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9MM THIN/LIGHT THAT PEOPLE WILL ACTUALLY CARRY EVERYDAY!
For most people, one pistol can be adaptable for both Summer Carry w a shorter mag, and Winter carry or home defense with a longer magazine. So this Sub-ish size Compact list is worth looking over.
Smith & Wesson M&P 9c does have just about perfect carry dimensions though not the best trigger-Order a mag with grip extenders 12+1, 14+1 w MecGar Plus 2, 15+1, to 17+1.
If they ever come out with a 2.0 Subcompact I would think that coming with 1 short flush mag, 1 15 rd mag with extender, 1 17 rd mag w xgrip extender, 1 pinky extender for the short mag included would be ideal. A front night sight with a standard rear site would put this back in contention vs all the new striker pistols people buy to carry but end up being too big for the less dedicated to do so regularly. If they made a 9xc 2.0 that came standard like that at good price point, I think it would make it a very good ideal package right out of the box.
For now the new M&P 2.0 3.6" Compact 15+1 is a great choice though texture is a bit too rough and may need sanding for those that want to carry IWB and/or an undershirt.
Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 Compact-15+1 or 17+1. Better Trigger, texturing, but texturing means can't carrry IWB without an undershirt.
Springfield XD Mod 2 3", though politically Springfield F'd up, it comes with both sized mags 13+1 and 16+1. The 13 flush really needs a Peirce plus 1 IMO for full grip. It is built like a tank but heavier than the others.
FNS 9c, comes with 3 mags- Two 12 rounds one flush & one with a pinky extension, and one full size 17 round magazine with a grip extension.
Also, always worth considering is the Glock 26,10+1 though I really would put a plus 2 magazine extension on it something you have to do on your own to make 12+1 w full grip or a 15 round mag Plus an Xgrip extension, and carry a 17 rd spare. 33 rd Mag does fit if you want to look Tacticool.
Sig P365 w two 10 rd and extra 12 rd extended magazines could serve a lot of people well 365 days of the year if it proves to be reliable. For smaller hands or pocket Backup/2ndary pistol.
PPQ M2 Compact w/ 3.5" barrel could be front cargo pocket or waistband carried. 10 rd and 15 rd comes with it. L.E. Version comes with 3rd mag, a 10 rd w/pinky extender and METAL Phospho sights!
Only ones that come ready to rock with a full grip allowed on gun, and the ideal min 13 rounds in gun IMO is the Smith and the FN, with Sig P365 coming out soon also meeting that criteria if you buy the extended magazine. The Springfield comes close but needs a Plus 1 Extender for large hands.
Customer Service and how they handle warranties should be considered highly.........
Hold a few and try a few.
Larger Compact Pistols for those dedicated to carrying are worth considering too w/ Glock 19, Sig P320c, Smith M&P 2.0 Compact, Walther PPQ, or HK VP9 being popular though a bit harder to conceal for many in summertime.
If it must be a single stack, Smith & Wesson Shield, Ruger LC9s Pro, or a Walther PPS are my recommendations. I prefer any pistol that carries at least 9 rounds ready to go though based on statistics and allow a full hands grip. The Shield comes with both a 7 and a 8 round magazine and is a good value. The Walther is my top choice in this catagory due to better ergonomics, sights, and trigger and usually comes with a 7 & an 8 round magazine (though some came with 6 & 7, the LE Version come with all 3 mags and Phosphorescent sights so is the one you should purchase). The Ruger comes with only one 7 rd. magazine. On both the Smith's and the Walther's, if you can buy an L.E. skew & Serial number you get three mags. The Glock 43 is bit too small, too light IMO with limited 6+1 capacity and needs mag extensions added.
While I think a high capacity pistol can do double duty as your home defense gun, I also recommend these.
An AR 16" rifle is relatively short, light, and easy to maneuver. With the right ammo, it will actually penetrate less in building's materials than either a pistol or a 12-gauge shotgun.
Mossberg HS .410 pump action shotgun is a very good choice for lighter weight, new shooters, when loaded with Federal 000.
Maverick 88 12-gauge pump action shotgun is a great but effective budget value for right handed shooters at just $200. In Urban settings, #4 Buckshot or #1 Buckshot is both more effective and penetrates less then the usually recommended 00 Buck. The slightly higher end Mossberg 500 is similar but has a top mounted safety that provides for ambidextrous operation and both are made by Mossberg. Both can also use the OPSol & Aguilla Mini-shells described below.
My next two recommendations are controversial because people don't really look at the data but repeat hearsay. These two Legally Not Quite a Shotgun options offer a much shorter package for maneuverability in a small house or apartment, that likely has sharp corners, yet still shoot multiple projectiles with a single pull of the trigger. These can allow easier manipulation of doors and picking up or corralling children than long gun options. They can also be good stash weapons hidden around the house or under a counter at a business more easily than long guns. Also, laws in each state may apply differently to how or where a loaded one can be carried in a car compared to a legally defined "shotgun" as the Shockwave is legally a "Firearm" and the Governor is legally a "Pistol" according to Federal ATF laws. State Laws must still be followed.
