Federal Premium HST Ammo for Personal Defense
I have carried the Hornady Critical Duty 135 grain flex lock JHP for a while, and it is a really good bullet for its intended use. However, I think for personal defense, one would be hard pressed to find a better offering than the Federal HST in 124 or 147 grain, standard pressure or +P. This is very likely the best ammo available for "personal defense".
I know there is a lot of good stuff out there, and every one who has been shooting for a while has their brand. But if you're looking for a really good performer for a PD round, I think I would go with this regardless of the length of the barrel or caliber.
Federal Premium HST 124 gr standard pressure:
Federal Premium HST 147 gr standard pressure:
Federal Premium HST 147 gr +P (also a link within the video to the 124 +P)
I bought some 124gr HST for my PX4 recently. I usually use hydrashok, and I have fired so many hundreds of rounds of the stuff over the years that I know it works well in my guns. As I cycle thru old carry ammo, I shoot it.
To switch to a new ammo would require me to buy more just to try out in my guns.
However, I forgot to bring JHP when I took my PX4 to the range for the first time. So, I bought some ammo at the range, and that was what they had. It worked fine. But, that is the only gun I am using it inf or now.
Yeah, I have a good bit of the Critical Duty, and it would be expensive to switch all at once, but as I move forward, I'm going to make the switch incrementally. This post was more for those who are just getting started, or who may not have a "favorite" ammo yet. I think as long as you choose a quality round one will be fine. The hydrashok has done well for a long time. The HST is really the offspring of the HS, and it has great reviews. I can't find much +P in the HST, but the standard pressure rounds do just as well, really.
I've never been a +p fan. I usually stick with regular 124 gr.
Many people check for function, but some JHP will not always shoot POA. Be aware of that. Critical defense shoots low in my Beretta 92s. And, I once tried 115gr gold dot, and it shot low. Yet, 115 FMJ is fine.
So, people should check for this as well.
In my CX4 9mm carbine, hydrashoks shoot to the left, and gold dots won't shoot a tight group. But, Federal Guard Dog and Critical Defense shoot tight groups and perfectly where I aim. So, I go with those two rounds for that rifle...
I've bought quite a bit of HST ammo, 147 grain for my 9mms and 180 grain for my .40s&w. If I can't get that I go for Gold Dots and a few others if I can't get either.
I like Gold Dot also. I also like Winchester Rangers, but it's hard to find it as much today. I can't remember the last time I actually saw a +P offering in the HST either, but the standard pressure works just fine. Same with the Critical Duty.
My preferred loads for 9mm are the Federal HST in 124gr and the 147gr, both in +P (yes I have some). I also like to use the Speer Gold Dot 124gr JHP +P, which I also have.
For my .40S&W carry guns, I go with Speer Gold Dot 165gr #53970 (this is their 1150 fps load) or Federal HST 165gr.
I consider the HST and the Gold Dot to be at the top of the heap in defensive ammunition for semi-auto's. Both are exceptional and both have a solid track record.
I would like to add a caveat to this. The bare facts are you will never really know how well your chosen defensive caliber and load will work until the day comes that you have to use your gun in an extreme encounter. Granted, getting as much information on loads is in your best interests, but until you actually have to shoot someone, you won't really know for certain whether or not you've made a good call. And even then, you'll only know for that specific situation.
I have been using the HST as well. Every single gelatin test I have seen has been outstanding. Speer is supposed to be coming out with LE Gold Dot G2 soon. Creating quite a stir on other forums...First Look: Speer Gold Dot G2 Ammo | Handgun Planet
That looks pretty interesting! I'd have to get my hands on some of that for sure.
Originally Posted by KeithC.
It's going to be pretty hard for Speer to improve upon what they already have with the Gold Dot line of ammunition. I have two boxes that a US Customs agent gave me at a party. The number on the box does not show up anywhere in Speer online data... at least the last time I looked. I was trying to get the specs on it.
Currently my two loaded SD guns are stoked with Speer Gold Dot (9mm = 124gr +P and .40S&W = 165gr #53970). They could just as easily be loaded with HST.
Very long thread at this professional forum about this round. Looks pretty interesting. Speer Gold Dot G2 147 grain PT 9mm
Originally Posted by SouthernBoy
I don't intend to shoot through windshields and stuff so I am happy with what I have in the HST. Just aggravated I can never find the 147 grain in the 50 round box. The 20 round retail packaging is over a dollar a round.
