If you’re carrying a 9mm revolver or pistol for self defense, there are a few things you should consider when choosing a bullet. Because the gun is a relatively small caliber for self defense, you need to ensure you’re carrying the right type of 9mm ammo, one that guarantees you stopping power.
When your concealed carry is a 9mm, consider these three factors.
Velocity refers to the speed your bullet travels towards the end of the barrel. It can be a major factor in hunting rifles or anytime you’re shooting a significant distance. Yet in the types of shots you’re most likely to make with your concealed carry weapon, chances are velocity isn’t going to have nearly as much impact. That being said, velocity affects your aim and stopping power, so no matter what 9mm ammo you shoot, look for one with a decent level of velocity and practice.
When you’re carrying a weapon for self defense, you want the most stopping power possible. In the case of a 9mm handgun, you get maximum stopping power with hollow point bullets. Unlike full metal jacket (FMJ) ammunition, hollow point design makes it so the bullet expands on impact, creating a bigger area of destruction. This expansion cause the bullet to quickly halt, which is especially important for bystanders to stop over penetration.
9 mm ammo labeled P+ is loaded to a higher internal pressure. This increases its velocity, typically by about 10 percent. A higher velocity means a faster bullet, and a faster bullet means more stopping power. And when you’re carrying a concealed weapon, that’s exactly what you want. In some cases, this is nearly the equivalent to increasing the gun’s caliber, so be careful! Not all handguns are designed to handle the speed and power of P+ ammunition. Check your manual and if it doesn’t specifically say that you can shoot P+, don’t. Your gun won’t like it.