Best 9mm Ammo Review 2017 for Self-Defense/Range Shooting

The best 9mm ammunition usually has the perfect balance between penetration as well as expansion, though they may vary in terms of muzzle velocity and muzzle energy (fancy a muzzleloader?). To be honest, there are various types of design out there, involving the type and weight of the ammo. Hence why, this review is here to save the day, to give you a little insight about the top rated 9mm ammo out there.

In addition to that, this 9mm ammo, also as known as 9mm Luger is mainly used for plinking, range training as well as self-defense where they are widely utilized by civilians and law enforcement agencies. As for the shape and size of the ammo itself, they come in an alloy casing (mostly boxer-primed) that is reloadable.

They are then packed into boxes and neatly arranged for easy handling. That being said, you can either buy them in bulks or the usual 50 rounds per box. If you are an extreme and avid shooter, I suggest that you get the ammo in bulks because it is a lot cheaper per round, hence very worth it, in terms of investment. The common price for a box of 50 rounds is usually 20$.

Top 10 Rated 9mm Ammo Comparison Table

Name of ProductBullet WeightTotal roundMuzzle VelocityMuzzle EnergyPrice
Speer Gold Dot JHP115 grain201210 fps374 ft lbs$$
Winchester Supreme Elite JHP124 grain201200 fps400 ft lbs$$
Hornady Critical Defense FTX115 grain251135 fps329 ft lbs$$
Remington Golden Saber BJHP147 grain500990 fps320 ft lbs$$$
Federal Premium LE HST JHP147 grain501000 fps326 ft lbs$$
Magtech Guardian Gold JHP115 grain201246 fps397 ft lbs$$
Blazer Brass FMJ124 grain10001090 fps327 ft lbs$$$
PMC Battle Pack FMJ115 grain9001150 fps338 ft lbs$$$
PMC FMJ115 grain10001150 fps338 ft lbs$$$
Prvi Partizan JHP115 grain10001148 fps335 ft lbs$$$

Bullet Weight

The bullet weight is measured in grains (abbreviated: ’gr’). The weight doesn’t make much difference as long as you use the right caliber in your pistol. For your information, caliber refers to the internal diameter of the gun barrel. Hence, it all comes down on your personal preference and the other additional features the ammo offers.

Bullet Type

There are various bullet types out there. Most of them comes with the (mentioned in this review) the full metal jacket (FMJ) and jacketed hollow point (JHP). For the full metal jacket, it is a traditional design which is usually used in semi-automatic pistols. It offers great feeding system and maintains the accuracy of your shot.

For the jacketed hollow point on the other hand, the bullet has a hollowed out shape and basically expands upon entering the target therefore resulting in controlled penetration. The hollow point on the other hand is covered with alloy metal coating which comes in handy for improved bullet strength as well as ensures clean firing therefore preventing fouling in barrel.

You can check out other types and designs here.

Primer Type

What is a primer, you may be wondering? First things first, you must understand that a primer plays an important role in the firearm. In larger weapons, the primer is located at the end of the gun’s barrel and function to ignite the power charge. Conversely, in smaller weapons, they are placed at the rear end of the cartridge.

The popular primer style is the boxer-primed brass style. The brass constructions ensures that the projectile is corrosion-free. For the boxer style on the other hand, it comes with a cup and anvil so that the projectile can be removed and replaced with maximum ease, with a pin punch. Hence, it can be reloaded conveniently.

Number of Rounds & Packaging

The number of rounds depends solely on what you plan to use the 10mm ammo for. If you notice below, the product with a large number or rounds are usually the best for range training meanwhile the common 50 or 20 rounds per box are used for self-defense.

That being said, if you plan on training or brushing up your shooting skills, you should go for the ammo in bulks because it not only is a lot cheaper but you also get to fire hundreds of rounds continuously with ease. Moving on to the packaging, they are usually packed neatly, in an organized manner for simple handling. The ones in bulks are divided into boxes and cases so it is well organized.

