Answer: The one that I will never have to fire!
But... Gold Dots make great mag fillers....
Barnes X Bullet (Cor Bon DPX)
Remington Golden Saber
Winchester Ranger SXT
Any load using a premium bullet
I honestly do not know. They are federal HP and they were on sale. I buy decent quality and shoot a mag of them every time I shoot. When I run low, I buy more.
Last edited by Old Padawan; 04-16-2008 at 04:57 PM.
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain
Answer: The one that I will never have to fire!
But... Gold Dots make great mag fillers....
I haven't done any testing with different brands, so I can't personally attest to this, but I've heard different brands/loads will fire differently in the same gun. Now, you should always use a brand/load that will cycle reliably in your choice of weapon, but I've heard some brands do better than others in a particular handgun. For example, a Hydra-shok may shoot POA, while a DPX shoots low and left, and a Gold Dot shoots high and right. I would choose the one that shoots closest to POA, assuming it was available, cycled reliably, and was a premium defense round. It's similar with shotguns...I may have a Remington 870 that patterns the best with Winchester while Mike may have a Remington 870 that patterns best with Federal, and Todd may have a Remington 870 that patterns best with Remington. So once you've found the premium brands/loads that won't give you FTF/FTE problems, if you're that particular about it, find out which one shoots the most accurately, given your sight alignment (if you have fixed sights like most of us). If you have adjustable sights, just pick the one you feel most comfortable carrying, and adjust your sights accordingly.
I probably have a little bit of everything on that list in the safe, but I'm with several others in saying that any quality JHP will get the job done as long as they are reliable in your chosen weapon. I can say that all my .45 mags are currently loaded with 230gr Hydra Shocks, because I bought a pile of them on sale awhile ago, and they feed well. I have some of the lighter (135gr?) Golden Saber +P for both the .45 and .40, as well as a few CorBon's kick around for some of my revolvers.
It's been awhile since I actually looked at what's sitting at home(kind of hard since I'm deployed right now), but I can tell you that my Beretta (on my side as I type this) and Sig (both issue) are loaded with 115gr FMJ, which is ineffective on anything more than a paper target. We procured some of the new "blended metal" APLP rounds for our 5.56mm and 6.8SPC weapons, but we're still waiting on the 9mm and .45ACP rounds to arrive.
135grn JHP 9mm for the XD9sc & Beretta 92FS
90grn JHP .380Auto for the BERSA T380
More for the local availabilty than anything else. Never ordered ammo on-line and don't reload.....yet
Regardless of brand or balistic stats....my overall plan when it comes to personal/home/zombie defense......read my signature and you'll get the idea......that's why each gun has at least 2 fully loaded mags of defensive ammo at the ready.
Not to mention the WWB target rounds loaded up in each of the remaining spare mags between my trips to the range. (each gun has 4 mags total...XD 2X16+2X10=52...92FS 4X15=60....T380 4X7=28...for a grand total of : 140rnds of combined zombie......err....badguy stopping persuasion.
Did read recently in May issue of DEFENSIVE HANDGUNS though that the JHP bullet doesn't expand properly due to low (800-950 FPS) velocity from the 3" barrel on my XD and I assume my wife's BERSA. The Beretta maintains a good FPS for JHP expansion with it's 5".
Things to ponder....
Just out of curiosity, what exactly did they say in the magazine about it not expanding properly out of the 3" barrel of the XDSC. I'm just curious, although I feel that it would expand plenty and be plenty effective in a BG if you can place your shots....just like with any other caliber I might add. I'm just curious as to what exactly the magazine says....
Off the top of my head I believe that the 9mm JHP bullet in the 124-135grn range DID NOT expand fully when fired from a sub-compact (XD-GLOCK-TARUS)semi-auto frame into gellaton at 8yrds resulting in less than stellar performance by manufacturer's claims.
Muzzel velocity was greatly reduced to the 700-900FPS range being fired from a 3" barrel instead of the normal 1000+FPS (longer barrel) to achieve max. spread for max. damage/penetration.....
