Very best home defense ammo for 9mm?


March 16, 2005, 10:15 AM
Okay, would like some input/opinions on what you think is the very best home defense ammo for my S & W model 59. I live alone in my house. What would you chose and why? My main goal would be to STOP the intruder, obviously. What do you think of "Extreme Shock Tactical Defense Rounds" or the "Strike Three Home Security Rounds" why or why not these?

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March 16, 2005, 12:36 PM
I've heard good things about Federal Hydrashocks, 124 gr. +p, so that's what I use in a BHP for home defense. Many others swear by Cor-Bonsm which seem to have the highest velocity of the factory stuff.

George S.
March 16, 2005, 02:12 PM
First, your choice has to absolutely work every time you pull the trigger. You should test, at the very minimum, 200 or more rounds of examples to insure that there are no failures of any kind. Some pistols like different bullet profiles and even loads.

There are lots of opinions on which round is best for personal protection. My personal choice for my Ruger P89 is Remington Golden Saber in 147gr JHP. It's heavier and slower, but the pics of bullet expansion I had seen convinced me that it is better than the Federal Hydra-Shok in 135gr. FWIW, a lot of the pics I had seen in testing showed that the Federal HS round did not expand anywhere near as well as the Golden Saber or Gold Dot bullets in most calibers.

There are others that should be good candidates including the Cor-Bon and Speer Gold Dots. One thing that you probably need to consider is missed shots. High velocity rounds can fly thru sheetrock and siding and can pass thru the neighbor's walls. That may not be a good thing to have happen.

Some folks believe that a shotgun is the best form of in-house protection. Less chance of misses going outside and if you hit a BG at the COM, he will be stopped.

Ala Dan
March 16, 2005, 02:37 PM
In comparison, and on the subject of Federal's Hyra-Shok's if you can
get ahold of some of the old 9m/m Secret Service Loads I would advise
you too do so. I have about 12 rounds that was given to me by our PD
rangemaster; and I use them for home D' in my Smith N' Wesson 6906.

The standard Hydra-Shok in the 124 grain +P loading is a very good
round its-self; as is its rival the Speer Gold Dot. Sorry, but I have NO
experience with those particular makes you mentioned.

March 16, 2005, 02:42 PM
Most of the premium brands should be fine for home defense. Golden Sabers, Gold Dots, Hydrashoks, Ranger SXTs...They are all good. Just find which one feeds 100% in your handgun and you are good to go.

Personally, I avoid anything that has "X-Treme! or Extreme!" in the brand name, but that's just me. :neener:

Right now I'm carrying 180grain Federal Hydrashoks in my USP40c, for no other reason than that's all the range had for sale at the time. It functions perfectly in my pistol and goes bang every time. I've also carried Remington Golden Sabers.


Tony Mig
March 16, 2005, 03:36 PM
I just picked up a box of Federal Premium Expanding Full Metal Jacket, they're a 124 Gr. 9mm+P with a flat nose tip on the bullet. I got these because where I live, hollow points are considered "Excessive Force" buy the state AG...... :banghead:

March 16, 2005, 03:57 PM
I like 9mm (+P+) 124GR. FEDERAL P9HS3G. It works great in my Glocks and SIGs, very accurate.

I think it will do. But any of the top premium rounds will work just as well, as long as we do our part.

March 17, 2005, 09:20 AM
I would like to second Tony's suggestion of Federal EFMJ's because of the reasons he stated and the fact that they are offered in standard bullet weights for optimal penetration and reliabilty. If you have a gun with a really short barrel something to consider would be the Corbon PowR Ball which is 100gr to keep the velocity up. It would be my thought for a Taurus 905 snubbie.

March 17, 2005, 09:29 AM
If you are worried about penetration thru thin walls and protecting those in other rooms in the house, you might consider MagSafe or Glaser Safety Slugs. They have excellent stopping power (except thru heavy clothing) and shouldn't penetrate normal wall material.

Ohen Cepel
March 17, 2005, 09:33 AM
I don't have experience with either of the rounds you mention.
However, I think they are hype and way too expensive to shoot hundreds of round of to be sure it works well in your pistol.

I like the 147hp in 9mm in the flavor of your choice. Buy a box from a couple of the big names, if it works well go back and buy several more boxes of it and keep shooting it to be sure that it's reliable. After 200 rds or so without an issue I would sleep better knowing that it will work. Some people would want more rds fired, personal preferance.