Best Self-Defense Ammo :

1. Speed Gold Dot JHP

Speed Gold Dot JHP 9mm ammo

Manufactured by Speer Gold Dot, this personal-defense ammo comes with a total of 20 rounds, placed in a box. If you’re a beginner who want to try out shooting or basically use it for home defense, this product would be right for you since you will not need to use up many rounds at once, hence why 20 or 50 per box is good enough for you and also, if you finally decide that shooting isn’t your cup of tea after all!

Weighing 115 grain, this self-defense bullets is basically the jacketed hollow point (JHP) type. If you’re wondering, the specialty of the JHP is that it is equipped with a hollowed out center. Therefore, when a hollow point is in contact with the target, it will result in the deformation of the bullet hence producing devastating results.

Apart from that, it has excellent proven terminal ballistics as well as impressive knockdown power thereby making it an excellent choice to be used as a premium defense ammo. For your information, the muzzle velocity measures 1210 feet per seconds (fps) whereas the muzzle energy measures 374 foot pounds (ft lbs).

In terms of the casing on the other hand, it is boxer-primed with nickel-plated brass. The all alloy construction prevents corrosion on the case in the long run meanwhile the boxer-primed style contributes to convenient reloading since the cartridge can be replaced and removed with maximum ease.

Furthermore, this hollow point ammo is basically loaded with bonded core bullets that are designed for critical defense needs. In other words, the bonded core bullet refers to the elimination of the core-jacket separation and impressive weight retention. As a result of that, it is way more effective compared to the traditional hollow point bullet, when encountered with bone or heavy clothing upon entry.

Suitable for :

    • 20 rounds per box
    • Boxer-primed case
    • Impressive knockdown power
    • Bonded core bullets
    • Jacketed hollow point (JHP)
    • Reloadable and non-corrosive

2. Winchester Supreme Elite JHP

Winchester Supreme Elite jacketed hollow point bullet

First things first, this product is manufactured from the Winchester Supreme Elite. It is a very popular brand in the weapons and ammo field so that would say a little about its expensive price. Though slightly expensive, it is a really good ammo, in my opinion! Mark my words, your shooting performance would be rather excellent with these solidly made ammo.

Since it only comes with 20 rounds per box, it is not suitable for range training. Hence why, it is great for home defense where you are not required to use hundreds of rounds continuously. In my opinion, it is one of the best home defense 9mm ammunition out there so keep a close lookout for this ammo.

Moreover, the bullets are the jacketed hollow-point (JHP) type. Weighing 124 grains, the hollow-point bullet is designed for maximum energy transfer upon impact as well as controlled expansion during penetration, when in contact with the target. The JHP style on the other hand has a hollowed out shape where the bullet expands when entering the target for lesser penetration (controlled penetration).

That being said, they are usually enveloped in a coating of harder metal (copper alloy usually) to enhance the strength of the bullet as well as prevent fouling in the barrel. All in all, it is designed to maximize terminal ballistics therefore successfully meeting the demands of the FBI test protocol.

Apart from that, the muzzle velocity measures 1200 fps meanwhile the muzzle energy, 400 ft lbs. For your information, the muzzle energy refers to the bullet’s kinetic energy when ejected from the muzzle. The theory is rather straightforward; the heavier the bullet, the quicker it moves with higher muzzle energy and voila, more damage on your target.

Moving on to the muzzle velocity, it defines the speed of the ammo when fired from the muzzle of the gun. They are a lot higher, of course with high performance cartridges. In addition to that, the ammo casing on the other hand is boxer-primed with nickel-plated brass therefore contributing to excellent corrosion resistance as well as easy reloading.

Suitable for :

    • 20 rounds altogether
    • 124 grain JHP bullets
    • Controlled penetration
    • Best home defense ammo

3. Hornady Critical Defense FTX

Hornady Critical Defense Flex tip bullets

First and foremost, the bullet of this ammunition measures 115 grains. That being said, it is of the Flex Tip (FTX) type, where it comes with a patented Flex Tip bullet. Compared to most hollow point bullets, the Flex Tip bullet is equipped with a soft polymer insert that contributes to consistent expansion, for a reliable and controlled penetration overall.

