It included the .50 AE, a 9 mm and .41 caliber rounds. Although the smaller calibers never gained popularity, the .50 Action Express caught the attention of the firearms community. The ammunition is still available from several major manufacturers including CCI, Speer, Hornady, and IMI (imported by Magnum Research).

The .50 AE was destined to be used in the IMI Desert Eagle, a semi-automatic pistol imported by Magnum Research, Inc. The gun was already chambered for the .44 Magnum, and would only need a barrel change to use the .50 cal. The .50 AE features the same rim diameter and overall length as the .44 Magnum.


The .50 Action Express ammo is one of the most powerful pistol cartridges on the market. It has a .500-inch bullet diameter enclosed in a 1.285-inch straight-walled case with a rebated rim. SAAMI says the maximum pressure of .50 AE should not exceed 36,000 PSI.

Users report a significant recoil and muzzle blast. Many compare the recoil to the .44 Magnum.

The .50 AE uses a 325- grain bullet and offers a muzzle velocity of 1400 FPS. The 300-grain bullet has a muzzle velocity of 1400 FPS and offers 1414 ft-lbs of energy.

Types of .50 AE Ammo

The .50 AE cartridge is available in several bullet types, including jacketed hollow point (JHP), Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point (BJHP), soft point (SP) and Jacketed Soft Point (JSP).

JHP ammunition uses a lead bullet encased in a hard metal, typically copper. The bullet contains a hollow point, which allows the bullet to expand upon impact. Users choose JHP ammunition for personal protection, home defense, and game hunting.

Soft Points do the job although they offer less stopping power. It gives shooters a slower expansion and deeper penetration. Manufacturers use a soft lead projectile. As a result, hunters will use soft point bullets  in areas where JHP cartridges are restricted.


Whildin had a contract with the Israeli military. The Israeli Military Industries (IMI) Magnum Research Desert Eagle uses the ammunition, however, it was not the first gun to use the round. The first firearm chambered in the .50 AE caliber was the Arcadia Machine and Tool Automag V, a semi-auto, single action pistol. The weapons is described as the most “ergonomic and lightweight” of big caliber handguns.


Shooters choose the .50 AE when they want maximum power. Users prefer the round for silhouette shooting and medium to large game hunting, suitable against large predators such as bears. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) categorizes the non-sporting round as a destructive device under its current regulations.


Law Enforcement Chooses .45 GAP Ammo

Florida Highway Patrol Chooses .45 GAP

Glock introduced .45 Glock Automatic Pistol (GAP) ammunition in 2003. It was the first cartridge manufactured by the Austrian firearms manufacturer. The ammo is a rimless, straight-walled round that shares the same bullet diameter of the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP). The diameter is .451 inch. The .45 GAP is housed in a .755-inch casing, the same length as a 9mm shell). The cartridge’s overall length is 1.070 inches.

The ammo is made with a big bore bullet and uses a small pistol primer. Its maximum pressure is 23,000 pounds psi. It is ideal for self-defense and concealed carry. The round is suitable for use by civilians, military and law enforcement. It is efficient, accurate, and reliable. Glock has supplied United States law enforcement with more handguns in the last twenty years than any other weapons manufacturer.

Development of the .45 GAP

Glock aimed to design a .45 cartridge for a compact handgun that didn’t have an oversized grip. The design would allow the weapon to be used for concealed carry. In 2003, Glock introduced the Glock 37. They collaborated with ammunition designer Ernest Durham, an engineer with CCI/Speer.

Glock told Speer what it needed in new ammunition. They wanted a .45 caliber bullet housed in a case no longer than the one used for a 9mm Parabellum or .40 S&W. They also requested a cartridge that could easily fit inside a grip similar to their Model 17 or 22 pistols. The size would ensure that the gun could be used by most shooters, regardless of the size of the user’s hand.

Speer delivered the cartridges. The finished product was created using bullets ranging from 165-grain to 230-grain. The .45 GAP ammo’s muzzle energy averages 400 to 500 foot-pounds (ft-lbs).

The Popularity of the .45 GAP

The public quickly embraced the .45 GAP. As a result, several firearms manufacturers made pistols to house the new ammo. The trend died down and eventually Glock and Bond Arms became the only companies to continue production.

Currently, Glock offers several pistols chambered in .45 GAP: Model 37 (full-size), 38 (compact), and 39 (sub-compact).

Some shooters falsely claim that the .45 ACP and .45 GAP are interchangeable. The extractor grooves are cut differently which makes the main difference. Additionally, the .45 GAP uses a small pistol primer whereas the .45 ACP uses a large pistol primer.

Law Enforcement

Glock’s biggest success with the .45 GAP has been with the law enforcement community. Several state law enforcement agencies use the Glock 37 with .45 GAP ammo as standard issue. The ammo has similar fire power and performance compared to the .45 ACP yet is more compact.

Many law enforcement agencies have switched from .45-caliber weapons in favor of guns chambered in 9x19mm and .40 S&W. Despite the trend, three state law enforcement agencies have chosen the .45 GAP as a replacement for their standard issue 9mm Parabellum (New York) or .40 S&W service weapons (Florida and South Carolina). Smaller law enforcement agencies have also chosen to use the Glock 37 and .45 GAP. They include the Burden, Kansas Police Department, Greenville, North Carolina Police Department, and the Berkeley, Missouri Police Department.

The Georgia State Patrol previously carried the Glock Model 37. It has replaced it with the fourth generation 9mm Glock 17. The South Carolina Highway Patrol also abandoned the Glock 37 in favor of the Glock 17 “M” also chambered in 9mm.

The Pennsylvania State Police used the Glock 37 from 2007-2013. Lack of ammunition caused the agency to adopt the fourth generation Glock 21 chambered in .45 ACP. The police experienced recall issues and switched to the SIG-Sauer P227 in .45 ACP.

Types of .45 GAP Ammo

Several ammunition manufacturers produce .45 GAP ammunition, but it’s not a popular round. Most shooters looking for bulk ammunition choose from full metal jacket (FMJ), total metal jacket (TMJ), or jacketed hollow point (JHP) rounds.

  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) ammo is a lead bullet enclosed in a metal, typically copper, casing. The casing helps the projectile maintain its shape from firing to impact at the target site. FMJ rounds are typically used for plinking and target shooting. They can also be used for self-defense purposes.
  • Total Metal Jacket (TMJ) ammo is like FMJ in that it uses a lead bullet sheathed in a harder metal. The lead bullet is exposed within the round’s casing, unlike the FMJ. TMJ bullets feature a projectile is encased in copper. The shooter’s exposure to lead is limited due to the cooper casing. Some indoor shooting ranges in the U.S. require this configuration.
  • Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) ammo also uses a lead bullet encased in copper, but this bullet has a hollow point in its center. The hollow point allows for greater expansion upon impact. The expansion creates a larger entrance wound while reducing the risk of over-penetration.