View Full Version : The best of the best 9mm ammo...

March 19, 2012, 07:37 PM
Im wondering what you think is the best of the best 9mm ammo. I think the 127 +p+ Ranger hollowpoint is the best self defense round one can possibly buy. What say you?

March 19, 2012, 07:42 PM
I like speer gold dot 124 grain +p.

March 19, 2012, 07:44 PM
Obvioulsy not

The best is Winchester Ranger T 147gr RA9T

March 19, 2012, 07:51 PM

The 127gr +P+ Ranger T - RA9TA penetrates to 12.3" in bare gel and expands to .64"

How is that better than the 147gr Ranger T - RA9T which penetrates to 13.9" in bare gel and expands to .65" ???

Against heavy cloth 127gr +P+ Ranger T - RA9TA penetrates to 12.2" and expands to .68"

The 147gr Ranger T - RA9T penetrates to 14" against heavy cloth and expands to .66"

The .02" of additional expansion of the RA9TA is probably not even statistically significant but even if I granted that it was, it gives up almost 2 inches of penetration.

The Ranger "T" Series 147gr RA9TA is a better round, so say I.

March 19, 2012, 07:52 PM
Many 9x19 pistol owners like or carry these rounds;
The Ranger T 127gr +P+ JHP, the Ranger T bonded 124gr JHP +P, the Corbon DPX, the PowRball 9x19mm, the MagSafe, Golden Saber 124gr bonded JHP +P, Hornady Critical Duty 135gr +P, Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P.
Hornady's new line of defense/carry rounds for armed professionals is impressive but the 9x19mm 135gr +P may be hard to buy.
Many sworn LE agencies use the 127gr Ranger T +P+ or the Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P.
For sales see; www.Natchezss.com www.shopcorbon.com www.sgammo.com www.Cabelas.com .

March 19, 2012, 07:57 PM

David the Gnome
March 19, 2012, 08:22 PM
I carry Speer Gold Dot 124gr 9mm +P in all my 9mm's, for whatever that's worth as an endorsement. ;)

March 19, 2012, 08:34 PM
The 147 was originally designed for silenced sub-guns and pressed into pistol use. I believe the criticism against it is that it doesnt expand when it hits a human.

My department is not ballastics and I have never worked for an ammo manufacturer or have tested out the expansion theory....just what I read so take it for what its worth.

March 19, 2012, 08:36 PM
Federal HST-LE 147gr.

March 19, 2012, 10:28 PM
The best 9mm ammo for self defense is:

The one you can reliably obtain, practice with, and can hit your target with reliably at ~21 feet inward.

If you buy KABLAMMO 9mm 190 grain explosive tip unobtanium core bonded serrated refrigerated elephant skinned ammo at $9 a round in 2 round boxes, you won't use it to practice.

Whether you like Hornady, or Remington, or Winchester should not matter. Most of these rounds have had tremendous amounts of research and development put into them, as they want to secure lucrative LEO contracts, or be the next best thing in gun magazines. They are there to save your life, but even a bullet that goes from .355 to .692 means nothing it if won't function that one time you needed it. If it's so hot you flinch and miss, it won't help either.

I have about 70 rounds of 124gr non +P Gold Dots, and I think they are plenty adequate for the job. They function in my gun, and they are accurate, as well as mimicking relatively closely to the Speer Lawman ammo I practice with.

March 20, 2012, 09:32 AM
I've shot Hornady TAP and bonded Gold Dots....both 124gr...both feed and group exceptionally well.


Old Grump
March 20, 2012, 09:53 AM
I have an old Ruger P94 and it doesn't really shoot anything accurately in my opinion but it shoots the Winchester 147 gr HB better than anything else I have tried. So if somebody asked me the best SD ammo I have to admit it depends on your gun. If you cannot hit your target then the most whiz bang uberr ultra super max round will not do you a lick of good.

Dos centavos from a dinosaur

March 20, 2012, 09:58 AM
What ever my gun and I both shoot accurate. Right now it's my own secrect recipe. ;)

March 20, 2012, 10:00 AM
If the standard is 12"... then 12" is enough. Going deeper than that can actually be an over-penetration issue for civilians and law enforcement as well.

And heavier bullets tend to have higher levels of recoil. So you have slightly longer splits. I would personally rather have two quick and accurate shots right there together with just over 12" penetration than two further apart ones that penetrate deeper. But that's just me. I've never really liked the heavy load 9mm's. We all have our preferences. Some people obviously prefer them.


