Corrections:
The M1 of World War II fame was designed by John Garand of Springfield Armory instead of John Browning.

Shotgun gauge is the number of lead spheres with the diameter in question that you could make out of one pound of lead. For example, a 12 gauge shotgun has the inside diameter of one of the spheres formed by dividing a pound of lead into 12 spheres. That's why a 12 gauge shotgun is bigger than a 40 gauge shotgun.
All About Shotgun Gauge

 

What About Ammunition?

by Mike Straw

Cartridges are the individual complete units of ammunition that you load into a legal defensive firearm.

A single cartridge consists of a bullet that's set tightly into one end of a powder-filled metal case, typically brass, but sometimes steel or even plastic, and is set off by a primer located in the base of the case when struck by the firing pin or striker after the trigger is pulled,resulting in the brisk combustion of first, the primer and then the powder charge, resulting in a loud noise and bright flash, and the bullet being rapidly propelled in the only direction available to it, down the open-ended barrel.

The amount that the legal defensive firearm "kicks," or recoils, back is proportional to the size of the charge in accordance with Newton's law. Forget everything you've learned from the disinformation media: in this universe, it's not possible for a two-hundred-pound man to be thrown backwards through the always-convenient plate-glass window by a mere one-ounce bullet. Inexperienced shooters are knocked backwards when they're mesmerized by the unusual sight of a approaching threat and fail to simply lean foreword portraying an appropriately aggressive mein.

Pistol cartridges are commonly sold in boxes of fifty, but some "premium" types are only sold in boxes of twenty.

Rifle cartridges are commonly sold in boxes of twenty, but shotgun and some rifle cartridges are only sold in boxes of five. Cartridges are loaded into cylinders, magazine tubes or box magazines, not stripper or en bloc "clips," which are the method of loading John Browning's venerable M1 rifle, the clever tool that won World War Two.

Caliber, in everyday usage, refers to a particular cartridge configuration. This configuration consists of bullet diameter expressed in hundredths of an inch or millimeters, case size, and case shape. Examples could be thirty-eight Special, forty-four Magnum, or nine millimeter.

Gauge refers to how much lead or steel shot fits into a diameter of one inch: ten, twelve, sixteen, twenty or four hundred ten. With this in mind, you should know that bullets -the actual projectiles -come in many weights and designs, even for only one particular caliber. These different weights and designs allow bullets to be custom-tailored for particular applications, such as target shooting, hunting, justifiable self-protection, etc.

A well-stocked friendly ammunition dealer will have several bullet options available for each caliber, and all of them can be shot in any legal defensive firearm designed to accept it. A bullet is the actual projectile that travels out of a legal defensive firearm. Bullets are usually made of lead, but can also be made of other metals like copper or steel. They may be covered with a thin copper-alloy jacket that serves various purposes.

Shotguns typically utilize either round shot or lead slugs; a twelve-gauge slug being essentially a seventy-two-caliber bullet. One such bullet design is the hollow point. Hollow points are sold in different weights, with and without jackets, but all of them have a cavity in the tip that helps them expand when they strike a living organism containing liquid.

This expansion serves two important purposes in a legal defensive firearm: it causes more energy transfer and more damage to the threat (which helps to stop him quickly) and it keeps the bullet from passing through the threat and hitting an innocent unorganized Militia member (which has happened many times with other types of bullets).

Jacketed hollow points are generally heavy enough, strong enough, and fast enough to penetrate leather, thick clothing, minor obstacles, or a substantial layer of body fat and still do their job. They may even penetrate or break bones.

If reading this makes you squeamish, then you're normal, but if you're being illegally assaulted by someone trying to strangle, slash, or shoot you, you won't be thinking about any of this, you'll simply want to stop him, right now. For the given reasons, whenever you load your legal defensive firearm, load it with jacketed hollow points. The single exception to this rule would be only in the instance you intend to fire the ammunition at an indoor range for the specific purpose of practice.

Due to the dangers of lead contamination, a substitution in ammunition should be made to a type which uses a non-lead, or an encapsulated bullet, thereby reducing what's jokingly referred to in advertising as "lead fouling of the barrel," but what in actuality amounts to lead fouling of your lungs!

Outdoor ranges will disperse the lead satisfactorily but even the best, most ventilated, modern range is woefully inadequate. A typical training scenario would require that you fire two shots rapidly, referred to colloquially as a "double-tap," in order to provide maximum shock and trauma to the threat. Why? It's because of the inherent weakness of even the most powerful pistol cartridges.

For instance, the mighty forty-five pistol cartridge limps along at a snail's-pace eight hundred-fifty feet per second, while the puny "twenty-two on steroids," the two-two-three caliber rifle cartridge, screams out at over three thousand feet per second.

Most rifles are designed to shoot only one particular caliber, but some pistols can shoot cartridges of two or more different calibers, such as the venerable three-fifty-seven. Until you begin reloading, you only need to know that powder is divided into "smokeless," or modern, and "black powder," or old-fashioned types. Modern legal defensive firearms use only modern, "smokeless" powder. Black powder is incompatible with use in them. Cheaper Than Dirt sells inexpensive metal ammo boxes. I use a separate box for each caliber, leave a box in the trunk of each vehicle along with a locking legal defensive pistol case and have a couple more I use when I fly or use other mass transit.

This facilitates safety, security, and organization. How much ammo should you carry? According to Gordon McNeill, a survivor of the infamous Miami FBI massacre, who ought to know, as much as you can hold! "I was the calmest I had ever been when I exited my vehicle. I saw everything clearly in my peripheral vision, I did some shooting, I got shot, I bore down and took two more shots. When I realized that I was out of ammo and that it was still going on... then I got scared!"

For my secondary legal defensive pistol, I employ an Action Direct Deep Concealment vertical shoulder holster that has a double magazine pouch under the dominant side arm. This holster is unique, as it's constructed of the same type of elastic and has Velcro® fasteners like bellybands, but also have two shoulder straps that keep everything where it belongs. The only magazines I use are Wilson Combat stainless legal-maximum ten-round type. Why Wilson? The FBI can order any type or brand they want. After all, it's only your money they're spending so lavishly. They specify Wilson.

For the legal defensive shotgun, I wear a multipurpose Brigade Quartermasters World Tour Vest -just like the one Smith and Wesson sells, but twenty dollars less. For the long guns, this vest has enough pockets to keep all the box magazines I'm likely to use. I don't use any device to link multiple magazines, simply because more loaded magazines attached to the legal defensive firearm make it unnecessarily heavy, as well as the difficulty in storing magazines connected this way.

Remember, each time you chamber a cartridge, you push the bullet back into the case a microscopic amount. Over time, this can cause the case to expand slightly, eventually causing a failure to feed when you can least afford it. The ammunition for long arms is usually very high powered and moves at a very high velocity: about half a mile per second. It has a tendency to over-penetrate and will go through the bad guy and several walls, or innocent unorganized Militia members, before stopping.

Use only hollow-point ammunition, which tends to stay within the body. Never carry reloaded ammunition for self-protection use. They're indefensible in court.

Just to be safe, whenever I load a magazine with ammo intended for use for immediate personal protection, I always write the serial number of the legal defensive firearm it's going into and the date I loaded it with my signature on the box of ammo that I loaded the legal defensive firearm with, for use in future ballistics tests, as Mas Ayoob has suggested.

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