What SD ammo for 9mm?


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Okiegunner
January 7, 2013, 11:03 PM
What self defense ammo do you guys use in your 9mm?

I have been using Hornady Critical Defense exclusively but (for no real reason) changed it up today.

I have recently purchased a hundred rounds of Asym +P, FBI ammo and another hundred rounds of Pow'RBall. The Pow'RBall is rated @ 1475'fps and 483ft/lbs. I'm not sure about the Asym, but I believe it is pretty "hot" also.

Would like to know what others run. Also what do you guys think about my SD choices, current and present?

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sleepyone
January 7, 2013, 11:40 PM
I'm looking a buying some of each of the following:

Federal LE HST 124 +P Load # P9HST3
Winchester Ranger T 127 +P+ Load # RA9TA
Speer Gold Dot LE 124 +P Load # 53617

I have each of these brands in 165 grain for my M&P .40 S&W but have not had a chance to try any of them out. I have based these choices purely on what I have read and seen in ballistics testing and from friends and relatives who are in LE, but I doubt if any of these are bad choices. It really comes down to firstly, availability and pricing, secondly, how the ammo feeds and thirdly, how accurate I am with each load. Personally, I'm not going to waste a bunch of ammo and time blowing up water bottles or shooting ballistic gelatin because there are plenty of people doing that already and letting me me watch it for free. I will invest substantial ammo and time ensuring the ammo feeds reliably and determining with which load I am most accurate.

481
January 8, 2013, 01:02 PM
What self defense ammo do you guys use in your 9mm?

I have been using Hornady Critical Defense exclusively but (for no real reason) changed it up today.

I have recently purchased a hundred rounds of Asym +P, FBI ammo and another hundred rounds of Pow'RBall. The Pow'RBall is rated @ 1475'fps and 483ft/lbs. I'm not sure about the Asym, but I believe it is pretty "hot" also.

Would like to know what others run.

As of recently, I prefer heavy-for-caliber JHPs and load and carry the Winchester 9mm 147 gr PDX1.

Also what do you guys think about my SD choices, current and present?

It is hard to comment without knowing your circumstances. If you have chosen a high-quality JHP (looks like you have) and have maintained a decent level of proficiency with your pistol (I hope)- then I think that you are all set.

2zulu1
January 8, 2013, 01:10 PM
Lots of great choices for the 9mm as others have mentioned. Another recent development from Hornady is their Critical Duty 135gr +P ammunition, it's passed all FBI protocol tests.

Skribs
January 8, 2013, 01:12 PM
I don't like Hornady Critical Defense, they tend to go light-and-not-that-fast for faster follow-up shots, which reduces penetration to unacceptable levels. Most premium ammunition will work, I personally prefer Speer Gold Dots and Winchester PDX1 in 147-grain.

tuj
January 8, 2013, 01:19 PM
The ASYM is a great choice. Stan Chen is making some of the best 'factory' ammo around. I use his bullseye loads in my 45 and I use his +p defensive loads in my 9mm. Very good quality control. The 9mm +p round is really quite mild due to the blend of powders they use.

MarshallDodge
January 8, 2013, 01:29 PM
I would look at the ammo that meets the FBI standards. Buy enough to run in your firearm of choice until you are comfortatble carrying it.

After that it is all shot placement.

heeler
January 8, 2013, 01:34 PM
I have narrowed my choice down to these three and in this order specifically for my Kahr PM9 from shooting experience:
Federal HST 147 gr.
Federal HST 124 gr.
Winchester Law Enforcement Bonded 147 gr.
None are the + P loadings.

Mr.357Sig
January 8, 2013, 01:42 PM
HST and Gold Dots. Either work for me.

gamestalker
January 8, 2013, 05:11 PM
Although I don't buy factory ammunition, I do load and carry Gold Dots as my primary SD choice though. Both the Gold Dots and XTP's have performed extremely well when I've tested them for expansion, penetration, and retention. On the other hand, Federal Hydra Shock failed terribly for me. But I'm sure there are plenty of other bullets out there that will work well for SD, the most important aspect of a bullet is shot placement.

