It goes without saying that the 9mm round is an excellent all-purpose choice for survivalist and those self-reliant individuals who look to protect both themselves and their families. Outlasting the recent trends in self-defense calibers and continuing to empower all those who trust their lives to it, the 9mm is a solid go-to. Whether you keep your pistol on your nightstand, holster it on your hunts, or stash it in your bug-out-bag to ensure you are prepared, you just can’t go wrong with the 9mm.
But as with most things in the world of survival and high-stakes, details matter. While the 9mm is an excellent caliber to choose in terms of protecting yourself, the type of bullet you choose to go with matters. There is a great deal to take into account, and the market has grown immensely with regard to the 9mm. So, without further lip service, here are our three top picks for self-defense ammo to pack in your 9.
Hornaday Critical Defense 115gr
Hornady is a great company that is time tested and serious about what they do. A key feature of this bullet is the patented FTX flex tip. One look at these rounds reveals this element, which is a red-colored soft polymer insert within the hollow point cavity which prevents the cavity from filling with material that would otherwise hinder the expansion of the bullet. With a 1140 FPS velocity, (which more realistically comes down to about 1122 FPS) this bullet is a softer-shooting round, which is part of what makes it effective for self-defense. That said, it moves similar to a full metal jacket 9mm target round, which makes practicing far more affordable, as these things aren’t exactly cheap. This is a great round for small, concealed-carry pistols.
Pow’Rball 9mm+P 100 gr
Corbon brings us a solid 9mm round that is both distinct and effective. Weighing in on the low end of the spectrum, at 100 grains, the most noticeable element of this bullet is the polymer ball that sits in the hollow point cavity. This “ball” is ideal for penetrating clothing, and as a +P round, it’s no surprise that these little guys clock in at 1475 FPS when they do the job. For context, that is pretty close to a .357 sig in terms of velocity. Ideally paired with a pistol that has a 4-inch barrel, this fast and light bullet offers solid penetration and great expansion.
Federal Guard Dog Home Defense 105 gr
A mild shooting load, at 105 grains with a muzzle velocity of 1,230 feet per second (not rated), the Federal Guard Dog is categorized as an expanded full metal jacket (EFMJ). It is designed to perform like a standard issue jacketed hollow point, however to the naked eye it looks like a full metal jacket round. A look beneath the surface will prove that these rounds boast 6 serrations, cut along the inside of the jacket. Lead and polymer combine to allow for excellent expansion. For a low velocity bullet, this round creates solid temporary wound cavitation, however it is not a heavy penetrator. The light recoil this round offers its shooter leads to faster follow-up shots, and it is less likely to go through drywall. This is great nightstand ammo, though perhaps not what you’d pack for a true SHTF situation.