Among the many factors contributing to proficient shooting performance, getting the appropriate bullet weight is the most noteworthy. A suitable bullet weight will greatly impact the recoil, accuracy, and range of your shoot.
No matter how experienced a shooter you are, we suggest that you should manage to know how to choose the right bullet weight. Let’s scroll down to learn the method.
How To Choose The Right Bullet Weight?
As mentioned above, a bullet’s weight will affect its shooting capabilities and your shot’s efficiency. Although a heavy bullet can generate massive knockout force, it also creates more recoil. On the contrary, a lighter bullet can limit the recoil, but its fatal power can’t be as much as the heavy round’s.
What’s more, the weight also affects the round’s penetration. This feature is important when you want to control the bullet’s trajectory and not let it puncture unintended targets.
Based on which aspects can we evaluate a bullet as heavy or light? There haven’t been any standard weight charts for bullets. For this reason, people often assess and measure a bullet’s weight according to its caliber.
Besides the bullet’s caliber, your shooting purposes will somehow affect your ideal bullet weight. We will show you how to pick a suitable bullet weight according to some common shooting purposes below.
#1. Determine What You Want First
Choosing the right bullet weight must accompany knowing what options there are to offer. Usually, some common bullet weights will go with each caliber, but there are also some exceptions that you should consider.
For example, the 115, 124, or 147 grain can work well with almost every 9mm load. Yet, you will sometimes see 95 grain or 110-grain bullets match this type of load.
Depending on your practical needs and the gun you use, you can pick a heavy and slow bullet or a light with an extra-high speed bullet. Hence, determining your demand and gun conditions will allow you to make a wise choice on your bullet weight.
#2. Bullet Weight For Hunting
Hunting big animals is a challenging game for any shooter. Since large-size animals often have thick skin covered with fur, you will need to get a heavy round to go through that tough layer. In this case, we recommend bullets from the medium to heavyweight. A heavier round will be able to produce a more severe impact force. Compared to other smaller-sized bullets, a heavier one contains a greater amount of mass to create more kinetic momentum and energy.
When hunting animals, hunters usually maintain a distant range to prevent their prey from running away. A propellant and gun capable of creating adequate ammunition when reaching the appropriate velocity would fit just well.
Compared to lighter rounds, heavier ones can maintain better velocities, resulting in a more impressive accuracy. Nevertheless, if the heavy bullets come out via moderate speed velocity, gravity and wind may affect their path and bring about inaccuracies.
In addition, the bullet weight in the shooting will vary due to the size of the animals you are trying to attack. If your target is small-size animals, we suggest that you use lighter rounds. With a light bullet, you can still finish off the animals without causing other redundant wounds to them.
What’s more, professional hunters suggest two main reasons why you should use light bullets instead of heavy ones when shooting small animals. Firstly, the heavy rounds will take more time to come out of the barrel so that the recoil will be higher. Besides, although the heavy rounds’ trajectory tends to take less impact from the wind, the lower velocity still diminishes its accuracy.
#3. Bullet Weight For Self-Defense
Unlike the above case, humans’ skin is much softer and thinner than animals. And in the case of shooting due to self-defense, you tend to stand near the attackers. Considering all of these factors, we can see that almost every bullet on the market can penetrate deep into and “drill” a hole into or even through the assailant’s body.
For this reason, the bullet’s trajectory will continue after tackling down the person attacking you and may cause a dangerous situation to bystanders. To eliminate this risky scenario, the FBI suggests that the standard for a self-defense bullet will depend on its penetrating ability. More specifically, a self-defense bullet must have a going-through trajectory from 12 inches to 18 inches.
Therefore, if you are looking for self-defense bullets, pick the ones that will suit your caliber best. The lighter the bullet is, the less recoil it brings. This advantage is extremely suitable for tense and emergent situations when you need to aim and shoot within a short period.
Weapons experts recommend that users try as many loads as possible before deciding to take one as their gun. By doing this, you can check for reliability, recoil, accuracy, penetration, and suitable firing experience. Because though bullet weight is an essential factor in improving your shoot, it’s not its sole characteristic. There are way more aspects to see through.
#4. Bullet Weight For Casual Shooting
This kind of shooting is the easiest category to tackle when choosing bullet weight. Honestly, you don’t have to spend time picking a bullet suitable for casual shooting because you can choose any bullet’ type.
The primary reason for the casual shooting is relaxing, trying out diverse gun models, and practicing your skills. Therefore, opting for different bullet weights is a beneficial method to pick your most favorable bullet. You can even practice using different guns with different bullets during this process.
#5. Bullet Weight For Target Shooting
Of course, if you want to aim at a target and shoot, the shot’s accuracy is the most important factor. Therefore, a catch-22 would be ideal for target shooting for providing exceptional accuracy.
Like we said before, if you use a too heavy bullet, the slow-starting velocity and higher recoil will lead to worse accuracy. In contrast, if your bullet weight is too light, the wind can easily affect its trajectory, and the bullet’s velocity may disappear faster.
Therefore, we can say that there is no affirmation about the optimal bullet weight for target shooting. A precise shot to your targets will depend on the gun models you take advantage of, the caliber’s power, and the propellant’s bang. Moreover, you have to consider numerous factors before settling down which bullet weight can be the best for your shooting target.
To cope with this challenging decision, you should take on more trials to find the most excellent bullet weight for each gun model. Or else, you can ask for references from other gun users who have more experience than you in shooting with a particular gun and bullet type.
#6. Bullet Weight For Suppressed Shooting
The subsonic ammunition is the go-to option for those who want to minimize their shooting sound with a gun suppressor. According to some gun makers, bullet weight is not a significant matter because almost every shot of ammo will go within the subsonic speeds.
However, as common knowledge, when you want a quiet shot, you have to rely on bullets with heavier weight than the gun’s caliber. For example, if you have a 300 AAC Blackout chambered gun, the ideal weight for the subsonic bullet of this model will be more than 190 grains.
#7. Bullet Weight For Competition
There are two main factors that you should focus on when taking part in a shooting competition. The first is the power, and the other is whether your ammo is adequate to the competition’s requirements. These two elements will vary according to which and how professional the competition is.
Usually, shooters participating in championships prefer minimal recoil. Besides, the present trend shows that competitors tend to pick heavier bullets for their lightweight polymer guns. On the contrary, shooters using heavy guns will opt for light bullets. By doing this, he can still maintain the shot’s power while balancing the total weight of the guns and bullets.
There is a wide range of ammo with numerous characteristics for you to choose from on the market. Though bullet weight is crucial, it is not the decisive factor when looking for suitable rounds for your guns. Be sure to consider every factor before paying for it.
Above, we have listed the seven most common cases in shooting where you should know how to choose the right bullet weight for outstanding precision, stability, and reliability.
The type of bullet weight you apply for a specific gun may not work well with the others. Therefore, for the best experience and shooting results, you should consider all of your needs and carry out more experiments to find the optimal bullet for your guns.