With so many options for concealed-carry and home-defense firearms in today’s market, author Martin D. Topper investigated how shooters can better identify the correct self-defense ammo for their needs. Topper starts by discussing handgun calibers ranging from .22 LR to .44 Magnum before moving on to modern rifles loads and options for shotgun enthusiasts. “Revolvers and semi-autos chambered in .22 LR and .22 Mag. are often used for self-defense. Because .22 LR is designed primarily for rifles, it rarely expands when used in handguns. However, some newer .22 Mag loads do expand when fired through short barrels,” notes Topper. “Rimfire guns chambered in .22 Mag. may not have the stopping power of a .45 ACP, but they are not to be taken lightly.”

Still discussing handgun calibers, Topper then describes the advantages of the time-tested .38 Special and .357 Mag. cartridges. “The .38 Special and .357 Mag. are very versatile cartridges, and there are many controlled-penetration and deep-penetration loads for both calibers. Hornady’s new 90-grain Critical Defense Lite FTX produces relatively low penetration in 10 percent gelatin and also has reduced recoil, which will help recoil-sensitive shooters improve their accuracy.”

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On the topic of shotguns, Topper is quick to point out the predominance of 12-gauge designs and which loads function best between pump-actions and autoloaders. “The vast majority of people who use shotguns for defense prefer 12 gauge pumps and semi-autos, says Topper. “Pump shotguns handle very fast and shoot tight patterns with reduced-recoil loads like the tactical buckshot and tactical slugs made by Federal, Winchester and Remington. Some semi- autos will also function with tactical loads, but full-power loads are the most reliable ammo for autoloaders.”

For more information on ammunition, visit: or call 800-574-9200 or call 605-348-5150 or call 800-626-7266 or call 800-379-1732 or call 800-338-3220 or call 888-966-8477 or call 800-243-9700 or call 800-356-9700

To read the full article on Self-Defense Ammo, check out the Spring 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE, available on newsstands April 15, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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