best 9mm self defense round?


David S
January 21, 2003, 01:27 AM
there is a thread about hydra shocks going, but i want to know ppls opinions on what the best self defense round is in 9mm? i have heard good things about golden sabers.........any other suggestions?

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January 21, 2003, 02:05 AM
I hear good things about the Gold Dots, Ranger SXTs as well as the Hydrashoks.

January 21, 2003, 06:27 AM
Proload 9mm 124 gr. Gold Dot +P or the 115 gr. Both have excellent ballistics and expansion.

Bob Locke
January 21, 2003, 07:37 AM
My personal choice (currently) is Speer Gold Dots (124-gr.) in standard pressure.

But there are SO MANY good choices out there right now for the 9mm that you have a MUCH better chance of getting something really good than something not so good, even if you just closed your eyes and pointed to the shelf.

I recommend trying as many in your firearm as you can reasonably afford. If you have a buddy or two, then you guys can go in together on several different flavors and each run a magazine through your own weapon to see if it favors one over the others. That's my best advice, if possible.

January 21, 2003, 07:39 AM
Winchester's Ranger Talon 127 grain +p+ does very well.

January 21, 2003, 07:50 AM
question: should 9mm para +p do it for self- defence :confused:
the bullet design is FMJ, weighs 124grain, 1250 ft/s and a rough 420 f/lbs.
I heard that only hollow-points are suitable for self-defence if you want good results for a 9mm.

January 21, 2003, 08:05 AM
I agree with Bob...there are numerous "top CCW loads" in 9mm.
Personally, Ive shot just about all of the nasty nasty ones.....
I love:
Corbon 115's and 124's
Federal HS +P+ 124's
Federal Tactical (This is a smoker :D )
Federal +P+ 115's HyShocks..Classics
Gold Dots +P 124's
Sabers +P 124's
Ranger +P+ 127's (If you can find them)
Remingtons new JHP 115's +P+

If you get any of these....TEST THEM IN YOUR GUN! It may not like one round or another for whatever reasons.....the ghost in the machine!

Personally...the Federal Tactical loads are LEO only ammo..much like a couple more on my list...but for overall appeal..accuracy, recoil...velocity...they are up with the 124 Corbon and Winch. Rangers....a bloody fast and great round.

....NO! A +P FMJ 9mm in a defensive situation is a big NO NO! Your asking for overpenetration problems...JHP's are designed for Defensive situations...I dont know what youve heard but I wouldnt recommend it. In Europe...NATO rnds are mostly FMJ rounds...due to agreements in the time of war..etc.
+P and +P+ rnds are close or a tad higher to NATO in pressure specs/velocity..depending on the round in question......
Many rounds in the USA are well over 400 FPE...and surpass 450 FPE in 9mm....a 124-127 gr JHP at around 1300 FPS....
Corbon/Fed. Tacticl/Win. Rangers..all crest this speed depending on the gun/barrel length used......nasty rounds.....
NEVER USE FMJ's for a Def. Situation.......

shoot well

January 21, 2003, 11:01 AM
I use federal EFMJ 124gr +P

liked the ballistics and it's very accurate

January 21, 2003, 02:06 PM

If you take a step back and look at things objectively you'll realize that all the caliber and ammo selection arguments revolve around one thing. Putting a hole in a bad guy. Anything you choose from 9mm up (and I'm including the .380 auto) will put a pretty good size hole in someone. The hollow points will cut a larger cavity after punching the hole. If you're confident in your aim with 9mm NATO rounds then you should carry them.

I'll probably get some crap for saying this but, I've never been shot, and I dare say that many of the people who participate in these discussions probably have not been shot either. Nor do I buy into the one shot stop myth. (

With all that said I generally keep Winchester 147 grain subsonic hollow point in the gun and the backup mag. I also have a spare mag loaded up with Remington Golden Sabers. My thinking is that I won't have time to grab hearing protection in the unlikely event that someone would break into my home while I was there, hence the subsonic rounds. If it puts a hole in the bad guy, then both it and I have done our jobs.

