whats the best 9mm defensive round??


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wolverine_173
May 8, 2013, 09:55 PM
I need to buy some more defensive rounds and I want to know what is the best (ballistic) round

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allaroundhunter
May 8, 2013, 10:02 PM
There isn't a "best".

MedWheeler
May 8, 2013, 10:12 PM
The one that is able to be well-placed by the person who needs it to be, when he needs it to be.

There is way too much hype and over-analysis when it comes to defensive ammunition for the armed citizen. A quality, expanding round that functions flawlessly in your shooting platform (which consists of your weapon, your grip on it, and your stance) is what you need to be testing. It should run in your gun, hit where you want it to, and stop within your (human) target after penetrating at least several inches first.

There are countless offerings out there (well, there used to be!) from the various manufacturers that meet the above criteria.

TylerS
May 8, 2013, 10:16 PM
While I agree with the previous posters just youtube tnoutdoors9 9mm and he tests a lot of different brands of ammo in ballistic gel. I think that Hornady Critical defense has yet to fail yet as well as Federal Hydrashok

MedWheeler
May 8, 2013, 10:25 PM
I've heard mixed about the HydraShoks, it's either fully-trusted, or not at all. Never tried it. I remember when it came out.

Another of the "trendy-fancy" rounds that is well-respected are the +P Speer Gold Dots.

Brett Byers AKA Slow
May 8, 2013, 10:39 PM
Federal HST in 124 +P or 147 +P IMHO

marksg
May 8, 2013, 11:03 PM
The one that is able to be well-placed by the person who needs it to be, when he needs it to be.

I think Medwheeler said it best.

montanaoffroader
May 8, 2013, 11:12 PM
Whatever you can find in stock in your area.........:cuss:

I was using Speer Gold Dot as it works well in my PF9, but I can't find that or any other 9mm right now. I may have to go back to carrying my Makarov, as I have plenty of 9x18 ammo on hand.

Byrd666
May 8, 2013, 11:27 PM
As has been said, there isn't a "best". There are so many different variables and different requirements for any round, let alone, just the 9mm round.

What was recommended to me by more than one LEO of many different branches, including the Fed, was the Black Hills 124 grain HP. Their reasoning, whether it be experience, or other testing was "good penetration with very good stopping power" The latter is a quote from a Police Chief I know, now retired, that had his own personal experience with it while on duty. And another Trooper I know had a dealing with the same ammo while off duty and he said he will not use anything else in his off duty weapon.

So, per their recommendations, and the fact that it works well for me, and my pistols, that is what I carry everyday.

wolverine_173
May 8, 2013, 11:47 PM
is that +p ammo or standard?

Madcap_Magician
May 9, 2013, 12:16 AM
The one that is able to be well-placed by the person who needs it to be, when he needs it to be.

There is way too much hype and over-analysis when it comes to defensive ammunition for the armed citizen. A quality, expanding round that functions flawlessly in your shooting platform (which consists of your weapon, your grip on it, and your stance) is what you need to be testing. It should run in your gun, hit where you want it to, and stop within your (human) target after penetrating at least several inches first.

There are countless offerings out there (well, there used to be!) from the various manufacturers that meet the above criteria.

This.

There are generally three types of evidence thrown out to support a specific ammo choice.

1. Ballistic numbers of some kind. Whether weight of bullet, velocity, muzzle energy, or whatever. The problem here is that ammunition performance cannot be boiled down to a number where more is always better. For example, the muzzle energy junkies are always promoting the warp-speed lightweight bullets, yet a good, fast, lightweight bullet often performs more or less evenly in gel and in actual shootings with a heavy, slow one.

2. Gel Testing. The most often-cited standard is the FBI protocol testing or a rough equivalent four-layer denim over gel test. These are meant to simulate bullet impact on bare flesh, heavy clothing, and through several barrier types. Gel simulates the average density and composition of the human body.

Problem is, a bullet never hits a part of the body that's average.

3. Real-world shootings. At first glance it would seem like this is the best way to judge ammunition performance, but the problem is that all the evidence is anecdotal, and the plural of anecdote is not data.

smalls
May 9, 2013, 12:21 AM
Ok, here we go:

First, pick a bullet weight and either standard pressure, +P, or +P+. Do research on each, and decide on what fits your needs.

