Reviewing ammunition is difficult because so many variables affect performance. Of course, the manufacturing quality of the ammunition itself is a factor. And we’ve all heard stories about cheap ammo that fails to load, fire or eject properly. Other factors come into play, such as type of gun, length of barrel, distance from muzzle to target, range conditions (including humidity, temperature and wind) and, of course, human factors such as grip, steadiness, trigger squeeze and follow-through. The list goes on and on. And that’s why ammunition reviews include tools such as a rest, a device that eliminates some of the human variables when firing a gun. Bullet velocity and groupings on a target are also measured. Managing the variables is certainly important, and the data collected from firing a gun is important as well. And, of course, practice will reveal something about how you’re doing as a shooter. The good thing is that good ammo is not hard to find.

Many who train others to carry handguns for self-defense talk about being “combat effective,” meaning being able to put multiple rounds in the right place on a target under some kind of duress. While it’s virtually impossible to recreate exactly what might happen in a self-defense situation, that’s precisely why practice is so important. You want to get the basics down so you can be effective in a combat situation should it ever come to that. Make no mistake. Good ammo plays a role in being combat effective.

SIG’s line of Elite Performance Ammunition includes ammo for defense, hunting, target shooting and competition. The target ammo you see here is 115-grain full metal jacket 9mm meant for range use. A box of 50 rounds retails for $19.00 on You can find ammo that’s less expensive, but you’ll be impressed with SIG’s excellent quality. The rounds are clean and consistent, and they perform perfectly. SIG ammo works just as well in guns made by other manufacturers. In fact, one of my favorite combos is SIG’s .357 Magnum Elite V-Crown JHP loaded in a five-shot Smith & Wesson J-frame revolver. I also like SIG’s 9mm Elite V-Crown JHP loaded in a Ruger LC9s and in two backup mags. But if I’m practicing with 9mm, these SIG target loads eliminate the variable of inconsistent ammo. And when your ammo is consistent, you can focus on other factors such as stance, trigger squeeze, breathing and more.

If you’re interested in SIG’s data, check out the whitepapers, ballistics charts and videos of ballistic gel testing for all its ammo on the company’s website.

Here’s the data on the 9mm practice loads:

While I haven’t done these types of tests myself, I have run SIG ammo in multiple calibers through multiple guns. And for the combat-effective shooting I require, it proves that good ammo is not hard to find.