Manufacturers, distributors and dealers save production costs with high volume, often using inexpensive full metal jacket bullets for semi-autos. By choice, I wouldn’t use FMJ bullets for defense or for hunting, but for making holes in paper or ringing steel they work just fine.

These inexpensive, unpretentious loads might not get the press and fancy ads, but they are important because they’ll teach you to shoot, and handle your firearm safely and confidently.

Winchester offers a moderately priced Winchester USA series often called “white box” ammo, though not by Winchester. Some cartridges are available in 100-round “Value Packs.” Remington UMC handgun ammunition is available with either FMJ or jacketed hollowpoints (JHP) bullets, and (for some cartridges) in 100- or 250-round mega-packs.

Federal offers its American Eagle line which is not only a good value but in my experience very accurate. Black Hills Ammo has an exceptionally good value with its Blue Box line, loaded in once-fired surplus brass. I’ve shot many thousands of these rounds in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP and found it to be exceptionally good.