Questions You Should Ask Before Loading a Self-Defense Weapon

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You do not get to choose when or where an emergency arises.

Many people own firearms for self-defense, as opposed to for target shooting or hunting. Firearms used for self-defense may be needed in unexpected circumstances, such as a robber kicking in an apartment door, or an armed disgruntled employee returning to the office to cause harm.

An important consideration when choosing your firearm(s) and ammunition is how a bullet fired from your gun will act in a given space.

Normal ball 9mm FMJ ammunition is capable of penetrating numerous layers of drywall while retaining enough velocity to be deadly. This means a round fired in an apartment could retain enough velocity to penetrate two apartments over, potentially hitting neighbors or bystanders. That power can even be a problem in more rural environments. A .308 rifle round can travel over 1000 yards while retaining its deadly velocity.

Understanding the environments you live, work, and travel through is the first step in choosing the right weapon for that environment.

Do you live on an open farm field where the long reach of a 30-06 rifle may be necessary, or do you live in a townhouse complex where that same rifle may be an overpowered liability? Choosing the right firearm for your environment is important. This may mean choosing the old pump shotgun as your home defense gun instead of that fancy new AR-10 rifle.

After assessing your weapon needs and practicalities, you’ll need the appropriate ammunition to feed that weapon.

Selecting good self-defense ammunition for handguns is particularly important. Many FMJ and RNCP rounds are not made to quickly dissipate their energy, so the round may keep traveling after striking a target or another object. Reputable self-defense ammunition is designed to expand upon impact, thereby transferring as much energy as possible into the target. This expenditure of energy slows or stops the bullet, and dramatically reduces the chance of over penetration while also dealing greater damage to the target. A win/win.

9mm Rounds after passing through different objects.

Firearms are the most expedient way to protect yourself from a greater force, but they are also a responsibility that must be understood and carefully selected. Choosing reliable practice ammunition, and even more reliable defense ammunition, can make all the difference.

Stay smart and shoot safe.

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