Critical Duty round article Amer Rifleman
First, a caveat. This opinion is NOT supported by Cheaper Than Dirt, nor is it supported by Hornady, a major contributor to MOST of the gun shows on The Sportsman Channel.
After suffering through a few boxes of Hornady's Critical Defense, in both 9mm and .38 special, I've had enough. I cannot put this stuff in a magazine or a speedloader, and call it my defense load. Too many misfires. The 9mm misfired in both my Browning Hi Power MKIII, and in my Taurus M905IB revolver. The .38 Special load misfired in both a new Taurus M82, and in my beloved SW M15 Combat Masterpiece.
Now, the great Gods/Editors of American Rifleman magazine, and I am sure to come, the TV shows as well, will be hyping up this 'new, improved, police load by Hornady.
Sorry folks, even attempting to get to the TV Zombie Crowd, by changing the color tips from orange to green, will not have me give this stuff, any more consideration.
I will stay with the old standard L-series Remington 115 grain FMJ and JHP for my Browning; and a standard semi-wadcutter (no HP or Plus P) of a stout 158 grains in my .38 Special revolvers. Both are old school and still works.
I agree that hit the mark, followed by penetration, are the key factors. The ogive on the L-series Remington is acceptable for what are listed as class 3 9mm semiautomatics, due to their design. If it is acceptable for a Browning MKII, it is acceptable for a MKIII. A standard 158 grain semiwadcutter from either a snubnose, or a service revolver design revolver, will deliver enough penetration.
(For comparison, a video is out there of the evaluation of Buffalo Bore LSWCHP non-plus-p 158 grain .38 special. The HP failed, becoming a wadcutter, that penetrated over 19 inches.)
Lastly, a box of LSWC or a box of L-series Remington rounds, each holding 50, currently still costs less than Hornady's 20 for $20.