In addition to that, each bullet is custom designed to accommodate individual loads conveniently and they are loaded in nickel plated cases for higher shelf life since the all alloy construction ensures that it is resistant to corrosion. Speaking about cases, this product utilizes the nickel plated as well as boxer-primed brass case which is reloadable.

Most ammunition utilize the boxer priming style where it comes with a cup and anvil so it is rather easy to remove the old primer with a simple pin punch and voila, you can reload it with ease, for your added convenience.

Manufactured by Hornady, this product comes in a total of 25 rounds. If you have noticed, the self-defense rounds are rather easy to identify because they usually come in a very small number of rounds compared to the ammo used for range training. In other words, you don’t need to use up multiple rounds continuously for self-defense.

Moving on to the bullet performance, it puts on an amazing performance as there is close to no malfunctions altogether upon firing multiple rounds. Therefore it is reliable and consistent. Not only that, this personal defense ammo feeds and shoots well, with great accuracy and minimal recoil, for your added convenience.

Besides that, it is a suitable ammo for outside carry rather than home defense as it is equipped with a muzzle flash that can be a little blinding when used at home. All in all, it is a great ammunition overall that promises the perfect expansion and penetration characteristics, as well as an accurate and clean shot.

Suitable for :

    • Flex Tip bullet
    • Controlled expansion and reliable
    • Feeds and shoots well
    • Muzzle flash
    • 25 rounds (115 grain bullets)

4. Remington Golden Saber BJHP

Remington Golden Saber projectile

First and foremost, this hollow point projectile is equipped with hard brass jackets that has wide mouth openings as well as spiraling serrations that results in deeper penetration, massive expansion not forgetting, impressive terminal ballistics. Overall, the bullet weighs 147 grain and is of the brass-jacketed hollow point (BJHP) type.

In other words, this BJHP bullet type pairs extremely well with its suppressors, mainly due to the subsonic loading. Basically, this product is a 9x19mm round that is highly durable and built to last with threat-dropping energy to the target. That being said, it has a muzzle energy of 320 feet pounds and a muzzle velocity measuring 990 fps.

Manufactured by the popular Remington, this projectile is mainly used for self-defense. Similar to the saber sword, the Remington Golden Saber 9mm ammo provides excellent defense to cut down threats standing in your path with maximum efficiency. It can be either used as personal home defense ammunition or an outside carry (fancy a deer hunting rifle?) according to your preference.

The casing on the other hand is boxer-primed with nickel-plated brass construction which is rust-resistant and ensures smooth cycling therefore contributing to the durability of your product. The boxer-style primer ensures that the ammo can be reloaded with maximum ease as it is easily replaced and removed with a simple pin punch.

In addition to that, it has 500 total rounds altogether. The 500 rounds are packed neatly in an organized manner to ensure easy and convenient handling, with there being 50 rounds per box and 10 boxes per case. If you’re an avid hunter, law enforcement officer or just a cautious civilian who frequently shoots and hunts, then you should totally go for it.

That being said, the bulk-case of 500 rounds comes in handy to allow the shooter plenty of practice to get a little insight and familiarize with the ammo itself, with consistent recoil impulse.

Suitable for :

    • 500 rounds altogether
    • Brass-jacketed hollow point
    • Boxer-primed nickel plated brass
    • Great terminal ballistics
    • Massive expansion & deep penetration

5. Federal Premium LE HST JHP

Federal law enforcement 9mm ammo

Manufactured by the Federal Premium company, this 9mm ammo comes with 50 rounds altogether, in a box. Weighing 147 grain, the bullet is of the HST Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) type which comes in handy to offer massive expansion.

In other words, the hollow points are covered in harder metal coating which contributes to a stronger bullet as well as prevent fouling in the barrel. Besides that, it has a muzzle velocity of 1000 fps and a muzzle energy of 326 foot pounds. When the bullet moves faster, the muzzle energy would increase and voila, more damage on your target.

