Self Defense Ammo: I’ll Take a Box of Hornady Critical Defense

Guns and Ammo - Sept 2012 - Critical Defense - Self Defense Ammo - 1

About five years ago I purchased my first concealed carry weapon. After coming home from the gun shop, I began researching the Self Defense Ammunition that I purchased, spur of the moment. I knew very little about guns and even less about ballistics. The one thing I knew for sure was that the giant hollow cavity in the tip of my self defense rounds looked pretty intimidating, even for a .380 Auto.

As I researched products, I discovered the FBI criteria for ammunition. Suddenly, my self defense ammo didn’t seem so intimidating as it was a far cry from FBI approved. Over the years I got caught up in those tests and wanted to make sure my ammunition made the cut.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I didn’t need FBI compliant ammunition. Sure, a round that can consistently punch through barriers such as glass and sheet metal, all while reliably expanding, sounded amazing but did I really need it? An article in the September 2012 Issue of Guns & Ammo put it in perspective for me.

In a nutshell, the article explains that there are trade offs in all aspects of life. In regards to ammunition, in order to punch through those FBI specified barriers and expand consistently, rounds need to be loaded hot. Those hot rounds come with increased felt recoil and muzzle flip, making them more difficult to shoot.

The timing of the article couldn’t have been better. Shortly after picking up the magazine I planned on driving to Cabelas to purchase a box of FBI Compliant Hornady Critical DutyOpens in a new tab.. After reading the article I realized that Hornady Critical DefenseOpens in a new tab. packed plenty punch for my potential applications.

Ask The Readers

What do you carry for self defense?
Does the FBI Ballistic Criteria affect your decision
when selecting self defense ammunition?


Hi There, My name is Walt White and as the name of this blog suggests, I am a Pennsylvania resident. In addition to having numerous hobbies that I discuss on my blog - Iā€™m also the father of three little girls and a pitbull.

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