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  #1  
Old 08-10-2012, 09:54 PM
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Default Best 9mm for home defense, and the cheapest place to get it?

Or possibly the cheapest that's worth actually using...
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slimdelight View Post
Or possibly the cheapest that's worth actually using...
There's no such thing as cheap self defense ammo.

Most of today's self defense ammo will do the job as long as you do yours. Don't get caught up with "the best". Keeping up with the Jones when choosing ammo is a waste of time. And there is much more to the equation than ammo selection.

Find a brand that appeals to you. Make sure it functions in your gun and is accurate.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:50 AM
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I am in no way recommending this ammo to you, I'm only stating what I use. I use Federal 9bple. It's a +P+ rated 115 gr. jhp. It can usually be found on the net for somewhere around $20 per 50 round box. If you want something a little lighter look up Federal 9bp, it can be found for around $18 per 50.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Fred View Post
I am in no way recommending this ammo to you, I'm only stating what I use. I use Federal 9bple. It's a +P+ rated 115 gr. jhp. It can usually be found on the net for somewhere around $20 per 50 round box. If you want something a little lighter look up Federal 9bp, it can be found for around $18 per 50.

I'm not sure that I've seen 50 count boxes of any self defense rounds, where are you finding these?
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:20 AM
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Marketing plays a big role here, because you'll mostly find the "premium" branded defense ammo in 10-25 round boxes. Ever notice how some people will pay more for ammo that has is the newest and best, until the next newest and best comes along?

As the other posters mentioned, find an expanding round that functions 100% and is accurate for you and the gun and call it good. The Federal 9BP is a great example of this.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:45 AM
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I like Fiocchi SD ammo personally. For example, Hornady TAP which is their nickel cased XTP Line sells at CTD for $18.46 for a box of 25. So, its ~$0.74 per round. Fiocchi Extrema uses Hornady's own XTP bullets and their nickel cases and at CTD they sell a 50 round box for $24.15, which is ~$0.48 per round.

I have literally used thousands of Fiocchi Extrema in 38 SPL, 357 Mag, 9mm, 45 ACP, and 44 Mag and I have never had one issue with them.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:58 AM
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Winchester Ranger ammo comes in 50 round box of SD ammo.

I like the Ranger 124gr +p. Gold Dot 124+p or +p+ are excellent.

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Old 08-11-2012, 03:01 PM
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Take a look at Sgammo.com they have the federal ammo and others even cheaper than $18.00 a box.

Pete
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slimdelight View Post
I'm not sure that I've seen 50 count boxes of any self defense rounds, where are you finding these?
This is where the advertisers get to you. They have the public hoodwinked into the mindset that if it doesn't say "Self Defense" on the box it won't serve that purpose. And that burns my biscuits!

Hogwash - if it were me? I'd find a round that cycles reliably through my gun, practice putting rounds where they are intended, and never look back.

Starting with Winchester White Box, or Remington UMC.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:19 PM
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Mah supply has LE boxes of Speer golddot many favors the 124gr 9mm is like 24.00 dollars for 50
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:05 PM
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I use Black Hills, Win Ranger and/or Federal...
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:12 PM
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cycles through the weapons and shoots well it works for me and right now what working is Gold Dot but i know there are plenty of others that work as well. Buy ya a box shoot it and make sure it works.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:03 PM
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"Best" is a difficult term to define and endlessly arguable. Suggest you focus on what self defense ammunition gets consistently good results in objective ballistic tests, has proven effective on the street, and generally gets good word of mouth.

I'd discard the search for "cheapest", although there's nothing wrong with finding a good deal on quality, established ammo.

Another factor to consider is what weapon you're running it through; that affects performance and so choice.

There are many good options. I suggest Speer Gold Dot. Unless you're using a short barrel (under four inches), suggest you get yourself a supply of their 9mm in 115 grain, 124 grain, 124 grain +P, and 147 grain, and shoot a couple magazines of each to determine how your individual weapon in your individual hand responds to each one (accuracy, reliability, felt recoil).

Whichever one you like the most, make that your self-defense ammo of choice.

Ammunition To Go has the law enforcement 50 round packs of these at excellent prices.

