Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- “When you don’t like change, you’ll like irrelevance even less.” ~ Eric Shinseki
Currently, with serious pistol ammunition, 9mm is “King,” as we all know.
The FBI recently selected a 147gr HP 9mm round as the “official issue-round” for their Glock pistols. Of course with the FBI, the “official issue-round” has historically never occupied that position very long, so this may all change at any time.
Even so, many PDs have taken the hint and currently also issue 147gr 9mm rounds to their officers.
147gr Speer Gold Dot is favored by most.
And, many non-LEO concealed carriers have followed along, simply because “cops are using it.” In all fairness, Speer’s 147gr offering usually works just fine, as do most of the rest, but none represent the best choice for personal defense, in my opinion.
In their enthusiasm to market their individual versions of the 147gr HP to the LE community, manufacturers use the voguish slogan: “Barrier Blind” They point out the way their round will penetrate car-glass, dry-wall, sometimes even car-doors and still expand (at least a little) when subsequently striking human tissue.
All of which is wonderful, but largely irrelevant, to the average non-LEO concealed carrier.
For personal defense, I thus don’t recommend any 147gr 9mm round. They are all too slow, and low velocities invariably translate to unreliable expansion. For reliable expansion in soft tissue, subsequent to the penetration of clothing, velocity is needed.
Thus, for personal defense, the only relevant “barrier” (in my opinion) is clothing, and clothing is what frustrates expansion of low-velocity bullets.
Accordingly, I recommend 9mm +p ammunition in 90-124gr bullet weights.
I like all-copper HP bullets, as well as FTM, but cup-and-core bullets (like Gold Dot) still work just fine.
I like velocities of 1200-1400 f/s [feet per second]. Super Vel, Cor-Bon, Lehigh, Speer, Underwood, Federal, Hornady, Black Hills, Gorilla, et al, all make very acceptable candidates.
Yet, when carrying any pistol/ammunition combination for personal defense, your biggest enemy is going to be “unrealistic expectations.” Precision and volume will always be required, and even then, instantaneous behavioral changes on the part of the felon you shoot are still unlikely. At pistol velocities, we’re mostly attacking the felon’s circulatory system, and subsequent blood-pressure drops sufficient to bring about coma will take a number of seconds, even minutes.
All this can be expected, even with the most effective of ammunition.
Count on it and don’t become a victim of it by “relaxing too soon!”
The foregoing represents my current opinion. But stand-by, it may all change tomorrow morning.
“Nothing is deader than yesterday's news.” ~ Marty Rubin
About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.
It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com