Quick Look: New Wave Self-Defense Ammo
Dr. John Woods 06.18.15
Have you noticed all the new cutting edge CQC self-defense ammo on the market now? The whole “tactical” wave, with its focus on personal protection, concealed weapons carry, one-on-one armed confrontations, and a host of other issues, has brought out numerous new loads for handguns used under these conditions.
These new ammunition offerings are considerably better in terms of close quarters effectiveness, hence their new popularity among all types of handgun shooters. This would also include professionals that have to carry such loads as part of their jobs in terms of survivability.
I cannot think of a single major ammo manufacturer that has not developed a new self-defense round and in some cases several of them for all popular handgun calibers. Some makers are producing multiple rounds in one caliber and also some very powerful +P loads, too.
For example, Hornady is marketing its new Critical Duty ammo. To date this new load is available in 9mm, 40 Smith and Wesson, and the .45 ACP. The .45 is a +P load using a 220 grain bullet.
The 9mm Critical Duty load uses a different bullet weight in 135 grains. The bullet has been designated the Flexlock bullet, which has a new “no clog” design and also a heavy duty jacket-to-core design that helps the bullet retain its weight inside the target.
This load when tested on a variety of mediums has produced superior penetration results. On shots made into heavy clothing as a practical test, the bullets penetrated 15.7 inches in the test. The bullets retained 99% of their original weight. They also expanded to .494 inches from the original 9mm, which is basically a .38 caliber. Imagine its effectiveness on a confrontational target in a close quarters personal defense situation.
Other new brand names on the market include the Federal Guard Dog ammo, which for example includes a 165 grain load for the .45 ACP. Remington is producing its new Ultimate Defense handgun loads such as their 9mm offering using a 124 grain hollow point bullet.
All of these new loads are intended to have higher velocities and quick expanding bullets, and yet they are designed to retain a maximum amount of their original bullet weight. This makes the round/bullet extremely effective for self-defense purposes. So, if you are packing a concealed carry firearm, you want to maximize your ammo loads, too.