Handgun ammunition is one of the most varied types of ammunition in the firearms market. With choices ranging from .17HM2 to .500 S&W, the consumer has a plethora of options when ammunition is considered.
The first question that must be answered when considering what ammunition to purchase is: what do I want this ammunition to do? Some people want to shoot with friends for fun with the ultimate goal of bragging rights and well ventilated targets. Other shooters demand accuracy at longer ranges and power sufficient to quickly dispatch game and vermin. Some handgun shooters rely on their firearms for protection and require bullets that will expand quickly but not penetrate multiple walls, potentially harming bystanders or family members.
Casual target shooting or plinking is a pastime enjoyed by a majority of shooters and is the way most new shooters are introduced to the sport. What is the caliber of choice for extended shooting sessions without hemorrhaging cash? The .22 Long Rifle, this light recoiling and inexpensive ammunition will make trips to the range and the woods a great shooting experience!
Many hunters choose to use handguns for their hunts as they enjoy the increased challenge of the reduced range of the firearm and the smaller and lighter gun that they will be carrying with them. Many handgun calibers are great for hunting. Some of the most popular include the .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and the .500 S&W Magnum. Some of the larger ammunition manufacturers have introduced ammunition specifically designed for hunting by incorporating specialty bullets with the load. These include the Hornady Flex Tip, Federal Fusion and Barnes Vortex.
With the recent increase in the sales of handguns designed for self defense and concealed carry the demand for defensive ammunition has increased with it. Most primary, purpose built, self defense pistols are chambered for the 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP. The .38 Special and .357 Magnum are among the leaders in the revolver category, with the .327 Magnum showing a great deal of promise. Of course these firearms would be useless without excellent ammo. Federal and Speer have had a great deal of popularity among Law Enforcement and civilian markets with their Hydra-Shok and Gold Dot ammunition. However, Magtech has introduced a solid copper hollow point round in their First Defense line of ammunition, and Hornady has also introduced their Critical Defense line of controlled expansion hollow point bullets.
The .25 Auto, .32 Auto and .380 ACP are also popular self defense firearms as they are usually easily concealed and sized so that even the smallest of shooters can handle the pistol. The smallest of the group, the .25 ACP has a few self-defense oriented loads, with the Hornady XTP among the best in the group. The .32 auto is also a very popular pocket pistol with self defense ammunition offered by Hornady, Speer and other reputable manufacturers. The .380 ACP has seen the most marked increase in popularity among the three calibers mentioned here. Several manufacturers have created new bullets and loads designed specifically for the .380 and its self defense application, to include Hornady, Speer and Magtech.
Handgun ammunition has come a long way from solid lead bullets and rimfire cases. The engineering and metallurgical skills that are infused in new ammunition are absolutely stunning. The ammunition manufacturers of today provide accurate and effective handgun ammunition for whatever the shooter may need.