There is a big difference between ammunition cartridges from differing manufacturers. Buy the best you can afford from quality manufacturers, and be careful of foreign manufactured ammo. DON’T buy Chinese ammo! (See article on this website!) There also is a huge price difference between target ammo “Full Metal Jacket” and self-defense ammo such as jacketed hollowpoints “JHP”. These are really expensive for target shooting! Practice with target loads and then load the JHPs when you get home. While target ammo will work for home defense, you must be aware of your target and what is beyond. That is because a Full Metal jacket ammo can go through your walls and into the home next door before stopping. Practice with target loads at the range and then load the JHP’s when you get home. Just remember, when using Full Metal Jacket ammo, you must be aware of your target and what is beyond. That’s why the recommended ammo for home defense is JHP’s.
There are different levels of accuracy in bullet calibers. For example, .357, 9MM, and .45ACP are more accurate than .40S&W. The .40S&W was developed for law enforcement to bridge the gap between the 9MM and the .45ACP. It has more stopping power than the 9MM, but less than the .45ACP. It is lighter than the .45ACP allowing law enforcement to carry more. If you want stopping power, buy a .45ACP like a 1911 or a SIG P220. If you’re a first time gun owner, buy a good 9mm like a Glock 19. Don’t buy a .40 caliber because it is too difficult to control. Besides, the kinetic energy between the 9mm and the .40 is almost identical. Buy the 9mm because it is easier to control, the ammo is cheaper, and it holds more than a .40.
The Glock 19 Gen 3, is the best Glock made that is available to the general public. It is a Mid-Size or Compact compared with the standard pistol size Glock 17. With the 9mm round, it has worldwide distribution in security and military services and law enforcement. It is also great for legal concealed carry. The Glock costs about 40% less than the SIG P229. They are both very fine and infinitely reliable guns.
The 1911 is a great gun and you will love shooting it at the range. But it is a single action and is not eligible to be put on a CCW permit in some counties. Also, the .45ACP ammo is very expensive.
The .22 Browning Buck Mark was introduced in 1985. The Buck Mark is a very reliable gun and great for beginners. The .22 Long Rifle hollowpoints run about $.18 to $.20 cents a round now, making it popular for target practice. But can be difficult to find from time to time, as is most ammo in today’s market. With respect to ammo cost, 9MM will be the cheapest because there is so much of it in production. .45ACP and .357 will be the most expensive, especially in JHP.
It really boils down to whether or not you are a good shot! My Deputy Sheriff partner many years ago was killed with two .22 Long Rifle hollowpoints to his chest from thirty feet away. Hit in the right spot, it doesn’t make a big difference with what you’re hit!