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Thread: Best self defense ammo??

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    I know this thread is for guns, and I figured ammo is part of our guns. I have carried for the last few years open and concealed and I have tried many different self defense rounds in my sidearm. What do people think is the best ammo for 9mm self defense. I know that we want hollow point ammo. But what is the best out there?

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    I carry Federal HST +P rounds (in .45 though). A lot of people carry Gold Dot +Ps. A lot of people also carry Hydra-Shoks. I would recommend looking at which ammo law enforcement uses. After all, if we are forced to use our firearm, we need a quality round to do the job just like they do - and they have paid for studies to be done on theirs. I do not recommend Federal's regular "Personal Defense" ammo - the .45 is weak sauce.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    This topic is always a can of worms. There are just so many choices and so many factors, especially the barrel length. I've shot gold dot bullets loaded as Speer short barrel and Black Hills +P with good accuracy for both. I like the CorBon DPX but it is really pricey. I have not shot the HST in 9mm but the ballistics look pretty good and I like them in .45. And some members really like Double Tap for it's high velocity which, IIRC, also uses gold dot bullets. I usually carry 124 gr but some recent ballistics I have seen have made me start rethinking that perhaps 147 gr would be a better idea.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    yeah... can of worms is a good way to describe this one...

    Basically what you need to look for in self defense ammo is: will it penetrate 12-15"?
    You do have to take in to consideration whether it will penetrate multiple layers of clothes and whatnot, but in 9mm with a good +P load and an expanding bullet, that shouldn't be TOO much of an issue. Basically with as many options as there are in ammo choice, it's personal preference. Do some research and find out which loads have the characteristics you are looking for and then go with it. Everyone is going to have their own opinion and chime in here, but in my humble opinion, most of the arguments for/against most of the ammo that will be recommended is going to be splitting hairs.

    I have heard good things about Hornady TAP and Winchester Black Talon also - I forgot those ones in the above post.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    My preferences for the 9mm are in no particular order;

    Federal HST 124gr +P

    Federal HST 147gr +P

    Winchester Ranger 127gr +P+ RA9TA



    You might also consider these as well.

    Winchester Ranger 115gr +P+ RA9115HP

    Federal 115gr +P+ 9BPLE



    At present, I prefer the first three on this list. These are some of the best of the best and you won't go wrong with any of them. Just make sure your piece is rated to handle +P and +P+ loads.


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    Thanks for the help guys. I found a few websites where a few guys have pictures and tested penetration on multiple types of ammunition. I am using a XD9 service that has a4 inch barrell. And I have shot +p out of it with out problems. Thanks again for the help.

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    Corbon Pow'R'Ball or Corbon DPX gets my vote, I've seen how they perform.
    Quote Originally Posted by Open Carry.org Member View Post
    I really disgree with this one! That means that we can have any yahoo running around with a gun with out the proper training. This really scares the hell out of me. Just my two-cents!
    Quote Originally Posted by KansasMustang View Post
    Joe Schmedlap out there with a loaded weapon thinking he's going to deter crime and he's not even trained to fire his weapon safely just kinda makes my hair on the back of my neck stand up.

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    You want deep penetration, to make sure you reach vital organs or the CNS,with a round that always works in your gun. If it does that and expands well to, all the better.

    Its most important that you can hit what you are aiming at.

    IMO There is a lot of Hype in Personal Defense Ammunition. Try and see through all the BS and keep things in prospective.

    Defensive distances are 21 feet or less, slight differences in accuracy are negligible at these distances. You will have a greater differences in accuracy based on barrel length than due to different ammunition.

    What ever ammunition you choice make sure it always goes bang in your gun and you can hit what you aim at and you get the required penetration.

    If you are ever in a gun fight, shoot until you stop the threat, or it stops you. At 21 feet, how well you shoot will be far more important than what you shoot.



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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Paladin_Havegun_Willtravel wrote:
    You want deep penetration, to make sure you reach vital organs or the CNS,with a round that always works in your gun. If it does that and expands well to, all the better.

