When deciding which brand or even which style of ammunition to use, basic knowledge of your firearm and how different ammo will respond to it is important to acquire before any purchase. Questionable ammunition quality can really mess up your shot, or worse, so making the right purchase with your ammo is crucial if you want a reliable and accurate shot every time.
The value of ammunition is decided by the user, meaning every dedicated marksman will have a different opinion or preference when it comes to their choice of ammo, and probably an opinion about yours too.
Depending on your reason for shooting and the firearm that you are shooting from, you will have to develop your own preference for ammunition. While some factors are more important to certain shooters, others are non-negotiable.
Figuring out which trade-offs to make will help you decide on ammunition that fits your needs and keeps you and others safe when you shoot. Typically, research, as well as trial and error, are a big part of deciding which ammo will truly do the job you are looking to do.
How does ammo affect your shot?
Recoil, charge amount, cost, design and material are all important factors for picking the best round possible for your weapon. Because rounds travel so fast and powerfully, the slightest weight difference or charge variance can ruin or change a shot.
Depending on the weight of the bullet and how much gunpowder is used, your ammo could have a massively different recoil. This is an issue for many shooters that enjoy burning several hundred rounds or already struggle with their rifle’s kick. Because it takes more energy to force a heavier bullet out of a firearm’s barrel, the reaction is going to be a harder recoil.
Similar to heavy ammo, rounds with a higher charge will have a bigger effect. While having less recoil from your ammunition is definitely a plus, lighter and less charged rounds may lack in power. This is not an issue for range practice but might make them ineffective for home defense or hunting, which are usually practiced infrequently anyways.
Material is another important factor for ammunition selection. Many marksmen prefer to use brass cased rounds, but there are benefits to every ammo’s composition. While steel rounds are usually a cheaper solution to buying ammunition, it can leave your weapon dirtier and less effective than its brass competitor. Brass expands in the chamber, creating a seal that prevents powder from blowing back. It is also much softer than steel casings, which can help protect your weapon from unnecessary wear and tear. Steel is, however, cheaper than brass and that is appealing to many shooting enthusiasts due to its expandability.
When looking at the cost of ammunition, it can be easy to go for cheap, low-quality ammo. Later on, many users suffer on the range or in life because of ammo failure. Not only can this mess up your shot, but could cost you a hunt or more. This does not mean that the most expensive ammunition on the shelf is going to be right for you either though.
Cutting costs through buying bulk ammo can be a safer, more effective solution to finding affordable ammunition without sacrificing quality. When you buy in bulk, you should see consistency across your rounds as well as a discounted price. This is an easy way to stock up on all calibers of ammo for any situation.
When purchasing ammunition, make sure that the ammo you have in mind will serve the intended purpose whether that be for hunting, safety or the range. While it may be nice to see the cost go down, what good is a supply of ammunition that was made for the wrong job or leaves your firearm unusable?
Quality bullets that are made for the range might be cheaper than the average self-defense round but could possibly lack stopping power. On the other hand, making sure that you are not wasting money on high-tech ammo to use on the range is important too.
Every Marksman that puts time into their ammunition selection will have a clear preference, which is important for developing accuracy and learning a weapon. Sticking to the same ammo over time will give shooters additional consistency, as well as the ability to perform accurately in whatever purpose you are looking to fulfill.
Looking at all of an ammunition’s traits, from price to design can help you find sustainable and cost-effective ammo that you will be able to stick to over time. After deciding what ammunition fits you best, consider purchasing in bulk to save additional time and money.