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Old 08-11-2018, 12:00 PM   #1
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9 mm Ammo

Good Morning:

I am getting older and recently decided to downsize from my .45 Carry to a 9mm Micro 9 CDP (LG). OK, I am "sweating" the "lighter load."

Years ago (it is probably long gone now) I had some factory heavy Hydroshock ammo I used to make up for the lighter load. What is the "meanest" premium hollow point out there now for my carry clip?

Thank you,
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Old 08-11-2018, 12:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Thumper1734 View Post
What is the "meanest" premium hollow point out there now for my carry clip?
Thumper: Easy....either the Barnes Honey Badger or Hornady Critical Defense, which is what I carry in my 45's and nines. If you look at YouTube videos of 9mm defense loads, it becomes clear that the Critical Defense is the one to carry.

This illustrates the expansion delivered from these 3" guns; Micro 9, Sig P938, et al. These bullets were fired from my Micro 9 at 7 yards into a bank of water-filled gallon milk jugs. The bullets stopped in jug #5 in perfect condition.

If anyone feels they need more expansion than this, then I'd say carry your .45, but it's sure good enough performance for me from a 3" 9mm!
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Last edited by Rick in Oregon; 08-11-2018 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:13 PM   #3
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Yikes, Thump. That's quite a loaded question. (Loaded... ammo... get it?)

The FBI has decided that 12"-18" penetration into ballistic gelatin is the sweet spot. I have no great wisdom to argue otherwise, so it seems reasonable to me. But within that space, the goal is to dump as much energy as possible. That's where it gets tricky. Greater velocity means more energy, but more penetration. Greater projectile mass means more energy and more penetration. Smaller initial projectile diameter means more penetration. Greater final projectile diameter means less penetration. Somewhere among all these variables is the holy grail of ammunition that we all seek.

With such a wide range of ammo available and so many youtube heroes shooting at milk bottles and watermelons, how are we to know what's best?

I've found the tests in the following web page to be helpful. Like Rick, I've chosen Hornady Critical Defense for use in my 9's. It performs reasonably well in gelatin, but I like that the round was designed with the consideration that it would be used in short-barelled handguns. A couple of my carry guns have really short barrels, which can result in diminished velocity and inconsistent expansion.


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Old 08-12-2018, 09:07 AM   #4
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Rick & Rusty:

Fast, quick well reasoned.

Thank you
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:38 AM   #5
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Try Federal HST.

"Federal Premium Ammunition has announced the expansion of its Micro HST lineup to include a 150-grain 9mm Luger load. The new 9mm Luger load is specifically designed for short-barreled, concealed-carry pistols. Shipments of this new product are now being delivered to dealers.

Federal Premium Personal Defense Micro HST 9mm
Federal Premium Personal Defense Micro HST 9mm

Subcompact handguns’ sleek, lightweight designs make them an ideal choice for concealed carry. To perform to their peak, these firearms need the right ammunition: Federal Premium Personal Defense Micro HST. The line, introduced in 2015 with the 380 Micro HST, provides consistent expansion, optimum penetration and superior terminal performance with bullet weights and propellants optimized for the most efficient cycling and accuracy in subcompact handguns.

Features & Benefits
• New 9mm Luger load for micro-size concealed carry pistols
• Heavy bullet and lower velocity decreases felt recoil and noise
• Expanded diameter and weight retention produce the desired penetration for personal defense situations, without over-penetrating
• Bullet nose profile, nickel-plated case and Federal primer provide the ultimate in function and reliability in semi-automatic handguns
• Clean-burning, low-flash propellants"
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Old 08-21-2018, 12:53 AM   #6
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Never assume the FBI requirements match your self-defense needs. They have infinite money to fight any law suit regarding over penetration and can fire all they want into the target without any legal issues.
You will almost certainly face 12 gun-ignorant people who will not appreciate much of anything beyond a non-fatal one shot stop...
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:58 PM   #7
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I second the Federal HST. I run the 147gr standard pressure which is fairly mild recoiling in my opinion. You can check out some extensive ammo testing on YouTube tnoutdoors9 is extremely thorough in his evaluations.
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Old 08-26-2018, 01:38 PM   #8
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Federal HST all the way. Standard Pressure in all my 9's, 124 or 147's (I use the heavier 147)
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:51 PM   #9
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With the advanced bullet technology available now days, I wouldn't sweat the "lighter load". Lots of good choices IMHO, but the Federal HST is one that does consistently well in gel tests. I've not done any gel tests, but did test the HST 124 +P and 147 +P in some guns for functional reliability and velocity. The HSTs were functionally reliable in either weight. The recoil and velocity of the 147 was pretty mild, even though it was the +P version.
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Old 08-31-2018, 05:08 AM   #10
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Lately I’ve been buying Federal HST 124gr and all my guns like it so far. My go to brands have always been Remington Golden Saber and Speer Gold dot. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy any of them. I also use the same brands for 45 acp.
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