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 - I’m also the father of three little girls and a pitbull.

7 thoughts on “Self Defense Ammo: I’ll Take a Box of Hornady Critical Defense

  1. Right now I am carrying Speer Gold Dots 9mm +p 124 grains.
    I don’t trust much the FBI, you have to realize they initially selected the 10mm after the Miami Shootout but downgraded to 40 Short & Weak because the accountants were complaining about recoil.
    Or that’s the story I like anyway.

  2. I, too, carry Speer Gold Dots – 124 gr in 9mm and 239 gr in .45ACP. No special reason, they were on sale.

    To me, we are in the Golden Age of self defense ammo. Just about every company has a good round out there. So, find a round that you like, and, more importantly, feeds flawlessly in the gun you carry. Shoot it a lot to get used to it.

    I don’t know that the FBI tests tell much any more, but they had to start somewhere.

  3. I can’t carry in CA, however I keep my Springfield 1911 loaded in my house with .45ACP 230 grain Winchester SXT +P Law Enforcement ammo. The FBI tests are a good starting point but there are many other rounds out there that do a very good job for the armed citizen.

  4. I carry the Hornady CD in my 380 lcp… but that brings a good question what the hell is in my XD??? guess I better go home and look

Comments are closed.

Recent Posts