Hornady Critical Duty - 9mm Luger

Hornady Critical Duty - 9mm Luger

This is a discussion on Hornady Critical Duty - 9mm Luger within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I accidentally picked up some Hornady Critical Duty ammo this past Friday when I intended to pick up Hornady Critical Defense. I had read reviews ...

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Thread: Hornady Critical Duty - 9mm Luger

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    Senior Member Array herpjunkie's Avatar
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    Hornady Critical Duty - 9mm Luger

    I accidentally picked up some Hornady Critical Duty ammo this past Friday when I intended to pick up Hornady Critical Defense. I had read reviews that the CritDuty wasn't nearly as good a defensive ammo as CritDefense, so I was a little aggravated that I picked up the wrong ammo.

    I decided, since I had already purchased it from a gun shop 30 miles or more from home, that I would shoot some of it and test it out for myself. I filled about 16 empty 1-gallon milk jugs full of water, grabbed some old phone books (later soaked in water), my new SIG P250C (+ my S&W .40 cal), and headed to the gun club.

    The first test of the Critical Duty involved 1-water soaked white pages, 4-one gallon jugs, and a dead-center shot from 5 yards away. The result wasn't what I expected (even after having seen the reviews) as the 9mm round passed through everything in front of it.

    The second test involved another water-soaked phone book, but yellow pages this time (thicker) and 6-one gallon jugs, shot dead-center from 10 yards. The result was nearly the same as the first, the round passed through all barriers, but this time I found, 20 yards further down range, the little red-rubber ballistics tip and an expanded (but empty, no lead) copper/brass jacket.

    The third test involved my .40 cal handgun, some Federal Premium Home Defense rounds (same price as Hornady), another yellow pages, and another 6 jugs shot from 10 yards. The result this time was much more satisfactory - The fully expanded Federal round was found in the center of the third jug.

    Basically, as far as I can tell, the Hornady Critical Duty is total crap. I'm going to pick up a box of Hornady Critical Defense this weekend and subject it to the same tests. Hopefully it will perform better, but if not I'll just pick up some Federal or CorBon rounds to pack in my SIG and just be done with Hornady defense rounds.
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    Will be looking forward to your test.. I have both types.. did the same as you.. stopped away from home and grabbed Hornady Critical Duty and realized it when I got home.. they were mixed in with the Critical Defense
    later got some defense and some zombie rounds at another shop.
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    From what I've read from Hornady's site is that Duty is made to have better barrier penetration the defense. May explain why the round went through relatively soft milk jugs before expanding in the phone books. I assume you did the same testing with Critical Defense ammo as well. What were the results of those tests? If not, consider that Hornady Defense, Duty, and Zombie Max ammo have a closed tip and much more pointed profile than most other HP rounds. Could be that milk jugs filled with water aren't enough resistance to cause expansion. I've never understood how water filled milk jugs could be considered a reliable replacement for flesh. Seems all they would do is slow the round down. But then I'm new to shooting and ballistics, so it might not have been explained to me well enough yet.

    YMMV

    Edit: Re-read post and gather the rounds also passed clean through the phone books. Still could come down to the extra attention they apply to barrier penetration.

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    Senior Member Array herpjunkie's Avatar
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    I've been looking for some of the Z-Max rounds in 9mm and .40 cal, but haven't found any so far. And really, the only reason I want them is because I like the box, lol. If I do find some I intend to put them up and just keep them. They may or may not make a good collector's item one day, but there's no doubt they make a great conversation piece

    I'll repost when I try out the CritDefense. I may also try some of those Liberty 55 grain, 2000 fps frangible rounds - strictly for entertainment, I don't think I would ever carry those, no more than I would carry those G2R R.I.P. rounds (though I would love to have a box or two to play with. Die, watermelons...Die!!)
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    Senior Member Array herpjunkie's Avatar
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    Ianthin - The first barrier for the round to pass in my test is the sopping-wet phone book, then the water-filled jugs. From looking at your post it seemed to me that you have the setup in reverse order in your mind....but I could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time. And the yellow pages for the Greater Metro Birmingham Area is a damn thick phonebook, so I would expect that it would start the expansion process before hitting the water-filled jugs. Like I also demonstrated with the secind test, the .40 cal test, the Federal round didn't have any problems.

    And it may be that the Duty round isn't designed for what I want it to do. Like I also said, I didn't mean to pick those up, I was just in the gun store, and I'm sure you guys and gals know how that is - it's very easy to get sidetracked, lol. But I'm not going to carry them unless they perform in a manner that's condusive to my personal needs, hence the test.

