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Discussion Starter #1
I think I've settled on the Winchester White Box (Q4172) 115g ammo for my target/practice ammo choice.

Now, I'd appreciate your input for 115g self defense ammo options. What are you guys using?

Thanks!
 

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I recently switched from 'regular' Federal 115 gr JHP to Federal 124 gr JHP 'tactical' loads for my 9mm. Of the newer 9mm defensive/law enforcement loads, most of the better ones are 124/147 gr bonded bullet type. Some of the newer 115 gr loads, especially in +P, are touted to be decent performers, though. Federal Tactical/HST, Speer Gold Dot, and Winchester PDX are good types.

I have learned that a main consideration in selecting self defense/home defense loads is the 'target environment' you expect to encounter. Heavy winter clothing and vehicle drivers behind windshields are examples. Reduced penetration should be a consideration in home defense settings.

At practical defensive engagement distances, there is often little to no change in POA/POI between standard 115 gr and 124 gr 9mm loads. You just need to try the various ones in your pistol to find out.
 

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I reload all my ammo. When I carry a 9mm, the mag is full of 115grn. XTPs.:eek:
 

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Hornady Critical Defense here.
 

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Hornady Critical Defense Ammunition 9mm Luger 115 Grain Flex Tip - Works well in the pistol - have no idea what it does to a threat...yet.
 

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From Land of Fruit & Nuts
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For a semi-auto, Hornady 124 gr XTP.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Guys, will plated brass casings result in more gun residue than solid brass casings?
Will target/defense combos in dissimilar weights adversely affect muscle memory and POI?
If one must stray from using similar weights in ammo, which one should be heavier?
When pairing training & defense ammo, how far can you stray with muzzle velocity and muzzle energy?

I'm not trying to be cute; I'm trying to get this right!

Thanks, guys.
 

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Yep. I saw this report. They used a compact 9mm, and far too much data (some of which is obsolete), for one to draw any real conclusions. My $.02.
..... unless one carries a compact 9mm. ... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
..... unless one carries a compact 9mm. ... ;)
I believe that the typical man (or woman) would have a very difficult time coming to any definitive conclusions after having read that "review". Too much data. Apples and oranges. Confusing chart.

I think we do better when the review is accompanied by a list entitled, "Top Choices for 9mm Defense Ammo". ;-)
 

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Guys, will plated brass casings result in more gun residue than solid brass casings?
Will target/defense combos in dissimilar weights adversely affect muscle memory and POI?
If one must stray from using similar weights in ammo, which one should be heavier?
When pairing training & defense ammo, how far can you stray with muzzle velocity and muzzle energy?

I'm not trying to be cute; I'm trying to get this right!

Thanks, guys.
Is this too much information?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Originally Posted by TeleGuy53
Guys, will plated brass casings result in more gun residue than solid brass casings?
Will target/defense combos in dissimilar weights adversely affect muscle memory and POI?
If one must stray from using similar weights in ammo, which one should be heavier?
When pairing training & defense ammo, how far can you stray with muzzle velocity and muzzle energy?

I'm not trying to be cute; I'm trying to get this right!

Thanks, guys.

Is this too much information?
Not at all, IMHO. These are the questions that ought to be answered on ANY list, by ANY test!

For example, "Following is a list of training & defense ammo pairings which offer the shooter similar POA/POI results and "felt recoil" experience, at self defense distances, while providing an SD round with FBI-spec stopping power".

With more and more new shooters coming on the scene every day, why should they all have to reinvent the wheel? Let's take advantage of the experience of those who have gone before us, such as yourself, and present tried and true training & defense options to newscomer's, such as me!

Does this make any sense, or am I asking too much? ;)
 

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If you have settled on 115 grain, I'd look at the Corbon DPX.

The following article is one of the major standards for choosing a carry load in both pistols and rifles. Dr Gary Roberts is heavily involved in FBI/IWBA protocols used by the FBI and many major Law Enforcement agencies.

https://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/

He is not a big fan of 115 grain. A quote from the article:

"You might notice that the list does NOT include any lightweight bullets with the exception of the Barnes 115gr version. The reason - especially if you've read the beginning of this article - should be clear already, but Doctor Roberts sums it up nicely as well: "With the exception of the Barnes 115 gr XPB all copper projectile, in general, most 9 mm 115 gr loads have demonstrated greater inconsistency, insufficient penetration, poor intermediate barrier capability, and failure to expand in denim testing than other 9mm bullets. For those individuals wanting to use lighter weight, supersonic 9 mm’s, I think a better alternative than the vast majority of 115 gr loads is to use the slightly heavier 124 to 127 gr bullets or the Barnes 115 gr all copper bullet"

One thing of note for me is that civilian SD can differ slightly from LE needs. Still, I tend to try and start from his (and others) research before looking outside for a defense load. BTW, my own choice is Gold Dot 124 +P.
 