Mossberg Shockwave 12-gauge pump shortie "Firearm" with REGULAR practice can be a very effective weapon especially when combined with a single point sling and front night sight and/or (& is fun for many to practice with, so you may indeed practice enough to become proficient). 5+1, though I suggest a $15 OPSol adapter so you can load it with 8-9 rounds of the lighter kicking Aguilla Buck Mini-shells. These hold 7 #4 and 4 #1 Buck in each shell which gives a mix of really ideal penetration without over penetration if you live with others in other rooms.
Smith & Wesson Governor .410/.45 Colt/.45 ACP 6-shot Revolver is a good choice if not living in a very cold place for those that may have to pick up children. It also is extremely fun, and good for any SHTF or camping situations because of all the different types of ammo that will fire in it (including .45 GAP that can sometimes be bought cheap). The first four rounds loaded with Federal Personal Defense 000 Buck shooting 4 .36 61 grain buckshot at 800 fps for 347 ft. lbs of energy is something naysayers should not laugh at unless you are living in a very cold place where people wear many thick layers of clothing. The last two rounds in the cylinder I recommend .45 Colt Barnes VorTx 200 gr. XPB at 921 fps for 379 ft. lbs of energy (alternatively .45 Colt PDX-1 225 gr. at 802 fps for 321 ft. lbs. of energy can be used). My best guess for the quickest effective reloads would be full moon clips of .45 ACP loaded with 185 gr. + P Golden Saber, 200 gr. XTP +P, or 230 gr. Short Barrel Gold Dot or quality .45 GAP hollowpoints. However, velocities of .45 ACP and .45 GAP from the Governor are not obtainable.
For many reasons, I recommend carrying a lightweight backup gun or BUG in a front pocket holster. I recommend the Ruger LCP, Ruger LCP 2, or the Glock 42 in .380 (though just a bit too big for most people for front pocket carry comfortably). I also recommend the Ruger LCR revovler in various calibers. In .380, by far the most effective round is any 90 grain XTP loading from various manufacturers such as Fiocchi, Hornady American Gunner/Hornady Custom, or Precision One.
#1 Any HST. 124 grain standard velocity is the best IMO for under 3.5" barrels because of more consistent penetration with just slightly less velocity from a 3.5" barrel compared to the Plus P version. 3.5" or longer I would prefer the extra velocity/ME of the Plus P. Standard is Perfect also for those that do not want Plus P ammo. Micro 150 gr. I would stay away from unless needed if under 2.8" barrel perhaps, so I think regular 124 or 147 are fine, as both also perform very well.
#2. Golden Saber 124 gr. Plus P either bonded, Black Belt bonded, or not, because in unbonded the lead core sabot actually penetrates deeper after shedding the jacket (perhaps when going through bone or ribs) even if older tech that isn't aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Most seem to prefer using bonded.
#3. 9bple 115 gr. Plus P Plus only in modern high quality firearms of between 3.5-4.5" barrels. Real World Street Result Reports were outstanding similar to the most highly tounted .357 magnum 125 gr. JSPHP load. It is also a great value budget friendly round and except in cold conditions, can deliver 1328 fps 450 ft. lbs or more of energy on target from 3.5-4.5" barrels vs just 355 (from a 3.5" barrel) for the great performing 124 gr. HST! This round is better for wamer climates/summer/lighter clothing, as contrary to most rounds penetrates too little through very heavy clothing.
#4. Gold Dot 124 gr. Plus P or Short Barrel Plus P a lot of people will suggest because of it's use in L.E. and it is good, but others do similarly as well at least in Gel test performance 4 layer. If one works L.E. or Security around vehicles where intermediate barriers like windshield glass are more likely to be encountered than 124 Plus P Gold Dots used by NYPD and others is ideal.
#5. Underwood 124 gr. Plus P Plus Gold Dot for 4"-6" barrel pistols should work very well, if it is a modern quality firearm you feel can handle a moderate dose of Plus P Plus and function test it for reliability. Similar to a .357 Sig Speer loading.
The next three I put in the good, but not as good IMO as the previously listed ones, good perhaps for stored extra mags in home or car, or SHTF.
#6. Sig 124 gr. V-crown
#7. Winchester 147 gr. Ranger T
#8. Remington 115 gr. HTP Plus P is the amazing budget performer that penetrates very far for a 115 gr. bullet. However, the plating on some of mine seems to pit/rust or deteriorate compared to 8 other loads stashed in a Pelican case w dry packets for one year.
I will now suggest something unconventional, something to consider especially if your primary ammo isn't at the later range of penetration depths. For high capacity pistols it may make sense to load rounds #11 and up in order from which they come out, the bottoms of your mags, with ammo we know penetrates well through intermediate barriers or more reliably through bones for cases of extended firefights where they may be behind cover. This being any 124 gr. XTP such as from Fiocchi or Hornady, or 135 gr. Plus P Critical Duty for longer barrels, Plus P Critical Defense for Shorter Barrels. Obviously, recommendations of any Plus P ammo is not for new recoil sensitive shooters that never practice, and again obviously function checking reliability and practice firing with any recoil impulse change is needed.
In .45 I would recommend either 230 gr. HST or 185 gr. Golden Saber +P as an overall round. While not usually a fan of Critical Duty outside of backup mag use, the 220 gr. Plus P does perform well. XTP's also give consistant deep penetration though light on expansion.
