The Best 9mm Ammunition For Sale in 2020 – Self Defense
This one is sure to ruffle some feathers, but we have decided to name the best 9mm ammunition on the market right now when it comes to self-defense.
The safe answer for 9mm self-defense ammo is the standard hollow point.
But we want to show you some alternatives that we recommend you test.
Try This 9mm Ammo
Get a sampler pack of 9mm rounds of home defense ammo, go to the butcher and buy some big pieces of meat. Then have fun and see which bullet blows your mind, and a pig’s ass off.
People have made YouTube careers from shooting meat. Or they tried at least…
You will be truly shocked at the performance on offer from at least three of these bullets. They can turn a small concealed carry pistol into an absolute cannon.
Are Hollowpoints Still the Best?
Projectile technology has come on in leaps and bounds and bullet tech now goes beyond the hollow point.
If you simply price shop for ammunition, then you might never have seen some of these high-end offerings and it has to be said they can totally transform your gun.
Some of these 9mm self-defense rounds will turn a high-capacity concealed carry handgun into a sledgehammer. At least one claims to do as much damage as a point-blank shot from an AR-15. That sounds optimistic, but then you see the results…
Bigger Impact, Same 9mm Benefits
At the very least, it’s like going up to a 40 S&W or a .45 ACP, all the time keeping the traditional 9mm advantages of increased capacity, low recoil and easy grouping of your 9mm rounds.
Put two or three of some of these bullets into almost any target and it’s a done deal.
Seriously, these bullets could even turn a stock 9mm into a hunting handgun. And they have…
Now you need to test these bullets with your personal gun. That’s the beauty of mass market hollowpoints: they have been tested in pretty much all conditions and all guns. They are the best compromise, but that means they build in headroom and don’t go for the nth degree of destruction.
Savage Impact Self Defense Ammo
That’s what you’ve got here, more impact and potentially less consistency. So get yourself a sampler pack of bullets, blow the shit out of a side of beef, or ballistic gel, or however you really test a bullet, and see which one you like best.
We guarantee you’ll like one of these bullets enough to order more and it may save your life one day. In advance, you’re welcome….
Here are our picks for the best 9mm ammo on the market for self defense in 2020.
1. Hornady Critical Defense
- Price: $0.67/Round
- Pack Price: $16.79/25 Rounds
- Weight: 115gr
- Muzzle Energy: 332
- Muzzle Velocity: 1140fps
- Bullet Type: Flex Tip eXpanding (FTX)
At its heart, the Hornady Critical Defense is a traditional hollow point, but the tip bears its patented Flex Tip eXpanding technology (FTX) that helps the bullet punch through denim and heavier barriers.
That makes it a great ammo for self-defense and law enforcement officers love this bullet.
It isn’t quite a match for some of the other bullets here when it comes to penetration.
The Deadliest Mushroom
But once the impact is made then it mushrooms out like the best hollow point ammunition and tumbles violently to create a dramatic wound cavity.
Hornady uses the cleanest burning primer to reduce muzzle flash and this bullet is some of the finest 9mm self-defense ammo you have seen.
Nickel-plating prevents corrosion, every bullet is cannelured and then crimped to avoid setback and it is guaranteed to run reliably in any gun.
Hornady Critical Duty vs Critical Defense
Critical Duty offers a slightly different vibe, but this is the one the company recommends for 9mm self-defense ammo. So who are we to argue? Leave the Critical Duty, invest heavily in Critical Defense.
It isn’t as left-field as a couple of the options here, but then maybe that’s a good thing when you’re actually looking at the best self defense 9mm ammo for your concealed carry handgun.
Hornady Critical Defense is reliable, tested in all conditions and has the full respect of the industry. If you want to choose just one ammo for self-defense, this should be the bullet you trust with your life.
2. Black Hills Honeybadger 9mm Ammunition
- Price per round: $1.38
- Pack Price: $27.99/20 Rounds
- Type: Fluid Transfer Monolithic
- Weight: 125gr
Black Hills Honeybadger ammunition is claimed to create the same sort of carnage as a round from an AR-15 in terms of wound cavity. Try them and it’s hard to disagree.
