Best ammo for personal defense

This is a discussion on Best ammo for personal defense within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; There are a ton of different personal defense rounds on the market today and its hard to figure out which one is the best. I ...

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Thread: Best ammo for personal defense

  1. #1
    Member Array Mtnmanca's Avatar
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    Best ammo for personal defense

    There are a ton of different personal defense rounds on the market today and its hard to figure out which one is the best. I recently bought 2 different types... Both from hornady. The first is the hornady TAP ammo and the second is hornady critical defense. Now the only true way to tell whether its reliable or not is to shoot something like ballistic gel and I don't have any. I am wondering if its as good as they say it is and what the differences are between the two

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    Member Array Brent2006's Avatar
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    Hello and great question. I have shot the Hornady Critical Defense before and it is a round that was designed for compact CCW guns. It has less recoil, reduced muzzle flash and features the patented FTX bullet. IT has shown acceptable terminal performance through bare gel and 4 ply denim and gel but it is not a round designed for tough barriers. I have never used the Tap line of ammo. I am not here to knock Hornady because I hear a lot of people like it but I also have read a lot of people have had issues with bad primers, Failure to feed, setback etc. Now the Failure To Feed and Setback can happen with any round but the multiple failure to fires with reports of bad primers is not acceptable for personal defense ammo. I personally never had any FTF with Critical Defense but I can't ignore the dozens of complaints on various websites about this issue. I also know of issues with the 125 Grain 357 Mag CD casings getting stuck in revolver cylinders. Midway USA is littered with complaints about this.

    I honestly am not a fan of lighter bullets (with the exception of Barnes 100% Copper X bullets) because they tend to under penetrate.

    The most important things to consider with your personal defense ammo are:

    1. Does it feed and function reliably in your firearm?
    2. How accurate is the round
    3. Can you control the round
    4. Shot placement is KING!
    5. Chose a round that performs well in the FBI testing protocols.

    I tend to stick with duty proven ammo that has excellent terminal performance such as:

    Corbon DPX or Corbon Thunder Ranch DPX loaded with the Barnes Copper Bullet (highly recommended by John Farnam and Clint Smith)
    Speer Gold Dot
    Federal HST
    Winchester Ranger T

    Hope this helps.

    Stay Safe

    Brent

  4. #3
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    OP, the extensive and laborious gelatin testing has already been done for you.

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

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    Traditional Reply:

    The traditional reply - and the one I like most: the highest caliber you can comfortably shoot: that means with control, accuracy, easy draw etc and can fire multiple accurate shots with. That depends on the gun a lot - caliber only exists in relationship to you and a specific gun. That would also be true of what particular manufacturer you used.

    If the answer to the above is a gun in Federal .380, shoot Federal .380. if it's in Ranger ST 357 Magnum shoot Ranger ST 357 Magnum. High caliber that gets you killed from lack of accuracy, lack of ability for on-target, quick, multiple shots is far worse than shooting something weaker you can shoot well while under likely the worst stress of your life.

    Only you can answer your own question...

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    Each gun is different, The first thing is to make sure it functions properly with your gun. Penetration and expansion don't mean a thing if your gun won't function properly with it. Most commercial ammo will do the job you want and need. Myself I like the Federal HST rounds. If you can find them Winchester Silver Tips used to be a good round, I stopped using them when they more than doubled in cost.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    ^ This. Make sure it cycles in your gun and then relax. I'm a fan of Speer Gold Dot, but I'm not married to any one brand.
    Last edited by Brad426; December 6th, 2012 at 02:05 PM.
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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    The one that functions reliably in your gun. After that, how well you do your part matters most. After that...meh, debatable until we grow old and can't work the slide anymore. Can't go wrong with Speer Gold Dot, IMO. But I'll use other name brand stuff.
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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    I'm running Winchester PDX-1 Defender simply because it's available at Walmart in every caliber that I have.
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    Senior Member Array bandrich's Avatar
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    I am still partial to Hornady Critical Defense and Critical Duty. IMHO.
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    As other have said, choose something that will function in your gun and that is accurate, other than that they are pretty much the same.

    Prefer Speer Gold Dot and old fashion Federal Hydroshock
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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    Ex Member Array ValpoHawkeye's Avatar
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    Best ammo for personal defense

    I prefer Gold Dots. Their +p short-barrel 9mm are in both my carry guns.

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    Senior Member Array Chief1297's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    I'm running Winchester PDX-1 Defender simply because it's available at Walmart in every caliber that I have.
    I used to love this ammo until I started having duds. It was the round and not the weapon but I have lost all confidence in them. If it were one or two maybe but more than that?
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    I started out years ago with Super-Vel in my .357 Magnum, moved to Federal Hydro's in my 45ACP, moved to Silvertips in my 9MM and now have both Cor-Bon DPX and Winchester Ranger T's. Extensive testing with both has shown that in my guns they both work reliably and have had zero issues with both. The Ranger T's cost 1/2 of the DPX and are easier to find.
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    Member Array Tony617's Avatar
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    Best ammo for personal defense

    I look at the recommendation for SD ammo on this page first:

    http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_De..._FAQ/index.htm

    I have two 40 S&W pistols and keep them loaded with 180gr Federal HST or 180gr Speer Gold Dots myself.

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    Member Array Coltman 77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcclarke View Post
    OP, the extensive and laborious gelatin testing has already been done for you.

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo
    There is a wealth of information that will help you here. Good luck.
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