As a back up, although I've never used it I've researched CorBon's DPX line of self defense rounds and am convinced of their efficacy.

Last edited by Hapworth; 08-11-2012 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:47 PM
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There is NO magic bullet.

That being said, find what works in your individual weapon with good reliability and the rest is up to you.

If you can't hit the target your SOL, I don't care what your loaded up with.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slimdelight View Post
I'm not sure that I've seen 50 count boxes of any self defense rounds, where are you finding these?
ammunitionstore.com

This is not the latest and greatest, wiz-bang, zombie attack, overpriced 20 rounds to a box ammo. It is old school proven ammo.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:00 PM
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Just picked up two 50 round boxes of Federal 147 grain 9MM JHP's at amunitionstore for $35. (17.50 each) plus tax. The plain white boxes are marked 9MS. The ammunition is listed as "Hi-Shok" on their web site. I was surprised to find out they are located about 5 minutes from my house. At that price I can afford to practice with them.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:20 PM
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SGAmmo.com has gold dot, golden saber, and ranger ammo at less than $25 box of 50. I think these are all good 9mm self defense rounds, depending on what feeds reliably for you.
Sometimes they have government contract overrun ammo at even better prices.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:30 PM
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There's really no such thing as "the best 9mm," but in terms of overall value, 50 count boxes of LE ammo sold by places like Ammoman, SGAmmo and G&R Tactical will give you the most for your money. You can even see if your local firearms store has some LE ammo in stock.


Oh, and FWIW, my personal choice in 9mm has always been Ranger RA9T. It's accurate in all the pistols I've fired it in, very controllable, and has a solid reputation for "doing the job."
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Fred View Post
I am in no way recommending this ammo to you, I'm only stating what I use. I use Federal 9bple. It's a +P+ rated 115 gr. jhp.
Actually, Corbon 115+p is hotter than the 9bple +p+..
Check it, it's fact.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slimdelight View Post
Or possibly the cheapest that's worth actually using...
There is nothing at all wrong with Remington 124gr UMC ammo. It costs a lot less than the designer brands and it uses a good bullet.

Accuracy and 100% all the time function is more important than the name on the box! The best bullet in the world loaded in the best ammo will do you no good unless you hit what you aim at!

Just my 2 cents...
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:56 AM
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I see someone else has suggested Ammunition to Go already. I was very pleased with the service from them.

I've always carried 147 gr, because that was what we were issued when I carried a 5906. Mostly I carry a CS9 or 39xx compact these days. For the full size gun we were told that 115gr was too light.

Is the 124gr better for SD in compact guns? Right now I have a sort of a hodge podge of JHP ammunition and would like to standardize on one weight of bullet.

Is there any consensus on this?
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
I see someone else has suggested Ammunition to Go already. I was very pleased with the service from them.

I've always carried 147 gr, because that was what we were issued when I carried a 5906. Mostly I carry a CS9 or 39xx compact these days. For the full size gun we were told that 115gr was too light.

Is the 124gr better for SD in compact guns? Right now I have a sort of a hodge podge of JHP ammunition and would like to standardize on one weight of bullet.

Is there any consensus on this?
IMO and only IMO, I feel the 124/125gr bullet is the best choice for 9mm handguns no matter what size the gun is. I think 115gr bullet generate too much velocity and can possible expand too quickly sacrificing penetration. I also don't like the 147gr bullet because there are guns that won't cycle them correctly. I tend to like the bullet weight that was used when the cartridge was developed. (158gr .38 Special, 230gr .45 Auto ect.)
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:01 PM
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Federal 147 gr hp HST at (ammunitiontogo.com). $29.95 box of 50.

Last edited by hsmith9491; 10-25-2012 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:21 PM
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I carry the Speer 124 Grain +P "Gold Dot" in my 9mm.