Once you've decided on what kind of round you're looking for, do some research on what the manufacturers are offering. Read some reviews, watch videoed, etc. don't believe everything you see. But if you read 100's of reviews saying they get clogged with denim, it's probably a sign.

So now I'm sure you've narrowed it down to a few brands. See what is easy to find in your area, and what kind if prices there are. This should narrow it down a little further.

Once you've got your final list, go buy a few boxes of each, and function test them. Pick whatever doesn't malfunction, and is cheapest after that.

Kachok
May 9, 2013, 12:25 AM
My 147gr XTP handloads :D
For factory the 115gr Carbon JHP +P has as good a reputation as any.

71Commander
May 9, 2013, 07:41 AM
I've pretty much come to the conclusion that Golden Saber, Gold Dot and XTP's are all the same bullet, for the most part.

After researching the all copper bullet (Barnes if you reload, Corbon DPX if you don't), stuff is pretty impressive. The cavity will not fill up. It will expand.

http://www.brassfetcher.com/40S&W/40S&W%20Bone%20Test.pdf

Blackstone
May 9, 2013, 08:05 AM
Take the recommendations above into account, try different ones, make sure they will feed in your gun, and see if you can shoot accurately with them. Test them extensively, because those may be the rounds that save your life one day.

joecil
May 9, 2013, 09:54 AM
My only 9mm carry gun is a short barrel and my choice is the Speer GD JHP short barrel 124 gr +P. I use the Speer GD 230 gr JHP short barrel in my 45 ACP which is also a barrel under 4". It has worked well through the two guns but have also shot some Hornady and Federal which also worked just prefer the feel of the Speer Gold Dot ammo.

MICHAEL T
May 9, 2013, 11:25 AM
Corbon 115gr DPX Plus P copper bullet is great

allaroundhunter
May 9, 2013, 11:27 AM
I've been carrying Corbon DPX +P ammo, but since the ammo shortage I haven't found any. I'm now carrying Federal 124 gr +P HSTs. Not sure if/when I'll switch back, I'm pretty pleased with these bullets.

Shawn Dodson
May 9, 2013, 11:33 AM
Any of the loads listed here - http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887

gpjoe
May 9, 2013, 02:00 PM
I like the solid copper projectiles, so I carry Corbon DPX in my semi-autos.

skoro
May 9, 2013, 08:55 PM
Any top-shelf hollow point is going to be "best" and they'll all perform about the same. Remington Golden Saber, Speer Gold Dot, Winchester PDX, Federal HST; it's all good.

Creature
May 9, 2013, 09:02 PM
I have very good accuracy with 124gr Gold Dot +P from my Sig P226 and Sig P6.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
May 9, 2013, 09:07 PM
I personally like Winchester Ranger T-series 127gr +p+. I have heard great things about Hornady Critical Duty 135gr Flex-Lock.

HankB
May 9, 2013, 09:16 PM
So long as it functions 100% in YOUR pistol, I'd say ANY of the upscale "premium" rounds from the Big Four ammo makers are just fine. (That's Speer, Winchester, Remington, and Federal.)

From what I've read, an argument can be made that with Hornady, it's actually the Big Five.

I have reservations about some of the "boutique" ammo brands due to past QC issues. (Though the "biggies' have had problems, too.)

If your gun will safely handle it, +P or +P+ loads with JHP bullets in the 115 - 127 grain range are preferred.

mljdeckard
May 9, 2013, 09:17 PM
I keep life simple. I prefer 147 gr Federal HST standard pressure. I see little need for +P. Standard pressure is very likely to completely traverse a human target under most circumstances. Heavier bullets tend to penetrate further than lighter bullets.

My wife didn't like the recoil from 147 gr, so I got her some 115s.

If I had a short-barreled 9mm, I might consider a lighter bullet because of the lost velocity.

I think in the real world, there is so little difference between brands and loads it probably isn't worth worrying about. Find a premium JHP cartridge that runs in your gun reliably and use it.

(Didn't we do this a couple of days ago?)

TarDevil
May 9, 2013, 11:52 PM
(Didn't we do this a couple of days ago?)

...and a few days before that, too.

Grmart
May 10, 2013, 10:01 AM
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d83/Gungle_/45bmp.jpg (http://s33.photobucket.com/user/Gungle_/media/45bmp.jpg.html)

:evil: :)

Old Guy
May 10, 2013, 10:40 AM
I used Winchester Ranger T-series 127gr +p+, for years, then looked at the recoil factor.

