What if you can’t get the ‘best’ ammunition?

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The other day I got a message from a fellow who’s been asking me questions about a new carry gun purchase. He finally decided on the model he wanted and had bought it, and now wanted to know about ammunition.

Not what ammunition I recommended — he already knew that — but what he should buy. The question was “I know you recommend the Federal and Speer but if I can’t find any at the gun store what would be your second choice?” *

(I assume he meant HST and Gold Dot ammunition, respectively. In autoloaders I carry either, depending on what the gun shoots well. In revolvers it’s always Speer Gold Dot 135gn +P.)

What I was thinking, and what I told him, were a little different.

What I was thinking…

“ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? You spent MONTHS researching the ‘best’ gun, prowling gun forums, reading blogs, watching videos, going to rental ranges, sending me emails, then shopping around to find the best deal. And now — for no good reason other than sheer laziness — you’re going to settle for second best in ammunition?!”

Yeah, that was my inner Sam Kinison speaking.

What I actually told him…

“Go to another store. Drive to another town, if you have to, to find one that has Gold Dots or HST on the shelf. Failing that, check your local gun shows or do what I do: order it online. There are plenty of internet sources who will be happy to sell you as much as you can afford. 

You spent a lot of time, effort, and money to get the right gun for you. The gun, though, is just a bullet launcher; it makes sense to spend a percentage of that time and effort to get good bullets to feed it with. When you think of it that way, settling for ammunition of lesser performance just for the sake of convenience really doesn’t seem prudent, does it?”

Don’t let a little inconvenience dictate your course of action.

— Grant

* – The sender is a good sport, and gave me permission to use the content of his email as the basis for this article. 

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About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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