If you buy in case quantities, it can be had for $24.95 / Box, DELIVERED, from Ammoman.com

Drew
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:11 PM
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I use Critical Duty in my 9mm and .40 cal.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:25 PM
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I think any of the top brand ammo companies produce a quality SD 9mm ammo. But that being said I prefer Federal LE 124 HST ammo from Ammunitiontogo for my S&W shield 9 and use Winchester +P Bonded 124gr PDX1 ( pretty much an updated version Black Talon bullet ) in my 9mm Sig 229. I don't like paying shipping on the Federal LE ammo but if that is what it takes to get what I want I am willing to pay shipping for it. Most of the time I can find the Winchester ammo locally but never have seen the Federal LE ammo in any local outlets. If I had to chose one over the other I would just use the Federal LE ammo in both guns as it is super reliable and accurate.

I believe the 124gr HP is the only way to go with the 9mm for SD.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:04 PM
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I do like nickled cases. They don't tarnish in the magazine like plain brass does. No one ever mentions this.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:18 PM
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I practice with NATO and carry Buffalo Bore 124 grain +P HP.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:06 AM
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One thing to remember in your quest. The 147 grain 9mm load exists for one reason only. It was designed to get the most out of a suppressed MP-5 and still remain subsonic. It was never meant to be a true short barrel "handgun" round. It basically duplicates a 38 Special load. While some of the latest variants have been adapted to perform OK at pistol speeds it is still a compromise load. Performance is better with the 115 NATO spec load and the various 124 grain loads plus most 9mms are sighted for the 115 /124 and will be noticeably higher in poi with the slow heavy 147.

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Old 10-26-2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slimdelight View Post
Or possibly the cheapest that's worth actually using...
Oh, no. Another 'best ammo' thread.

I'd encourage you to read the AR15.com Ammo FAQ article. It discusses both handgun and rifle self defense loads.

While you're right to ask the question about what's the most theoretically effective round, don't lose sight of practical aspects as mentioned in the above posts. Shot placement, and reliability of the ammo in your gun is paramount. If you can't hit what you aim for, or the round fails to feed, extract or ignite, you're screwed.

Read the above FAQ.
Buy a few boxes of different recommended types.
Go to the range and practice with them.
Make a choice and be confident with it.

Ignore cost. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.

HTH.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:21 AM
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Since CCW is not an option in my state, my criteria for a self defense round was focused on a 9mm that can effectively protect my self and family while avoiding over perpetration due to the proximity of neighboring dwellings.
I also had to take into consideration the unique laws attached to JHP ammo and our rather confusing Castle laws in New Jersey.I finally settled on the Hornady Critical defense rounds because it is not strictly a HP round over any real hard performance data while still being able to protect life and assets.
I do wish I had other viable alternatives however.

Last edited by duppie; 10-26-2012 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:27 PM
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I got a few boxes of Remington Golden Saber 124g to try out and while I was at it I decided to try some Gold dots 147g .These came from SGAmmo and I need to try both of them out but everybody I know that has them gives good reports.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoMF View Post
There's really no such thing as "the best 9mm," but in terms of overall value, 50 count boxes of LE ammo sold by places like Ammoman, SGAmmo and G&R Tactical will give you the most for your money. You can even see if your local firearms store has some LE ammo in stock.

Oh, and FWIW, my personal choice in 9mm has always been Ranger RA9T. It's accurate in all the pistols I've fired it in, very controllable, and has a solid reputation for "doing the job."
Totally agree... I believe LE Gold Dot 124gr +P has the same reputation and works well in mine. So I have both - use the GD in summer and Ranger in winter.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:43 PM
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Thank you. This is very informative. I always thought that 147 was the "standard" load because that's what we had to use if we opted for a 9mm. If I had to guess, the reason would have to do with your comment about duplicating a .38 Spcl round.

Now to start looking for 124gr ammunition.

Quote:
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One thing to remember in your quest. The 147 grain 9mm load exists for one reason only. It was designed to get the most out of a suppressed MP-5 and still remain subsonic. It was never meant to be a true short barrel "handgun" round. It basically duplicates a 38 Special load. While some of the latest variants have been adapted to perform OK at pistol speeds it is still a compromise load. Performance is better with the 115 NATO spec load and the various 124 grain loads plus most 9mms are sighted for the 115 /124 and will be noticeably higher in poi with the slow heavy 147.

