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Old June 29, 2018, 10:26 PM   #1
OhioGuy
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Critical Defense vs Critical Duty - does it matter for CCW?

I suppose the question could be asked of any normal vs +P self defense load...a little extra oomph, better barrier penetration at the expense of greater risk of over penetration.

I know Critical Defense is marketed as a lower recoil round for shorter barrels and Duty for full size. The Hornady website sells the Duty as meant for penetrating glass, sheet metal and the like. I don't plan on shooting at any tanks, but shooting out through Auto Glass could always be a small possibility.

Some people seem to opine that Defense is an underpowered, anemic round but the velocities and penetration seem to be right in line with most well rated ammo...

Is there any real benefit to carrying the Duty ammo? Is it all over hyped and in reality anything is good so long as you hit what you aim at?
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Old June 29, 2018, 11:23 PM   #2
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You can hit exactly where you want to, but if the bullet doesn't penetrate enough it won't get the job done.

The Duty round, because of its extra penetration, gives you a bit more of an edge.
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Old June 30, 2018, 12:09 AM   #3
Bartholomew Roberts
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Critical Defense is geared towards home use - less effective with intermediate barriers, less penetration. I would have zero problem using it in a nightstand pistol. If you plan to carry the gun in public, a lot of gunfights happen around automobiles and penetration through steel and auto glass is important - which is why the Critical Duty round exists.
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Old June 30, 2018, 12:11 AM   #4
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Here is an excellent resource for ballistic data and gel performance. They've got different loads in different weights between the two lines and a few are sampled here. It seems like effectiveness comes down to the individual load as opposed to which line it belongs.

https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...allistic-tests

I've seen these turn up variously in other tests, including a few on meat targets. It's not much different than the gel tests above. Some of the loads expand well and a few don't.
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Old June 30, 2018, 07:16 AM   #5
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Good info.

I ran a box of Critical Defense yesterday just to see how it fed and recoiled. It did seem a little light on recoil, which was good for making follow up shots. It fed without a problem.

Does anyone have experience shooting both types? Does the Duty +P have *that* much more recoil? I've never shot 9mm +P. Does the recoil go anywhere near a .45? Or are we talking about a pretty negligible difference in felt recoil?
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Old June 30, 2018, 07:25 AM   #6
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I've used Critical Defense ammunition in both .45 ACP and 9mm...found it to superbly accurate in both (sub 1" gps at 10 yds from a Weaver Stance), but both suffered from setback on the 2nd attempt to load individual rounds from the magazine.

In each case, I was able to add more tapered crimp to subsequent rounds and had no additional issues but it was and is disturbing. This was with a single box of each caliber, purchased over a year ago, so maybe they were not indicative of an overall problem...but those failures put an end to my use of that ammunition for carry. And BTW, testing individual rounds against my workbench top, and pushing with moderate force, resulted in setback as well. YMMV, Rod
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Old June 30, 2018, 07:27 AM   #7
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Also -- my CCW is a CZ P-07, barrel length just slightly under 4". That's supposed to be about where the Duty is said to be designed to operate.
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Old June 30, 2018, 07:35 AM   #8
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I have both. Critical Duty 9 mm 135 gr +p is all I have in that caliber at present but I have shot the Critical Defense 9mm.

In a Shield 9 (actually a Shield 40 with a 9mm barrel) the Critical Defense +p is a tad snappy but that is the same with any +P in that gun. Accurate ammo though. In larger guns (FNS or FNX 40 with 9mm barrel) it is rather tame.

I also have the Critical Duty 165 gr in 40 S&W. Shoots well in a G27 or FNS 40

In my truck I keep an FNX 40 with a 357 Sig barrel. That caliber is preferred by me in situations as described by Bartholomew Roberts above.
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Old June 30, 2018, 08:22 AM   #9
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I carry CD 9mm 135grn (standard, not +P) in my carry pieces; it is more accurate than my other favorite... Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel. I'm a little concerned about the expansion with the poly tip plug, and I'll most likely be switching back to the 147grn XTP load when I run through the rest of my CD.

I'm not a big +P guy, the recoil isn't the problem, per se, it's the blinding flash from a short-barreled pistol.
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Old June 30, 2018, 09:28 AM   #10
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OhioGuy, go to Wally World and get some WWB 124 NATO. It’s hot. Close to +p. Very similar. That way you can try it on the cheap. +P is a little snappier but not too bad.
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Old June 30, 2018, 06:21 PM   #11
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What will you be shooting it out of? Critical Defense was designed to perform well the short barrels most common for CC, while Critical Duty performs best in service sized pistols.

Quote:
Does anyone have experience shooting both types? Does the Duty +P have *that* much more recoil? I've never shot 9mm +P. Does the recoil go anywhere near a .45? Or are we talking about a pretty negligible difference in felt recoil?
The increase in recoil is negligible out of a full sized pistol. You may feel it more in a subcompact.
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Old June 30, 2018, 08:15 PM   #12
OhioGuy
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CZ P-07. Basically a Glock 19. Could be considered a duty sized weapon. I can't imagine the Defense performs any worse from a 4" barrel than from a 3.5?
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Old July 1, 2018, 01:34 AM   #13
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I've shot both through the P-10C, didn't notice a real snappy difference. carry load is the Critical Duty 135gr.
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Old July 12, 2018, 01:31 AM   #14
Gary L. Griffiths
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I tried both in my Diamondback DB9 when I switched to it from my old LCP. The Critical Duty wouldn't expand worth squat from the short barrel, while the Crit Defense mushroomed perfectly.

