Best 9mm home defense ammo for Sig P226?


February 4, 2012, 06:52 PM
Attention P226 owners: I just purchased my first semi-auto handgun and I went with the SS P226 in 9mm (MK25 version to be exact, due to the true Picatinny rail). I love to shoot .45s but went with the 9 because it's cheaper to shoot. My question is what is the best home defense round for this pistol? From searching other forums and reading the posts, it seems that the most important SD ammo is one that likes your gun and feeds well with no malfunctions. That's why I am specifically asking P226 owners. So in your guys' experience, what would you recommend as the best home defense 9mm round for a P226?

Oh yeah and this may not matter but: since I live in the People's Republic of Illinois, I can't carry, so I am looking for best *home* defense round, and not necessarily the best *carry* defense round (not sure if that even matters though).

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February 4, 2012, 06:59 PM
I'm a 228 guy, but it should be close enough. Its only half an inch after all :D

I use either Remington Golden Saber or Speer Gold Dot depending on which my gun store has in stock. I usually stick with 124 gr +P but that's just personal preference. Really any of the high quality defensive ammo should work fine in your gun. Just make sure that you test the ammo in your gun before you trust your life to it.

February 4, 2012, 07:01 PM
I thought the 228 was the military version. Do you mean to say 229?

February 4, 2012, 07:08 PM
I have 124 gr. Federal HST's in my P228 by the desk. I also use Hornady Critical Defense in other guns. The ones Tele listed are great choices too. I'd be sure to test a good # of whatever you decide to go with in your P226 though just to be sure there aren't any feeding problems.

February 4, 2012, 07:15 PM
I thought the 228 was the military version. Do you mean to say 229?

No, the 229 and 228 are essentially the same thing. They are both compact versions of the 226.

The difference between the 228 and 229 is that the 228 was made before Sig started making guns in .40 S&W and uses a folded carbon steel slide. When Sig went to making guns in .40, they needed a stronger slide to deal with the forces and velocity caused by the round and decided to use a milled steel slide instead of the folded slide. Instead of simply updating the 228, they decided to offer the 228 in 9mm with the folded slide, and the 229 in .40 (and later .357 Sig) with the milled slide. Eventually they decided to drop the 228 and just offer the 229 in all three calibers.

The main difference in handling of the 228 vs 229 is that the 228 is a little less slide-heavy and balances better. Lots of people, myself included, consider the 228 to be one of the best Sigs ever made.

The US military does issue a version of the P228 called the M11.

February 4, 2012, 07:17 PM
Hornady TAP-FPD, 124 grain

February 4, 2012, 07:27 PM
It is more about shot placement than a particular magic bullet. Personally and 124gr or higher bullet will do just fine.

February 5, 2012, 12:26 AM
I carried a SIG 226 for quite a while as a duty gun and used it's heavier version (226ST) for teaching. Our department issued the Ranger 127gr +P ammo and it was very accurate. I still use it at home, but also have a case of Speer 124gr +P Gold Dot which as proven just as accurate.

Most of the premium JHP ammo is pretty reliable for HD, I'd pick the one that shoots most accurately in your pistol

February 5, 2012, 06:51 AM
Speer Gold Dots in 124gr +P

Federal 9BPLE 115gr +P

Remington R9MM6 115gr +P

I don't have a 100 year old 9mm so I'm not restricted to weak American 9mmP standards. I've carried all of the above and am currently using the Federal 9BPLE loads in the P226.


February 5, 2012, 06:56 AM
If there are children in the house? Find some sub-sonic at Georgia Arms.

No children? +P 124gr. is a good starting point for testing. The Glocks and SIGs seem to prefer 124gr. for accuracy.

The Lone Haranguer
February 5, 2012, 08:24 AM
Any jacketed hollowpoint that feeds in the gun. (This gun should not be "ammo-'sensitive,'" but you never know.) If you're concerned about penetrating walls (as you should be), remember that anything capable of putting a hole in a human being will go right through typical walls. So don't miss. (Provided you hit the target, JHP will help in this regard, as it is much less likely to shoot through it.)

February 5, 2012, 09:29 AM
I just bought some winchester ranger t 124 gr +p for all my guns, they replaced the black talons so I figure they will do the job. It was either that or the speer gold dot 124 gr +p

February 5, 2012, 12:42 PM
Thanks for all of the insightful information everyone. I see that most people are saying any quality JHP of 124 grain +P will do the job, but wouldn't you want 147 grain or a heavier bullet? Wouldn't that larger bullet penetrate less and therefore not shoot through the target? And would the 147 gr also expand more than a 124?

