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Hi Gang. Mostly I am curious about 9mm self defense ammo. Hornady Critical Defense rounds seems to be the ne plus ultra of personal protection ammo. I have a little of that myself. I prefer 124 grain hp rounds in my EDC. Anyone have some experience with other 9mm self defense ammo? I would love to find a 9mm round I can carry AND afford to practice with too. Would really simplify things in the armory. Thanks for your learned input.
 

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The HST and Speer Gold Dots are very highly rated as well. Winchester makes an ammo that matches their SD stuff so you can train with the less expensive ammo and get the same feel and characteristics for less cost.
 

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Thanks maineultraclassic. That is a lot of great data there.
 

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Critical Duty
 

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Depending on your pistol (full-size vs compact), standard velocity or +P 124 gr loads in Federal Tactical/HST or Speer Gold Dot seem to be a top SD round, as are the Winchester PDX1 rounds. I find that I shoot the standard velocity rounds better in my compact S&W pistol. If you don't handload (as I do), then bulk 124 gr FMJ factory loads would likely be your best practice rounds. You may need to try a few brands to find the one that shoots like your SD rounds in your pistol, but at practical distances (5-25 ft), there should be little to no difference in POA/POI.

A tip on purchasing tactical LE/SD ammo: most of the online LE/police suppliers offer 50 rd boxes that are significantly less cost per round than the 20 rd boxes commonly seen at typical sporting/gun stores and places like Midway and Cabelas.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Been running a new CZ 75 B. Getting it thoroughly wrung out before putting it into my EDC rotation. It's a real shooter with 124 gr rounds. I like the Federal and Hornady ammo. For me its just a bit too expensive to go to the range and send 250 rounds downrange - like yesterday. Perhaps it is a fool's errand to see if a range round could be cost effective enough to also double as self defense ammo too. Most likely I will keep doing what I have been doing already. I use range ammo for practice [right now] and Hornady Critical Defense in my CCWs. Not too much trouble to do with enough sets of mags loaded with different ammo. Like lots of us on our forum I'm always looking for "the best". LOL. Thanks all.
 

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My preference is Winchester Ranger "T" JHP (9mm 147 gr & 230 gr 45 acp).
 

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Yep, all my 1911 .45s love 230 gr. Great round. I reload the bulk of them. Easy and satisfying to do.
 

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bob, i dont want to upset anyone on the forum but in my oppinion, any round either in the chamber or cylinder is a defense round. the bad guys don't care what ammo they have as long as it shoots and kills, so why should you, just get a round that is accurate with which ever gun your using and goes bang all the time and stick with it.
 

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From where I usually sit, any 9mm (9X19mm, for the purists), that expands at the usual pistol velocity will perform about the same when it comes to "stopping power" and lethality. I have seen a few people shot with the Hornady "Critical Defense" rounds and they seem to expand well. I know that some of the local law enforcement agencies are testing out the "Critical Duty" rounds, but I have yet to see somebody hit by one.

Remington "Golden Saber" and Federal "Hydroshock" are good performers, as well, and I've seen a lot more of them.

One thing that doesn't work well is the FMJ bullet. The FMJ bullet tends to exit the body and people often run a long way (or fight a long time) before blood loss finally calms them down. I've even seen two people shot through the heart with 9mm FMJ who were able to run a block or more after being shot, even though they died of their wounds in the ER.


Jim
 

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Good point, Jim. Also Bob, you mention your every day carry "rotation." That term always worries me. While there is no hard and fast rule that you have to carry the same gun everyday, I would be wary of having enough carry guns to call them a rotation. If you have to draw a weapon in self defense, it's good to know almost instinctively what that weapon is in your holster, what it's manual of arms is, how many rounds it's holding, what the trigger is like...
 

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bob, i dont want to upset anyone on the forum but in my oppinion, any round either in the chamber or cylinder is a defense round. the bad guys don't care what ammo they have as long as it shoots and kills, so why should you, just get a round that is accurate with which ever gun your using and goes bang all the time and stick with it.
SS701 ... No argument here. Ball/Hardball ammo was very effective long before the modern versions of JHP ammo became popular and I wouldn't worry a bit if I had my carry gun loaded with FMJ in lieu of JHP. With that said, I tend to use the best I can afford when it comes to tools. I simply look at JHP ammo as a better tool for the job.
 

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bob, i dont want to upset anyone on the forum but in my oppinion, any round either in the chamber or cylinder is a defense round. the bad guys don't care what ammo they have as long as it shoots and kills, so why should you, just get a round that is accurate with which ever gun your using and goes bang all the time and stick with it.
+1
 

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SS701 ... No argument here. Ball/Hardball ammo was very effective long before the modern versions of JHP ammo became popular and I wouldn't worry a bit if I had my carry gun loaded with FMJ in lieu of JHP. With that said, I tend to use the best I can afford when it comes to tools. I simply look at JHP ammo as a better tool for the job.
Ball ammunition has a long track record of effectiveness on the battlefield, but it has two liabilities:

  1. It tends to over penetrate, which isn't a huge problem most of the time on the battlefield, but can be a serious problem in a self-defense situation.
  2. It doesn't have the "shock effect" of an expanding bullet.

While I tend to discount a lot of the "stopping power" discussion, a bullet that stops inside the body causes more disruption of the autonomic nervous system - leading to fainting, nausea, loss of coordination, etc. - than one that just passes through. No handgun bullet is going to knock down the bad guy (if it could, it would knock you down when you fired it), but an expanding bullet has a better chance of taking him/her out of the fight.



Jim
 

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Federal HST 9mm 124gr + P expands over 1/2" and is deadly accurate in my Sig P320's. Federal HST on the left next is a Sig 124gr Elite next is a Remington HTP 124gr next was a Independence 115 jhp that just came apart all were shot into a 15 gallon water tank.
 

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