The bullet on the other hand is equipped with a pre-skived tip which allows the bullet to expand into large petals that would further result in a large permanent wound cavity. That being said, the unique design actually ensures that the lead petals protect the copper petals underneath during the expansion process.

Hence, the increased weight retention contributes to deeper penetration through variety of barriers. All in all, this product provides a perfect balance between cavity penetration as well as projectile expansion when in contact with the target to provide you with the best shooting performance, for your added convenience.

In addition to that, this hollow point ammo is mainly used for self-defense purpose. It is designed for the use of law enforcement officers as well as occasionally made available to the general public through police trade-ins.

Apart from that, the ammo casing is boxer-primed and comes with a nickel plated brass construction to ensure that it is rust-resistant. Speaking of the boxer-style priming system, it comes with an anvil and cup in the center of the pocket hence making it reloadable as it is extremely easy to be replaced and removed.

Suitable for :

    • 50 rounds per box
    • Pre-skived bullet tip
    • Jacketed hollow point bullet (147 grain)
    • Boxer-primed case
    • Deep penetration

6. Magtech Guardian Gold JHP

Magtech Guardian Gold bullets

Manufactured by the Magtech Guardian Gold, this self-defense round has a total of 20 rounds altogether, arranged and packed together neatly in a small and portable box. I think it is well worth your investment as it offers an affordable protection that packs a powerful punch to guarantee you with the best shooting performance.

Moreover, the bullet weighs 115 grain and is of the P jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullet type. The JHP bullet type is commonly used in most 9mm ammo as it comes with a unique design where its hollow point is coated with alloy metal which contributes to the strength of the bullet itself.

That being said, the hollow point bullet comes with a hollowed out shape causing the bullet to expand when in contact with the target which further results in controlled penetration. Not only that, it has a muzzle velocity of 1246 fps and a muzzle energy of 397 foot pounds.

This product is mainly used for self-defense purpose, where it makes an excellent choice for either personal or home defense. All in all, it is a solid ammo because each case is primed with a reliable ignition primer as well as loaded with the finest burning propellants and finally assembled with the specified bullet.

Moving on to the 9mm ammo case, it is made from boxer-primed brass. The brass construction ensures that it is corrosion resistant meanwhile the priming style allows it to be replaced and removed with maximum ease, only with a single pin punch, for your added convenience. Therefore, it can be reloaded each time.

Besides that, the bullet is also subjected to the fine qualities such as tremendous stopping power, awesome mushrooming, deep penetration and dead on accuracy. That being said, it comes with a positive and reliable feeding system. Also, it shoots straight, with the very least chance of misfiring after multiple rounds.

Suitable for :

    • 20 rounds per box
    • Great choice for personal defense
    • Deep penetration + great accuracy
    • Positive feeding and fires clean

Best Range Training Ammo :

1. Blazer Brass FMJ

Blazer Brass full metal jacket

Equipped with a total of 1000 rounds, this product is suitable for avid and frequent shooters. If you frequently use it, it is very well worth your investment because it is a lot cheaper than buying multiple 50 rounds individually. You not only get to save cost, but also familiarize and practice on the ample ammo for better shooting experience.

In terms of arrangements, all the 1000 rounds are arranged and packaged neatly, in an organized manner. Blazer Brass (the manufacturer) did an excellent job in terms of packaging as the ammunition is arranged neatly with 50 rounds per box and 20 boxes per case. It comes in bulks so it is very suitable for range training.

That being said, this product can be used in range shooting target practice, and tactical training. Since it has ample ammo, you can use hundreds of them at a go for practice, with maximum convenience. These range-training rounds provide great accuracy with the right punch to deliver the best shooting performance.

Apart from that, this product consists of bullets weighing 124 grain. They are of full metal jacket (FMJ) type. In other words, the FMJ design is a rather traditional design in order for a positive feeding system in semi-automatic pistols. It is also equipped with a heavy jacket therefore resulting in deep penetration.