In the very poor performing 2" .38 Revolver one could attempt to get the best from it with Remington 125 gr Golden Saber +P or Winchester 130 gr Ranger Bonded +P. Those would be my choices if you wanted expansion, and you got to go with either Hornady 125 gr XTP American Gunner OR Winchester 158 gr Super-X LSWCHP +P (though one of 5 shots tested of the Winchester badly over-penetrated if that is a concern-and guessing this round kicks more, and therefore not the same recoil impulse for Dutch loading that you could get w the Hornady...ud have to try it out) if you want actually good penetration in case you have to shoot through an arm (you know, with the gun pointed at you that covers his vitals) or side shot through shoulder. Therefore, I would Dutch load it with odd numbers being either the Remington 125 gr Golden Saber +P or Winchester 130 gr Ranger Bonded +P, and even numbered rounds being either Hornady 125 gr XTP American Gunner or the Winchester 158 gr. Plus P LSWCHP.
A Similar thought process can be used for a 12-gauge shotgun. In Urban Home settings, especially with others in the same home on opposite sides, loading lead #1 Buck rather than plated LE 00 Buck may be advisable for less penetration through walls. Alternatively, Mossberg/Maverick can use Opsol Adapter and the mixed Minishell Buck. In Rural Settings and Car Duty, something like 00 Buck w/ some Slugs the 2nd half of your magazine tube makes sense. Up close and personal when wanting the quickest incapacitation, most Shot delivered without too much spread #1 or 00 buckshot perform well. After a few rounds of 12-gauge, if you are still firing, the chances are great that they are behind a car or other cover. Dutch or Mixed Loading in the ways I suggest may seem strange to some, but will always be just as effective in real world since all loads I recommend are adequate penetraters. And there are instances that it cold prove beneficial. Obviously, it is a personal decision for the private citizen and proper function testing of any self-defense ammo in a particular firearm is required.
#1. Most Pistol interactions are at 3 FEET, those outside 3 feet still most within 9 feet, 15 feet is getting a little extreme, 21 most train at because of 21 foot Tueller Knife Rule, and 7 yards common at ranges (even if knife attack, your shots will likely be when they have started to charge, so 12 feet-15 feet if at a Ready position, much closer if from concealment, so it is not really at 21 feet like people statically train). Obviously no one ever wants to be involved in a tramatic lethal force situation, but it is important to know some statistics.
#2. FBI stats say multiple attackers increasing.
#3. Common sense says good to train as if there are 3 attackers. OG Cooper El Presidente established 3 targets long ago, and multiple attackers has statistically increased exponentially since then. Picturing 3 at varying distances but still up close and person, all three armed with handguns, or the closest w a knife, 2nd farthest w a Pistol, and the 3rd farthest with a long gun I think it is good mental preparation/visualization for the biggest SNAFU one might find themselves in. A reminder of how deadly a knife or a long gun is, is a good mental note.
#4. Alternative Look at handgun stopping power has 9mm, .40, and .45 requiring above 2 rounds per attacker to stop. Avg. number of rounds until incapacitation-Above 2
#5. Debate Double Taps vs Triple Taps and understand why I am suggesting practicing both.
I used to think double taps all the way around for multiple attackers, then re-assessing back to the first. But data make me think triple taps if warranted all around would only be slightly slower and you would therefore be less likely to get hit in the back from re-engagers. You would be less likely to lose track of where still active threats are, as someone shot twice is still statistically in the fight and may move to another location to re-engage you. My point is to set up target scenarios at different depths to each other, a no shoot in-between, and check it on timers. It will really depend on all the variables in a real situation, so practice Double Taps & Triple Taps, and strings of Fast Five & Quick 6. The biggest thing, is don't mentally assume a single shot or double tap will be enough to stop an attacker. It may, but statistically from the poor stopper that is a handgun, it could take three or more shots on target. Once a competent safe shooter you should practice strong side, weak side, one handed, close retention, and from varying strange positions including firing from down on the ground.
Statistically 3's all around may in certain circumstances be better for the small amount of extra time it is. 3 by 3 Rule....3 by 3 by 3 going to be a lot less time esp IRL on moving targets, getting lost, losing track of where they are then if you did 1 to 1 to 1 and then back through two more times. And your screwed if the first one was a miss and you went on to the 2nd perp....an ASP vid showed just that I believe it was a cop in store then got shot in the back. Statistically in all SERVICE Calibers (not .357's), perps need more than 2 shots to Stop their aggressive actions.
#1. My 3 by 3 Rule, and my 9 by 9 Rule. "3 by 3 equals 9 by 9"
If you are carrying what I am calling, At least 9 by 9...Or 9 by 9 Rule..at least 9mm, at least 9 rounds in gun (which is what I suggest, and if you just love ur 5 shot .38 or 7-shot G43, fine (or get a plus 2 mag or have another one or a .380 offside too), like a Shield or PPS w Plus 1 mag that may serve well if one or theoretically if up to 3 attackers (if all 9 were somehow hits and not 80% misses if #2 and #3 were determined and didn't bug out). So assume 3 bad guys, assume Minimum 3 rounds on target per attacker MAY be needed because that is what the stats say and you should be mentally prepared for, gives you the 3 by 3 Rule...and the 3 by 3 rules gives you 9 by 9 Minimum rule. Better, are all the double stack compacts that have 13 or more In Gun.
