5 Special Ammo Types You Should Know About

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Sponsored post by Ammunition Depot, where you can find a wide variety of ammo online.


The world of bullets is even more vast and expansive than the selection of firearms. Each ammunition is designed to perform a specific task from a specific firearm.

Pairing the best ammo for your desired goal will offer astounding results compared to simply relying on traditional full metal jacket rounds.

Some special types of ammo have unique effects or features. Here are a few examples of those special ammo types:

.22 Long Rifle Birdshot

The ever-popular 22LR ammo offers shooters an extremely affordable way to hunt very small game and practice shooting fundamentals.

The birdshot variety of the 22LR not only delivers a consistent enough shot pattern for you to hunt birds but also works wonders for unwanted pests and varmints.

Birdshot 22LR would make for an excellent survival round and is light enough to where you can carry a large amount of it without adding significant weight.

Combining this round with a Henry AR-7 survival rifle would be perfect to bring for an extended camping trip or hike.

Jacketed Hollow Point

The jacketed hollow point (JHP) is one of the most critical rounds for self-defense.

Nearly every police department in America uses some variation of this ammunition type for their duty weapons.

This works by utilizing a cavity in the tip of the bullet which expands rapidly once hitting a soft target.

JHPs provide massive benefits for both preventing overpenetration and increased stopping power against a deadly threat.

These are proven rounds and are your best bet for an effective concealed carry weapon.

Three excellent and widely used JHP rounds are the Federal HST, the Hornady Critical Defense, and the Speer Gold Dot.

Glaser Safety Slugs

Glaser safety slugs are a frangible handgun round designed to produce devastating damage.

Once the bullet hits its target, it breaks apart and causes many smaller wounds in all directions.

These essentially eliminate the risk of overpenetration if they hit their target, and they were even once used by air marshals to avoid puncturing the walls of an airplane.

They will produce very impressive results in ballistics gel and work extremely well out of J-frame revolvers.

Dragon’s Breath

An exotic round for this list, the Dragon’s Breath is an incendiary ammo for a 12 gauge shotgun.

When fired, the Dragon’s Breath shoots out magnesium sparks and flames up to a distance of around 100 feet. Some even claim it can reach 300 feet.

Its use is more for impressing and entertaining people and, sometimes, intimidating would-be criminals. The incendiary round can also be used as a distress signal similar to a flare.

However, in most states in America, the Dragon’s Breath is considered a fire hazard. Some states require an extra fee for using such a hazard; others outright ban it.

Lead-Free Ammunition

Lead-free ammunition is a recent development and directly targets the issue of lead exposure when target shooting.

These rounds do this by replacing the traditional lead projectile with a polymer one.

This results in eliminating lead-exposure while also reducing barrel fouling that occurs with lead-based ammunition.

Certain rounds, like the Ruger ARX, are an excellent example of lead-free ammunition specifically designed for self-defense.

The ARX does not rely on expansion like a traditional JHP but, instead, utilizes flutes along the sides of the projectile to produce a larger wound cavity.

Found Something Special?

With all these rounds to choose from, it can seem overwhelming. Research and experimentation will certainly lead you to the perfect round for your situation.

The advancements in modern ammunition are truly amazing. There is a round specifically designed for nearly every task.  Modern ammunition performs incredibly well and should certainly be investigated by all shooters.

If you have ensured that your firearm can handle the, sometimes, higher pressures associated with these ammunition types, you will be amazed by the outcome.

Keeping up to date with new advancements in ammunition may also prove to be very useful. With the massive expansion of firearm ownership in the last few years, companies have been coming up with new ways to satisfy every niche.

If the past trends continue, we should expect to see even more amazing new rounds in the near future.


Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/dangerous-police-military-war-94518/



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  1. 22 birdshot or as it was know 22 rat shot. a waste of money unless you plan on killing rats is a barn or a snake up really close. Even than a rat trap works better. As for trying to kill birds with it dream on.
    Now there is a little know 22 round out there 22 CB long. This is a VERY QIUET 22 round but it is very low power. It is more in the range on a high power air rifle than a regular 22. It will kill small game up close 25 yards or so with out attracting attention. I have used this round squirrel hunting in locations I did not want to be noticed in.

    1. Hi oldguy, Good to know about that 22 CB long that is a quiet round. Could really make a difference when trying to avoid attention. Thanks for the comment!

  2. if you value your shotgun you won’t be shooting anything like the Dragon’s Breathe … it’s usefulness is questionable anyway – has extremely limited tactical value ….

  3. I just received a useful 410 round the other day. It’s a pepper gas round (https://www.americanspecialtyammo.com/-410.html). It is said to be effective up to 25 feet. I plan on loading them as my first round in my Taurus Judge. I figure if that doesn’t change the mind of an attacker then the next round will, a Winchester PDX1, (https://www.winchester.com/Products/shotshell-ammunition/Innovative/PDX1-Defender-Shotshell/Pages/default.aspx?c=410). Also going by the rule of 3’s, I can use them when I hike and not just wait for TEOTWAWKI.

  4. Great info…as the .22 JHP’s.. I use CCI “Stinger”..one shot(esp broadside) into a little critter pretty much guts it…head shots are.. well…nothing left…

  5. Its interesting to know that every police department in America uses some variation of the jacketed hollow point ammo. I went to my uncle’s house yesterday to help him reorganize his things and I’ve seen his guns and ammos in one of the rooms, which made me quite interested. My uncle saw that I took an interest to it so he said he’ll bring me to an ammo and gun shop this week just to window shop.

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