January 21, 2003, 03:54 PM
I use the newest Speer 124 +P Gold Dots, and I can get anything. ;)

January 21, 2003, 04:55 PM
Federal BPLE +P+ :D

January 21, 2003, 06:31 PM
my current carry 9mm is the ranger 127gr+p+ talons. it is accurate and controlable. my default round, what feeds through everything and has acceptable accuracy through everything it has been in, is the federal 9BP 115gr jhp

January 21, 2003, 07:00 PM
Powermax 115 JHPs using SGDs. Made by American Eagle in Oregon.

Search GlockTalk for the phone number.

50 fps faster than Corbons but very accurate!

January 21, 2003, 08:15 PM
If you haven't checked out this site, you should...

January 21, 2003, 10:24 PM

And this

January 22, 2003, 02:49 AM
I would say the RBCD and now the new 9mm Tactical is coming out. If you have a suitable pistol the load for the Bond Derringer is a good choice, though the pressures are high on that load.

January 22, 2003, 05:22 AM
Win Ranger in any bullet weight

January 22, 2003, 06:46 AM
Cor-bon 115gr +P!!! :D

January 22, 2003, 08:58 PM
Iam not an expert by any means . But from everything i read over the years the Corbon 115 grn +P , Magsafe , and Glaser seem to be the most highly effective 9mm defense round .

January 22, 2003, 10:07 PM
The best 9mm round is the one you, and your gun, can put in the center of the bad guy every time. But You knew that. :D

January 22, 2003, 10:40 PM
Win Ranger in any bullet weight

I dislike the heavy Rangers.

January 22, 2003, 11:08 PM
Personally I'm a fan of the 147 Rangers.

When you look at the end results of the "jello" test they tend to have the same results as the 127+p+, have much less recoil,muzzel blast and are often are more accurate. Another big plus is that at the right auction sites they normally not only go for MUCH less than the 127 +P+ rounds, but actually I've bought them much cheaper than Silvertips or other "Low end" defensive rounds. I'm glad they are not more popular :D

January 22, 2003, 11:29 PM
Winchester Ranger SXT 127 gr. +P+
Black Hills Gold Dot 124 gr. +P

The 100 gr. Corbon Pow 'R Ball sounds promising.

January 22, 2003, 11:45 PM
Personally I'm a fan of the 147 Rangers.

There are several reasons why I dislike heavy 9mm. The first one is that I like a faster bullet. That's probably the least important reason though.

The thing about the hollowpoints is, doesn't lighter mean more speed and better expansion? What kind of expansion do you get out of 147 grain? Seems like it would have a heck of a drop too. 147 grain 9mm, wow. The luger pistol was originally designed to shoot 124 grain and that's what I tend to stick with as far as bullet weight. I don't care much for the 115 grain bullets either as they tend (IME) to be more prone to jamming and have more muzzle blast (and develop higher pressures?) than the standard 120 something weight.

Now I'm going to entirely invalidate my whole expansion arguement by admitting that I'd much rather use FMJ anyways :D

January 23, 2003, 05:40 AM

--Winchester 9 mm 127 gr +P+ JHP (RA9SXTP) at 1224 f/s, 12.5" penetration, 0.65" expanded diameter.

--Winchester 9mm 147 gr JHP SXT Ranger (RA9T) at 983 f/s, 13.5" penetration, 0.61" expanded diameter.

Several websites give very similar results depending on how much cloth used, gun, etc.. LAPD and LASO used the 147 load for number of years (might still, not sure) with no major complaints I've heard of.

A lot of folks place faith in "temporary cavity" and energy figures and like the 127+p+ better. I don't buy into that, and just look at how much damage the load physically does, and how much it reliably penetrates so I like the 147 better.

As for drop, I pretty much consider that a non-factor for self defense. Winchester list a mid-range trajectory of 1.1" versus .7" at 50 yards for the two loads, I can't shoot well enough to notice the difference between the two.

JMHO, YMMV, no magic bullet, no I don't want to stand downrange and catch a 45 grain copper weedwhacker bullet at 1800FPS (all that good stuff) ;)

Best, Blueduck

January 23, 2003, 05:58 AM
I like my 115g's at 1272-1378fps.

