There are a number of premium 9mm JHP self-defense rounds, with the 124-grain Speer Gold Dot considered the default round by which all other 9mm self-defense rounds are measured.
Quite a few experienced shooters regard the Winchester 127-grain +P+ as slightly better and the 115-grain Federal 9BPLE +P+ a good third choice. I saw this thread and remembered watching ATK's long comparison video of their Federal and Speer premium rounds; and since I wrote down the results I searched for that small stickie I wrote on. Looking at what I wrote at the time it seems that the Federal 124-grain HST +P is quite a performer in static lab tests, yielding around 14" of penetration and .60" expansion through both gel and auto glass.
Right now in my 3.6" barrel CCW 9mm I carry the Federal 135-grain Tactical Bonded +P since the weather recently turned cold. In the warmer weather I was carrying the Federal 9BPLE, but I haven't yet ordered any 124-grain Gold Dot +P or Remington 124-grain Golden Saber +P Bonded, which tnoutdoors' video indicates is an excellent round.
(Sometimes I think I'm getting too wrapped in needless ballistics minutiae and should just find one all-round ammo for all seasons, like the Gold Dot default round mentioned above. The deciding factor --- all other things being equal --- will be accuracy.)
Last edited by unit1069; 10-22-2011 at 13:27..