There are many factors to consider when purchasing firearm accessories and calibers are no exception. Before you begin, you should have a basic idea of the benefits as well as drawbacks of each caliber and bullet type to make an informed decision when buying ammo for your handgun. For starters, always keep in mind that penetration is key to choosing any bullet. According to “FBI Protocol” it is suggested that the ideal penetration for a bullet is when it can reliably penetrate 14 to 16 inches into the target.
When buying calibers, it is important to note the energy of bullets that the round will produce. Usually, bullet energy in handguns is very low; sometimes not even enough to knock down a heavy target. Contrary to what you might see in movies, there is no actual way to track the “knockdown power” in handgun bullets. With that in mind, you still want to purchase a type of ammunition that has the ability to seriously injure an assailant in the event that you are attacked. Whether it’s going to be used for hunting or self-defense, it is important to consider your individual needs when purchasing certain caliber ammunition.
When it comes to the recoil of certain calibers it might not be as much of a concern as you first thought. Various handgun models have the ability to transfer the level of recoil to the user in different amounts depending on the model. Every person has a different experience to recoil when a shot is fired. That being said the recoil does not always factor in as much upon the type of caliber in handguns.
Still, it is important to note that smaller calibers have the ability to give you higher accuracy and faster follow-up shots because of lighter recoil in exchange for producing very low force and energy. In comparison, larger calibers can inflict more damage by producing a higher force and energy, but will also make your follow-up shots slower.
The Most Common Handgun Calibers
- The most popular handgun caliber is 9x19mm Parabellum. This ammunition has a relatively low recoil that allows you to fire follow up shots quickly. The capacity of the magazine is also greater than that of other bullet types while keeping the cost very affordable. It has a wide appeal for these reasons and is commonly available in most stores as well.
- The second most common type is the .45 ACP caliber, which is a wider and thicker bullet in comparison to the 9mm. To be precise, it is around 40% bigger than 9mm calibers, which gives it a heavier recoil and a lower magazine capacity.
- The third most common caliber available is the .40 S&W. This type of ammunition has a flat nose, which has the ability to give the round higher bullet energy and creates larger wounds. Other popular handgun calibers also include the .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, 10mm Auto, and .357 SIG.