That is what has me rethinking the Critical Duty. I think it is good stuff, and I like the technology, but in reviewing the testing on the HST, it seems better suited for personal defense than a barrier penetrating bullet like the CD. Now the GDs are designed to penetrate barriers for LE, and also expand on impact like the HST, and it is outstanding stuff. I know a lot of LEOs who use it, but the HST just seems to be a little more conducive for what I need in a PD round. I have seen the GD perform a little off on occasion where I have not seen a single malfunction to expand on any HST test I've seen. And it seems perhaps the 124 gr is probably better for GP defense on the whole, but I'd be fine with either gr.
Originally Posted by KeithC.
Visit this link frequently to see when HST ammo in 9mm becomes available.
Originally Posted by KeithC.
Tactical Defense Solutions LLC - Federal Tactical LEO
I got a 50 round box of 9mm 124gr HST for $30. Not bad.
I have been getting them here when they have them. $23.95 plus shipping. Been a good company to deal with so far.
50 rd box - 9mm Federal HST 124gr HP hollow point LE ammo P9HST1 | SGAmmo.com
That's one of my bookmarked supplier links.
Originally Posted by KeithC.
For the life of me I can't understand why so many people carry Critical Defense or Critical Duty ammo. Is it the cool pretty boxes or what? I know you can all read and I have never known of any large LE agency that use it. Maybe Andy and Barney in Mayberry use it. It has no street proven use or record to support or back it up like the Gold Dot or other brands do. By design it is a low powered ammo that gets its expansion from lack of (controlled they claim) expansion and the plastic tip is a joke compared to the other ammo makers like Federal or Winchester etc. They don't plug and fail to expand. I am sure the Hornady will go bang and kill you but why are so many people sold on this stuff? Is it because it is cheap and shoots soft? I shoot it for practice but never will carry it for SD. Hornady makes good ammo but they tell you up front how it performs and the speed is normally less than advertised on the box. Why do some of you pick this ammo for self defense? Do you read all the BS from people that don't know any better and fail to do your own research? I am not trying to be a smart a?? but please tell me what I must be missing. The only Hornady that passed DocGR testing was Critical Duty +p .45 caliber. What is going on and causing all this Hornady is great talk? Please refer to links or police use stories and not gun mag articles written by mostly wanna be gun experts. Facts will be nice and BS will be ignored.
It is all about advertising and highly scientific so called FBI pudding tests. Now is the right time. Mom will make Christmas pudding, should we risk a bullet, just for science?
The best advertising is always this one that will be not recognized by the viewer as such. Just saying. It is like always. You believe what corporation made and paid home testers say, and just grab and buy whatever they just hold under your nose, or you don’t. It is really as simple as that and is really in all circumstances and fields of live the same.
Do you really believe that a manufacturer sends someone a truckload of ammo for free and does not want to influence the test outcome? No? OK than stay asleep.
Well - a 45 acp with a nice +P load does not shrink that’s for sure and does what others in scientific flower pot pudding testings’ try to prove that theirs does too.
On the other hand the one caliber and one bullet for all was not invented jet.
On the end it’s only you again that makes the decision what you carry and why.
I for example do my own testing. No - my tests are not scientific and don’t involve moms Christmas pudding or her flower pots. My test criteria were made by me, based on combat experience with hand firearms, man by man experienced in war zones. I know what I personally want that a bullet that I fire out of my sidearm does, when I have to fire it. I mostly carry 9mm with my ammo that I feel comfortable with. You have to find your ammo and when it is from the nice colored moving pictures on youtube and you feel OK with it, than run with it. There is nothing wrong to do so. Any given bullet, even a .32 FMJ is absolute deadly and has enough stopping power in certain circumstances.
Oh - and by the way, what LE officially carries in their issued guns, must not mean that this is automatically good. The ammo get ordered based on price TAG and amount of availability. Not always is the ammo that get issued to the LEO that what the Officer want. Just saying. Many LEO carry their own purchased loads, based on what they are personally comfortable with.
I hope I could answer some of your questions.
Federal HST 124gr +P
Velocity in Feet Per Second
Federal Tactical HST Ammo, 9mm | Streichers
Hornady Critical Duty 135gr +P
Hornady Manufacturing Company :: Ammunition :: Handgun :: Choose by Caliber :: 9mm Luger+P :: 9MM LUGER+P 135 gr FlexLock® Critical DUTY®
zeke, looks like you're wrong gain. There isn't much of a difference in the performance of these two bullets, and given the weight difference, I'd say they are about equal. You're certainly entitled to your own opinion, but again, your right to your opinion does not make your opinion right. You were wrong about LEO agencies going back to a 9mm, and you're wrong about this. Hornacy Critical Duty/Defense are good bullets for their respective intended use. Any of the bullets mentioned here will work fine for personal defense. If you don't like the Critical Defense or Duty, fine. But that does not mean it isn't a good bullet.
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