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Guys, will plated brass casings result in more gun residue than solid brass casings?
Will target/defense combos in dissimilar weights adversely affect muscle memory and POI?
If one must stray from using similar weights in ammo, which one should be heavier?
When pairing training & defense ammo, how far can you stray with muzzle velocity and muzzle energy?
I think you're falling into the modern, age-of-the-internet trap of too much keyboard time and not enough trigger time. :) Stop worrying and start shooting, and see what your gun likes.

When I bought my 9e, elevation adjustment was not an option so I tried a box each of 115s and 124s and it was perfect with the 124s just the way I like to sight a gun: with the front sight perfectly dissecting the POI. I can put a magazine worth of shots into a small grouping very fast; the 9e is a great gun design and easy to shoot quickly and accurately.

Then I tested a few boxes of 124 grain PDX1s for reliability and consistent accuracy/grouping as my American Eagle range ammo, and was good to go.
 

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TeleGuy53, This is probably NOT what you want to hear but ....I think the reason why you haven't received any definitive answers is .... very few people actually pair their range ammo and self defense ammo. In some theoretical gun magazine article, it might be suggested but in the real world, it really doesn't make much difference. In fact many people buy a 22 LR pistol or revolver to economically simulate their full power centerfire pistols or revolvers while at the range. You still get a bang, you still have to do a good job of aiming, you still have to maintain good trigger control, and you gain valuable experience just handling the 22 LR. About the only thing missing is recoil and during a crisis management situation, you won't even notice recoil.

So when you buy inexpensive ammo to practice and plink with, it doesn't have to be a perfect match for your expensive self defense loads. Because there are tons of different factory loads for a 9mm pistol, just finding two loads with the same bullet weight will end up being so close in performance that you likely won't notice the difference. I guess what I'm saying is ... don't overplay this theoretical game!

I would hesitate to guess how many different self defense 9mm cartridges there are on today's market .... it would be staggering. If you read gun magazines, seems every time a new cartridge is introduced, it is the very best ever ... at least until the next one is introduced. Here's some facts that are rarely considered in the gun rags .... telephone books or ballistic gel does not shoot back. There's not an animal in the world where their body is made like a block of ballistic gel or an LA phone book. People wear clothes, they have fat, muscle, bone, hair, and cartilage. Nothing says a bullet will directly enter center mass ... it may just as easily hit an arm before entering the body. So here's the question: when you leave home with your concealed carry pistol and a situation arises where you are forced to use it for self defense, do you have any control if the person is fat, skinny, tall, short, wearing heavy clothing, just a "T" shirt, is 3 feet away or 30 feet away???? ..... Fact is, no you don't so don't fall sucker to all those claims of "perfect penetration or expansion" because they seldom happen in real life.

Bullet technology is far better today than just 5 years ago ... and keeps getting better. As such, if you select a good name brand US made self defense cartridge, it's pretty hard to go wrong. No doubt, in certain scenarios cartridge "A" will perform better than cartridge "B" ... but if the table is turned, ... lets say a fat guy versus a skinny guy, cartridge "B" might be superior. Fact is, there's not a cartridge made that works best for all situations and there's not a self defense cartridge made that is ineffective. One very important issue is .... does your selected cartridge cycle through your pistol properly with out jamming? The only way you will know is to buy a box and try them out. If you can shoot a 50 round box with out a failure of any type, you should be good to go for self defense.

So in my opinion, yes, you are asking too much. Use some good ol' common sense and you will come through this with flying colors!
 

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Iowegan is correct. Case in point: Freedom munitions has 115 grn HP rounds at $12.15 for a box of 50 (not including shipping, which for first time buyers, is free). I've never had a problem with them. I'm sure they will be just as good at stopping an intruder as would a high end brand, that you would pay at least as much, for only half the number. The only meaningful difference between a bullet that goes into a targets heart, and one that goes through it and out the targets back, is just the size of the mess you have to clean up.
 
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