SHARE

It’s important to use good quality ammunition if you plan on carrying a handgun for self defense. These are our choices for the best 9mm self defense ammo.

Regardless of the cartridge you use, choosing the right kind of ammunition is just as important as choosing an appropriate self defense handgun. After all, your life could depend on it. The good news for everyone who uses a handgun chambered in 9mm Luger is that there are lots of great 9mm self defense ammo choices currently available on the market.

However, the bad news is that it’s really tough to pick a single load in particular and label it as the best 9mm self defense ammo.

The last few decades have seen phenomenal advances in ammunition design, testing, and production. This has resulted in an abundance of good quality self defense ammunition in all the major calibers. While this is a good thing overall, the incredible number of choices available can make choosing a self defense load challenging and overwhelming at times. That being said, there are a couple different types of 9mm self defense ammo that consistently rise above the competition.

   So without further ado, here are, in alphabetical order, my picks for the best 9mm self defense ammo based on their performance under controlled conditions, their prevalence among major law enforcement agencies, and some subjective input based on my personal experiences with these loads under various conditions.
Barnes 115gr TAC-XPD
Best 9mm Self Defense Ammo barnesCabela’s

The solid copper bullets produced by Barnes are some of the most effective bullets for hunting large, tough species of big game because they can be relied upon for deep penetration and consistent expansion with virtually 100% weight retention. These same characteristics are what make the Barnes TAC-XPD bullets such a great choice for 9mm self defense ammo.

At 115gr, these bullets are on the light side for most 9mm self defense bullets. They’re also loaded for slightly lower velocities than comparable 115gr 9mm loads, which makes for mild recoil.

While that’s great for shooters with compact and full sized handguns, this may not be the best 9mm self defense ammo for use in pocket pistols or sub-compact handguns with barrels shorter than 3.5″.

Federal 124gr HST
Best 9mm Self Defense Ammo FederalSportsman’s Guide

Even though it’s not a bonded bullet, the Federal HST is still very well constructed and is just as durable as the best bonded (or solid in the case of Barnes) bullets currently in production. Developed over the course of many years specifically to meet FBI and other law enforcement specifications, it’s no surprise that the HST is one of the most popular bullets used by law enforcement agencies in the United States.

Federal started selling the HST to the general public a couple of years ago. They quickly gained a great reputation and are widely regarded as one of the best 9mm self defense choices currently available.

The proof is in the pudding: regardless of whether you use a full size or short barreled 9mm handgun, if you want reliable deep penetration, good bullet expansion, and high weight retention, then it’s really tough to go wrong with the 124gr Federal HST.

Hornady Critical Defense 115gr
Best 9mm Self Defense Ammo HornadyBrownells

Unlike many of the other choices on this list of the best 9mm self defense ammo, Hornady designed their Critical Defense lineup of ammunition from the ground up for use in short barreled handguns during self defense situations. The bullet features a polymer tip that initiates expansion at low velocities and prevents debris (like clothing) from clogging the hollow point and adversely impacting expansion.

This ensures reliable penetration and expansion at low velocities regardless of what barriers the bullet passes through first. Since Critical Defense ammunition is optimized for short barreled pistols, it also has very manageable recoil and is easier to shoot in very small handguns.

Hornady also produces a “Lite” version of the Critical Defense for those who are extremely recoil shy, and a similar “Critical Duty” lineup of ammunition designed for those shooting full-sized handguns who need even better barrier-penetrating capability (like law enforcement officers).

Speer Gold Dot 124gr 
Best 9mm Self Defense Ammo speerSportsman’s Guide

Speer jumped way out in front of the competitors in the 1990s when they introduced the Gold Dot lineup on ammunition. The Gold Dot was one of the very first (if not the first) bonded handgun bullets developed for law enforcement use and quickly became the gold standard of well designed handgun ammunition.

Those bonded bullets are virtually immune to core-jacket separation and have earned an excellent reputation for high weight retention, deep penetration, and reliable expansion even after penetrating through a tough barrier. Not surprisingly, Gold Dots are one of the preferred types of ammunition for law enforcement agencies all over the world and are an excellent choice for 9mm self defense ammo.

Even though the standard 124gr Gold Dot ammo is best in medium or long barreled handguns, Speer also produces a “Short Barrel” variant of the Gold Dot which is a great choice if you have a handgun with 3.5″ or shorter barrel.

Winchester PDX Defender 124gr +P
Best 9mm Self Defense Ammo winchesterSportsman’s Guide

The Winchester PDX1 Defender is another bonded bullet like the Speer Gold Dot. Similar to the Gold Dot, it also performs very well under a variety of demanding conditions. In fact, the FBI was so impressed with the overall performance of the bullet that the Bureau adopted the PDX1 Defender as its primary handgun ammunition. Featuring good penetration, weight retention, and expansion, the PDX1 Defender is another really good 9mm self defense ammo choice, particularly for those carrying medium to large sized handguns.

