Course Outline

With so many kinds of firearms and types of ammunition, it’s not always easy to match the proper ammunition to your handgun correctly—but getting it right is critical. If you match the wrong ammunition to your gun, you can cause an explosion, injuring or possibly killing yourself and any bystanders.

To match the proper ammunition to your handgun correctly:

  • Read the specific caliber designation on the side of the barrel or slide. Match that designation exactly. For example, if it says “.45 GAP,” you cannot use “.45 ACP.”
  • Carefully read the information on the lid of the ammunition box. Always check to ensure it matches the data on the barrel or slide.
  • Finally, match the information on the barrel to the information on the cartridge before you shoot. If in doubt, ask a more experienced shooter or a qualified gunsmith. Some store clerks, although they sell ammunition, may not know about the differences in sizes or the type of handgun you shoot.
Data stamp on a semi-automatic pistol
On a semi-automatic pistol, the data stamp is usually found on the slide.
Data stamp on a revolver
The data stamp of a revolver is usually stamped on the side of the barrel.
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