How to choose the right bullet weight for your gun

Michelle S. and a friend were in her apartment consuming drugs and handling guns. (What could go wrong?)

Around 4:30 p.m., Michelle discharged a firearm inside the apartment.

The bullet went through the wall and into an adjoining apartment, and a person in the apartment was shot in the forehead.

Amazingly, the victim was transported to the hospital with minor injuries but was expected to fully recover.

During the investigation, police found drugs, paraphernalia, and multiple guns in Michelle’s apartment.

Michelle and her friend were arrested for crimes including battery, discharge of a firearm, and drug charges.

It should be obvious that bullets can easily travel through walls and many doors.

Which is why bullet grain weight should play an important role in the ammo you choose to use.

The weight of a bullet affects how far it can travel, the trajectory, and many other factors.

For example, lighter bullets generate more speed and have a flatter trajectory. They are better for longer-distance shooting.

On the downside, they have less energy.

Heavier bullets are more effective in terms of ballistics and are less impacted by wind.

But they can have worse accuracy and more recoil.

However, bullet weights can be confusing, so here are a few factors to help you choose a bullet weight.

What is the purpose of the bullet?:

One of the most important factors when choosing a bullet weight is what you plan to use the bullet for.

For instance, if you are hunting animals at a long distance you might want to use a heavier bullet.

On the other hand, if you are going to the range for some target shooting you might want to use a lighter, flatter bullet.

Barrel twist rate:

The barrel twist rate refers to the number of times a bullet rotates before it exits the barrel. It’s how the gun stabilizes the bullet as it fires.

The twist rate of your specific gun might be better suited for certain weights.

For example, a faster twist rate, such as 1:7, is better able to stabilize heavier bullets.

A slower twist rate, such as 1:12, is better suited for lighter bullets.

When buying ammo for your weapon you should consult the manufacturer’s specifications.

Look up the barrel twist rate so you can find an ammo best suited for your barrel.


If you are going to spend the day shooting at the range, you should consider a lighter-weight bullet.

A lighter bullet will minimize fatigue and give you better control of your firearm.

The heavier the bullet, the bigger the recoil.

If you shoot hundreds of rounds of heavier bullets you will likely feel it at the end of the day.

So, next time you are buying target ammo, consider going with a lighter-weight bullet.

Follow the specs:

Many gun makers will have recommendations for bullet weight.

In fact, some firearms are specifically designed for certain bullet weights.

Firearms manufacturers want their guns to perform at peak levels.

So, they will recommend a bullet weight that ensures the best possible performance from the firearm.

Before settling a bullet weight, try out a few different ones at the gun range.

For instance, you could pick three different weights.

Then, using the same gun, fire the three different bullets and see which one is the most accurate.

In addition, you can feel the difference in recoil.

To give you a starting point, one of the rounds I use is the Hornady Critical Duty 9mm a 135-grain bullet, which is a middleweight round ideal for self-defense.

No matter which bullet weight you choose you should be comfortable shooting it and maximize the potential of your firearm.

This includes your home defense guns and also your bug out guns.

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