DE­FEN­SIVE AMMO

THERE IS A WIDER VA­RI­ETY OF DE­FENSE AMMO THAN EVER BE­FORE. FIND THE LOAD THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU

Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY CCH STAFF | PHO­TOS FROM THE MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ERS

You can op­ti­mize the ef­fec­tive­ness of your carry gun if you match it with the best ammo. And there are more choices in more cal­ibers than ever be­fore. Some bul­lets are de­signed specif­i­cally for pen­e­trat­ing bar­ri­ers, while others are de­signed to limit over-pen­e­tra­tion. Some are meant to ex­pand, others to frag­ment. There are re­duced re­coil loads and hot +P loads. And many com­pa­nies are de­sign­ing loads specif­i­cally for short-bar­reled carry guns.

Here are some of the best cur­rently of­fered. Choose a load that fits your re­quire­ments and put a few rounds down range to test it for re­li­a­bil­ity and point of im­pact with your cho­sen weapons.

01. IN­CEP­TOR PRE­FERRED DE­FENSE

Quan­tum Am­mu­ni­tion, for­merly Poly­case, con­tin­ues to of­fer its innovative Pre­ferred De­fense loads. These car­tridges make use of the com­pany’s ARX non-ex­pand­ing bul­lets with twisted flutes that bring to mind a corkscrew or the tip of a Phillips-head screw­driver. The bul­lets con­sist of a poly­mer-metal mix­ture de­signed to pen­e­trate in­ter­me­di­ate bar­ri­ers and have a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on soft tis­sue. The bul­let’s shape cre­ates controlled tum­bling in the tar­get and causes hy­draulic dis­place­ment to pro­duce a wound cav­ity that ri­vals hol­low­point per­for­mance. The car­tridges use light-for-cal­iber bul­lets at high ve­loc­ity to en­hance the ef­fec­tive­ness. The .45 ACP load, for in­stance, uses a super-light 118-grain bul­let at 1,307 feet per sec­ond.

The 65-grain 9mm load siz­zles from the muz­zle at 1,545 feet per sec­ond. At the same time, the de­sign greatly re­duces dangerous over-pen­e­tra­tion that some­times oc­curs with full-metal-jacket or hol­low­point bul­lets that fail to ex­pand. An added ben­e­fit is that be­cause the ARX bul­lets are not hol­low­points, there are no feed­ing prob­lems in semi-au­tos. The ammo is avail­able in .380 Auto, 9mm Luger, 9mm Luger +P, .38 Spe­cial, .357 Mag­num, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

MSRP: $22.99 (box of 20) Web­site: www.In­cep­torAmmo.com

02. FED­ERAL PRE­MIUM PERSONALDEFENSE HST MI­CRO

Fed­eral Pre­mium has added a .38 Spe­cial +P load its lineup of Per­sonal De­fense Mi­cro ammo for short-bar­reled guns that uti­lizes the com­pany’s HST hol­low­point bul­let. These loads are de­signed for con­sis­tent ex­pan­sion and op­ti­mal pen­e­tra­tion when fired from sub-com­pact guns by match­ing bul­let weight and ef­fi­cient pro­pel­lants. The .38 Spe­cial +P load uses a 130-grain bul­let that’s seated deeply in the shell case to elim­i­nate ex­cess air space for a more con­sis­tent pow­der burn, which means more con­sis­tent ve­loc­i­ties. The loads are de­signed to ex­pand, re­tain bul­let weight and pen­e­trate suf­fi­ciently, but not over-pen­e­trate. The clean-burn­ing loads make use of spe­cial pro­pel­lants that greatly re­duce muz­zle flash. Fed­eral also of­fers 99-grain .380 and 150-grain 9mm Luger loads in the Mi­cro line.

