Best 9mm Ammo for Self Defense

best 9mm ammo for ccw

What is 9mm Ammo?

9mm ammo, abbreviated from 9 x 19mm Parabellum and also known as 9mmP, was designed and introduced in 1902 by German weapons manufacturer Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken . It is one of the most common gun calibers, and is known as the most widely used military ammunition. Also, over 60% of police use 9mm ammo, and it is quite commonly used by the public for self defense.

Benefits of 9mm Ammo

good 9mm ammo

Because 9mm ammo is more common and readily available, that also means it is less expensive. With ammo being less expensive, that also means it is less expensive overall to work on bettering your accuracy over time, so that’s another bonus. You won’t run into trouble finding 9mm ammo that’s for sure, but that doesn’t keep you from being overwhelmed with the billions of brands and types of 9mm ammo to choose from.  Another positive is the huge range of guns of the 9mm caliber to choose from. So having an arsenal consisting of rifles, pistols etc, of the same 9mm caliber, would mean you could save more by buying more ammo. There’s nothing like having a good excuse to stock up.

What 9mm Ammo is Best For

9mm has the best all-around versatility when it comes to ammunition. It’s perfect for open and concealed carry, because of the convenient size of the round, allowing for carrying larger amounts. Also 9mm gives what so many people depend on for home defense: accuracy. Accuracy for people who aren’t getting as much range time as they wish, and people who aren’t oozing confidence with their aim. This translates well to hunting also.

So prepare yourself, D&C is going to throw this at you. Bigger does not mean better. Many would think getting a .45 caliber or larger for hunting and defense would be the better move but that is not true. The FBI recently did a study on this and concluded that the 9mm takes the cake with accuracy and ties on damage. “There is little to no noticeable difference in the wound tracks between premium line law Auto enforcement projectiles from 9mm Luger through the .45 Auto.” The 9mm has less recoil than larger calibers allowing for better accuracy and speed when shooting. So when it comes to hunting or defense, take your pick because the 9mm can do it all.

Good, Cheap 9mm Ammo

best 9mm ammo

We could really get into it here because there are a lot of factors to consider when comparing prices with ammo. We all should be aware of a good priced practice ammo that we only use at the range to cut down cost. Practice ammo will most of the time be full metal jacket (FMJ)- meaning there isn’t an exposed lead bullet at the head of the round. Hollow point should be your preferred home defense ammo because 1- it is made to be effective at damaging your target and stopping at contact of your target, and 2- it won’t just punch a hole in your target and continue traveling to hit another (unplanned) target. Hollow point is considerably more expensive than FMJ. Last to consider is grain- meaning basically the weight of your ammo. Usually larger grains are intended to do more damage for targets, or go deeper through harder substance.

  1. CCI/Speer makes the Blazer line of ammo, which is very cost efficient and we recommend for practice rounds. Blazer ammo is from Troy Jacob and Chase Landry who are- no joke- commercial alligator hunters. These rounds are 115-grain, FMJ and come anywhere from $12 to $14 for a box of 50. Note: They are made with aluminum cases, so they are not re-loadable.
  2. Federal Premium makes a line of 9mm ammo called Champion that you can get for $12.77 for a box of 50 at Walmart. They are 124 FMJ, and these ones come in reloadable brass cartridges. Many reviewers have high praises for this ammo, calling it always reliable and affordable. Federal Premium started making ammunition back when it was founded in 1922 by Charles L. Horn. Today they boast as the market leader in ammunition technology, and have a large range of quality ammo to choose from.
  3. Federal wins again with their LE Hi-Shok 115-grain hollow point ammo. This would be an excellent buy for defense, with 50 rounds for only $22.49 on It is not fancy by any means, but it will do the job. Accuracy is a huge factor with this ammo, and also you have the hollow point which means in a close-quarters defensive type of situation you’re not going to have to worry about your bullet damaging more than your target.

Best 9mm Ammo

  1. Barnes Bullets makes +P 115 Grain SCHP TAC-XPD ammunition that passed all the tests. By that we mean that a company called Lucky Gunner tested out these rounds many times, against many different kinds of other rounds, and these rounds won. They were shot into ballistics gel to see which rounds shot the farthest and expanded the most in a 5-shot test. Barnes, a Utah-based company created by Randy Brooks, designs their bullets to create maximum damage. The bullets are dependable and truly you get the most value out of them at just over $1.05 a round.
  2. G2 Research makes a round called the RIP: “The last round you will ever need.” Yes they are as gnarly as they seem, with their title and acronym being “Radically Invasive Projectile.”  Check out the video of the RIP shredding a watermelon. Definitely the most expensive, they come in at 37.50 for a box of 20. Made up of pure copper, their designer said, “Upon entering a gel or fluid the petals break from the base and create 9 individual wound channels as the base continues on course. This penetration and separation delivers not only a maximum shock wave but wound path as well.”
  3. No this is not a rigged election for Federal Premium, but, once again, they make some extremely high quality rounds worth every penny. Their 147-grain Hydra-Shok JHP ammunition may be passed off by some as too expensive, but to others it’s well worth the extra at $1.18 per round, or $23.60 for 20. They are nickel-plated brass and jacketed hollow-point that shoots consistently and feed reliably according to reviewers. It exceeds requirements for FBI requirements, is very smooth and has never had a jam, according to other reviewers. It basically sounds like the Bugatti of 9mm ammo.

What to Look for When Getting 9mm Ammunition

great 9mm ammo

So when looking for 9mm ammo, it’s best to understand the basic information of how hollow point, full-metal jacket, and grain come into play. When it comes to value and a large selection, it looks like Federal Premium brings home the trophy, and you can get their ammo at pretty much any sporting goods store or even while you’re out grabbing milk at your local Walmart. We know that there are a gazillion different opinions on the best ammunition out there for defense, we’ve listed just a few out of the many. Instead of getting butthurt that yours isn’t on there, let us know in the comments below!

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