Shooting people is about penetration, and how many of these rounds you can impact your target, bad guy, bad guys! And that is the reason we carry guns.

So the 147g Ranger T non Plus P, very accurate, minimum recoil, compared to that heavy kicking +P+ got the nod. And the Glock 19 has 16 of them.

easyg
May 10, 2013, 01:01 PM
For +P ammo I prefer Remington Golden Saber 124g+P or Speer Gold Dot 124g+P.

For standard pressure I like Winchester Silvertip 115g.

hariph creek
May 10, 2013, 05:20 PM
I have a six step plan. You will of course need to determine which bullet weight and pressure rating you want. These factors will help with step #1. It may also be a good idea to stick to JHP's that have passed the FBI protocol.

#1-Pick a reputable manufacturer.

#2-See IF you can find their products, ANYWHERE! (if not, return to step #1)

#3-Make sure it functions in your gun. (if not, return to step #1)

#4-Make sure it goes where you aim it. (if not, return to step #1)

#5-Buy a BUNCH!

#6-Buy me some, too!

sixgunner455
May 10, 2013, 06:04 PM
I like Speer Gold Dots. Today, though, when you go to the store, you pretty much have to take what you can get. :D Good luck finding the exact load you decide is perfect.

willypete
May 10, 2013, 07:50 PM
Full wadcutters.

ArchAngelCD
May 11, 2013, 12:16 AM
Whats the best 9mm defensive round??
The round YOU can fire accurately and do so repeatably in YOUR pistol. What anyone else shoots has no effect on what you should shoot in your pistol. The best ammo in the world loaded with the best bullet in the world at any velocity will do you no good unless you make good hits.

Most commercial self defense ammo on the market today will do what it's meant to do if you do your part first.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
May 11, 2013, 01:07 AM
ArchAngelCD is exactly right. Self Defense ammo is usually designed within specifications to have a certain amount of penetration. Not saying it is all equal, but it is all designed to do (as ArchAngelCD said) "it's job". So just like ArchAngelCD said, find what feeds the best for your weapon and is the most accurate for you...

Nappers
May 11, 2013, 01:47 AM
I prefer 230XTP Hornady .45acp 5.5gr W231 shot out of my Colt Commander,

When I did carry a 9mm, we were issued Hydra shocks, can't remember weight though.....

Archangel: The round YOU can fire accurately and do so repeatably in YOUR pistol. What anyone else shoots has no effect on what you should shoot in your pistol. The best ammo in the world loaded with the best bullet in the world at any velocity will do you no good unless you make good hits.

Most commercial self defense ammo on the market today will do what it's meant to do if you do your part first.


Archangel a wise old owl he is.

Can't add to that.....

Old_Gun_Hand
May 11, 2013, 01:50 AM
No best. All of the top brands will do a good job if you place them in the right spots. If you stick with those who pass the FBI test for penetration you should be fine. Placement and penetration are of prime importance. If your bullet penetrates and hits what it is supposed to it really does not matter if it expanded a fraction of an inch or not.

PabloJ
May 11, 2013, 02:04 AM
I need to buy some more defensive rounds and I want to know what is the best (ballistic) round
In random order: Remington 'Golden Saber', Winchester PDX, Federal HST, Speer 'Gold Dot'.

PabloJ
May 11, 2013, 02:08 AM
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d83/Gungle_/45bmp.jpg (http://s33.photobucket.com/user/Gungle_/media/45bmp.jpg.html)

:evil: :)
Please answer is question. 11.25mm isn't same as 9mm.

Ed Ames
May 11, 2013, 02:45 AM
I believe the poster was attempting to insinuate that the best choice would be to use something other than 9mm. It's similar to how if someone asked about the best bicycle for F1 racing you could answer that bicycles aren't the ideal choice for the intended application.

I think it is somewhat silly myself, but it was a valid answer.

My own answer is that the best ammo for defense is the ammo you can afford to practice with regularly, works reliably, and you shoot well. If you must choose between a $40/20 box of whatever ridiculousness they are currently charging $2 a round for, or $20/50 generic JHP, you should go with the generic assuming it feeds and fires reliably. That's true whether you are buying .32 or .45.