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    FWIW, I carry the 135gr Critical Duty in my Beretta daily. I'm in a car a lot and at least the potential is there to need to fire though the windshield or a door. Not saying there aren't rounds out there that would do just as well or better, but it cycles well for me and I'm comfortable with the way it feels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by herpjunkie View Post
    Ianthin - The first barrier for the round to pass in my test is the sopping-wet phone book, then the water-filled jugs. From looking at your post it seemed to me that you have the setup in reverse order in your mind....but I could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time.
    You're right, I had it backwards. Makes more sense now.

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    Member Array BillG174's Avatar
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    I use Critical Defense for my EDC Glock 17 for self defense. After reading your post I called Nornady and asked them what is the difference between Critical Defense and Critical Duty. The man told me that Critical Defense should be used for self defense because the round flattens out and does not penetrate the person. Critical Duty is intended for law enforcement, etc. where the officer might want to shoot through auto glass, sheet metal, steel, etc.
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    Senior Member Array herpjunkie's Avatar
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    Thanks BillG174, that makes sense then.

    I bought those for my SIG that I (mainly) keep on the nightstand by the bed, for home protection. Obviously I was correct in my intention to buy the Defense vs. Duty, but like I said, there were so many shiny guns and knives to look at in there I was entranced, lol.

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    Maybe its just me,but, i buy hollow points because i want the tips "hollow", not pre pluged from the factory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillG174 View Post
    I use Critical Defense for my EDC Glock 17 for self defense. After reading your post I called Nornady and asked them what is the difference between Critical Defense and Critical Duty. The man told me that Critical Defense should be used for self defense because the round flattens out and does not penetrate the person. Critical Duty is intended for law enforcement, etc. where the officer might want to shoot through auto glass, sheet metal, steel, etc.
    Same stuff I read. Also, they say the Defense rounds are designed for shorter barrel's, and the Duty rounds for full size guns. And Duty is supposed to have less muzzle flash.

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    Member Array BillG174's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herpjunkie View Post
    Thanks BillG174, that makes sense then.

    I bought those for my SIG that I (mainly) keep on the nightstand by the bed, for home protection. Obviously I was correct in my intention to buy the Defense vs. Duty, but like I said, there were so many shiny guns and knives to look at in there I was entranced, lol.
    I totally understand!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by herpjunkie View Post
    Thanks BillG174, that makes sense then.

    I bought those for my SIG that I (mainly) keep on the nightstand by the bed, for home protection. Obviously I was correct in my intention to buy the Defense vs. Duty, but like I said, there were so many shiny guns and knives to look at in there I was entranced, lol.
    Yep. Been there done that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillG174 View Post
    I use Critical Defense for my EDC Glock 17 for self defense. After reading your post I called Nornady and asked them what is the difference between Critical Defense and Critical Duty. The man told me that Critical Defense should be used for self defense because the round flattens out and does not penetrate the person. Critical Duty is intended for law enforcement, etc. where the officer might want to shoot through auto glass, sheet metal, steel, etc.
    Critical Defense, under penetrates and does not pass FBI test protocol. If god forbid, one has to ever use a firearm for self defense one does not choose the situation and what one will have to shoot through. It's always better to be prepared for the worst than to have ammo that is lacking.

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    Senior Member Array CommonCents's Avatar
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    The difference between Critical DUTY® & Critical DEFENSE® - Hornady Manufacturing, Inc

    Critical DEFENSE® = Personal Protection/Concealed Carry
    Critical DEFENSE® handgun ammunition was developed to provide the best performance for DEFENSIVE or PERSONAL PROTECTION SITUATIONS and is the ultimate choice for any short barreled, concealed carry style firearm.

    The FTX® bullets loaded in all Critical Defense® handgun ammunition are designed to expand and provide the terminal performance needed for close encounters often associated with personal protection situations. Additionally, Critical DEFENSE® is not intended for use in extreme (law enforcement) situations that require superior barrier performance.* However, the FTX® bullet will expand reliably and will not clog like standard hollow point bullets when fired through heavy clothing.* In addition, Critical DEFENSE® ammunition IS optimized for short barreled, concealed carry style handguns and will not deliver excessive recoil and associated “muzzle flip.”

    Critical DUTY® = Tactical
    Critical DUTY® handgun ammunition is built to meet the needs and requirements of LAW ENFORCEMENT and TACTICAL PROFESSIONALS, as well as those law abiding citizens who prefer a full-size handgun for their personal protection and demand superior barrier penetration and subsequent terminal performance.*

    The FlexLock® bullets loaded in all Critical DUTY® offerings are rugged, heavy jacketed bullets that deliver virtually “barrier blind” performance (i.e. total penetration, weight retention and expansion are practically the same) when shot through common urban barriers* (bare gelatin, auto glass, sheet metal, plywood, drywall, heavy clothing*). In addition, Critical DUTY® loads are “full power loads” designed to function full-size handgun slides. Although designed to work flawlessly in ALL handguns, these loads are NOT optimized for short barreled, concealed carry style handguns; they will deliver standard recoil during firing.
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