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