January 23, 2003, 06:01 AM
For law enforcement personnel, Winchester 127gr +P+.

For ammo available to the general public (non-LE), in 9mm, I would choose the Corbon 125gr jhp+P in 9mm as it is also the hottest loading available (according to David DiFabio of ammolab).

January 23, 2003, 06:01 AM
Winchester Ranger Talon gets my vote!! :D

Though at more than $2 a pop, too expensive to train with. :(

January 23, 2003, 11:55 AM
I prefer the Corbon 115 gr +P. No problems, yet.

January 23, 2003, 02:18 PM
From here and there, take it or leave it... what floats your boat may sink mine...

Win 127 +P+ RT

bare 12.3/.63
cloth 12.2/.68
glass 9.4/.48

avg 11.3/.60

Speer 124 +P GD

bare 11.8/.68
cloth 14.3/.60
glass 13/.55

avg 13/.61

January 23, 2003, 08:02 PM
I currently carry Federal 9BP (115 gr standard pressure) in my 3913 (primary CCW). It is extremely accurate and reliable and cheap enough that you can shoot hundreds of rounds of it through your gun to verify reliability, not to mention the fact that you can get it at Wal-Mart (big convenience plus).

I really like the Cor-bon 115gr +p, but can't afford enough to do reliability testing in my gun, and I never can find it locally anyway. I was also a shade less accurate with it at the range than with the 9BP, but we're talking minor difference here.


January 24, 2003, 08:19 AM
I agree, the Fed 9BP is an excellent load.

Even if it is a terminal ballistic twin to the Win 115 Silvertip in terms of penetration, expansion, energy, momentum, cavitation, etc.

bare gel, heavy cloth:

115 Fed 9BP

9.9/.62, 11.2/.59

115 Silvertip

9.2/.66, 11.6/.57

Funny how folks still rave about the Fed 9BP when the FBI convinced just about everybody else the pea in pod Silvertip was inadequate penetrating junk that would get ya killed!?

The power of perception? ;)

If ya like the 9BP and Silvertip, then the Win USA JHP may be an even more economical choice, since it fits in the same pod as the others...

January 24, 2003, 06:19 PM
Another vote for Federal EFMJ 124 +P. Cheap, reliable, decent ballistics.

Placement, placement, placement...:neener:



Gary A
January 24, 2003, 11:34 PM
Mso, you confuse me. Do you believe that "the Fed 9BP is an excellent load" or that it and "the pea in pod Silvertip was inadequate penetrating junk that would get ya killed!? " I like 'em both myself.

January 26, 2003, 03:21 PM

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ha! :neener:

(Professional courtesy: please DO NOT discount Pro Load, Georgia Arms, and Triton, as all offer superb 9x19 alternatives.)

If I didn't make ammo I'd buy Pro Load.

January 26, 2003, 03:41 PM
I carry regular average Remington 115 GR +P JHP's. They will absolutely blow the hell out of a water filled jug. I realize that is not necessecarily a good indicator of terminal performance, but it does show that they expand readily and put alot of energy on the target.
Like the other guys said, just about any namebrand HP should do pretty well.
I would bet that a FMJ would do better than you think too, but the problem with them is that they tend to shoot clear through and keep going till they hit something else.

January 26, 2003, 10:15 PM
For law enforcement personnel, Winchester 127gr +P+.

For ammo available to the general public (non-LE), in 9mm, I would choose the Corbon 125gr jhp+P in 9mm as it is also the hottest loading available (according to David DiFabio of ammolab).

Not to mention Hirtinberger is much hotter than even the Ranger +P+.

January 26, 2003, 11:00 PM
I tested both 124gr. Speer GD and 124gr. Federal HS through my gun. Both rounds fed/ejected w/o a hitch in my gun. To me, the HS "felt" a little hotter when fired. I was shooting both brands in standard pressure rounds. In the end I went with the Federal HS b/c it was a shade more accurate out of my gun. JMHO. :cool:

January 27, 2003, 06:01 AM
My main carry load is the Speer 124gr+p Gold Dots. But I do have a little supply of Winchester USA 115gr JHP's that MSO had mentioned.

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