#2. Knowing that stop averages for service calibers is around 2.4 hits per bad guy, and that is assuming you make all hits..combined with all the incidents of perps taking 11-45 rounds to go down.....and knowing cops only hit 20% of time or 1.4 out of 8 shots on AVERAGE required according to new NYPD stats....It just makes sense that you may very well likely need a minimum of 9 Shots Ready to Go IN GUN based on stats. I want at least one more than the Mean, and if 8 is the mean Avg. then I bet some were 1 and some at least 16 shots mag dumps needed.
Honestly, I think three shots to closest or sometimes largest threat to a group (the one that just shot the clerk, the one with the most dangerous weapon or long gun etc.)...
#3. 3 by 3 and 9 by 9 Rule ......and 2 Pistols are Better than One Rule!............It is also something nice to recite to steer those away from carrying low capacity firearms. "3 by 3 equals 9 by 9". What does that mean? "That means for modern Self-defense, there could be 3 bad guys, that MAY require at least three shots each to stop, and that is assuming a 100% hit ration when reality it is only 20% from trained cops. It is easy to carry at least a 9mm sized pistol that carries at least the 9 rounds that may be required for 1-3 attackers. Therefore, I recommend at least a 9mm or stronger caliber by 9 rounds or more capacity. I also suggest considering a small lightweight .380 pocket pistol that will Always be carried no matter what, in the offside front pocket since it is neither too expensive, heavy, or bulky. That way, if you are ever too lazy and mess up to not bring your primary gun for a quick outting, or if your primary pistol malfunctions or gets knocked away,if your primary arm gets shot or is busy wrestling or fending a knife, or you need more rounds you have a Backup Gun. A 2nd gun is always the fastest reload (NY Reload) when under the real stress gross motor skills of an actual gunfight. It is also much easier in situations to naturally hide having your hand safely on the Backup Gun or BUG without Brandishing or Escalating a situation, if someone suddenly approaches you or you don't initially know their intentions. It is actually pretty easy and fairly lightweight in modern times to conceal both a 9mm of between 9-18 rounds, and a 7-8 capacity .380. "
But, I still want data on if 2s all around is really better, and prob the standard people practice, or 3s all around is better (if warranted obviously).. 20 years ago we all just trained double taps and everyone kept doing it, "I'd just double tap em and they'd go down" and Hollywood re-enforces this....except all the data says that is not true.
Maybe doing triple taps around if multiple threats is a better way to go in certain situations. Depending on how close #2 and #3 bag guys are to you, how focused they are on you etc. In the past people may have said, "everyone get's firsts before they get seconds" but I believe pistol efficiency was still over glorified by lore and television, especially about Ye Ol' .45. This was with 5-8 shot revolvers/pistols, and even with a 5 shot and 3 perps I still think 2 by 2 by 1 would be the better way to go (Because #3 may be bugging out, but #1 you knew was the most dangerous threat to yourself). Why do you only practice 2s around, and re-access, instead of 3s? Because that is what El Presidente drill established and people hate to change.
Maybe .2 more time before #2 gets lead? Isn't a 3rd shot on biggest threat you decided you must engage worth .2? For app. .6-.7 longer, all 3 perps get 3 rounds on target vs 2. That is a worthwhile discussion and something worth drilling both doubles and triples, as well as Fast Five on one etc. Wouldn't further thought be that Perp #1 get's three IF WARRANTED make a lot more sense, as your first two may likely be from close retention/hip and hits not ideal/stomach area or misses vs chest...so pushing out to a 3rd CM chest/upper torso shot on your biggest threat might definitely make some sense?
#1. So what I am suggesting is a Modern Vice-Presidente....or Modern Presidente if your back turned with the scenario setup by someone else of exactly where all 3 targets and no shoot target are, as well as their angles relative to your start (not all 0 degrees straight on but canted to extent allowed safely).....
13 Rounds in Pistol/12 live, 1 round, the 10th round, is a dummy round. (Alt. would be 9 rounds in a single stack, 10th attempt is slide lock click, then reload). There are now many compacts/sub-compacts and plus 2 mags available so many do indeed carry with 13 or more in gun nowadays. Obviously, this is for training purposes, and assumes you need to engage all and then re-engage. Obviously some may bug out, drop weapons, or stop being a threat sooner. But I don't think you should ever plan on that..... Also, the Moves can be a simple large side step to get off the X.
#2. 3 Targets, NOT ALL Square ON, and 1 No shoot somewhere in between. Targets at arm's length, 9 feet, and 15 feet.
#1. 1st Target at Arm Extension Distance......From FENCE/Hands up non-confrontational barrier stance;
Palm/Tiger Strike and Draw, 2 from Close Retention/Hip, Push out and 1 to chest.
