critical defense/ short barrels

critical defense/ short barrels

This is a discussion on critical defense/ short barrels within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Does anyone have some feedback for the Hornady critical defense round in 9mm, .380 in short barreled pistols? Does it still take advantage of it's ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array boatail's Avatar
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    critical defense/ short barrels

    Does anyone have some feedback for the Hornady critical defense round in 9mm, .380 in short barreled pistols? Does it still take advantage of it's attributes?
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    You know, I love Hornady bullets as a component. But, this "Critical" Defense crap and bullets like it from other makers really gets under my skin.

    My opinion is to just fill your gun up with a good quality heavy for caliber conventional bullet and call it a day. Then you can buy 2 or 3 50 round boxes for the price of 1 twenty round box of "Critical Crap" ammo.
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    Senior Member Array boatail's Avatar
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    I understand, I am impressed with the "printed ballistics", but have wondered about it's stated purpose. Is it more efficient to be "filled with poly" before the strike, or filled with whatever the target is wearing during the strike? I'm not sure about the science involved there. It is going to be " filled with something" before it actually hits the target, so I'm not sure if it's better to be before vs. during? Does it matter? Maybe the kinetic energy of already moving at the bullets' velocity before the fact??
    Light travels faster than sound...thats why some people appear bright before they speak

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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    You know, I love Hornady bullets as a component. But, this "Critical" Defense crap and bullets like it from other makers really gets under my skin.

    My opinion is to just fill your gun up with a good quality heavy for caliber conventional bullet and call it a day. Then you can buy 2 or 3 50 round boxes for the price of 1 twenty round box of "Critical Crap" ammo.
    I really would like to see a return to some more common sense advice like this. I've suffered through threads where folks are chastised for carrying ball ammo in their .45 and told that a responsible citizen would only carry chrome-plated +P+ bonded JHP with death petals. I don't blame ammo manufacturers for marketing expensive boutique ammo, but we as consumers need to understand it for what it is.
    glockman10mm, joker1 and Buckj like this.
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    I agree with glockman10mm,how many people were killed by standard pressure ball ammo in our dad's,granddads days,ammo companys play on peoples weaknesses and fears,make them think they got the "majic bullet"(no pun intended),if I do my job,put that round were it needs to go,it'll do its intended job!

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    Senior Member Array hayzor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    I don't blame ammo manufacturers for marketing expensive boutique ammo, but we as consumers need to understand it for what it is.
    Well said. Can't knock the manufacturers, thats capitalism, and has given us great products. With all the information out there, consumers need to do some research, from several sources, and make informed decisions. I think many folks hear one person make a recommendation and take it as gospel truth.
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    Senior Member Array boatail's Avatar
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    Sounds like the general opinion so far is pretty " critical" ! Can't say as I have much to argue against that, and as Glockrocker said..the 230 ball has worked pretty good for 100+ yrs.
    After all, a .45 is a .45 whether it expands or not
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    Boattail, take a look at this guys ammo test on YouTube...

    tnoutdoors9's Channel - YouTube

    His reviews, tests, and demos are top notch in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    You know, I love Hornady bullets as a component. But, this "Critical" Defense crap and bullets like it from other makers really gets under my skin.

    My opinion is to just fill your gun up with a good quality heavy for caliber conventional bullet and call it a day. Then you can buy 2 or 3 50 round boxes for the price of 1 twenty round box of "Critical Crap" ammo.
    Amen to that! As long as whatever ammo is in my gun feeds and fires with every trigger pull, if I do my part and put it on target, its purpose will be served--to stop the threat and/or allow my escape. I don't care if its loaded with Super Brand or rocks . . . as long as it goes bang, bang, bang, bang. . .
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    Member Array Timezoneguy's Avatar
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    I have my .45's filled with critical defense ammo. Do I have test results. Nope! The concept that I understand is that a good defensive round will expand consistentely ( not shoot through the intended target) and dump all it's energy inside the BG. The soft stuff inside the hollow point is designed to exert pressure on the inside of the hollow point and make it expand. Solid material, like fabric, will not exert as much outward pressure hence possibly no expansion. Thats the problem with open hollow points they fill up with solid material and may not expand. Years ago I need to put down a sick sheep. I decided my new .45 with hard ball ammo was the answer. One head shot did NOT do the job. Sure we have shot FMJ's for 100 years, fought wars and killed a bunch of the enemy but if you think FMJ is the perfect bullet for around the house personal defense, you better hope for alot of conditions to be perfect. FMJ's are NOT the best man stoppers.
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    I was'nt saying fmj's are the best,far from it,I carry 165 ranger t's in my G23,why?,their proven,and 230 grain Gold Dot in my g21 why?,their proven,is either one better than the other prob not,but a catchy name is'nt going to mean squat ,all the ammo manufacturers think it does,"critical defense,guard dog,tap,star power,flower power,WHAT EVERand with hornadys record on some of their sd rounds,I don't want them in my gun anyway,even with the wiz-bang,super power, uranium,ultra high explosive,human vaporizing, balistic tip.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timezoneguy View Post
    I have my .45's filled with critical defense ammo. Do I have test results. Nope! The concept that I understand is that a good defensive round will expand consistentely ( not shoot through the intended target) and dump all it's energy inside the BG. The soft stuff inside the hollow point is designed to exert pressure on the inside of the hollow point and make it expand. Solid material, like fabric, will not exert as much outward pressure hence possibly no expansion. Thats the problem with open hollow points they fill up with solid material and may not expand. Years ago I need to put down a sick sheep. I decided my new .45 with hard ball ammo was the answer. One head shot did NOT do the job. Sure we have shot FMJ's for 100 years, fought wars and killed a bunch of the enemy but if you think FMJ is the perfect bullet for around the house personal defense, you better hope for alot of conditions to be perfect. FMJ's are NOT the best man stoppers.