March 17, 2005, 10:08 AM
Ditto on the wall penetration issue. I have home mags loaded with 124 gr Nyclad HPs, but carry 124 gr +P Gold Dots. I guess the EMF thinggies would be good for the home also. Sure wish Federal hadn't discontinued the Nyclads, very hard to find now.

March 17, 2005, 10:27 AM
I keep my S&W model 910S loaded with Winchester Personal Defense 115gr JHP. Keep several additional S&W 15 round magazines loaded with the same at home for the 910 and my KEL-TEC P-11. It costs less than half the price of what I used to buy, and I can afford to practice a lot with it. I pay about $10.00 for a box of 50 at Walmart. I have found it to be accurate and reliable in all of my guns.

March 17, 2005, 05:44 PM
I've also found the White Box "Personal Defense" 115 grain JHP to be very accurate and completely reliable (several thousand rounds through a Glock 19 and a Walther P99 without any kind of failure).

It also appears to work pretty well:

Use the search feature here, too, and you'll find a fair amount of discussion on WWB 115g JHP and self defense ammo in general.

I used to worry a lot about having the very "best" ammunition money could buy. In my old age, I just want something reasonably accurate, that always goes bang, and is cheap enough to practice with. Even the best .45 ACP load is underpowered for the job - folks tend to spend a lot of time worrying about things that can only change a handgun's effectiveness from "marginal" to "slightly less marginal." Your best bet is to make lots of good hits quickly (or use a 12 gauge). Don't fret about too much about whether to use 124g +P Gold Dots or 147g Rangers. Just practice a bunch so you can make good COM hits with whatever modern JHP load you decide on.

Just my humble opinion.

Joe D
March 17, 2005, 07:19 PM
What is important is how the ammo performs after it has passed through clothing. Many brands of ammo expand wonderfully in bare gelatin. Many fail when shot through clothes.
Two that come to mind that perform well after passing through clothes are the 127 gr +P+ Ranger Talon and the 147 gr RT. The 147 gr load is much easier to shoot and very effective.

March 17, 2005, 08:24 PM
Another vote for 127 grain +P+ Ranger Talon, the 115 grain +P Cor-Bon would be another good one.

Just my .02,

March 17, 2005, 08:39 PM
I'm loaded with 147gr Federal Hydroshoks. But I like many others, Gold Dots, Rangers and even Speer Lawman believe it or not.

May 14, 2009, 11:45 PM
no one mentioned Hornady Tap 124 gr ,i currently carry them in my 9mm i trust them th emost cuz they are hand inspected and they look promising to me i also have a box of 147 gr hydrashok and a box of 115 gr gdhp and a box of the 147 gr too i decide to put the hornady 124gr TAP cq i my gu and in my extra mag.

Hostile Amish
May 15, 2009, 12:34 AM
I use TAP, used to use Hydrashocks but I prefer the TAP.

Straight Shooter
May 15, 2009, 02:49 AM
In no particular order:

Federal HST
Speer Gold Dot (what I currently use)
Winchester Ranger SXT

May 15, 2009, 03:00 AM
124 grain Speer Gold Dots in SIGpro
and 147 grain Federal's in Taurus PT917

May 15, 2009, 05:27 AM
127 gr +P+ Ranger Talon PERIOD or perhaps 124+p GoldDot

May 15, 2009, 05:59 AM
Decisions, decisions!
What should I do?
I only have the unlucky number of 13 of these and not 200+ to test them out and to practice with.
Should I still use them, or should I give them to someone else who only has ~187 of them? :rolleyes:

Carbon Helix
May 15, 2009, 11:31 AM
13 will fit my little sub-compact's magazine perfectly! You should give them to me. ;)

May 15, 2009, 12:13 PM
What would you chose and why? My main goal would be to STOP the intruder, obviously.

Most any JHP from major manufacturers.

A good light for your gun or good flashlight and some practice using it (ideally a low-light shooting course) is more important.

May 15, 2009, 12:40 PM
Google for Pro Arms Podcast, they have a show on just this question.

May 16, 2009, 08:42 PM
I like the Corbon DPX. Expensive to test for reliability in your gun though. Reliability and shot placement are more important than the round. If it doesn't go bang, or you miss, it doesn't matter what you shoot. Training, practice, dry fire, and more practice, then bullet.

May 17, 2009, 12:06 AM
Off topic a bit but practice...practice...practice. Hit what and where you are aiming at and the ammo becomes a lot less critical....