MSRP: $30.95 (box of 20)

Web­site: www.Fed­er­alPremium.com

03. REM­ING­TON UL­TI­MATE DE­FENSE

Rem­ing­ton Ul­ti­mate De­fense ammo is specif­i­cally crafted to be ef­fi­cient in hand­guns. It makes uses of the com­pany’s proven Golden Saber jack­eted hol­low­point bul­let. Avail­able loads in most de­fen­sive cal­ibers are tai­lored for ei­ther full-size hand­guns or, as in­di­cated on the box, com­pact hand­guns. The 9mm load fea­tures a 124-grain bul­let that leaves the muz­zle of a 2.7-inch bar­rel at 1,020 feet per sec­ond. The bul­lets are de­signed for con­sis­tent controlled ex­pan­sion and de­sir­able pen­e­tra­tion. The car­tridges are water­proof and make use of pow­ders that pro­vide re­duced muz­zle flash.

MSRP: $22.99 (box of 20) Web­site: www.Rem­ing­ton.com

04. G2 RE­SEARCH TE­LOS

Te­los ammo from G2 Re­search is now avail­able in .357 Mag­num. Te­los bul­lets are CNC ma­chined from pure cop­per to form seg­mented hol­low­points. The bul­let petals sep­a­rate in a controlled re­ac­tion into six frag­ments that spread across 5 inches to cause in­creased bleed­ing and shock while pre­vent­ing over-pen­e­tra­tion. The bul­lets are light—105 grains for the .357—but do not need to be high ve­loc­ity to be ef­fec­tive in this cal­iber. The .357 load is de­signed for per­fect func­tion at 1,300 feet per sec­ond. The re­duced bul­let weight and ve­loc­ity re­sult in less re­coil and muz­zle flash. Te­los ammo is also avail­able in .380 Auto, .38 Spe­cial +P, 9mm +P, .45 ACP and .45 Colt.

MSRP: $29.99 (box of 20) Web­site: www.G2RAmmo.com

05. SPEER GOLD DOT SHORT BAR­REL

Speer de­fen­sive ammo, specif­i­cally the ammo that makes use of the com­pany’s Gold Dot hol­low­point, has been a steady per­former for law en­force­ment and pri­vate ci­ti­zens for many years. Be­cause tra­di­tional loads didn’t al­ways per­form as well in small guns, Speer in­tro­duced its Gold Dot Short Bar­rel ammo, specif­i­cally for guns that are pop­u­lar among those who carry con­cealed. This ammo is de­signed to achieve con­sis­tent ex­pan­sion and pen­e­tra­tion in bar­rels as short as 1.9 inches, while keeping re­coil at a rea­son­able level. The .38 Spe­cial +P load, for in­stance, uses a 135-grain bul­let at a muz­zle ve­loc­ity of 860 feet per sec­ond out of a 2-inch bar­rel. Short Bar­rel loads for semi-au­tos are also de­signed for the best feed re­li­a­bil­ity. Speer Gold Dot Short Bar­rel ammo is also avail­able in .22 WMR, 9mm Luger, .357 Mag­num, .40 S&W, .45 ACP and .44 Mag­num.

MSRP: $24.99

Web­site: www.Speer-Ammo.com

06. WINCH­ESTER “W” TRAIN & DE­FEND

Winch­ester’s “W” Train & De­fend ammo is re­duced re­coil ammo in full-metal-jacket “Train” con­fig­u­ra­tion and jack­eted hol­low­point “De­fend” con­fig­u­ra­tion, al­low­ing you to train and carry ammo that per­forms sim­i­larly. The Train ammo comes in boxes of 50 and fea­tures lead-free primers and a re­duced price. The De­fend ammo du­pli­cates the ve­loc­ity, re­coil and point of im­pact as the Train ammo. It comes in boxes of 20. It’s of­fered in .380 Auto, .38 Spe­cial, 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. The 9mm load, for in­stance, fea­tures a heavy 147-grain bul­let that leaves a 4-inch bar­rel at a mild 950 feet per sec­ond.