February 5, 2012, 02:06 PM
heard some not so awesome things about 147 grain, they are slower than the smaller bullets... some people swear 115 gr is all you need, I meet in the middle. Not to mention I'm used to 124 gr nato rounds in full size pistols. here's an article that may help

February 5, 2012, 02:24 PM
I like 147 for shorter barrel guns because they make better use of the powder or so I have read.

147grs used to not be as good but these days they seem to do very well. I use 147 Rangers in my Kahr CW9.

In the end it is more about what is accurate in your particular gun vs this weight or that weight IMHO.

February 5, 2012, 03:18 PM
CaptAwesome:'s an article that may help

That's a great article. Thank you for sharing.

February 5, 2012, 03:52 PM
Winchester Ranger 127gr +P+ is what I use.

February 5, 2012, 03:53 PM
Winchester Ranger 127gr +P+ is what I use.


I also use and like Federal +p.

February 5, 2012, 04:12 PM
Mine is loaded with Remington Golden Saber Bonded +P 124Gr. BJHP GSB9MMD.

I have put 500 or more through my new 226P, they are reliable and accurate.

I shoot the 115 gr FMJ - Sellier & Bellot with no issues for normal practice.

February 5, 2012, 04:30 PM

All my 9mm Sigs use nothing but -

9mm 147gr sub-sonic JHP's and 180gr for my 40's.


February 5, 2012, 05:26 PM
147 grain bullets sucked in 1988.

In 2012 the best bullets available are generally 147s. The HST, the Ranger-T, they work better out of short barrels than lighter bullets do. They are able to expand as much as a lighter bullet while penetrating more reliably, or they can expand more and still penetrate the same amount. Since velocity is flexible for every bullet but mass and design aren't, the heavier 147s are easier to design properly. It's easier to make them expand the way they should and penetrate the amount of tissue that the designer and customer want.

Today, lighter bullets are not as consistent as heavy bullets are. Way back when, the 147s wouldn't really work the way anyone wanted with any consistency, but designs have greatly improved over the last twenty years.

February 6, 2012, 12:14 AM
So to those that are saying 147 gr +P are best for shorter barrels, the P226 I bought is a full size model and has a 4.4" barrel, I'm not sure if that is considered a short barrel or not. Would you still consider the Federal HST 147 +P from a 4.4" barrel?

February 6, 2012, 12:35 AM
I didn't include Winnie products in my list because Winchester is the one brand that I've had QC problems with. Backwards loaded Silvertips and OMG bright flash from JHPs.

147gr was pretty much originally intended for silenced weapons as they are subsonic and don't have a ballistic crack. They were adopted by people to whom the holy 12" FBI depth requirement was the most important criteria. The heavy bullet has more momentum and tends to penetrate deeper.

OTOH, US Boarder Patrol has/had a minimum penetration of 9" as their standard. So not even US Federal law enforcement agrees about ideal ammo.

Any bullets that penetrate enough to incapacitate a human are going to zip right though modern sheet rock walls. All of them. The least penetrating rounds you can use are light, thin jacketed varmint loads out of a rifle. And even those will get possibly fatal fragments though multiple sheetrock walls.

Handgun ammo is even worse.


February 6, 2012, 01:36 AM
I wouldn't worry too much about your barrel length. The +P version of the 147 HST is only rated 50 FPS faster or so, in tests it seems to penetrate just a hair less than the standard pressure version. To me that says it is an extremely well designed bullet, and the +P version I would use just because the extra force generated could help cycle a slide better if you get a poor grip on the pistol, and while I don't subscribe tot he theory that energy and velocity matter much in service calibers, a little extra doesn't hurt.

February 6, 2012, 04:48 AM
I have a friend that carries a 226 full of 124gr +p Gold Dots.

February 6, 2012, 05:09 PM
I have my 9mm P226 loaded with Remington's Golden Saber hollowpoints, 147 grain, for my home defense load (one mag locked and ready to rock, one spare mag loaded). Wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of those gems.

February 7, 2012, 09:08 PM
Has anyone ever heard of this website,

Supposedly it lists bullet ballistics data from actual shootings. You can filter by round, eg 9mm, 9mm+P, 9mm+P+, weight, or show all weights, etc.

What does everyone think about it?

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