Personal Defense Ammunition
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Thread: Personal Defense Ammunition

  1. Personal Defense Ammunition

    I was looking for a few opinions on very high quality ammo for defense and who makes the best no matter the cost. I own a Springfield Xd .45 Compact. Thanks for the opinions.

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    West Michigan
    I personally believe that most of the major manufacturers self defense ammuntion will serve it's purpose. High end designer ammo is great but you'll pay the price. Buffalo Bore and Double Tap is among the spendy stuff and have worked well in my Berreta. It's definitely fun to shoot if you like that extra recoil kick (which is bad in a self defense situation unless one successfully trains with it regularly). I personally carry Winchester PDX - it cycles perfectly, fires every time, is accurate, and it's the current FBI load... which if I had to use it in a confrontation it certainly cannot be construed as "hopped up" ammo.
    “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.” – Aldous Huxley

  4. #3
    Winchester pdx, ranger t federal hst, speer gold dot, are all great self defense ammo choices. Use the one you are most comfortable shooting.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Houston Metro Area, Texas
    Core Bon or Black Talon.

  6. #5
    Wilson combat ammo!!!!!

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare45:231427
    Core Bon or Black Talon.
    Black talon is not made anymore. Hence the ranger t reference. Its the "next generation" bt.

  8. Here is some of the data I have gleaned from across the web. Spend some time doing research on the web and you should come to some conclusions that you are comfortable with. Welcome to the site.

    Further reading here: Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

    Please note that all of the recommended pistol loads listed below have been personally tested and vetted by Dr. Roberts. THEY ARE NOT IN ORDER OF PERFORMANCE, SO ANY BULLET ON THE LIST IS CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE.

    · Barnes XPB/TAC-XP 185gr HP loaded by:
    Cor-Bon (DPX45185)
    Taurus (TCB45ACP185HP)

    ·Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP (RA45T)
    ·Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP +P (RA45TP)
    ·Federal Tactical 230gr JHP (LE45T1)
    ·Federal HST 230gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
    ·Federal HST 230gr JHP (P45HST2)
    ·Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP (23966)

    Pistol Bullet Summary By Manufacturer

    The Barnes XPB bullet offers some very good performance. It uses a very large, deep hollow-point in a solid copper bullet that seems to have no problems expanding through many barriers. Being a solid-copper bullet, the weights tend to run lighter for equivalent loads when compared to lead-core bullets, but in this case should be of no concern. The XPB is being sold by Barnes as the TAC-XP starting in 2009. There are no differences between the XPB and the TAC-XP, with the exception of changes to the TAC-XP in .44 according to Barnes customer service. The latter bullet was changed to allow for better performance in .44spl loads.

    Cor-Bon is offering the full line of Barnes bullets in the DPX line of ammunition. Taurus used to sell these as the copper "Hex" bullet in a limited range of calibers. Federal has also started offering the DPX in their handgun bullet lineup. Please be aware that Federal lists the "Barnes expander" under their "Vital-Shok" handgun hunting section, while the inferior Hydra-Shok is listed for personal defense.

    This load shows excellent performance in all media thanks to its deep hollow point and solid copper construction. It tends to be lighter than conventional ammunition since no lead is used. While it does come in just slightly below 12" of penetration, it is still recommended:
    Note by Doctor Roberts: "Like the HST loads, the Barnes XPB bullets performed very well in both bare gel and 4 layer denim; the only area of concern was a propensity for the Barnes XPB bullets to have difficulties with auto windshield intermediate barriers. The Barnes bullets would frequently begin to yaw off course after only a few centimeters of travel in gel and would often veer to 90 degrees and exit the gel blocks in under 10 cm--this phenomena requires further study."

    One of the drawbacks to the Winchester Ranger-Ts is that they are generally not available to civilians, nor are the bullets available as components (neither are the inferior SXTs). Federal no longer sells the Hydra-Shok as a component either. Only the Speer Gold Dots are easy to find if you're looking to roll your own.


    As mentioned earlier, the Hydra-Shocks are not up to par, as is clearly evidenced by this report on the .45 Hydra-Shok on Also note that even when the Hydrashocks do expand, the expanded diameter is very small.

    The new HST loads show excellent results on the other hand. Federal - on their LE website - has posted the results of a bunch of workshops they have hosted which includes primarily the HST and Gold Dot loads. I have re-hosted them on the ammo server.

    Some people like the Federal EFMJ since it's a "FMJ" design that is supposed to expand. While it does decrease feeding issues somewhat due to its shape, there's also a high failure rate in the neighborhood of 20% when it comes to reliable expansion. The other negative for this bullet is that it lacks sharp edges which slice though tissue and make a larger permanent cavity than a more rounded profile which tends to push tissue out of the way only to have it return to its original shape

    While there are some Golden Sabers that make the list, be aware that the GS is an older design and may have issues with core/jacket separation. There is a new generation of GS bullets marketed to law enforcement only that has bonded jackets. No data is available that I've been able to find.

  9. #8
    Gold Dot and HST are my favorite projectiles!


  10. #9
    Winchester PDX1 147g...... Is my new favorite for my Glock 26 Gen 4...... Before this one, was Hornady Critical Defense.

  11. #10
    Hornady Critical Defense works well for me.

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