March 20, 2012, 10:04 AM
speer gold dot are probably the highest recommended defensive rounds out there with good reason. Speer/CCI have always been top of the line ammo companies.

March 20, 2012, 10:10 AM
The best of the best 9mm ammo...

Another popularity contest thread. :eek:


March 20, 2012, 11:14 AM
Some of the bonded bullets are penetrating 16 to 18" in gelatin. If I was shooting at guys through the windsheild's of their getaway cars I might consider it.

I do think that's a bit much for HD/SD, but I don't think 14" is. I don't know when I'm going to encounter some barrel-chested home invader, and the attacker isn't alway facing you head-on. I may have to do a cross-shot through a big beefy bicep... I personally feel better with 14".

The HST comes in +P and their product code for it is P9HST4. Its the same bullet as their HST 147gr - P9HST2, but the +P pushes the bullet to 1050 fps. The expansion balloons out to .70 cal but the penetration shortens to just around 12" in bare gel.

March 20, 2012, 11:42 AM
Best of the best for what purpose? Hunting, competition or self defense?

March 20, 2012, 12:58 PM
Best of the best for what purpose? Hunting, competition or self defense?

My $0.02 for competition and target shooting: 124gr Berry's plated flat-point bullet seated @ 1.09" OAL over 4.0gr of Titegroup and a WSP primer. Fast enough for practical shooting competition, mild recoil, minimal smoke, shoots accurately and feeds flawlessly in every pistol I've tried it in, the barrel stays clean, and it's economical. :)

Standard handloading disclaimer applies: if you try this load and it blows up your pistol, it ain't my fault, you shoulda checked your load book. ;)

March 20, 2012, 01:41 PM
Lets say the best of the best for competition, self-defense and hunting. I have some ideas on good loads, but just want to see what else is out there. Maybe I missed some new load or other load which just hit the market or has been out there and just didnt notice it.

March 20, 2012, 02:45 PM

Consider skin to be 4 inches. now you have clothing, 4 inches, and then bones like ribs. Bare gelatin has no ribs. Now, say your attacker has his arms out, like he has a gun. You may have to shoot through his arm...

March 20, 2012, 03:51 PM
There is a valid & important point to be made when selecting a good factory round in 9x19mm based on the use(s).
A duty round needs to perform against common barriers & materials like auto glass, wood, plywood, sheet-rock, clothing, etc.
Home owners or gun owners who have firearms in office buildings, courts, medical centers/clinics, etc need to carry defense rounds that will not ricochet or over-penetrate & cause gunshot wounds to a by-stander or neighbor.
Knowing the rounds can feed & cycle smoothly & have decent marksmanship are important also.
Some factory loads use bright nickel on cases to prevent wear & allow the chambered round could be seen quickly in a function check.

Hornady has a detailed demo video about the FBI protocol tests/R&D.

March 20, 2012, 07:05 PM
ATK ballistic workshops have shown Federal HST to be the best performer. Winchester Ranger is a very close second. ATK is the parent company of Federal, Speer, Blazer, and CCI.

March 20, 2012, 07:13 PM

Oh wait he said 9mm........

There's a little known search function towards the top of the page.

March 20, 2012, 09:48 PM
If you buy KABLAMMO 9mm 190 grain explosive tip unobtanium core bonded serrated refrigerated elephant skinned ammo at $9 a round in 2 round boxes, you won't use it to practice.

YES! I have been looking for those....I hear they never miss. And make you more accurate. Where do you buy?!


March 20, 2012, 11:32 PM
The best 9mm ammo for self defense is:

The one you can reliably obtain, practice with, and can hit your target with reliably at ~21 feet inward.

Pretty much 90% of what needs to be said. The difference between HST, Federal Tactical Bonded, Gold Dot, Golden Saber, Ranger T, Ranger Bonded, Winchester PDX-1 and Hornady Critical Duty is going to be small. They all meet the FBI minimum standards.

Whichever one your gun and you shoot best is the best. Any of those hollow points mentioned should do the job just fine.

I carry Winchester Ranger Bonded 147gr in my CZ P-07. My wife's Glock 26 gets Golden Saber 124gr. I feel 100% confident both can get the job done. Each gun just liked a different round. So, they got the round that shot best.