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Old 10-26-2012, 09:15 PM
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GaryS it is the "standard" on a lot of departments where they use 9mm. In most cases the department follows what the FBI uses right or wrong. This is typical " If they use it it must be good" and that ain't necessarily so. The department I am most familiar with finally pulled their head out of the sand and let their armorer do the studies needed to find what worked. The 2 best performers were the 9mm 115+P+hp and the 357 Magnum 125 jhp. The worst was the 9mm 147 even behind the old 38 Special 158 +P swchp.
You have to remember that doing what the big boys do does not require your department to expend funds and that is VERY important on some of the small departments budgets.
As a private citizen you also face a very different set of needs and can find a load that fits those specific needs
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:17 PM
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Probably the most effective 9mm as judged by actual real world results and still being cost effective (read cheap) is Federal 9BPLE. Shop around and you can get it for $16 or $17 a box of 50.

Personally, I like Speer Gold Dot in my 9mm pistols. Costs a little bit more but I appreciate the bonded bullet.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:06 PM
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Given the revolution in ammunition performance sparked by the FBI ammo tests, any of the JHP products of the major manufacturers will do very well for your purposes. Every 'stopping power failure' I've ever been able to research has been a failure to hit vital areas of the body.

What you need to bear in mind is that the ammo must: be reliable in YOUR weapon and magzines, shoot to the point of aim of YOUR sights (or get your sights adjusted), that YOU can fire accurately and rapidly (where necessary), be readily available and within your budget. Do not be overly impressed by the number of plus signs in the designation for your ammo type, driving a modern bullet beyond it's design envelope can cause failures due to lack of penetration.

Generally, the closer the profile of the bullet is to a ball (FMJ) round, the better it will feed. As an example, regular Remington JHP ammo will feed in anything that will feed ball. You can practice with any ball ammo that reliably feeds and shoots to your sights.

The last time I was in Wallyworld, they had Federal Classic 9BP for $17 for 50.

Last edited by WR Moore; 10-27-2012 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:24 PM
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I've been using Hornady Critical Duty. It feeds constitently and has a excellent specs. As for a source Sportsmans Warehouse has competitive pricing. By the time you fiquer in Shipping and everything else its almost a wash. Plus its usually in stock.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:58 AM
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I prefer the 124 grain NATO white box winchester. It's cheap, runs good and is not all that dirty.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:03 AM
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Try ammo to go. You will find LE 50 round boxes.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slimdelight View Post
Or possibly the cheapest that's worth actually using...
9mm is a marginal stopper under the best of circumstances. Shot placement is important, but it is with all ammo. Thus, given equivalent shot placement, .40 or .45 will do the job more efficiently.

It used to be said that if you bought a 9mm, you were buying the pistol, but if you bought a .45, you were buying the best ammo.

Now, there are many great designs in a more effective caliber. Use your 9mm as a cheap practice understudy and get something more effective.

If you use a 9mm, the best you will do with the best ammo and the best shot placement is about 85% as good as a .45. If that is good enough for you, then get the Winchester 127 grain +P+, which just about turns the 9mm into a stopper on par with a good .40.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:54 AM
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I use corbon dpx rounds. I tested 10 through denim, and water jugs and all 10 expanded nearly identical. I've had trouble with jacketed bullets clogging through denim and not expanding. I really like the dpx line.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:41 AM
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I am old fashioned. I carry the 9mm Winchester White Box 115 gr. HPs for defense and practice with whatever 9mm 115 gr ball is on sale. We have some wonderfully designed rounds available, at a price, which meet the standards generated by the FBI and adopted by all sorts of official agencies, but it is not cheap. The WWB HP White box tests the same as the much more expensive 115 gr. WW Silvertips which I think are better for personal defense.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:59 PM
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Many moons ago I did a lot of reloading for my WWII 9mm Radom. The lightest bullet I reloaded was the Hornady 100gr Jhp which did not work out in this auto.
The Hornady,Sierra and Speer 115 Jhp bullets did give a lot better accuracy than the lighter bullet but the design of their nose was not the best and I had to really work with the OAL to get them to feed properly up the ramp and into the barrel with out hitting the ramp,not moving and causing the receiver to stop its forward motion. There were also some stove pipes along the way but that goes with reloading two powders and different speeds. Back then I did not have a chrony and was at the mercy of the data pages.............
The Speer 124gr gave the best accuracy in this old gun and either Bullseye or Unique at factory loads put 7 rounds in a 2-3" group at 25 yards when I did my part.
Twenty years later with the new powders and new style bullets the 9mm has to be a super gun in the SD department, just hated to work with those little cases but I never had a problem with the Ball FMJ ammo just not the best for SD but great for target practice.