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    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    Critical Defense will be useless against Zombies, you must have Hornady's new Zombie Max ammo.

    I'll agree with most here about specialty ammo. I carry Remington Golden Sabre 124 grain +p in my GLOCK 19, I may someday switch to Speer Gold Dot 124 grain +p. One of the few HP's I've heard stories about not fuctioning in a GLOCK was some of this gimmicky Hornady stuff. Now I'm not saying that Critical Defense will not effectively stop a threat (provided good shot placement is achieved) but will it do it better than Golden Sabre, Gold Dot, or any other quality HP ammunition, not likely.
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    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timezoneguy View Post
    I have my .45's filled with critical defense ammo. Do I have test results. Nope! The concept that I understand is that a good defensive round will expand consistentely ( not shoot through the intended target) and dump all it's energy inside the BG. The soft stuff inside the hollow point is designed to exert pressure on the inside of the hollow point and make it expand. Solid material, like fabric, will not exert as much outward pressure hence possibly no expansion. Thats the problem with open hollow points they fill up with solid material and may not expand.
    Yes, hollow point bullets failing due to clogging was a problem with old HP tech. However, you don't need a silly piece of plastic sitting in the cavity of a HP to make it expand in denim or heavy clothing, you just need modern tech. I'm not saying that it does or doesn't work as there simply isn't much information on it due to the lack of any LE agencies using it, but it's just a "solution" looking for a problem that doesn't exist.

    Out of curiosity, why did you choose ammunition based on concept rather than on testing? Not trying to offend or be rude here, but if we applied that method to everything we did, we'd still believe planet Earth was flat and that the Sun revolves around it.

    Here's some good data to review:

    http://le.atk.com/pdf/HSTInsertPoster.pdf

    http://le.atk.com/pdf/GoldDotPoster.pdf

    http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollec...law_bullit.swf

    http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Ballist...5gr_TAC-XP.pdf

    http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Ballist...0gr_TAC-XP.pdf

    http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Ballist...5gr_TAC-XP.pdf

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Array SFury's Avatar
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    THrough hunting I've seen what different types of ammo does to deer. Your typical lead nosed rounds are not all that great for killing. Not in the least. They typically travel through their target unless they hit something solid enough to make them expand. I've seen far too many deer wounded that way that got away.

    It's amazing how making the same bullet a hollow point, makes it so much more deadly. A simple change in the bullet design makes it far more lethal.

    Now, you have partitioned rounds for rifles. Wow. The damage they do is brutal. Most handguns can't utilize the partitioned rounds as effectively as the higher velocity rifles can though. It's a matter of physics making partitioned rounds less effective in handguns vs rifles.

    Hollow point rounds are effective in what they do. They expand most of the time. That expansion makes them good defensive rounds. Far better than your typical ball ammo will ever be.

    I'm not saying use the expensive "designer" ammo, but I am suggesting you go with a well made hollow point at least.

    I'm using Hornady's Leverevolution series of .357 mag ammo. It's more expensive than a lot of .357 ammo, but not that much around here. Why? Well, for multiple reasons.

    One, I like hollow point rounds, and a modified hollow point works well.

    Two, Hornady came up with a new powder for the CD and Leverevolution lines that has the same power as other brands of ammo that has less flash, and more velocity. Two things that make the round a little better than others.

    Three, it shoots well through my firearm. I was impressed with it as I initially sighted in my revolver last weekend. I've read more than one report of the .357 CD line causing major problems in some .357s in smaller frames, so I had to use it before I could give it a final choice.

    Four, the round is a bit heavier than most SD .357 rounds, and is better suited to hunt with than lighter rounds. It's utility round that I can use for all the reasons I have my gun for.

  15. #15
    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    I've always seen two different scenarios where using standard ball ammo would be the best and other scenarios where a softpoint, hollowpoint or any other rapid-expansion bullet would be best.

    Obviously, most CCW people with a lick of common sense won't be packing a .500 S&W or .454 Casull with mind-blowing velocities not just because they're too large and heavy to carry concealed very well, but mostly because their high velocity and extreme penetration power makes them a major liability for close-range defensive situations where a single shot could go through 3 assailants in a row and still have enough energy left to penetrate a house wall and knock somebody off the crapper a block away.

    Since most of us are using much lower velocity SA's for close-range defense, there's generally not a major worry of ball ammo doing much collateral damage in the generally unlikely event that it would pass completely through a mid-body shot and exit since there would be very little energy left in the bullet. The other school of thought is that an expanding bullet will create a much nastier wound, have less chance for penetration exiting, and therefore expend more of the muzzle enegy on the assailant as "shock force".

    If the assailant should be naked or very lightly clothed, the hollowpoint bullet would probably be best. However, there have been a significant number of recorded events where a low-velocity, expanding-type bullet has failed to do much (if any) damage to an assailant wearing a thick coat, multiple-layers of clothing or in the event the bullet strikes a belt or other externally-worn object which causes it to expand or fragment prematurely and do very little physical penetration into the body itself; so in this scenario, the solid ball ammo would be superior.

    Probably a silly thought on my part, but since I can never be sure how any possible assailant might be dressed or wearing, my chambered round is a hollowpoint, but the magazine (from top to bottom) is ball round followed by alternating hollowpoint, ball, hollowpoint, ball, etc. If I have to start squeezing off rounds in self defense, I'll be using an alternating combination of "smack" and "penetration" rounds in an effort to cover both scenarios a little better.

    Likewise, my home defense 7+1 shottie alternates between 00-Buck and slug in the tube with the buckshot being first chambered.
    BioGLoCK23 likes this.

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