#2. Transition to 2nd Target at 9 Feet, Triple Tap to Center Mass
#3. MOVE & Transition to Target 3 that is at 15 feet, Triple Tap to Center Mass
#4. MOVE & Transition back to first target and attempt to re-engage if needed, 10th round is dummy round so Click, Tap, Rack, Bang, Bang, Bang Triple Tap Or Alt. Mozambique OR Alt. Bottom Pyramid Mozambique...2 to chest one to Pelvis. Practicing a Tap, Rack, Bang is a lot more important statistically then actually needing to reload. However, reloading is still a good skill to practice so it is then included after.
#5. Slide Lock/Empty-MOVE & Empty/Emergency Reload, Transition to Target #2 Triple Tap OR Alt. Mozambique OR Alt. Bottom Mozambique...2 to chest one to Pelvis
#6. Move & Transition to Target #3 Triple Tap OR Alt. Mozambique Or Alt. Bottom Mozambique...2 to chest one to Pelvis.
#Additional. Going by distances, perhaps closest target upon re-engagement should get a Mozambique, and the two farther targets should get Bottom Mozambique. This Alternate on the 2nd time around makes it a much harder drill meant to improve skills, but one that can be important as we saw with the recent PCP perp footage, finally only getting dropped from a pelvis area hit. You also wouldn't be going to a head or pelvis shot until your 14th live round, 15th attempted shot. Most situations are handled before that. If a situation needs 15 shots, perhaps by then a head or pelvis shot is actually warranted if they are extremely determined, on PCP, wearing body armor etc. It is at the later stages of the drill, to improve thought process and accuracy going for smaller targets which again could be needed in a lengthy engaged battle, but are good skills to possess no matter what.
#2. Original 10mm FBI Load for Reference point
For Reference so people can see where modern 9mm is at
The Original FBI 10mm 180 gr. Federal Load w Seirra JHP (not the later 190 gr.) from FBI DATA fired from a
3.75" barrel 922 fps 18.33" .536 had a 95% success rate in their testing at 340 ft. lbs. of ME.
5" barrel 931 fps 17.24 .547 95% success rate in their testing 346.4 ft. lbs.
.....Compare that to my two top selections in 9mm below and you will see we are doing well in modern times
1. 9mm 3.5" barrel 350-450 ft. lbs. of Muzzle Energy (350 being higher end of standard pressure to 377 for +p to 425-450 ft. lbs for Plus P Plus) Muzzle Energy Comparison of the Best Rounds from common carry sized barrels in 3 common Calibers
2. .357 2" barrel 333 ft. lbs for more controllable 2nd best or 425 ft. lbs bestbit recoil and follow up shot speed may be compromised
3. .38+p 2" barrel 213 ft. lbs. from Plus P
4. .380 2.7" barrel 125-128 ft. lbs
5. .40 3.42" barrel 344-438 ft. lbs
6. .45 3.64" barrel 414-426 ft. lbs from mostly Plus P, 1 Standard
7. .410 S&W Governor 347 ft. lbs The Governor has a 2.75" Chamber PLUS 2.75" Barrel
.45 Colt S&W Governor 321-379 ft. lbs.
References on Ballistics
From multiple sources comparing them. What the FBI has actually issued in various calibers since Miami shootout, everyone quotes 12-18 but doesn't look at what they have issued in 10mm,.40, and 9mm...sure seems FBI likes 16.5" or more a lot better than 13.5" pretty bullets others seem to.
Luckygunner, Ammo2Go, ShootingTheBull, Tnoutdoors9, ScubaOz and others ballistic tests.
Alternate Look at Handgun stopping power-Street Data
Handgun Ammunition Stopping Power Update-Street Data
Written by Evan Marshall
FBI and NYPD data
Dr. Gary Roberts
“Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness” by Urey Patrick of the FBI FTU
Quotes from Massad Ayoob
Here are some
"What Cops Carry
While there’s lots of good ammo out there, most departments are using premium loads from the “Big Four” brands. Those would be, in alphabetical order: Federal HST, Remington Golden Saber, Speer Gold Dot and Winchester Ranger. All of these loads have been exhaustively, expensively developed to meet the demanding performance specs of the FBI in terms of expansion and penetration. Because these rounds are tracked regarding field performance, they are the ones that have the most documentable records.
HST? Portland, Ore., reports extreme satisfaction with its performance in 147-gr. 9mm configuration. San Diego issues HST in every authorized caliber and is very happy with it. LAPD reports the 230-gr. +P HST to be performing superbly in the .45 ACP’s that thousands of their officers have bought on their own.
Golden Saber? Sources at FBI tell me it works fabulously as the standard 230-gr. load for the optional .45’s of field agents and the .45’s issued to SWAT and the Hostage Rescue Team. I’m advised Tulsa found the Golden Saber 165-gr. .40 much more effective in their issue Glock 22s than the 180-gr. subsonics they used before.
Gold Dot? The 124-gr. +P has delivered awesome performance in the 9mms of NYPD’s nearly 35,000 officers. Las Vegas Metro uses Gold Dot across the board in three approved calibers, and their firearms instructors have told me the 124-gr. +P 9mm is every bit as effective as the 180-gr. .40 and the 230-gr. .45 ACP. From Texas Department of Public Safety to the Virginia State Police and Richmond PD, 125-gr. .357 SIG Gold Dot is dropping felons with amazing alacrity. Secret Service and Federal Air Marshals also issue .357 SIG 125-gr. Gold Dot.
