Gun buyers tend to do a lot of research before buying a firearm. They read reviews, talk to their friends and borrow or rent the model they’re considering if possible. At a minimum, when buying locally, they can at least see and hold the gun they’re considering before plunking down their dinero.
Buying ammo can be, well, a little more difficult. Especially when buying defensive rounds.
Range ammo is (mostly) range ammo. As long as your gun cycles it reliably, you’re good to go. You can (and should) buy hunting and precision rifle ammo and test them with your gun to see what works best before committing to a specific round.
But buying personal defense ammo is more difficult. Most people can’t do their own gel block testing. There are some good online resources for this information (i.e.: ShootingTheBull410 as well as Lucky Gunner’s test data).
Diamond K Brass sends us this (fairly basic) infographic on choosing ammunition and bullet type. As they write:
Bullets come in many shapes and sizes, and specific bullets are available depending on their intended usage. Full-Metal-Jacket (FMJ) bullets are typically used for practice shooting or training while softpoint bullets are used for hunting purposes. Some bullet types expand upon impact while others are designed to prevent tip deformation. In addition, bullets have different bases based on the bullet design, gun model, and intended usage. When choosing your bullet type, pay attention to the type of recoil the bullet will have and the gun design. Take time to research the different options available when choosing a bullet.
How do you decide what ammunition to buy?