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I recently bought mu M&P 9 and ran about 400 rounds through it. I started to research ammo for personal protection and with everything out there and all of the opinions that were in articles have only made it worse.

Hands down what is the best 9mm personal defense ammo that is versatile enough for concealed carry and home use? :?
 

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First a happy welcome sent your way... Winchester Ranger ammo is known as one of the top 5 and it comes with an average price range too. In about an hour or so some people will post their list.
 

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You're never going to get an answer to that question. There is simply no consensus among the experts.



The largest law enforcement agency in the country, which happens to carry 9mm pistols and happens to shoot a lot of folks each year, has been using the 124gr +p Gold Dot from Speer with great success and satisfaction. It also happens to be on the list of Facklerite-approved loads chooch linked, and it also happens to be fast enough to satisfy the energy junkies.



The 127gr +p+ Winchester T-series is also a well respected round, but it has two drawbacks. First, it is technically a "Law Enforcement Only" round so getting hold of it can be a little more difficult. Second, as a +p+ round, it is outside the accepted SAAMI pressure specifications for which your M&P was designed. If you read the manual for your pistol, it's pretty clear on the matter. (having said that, I happen to know for a fact that S&W did take such rounds, and the RA9TA in particular, into account when designing the M&P9)



I carried the Winchester for a long time; I now carry the Speer. The main reason is that a case of the Speer fell into my lap. When it runs out, I'll probably carry whatever else falls into my lap. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So what I gather so far is that regardless of the top manufacturers is a 124 gr +p round designed for tactical/defense use will be fine it's more of a personal choice about which brand rather than there being an ultimate brand. Example a Hornady Tap 124 gr and a Speer Gold dot 124 gr both will function the same it's a matter of choice about the brand?
 

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A less expensive alternative to the Speer load (Gold Dot 124 grain +P) is the version by Black Hills. It uses the same bullet at the same velocity; it's about $25/box of 50 vs. $20/box of 20 for the Speer version.



I've chronographed both versions from my CZ-75B and Beretta 92 Brigadier, and they run 1220-1250 fps. They'll probably go about 1200 fps from the M&P.
 

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Happybuddha said:
So what I gather so far is that regardless of the top manufacturers is a 124 gr +p round designed for tactical/defense use will be fine it's more of a personal choice about which brand rather than there being an ultimate brand. Example a Hornady Tap 124 gr and a Speer Gold dot 124 gr both will function the same it's a matter of choice about the brand?
Nope. Self-defense bullets are designed differently and so they do not all perform the same. Some have major expansion issues. A great example is the HST round. When it first came out, it had expansion issues. Federal re-worked it and fixed the problem.



Here is before:







Here is after:







Photos were posted by Gary Roberts on tacticalforums.com
 

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As Todd G said the "experts" and their various testing methods do not agree on 9mm SD rounds which is one of the reasons why I carry .40 or .45. Having said that for 9mm I would split the difference between 115 grain +P+ and 147 grain +P and use 124 grain +P. I believe it is a good idea to not have your SD round have a significant difference in recoil and blast from what you practice with. The +P+ rounds violate this rule. I also like the Gold Dot bullet. So my answer is 124 grain +P in Black Hills ammo which uses a Gold dot bullet and is very consistent so it is reliable and accurate. These are the various Black Hills 9mm rounds. You can buy them from Midway USA. I also like Winchester Ranger T.



9MM LUGER

115 Gr. Jacketed Hollow Point+P

Velocity 1300 FPS

Energy 431 Ft. Lbs.



124 Gr. Jacketed Hollow Point+P

Velocity 1250 FPS

Energy 430 Ft. Lbs.



115 Gr. Full Metal Jacket

Velocity 1150 FPS

Energy 336 Ft. Lbs.



147 Gr. Jacketed HP Subsonic

Velocity 975 FPS

Energy 309 Ft. Lbs.



115 Gr. EXP (Extra Power) HP

Velocity 1250 FPS

Energy 400 Ft. Lbs.



124 Gr. Jacketed Hollow Point

Velocity 1150 FPS

Energy 363 Ft. Lbs.
 

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Hornady Tap looks like a good round but Hornady bullets in the past have had a reputation for not having consistent expansion. I don't know if this is true of TAP rounds. I would expect they have "fixed" it but don't know for sure. I think Hornady makes a high quality round overall though.



Happybuddha said:
So what I gather so far is that regardless of the top manufacturers is a 124 gr +p round designed for tactical/defense use will be fine it's more of a personal choice about which brand rather than there being an ultimate brand. Example a Hornady Tap 124 gr and a Speer Gold dot 124 gr both will function the same it's a matter of choice about the brand?
 

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After everything I have read, I went with the Federal P9HST2 (147 grain HST). It ran about $0.50 a round in bulk. 500 rounds for ~$200 shipped.



I have been very happy with everything I have read about the HST since they fixed the expansion issue. An example of a test is http://www.btfh.net/shoot/bullet-test-2.html



A good friend of mine shoots Gold Dots and that is a great round as well. Doc's list is a good starting place. Do some research on the listed ammo for 9mm. The link was already posted, but here is the 9mm list.



9 mm:

Barnes XPB 105 & 115 gr JHP (copper bullet)

Federal Tactical 124 gr JHP (LE9T1)

Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P JHP

Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)

Winchester Partition Gold 124 gr JHP (RA91P)

Winchester Ranger-T 127 gr +P+ JHP (RA9TA)

Federal Tactical 135 gr +P JHP (LE9T5)

Federal HST 147 gr JHP (P9HST2) <- This is the round MI_Jester chose

Remington Golden Saber 147 gr JHP (GS9MMC)

Speer Gold Dot 147 gr JHP

Winchester Ranger-T 147 gr JHP (RA9T)
 

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I've done some testing with the Hornady TAP for pistols. It uses the XTP bullet.

Althought it does expand reliably in my tests (and others I've read), it expands less and penetrates more than most of the other hollow point designs.
 

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Todd, I read on another forum that a JHP +P round may go through the body, if it's fired in the house. Now, that isn't true is it, if it's a JHP? :?
 

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Whether or not a body is in a house or outside won't affect whether a bullet overpenetrates the body.




All else being equal, you'd expect higher velocity JHPs to penetrate less because they tend to open (mushroom) faster and bigger, creating more resistance through a fluid medium -- read: "the guts of the guy who got shot" -- and therefore losing inertia in a shorter distance.



However, "all else" is never equal and bullet design plays the biggest role in determining a round's penetration.



While overpenetration is a legitimate issue, within reason it is not a primary concern. A bullet that is adequate to reach the vitals on a large muscular man will also easily overpenetrate the fleshy part of an arm. And a simple truism is that in a fight sometimes shots miss their target, and a miss is essentially a complete "overpenetration" since the bullet is going to keep going. What this means is that you have to be cognizant of your target and what is behind him, even in a defensive encounter.



Regarding the effects of shooting indoors, any JHP that is adequate for personal defense will also penetrate through just about any normal interior building materials. There are some gimmick rounds on the market which claim to be safe from this, but such rounds are generally regarded as insufficient and ineffective at performing their primary duty, which is making people FDGB when shot.



There's obviously a lot more to this and yes some rounds will have a greater chance of overpenetration than others ... but stick with the recommendations you're seeing here, maximize your practice time, get the best training you can, develop a strong mindset and you'll be way ahead of the curve.
 

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Yukon Glocker---



Is your avatar your picture? My identical twin brother has been missing for years. :?
 
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