GS

hentown
January 8, 2013, 05:19 PM
Win Ranger 127gr +p+

C0untZer0
January 8, 2013, 05:34 PM
What's the reasoning behind these ammo choices?

Is it based on penetration & expansion in gel tests? It is based on energy? muzzle velocity? What?

W.E.G.
January 8, 2013, 05:36 PM
Any quality brand ammo with hollow points, and that feeds through your gun.

Bullets must land inside the 9-ring or better.

Its not as complicated or exclusive as the internet would lead some to believe.

jmr40
January 8, 2013, 05:41 PM
Any 125 gr HP @ 1200 fps or so.

Skribs
January 8, 2013, 05:49 PM
For me, it's based mainly on penetration. I want 12+ inches, preferably in the 14-15" range. I'd rather carry FMJ than something that penetrates less than 12, or especially less than 10 inches.

Muzzle velocity I'd find more important if I were worried about target shooting (combined with ballistic coefficient) and energy if I were worried about armor (where sectional density and meplat come into consideration more). I care more about what happens at the target, which is why I rely on gel tests.

Okiegunner
January 8, 2013, 05:50 PM
The Asym is 124 gr. and the Pow'RBall is 100 gr.

tuj
January 8, 2013, 07:48 PM
Are you sure? The ASYM load that I have is a 115gr Barnes TAC-XP solid copper bullet.

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Ballistic_Gel_Experiments/BARNES/Barnes_9mm_115gr_TAC-XP.pdf

Okiegunner
January 8, 2013, 08:03 PM
Tuj...

Hmmm...I think so. The Asym boxes are at my house. I'm on the road right now. Give me a couple of days to get back home and I'll check. I could be wrong and mistaking the grain for some Fiochi HP I also bought, I know those are 124gr.

Anyhow, thats one reason I did not state the fps and the lbs. energy on the Asym. I didn't have one of the boxes with me to correctly state.

heeler
January 8, 2013, 09:04 PM
Countzero,my reasoning on choice is how my chosen ammo shot out of my PM9,which includes recoil effect,and accuracy.
Point in case...I myself,did not like the torque affect of the Gold Dot 124+P's but I did like the more subtle throb of the 147's I mentioned by Federal and Winchester.
My accuracy was just better on follow up shots out of my small PM9 at my handgun experience level which is nowhere what some of these guys here at this site are at.
I also liked the HST 124's as well.
I have watched several ballistic gel tests out of 3 inch barrel 9mm's from these and other ammo makers to feel comfortable with what I have chosen.
On top of all that I carry my LCP more than anything else...So...

C0untZer0
January 8, 2013, 09:32 PM
I get a kick out of it when people don't have a performance criteria for ammo but they have a particular load that they like and recommend.

That's like recommending a blue car because you like the color blue.

But anyway, I like Winchester 147gr Ranger "T" Series 147gr - RA9T

http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/flash-SWFs/law_bullit.swf

It consistently penetrates 14" and consistently expands to around .65" through the barrier tests and the 4-denim engineering protocol.

I want a bullet to be able to penetrate 12+ inches I personally don't want more than 15" of penetration, to me - that's higher on the bell curve of exiting the "average" assailant's body than I care to be. Between 2 rounds that penetrate roughly the same, the larger expanding round is preferable.

I want the 14" of penetration through the barrier tests because I beleive the way to stop an assailant is to disrupt vital tissue and 14" of penetration may be necesary to do that, depending on the assailant's build, the angle of the shot / may be a cross shot through a jacket sleeve, shirt sleeve, bicep, shirt sleeve, jacket, jacket again, shirt and then the assailant's body...

The RA9T is right on there at 14" and it has nice expansion through different barriers.



.

meanmrmustard
January 8, 2013, 09:41 PM
Winchester PDX 124+P...or any expanding type ammo that flattens reliably in tissue. This is a broad choice.

sleepyone
January 9, 2013, 12:12 AM
What's the reasoning behind these ammo choices?

