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whats the best 9mm defensive round??

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by wolverine_173, May 8, 2013.

  1. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Well-Known Member

    I need to buy some more defensive rounds and I want to know what is the best (ballistic) round
  2. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    There isn't a "best".
  3. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. TylerS

    TylerS Active Member

    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
  5. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. Brett Byers AKA Slow

    Brett Byers AKA Slow Well-Known Member

    Federal HST in 124 +P or 147 +P IMHO
  7. marksg

    marksg Well-Known Member


    I think Medwheeler said it best.
  8. montanaoffroader

    montanaoffroader Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. wolverine_173

    wolverine_173 Well-Known Member

    is that +p ammo or standard?
  11. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Well-Known Member


    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.
  12. smalls

    smalls Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    My 147gr XTP handloads :D
    For factory the 115gr Carbon JHP +P has as good a reputation as any.
  14. 71Commander

    71Commander Well-Known Member

    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 Bone Test.pdf
  15. Blackstone

    Blackstone Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. joecil

    joecil Well-Known Member

    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 Well-Known Member

    Corbon 115gr DPX Plus P copper bullet is great
  18. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Well-Known Member

  20. gpjoe

    gpjoe Well-Known Member

    I like the solid copper projectiles, so I carry Corbon DPX in my semi-autos.

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