MSRP: $16.99 (Train box of 50), $21.99 (De­fend box of 20) Web­site: www.Winch­ester.com

07. HOR­NADY CRIT­I­CAL DE­FENSE

Hor­nady’s Crit­i­cal De­fense ammo is known for its FTX (Flex Tip) bul­let, which fea­tures a poly­mer-filled hol­low­point that aids ex­pan­sion while pre­vent­ing clog­ging when pass­ing through heavy cloth­ing or other bar­ri­ers. The ammo uses nickel-plated cases to com­bat cor­ro­sion. Low-flash pow­ders are used to re­duce muz­zle flash, en­abling you to pre­serve your night vi­sion dur­ing low-light en­coun­ters. Typ­i­cal of the Crit­i­cal De­fense ammo is the 9mm FTX 115-grain load with a muz­zle ve­loc­ity of 1,140 feet per sec­ond. The ammo is of­fered in a wide range of cal­ibers, in­clud­ing some that are hard to find: 32 NAA, 32 H&R Mag­num, 9x18 Makarov, .357 Sig as well as .380 Auto, .38 Spe­cial, .357 Mag­num .40 S&W, .44 Spe­cial, .45 ACP and .45 Colt.

MSRP: $20.49 (box of 25) Web­site: www.Hor­nady.com

08. FED­ERAL GUARD DOG

Fed­eral Guard Dog ammo was de­signed for home pro­tec­tion use where over-pen­e­tra­tion through interior walls might be a con­cern. The ammo makes use of bul­lets that look like full-metal-jacket rounds, but the en­closed tip ac­tu­ally cov­ers an ex­pand­ing poly­mer that fills the bul­let nose. The de­sign pre­vents the plug­ging common of typ­i­cal hol­low­points, which can hin­der ex­pan­sion and cause over-pen­e­tra­tion. Be­cause it’s con­fig­ured more like a FMJ round, feed re­li­a­bil­ity in semi-au­to­mat­ics is very good. Fed­eral Guard

Dog ammo is of­fered in 9mm Luger (105-grain bul­let at 1,230 fps); .40 S&W (135-grain bul­let at 1,200 fps) and .45 ACP (165-grain bul­let at 1,140 fps).

MSRP: $28.99 (box of 20)

Web­site: www.Fed­er­alPremium.com

09. BLACK HILLS HONEY BADGER

The Black Hills Honey Badger per­sonal de­fense hand­gun ammo is an­other un­con­ven­tional load in that it doesn’t use a hol­low­point, but rather a light-for-cal­iber solid cop­per bul­let with large flutes and sharp edges to cut through bar­rier ma­te­rial with­out de­form­ing or frag­ment­ing. For ex­am­ple, the .45 ACP Honey Badger load fea­tures a very light 135-grain bul­let with a fast muz­zle ve­loc­ity of 1,350 feet per sec­ond. The ammo is avail­able in .32 H&R Mag­num, .38 Spe­cial, 9mm Luger, .380 Auto, .357 Mag­num, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and .44 Mag­num.

MSRP: $29.50 (box of 20) Web­site: www.Black-Hills.com

10. DOU­BLE TAP DT DE­FENSE

Dou­ble Tap of­fers a wide range of hand­gun ammo. One nice thing about the com­pany’s web­site is that the com­pany lists the spe­cific guns used for ve­loc­ity tests and pro­vides pen­e­tra­tion re­sults, too. As an ex­am­ple, the list­ing for the com­pany’s stan­dard ve­loc­ity 110-grain .38 Spe­cial JHP load shows that the bul­let achieved a muz­zle ve­loc­ity of 1,175 feet per sec­ond when fired from a Ruger GP-100 with a 4-inch bar­rel and 1,100 fps from a S&W snub­bie with 1.875-inch bar­rel. It pen­e­trated 14.75 inches of gelatin cov­ered with four lay­ers of denim and two lay­ers of light cot­ton. The hol­low­point ex­panded to 0.53 inch.