What I am about to say is just what I have been told and read, so take it for what its worth. I have ordered a bunch of .40 S&W and 9mm PD ammo recently and have been doing a bunch of research. Maybe too much! For 9mm, I want a load that gets as close to 1,200 fps in velocity and 400 ft-lbs of energy as possible in a 124 gr.bullet. Seems the +P loads are required for that. Anything faster than 1,200 and you increase the chance of bullet separation which increases with the lighter bullets in 115 gr. I just ordered 300 rounds of the Federal LE HST 124 +P Load # P9HST3. It has a velocity of 1,200 fps and energy is 396 ft-lbs. I decided against the Winchester Ranger T 127 +P+ Load # RA9TA just because I personally don't want to fire +P+ loads through my guns although it packs a punch at 1,250 fps and 441 ft-lbs! I also decided against the Speer Gold Dot LE 124 +P Load # 53617 even though it has impressive numbers as well at 1,220 and 410, but I decided against buying it in large quantities simply due to price. Everywhere I have looked, it is over $1.00/rd whereas the Federal HSTs I just bought were $32.95 per box of 50, which comes to about 66 cents/round before shipping charges.

Now I'm debating on whether or not to buy a large number of the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 124 gr. +P loads for my XD9 SC 3" barrel or shoot the Federals which I just bought primarily for my XD9 with 4" barrel. The Speer Short Barrel loads are supposed to perform at 1,150 fps and 364 ft-lbs, which is quite a bit less than the Federal HSTs from a 4" barrel. I wonder if I would still come out ahead performance wise just shooting the Federal HSTs from my XD 3" barrel. Anyone have any firsthand experience or can point me to some research?

C0untZer0
January 9, 2013, 03:28 AM
I want a load that gets as close to 1,200 fps in velocity and 400 ft-lbs of energy as possible in a 124 gr.bullet.

Why?

sleepyone
January 9, 2013, 07:32 AM
That is just what I have gathered from various sources as the sweet spot for optimal expansion while still achieving excellent penetration. I probably don't use all the correct verbage but the energy transfer from the bullet to the body is what creates the wound channel and causes the tissue damage beyond what the bullet itself causes. So I want to go with the fastest bullet possible while still achieving sufficient penetration. Those numbers I have been told by various sources tend to be 1,200 fps of velocity for either .40 S&W and 9mm and 500 ft-lbs of energy for 40 S&W and 400 ft-lbs for 9mm. Loads with these numbers still achieve a minimum of 12" penetration, which is also what I look for. Interested in some other information if you have it.

ku4hx
January 9, 2013, 08:01 AM
Granted, this is rather old data, but I base my choices on data such as this simply because this is all there is short of mass experimental executions. There are updated studies; I just happen to have these as a bookmarks.

http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/ammodata.htm
http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm

Given the deaths in the wars we fought, and the fact that the American Bison herds were decimated by solid, poorly expanding bullets, I'm not all that worried about exactly what I hit my enemy/attacker with ... but rather where and how many times.

Shot placement is king and there are plenty of dead people who, given the chance, would tell you that concerning even lowly .22 rimfire cartridges. And there are conversely people still living who have sustained horrendous wounds from pretty much every caliber "death ray" bullet you can name.

smalls
January 9, 2013, 02:12 PM
You are going to get hundreds of different answers as to why people choose the ammo they do.

Do some research, and decide on what you want out of your ammunition. Some people prefer expansion. Others want penetration.

