How to Find the Best 9mm Ammo for You

If you’re new to shooting, it won’t be long until you run into a 9mm (figuratively speaking, of course). Those of you who have been shooting for a while most likely already know about this particular kind of bullet. Either way, everyone could always use more education when it comes to guns and ammo. So keep reading for an introduction that will help you decide which is the best 9mm ammo for you, and if you already know what you’re looking for consider using this to get a discount!

The 9mm Parabellum

The 9mm Parabellum is currently one of the most popular bullets on the planet, period. So for a lot of people, it’s the best 9mm ammo. Currently, over 60% of law enforcement agencies use this 9mm. It’s also the most popular 9mm ammo for the military, as it’s the number one handgun cartridge for them too. Even U.S. NATO and a number of foreign countries pack this type of ammunition as their standard form.

This 9mm round is considered perfect for all-purpose applications with a handgun. It’s believed that Greg Luger designed the bullet himself, which was first manufactured by Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken Company in 1902. Thanks to its efficiency and affordability, the bullet has found countless fans since.

However, there are a number of different types of this bullet. You’ll want to learn about some of the more popular versions if you hope to find the best 9mm ammo for your needs.

Hollow Point

Hollow point bullets can be chambered in just about every standard semi-automatic that takes 9mm bullets. As the name suggests, the unique factor with this bullet is at its point. It’s not that it’s actually hollow though. It’s probably more accurate to say it’s simply missing.

9mm Hollow Point BulletInstead of the sharper point you see on most bullets that give them their missile-like look, hollow point bullets have cavities where this nose should be. This allows them a very different impact than standard 9mm ammo.

When it hits its target, a hollow point bullet will mushroom. This allows a hollow point bullet to do far more damage, instead of simply passing in and out of the target with ease, it can easily tear through the interior and even become lodged.

This type of bullet may be the best 9mm ammo for law enforcement officers, as it has far more stopping power than most other rounds. Amongst other things, the mushroom form it takes on generally keeps it from passing through and hitting innocent bystanders.

Full Metal Jacket

Another popular form of the 9mm is called a full metal jacket bullet. These are probably the most popular and best 9mm ammo for those in the military, who chamber them in their rifles. However, full metal jacket bullets are just as at home in a handgun.

The name comes from the fact that this 9mm is covered in a jacket of treated copper alloy. This makes the bullet far more durable than standard options. It can go through the most durable of substances at the highest possible velocities without its profile suffering.

Furthermore, this bullet is extremely accurate and won’t cote the barrel of the gun with a residue of soft core lead.

Full metal jacket bullets are often modified to make them capable of piercing the armor of military foes.

Soft Point

The soft point bullet (also known as the soft-nosed bullet) is often wearing a jacket of either copper or brass. But it’s actually considered a lead-expanding projectile (thus, it’s also referred to as a semi-jacketed bullet).

Thanks to a lead tip at the end of its nose, the soft point bullet will expand on impact and open a much larger cavity than the aforementioned full metal jacket bullet. It will also expand much slower than the full metal jacket bullet, providing a bigger entrance wound. However, it’s still smaller than the hollow point’s.

This bullet was specifically designed to keep the barrel of your gun less susceptible to lead fouling.

Frangible Bullets

The word frangible means to “break apart.” So you can probably already guess what this bullet is known for. When this type of 9mm hits its target, pellets contained inside the copper bullet are released. This way, it can inflict the most internal damage possible without an equivalent amount of penetration.

Increased stopping power provides an increased kinetic force which means greater knockdown power too. So if you like to hunt small game or are concerned about home defense, this is probably the best 9mm ammo for you. Collateral damage is far less likely with frangible bullets because they so rarely penetrate their intended targets through to the other side.

Match Rounds

If you want to shoot for competition, the best 9mm ammo for you will absolutely be match rounds. On the outside, this type of ammunition looks just like any other type of bullet. However, the truth is that many of these bullets were loaded by hand. That’s because many match shooters have very specific requirements that go into making the best 9mm ammo for their competitive match shooting.

In fact, often times match bullets are loaded with specific powders and get measured along very strict weight requirements. The end goal is a 9mm bullet that can achieve greater velocities at flatter trajectories. This all leads to rounds with far more constant grain weight and consistent design.

Round Nose Lead

Round Nose Lead BulletCommonly referred to as RNLs, round nose lead bullets are most often used with revolvers. They also lack any type of metal jacket whatsoever. They have a truncated look them when compared with other 9mm bullets. Most people tend not to use RNLs much nowadays, for a number of reasons. However, as a cheap bullet to take to the range, this isn’t a bad option.


So the truth is that there’s no single best 9mm ammo. In the end, it will depend on what you intend to use the bullet for. Even then, you’ll want to experiment with different brands before you decide on the version you’ll be most loyal to. You’ll also want to make sure your specific weapon can handle the particular versions listed above before choosing one.