I'll get the aritcle and try to post it, cause I'm sure my facts are a bit "fuzzy". But I DO remember them questioning if buying "defensive ammo" was worth the cost.....or stick with FMJ target ammo to get better results.
I'll post it ASAP.
K found the article: and yes my info off the top of my head was flawed.......(read soooo much stuff it's all becomming a blurrr)
I omitted the intro, but he's basically taking about how popular 9mm SC have become and how good they are. And he goes on to compare barrel lengths in GLOCKS... a 17 being full sized......19 being compact......26 being sub-compact etc....
The ammo he's providing info on:
Carbon 115 DPX JHP
Winchester Ranger SXT 127gr +P+ JHP
Winchester 147gr JHP
Winchester 147gr SXT JHP
....not sure where he gets the rest of his ammo info.....not documented or listed.......
COMBAT HANDGUNS - June08'
By: Chuck Taylor - "Best Loads for Mini-9s"
"This means that muzzle velocities are also substantially reduced, making JHP expansion less that optimum. Let's take the new Springfield Armory XD-9 series as a further example. The "Tactial" XD-9 has a 5-inch barrel, while the barrel of a "standard" model mesures 4 inches. However, the barrel of the "sub-compact" version is only 3 inches, thus reducing muzzel velocity by a full 40 percent.
Let's say that a given 9mm load produces 1400 FPS from the 5-inch "Tactical" model, which is more than enough to expect significant JHP expansion. From the 4-inch barrel "standard" model, we can expect a substantial reduction to about 1120 FPS. While it narrows the field of which bullets will or will not expand, it isn't a disaster by any means. Even at 1120 FPS, several loads will have at least some expansion.
However, with this same load, the 3-inch sub-compact only generates about 840 FPS.
Suddenly, our presumption of substantial JHP expansion is no longer valid. In fact, at 840 FPS, with most JHP's any degree of expansion would be exceptional. And that is what the small 9mm and .38 Special snub have in common: muzzle velocities reduced to the point where, more often that not, JHP expansion cannot be expected.
Even with the 4-inch compact, many 9mm JHP's don't reliably upset in ballistic gellatin. For this reason, the 147-grain loads should catigorically be avoided. Only rarely to they break 950 FPS from a 4-inch barrel, so while they're highly accuarate and usually shoot to point-of-aim at 25 meters, bullet expansion is, at best, negligible.
A 3-inch barreled sub-compacts gets even worse with velocities in the 800 FPS range being common. If the JHP won't expand at 950 FPS, it certainly won't expand at 800 FPS, so once again the 147-grainers should be disqualified from consideration."
He goes on.....
Loads that Work
"One load that shoots exceptionally well and demonstrates good expansion from a 4-inch compact is Hornaday's TAP 124-grain JHP. Utilizing their excellent XTP bullet, accuracy, functional reliability, low muzzel flash and good terminal ballistic performance are all achievable with this load. For these reasons, the 124-grain TAP has become popular and prolific police service load. Another notable performer in a 4-inch barreled compact is Winchester's Ranger SXT 127-grain +P+ JHP. It, too, is a popular police load and is highly sought-after by civilians as well.
Clearly, the 3-inch sub-compact 9mm in the version that limits ammunition the most, so careful testing is required to determine which loads perform well, or at least satisfactorily in it. After years of investigation, I've found only 2 loads that meet this criterion.
First is CarBon's 115-grain DPX JHP, utilizing the supurb Barnes-X JHP bullet. Superbly designed, it features a solid copper bullet with 6 "petals" that begin to peel back with only minimal hydraulic "push" in the hollow cavity. Even at the low velocities produced from a 3-inch barrel, the result is a surprisingly uniform "ceiling fan" effect as the petals react, thus transmitting maximum energy (and shock) to the target producing the largest possible wound channel.
