Buy budget cost ammunition? Don't be surprised if you end up with budget 'performance' in arguably critical aspects.
Being able to sell budget defensive/duty ammo for budget pricing usually means using less expensive components, and perhaps less stringent QC measures involved in the production.
I remember when, as a young LE firearms instructor, I became interested in ammunition testing, attended hosted gel 'tests', etc. Listening to some of the folks working for some of the big ammo makers, it made perfect sense that their more costly 'premium' JHP ammo might cost more due to a number of factors, such as using nickel cases, more sensitive (reliable) primers, powders with flash suppressants, primer pocket sealant, case mouth sealant, increased QC steps during production, some additional changes to production specifications (higher bullet pull/push requirements, etc) ... and
, of course, more modern JHP bullet designs created to better resist plugging and yet still exhibit robust expansion across various industry-wide organic gel testing protocols.
Throughout my LE career I ended up carrying the least expensive (but still major American maker) JHP loads, as well as the most costly 'premium' JHP loads. I carried what was available/issued, or what was optionally authorized (on my own dime) ... and put more attention on the part of the equation over which I did
have some direct control, meaning my ability to train & practice with whatever
ammo was presently loaded in my duty and off-duty weapons. I continue to do the same thing in my retirement, for my retirement CCW.
All the major American makers who do a lot of LE/Gov business have been producing their premium ammo to meet the more common and accepted industry-wide ammo testing protocols, so it's rather unsurprising that they may all satisfactorily meet those same standards.
For the folks who enjoy using more 'custom' or specialty ammo, there's always been some small custom ammo makers working to meet that niche part of the commercial market.