That means this is right up there with the best 9mm ammo out there, if we’re honest. If you’re prepared to take a chance on a newcomer and try some ammo out for size, this is the one you should go for.
If it looks like an old school steel ball, with a cutting tool on the front, you’re more or less in the right ballpark.
This is a slight evolution that Blackhills thinks created is the ultimate 9mm self defense round. It may well be right, we love this bullet and you should seriously try some in your concealed carry.
Of course this is an expensive self-defense round, but then you knew that…
How Do FTM Bullets Work?
You need to watch the gel tests to really understand this 9mm ammo. It punches through pretty much everything, but it’s the shockwave it creates in its wake that is so utterly devastating.
It doesn’t tumble like a normal bullet, but it does wreak absolute havoc while tracing out a perfect straight line.
Here’s an explanation of the differences and an introduction to this Fluid Transfer Monolithic 9mm ammunition.
New Bullet Technology: Fluid Transfer Monolithic
It’s simple, it’s brilliant and it works. The Honeybadger is super expensive, but you know that’s the price of new R&D.
This bullet does not rely on expansion and it does not work like a hollow point.
That screwdriver structure on the front with sharp, cruel edges stays flat and true, punches through clothes and barriers with minimal deflection and then causes a massive wound cavity up to four times as big as a normal bullet.
I was skeptical, but this fluid transfer monolithic bullet works. It’s simply better than a hollow point as self defense ammunition.
Long Distance Accuracy is Good
It stays flat and is as accurate as any conventional round over 50 feet in the tests I have seen. Close up, it is an absolutely devastating self-defense ammo.
Switching out hollow points and putting these in their place is like switching from a 9mm to a 45 ACP, or more, without any of the sacrifice in terms of recoil and capacity issues.
They’re expensive and they’re not range toys, but as your last line of defense then they are worth the extra money when your life is on the line.
That’s what these are, self-defense ammo that you really shouldn’t shoot too often in your life. If you do, you need to look at your life choices..
3. G2 Research RIP
- Price: $1.88/round
- Pack price: $37.50/20 rounds
- Weight: 92gr
- Type: Ripper Hollow Point
It looks like it should be banned under The Geneva Convention, and honestly it’s not the most consistent performer here. But just look at the G2 Research RIP and tell me you don’t want some.
It’s a horrible looking ripper bullet with edges sharp enough to injure you before you’ve put it in the gun.
The G2 Research RIP is insanely expensive, but if you test it and love it then you might just find that you keep a few packs of this in your gun safe to keep your home defense handguns loaded up with instant justice.
Fun Ammo, Not Last Line of Defense Ammo
For personal defence ammunition, probably not. But well try it, you might just have fun with it. It might be a laugh riot. Or you might do it once, but find out.
It’s a lightweight round, just 92gr, and that sharpened hollowpoint is designed to cut through flesh like a buzzsaw, stabbing, grabbing and ripping as it goes. The head is designed to come apart after it enters a soft target and send those shards off in different directions. You can see that in the video below as it enters the gel and it’s a sobering thought.
You have to decide whether you want to cross that moral line with your 9mm ammo. If you hit someone properly with this round, and the bullet works as it should, they’re not really meant to get up.
High Tech Bullet, Does it Go Too Far?
You can see the precision engineering on the bullet.
The only remaining question is how those air channels and 9 separate proposed wound channels affect the 9mm bullet over long distances. Slightly, is almost certainly the answer, and you might want to restrict this bullet to a close range self defense weapon.
It’s too specialist for a long-range gunfight with AR-15 wielding foes and it’s only an equalizer at close range.
Ripper Bullet Destroys Gel, and People
Watch it in action right here. What it does to the gel is kinda scary for a 9mm compact handgun shot. It kind of suggests a that these 9mm bullets can inflict the same kind of damage as a 45 ACP. Maybe more.
The way the bullet comes apart and just rips through every part of this gel is kind of evil.
