When looking at all the different aspects of carrying concealed, there’s a wide variety of opinions of carry ammo. Depending on who you talk with, certain people like a specific type of defense ammo for one reason or another while others don’t even think it’s an important aspect to think about. Besides the actual handgun, having the right self-defense round will be a crucial component to defending yourself in a given situation. Let’s take a deeper dive into why self-defense rounds are necessary and a brief rundown of a few popular models of carry ammo.
Carry Ammo @ TFB:
Why Self-Defense Ammo Is Important
Having a dependable self-defense round in your carry gun is arguably the most important factor behind having a firearm on your body. Certain calibers like .45 ACP can use both FMJ or a self-defense round. Although honestly, in my opinion, it’s always best to have a dedicated self-defense round in your handgun whenever you carry it. Other calibers like 9mm Luger have the potential to over-penetrate so it’s even more important to get self-defense rounds for your carry gun if that’s the case. Every round you fire in a self-defense situation will be accountable. Keeping in mind, those include the rounds that over-penetrate and keep going once they are through a target.
The problem with over-penetration is the fact it basically punches clean holes into your target instead of properly transferring the round’s energy. Having a round that’s specifically built for self-defense will help ensure all the energy is transferred into your target. Having the extra energy go into your target will be much more effective than simply passing through your target and continuing on. If you take over-penetration out of the mix, it’s always a good idea to carry a well-made self-defense round.
Looking At Different Self Defense Rounds
In today’s market, there are countless options when it comes to self-defense ammo. Whether that’s one of the many offerings from ammunition companies or loading your own self-defense rounds. There’s really no wrong answer when it comes to your self-defense rounds but there are a few that have been proven over the years and trusted as reliable rounds. Like I said earlier, there are a ton of different manufacturers, but I’ll focus on a few popular options on the market today.
Federal HST/Hydra Shock Rounds
Federal has always put out great self-defense ammunition and offers a wide variety of ammo to choose from to protect yourself. Whether it’s the Hydra-Shok or HST, they are both fantastic options for self-defense. Federal self-defense ammunition has been known for expanding in the body quickly while retaining the overall weight of the bullet as it passes through the body. Federal offers both rounds in standard and +P variants giving concealed carriers plenty of options to pick the perfect round. The HST rounds especially are known for performing extremely well in the FBI ballistics testing and are a trusted option in the LE and self-defense community. These would probably be my first pick if I had to choose only one on this list.
Hornady Critical Duty Rounds
I have always been a big fan of the Critical Duty rounds for the bullets’ performance through things like barriers and heavy clothing. The premise behind these rounds is to have a Flexlock polymer tip on the bullet. This creates a round that maintains its weight through things like auto glass and thin barriers but once it reaches softer flesh, the polymer tip opens the bullet creating the hollow point effect.
It’s a great all-around option and with the modularity it offers, the Critical Duty rounds from Hornady offer a great value for money with the ability to take on different lightweight barriers. These are not rated highly for subcompact barrel lengths so if you plan on carrying this, it’s smart to carry it in a midsize or larger firearm. Just like the Federal HST rounds, the Critical Duty rounds excelled in FBI ballistic testing and are recommended.
SIG V-Crown Rounds
If you’re looking for an affordable option, the V-Crown rounds from SIG Sauer may be the best option for you. These rounds are very similar in overall structure and performance to the HST rounds but are typically a much more affordable option than the Federal rounds. In a few different ballistics tests done on the V-Crown rounds, the overall penetration was oftentimes a few inches less than the HST but the expansion cavity was larger. This means the bullet transferred its energy in a shorter time and had a larger expansion cavity than the other rounds. It’s an interesting result which shows the V-Crown rounds are an effective hollow point at transfer energy in a short distance.
There are countless more options from a number of reputable companies like Speer, Winchester, Black Hills, Cor Bon, and many others. There are specialty rounds like the Forscott Ammunition as well to take into consideration. If you guys would like to see various self-defense rounds tested, I can definitely do a ballistics test. If this is something you’d be interested in, leave your suggestions for test ammo in the comments below. While you’re down there, let me know what your favorite self-defense ammo is as well. If you have questions about self-defense ammo or firearms in general feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeperator. Stay safe out there.
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