May 17, 2009, 08:41 AM
I have Speer Gold Dot 124 grn standard pressure 9mm in my Rohrbaugh R9 that I pocket carry most. I have Speer Gold Dot 125 grn .38 +P in my Ruger service Six nightstand gun and +P 9mm 124 grn Gold Dots in my Sig P239 when I carry that. Are they the best? I don't know, but they are certainly near the top. back a few years ago when I was stocking up they could be had for $14 or so in 50 round boxes. I'd say go with almost any of the premium brands people have listed and don't drive yourself batty looking for the ultimate whiz-bang double dong secret home defense triple ding super criminal stopper monster claw round of the moment.

May 17, 2009, 08:45 AM
Cor Bon 115 JHP +P

Hornady personal defense

I'm not real discriminating. I don't believe in magic. However, the Hornady stuff, if you believe the hype, should have very reliable expansion. The Cor Bon has the velocity to assure expansion, sort of .357 magnum light. :D

May 17, 2009, 12:39 PM
For my CZ 75B
9mm Luger +P Double Tap 147 gr. Gold Dot @ 1135 fps

Practice Ammo would do in a pinch,
Fed AMerican Eagle 147 gr. FPFMJ @ 1000 FPS

I like the way it shoots for ME.

If I were to get a S&W 3rd Gen. I'd certainly
try some quality 124 gr. bonded JHPs. Different twist
rates and all that.


May 17, 2009, 01:04 PM
The powr'ball has some impressive stats

.357 magnum
May 17, 2009, 02:13 PM
The Two Best Penetrators with 1.5 Expansion are the Winchester 147gr +P LE Bonded and the Federal Tactical 147gr +P LE HST. Both of these loads also do well in their non +P form. Speer 147gr LE Gold Dots would be my third choice. I go with Bonded Ammo most of the time because of the Penetration.

The Best to All!


May 17, 2009, 03:33 PM
Buy several brands and test them out yourself use wet phone books and watermelons and see which option has the performance you desire. I personally prefer bonded jacketed hollow points for the superior weight retention and expansion. But noone can really say what is the hands down best ammo, you need to find that out for yourself.

May 18, 2009, 01:49 PM
What has happened in the past with a particular brand of bullet will have no correlation on what results you may get from the bullets in your firearm the one time you may have to depend on it.

Rather than believing in bullets, the only thing that you can do to reduce bad things from affecting your SD event is by constant practice.

It is never the bullet. It is not what kind of gun. Surviving an assault depends on your mindset and how you have trained yourself to respond when under stress.

May 18, 2009, 01:56 PM
I going to switch to the new Hornady critial defense ammo. It looks like it will do the job onpeople and not penetrate to deeply into barriers.

May 18, 2009, 01:58 PM
I was shooting Winchester Silvertips
yesterday out of my Taurus 917c and was impressed with
my grouping at 15 yards.
But the because of the cost per box I only shot 15 rounds.

May 18, 2009, 10:23 PM
when I had a Beretta 92 and then a Glock 17, I opted for 147gr stuff like Winchester WWB Personal Defense or Hornady CQ/TAP; both of those flew the nest a while back and a Ruger P95 has taken its place in the revolving collection; I have had little success in finding much of anything as far as jhp's since the scare hoarding continues; I have some Hornady Critical Defense (polymer-tipped jhp), Remington UMC, and Speer Gold Dot (just got it today) all sporting 115gr pills...I'm gonna go light-n-fast since the Remington and Hornady stuff are inherently accurate our of my Ruger

The Lone Haranguer
May 18, 2009, 10:27 PM
Whatever load you choose, be sure it functions (cycles) properly. The best hollowpoint load in the world is useless if it is hung up on a feed ramp.

With an older "first generation" S&W, I would select a hollowpoint bullet with a profile as close as possible to FMJ (rounded sides, narrow cavity). I like the good old Federal "Classic" (popularly known by its stocking number, 9BP) because it is accurate and functions well in all my guns.

May 19, 2009, 09:01 AM
I have Remington Golden Saber 124 Gr. standard pressure bullets for my 5906, and the few I have fired functioned well. Am hoping to be able ot fire some in a lower light situation to see how bright the muzzle flash is, think having the 4" barrel will help cut down the muzzle flash over shorter barreled guns, but Personal Defense ammo really needs to be tested to see which performs best in your particular firearm.

May 19, 2009, 09:06 AM
Speer Gold Dot 124gr

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