End result is that I carry Federal 124-gr HSTs which expand just fine, but recoil significantly more than the 115-gr Critical Defense rounds. I have one magazine that gives spotty reliability with the HSTs, though, so I carry it as a second spare loaded with the Critical Defense rounds, which feed 100% from it.
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Old July 12, 2018, 01:38 AM   #15
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The FBI just adopted the 9mm Critical Duty as their main load.

That should tell you something.
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Old July 12, 2018, 02:42 AM   #16
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From what I've seen, Critical Defense is meant to open up quickly at lower velocities from subcompact pistols so overpentration doesn't occur, but Critical Duty opens slower and more "mechanically" if you will, and it's meant to penetrate deep because LEO's tend to have to shoot through stuff to get to the perp on the other side.

Critical Defense is a standard JHP; it has petals that open way up and then fold back, but the copper petals... they seem to break off more often than not. That's probably part of the design to help reduce penetration.

Personally, when it comes to subcompacts now, if I'm worried about failures to expand, I'll just use the Polycase ammo that doesn't rely on expansion to work. The bullet is light, fast, and it tumbles to create damage.

Critical Duty looks like the bullet has been squished like Play-Doh, which means that there really are no petals that open up wide, create all the drag that reduces penetration, and fold back. So, that's why they penetrate deep. They're great out of 4 and 5 inch pistols, but from short barrels IDK. Can't remember if they were good or bad. One thing I do know is if I were using a pistol carbine for defense, I'd load it with Duty. Critical Duty is built in a way that it will not overexpand and the fall apart at high velocities; it stays together as one piece and because a carbine's barrel is so long and adds a lot to velocity, that's where Duty shines as bright as the box it's packaged in.

It maximizes its expansion, but it keeps the penetration. Any other hollow point would fall apart after hitting flesh and cause less damage.

Critical Defense has applications where it is the better choice, but for most applications, Critical Duty is better.
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Old July 12, 2018, 07:42 AM   #17
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HST...look at the results on luckygunner...

The HST is pretty much the best money can buy and it also happens to be the cheapest

https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...tic-tests/#9mm
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
The FBI just adopted the 9mm Critical Duty as their main load.
That should tell you something.
That tells me that one of America’s premier law enforcement agencies chose the Critical Duty round for working LE.

I’m not working LE, and there are only a few limited circumstances that would cause me to go toward gunfire or shoot through barriers at someone. Critical Defense demonstrates consistent expansion without over penetration. As non-LE, Critical Defense works for me.
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
The FBI just adopted the 9mm Critical Duty as their main load.

That should tell you something.
That doesn't tell me anything.

The FBI adopts the 10mm.

The FBI adopts the 9mm.

The FBI adopts the .40S&W.

The FBI adopts the Glock.

The FBI adopts the S&W 1076.

All that shows me is the FBI likes to spend money and can't make their mind up.
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:54 AM   #20
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Quote:
I carry Federal 124-gr HSTs
Great advice, I do too.
Quote:
I’m not working LE, and there are only a few limited circumstances that would cause me to go toward gunfire or shoot through barriers at someone.
And this too!

And Charlie, you've hit the nail on the head! Well said, Sir.

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Old July 13, 2018, 12:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie_98 View Post
That doesn't tell me anything.

The FBI adopts the 10mm.

The FBI adopts the 9mm.

The FBI adopts the .40S&W.

The FBI adopts the Glock.

The FBI adopts the S&W 1076.

All that shows me is the FBI likes to spend money and can't make their mind up.
Yeah, about the only thing I agree with the FBI on is the penetration depths of 12 to 18 inches in gel and even that depends on circumstances. Like, for a pocket .380, I'm not expecting to be shooting at someone's side and through his arm to get to his vitals or central nervous system, it's a point and shoot at someone facing me. I don't need 12 inches of penetration in that situation, 11 inches is more than enough.

There are many police departments in the US using S&W, Sig, Glock, etc. Does every time a sheriff's department switch between those guns mean it "tells us something?" The vast majority of the time a change like that is made it's due to budgets or politics and rarely because of actual performance increases.
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Old July 14, 2018, 08:26 AM   #22
rodfac
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WWB 124 NATO. It’s hot. Close to +p.
Yep, over 1220 fps according to my PACT chrono from a 3.9 bbl'd Sig P229/M11A1. But it's still a 9mm, and recoil is just not a serious factor. Rod
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Old July 16, 2018, 10:00 PM   #23
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I personally try to use the same weight in my revolvers & pistols. If I'm shooting 357 in mag ammo like Hornady, I'll practice with either 110 gr. XTP 357's or 125 gr. XTP 357 ammo and that's what I carry for SD. Not worried about apt. walls or such because I don't live in an apt. But, I use the same ammo for my 2" & use heavier gr in my 686+. I hope this came out right.
Same for my Glocks. use 124 gr 9mm for target & 124 gr HST for SD.
Whatever you practice with try & use the same weight in SD. Then there are no surprises & your body's memory retention is apt & no surprises.
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Old July 16, 2018, 10:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
The FBI just adopted the 9mm Critical Duty as their main load.

That should tell you something.
Yep, they went with the cheapest supplier
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Old July 16, 2018, 10:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
The FBI just adopted the 9mm Critical Duty as their main load.

That should tell you something.
Considering the current state of the FBI's integrity, it tells me to stay with my Winchester Defend carry load.....
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