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The 4 Key Types of Ammunition for Your Rifle

Exploding tips, hollow points and round nose — oh, my! The different types of ammunition that are available can be confusing, to say the least. The type of bullets you need for your rifle depends on whether you’re using it for target practice or for hunting, your budget and even the distance you expect to be shooting. Relatively inexpensive loads such as a full metal jacket ammo are best for target practice while self-defense loads tend to be more complex and expensive to produce.

Here’s a guide to the 4 main types of ammunition for your rifle.

1. Lightweight Target Loads

Training or target loads are lighter in weight than other bullets, as they are truly meant to provide you with a path to improve your targeting — not for hunting or defensive uses. This ammunition is reasonably accurate, easy to manufacture and doesn’t cause a big recoil. The lack of massive recoil is especially important when you’re shooting for extended periods of time in a practice situation, as the impact on your body can be damaging if you were using a heavier load.

2. Hollow-Point Bullets

When you’re looking to do a lot of damage to your target very quickly for self-defense applications, a hollow-point should be your go-to rounds. This ammunition expands on hitting the intended target to expend a great deal of energy very quickly and cause significant damage. The cavity in the tip is what causes the projectile to expand, making this load one that has exceptional stopping power.

3. Armor Piercing Ammunition

While some people may put these bullets in the same category, armor piercing rounds are meant to punch through military-grade, SAPI or ceramic armor. Technically, any round above a .22 for rifles will pierce the soft armor that is commonly worn by police officers. There are significant regulations around selling armor-piercing ammunition, but it’s not technically illegal to own.

4. Soft-Point Bullets

Soft-points are one of the best choices for personal defense and deer hunting, as this type of bullet offers reliable expansion capabilities. These lead to clean and ethical kills when hunting as well as exceptional stopping power for personal defense. When hunting big game, it’s important that your bullet be heavy-duty enough to punch through thick animal hide and bone to quickly drop the animal. This reduces the damage done to the animal, allowing for a humane kill and reliable harvesting of game.

Shooting a rifle is one of the great American pastimes enjoyed by millions of people on a regular basis. However, specialized bullets can be expensive, so you always want to match your ammunition needs with the type of shooting you will be doing. Whether you’re heading out on a hunting trip or keeping a rifle around your home for self-defense, one of these types of rifle bullets will have your needs covered. Be sure to always match your rifle type with the manufacturer’s recommended load.

~ Firearm Daily

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