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How To Choose The Right Ammo

Peak Performance wants to make sure that you as the end user of their ammunition is set up for success in whatever shooting discipline you may be partaking in. Whether it’s shooting competitively, hunting, or general target shooting at the range the key elements for success is understanding what we are putting in our rifles to make sure we are getting what we expect out of them. As you look through Peak Performance rifle cartridge offerings you will notice that along with different weights each bullet also has a type, such as full metal jacket (FMJ), Total Metal Jacket (TMJ), and Boat-Tail Hollow Point (BTHP). Let’s take a look at each of three rifle bullet types offered by Peak Performance,

Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

A full metal jacket (FMJ) is the most common found plinking or target style bullet. It is most commonly constructed as a soft core, usually made up of lead which is then “jacketed” in copper gilding with a closed bullet tip. The lead core is exposed in the base of the bullet. FMJ is often referred to in military nomenclature as “ball” ammunition, such as M193 (55 grain) and M855 (62 grain) standard military issue ball ammunition. The copper jacket is harder than the lead core so this helps alleviate damage to the projectile that would often be found trying to use softer lead bullets in auto-loading firearms such as AR-15’s. This hard exterior jacket also means that this bullet will penetrate deeply into a target rather than expand on impact which means that this ammunition may not be the best choice for hunting where dumping kinetic energy into a target relies on the bullet expanding. However, the full metal jack does make a great hunting round on lighter game where pelt preservation may be a concern such as predator hunting. Full metal jacket bullets are also simple in construction and cheap to make and the costs are often passed along in cheaper loaded ammunition. Full metal jacket bullets most commonly have a flat base with or non-tapered shape which generally limits their performance to about medium level effective range in its weapon platform.

Total Metal Jacket (TMJ)

A total metal jacket bullet is very similar to the full metal jacket ammunition where it is a lead core jacketed with copper gilding material. The difference is in the base of the bullet where rather than an exposed lead core at the base of the bullet, the lead core is encapsulated in copper as well as the exterior. Since the lead core is encased with copper and protected from the hot expanding gases of burning powder, it reduces exposure from lead particles that can often be found in the air shooting at indoor ranges and is often the only ammunition type allowed. Some shooter have often reported increased accuracy shooting TMJ bullets due to a more consistent base of the bullet. TMJ bullets can also be found in a variety of bullet shapes and are not limited to flat base styles.

Boat-tail Hollow Points (BTHP)

BTHP rifle bullets are often used in competitive shooting and also known as open-tip match (OTM) bullets. Despite having a hollow tip similar to hollow point defense purposed pistol rounds, their performance should not be confused. The open tip on BTHP bullets is a carryover from the method used for their construction and BTHP’s are NOT designed to expand upon impact like hollow tip pistol bullets. The BTHP open tip enhances the bullet’s aerodynamics while in flight and many believe this type of bullet to be one of the most accurate bullet construction methods. The boat-tail shape is in reference to the shape of the base of the bullet and how it is tapered like the shape of a boat. This boat-tail shape reduces the effect of drag on the bullet as it flies through the air in the same way it reduces drag on a boat as it floats through water. These bullets are often have higher ballistic coefficient and are flatter shooting across when considering the entire bullet trajectory and make this bullet type the coup de gras for longer range shooting.

Many people can often find themselves frustrated with their shooting simply because they may not have the correct ammunition for what they are trying to accomplish. We simply must equip ourselves with the correct tools for the job. By understanding bullet construction and matching bullet types to what kind of shooting we expect to do, we can eliminate a lot of frustration that can come with shooting. Good luck and happy shooting!