The Right Ammo for the Right Job: Everything You Need to Know

The Right Ammo for the Right Job: Everything You Need to Know

When you go on an ammo run, what do you think about it? We ask because you have more options than ever, and making the choice can feel overwhelming—especially for beginners.

Do you grab the first box of the right caliber and head to the register? Do you stand in the aisle for 30 minutes before making your selection? Your ammo choice is an important element of your shooting experience, so it's important to ask the right questions before you buy. 

Read on for a deep dive into the factors that could impact your decision. 

How Are You Shooting?

Ammo costs can add up quickly. If you’re just looking to log some time at the range plinking targets, you might not need to use the same ammo that you would carry for self-defense, which is sure to be more expensive. To phrase this differently, you'll need to decide whether you should be purchasing full-metal jacket ammo or hollow-point ammo. Hollow-point ammo is designed to expand after making contact with its target. Full-metal -jacket ammunition isn’t, which lowers the cost substantially and can save you serious money over the course of the year.

Quality is a Fickle King

Once you've decided between FMJ and hollow-point ammo, your next decision is the quality of the ammo you buy. For hollow-point ammo, you’ll want to buy the round that performs the best. In other words, since we’re talking about self-defense when we talk about hollow-point ammo, you don’t want to skimp on quality. Your life is on the line. The quality of FMJ ammo matters less and, consequently, the purchase process can be a bit more complicated. Research some brands online—pay particular attention to how well the rounds performed in ballistic gel. Remember, though: The point of buying FMJ ammo is to lower your overall cost, so you're faced with a balancing act. Whatever you go with, it’s a good idea to buy a small box to make sure your ammo cycles and ejects consistently before buying in bulk.

The Need for Speed…Actually, Velocity

The higher your round’s velocity, the quicker the bullet gets to its intended target and the less time it has to drop. Less accommodation for bullet drop can result in more accurate shots. Why does this matter? It depends on how you’re planning to use your firearm. If you’re practicing self-defense techniques at 7-15 yards, velocity is less of a factor than if you’re lobbing rounds at targets 50+ yards away. When picking your ammo, it's important to think about how many bullets drop you're willing to deal with and to weigh that against the muzzle velocity of the ammunition you're buying. 

What's the Return Policy?

We've all bought ammo that didn't measure up to our expectations. Maybe it didn’t feed or eject consistently. Sometimes, you just don't gel with the ammo once you get it out of the box. When this happens, it's important to know the store's ammo return policy. Again, return to the previous advice to buy a small box before you commit serious funds to any type of ammo.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a deeper dive. The next sections will pit ammunitions head-to-head and compare.

Ballistics or Brute Force? 10mm vs .45 ACP

Ballistics or Brute Force? 10mm vs .45 ACP

If you set a 45 ACP and a 10mm round right next to each other, odds are youll have to do a double-take. Even though they look alike, their performance makes a huge difference. Whether youre hunting or self-defending, knowing the ballistics and characteristics of a around is going to help you with your shot.

Heres a side-by-side comparison of the 10mm and 45.

Both rounds impress with their stopping power, but they go about it in different ways. The low velocity and heavyweight of the .45 and the high velocity, and low weight of the 10mm both make for powerful shots. .45 is going to give you the largest bullet expansion. Both the 10mm and .45ACP are considered prime rounds for self and home-defense as well as for hunting dangerous game. But both have advantages over the other.

.45 ACP

  • The .45 ACP is regarded as a top self-defense round in terms of stopping power and recoil.
  • Low recoil doesnt get in its way. 
  • The low velocity and heavyweight of the .45 is great for striking large areas and creating large wounds.
  • It also isnt going to be dangerous to shoot in tight, closed quarters. 


  • The 10mm excels most out in the field.
  • It has a higher relative capacity.
  • Get concise, deadly penetration. 
  • Caveat: The 10mm can be considered dangerous while in a home defense environment. Because of its over-penetration, exit velocity can still be dangerous.

10mm vs 9mm: Ballistics & Stopping Power

10mm vs 9mm: Ballistics & Stopping Power

Ah, the age-old question: What caliber is faster? Whats more powerful? Whats cheaper? 10mm or 9mm? Today, were throwing down some facts on both the 9mm and 10mm and letting you decide what works best for you. 


Anyone thats shot both a 10mm and a 9mm round certainly understands that these two cartridges are different. Yet, when it comes to sports shooting or personal defense, both 10mm and 9mm have their advantages.


  • Generally speaking, the 9mm is going to be more favored as a self-defense round.
  • It’s easier to shoot – plain and simple.
  • Less recoil.

    Great for:

  • Target Shooting: 9mm is cheap and a readily available round.
  • Self Defense: Its a powerful, yet manageable round.
  • Hobbyists: Its a tried and true caliber with a rich history. It’s also typically widely available.



  • Higher muzzle energy
  • More recoil—then again, it does more damage
  • Larger expansion on a target

    Great for:

  • Handgun Hunting: Its longer range and powerful shot come in handy when hunting game with thick hides.
  • Hunting Backup: Semi-automatic firing makes for a good backup.
  • Range Shooting:10mm is just plain fun to shoot down range.

Note: A benefit both rounds share is that they allow for excellent ammo capacity. 

Looking for 1911 Ammo?

If you’re still with us, you probably won’t mind if we toot our own horn a little bit. We know a thing or two about crafting high-quality ammo. If youre planning on stocking up on 1911 ammo, take a look at these options worth investigating. Armscor rounds are clean-burning, "gunk"-resistant, reliable, and consistent as the sunrise.

Armscor Precision 45ACP - 230gr FMJ

Coming in a box of 50 FMJ, brass-cased Armscor 45ACP clocks in at approximately 802 fps at 50 yards with 352 ft/lbs of muzzle energy.


You can load up on a 1,000-round case of the 9mm 147gr FMJ style for some of the best plinking you can get, outside of a 22LR.


Hollow-point is a great, go-to FMJ variety. The 9mm 124gr JHP style from Armscor is a good deal for an everyday-carry setup or for use practicing on the range.

Armscor 10mm - 180gr FMJ

While it's perhaps more expensive than some of the above options, you're getting a lot bullets for your buck.

Hungry for more knowledge? Visit our Concealed Carry page to browse the firepower you need.

Beginner or advanced, you can always improve your shooting technique.