What's your Self Defense ammo of choice



  • Hey guys, looking to see what everyone is using for SD ammo.

    I'm looking at trying both the Gold Dot 124, and Federal HST 124 standard pressure rounds.

    These will be mainly out of a 3.5" S&W M&P9c and occasionally out of a full size M&P9 with a 4.25" barrel.

    After watching all of this guy's videos both look like great candidates. As long as the Gold Dots can be driven around 1130 fps.

    9mm Ammo Quest: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgNSGOEQko_M90AMdRCDMgd-w4Yozc27i



  • I use gold dot...but I haven't done any tests with it



  • For SD in a shorter barrel I'd try the (newer) federal HST. By all accounts it performs well.
    It was created to address the shortcomings of the Hydro shock, which was failing to perform at shorter barrel velocities.

    Myself, I'm averse to hollow points. In addition to potential feeding problems, theres the chance that depending on the amount of clothing worn by the target/ your aim, they could become improvised FMJs and keep on going. Not something I'd want if I had family or neighbors in close proximity.

    When I lived in Washington, I used to carry CorBon PowR'Ball in .45ACP in a Glock 36, due to the amount of wool worn by people in the Seattle area. They're a little light for 45 ammo (165 IIRC) but coupled with a +P charge there seems to be a minimal chance of over penetration. Fired a box to test and never had an issue with feeding. Unfortunately I didn't have gel on hand.

    I also carried the Hornady critical duty. Both the C. duty and C. defense are the same idea as the powerball, but they're both heavier, with the C. duty load being the heaviest.

    On the bedside table is a G22 with federal Guard dogs. Same idea as any of the critical duty loads, but lighter, and of different construction. I did fire a couple of these into water tanks and they all functioned as designed.

    RLTW
    (This space for rent)

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  • I have stopped a lot of heartbeats with the gold dot 115's I carry in my XDM Compact. Works well enough for me. :)


  • administrators

    I use Gold Dots as well and have for several years. To me, they have proven to be a great round for several reasons. I have never had one fail to fire, eject, or feed. I carry everyday and there are stretches in there where I won't fire my XDM so every once in a while I will pull it out and fire it to test the rounds that are in the magazine. And the Gold Dots have always gone off.

    I cannot speak for or against the Federal HST because I have not tried them personally. Maybe someone that has can chime in with what they think.

    Great thread to start. I think all too often people just buy bulk FMJ for testing/practice with their everyday carry and then buy a 20 round box of whatever brand that looks cool self defense rounds. Then they load their magazine with up with their defense rounds and never shoot them because they either think that they will just work or because they think they are too expensive to practice with.



  • I usually fire mine once a month. And when I first got the pistol I tested about 100 of each the critical duty/critical defense and Hornady custom with XTP.

    And they ran great, but the critical duty didn't do well out of shorter barrels.

    Which has me thinking of switching, since I'm planning on carring with the 3.5" 9c.

    The HST is raved about in the Ballistic gel tests out of about any handgun, with or without denim.

    And the Gold Dots are standard, but didn't fair so well when the velocity dropped.

    So I think part of my testing will be shooting over a Chronograph to check speed.

    I also want to stay away from +p rounds if I can.



  • I have Gold Dots....before shooting daily, it had been 18 months since I last fired my X D subcompact and the magazine was full of gold dots...they all fed/discharged perfectly. :)

    "A woman trying to function like a man is as ridiculous as a man trying to be like a woman. A unisex society is a senseless society—a society dangerously out of order. " - DP

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  • Wish I could seriously participate in this discussion; however, all we are allowed here is the phrase " STOP, I have a cell phone and know how to use it".

    99% of the Lawyers make the rest look bad.

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  • And yes I know it's X D with no space...but if I don't space it...it comes out XD hehe

    "A woman trying to function like a man is as ridiculous as a man trying to be like a woman. A unisex society is a senseless society—a society dangerously out of order. " - DP

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  • XD XD XD

    99% of the Lawyers make the rest look bad.

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  • I carry and advocate Buffalo Bore +P+, read the ballistics.



  • @foch said:

    I carry and advocate Buffalo Bore +P+, read the ballistics. Developed for the FBI, it's a game changer.

    In what way?



  • @orkan 1600 fps/465ftlb and blossoms for damage similar to a 45acp. Its an over pressure ammo, but represents no problem for a XD. It's development is interesting reading. Lucky Gunner did a nice article on +P ammo.

    Do you have a differing opinion?



  • On Gunhive, everyone is expected to "show their work" so to speak, when voicing their opinions. Thus when you say things like "it's a game changer," you're expected to competently explain why. Thank you for following up, but be sure to take the type to write out complete thoughts so that your posts may have value for those reading.

    My own opinion does differ from yours. That is not to say your opinion is wrong... as my profession is dealing with precision rifles, not handguns. Though there was a time where I also was a defensive handgun instructor. Lots of time was spent making sure the right things were being taught. As I said however, I have no intention of being viewed as an authority on handguns as my specialty has always been precision rifles. People's opinion of my opinion below should be weighed as such. :)

    It is clear and has been proven that over-pressure rounds will wear out firearms much faster than rounds which are within workable pressures. That includes springfield X D and XDM handguns. (The latter of which is my daily carry, and favorite handgun.) This can sometimes take thousands of rounds, and be very uneventful. This can also happen in an instant, resulting in damage to your firearm, and potentially putting your handgun out of commission during a life-or-death situation. To me, it is not worth the risk. This is an opinion I formed after doing live-fire testing of various types of 9mm and 45ACP on hogs, cattle, coyotes, and other various sized animals when the opportunity arose. The results of which were as such that no correlation could be drawn between the lethality of handgun rounds, save one:

    Shot placement.

    A round fired which impacted the nervous system which caused immediate shut down was the only handgun round which could be counted on for an immediate stop of the threat. As a result, I carry 9mm 115gr gold dot's in a standard load. Ammo capacity ensures I will have enough rounds to increase my probability of a central nervous system hit. (spine/brain/etc) The low recoil ensures I will be able to make accurate shots count even if I'm injured or forced into compromised firing positions. The regular pressure loading ensures that when I'm practicing with ball ammo, the handgun will feel and react just as it will feel and react when using my daily carry loads. If I am forced to shoot someone and my family and livelihood is on the line, no one will be able to say I had malicious intent by using "super powered killer" ammo in my handgun. I shoot speer gold dot that says "law enforcement" on the side of the box for many reasons, but that surely is one of them.



  • The title to the post "What's your Self Defense ammo of choice". It didn't indicate the research was requested. I didn't realize the rules...sorry



  • No apology necessary! We welcome everyone's contribution. We also try hard to avoid the baseless arguments that plague so many other forums. The easiest way to do this is to make sure everyone is completely accountable for everything they say. Proof of experience is easy to provide, and gives everyone reading some good perspective on how much weight to give the posts they read.



  • I carry Remington .38 special +p 158 grain LSWCHP in my J Frame 642.


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