Byrd666
May 11, 2013, 09:27 PM
wolverine_173

If that last question was for me, it is standard ammo. Black Hills 124 grn HP. Works great in my M&P c9 and my Ruger SR9 and my Bersa Thunder 9 UC Pro, before I sold the latter one.

g_one
May 11, 2013, 10:02 PM
To a small extent, some are different things for different needs. I use Critical Defense in my 380 to make up for the lack of penetration inherent to the caliber.
In other calibers, I carry Golden Saber in a lighter grain. I would be just as happy/comfortable with Speer Gold Dots, Winchester SXT. To me, among the well-known quality brands, it purely comes down to preference. I use Federal in my .357, because I think they tend to have less issues with over-penetration; even that though, is probably just hearsay with no real truth behind it.

Creature
May 12, 2013, 10:21 AM
wolverine_173 wrote:
Whats the best 9mm defensive round?? ArchAngelCD wrote:
The round YOU can fire accurately and do so repeatably in YOUR pistol.

Yeah, okay....

This standard statement always makes me want to shake my head. Despite the seemingly twice weekly topic of discussion of "which ammo is best?", I am pretty sure the OP was asking (all things being equal as far as pistol accuracy and reliability go) which 9x19mm ammunition is the better performing self-defense round.

How about each of us make the leap and actually pick a round and discuss it in terms of merits, shortcomings and advantages as compared to other brands?

Ed Ames
May 12, 2013, 11:28 AM
What if the various factors that make up "performance" are weighed in such away that brand differences are of a lower order of significance?

The pie of handgun performance seems to slice up along these lines:

70% actually hitting the target (some situations can be resolved without this, but not many)
20% placement (hitting an arm is unlikely to resolve a situation compared 'to CNS)
7.5% bullet type (jhp, fmj, tc, etc.)
2% terminal energy/"shock"
.5% miscellaneous stuff perhaps including brand

Seems reasonable to acknowledge that, and to suggest spending your mental energy on those factors that are most beneficial to influence, such as hitting your target.

Old Guy
May 12, 2013, 07:47 PM
One of my Students shot an attacker, range 4"! This was a Revolver, .38 special, 158g non hollow Point, lead semi wad cutter.

Through and through, bullet found on gurney, just a dent on one corner. Non responsive at scene, body cavity full of blood. Sloshed when moved.

At the shot, stopped all forward movement, "OH" half step back, instant collapse, straight down, a fold down.

Showman
May 12, 2013, 08:01 PM
Ok, understanding that all pistol caliber discussions are like comparing Snow White's seven dwarves to see which one can kick dwarf butt better than the others (hey, serious stopping power belongs to the long gun. Period, only the old .357 "street king" loads start to compare) I have to agree with others who contend that people worry far too much about choosing the best load compared to worrying about marksmanship and mindset.
Pick a load that you and your gun likes in one of the three popular grain weights for 9, get competent with it, then forget about it.
I like Gold Dot, HST, and Cor-bon DPX. I also like not going too far from the grain weight of my training ammunition. YMMV.

mljdeckard
May 12, 2013, 09:38 PM
Someone wanna tell me where I can pick up a box of full wadcutter 9mms, and why on earth they would make good defensive 9mm loads?

And yes, thank you yet again, to the guy whose uncle was in Vietnam and told him that if you carry anything other than a .45 you might as well put on a dress. Not only is it just as good as any other defensive pistol round, most of us can shoot it significantly faster than we can a .45. I carry a .45 1911, but my wife shoots a XD-9 better. Am I supposed to tell her to get rid of it because only a .45 is going to save her life?

And the reality is, there is very little difference between defensive ammo brands. It is much more productive to test what works in your gun than which one is more effective. And for modern service autos, you are unlikely to have any problems with any gun/ammo combination.

Snowdog
May 12, 2013, 11:11 PM
I believe anything 9mm and up is perfectly adequate and I'm certain the .32acp and .380acp are capable of getting things done as well.

I very much did bow and scrape to the "anything-under-.45-is-foolish" alter in my youth, but I no longer subscribe to that philosophy. Now I accept the anything-less-than-a-rifle/shotgun-is-a-compromise mantra.

I prefer the .40S&W as I have a boatload of ammunition for it (bought all the XM40HC and XM40LP1 I could find 3 years ago).

However, I do like the Golden Saber, HST and Ranger for the 9mm. In reality, just about any defensive JHP will be fine.

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