Like I said, do research, because you just opened the biggest can of worms there is in the firearms world. And beat the horse's skeleton.

sleepyone
January 9, 2013, 03:28 PM
This...

heeler
January 9, 2013, 03:36 PM
Along with what Ku4hx said I would venture to say that people murdered by felons with firearms were probably killed with FMJ rounds as I doubt seriously these guys would buy expensive HP ammo.
Whatever it came with out of someones house when it was stolen or sold on the black market is probably what these cretins used.

hovercat
January 9, 2013, 04:00 PM
I am of a different mindset. Buy a LOT of the inexpensive stuff and practice a lot. Take the money you save on the premium stuff and get the feed ramp polished. Trigger adjusted and smoothed, maybe a couple of springs replaced. A better holster.
9mm will not reliably expand much. If you can fire first/quicker, and still hit accurately, with quick accurate follow up shots with NO malfunctions, punching .356 holes in the target will work just fine.
You cannot purchase a majic bullet to replace the above. And you should practice with what you carry, or the recoil and follow up shots will be different. I cannot afford to do that.

ku4hx
January 9, 2013, 04:39 PM
9mm will not reliably expand much.
I'm a mite curious to know exactly what you mean by that.

It's unlikely any 9mm bullet will ever have expansion as great as say, a .45 caliber one, but that's well understood. If you look at the various studies, or even do your own tests, you'll find that current premium 9mm bullets commonly expand to .6" inches or so. Some more; some less. But given the 9mm JHP typical as-built diameter of .355", that's pretty good.

As to practice ammunition, it doesn't need to be what you carry, it just needs to have the same "feel" and ballistics as what you carry ... or be reasonably close. I load my own, and I load my own cast bullets to be ballistic twins to my carry stuff. You can in fact find commercially produced cheap ammunition that does the same. You, of course, have to do the research, but it can be done. I do mine with a PACT2 chronograph.

And yes, practice, practice and more practice is very important.

C0untZer0
January 9, 2013, 07:23 PM
I'd say these expand:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMiI8VcPQ3c

Okiegunner
January 10, 2013, 01:17 AM
Tuj,

Sorry it has taken a couple of days to get back to you.

The Asym ammo I have is 124gr bonded JHP, 9mm +P, FBI protocol. 1220 fps.

Steve C
January 10, 2013, 04:59 AM
For me in my Glock 19 its Federal 115gr +P+ JHP. The round has excellent real world results in LEO shootings. I prefer a time tested performer over a an unknown that "may" be nearly as good.

C0untZer0
January 11, 2013, 02:51 PM
I think you're referring to the Illinois State Police load - Federal 9BPLE.

(They also later used Winchester 115 +P+)

I'm not sure what database was put together on the shootings involving that round unles we're talking about M&S.

Anecdotally - the ISP liked the round, it was used during hot summers and cold winters so it performed against all sorts of different soft barriers.

brnmw
January 11, 2013, 03:11 PM
147 gr. Winchester PDX1 Defender and or 124 gr. Black Hills JHP (+P)

mljdeckard
January 11, 2013, 03:45 PM
I think that Critical Defense is a gimmick round. Probably nothing wrong with it, but I want to do some testing to see if it makes any difference at all for opening when clogged with cloth.

I prefer 147 gr subsonic, but my wife didn't care for the recoil when I got her a 9mm, so I got her some 115 gr. I doubt there's a lot of real-world difference, except she can shoot them faster and more accurately.

C0untZer0
January 11, 2013, 09:56 PM
The Hornady Critical Duty +P has pretty consistent penetration through different barriers. Part of it is because the petals fold back to the core and it's not going to get much bigger than .52" regardless of velocity.

You take a Speer Gold Dot - the faster you push it, the more it mushrooms out, and thus, the less it penetrates.

The Critical Duty isn't like that, it's only going to get so big.

For consistent penetration the round seems to work.

I just would rather have a round that penetrates to around 14" and expands to around .65" than a bullet that penetrates between 15" - 16" and only expands to .52"

RoboDuck
January 11, 2013, 10:20 PM
Hornady TAP or the Winchester bonded pdx1 .

481
January 11, 2013, 10:33 PM
The Hornady Critical Duty +P has pretty consistent penetration through different barriers. Part of it is because the petals fold back to the core and it's not going to get much bigger than .52" regardless of velocity.