If you can get a 115 gr +p or +P+ to feed it is a great SD load but I liked the 124gr +P for the extra weight just incase of a lot of clothing or bad angles that can take place and it also worked better in the Nevada desert when going out after jack rabbits......just shot better using 4.5 Bullseye or 5.5 grs of Unique at 1.16" OAL.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 11-13-2012 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:45 PM
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I purchase a 1000 rounds at a time from Ammotogo. I probably tried at least half the brands out there. I own a number of 9mm and .40s Semi Auto handguns from Glocks, Rugers, M&Ps, Walther and Kahr. What I learned is not all guns like the same ammo. I have my favorites are HST 124 gr and 147gr, Talon 124gr and 147gr., Gold Dot 124gr and 147gr. I buy the same for my .40s but only 180 gr.,but looking at 165gr. Cost is not a factor when you put a price tag on your life. I live in a CCW state and I carry everyday. I agree with most everyones post, use what you and gun likes. Example I like HST 9mm but my M&P Shield had an issue with them. I had to modify the ramp to handle them. If you would really like to see different ammo in action, watch tnoutdoors9 on Youtube, he tests all the different brands, weights and calibers. I have learned alot from his videos. He is a Glock guy like me but the bullets will perfrom the same in any gun. Give him a watch, he has over 100 videos.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:13 PM
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Some of those fps on the +P loads have to be taken with a grain of salt.............. it all depens if you are shooting a 4", less than 4" or a 6' barrel with the 9mm loads.
Fed 115 +P+ at 1300fps out of a glock19 4" will read around 1236fps and a Speer 147gr out of the same gun will run 972 fps. Both will get 13-14" of penetration ,which is what we are all looking for in a SD load.

I am pretty sure the Rem UMC and the Federal 115 (9PB) loads use the same bullet............just have to see which works out best for you and the gun they are fired in, price might be the finall selection choice.
One note: on the youtube this Federal non+P load was fired into gel twice............both bullets failed to open up,when fired out of a 4" Glock 19. Never know,maybe the next box of ammo will expand?
Good shooting.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:01 PM
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I'm issued the Federal 124 grain +P HST JHP by my department for my Glock 19. I carry the "old" Federal 9BPLE +P+ 115 grain JHP in my personally owned Glock 26. I used to carry the +P+ 115 grain load in my G19 until a few years ago when we switched. They're both good loads. But the Winchester, Speer, Remington, Hornady and Black Hills loads all have good records as well.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blujax01 View Post
This is where the advertisers get to you. They have the public hoodwinked into the mindset that if it doesn't say "Self Defense" on the box it won't serve that purpose. And that burns my biscuits!

Hogwash - if it were me? I'd find a round that cycles reliably through my gun, practice putting rounds where they are intended, and never look back.

Starting with Winchester White Box, or Remington UMC.
I'm with you brother. I have to wonder if anyone here has ever fired a shot in self defense in a home protection situation. I know there are military and LEO here but I bet the average homeowner never even draws his weapon. And if you ever did, do you think the bad guy is going to care what type of lead is coming his way? I know if it was me I don't want anything coming at me and that goes for a .22 short too.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:20 AM
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How hard or that it impossible to find the bullets they use in the proclaimed best round on the market. If I could find the bullet (other than Golden Saber or Gold Dot) I'd love to reload some of them to insure they work in my 39-2 and Tauruses. I'd really like to get about 500 of the Hornady bullets. If any of you have any leads to folks that sell the bullet half of the round please post them. I'm sure I'm not the only one interested.

tks in advance,
SC
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:45 AM
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First off, I am a newbie gun owner and own an inexpensive handgun. But I just want to add a brand that I tried last week, it's 124 JHP from HPR and this ammo is very clean. It does not leave much residue but sells at $27 per 50 rds box.
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