Winchester Ranger? LAPD and LA County report high satisfaction with the 147-gr. 9mm version, and the 165-gr. .40 and 230-gr. .45 are awesome performers in the field."
Below by Daniel
FBI DATA I have compiled on rounds they have issued
FBI. They changed ammo often, here is what I could find.
Duty ammo for .45 ACP is Rem Golden Saber 230 Grain JHP (non-bonded). The ammo for .40 S&W is the 180 grain Winchester JHP load. The remaining Speer 165 grain Gold Dots are to be used up and not replaced. Before the Gold Dots it was 165gr Federal Hydra-Shoks. Duty 9mm at one point was Speer 124 grain Gold Dot ammo, possibly Plus P. The new 9mm round —may be the 147-grain Speer Gold Dot G2 if that didn't change due to expansion problems? In 2013 their RFP The award was finally issued in August 19, 2013 and Federal, Winchester and Hornady were given contracts. That RFP said It must have a power factor of between 135 and 155 (bullet weight in grains x velocity at 15 ft measured in ft. per sec. / 1,000).
The service ammo must have a bullet weight of between 120 and 147 grains and NO FAILURES UNDER 12" EVER. Contrary to an earlier post, the FBI does not switch out ammo willy-nilly on a 6 month basis. There is a long ammo-testing procedure once the proposal for a new ammo contract is published. Hornady has been awarded the IDIQ Contract for 135+p Critical Duty.
MP-5's are being phased out and M-4 carbines (modified for semi-auto only), a mix of RRA and Colt, are for street agents...1 in 9 twist. SWAT uses a select-fire M-4 with a 1 in 7 twist. Service ammo is 60 grain Winchester w/Nosler partition ammo. At one point it may have been .223 Federal Tactical Bonded 65gr SP's. I suspect Hornady TAP also used but can not confirm.
Remington 870 is in the inventory and uses slug and 00 buck of the 9 pellet variety. The MP-5/10 uses Federal 190 grain JHP in 10 mm.
9mm Data 9mm 3.5" Barrel-
1. 124 gr HST 4 Layer 1135 fps 18'3" .61 355 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy
2. 124 gr Plus P Golden Saber 4 Layer 1170 fps 18.2" .66 377 ft. lbs. ME in Evan Marshalls Street Data w 88% stops....So that backs up the Gel tests. Now, there are too many variables in "Street Data", but when Street Data backs up good Ballistic Gel test data, than you have something.
3. 124 gr. Plus P Gold Dot 4 Layer 1141 16'8" .52 358 ft. lbs. ME in Evan Marshalls Street Data CCI loading w 88% stops....So that backs up the Gel tests.
4. 115 gr. Plus P Plus 9bple (only in high quality firearms-would not suggest in under 3.5" or over 5" barrels-Excellent Street Cred from L.E. back in the day-might be somewhat questionable in cold weather multiple layer even though with the Illinois State Police it did well...I just think it likely does even better in warmer area like it did w Border Patrol) app 425-450 ft. lbs (467 ft lbs from a 3.5" in hot AZ summer was reported but underpenetrated in 4 layer test because seemed to be rare over the norm velocity), in colder weather they are noticeably slower, in very hot weather much hotter. When at app. 1325 fps. which it can be from 3.5"-4'5" barrels depending on weather....BARE 16", .522+frags, Another Test BARE 17" .469, 2 layer cotton 13.9" .45, 4 layer 12.75 .58 Best 9mm in Evan Marshalls Street Data w 91% stops....So that backs up the Gel tests.
5. Going to include what I think is likely the best 147 gr. for those that think that is the way to go. This round is also on Gary Roberts approved list fyi 147 gr JHP - Winchester Ranger T-Series 941 fps 16.5" .74 ONLY 289 Ft. Lbs of energy. While the expansion is great, the better penetration and energy of the HST and Golden Sabers is better IMO.
Below are a couple that look like strong performers, and perhaps good for backup or stashed mags for car/home etc.
6. Remington 115 gr. HTP Plus P is the amazing budget performer
7. Sig 124 gr. V-crown
1. In .38 2" barrel K6 from lucky gunner data the best IMO Remington 125 gr Golden Saber +P 877 fps 13.7" avg .62 This round also ranked tied for second place in Evan Marshalls Street Data....So that backs Gel tests up.
2. Winchester 130 gr Ranger Bonded +P 13.8" 860 .60 Both just 213 ft. lbs. of ME. Golden Saber or this would be my choices if you wanted expansion.
3. You have to go with either Hornady 125 gr XTP American Gunner OR Winchester 158 gr Super-X LSWCHP +P (though one of 5 badly over-penetrated if that is a concern-though guessing this round kicks more, and therefore not the same recoil impulse for Dutch loading that you could get w the Hornady...ud have to try it out) if you want actually good penetration in case you have to shoot through an arm (you know, with the gun pointed at you that covers his vitals) or side shot through shoulder.
4. Just reminded me how bad .38 2" really is........would only regulate it to Backup Gun Duty.... Unpopular opinion, but I would dutch it myself with odd numbers up being one of the two I suggested, and round 2 and 4 being Hornady 125 gr XTP American Gunner or the Plus P LSWCHP. My choice would be odd numbered Golden Sabers, and Even numbered XTPs.
