AimHi Family Firearms Center is dedicated to providing education, support and a variety of gear for firearms enthusiasts and responsible gun owners. A critical aspect of responsible firearm ownership is understanding the different types of ammunition available and choosing the right one for your needs.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the differences between self-defense ammunition and target ammunition, highlighting some of the top products we carry such as Hornady Critical Self Defense and Critical Duty ammunition, Federal Punch and Champion ammunition, the SIG Sauer Elite V-Crown series, Blazer ammuntion and more.
Self-defense ammunition, also referred to as personal protection ammo, is specifically designed to stop a threat effectively. It typically expands upon impact to cause significant tissue damage, which can be crucial in a life-threatening situation. The most common types are hollow point of jacketed hollow point rounds. Expanding upon impact, these rounds increase the diameter of the round to create a large wound while trying to prevent over-penetration, which could potentially harm an innocent bystander; these are the rounds you would want to carry in your personal defense weapon, be it for home defense or in a concealed carry situation.
Hornady Critical Defense ammunition is designed for reliable and consistent performance in self-defense situations. It features the patented FTX (Flex Tip eXpanding) bullet, which provides superior controlled expansion and large wound channels, ensuring an immediate threat stoppage. The nickel-plated cases resist corrosion and enhance low-light chamber checks. This ammunition is optimized for short-barreled firearms, making it an excellent choice for concealed carry.
Hornady Critical Duty is another exceptional line from the ammo manufacturer, specifically tailored for law enforcement and tactical professionals. It utilizes the FlexLock bullet that incorporates two revolutionary features: the Flex Tip that initiates consistent expansion while preventing clogging, and the heavy-duty jacket-to-core InterLock band that keeps the bullet and core from separating. The result is deep penetration through barriers such as clothing and glass. This ammunition is best suited for full-size handguns and is an ideal option for home defense.
Federal Punch ammunition is designed to deliver the most important characteristics for self-defense scenarios: reliable expansion, deep penetration and consistent performance. Its jacketed hollow point design ensures optimal penetration and expansion, even through barriers. Federal Punch is an affordable yet highly effective self-defense option for everyday carriers.
SIG Sauer Elite V-Crown ammunition delivers exceptional on-target energy, maximum weight retention and optimal expansion at all effective distances. The V-Crown jacketed hollow point design provides a balanced and reliable option for personal defense. It is available in a wide range of calibers to suit various firearms and personal preferences.
Target ammunition, also known as range or practice ammunition, is designed for training and practice purposes. Range ammo is typically full metal jacket or lead round nose and engineered for consistent accuracy, reliability and affordability.
While FMJ ammunition does not expand upon impact like self-defense ammunition, it’s the standard option for developing shooting skills and familiarity with your firearm. Target ammo is designed to penetrate targets and can pass through them. The lack of expansion means less energy is transferred to the target on impact, which is not ideal for stopping a threat but is acceptable for target practice.
At AimHi ranges, we prioritize maintaining a clean and healthy shooting environment. Consequently, we do not permit the use of steel shot, unjacketed ammunition or combinations of lead and steel ammunition. This policy is in place because our recycling facilities are unable to process brass, lead or aluminum that contains steel. Moreover, the presence of lead in ammunition can contaminate our range and obstruct our air filtration system, posing health risks. To ensure a safer shooting space, we limit the use of lead as much as possible. However, there are specific exceptions to this rule. The use of unjacketed ammunition is permitted only for .22 caliber rimfire rounds, shotgun shells and cowboy ammunition.
Federal Champion range ammunition is a line of high-quality, competitively priced cartridges designed for target shooting and training. Federal Champion ammunition is available in various calibers to suit different firearms, including 9mm, .45 ACP, .22LR and others. Depending on the caliber, rounds may feature full metal jacket or lead round nose bullets.
Blazer uses a non-reloadable casing crafted from robust, aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, known for its high strength. This material choice helps to make the ammo both lightweight and cost-effective. The casings are treated with a special coating that enhances smooth cycling through the firearm, reducing the risk of jams and malfunctions, while non-corrosive primers offer reliable performance and extend the ammunition’s shelf life.
Federal’s American Eagle 147-grain FMJ bullet is heavier than more common 115- or 124-grain options. This weight provides a slower, more controlled trajectory, often preferred for its ability to mimic the feel and recoil of many self-defense loads. Optimized for 9mm firearms, this target ammunition is suitable for a wide range of pistols.
How AimHi Can Help
At AimHi Family Firearms Center, our knowledgeable and friendly staff are committed to helping you make an informed decision about the right ammunition for your needs. Whether you’re seeking self-defense rounds or target practice options, we’re here to guide through our extensive inventory, offer recommendations, explain the benefits and differences of each ammunition type and ensure you leave with confidence in your purchase.
Visit us today or call the shop, and let’s discuss how we can assist you in making the right choice for safety, proficiency and peace of mind.