MSRP: $22.50 (box of 20)

Web­site: www.Dou­bleTapAmmo.net

11. FED­ERAL HY­DRA-SHOK

Fed­eral’s Hy­dra-Shok ammo has long been one of the most trusted lines of hand­gun de­fense ammo. It uses stan­dard weight bul­lets at nor­mal-for-cal­iber ve­loc­i­ties. The 9mm Luger load, for in­stance, uses a 124-grain bul­let at a muz­zle ve­loc­ity of 1,120. Hy­dra-Shok ammo is read­ily iden­ti­fi­able by the cen­ter post in­side the hol­low­point and notched cop­per jacket that con­trib­ute to con­sis­tent pen­e­tra­tion and re­li­able ex­pan­sion. Hy­dra-Shok ammo is avail­able in the fol­low­ing cal­ibers: .32 Auto, 9mm Luger, .38 Spe­cial, .357 Mag­num, .40 S&W, 10mm, 44 Mag­num, .45 GAP and .45 ACP.

MSRP: $27.99 (box of 200)

Web­site: www.Fed­eral-Pre­mium.com

12. WINCH­ESTER SILVERTIP

Winch­ester Silvertip hand­gun de­fense ammo is an­other long-stand­ing fa­vorite. Iden­ti­fied by its sil­ver-col­ored hol­low­points, the bul­lets lean to­ward the lighter end for con­ven­tional bul­lets to help en­sure enough ve­loc­ity for re­li­able ex­pan­sion. As ex­am­ples, the .38 Spe­cial load uses a 110-grain bul­let and the .45 ACP fea­tures a 185-grain bul­let. Sil­ver­tips are of­fered in .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Spe­cial, .38 Super, 9mm Luger, .357 Mag­num, .40 S&W, 10mm, 41 Mag­num, .44 Spe­cial, .44 Mag­num, .45 ACP, .45 GAP, .45 Colt and 9x23 Winch­ester.

MSRP: $22.50 (box of 20) Web­site: www.Winch­ester.com

13. HOR­NADY AMER­I­CAN GUNNER

Hor­nady Amer­i­can Gunner ammo makes use of the com­pany’s ex­cel­lent XTP hol­low­point bul­let, which stands for eX­treme Ter­mi­nal Per­for­mance. The Amer­i­can Gunner line makes use of qual­ity com­po­nents while main­tain­ing the avail­abil­ity of de­fen­sive ammo an af­ford­able price. Amer­i­can Gunner ammo uses con­ven­tional hol­low­points at nor­mal ve­loc­i­ties.

The 9mm 115-grain load is rated at a muz­zle ve­loc­ity of 1,155 feet per sec­ond, while the 9mm 124-grain +P load leaves the muz­zle at 1,175 feet per sec­ond out of a typ­i­cal 4-inch bar­rel. The ammo is also avail­able in .380 Auto, .38 Spe­cial, .357 Mag­num, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

MSRP: $16.49 (box of 25) Web­site: www.Hor­nady.com

14. BUF­FALO BORE STAN­DARD .380 JHP

Buf­falo Bore is es­pe­cially known for its heav­ily loaded hand­gun ammo for out­door uses. But the com­pany makes de­fen­sive ammo as well. The com­pany is hon­est about the lim­i­ta­tions of some car­tridges, like the .380 Auto for ex­am­ple, which has been known for poor pen­e­tra­tion. The com­pany’s 27G stan­dard pres­sure load for the .380 uses a 90-grain JHP bul­let that clocked at 1,050 fps in a Brown­ing BDA with 3.75-inch bar­rel and 949 fps from a Kel­tec. The com­pany rec­om­mends also putting some non-ex­pand­ing bul­lets in the magazine of your .380, which might pen­e­trate to the vi­tals more re­li­ably.

MSRP: $26.05 (box of 20) Web­site: www.Buf­faloBore.com

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