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Self-Defense 9mm Ammo

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by TexasGlockster, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. I recently have purchased a Gen 4 G17 primarily for the purpose of home defense but also because I enjoy range shooting. I have been doing a lot of research into what type of 9mm ammo to use for home defense but I thought it best to take this question to those who probably know much more about it than I.

    This article is perhaps the best posted research on the subject I have seen but I wondered if anyone wanted to chime in on its practicality in the real world.

    Right now I'm looking at higher (127+) gr weight hollow points. I first was really interested in the Winchester Ranger-T 127 gr JHP +P+ but I've seen some really negative performance reports on this ammo lately, usually related to poor expansion. Now I am looking at Speer Gold Dot 124gr JHP +P. While its smaller than I was hoping (and I still might move up to the Speer Gold Dot 145gr JHP), I have heard good things about its reliability and effectiveness.

    Thoughts on either of these ammunitions? Ideas about other good self defense ammos?

    I'm going to post this on the self-defense forum too if you happen to see it there.[FONT=&quot][/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
  2. JBP55


    Mar 4, 2007
    Gold Dot, HST, Ranger T in 124+P are three great choices.

  3. The Retired Sarge

    The Retired Sarge "The Sarge"

    Feb 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The Speer Gold Dot 9mm 124gr +P is a time proven, consistent, high quality round. I prefer the 147gr 9mms and my first choice is the Federal HST. See the ammo testing at Bill
  4. FatBoy

    FatBoy Millennium Member

    Sep 2, 1999
    I would say that any of the top brands would do fine. Shot placement would matter more than the difference. The 127 AND 124gr are "essentially" the same weight since 1 grain is 1/7000 of a pound. I use 124+p Speer, but would have no issue with any of the other top tier ammo, if it functions 100% in my gun. I was able to stock up on the Speer before the big ammo price increase for around $200/1000 and I am still going through it. I'll hate to have to restock at current/future prices.

  5. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

    Mar 1, 2005
    Old Dominion
    Don't believe all that you read online, winchester 127 +p+ is the round of choice for the 9mm along with the 124+p GD and DPX. No handgun bullet is a guarantee of expansion or stopping for that matter.
  6. JBP55


    Mar 4, 2007
    The newer 124+P Ranger T does basically the same as the 127+P+ with far less recoil and quicker follow up shots.
  7. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    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: Oct 22, 2011
  8. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    I use Winchester 115gr +p+ JHP in my G17. I get 1400 FPS!
  9. JBP55


    Mar 4, 2007
    What he said above.
    I can not get wrapped up in changing ammunition with the seasons and I never heard of any LEA's that changed ammunition with the seasons.
    NYPD issues 124+P Gold Dot year round.
  10. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    "Far less recoil" is way overstated. There is barely a difference.
  11. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    +1 on that!
    I like all three in 155/165 for my G27
  12. JBP55


    Mar 4, 2007
    There is barely a difference in performance also. The hype of the 127 is way overstated. They are almost identical according to Winchester tests.
  13. I have been wondering about ammo and the change in the weather. What is the theory behind changing the type of ammo you use when the weather changes? I can't figure this one out for the life of me...:dunno:

    Though I am curious, at the end of the day I think I'd rather have a load that I know will work consistently regardless of the season.
  14. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    I asked Mas Ayoob about that in the self-defense forum. He said that my usual loading of my G17 (WW +p+ 115gr JHP @1400 FPS) would penetrate winter clothing just fine, but he noted that winter clothing material tends to fill the hollowpoint on most bullets, which is why he carries a .45. Well, if my JHP fills up with clothing material, it will act like a semi-wadcutter at 1400 FPS. I can go with that. :whistling:
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  15. triggerjerk


    Dec 19, 2000
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  16. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo

    May 31, 2011

    How is that?
  17. Natty


    Jan 28, 2006
    I agree with the Federal HST 147gr.

    I shows great performance in the ATK LE tests.

    Its what I carry in my 9mm.
  18. off road

    off road

    Jun 6, 2011
    Advice for the wise...take it or leave it. I paid my way thorough college working for the medical examiner of a large, populous county. Also taught human anatomy for a few years. Based on what I have seen and learned firsthand (not just shooting at gelatin blocks!)....I load Glaser Silvers! (They recommend Blue for summer, and Silver for winter where thicker clothing will be the norm.)

    Yes...there will be some situations like around vehicles where barrier penetration will be necessary, but as a civilian I am not going to be engaging in a running gunbattle like a LEO might....all I want to do is fire that one shot that will save my life! When I feel I might need some hollow points, still I am likely to alternate them every other round with the Glasers. (Hornady 115 gr Critical Defense in the G26, and 115 gr XTP in the G19.)

    This is closer to what you can expect in real world hollowpoint performance. In a chest shot, likely the bullet will hit or glance off a rib. It will deform badly, the hollow point will pack up, it will tend to go in at an angle or end up sideways, and deep penetration (of the unexpanded bullet) will be the norm not the exception.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  19. ABNAK


    Apr 22, 2005
    Man, you are gonna get poleaxed around here for the Glaser thing!
  20. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    The 115-grain 9mm bullet is regarded as a relatively shallow penetrator, even the +P+ version. There's not much clothing to worry about obstructing a bullet during warm months but with layers of thick (and possibly heavy weave) during cold weather the light bullet just might not work as desired. I know the Illinois State Police downed quite a few felons with the Federal 9BPLE during cold weather but there are other rounds that have done the same and I just thought I'd go with the Federal 135-grain Tactical Bonded +P for the time being now that it's colder.

    I agree; that's why I'm planning on picking up some 124-grain Gold Dot +P and 124-grain Golden Saber +P Bonded my next ammo order. However, if ATK's video record of controlled tests are indicative of reliable results the 124-grain HST +P would be an excellent all-year carry round. I do have that round and am tempted to carry it now, except the Tactical Bonded is endorsed by some GT members whose opinions I regard as highly educated.