Breaking Down the 4 Most Common Handgun Ammo Types

When it comes to handguns, choosing the right ammo can be confusing. The variety of options can be overwhelming as each type offers different benefits.

But how do you know which one is best for you? In this guide, we’ll break down the most common handgun ammo types. You’ll discover why each is popular and suitable for different needs.

Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!

The .22 Long Rifle Ammo

The .22 LR is the most popular and widely used handgun ammo type. It’s commonly used for:

  • target shooting
  • plinking (shooting at inanimate objects)
  • small game hunting

This type of ammo is affordable, has low recoil, and has a relatively quiet report making it ideal for beginners or those who prefer less noise. Moreover, it’s widely available and can be purchased in bulk.

However, because it’s smaller in diameter, it may not be suitable for self-defense purposes as it lacks stopping power.

The 9mm Luger Ammo

The 9mm Luger is widely used by law enforcement and military personnel. It offers a balance of power and recoil management. This makes it a top choice for self-defense and concealed carry.

Also, it’s known for its good stopping power and can effectively incapacitate a threat. Additionally, its versatility allows users to select the best round for their specific needs.


However, it can be more expensive compared to other handgun ammo types and may have limited availability in some areas. It’s also louder and has more recoil but its overall performance makes it worth considering.

The .40 Smith & Wesson Ammo

The .40 S&W ammo is popular for self-defense. It was developed as a joint venture between Smith & Wesson and Winchester. This ammo provides good stopping power and reasonable recoil.

Additionally, law enforcement agencies appreciate its balance. It offers more power than the 9mm without the intense recoil of the .45 ACP. This makes it ideal for duty use and self-defense.

Plus, it offers high penetration and expansion, making it effective at stopping an attacker. However, this comes at the cost of increased recoil and lower capacity as most handguns chambered in .45 ACP typically hold fewer rounds compared to other calibers.

Overall, this is a solid choice for those seeking power and control.

The 9mm Winchester Ammo

The 9mm Winchester, also known as .355/460, offers a higher velocity and more stopping power than its 9mm Luger counterpart. It’s also known for its accuracy, making it popular among precision shooters.


Additionally, the Winchester ammo 9mm can be used in handguns chambered for the .357 SIG cartridge with minimal modifications. This allows users to switch between calibers without purchasing a new firearm.

Moreover, it offers good penetration and expansion, making it effective for self-defense purposes. However, its higher velocity also means increased recoil. But with its impressive performance, it’s worth considering for those seeking a powerful and accurate round.

Exploring the Most Common Handgun Ammo Types

Choosing the right ammo is crucial for optimizing your handgun’s performance and ensuring your safety. Regardless of your skill level or intended use, understanding the most common handgun ammo types will guide you in making an informed decision.

Ready to make your choice and enhance your shooting experience? Visit your local firearms dealer or browse reputable online stores today!

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