.380 2.8" barrel pocket pistol best IMO opinion from ShootingtheBull because of great penetration is the Fiocchi 90 gr. XTP app 790 fps 13.41" .412 in BARE GEL 4 Layer Denim app 800 fps 15.69" .394 avg. diameter....
Penetration is good, BUT ONLY 125-128 ft. lbs. Muzzle Energy from 2.8" barrel
12. .380 2.7" Sig P238 Scuba Oz 88 gr Remington HTP 21" No expansion but tumble damage
3.25" Glock 42 barrel LuckyGunner 88 gr Remington HTP 839 fps 16.9" .354 139 ft. lbs.
The Precision One XTP has better expansion but less penetration, it is very good, but I prefer more penetration like in what the FBI has actually issued in 10mm,.40, and 9mm to be at the greater end of their penetration acceptable range.
1. For the data below, LuckyGunner ballistic data is used. Have not cross referenced with data from tnoutdoors9 and other testers. .40, .45, and even .357 SIG contrary to common belief, you have to be even more selective to make sure you are carrying good ammo to get desired consistent penetration. There simply are more acceptable 9mm offerings.
Luckygunner testing guns for 4 layer tests
9mm: Smith & Wesson M&P9c, 3.5-inch barrel
.40 S&W: Glock 27, 3.42-inch barrel
.45 ACP: Kahr CW45, 3.64-inch barrel
1. 45 ACP +P - 185 gr JHP - Remington Golden Saber-
Median Velocity 1018 fps 15.7" .76 426 ft. lbs. of energy
In Evan Marshall's data, the standard pressure was #1 in all .45 rounds w/ 96% stops
.2. 45 ACP - +P 200 Grain XTP JHP - Hornady Custom
965 fps 18" VERY CONSISTENT 17.6-18.9 penetration in 4-layer Denim test .59 414 ft. lbs. ME
.3 45 ACP +P - 230 gr JHP - Winchester Ranger (the Standard pressure from this barrel is almost identical) . I want to point out, in real world where a bad guy may only have a single T-shirt covering his frontal center mass, these rounds may be dangerously on the shallow end of penetration depths fyi.
905 fps 14.4" Amazing 1.00" diameter 418 ft. lbs. ME
45 ACP - 230 gr JHP - Winchester Ranger T-Series
905 14.2" Amazing 1.01 diameter 418 ft. lbs. Muzzle Energy.
Both these rounds on on Dr. Gary Roberts approved list
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr JHP (RA45T)
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr +P JHP (RA45TP)
For .45 holdouts, there is still this From Massad Ayoob "A famous wound ballistics specialist whose work was pivotal to the FBI’s testing protocols was Dr. Martin Fackler, who died last month. In a 2012 interview Dr. Fackler said, “The size of the hole the bullet makes, the .45 is bigger than a nine-mill. But how much bigger, by diameter, it really doesn’t give you the measure of how much tissue it disrupts. What does is the area of a circle. Area of a circle, it was pi-r-squared. It’s the radius squared. So, if you take your .45, your point four-five-one and your nine-millimeter as your point three-five-five, take half, take the radius, square that, and what you’ll find is that the volume, or the area, of damaged tissue made by the .45 is about sixty percent more than made by the nine.”
#8. .40 S&W: Glock 27, 3.42-inch barrel .40 is a bit difficult, because old Mashall data strongly suggest the lighter faster stuff was more effective, but only 2 out of 7 rounds I would think are good based on gel data for this barrel length are below 180 gr. (and only 3 of my 7 list are on Roberts' list). In Dr. Gary Roberts' approved list, 6 out of 12 are lighter than 180 gr. bullets.
For this reason, here is all of Dr. Roberts' approved list, before listing some specifics
Barnes XPB 140 & 155 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Speer Gold Dot 155 gr JHP
Federal Tactical 165 gr JHP (LE40T3)
Speer Gold Dot 165 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 165 gr JHP (RA40TA)
Federal HST 180 gr JHP (P40HST1)
Federal Tactical 180 gr JHP (LE40T1)
Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)
Speer Gold Dot 180 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 180 gr JHP (RA40T)
Winchester 180 gr bonded JHP (RA40B/Q4355/S40SWPDB1)
1. 40 S&W - 155 Grain HST JHP
1079 fps 16'8" .68 401 ft. lbs. ME
2. 40 S&W - 165 gr JHP - Winchester Ranger Bonded
1094 fps 14.9" .757 438 ft. lbs. ME
3. 40 S&W - 180 gr HST JHP
960 fps 18'4" .72 368 ft. lbs. ME
This is also on Dr. Gary Roberts' approved list
4. 40 S&W - 180 Grain JHP - Remington Golden Saber (the Bonded is very similar, but not as consistent w 2 out of 5 rounds penetrating less than ideal-1 Failing below 12") TAKE NOTE of this quote from Massad Ayoob said about the slightly over-penetrating 165 gr. compared to this shallow penetrating 180 gr. "I’m advised Tulsa found the Golden Saber 165-gr. .40 much more effective in their issue Glock 22s than the 180-gr. subsonics they used before." Of course, we don't know if Tulsa was using unbonded or the really sometimes under penetrating/occasional Fail Bonded like I myself mentioned. May this be a case that points out where slightly over-penetrating 19.2" is better than shallow penetrating 13.9"?
