I have fired both .38 special Hornady Critical Defense and Federal Hydra-Shok in my SP101. Hornady had a bit more recoil than Federal Hydra-Shok. I have no idea how they compare against human targets. Let's assume that both brands effective in both .38 special and in 9-mm.
I think the key issue would be how well they feed in an automatic pistol. Pistols with steep feed ramps have sometimes experienced failure to fee problems with blunt-nosed ammunition. My Browning M35 Hi-Power fed everything without a failure to feed. So far, my SR9C has not had a problem.
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