You take a Speer Gold Dot - the faster you push it, the more it mushrooms out, and thus, the less it penetrates.

The Critical Duty isn't like that, it's only going to get so big.

For consistent penetration the round seems to work.

I just would rather have a round that penetrates to around 14" and expands to around .65" than a bullet that penetrates between 15" - 16" and only expands to .52"

Hornady has FBI test protocol results of their Critical Duty ammo here (http://www.hornady.com/store/Critical-Duty/) if you are interested.

Just hit the "See Details" link under the pictures of each of the cartridges at the bottom of the page to see 'em.

GLI45
January 12, 2013, 11:19 AM
There are plenty of quality choices and many more opinions on personal protection ammo. The best choice is what runs reliably in your gun. The last thing you want is ammo that you can't trust regardless of the ballistics data.

You can see quite a bit of ballistics testing of JHP handgun ammunition online and use that as a starting place to select some for your testing. I found that tnoutdoors9 on YouTube does some very good testing using 4 layers of denim over ballistics gel. That's how I came to try out Hornady Critical Defense. That's what I use in both my and my wife's carry pistols, but I didn't make the change until I had put about 100 rounds through each pistol and had no failures. One of the challenges of JHP is finding one that feeds reliably through your personal weapon.

Great ballistics data (fps, expansion, penetration...) and personal opinions aren't worth a damn if the ammo doesn't run reliably in your gun.

PabloJ
January 12, 2013, 02:51 PM
What's the reasoning behind these ammo choices?

Is it based on penetration & expansion in gel tests? It is based on energy? muzzle velocity? What?
Ole' Italian proverb 'if it does not kick it doesn't work'.

I do not care for +P or +P+ 9Luger ammo. Just picked up couple boxes of Federal HST 124gr loads @$30 per 50 which does not seem all that bad for what appears to be quality loads.

C0untZer0
January 12, 2013, 11:26 PM
Federal has nice primers :)

skt239
January 12, 2013, 11:30 PM
Right now I have some Federal 115gr +P+ old school stuff I picked up at Walmart on the chart. It reminds me of the old Corbon ammo I used to carry.

CPLofMARINES
January 14, 2013, 08:36 PM
In your pistol; reliability first, accuracy second. What is claimed
To be the most reliable or accurate may not be true for you.
In my case: 1st Corbon 125 grn +p 2nd Speer Gold Dot
124 grn +p

Semper Fi

TimboKhan
January 15, 2013, 12:43 AM
I use the granddaddy of them all: Hydra-Shok.

They are consistent, they feed and have fed great in every 9mm I have ever run them through, and they have the advantage of having been around a long, long time and thus have a good and credible track record. I can't afford to practice with them all the time, but I have 100 on hand in addition to the two full mags of them I have loaded at any given time.

If I didn't shoot that, not sure what I would go with. I suppose I would have to do some research, but I like Cor-Bon products as a general rule...

777TRUTH
January 15, 2013, 02:56 AM
147gr JHP in an HST or Gold Dot flavor for winter

124gr JHP in an HST, Gold Dot in the summer.

mdauben
January 15, 2013, 11:07 AM
I am of a different mindset. Buy a LOT of the inexpensive stuff and practice a lot.
I doubt that many people practice extensivly with their expensive, premium JHP ammo. I know I don't. Most of my practice is with WWB FMJ or similar economy choices, with only limited range use of pricy JHP (Gold Dot or HST in my case) to confirm reliable functioning and POI. I would guess that my ratio of practice to carry ammo use is at least 10:1

9mm will not reliably expand much.
Not sure where you get that idea. Every gel test I've seen on modern, premium 9mm JHP expands consistenly and reliably.

tuj
January 15, 2013, 11:24 AM
I doubt that many people practice extensively with their expensive, premium JHP ammo. I know I don't

I agree. My local indoor range will not let people shoot expanding loads as it tears up their backstop. They will usually let someone run a box if they need to test it for functioning in their gun, but otherwise it's FMJ-only.

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