Final Thoughts

Pick a couple of the best 9mm self defense ammo loads and shoot several hundred rounds of each in the handgun you plan on using for defense to test their accuracy and reliability in your particular handgun. Different firearms often prefer different loads and the only way to know for sure is to spend some serious time at the range and determine what your handgun shoots well.

If the time ever comes that you need to use your handgun in self defense, you don’t want that to be the first time you’ve shot your handgun with the self defense ammunition you’re carrying.

Additionally, make sure that whatever self defense load you choose is legal where you live. Certain states and local jurisdictions (like New Jersey and San Francisco) have onerous laws regarding the use of hollow point or “Law Enforcement Only” types of ammunition, and you don’t want to inadvertently run afoul of your local gun laws if at all possible.

Finally, invest the time, money, and energy into becoming proficient with your chosen self defense gun. A great handgun shooting the absolute best quality ammunition is useless if you cannot hit your target when it counts.

Source

Comments

comments

72 COMMENTS

  1. It’s going to be ending of mine day, but before finish I am reading this fantastic paragraph to improve my experience.|

  2. Useful information. Fortunate me I discovered your site by accident, and I’m stunned why this
    twist of fate didn’t came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

  3. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see
    if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has
    83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  4. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems?
    A few of my blog audience have complained about my
    website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera.

    Do you have any solutions to help fix this issue?

  5. You can certainly see your skills within the article you write.
    The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like
    you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  6. You’ve made some really good points there. I checked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.|

  7. I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality
    articles or blog posts in this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled
    upon this web site. Reading this information So i am satisfied
    to show that I have a very just right uncanny feeling
    I found out exactly what I needed. I so much certainly will make certain to don?t omit this web
    site and give it a look on a continuing basis.

  8. Good day I am so excited I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was browsing on Askjeeve for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a incredible post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the excellent jo.|

  9. Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to grasp so much about this, like you wrote the guide in it or something. I believe that you can do with some percent to power the message house a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.|

  10. Not just that yet you likewise understand precisely ways to make
    use of GSA Search Engine Ranker to obtain the maximum
    amount of validated links each minute easily.

  11. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you ought to write more on this subject matter, it may not be a taboo matter but usually people don’t discuss such topics. To the next! Many thanks!!|

  12. I am creating this short article concerning GSA Internet search engine
    Ranker to ensure that others do not need to go
    through all this especially the newbies.

  13. It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of info. I’m satisfied that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.|

  14. I just wanted to write down a note in order to thank you for the
    remarkable suggestions you are giving out at
    this website. My extensive internet search has now been compensated with reasonable facts and
    strategies to share with my relatives. I would admit that most of us site visitors actually are extremely lucky to dwell in a fine site with so many wonderful people with good ideas.
    I feel extremely happy to have encountered your entire
    webpages and look forward to tons of more cool times reading here.
    Thanks a lot again for a lot of things.

  15. Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol|

  16. Wonderful website. Plenty of useful info here. I’m sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious.
    And obviously, thanks in your sweat!

  17. First of all I would like to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if
    you don’t mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
    I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
    I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes are generally lost simply just trying to
    figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Thank you!

  18. Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same
    niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  19. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after going through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly delighted I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!|

  20. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it
    is really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels.

    I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  21. We absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome web site!|

  22. Its like you learn my mind! You seem to grasp a lot about this, like you wrote the e-book in it or something. I believe that you can do with some p.c. to pressure the message home a bit, but instead of that, that is great blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.|

  23. Very good site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of
    any message boards that cover the same topics
    talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable people that share
    the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.

    Thanks!

  24. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!|

  25. hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points using this site, as I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my email and can look out for much more of your respective exciting content. Make sure you update this again soon.|

  26. Good post and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is in fact the
    best place to ask but do you people have any ideea where to get some professional writers?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  27. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to
    a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;
    ) Cheers!

  28. Yet this device have inbuild function to submit backlink pages
    to online search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing as well as
    other 400+.

  29. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site? My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks a lot!|

  30. Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Cheers|

  31. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this website before but after going through
    many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it
    and checking back frequently!

  32. I’m curious to find out what blog system you have been working with?
    I’m having some small security issues with my latest blog and I
    would like to find something more risk-free. Do you
    have any suggestions?

  33. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your website on my
    iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, very good site!

  34. I do consider all the ideas you’ve introduced to your post. They are very convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are very brief for newbies. May just you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.|

  35. I do agree with all the ideas you’ve introduced to your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for beginners. Could you please prolong them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.|

  36. My partner and I stumbled over here from a different web page and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to going over your web page repeatedly.|

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here