The second 9mm load that performs in a sub-compact in the Glaser Blue. Weighing a mere 88 grains, it features a frangible bullet jacket with a hard rubbrer nose-plug, within are suspended a quantity of chilled lead shot. When the bullet impacts, the hard rubber plug is driven backwards, rupturing the jacket and releasing the shot pellets, causing immediate energy release into the target and a terrific wound channel."
"In summary, compact & sub-compact 9mm pistols are not only here to stay, but continue to increase in popularity. They;'e easy to shoot, more than sufficiently accurate for any tactical purpose and minimally inconvienient to conceal. In addition, they're controlable, utilize a relatively large capacity magazine (a popular issue with many shooters) and require no special maintenance or special holsters. As such, they offer much to anyone who has need of their lightweight and small size.
However, this being said, they can achieve even better performance if you carefully select ammunition you intend to use in them. All ammo isn't the same and the high speed, life-and-death environment inherent to the combat handgun confrontation demands that we give ourselves every advantage."
ow...my hands hurt.
Not sure if any of it really matters in the long run. Shot placement and accuracy are more important IMO. I have no plans to change my choice in Defensive ammo at this point. It was good read though.
Both have the XTP bullet, but one is the TAP and one is the HP. I think the only difference is the TAP has the black nickel coating on the casing. It says on the description that it uses charges that minimize muzzle flash to help with night vision. The XTP is a very good bullet that shows superior expansion qualities. I wouldn't mind carrying the 200gr +P TAP in .45 auto. If nothing else, they look cool as hell.
to be honest, it DOES matter what brand you get, because the shape of hollow-point rounds makes some rounds mis-load in certain guns. i think it's good to shoot a box (as expensive as they are) through your gun first and make sure they load properly.
if you use your gun for home protection, and it doesn't feed the round into the barrel when you work your slide, it's not a very effective tool for home protection =)
i've shot hydrashocks and hornady taps through my 9mm p226, and they work fine, but it's always good to be on the safe side and check
Reliability is the first criteria of a defensive round, no doubt about it. However, at least in quality modern guns, all the upper-tier rounds seem to work fine, and are designed with reliable feeding in mind. Of course they should still be tested in your particular pistol. I think everyone in the thread sort of assumed that was obvious, but you're right, sometimes people need to be reminded of the basics.
I voted for 'any' because I don't know enough to really weigh in. Newbie, here, so I'm trying to sort through all of this. I tend to think that it can't really matter too much as long as it actually fires and hits him/her where I want.
That said, I bought a higher priced (and assumed grade) of ammo to serve the bedside and carry purpose, more for perceived reliability than accuracy, stopping power, etc.
That ammo is Federal Premium 124 grain hydra-shok. It was priced more favorably than other 'high-end' rounds.
Hopefully, I'll never need to know if it really matters.
1. Train to make the hits...any bullet that hits COM is better than another that misses.
2. Pick a premium SD load that you can afford and is readily available.
3. Check for cycling reliability. If it works, carry with confidence.
I take it a step further and find one that will give me the most reliable expansion coming out of my 3" barrel. But as long as I'm carrying a good quality SD load and make the hits, I'll be fine.
I have a P01 and I prefer Speer Lawman FMJ 115/124gr for the range and Gold Dot JHP 124gr for self defense, that's what I look for when I shop.
However, since I've discovered Walmart, I've cut down on Lawman but still look for deals by the case online.
Last edited by unpecador; 11-07-2008 at 05:08 PM.
HSTs are what the Sheriff's Dept recommends in my neck of the woods.
I chronographed 230gr Golden Sabers thru my 3 in.Colt New Agent at 790, 802 and 808 feet per second (800 avg.); I don't have a facility to check for expansion, anybody ever done that with this brand of hollow points from a 3 in. barrel?
Now that I see what got the most votes ...
I think I'll try them on for size
thanks yall !
The one that hits were I aim it... since spinal hit and head hits are the only true one-shot-stoppers...
The rest is marketing BS and ego.