    If you are ever in a gun fight, shoot until you stop the threat, or it stops you. At 21 feet, how well you shoot will be far more important than what you shoot.
    I religiously carry Speer Gold Dot JHP in all my self defense handguns. I am more worried about over penetration than under as most your "criminal" encounters are going to be with someone with no vest. A standard 150g JHP will cut though as many layers of cloths that he wants to wear, and I want to kill the perp, not the 9 year old kid 100 feet behind and in the next room. My first two rounds are Glaser Silver SS and the rest are JHPs.

    I have to agree with Paladin. Spend more time worrying about hitting the target and less time worrying about how many "Ps & +s" you got in your bullets. The greater the bang, the greater the kick and the harder it is to keep on target for follow up shots, and everyone knows they don't go flying back 10 feet to the ground when you hit them. In a typical shoot out, you WILL be firing more than one shot.

    Point is, you want maximum internal damage, not a round that fly's clean through them. The sooner they realize they have been hit, the sooner they lay down and die or give up. You want them to KNOW they been hit, because most criminals are cowards.

    In my .22MM backup, the first two rounds are rat shot and the last 3 are GD 50g JHP. You should see what that rat shot does to the head of a silhouette target at 15ft at the range. (shivers) It may not do much against heavy clothing, but any bare skin is gonna feel it and feel it fast. If you hit an unarmed (no gun) assailant square in the face, forget about it. They are done!



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    FMCDH -- good advice.

    I've had Gold Dot recommended by law enforcement folks as a reliable personal defense round which is nearly impossible to stuff and prevent from expanding on impact.

    I shoot Federal HSTs and Golden Sabers through my Kimber (when it's not in NY getting worked on, grr) reliably and an expanded HST is something both terrible and beautiful to behold. I know either of those rounds will feed and send a bag guy to Allah with due haste provided I put them where they belong and not into a wall, picture, or thin air to the left or the right.

    Seems that the best PD round is the one that runs through your pistol the first time, every time, and the last time you press the trigger during the engagement we all hope never comes. If your gun won't feed a particular "favorite" keep shooting them until you find one that works well. Chances are it'll be light years better than throwing a rock and even ye olde FMJ is better than becoming a victim.

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    What caliber and what gun you carry matters. I have a Ruger P90 in .45 Auto and I use Speer Gold Dot 230 gr. I figure if I need +P or +p+ with that gun I am facing a very angry Tiger and I need something WAAYY bigger.

    I have 2 9mms a Kel-Tec PF9 and a Glock 19. I do not want to carry 2 different groups of 9mm ammo and the PF9 soes not like heavy bullets So it's all 115 gr in 9mm. And I use PMC Gold JHP because, right now at least around here, I can't find the Gold Dots.

    And for my KT P3AT I use Winchester White Box for everything. 95 gr FMJ for target and SD. I can not imagine a .380 Auto with overpenetration problems. I want that bullet to go deep and a .380 is not a bunch of power.

    As others have mentioned, checking with your local LEOs for what they use. Most will be 9mm, .40 cal or 10mm but it will give you some good guidance.

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Glasstream15 wrote:
    What caliber and what gun you carry matters....

    ...I can not imagine a .380 Auto with overpenetration problems. I want that bullet to go deep and a .380 is not a bunch of power.
    Good point.

    I was assuming that most people were reading in the context of a 40, 45, 357 or a 9mm.

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    FMCDH wrote:
    .........I am more worried about over penetration than under as most your "criminal" encounters are going to be with someone with no vest.........


    Quote:

    As the FBI Patrick Urey would say, "Under penetration will get you killed."



    An issue that must be addressed is the fear of over penetration widely expressed on the part of law enforcement. The concern that a bullet would pass through the body of a subject and injure an innocent bystander is clearly exaggerated. Any review of law enforcement shootings will reveal that the great majority of shots fired by officers do not hit any subjects at all. It should be obvious that the relatively few shots that do hit a subject are not somehow more dangerous to bystanders than the shots that miss the subject entirely.



    Also, a bullet that completely penetrates a subject will give up a great deal of energy doing so. The skin on the exit side of the body is tough and flexible. Experiments have shown that it has the same resistance to bullet passage as approximately four inches of muscle tissue.37



    Choosing a bullet because of relatively shallow penetration will seriously compromise weapon effectiveness, and needlessly endanger the lives of the law enforcement officers using it. No law enforcement officer has lost his life because a bullet over penetrated his adversary, and virtually none have ever been sued for hitting an innocent bystander through an adversary. On the other hand, tragically large numbers of officers have been killed because their bullets did not penetrate deeply enough.



    Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness



    Special Agent UREY W. PATRICK



    FIREARMS TRAINING UNIT

    FBI ACADEMY

    QUANTICO, VIRGINIA



    July 14, 1989



    http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=302002



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    I think I'm going to give about five boxes of these a place in the mags:

    http://www.ammoman.com/40_EP_DESC.htm

    Looks seriously good enough.

    Right now I'm using Federal Premium 230 Grain Hydra-Shok JHP's. Pete

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    I'm partial to Cor-Bon, but not to the point of being religious about it.

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    Hornady 9MM-JHP has never let me down.

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    spy1 wrote:
    I think I'm going to give about five boxes of these a place in the mags:

    http://www.ammoman.com/40_EP_DESC.htm

    Looks seriously good enough.

    Right now I'm using Federal Premium 230 Grain Hydra-Shok JHP's. Pete
    .45 ACP?

    Edited:
    Never mind, I looked it up. :P
    Same MFG, just the slightest difference.
    Great choice both ways IMO.

    Oddly enough, the 9mm Gold Dot has just the slightest edge on the Hydra-Shok, where the .45 Auto Hydra-Shok has just the very slightest edge on the Gold Dot.

    ~Hydra-Shok~
    http://le.atk.com/ballistics/Ammo_Ba...;bulletwgt=230

    ~Gold Dot~
    http://le.atk.com/ballistics/speer/d...&firearm=2

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    rocknsnow wrote:
    I know this thread is for guns, and I figured ammo is part of our guns. I have carried for the last few years open and concealed and I have tried many different self defense rounds in my sidearm. What do people think is the best ammo for 9mm self defense. I know that we want hollow point ammo. But what is the best out there?
    The one that goes "bang" when you need it too.

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    rocknsnow wrote:
    I know this thread is for guns, and I figured ammo is part of our guns. I have carried for the last few years open and concealed and I have tried many different self defense rounds in my sidearm. What do people think is the best ammo for 9mm self defense. I know that we want hollow point ammo. But what is the best out there?
    The one that goes "bang" when you need it too.

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    FMCDH wrote:
    and I want to kill the perp, not the 9 year old kid 100 feet behind and in the next room.
    snip

    Not to tell you your business, but it might be better to say that you want to STOP the perp. Just an opine.





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    buster81 wrote:
    FMCDH wrote:
    and I want to kill the perp, not the 9 year old kid 100 feet behind and in the next room.
    snip

    Not to tell you your business, but it might be better to say that you want to STOP the perp. Just an opine.



    I agree and remember, the round you miss the perp with, and goes on down range,is far more deadly than ANY round that goes through and through a perp.

    Remember that in a gunfight....most rounds miss.

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    Regular Member KansasMustang's Avatar
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    I have some "Black Talons" from way back that I keep in my 9mm, but I understand that the "Golden Sabre' ammo is now the new name for it.
    ‘‘Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.’’ Thomas Jefferson

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    buster81 wrote:
    FMCDH wrote:
    and I want to kill the perp, not the 9 year old kid 100 feet behind and in the next room.
    snip

    Not to tell you your business, but it might be better to say that you want to STOP the perp. Just an opine.
    And you can be as PC as you like, but if I point a firearm at someone for the purpose of self defense, it is with full knowledge and commitment that I will shoot until the threat is gone. If I shoot, I shoot to kill. You should never point a firearm at any living thing that you do not have the resolution to kill. If you are unable or unwilling to live with the idea that you might take another human life, then you should probably re-think your choice to carry a gun, or at least your choice to use it if something did happen.

    You can shoot them in the leg or the arm to "stop" your attacker if you like. How you choose to deal with that situation is up to you and I would never second guess your choice.

    Not to tell you your business



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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Paladin_Havegun_Willtravel wrote:
    buster81 wrote:
    FMCDH wrote:
    and I want to kill the perp, not the 9 year old kid 100 feet behind and in the next room.
    I agree and remember, the round you miss the perp with, and goes on down range,is far more deadly than ANY round that goes through and through a perp.

    Remember that in a gunfight....most rounds miss.
    Paladin, please read the entire post that this (snip) came from and notice this statement was intended for both over penetration, AND accuracy.

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