Rippers Can Go Wrong, That’s Science
It’s super high tech 9mm ammo when you think about it as those shards have to break off at the right point. It sounds simple, but there’s a lot of science and variables.
That means it might not always work as planned if just one factor steps outside the parameters. What would that be? That’s the problem, you never know until you find out.
Look at the Damage For Yourself
Still, if this bullet works as planned, it turns a 9mm into an absolute weapon of war. A CZ Scorpion 3 or a HK SP5 loaded with these things would transform into something heinous.
See what it does to a pork shoulder here. It’s actually pretty savage and shows that this simple ammo switch can turn your handgun into something else entirely.
It honestly looks like this pork shoulder got hit close up with a shotgun slug… Use these and you might find yourself explaining why to local law enforcement officers.
You can see what this bullet can do for you close up, but you will need to test it to see if it works for you. If it does, then your 9mm weapons just got way, way tougher. If not, you’ll still have fun.
4. Sig Sauer Elite Ball
- Price: $0.34/Round
- Pack Price: $17.99/50 Rounds
- Weight: 124gr
- Muzzle Energy: 374
- Muzzle Velocity: 1185fps
- Bullet Type: Full Metal Jacket
Sig Sauer agrees with LeHigh Defense that the best bullet is the one that stays together on impact and goes on a rampant wrecking ball of destruction path through the target.
That’s the basic principle of the Sig Sauer Elite Ball 9mm. Sig Sauer has a great range in elite hollowpoints, but this copper jacketed hollow point that offers greater weight retention sits out on top of the tree. That tells its own story.
5. CCI 9mm No. 12 Shotshell
- Price: $1.50/round
- Pack price: $14.99/10 Rounds
- Weight: 53gr
Now this one is weird, but it basically turns your 9mm concealed carry or EDC into a mini shotgun.
Now this isn’t the most useful round for normal self-defense, but this round has earned the unofficial nickname, ‘snake pellet’, in Copperhead and Rattlesnake country.
I wouldn’t necessarily put this stuff through a Dan Brown 1911 or Agency Arms Glock. it’s more a job for that old Gen 3 held together with tape. You could even buy a Hi Point or other cheap handgun just for this one job.
It’s a novel concept, though, and it means you might not have to buy a Taurus Judge Polymer if you only deal with the occasional snake.
It’s effective to about 10 feet and it’s a novel idea. If you have a beaten up 9mm that hasn’t seen much love for a while, turn it into a mini shotgun with these bizarre bullets.
6. Federal Premium Personal Defense Hydra-Shok HST
- Price: $0.99/Round
- Pack Price: $20.99/20 rounds
- Weight: 124gr
- Muzzle Energy: 364
- Muzzle velocity: 1050fps
- Bullet type: Full Metal Jacket
Now we’re getting to the real classics and Federal Premium Personal Defense Hydra-Shok is a legend all around the world.
It’s a basic full metal jacket hollow point, but like many of this high-tech ammo, Federal has slimmed down the weight and generated the impact with velocity instead.
That inevitably leads to hydrostatic shock and a unique kind of injury that is set to increase as ballistics tech makes bullets faster and even more devastating.
Is This The Best Bullet For Stopping Power? Mmmmm
Federal HST is a great self-defense 9mm, but it might have been passed by some of the newcomers of this list. Evolution may have finally caught the hollow point, including the great Federal HST.
Is it surviving on reputation alone in this company? Some will disagree, but I think it might be.
You can feel free to test some Federal HST against your regular bullets, and these new ones, and make this decision for yourself.
7. Speer Gold Dot
- Price: $1.20/Round
- Pack Price: $27.62/20 rounds
- Weight: 115gr
- Muzzle Energy: 374
- Muzzle velocity: 1210fps
- Bullet type: Full Metal Jacket
Speer Gold Dot is talked about in hushed tones by Law Enforcement Officers around the globe. It’s on the approved list of pretty much every agency, even though it’s seriously expensive. That speaks volumes for the sheer consistency of this next-gen hollow point.