928 fps 13'9" .81 344 ft. lbs. ME
5. 40 S&W - 180 gr BJHP - Remington Ultimate Defense
976 fps 15'9" .80 381 ft. lbs. ME
6. 40 S&W - 180 gr JHP - Winchester Ranger T-Series
950 fps 16.5" .686 361 ft. lbs. ME
On Dr. Roberts' approved list
7. 40 S&W - 180 Grain JHP - Winchester Bonded--This is White Box bargain buy (if Ranger T or Bonded can't be found, or too expensive for stashed extra mags and you want similar to the Ranger T or Bonded you primary carry)
933 fps 16'5" .70 348 ft. lbs. ME
Smith & Wesson Governor .410/.45 Colt/.45 ACP 6-shot Revolver is a good choice if not living in a very cold place for those that may have to open doors, pick up, or corral children for home defense. It could make a good backpack or car gun, or a good stash gun for home or business. It also is extremely fun, and good for any SHTF or camping situations because of all the different types of ammo that will fire in it (including .45 GAP that can sometimes be bought cheap). The first four rounds loaded with Federal Personal Defense 000 Buck shooting 4 .36 61 grain buckshot at 800 fps for 347 ft. lbs of energy is something naysayers should not laugh at unless you are living in a very cold place where people wear many thick layers of clothing. The last two rounds in the cylinder I recommend .45 Colt Barnes VorTx 200 gr. XPB at 921 fps for 379 ft. lbs of energy (alternatively .45 Colt PDX-1 225 gr. at 802 fps for 321 ft. lbs. of energy can be used). My best guess for the quickest effective reloads would be full moon clips of .45 ACP loaded with 185 gr. + P Golden Saber, 200 gr. XTP +P, or 230 gr. Short Barrel Gold Dot or quality .45 GAP hollowpoints. However, velocities of .45 ACP and .45 GAP from the Governor are not obtainable (not as good as .45 Colt from the Governor).
Conclusion.....Ammo Selection is more important than Caliber selection if it is anything less than .68-.73/12-Gauge or .30plus Rifle. Even in 5.56 mm ammo selection is very important for it's likely use parameters. Contrary to a lot of hearsay, the .410/.45 Colt Revolver in a quality metal version that has proven to be reliable can be very efficient w the best ammo if not living in a very cold area where multiple thick layers of clothing are normal.
The best 3-4 9mm choices are just as good if not better than the best 3-4 .45 and .40 choices with all the benefits that 9mm provides. I personally like 16.5-18.5" Penetration based on what the FBI has actually approved for carry in 10mm, .40, and 9mm since the Miami Shootout.
1. 9mm 124 gr HST 1135 fps 18'3" .61 355 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy
2. 9mm 124 gr Plus P Golden Saber 1170 fps 18.2" .66 377 ft. lbs. ME
Under 3.5" barrels I like standard pressure HST, 3.5" or longer I like the Plus P NON-bonded Golden Saber (bonded perhaps better for backup mags in theory)
3. .40 S&W - 155 Grain HST JHP 1079 fps 16'8" .68 401 ft. lbs. ME
4. .40 S&W - 180 gr HST JHP 960 fps 18'4" .72 368 ft. lbs. ME
5. .45 ACP +P - 185 gr JHP - Golden Saber 1018 fps 15.7" .76 426 ft. lbs. of energy
6. .45 ACP +P 200 Grain XTP JHP -Hornady C 965 fps 18" .59 414 ft. lbs. ME
7. .45 ACP +P - 230 gr JHP - Ranger 905 fps 14.4" 1.00" 418 ft. lbs. ME
( I want to point out, in real world where a bad guy may only have a single cotton T-shirt covering his frontal center mass, this round may be dangerously on the shallow end of penetration depths fyi.)
8. .357 2" - 140 gr XPB HP - Barnes VOR-TX 1169 fps 17.1" .66 425 ft. lbs (recoil, & follow up times?)
9. .357 2"- 125 gr Golden Saber 1096 fps 18.7" .62 333 ft. lbs
10. In .38 2" barrel K6 from lucky gunner data the best IMO Remington 125 gr Golden Saber +P 877 fps 13.7" avg .62 This round also ranked tied for second place in Evan Marshalls Street Data....So that backs Gel tests up. (May want to Dutch Load Rounds #2 and #4 w/ Hornady 125 gr XTP American Gunner for greater penetration or even a SWC or WC depending on your needs and acceptable risks of over-penetration)
11. .380 2.7" barrel pocket pistol one of the best IMO from ShootingtheBull because of great penetration is the Fiocchi 90 gr. XTP app 790 fps 13.41" .412 in BARE GEL 4 Layer Denim app 800 fps 15.69" .394 avg. diameter....
Penetration is good, BUT ONLY 125-128 ft. lbs. Muzzle Energy.
12. .380 2.7" Sig P238 Scuba Oz 88 gr Remington HTP 21" No expansion but tumble damage
3.25" Glock 42 barrel LuckyGunner 88 gr Remington HTP 839 fps 16.9" .354 139 ft. lbs.