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What SD ammo for 9mm?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Okiegunner, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Okiegunner

    Okiegunner Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. sleepyone

    sleepyone Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

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

    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.
  4. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Mr.357Sig

    Mr.357Sig Well-Known Member

    HST and Gold Dots. Either work for me.
  10. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    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.

  11. hentown

    hentown Well-Known Member

    Win Ranger 127gr +p+
  12. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Well-Known Member

    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?
  13. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    Any 125 gr HP @ 1200 fps or so.
  15. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. Okiegunner

    Okiegunner Well-Known Member

    The Asym is 124 gr. and the Pow'RBall is 100 gr.
  17. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

  18. Okiegunner

    Okiegunner Well-Known Member


    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.
  19. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    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...
  20. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Well-Known Member

    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


    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.

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013

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