Handgun Defense Ammunition Terminal Ballistics

Aegis Academy - Howard Hall - Handgun Defense Ammunition Terminal Ballistics - Concealed CarryAs gun ownership and concealed carry steadily rise throughout the United States, more people are seeking information on finding the training and the tools to best prepare themselves for personal defense.  While there is no shortage of literature provided by gun and ammunition manufacturers, there are too many variables to unequivocally cite a single gun and ammunition combination which is the best or most effective for all shooters in all circumstances.  This article will discuss Handgun Defense Ammunition Terminal Ballistics in order to provide the information to help you determine what may be “best” for you.

As stated above, there is no shortage of ammunition advertisements making outrageous claims disguised as scientific research. This is especially true in the case of the G2 RIP (Radically Invasive Projectile).  I’ve even dedicated an article titled “Personal Defense Ammunition: Hype, Hyperbole, and Common Sense” to dispel and debunk some of the … Read more »

Bullet Set-Back

MainBullet Set-Back

In his book, “Student of the Gun,” author, firearms instructor, and former Marine Paul G. Markel succinctly describes the journey through firearms proficiency from novice through “expert.”  More importantly, he describes the attainment of “expert” not as indicative of the end of the journey, but a firm commitment to being a life-long student.  Through my personal journey, I’ve had the opportunity to train, compete, and instruct in firearms disciplines… and there are still many things I learn every day.  Although I’ve studied and written extensively on ballistics and considerations for personal and home defense ammunition, I recently “re-learned” a valuable lesson on bullet set-back that I’d like to briefly share with you.

For a number of years, I’d kept a 1911 in .45ACP as my home defense firearm and loaded it with 185 grain jacketed hollow-point cartridges.  During this time, I’d followed the advice that I’ve … Read more »

Shotshells in Revolvers

Main PhotoShotshells in Revolvers

In this article, I’ll answer a reader’s question regarding shooting Shotshells in Revolvers for personal defense.  Specifically, I’ll discuss the difference between revolver shotshells meant for pest control and shotshells designed for personal defense.

“I’ve been reading the Ballistics Series and your articles on personal defense with great interest.  Good stuff!  Where I live, there are many other people living in my home and there are other homes very close to mine.  So, I’m very concerned about using ammo that would either over-penetrate an attacker’s body or go through walls if I miss. I’ve got a Smith and Wesson 686 4″ revolver in .38/.357.  I practice a lot with the lighter .38 special rounds, but keep the gun on my nightstand loaded with .357 magnum hollow-points.  I’m worried that using that much power may endanger my neighbors.  Many personal defense articles highlight the benefits of using a Read more »

Shotgun Ballistics

images (4)Shotgun Ballistics

This article answers a reader’s question and discusses shotgun ballistics.

“What about Shotguns and Shotgun Ballistics?  The entire Ballistics Series was great and it was the first time that the science behind shooting was explained in a way that made sense.  I’m considering a shotgun for home defense, so could you cover Shotgun Ballistics in one of your upcoming articles?  Thank you.” – Brian in Temecula

Brian, thank you for the e-mail and for the opportunity to give the venerable shotgun the attention it deserves.  Although there are many similarities between shotgun ballistics and rifle/pistol ballistics, the differences are significant enough to focus solely on the shotgun.  What makes shotguns unique among other firearms is the wide variety of projectiles that can be fired from the same platform.  This includes everything from a slug and a sabot round through buck shot, bird shot, and a number of less-than-lethal … Read more »

Terminal Ballistics – Part II

Terminal Ballistics – Part II

Terminal Ballistics - aegis academy - Howard HallWelcome back to the second and final installment in the Terminal Ballistics series, which will also complete the Ballistics Series.  In Terminal Ballistics I, we covered key terminology and highlighted the common goal of hunters, law enforcement, and home defenders… to incapacitate game animals or felonious assailants with as few shots as possible.  We also covered the two methods that bring about incapacitation: a well aimed shot to the Central Nervous System (Medulla Oblongata or the upper spinal cord) and severe blood loss. In this article, we will cover projectile characteristics, best practices, and conclude the series.

Terminal Ballistics in Hunting and Personal Defense

With a wide variety of options in caliber, construction, and velocity, which combination is best?  That is certainly a loaded question… pun fully intended.  Short of providing overwhelming destructive force, which does not serve the hunter very well and is … Read more »