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9mm defence cartridges

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Treefrog23, Nov 16, 2012.

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  1. Treefrog23

    Treefrog23 Member

    I hope this is on the correct forum. If not please direct me.

    What is the best 9mm defense round? I've heard Hornaday is good.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  2. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    You're going to get a lot of debate on the subject. Hornady tends to make light, fast, bullets that have less penetration than you might want. The two that I'd consider very high quality, personally, are Speer Gold Dot and Winchester PDX.

    What you really want is a quality JHP that will penetrate at least 12" in ballistics gel and will cycle reliably in your firearm.
  3. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Well-Known Member

    Skribs is right..."best" is somewhat subjective.

    An optimal round under one set of conditions may not be the optimal round under another. Take clothing, for example. Layers of clothing can seriously hamper the ability of a hollowpoint to expand as expected. So some hollowpoints may not perform quite as well, say, in the winter months as they would in the summer months because the bad guy may be layered with clothing against the cold.

    Accurate shot placement remains the number one concern any shooter should have. If you can't hit your target, it doesn't matter what kind of ammunition you have.

    Penetration is the number two concern. No wonder bullet will amount to a hill of beans if it cannot penetrate.

    Solid point or hollowpoint, you've GOT to have penetration.

    My personal preference in my 9mm are the Gold Dot 115 gr hollowpoints. They cycle reliably in my pistol, they have the same mass and velocity as the 115 gr ammunition I shoot for target practice, and they hit the target in the same place that my target ammunition hits.

    I have never done any personal testing to see how they penetrate compared to my target ammunition, but they do expand reliably when hitting anything with fluid in it. Even if they don't expand, they should penetrate in a similar fashion as my target ammunition.

    I wouldn't focus on "best". That's a never ending quest, in my opinion. You should focus on "reliable" and "accurate" first and foremost. After that, choose one that has shown reliable penetration and expansion characteristics under reasonable conditions. And you can test this yourself, or search the internet for plenty of people who have tested various rounds.

    Good luck!
  4. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    And right here is another reason why it's so subjective. He and I both like gold dots. I like 147 grain. We can argue back and forth all day just on which weight to use, let alone which bullet construction.

    We both mentioned gold dot, and I mentioned PDX, but there are a lot of good options out there.
  5. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Well-Known Member

    Exactly. ANY modern purpose built defense load from a major company is likely going to be good.
    Speer has the Gold Dot, Federal has the HST, Winchester has PDX, Hornady has several including the Critical Defense/Duty like, XTP and TAP. There are plenty more as well. This is not a complete list.

    Heck even some of the older loads like Federals 9BLPE and Hydra Shock, and Remington's Golden Saber have a lot going for them. But really defensive ammo has made a big jump in quality in the last 10 years so you might as well take advantage of it with a modern load.

    Pick a few loads, shoot them in your gun(s) and see which cycle reliably and shoot accurately.
  6. aguywithagun

    aguywithagun Member

    I'm looking to stock up on 9mm jhp ammo for my M&P 9. Are there any that are better or worse suited to that gun specifically, and where can I buy them in bulk for a reasonable price?

  7. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Well-Known Member

    Every gun is slightly different, even within a specific make and model. My M&P9 shoots well with Speer Gold Dot so I load 124gr. Gold Dots, but that's also the only premium SD ammo I have shot through it. I would be shocked if it didn't shoot all premium ammo well.

    Look at some of the makers I listed above, and see what deals you can find.
    Looking at one of my favorite ammo suppliers, AmmoToGo, if you are looking to buy in bulk you can buy stuff like Speer Gold Dot or Federal HST in 500rnd orders for about 3 bills. The old standby, the Federal 9BPLE is about $200 for 500 rounds. It's outclassed by today's bonded ammo, but it's far from useless. I actually just bought a box to just stock up and have a little more defensive ammo on hand "just in case."
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  8. primalmu

    primalmu Well-Known Member

    The best self-defense round is the one that stops an attacker.

    That said, you really need to find the best round for your gun and intended use. I'd suggest picking up a few boxes of different self-defense rounds and find out which one you and your gun shoot best.
  9. jdmb03

    jdmb03 Well-Known Member

    I use Federal HST 124gr.
  10. 56hawk

    56hawk Well-Known Member

    Ditto. I did a lot of research before I bought ammo the last time, and Federal HSTs were at the top of just about every study.
  11. jc57

    jc57 Member

    Federal HST 124gr +P is what I have. Speer Gold Dots and Winchester Ranger T series are also good.

    aguywithagun: You may be a little late to the stock-up rodeo. There's been a run on bullets recently and some of the readily available stock has dried up. If you wait a while it will settle down and you should be able to find your bulk deals again.

    I usually buy from www.sgammo.com. Good pricing and usually good availability, but like I said, their stocks are reduced right now so you might not find what you want in 9mm.
  12. RBid

    RBid Well-Known Member

    My preference is Speer Gold Dot 9mm 147gr. This round penetrates very well. I live in Oregon, so that is a big value point for me. It's also a soft-shooting load.
  13. aguywithagun

    aguywithagun Member

    i'm new to shooting and i only have a single box of SD ammo, but as 19-3Ben mentioned it is in fact Gold Dot 124gr; specifically Speer Gold Dot 9mm Luger+P 124gr GDHP short barrel hollow point. not sure what all that means, but i did put 4 rounds through my gun just to make sure it ran, and fresh out of the box the gun ate it np.
  14. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Well-Known Member

  15. Steel Talon

    Steel Talon Well-Known Member

    For the 9mm I've always carried old school Federal Hydra Shok cause I bought a case years back in their hay day lol.
  16. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    Hi-Power is loaded with 124gr HSTs while the G17, when it's out of the safe, is loaded with 127gr +P+.
  17. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    I really don't like these cryptic answers to hardware questions. "The best gun is the one you have on you." "Shot placement matters more than ______".

    If I walked into a hardware store and asked what tools I need to build a birdhouse, and I was told "the best tool is one that builds a birdhouse" or "the best tool is the one you have in your toolchest", I'd find a new store.
  18. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    Regardless of caliber, I prefer a "heavy for caliber" JHP- HSTs, PDX1s, Ranger "T"s, Gold Dots, and XTPs being among my most favored.
  19. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    I prefer 124gr Speer Gold Dots.

    I reload the Gold Dot bullets "when I can find any". The bullet shape is not conical. It's traditional ogive allow it to be loaded at a long length and still feed smoothly in short-chamber pistols like XD and CZ; so it will run reliably in any pistol.

    As said above, there are a number of good 9mm SD bullets out there.
  20. 9mmforMe

    9mmforMe Well-Known Member

    I too like the heavier rounds, and in my 9 its been Winchester 147gr Personal Defense in the White box. I think that the newer ammo most likely does have better designs, but I like to consider price for product and from what I've read, the bigger companies do update their budget line as well as make the newer facy stuff. I was looking at a box of WWB 147 PD from a few years ago and then some that I picked up a few weeks ago and the nose cavity is markedly different, so someone is doing something. I have yet to field test these, but they function well in my gun and are accurate. Big selling point is that Walmart has them for about 25 bucks for 50 rounds...a good deal to be sure.
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