40 cal Home Defense Choices


January 9, 2013, 10:37 PM
Most of the time I carry my .380 loaded with Critical Defense Ammo because of its ability to penetrate but does not over penetrate. Today I became the owner of a SA XD 40 that I am very pleased with, just looking for opinions of other users of 40's as to best Self/Home defense ammo. While searching I have come across the same Critical Defense ammo by Hornandy, and another brand/type that I know nothing about, Dynamic Research Technologies 40cal. In the write up it looks and sounds like a round that does all anyone would want but that is just their write up. I would appreciate honest opinion as the what will feed reliably, and function as advertised.

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January 9, 2013, 11:02 PM
What pistol?

January 9, 2013, 11:06 PM
SA XD40, just brought it home tonight looking for best choice in ammo

January 9, 2013, 11:07 PM
Hornady Critical Defense Rounds are what I am using.

January 9, 2013, 11:09 PM
I bought some of that DRT in .40 and have yet to shoot any. Please let us all know what sort of results you get.

January 9, 2013, 11:34 PM
Why would you want to carry a defensive round that is unlikely to completely traverse a human target? And what about the shots you miss?

January 10, 2013, 02:23 AM
I like Speer Gold Dots, Federal HST, AND Winchester PDX1.

January 10, 2013, 02:41 AM
If going with Hornady ammo, use TAP/TAP-FPD. That FTX stuff is a crock. I saw a hornady segment on the outdoor channel a few years ago when it first came out, a rep from hornady described it as being less likely to penetrate drywall or sheetmetal (such as autobodies) because a civilian would likely be in legal trouble for doing so.

I don't like that they're planning out an event which may or may not happen in my future, and furthermore offer a line of ammo that plays by the rules of their invented scenario; all the while they are not present. I've seen a new line of ammo offered from them lately, called "Critical Duty", but it appears to be rebadged Critical Defense. I'd pass on that as well.

The XTP has a reputation for being a decent penetrator. Use that (if you want Hornady).

With that said, from any manufacturer, I much prefer the 180 grain offerings for defensive purposes. A 180 grain bullet pushing 980 FPS is going in deep. Expansion is a secondary priority to me, because a second round will be following the first.

January 10, 2013, 05:55 AM
Speer Gold Dots
Federal HST

Stay away from Winchester Ranger T. It is over-hyped crappy ammunition that fails more than it works.

January 10, 2013, 08:09 AM
Buy a box of Federal Classic 180grain Hi-Shok JHP. If your weapon feeds them reliably, stock up and save a fortune. They were the latest and greatest thing in the 1990s and will still protect you and your family without over-penetrating the walls should you miss today. Part number is 40SWA.

January 10, 2013, 12:02 PM
Speer Gold Dots
Federal HST

Stay away from Winchester Ranger T. It is over-hyped crappy ammunition that fails more than it works.
oh really?

Highland Ranger
January 10, 2013, 01:00 PM
Anyone use magsafe?


January 11, 2013, 08:53 AM
Winchester Q4369 180gr Bonded HP. Feeds 100% in my Springfield EMP .40 and my P226.

January 11, 2013, 01:18 PM
Thanks to all for your input. I decided to just spend the money and try different rounds so then I would have first hand knowledge of which performed best for me. Have PMC Bronze 165G JHP, DRT HP 105G, AND Allegiance 100G PowerStrike on the way for testing. The Allegiance will only be slightly tested due to cost but enough to really test it out. For now have PMC Bronze FMJ FP on hand just now just to fill mags.

January 11, 2013, 04:50 PM
Speer Gold Dots
Federal HST

+1, go heavy 180gr

January 11, 2013, 05:11 PM
Wait, Hornady Critical Defense has the ability to penetrate? In .380? I will not use Hornady Critical Defense because their platform is based on light recoil for faster follow-up shots, not on penetration. Their loads in higher calibers can underpenetrate...in .380 especially so.

In .380 I carry FMJ. In .40, I'd go with the same I go for in 9mm - Speer Gold Dot or Winchester PDX. There are a lot of good options out there...pretty much anything except for Hornady Critical Defense.

January 11, 2013, 07:39 PM
There has been some good reccomendations so far, but I will add the Remington Gloden Sabre (bonded) to the list. In my tests it drives as deep as some XTP's I loaded to the same muzzel velocity using wet newspaper, and opens up more. I also tested in my G27 with near identical results.

January 11, 2013, 08:44 PM
I ordered my ammo from CTD, hopefully by Monday or Tuesday at latest the brown truck should be here. Not that I can do a lot before because of rain, so for the next few days I intend to cast several gel blocks so I can do a somewhat decent comparison on the rounds. If I'm lucky the grand son will be with me and will put his skill of writing the differences down or maybe let him do all the shooting.

January 12, 2013, 11:05 AM
You might want to check out tnoutdoors9 on YouTube for some very good ballistics testing on many calibers of JHP handgun ammunition using four layers of denim over ballistics gel. That's how I came to try, and then switch to, Hornady Critical Defense. I now carry it in both my carry guns (STI commander size 1911s - 9mm and .45 ACP) and in my wife's .380 (Sig P238). In addition to the ballistics performance the ammo feeds very smoothly through all our pistols. As for penetration of the Critical Defense .380 it performed well in testing achieving 11.5 inches. Very good for a JHP in .380.

January 12, 2013, 11:00 PM
GLI45, that is the round I carry in my .380 now. Was very impressed with test results and they feed in my pistol without fail.

January 13, 2013, 01:51 AM
I keep mine loaded with 180gr PDX1.

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