In terms of ammo performance, it fires clean and shoots well. Don’t fret, you need not worry about wasting too many of your bullets due to misfiring or jams. The probability of the bullet misfiring is very low (less than 10 bullets, in my experience!) out of the 1000 so it’s safe to say, this product is a great investment.

Though it fires clean, you shouldn’t use it as an excuse to not clean your weapon. Proper maintenance is extremely important for the best performance of your weapon so don’t forget to clean and oil them frequently. Moving on to the casing, this product is equipped with a boxer-primed brass case which is non-corrosive and reloadable, for your added convenience.

Suitable for :

    • 1000 rounds in total (bulk)
    • 124 grain full metal jacket
    • Boxer-primed brass
    • Fires clean and shoots well

2. PMC Battle Pack FMJ

PMC Battle Pack ammo

This product is rather unique because it comes in battle packs. All in all, it has a total of 900 rounds altogether which is divided into 3 battle packs consisting of 300 rounds each. The battle pack is then divided into 60 boxes per pack as well as 50 rounds per box. So, you may be wondering why put it in battle pack when you can leave it be in regular packs just like other products?

To answer your query, these battle packs comes in handy if you’re undergoing field training. That being said, it is suitable to be utilized for field training and range shooting because with this packs, they are easily packed into the battle field.

In other words, the 9mm ammo is vacuum-sealed and wrapped securely in a high density advance polymer sleeve that is solid and tough to withstand impact and rough terrains in the field, without your projectile getting damaged.

To further elaborate on that, the packs are great for long term ammo storage; you need not worry about the ammo getting damaged over the long term as the pack is solid. However, for further protection, you can store them in an ammo can (this measure isn’t necessary) according to your preference. All in all, the ammo itself is highly durable as it is stored in solid packs for safe keeping.

Moving on to the bullets, it weighs 115 grain and is of the full metal jacket (FMJ) type where it features the traditional Sierra accuracy and quality. The heavy jacket further contributes to deep penetration and it is match made for high accuracy and flawless feeding. That being said, this type of bullet offers great accuracy and consistency of your shot.

Apart from that, the bullet travels from the muzzle at a velocity of 1150 fps meanwhile it has the potential energy of 338 foot pounds. In terms of the casing, the ammo casing is boxer-primed therefore leading to convenient reloading as the projectiles can be easily removed and replaced. Also, this product is manufactured by PMC.

Suitable for :

    • 3 battle packs (total: 900 rounds)
    • Boxer-primed brass
    • Long term storage ammo
    • 115 grain full metal jacket

3. PMC FMJ

PMC full metal jacket bullet type

Let’s walk through a brief history of this product. Firstly, this ammunition is manufactured by PMC for the South Korean military. The cartridges, ranging from small arms ammo to large howitzer rounds, were produced to fulfill the military purpose.

I think it’s rather unique because PMC manufactures all of their own components from raw materials, from scratch. They take all the initiative to ensure that the ammo is solidly built with complete control over the oversupply chain and consistency.

Moving on to the bullet type, it weighs 115 grain and is of the full metal jacket (FMJ) type. The FMJ type is mostly used in semi-automatic pistols and has an excellent positive feeding system. All in all, it is a rather reliable range ammo, standard for consistency and excellence. As a proof to that statement, there is almost close to no misfire or jams.

Instead, it provides consistent groupings and clean firing leading to an accurate shot. The bullet moves out of the muzzle with a velocity of 1150 fps and an energy of 338 foot pounds. The casings on the other hand is boxer-primed with brass construction. The brass construction prevents corrosion meanwhile the boxer-style priming contributes to easy reloading, for your added convenience.

Furthermore, it comes in a total quantity of 1000 rounds which is divided accordingly to 50 rounds per box and 20 boxes per case. It comes in bulks therefore it is suitable to be used for range training as you get to fire hundreds of rounds continuously. Not only that, it is a lot cheaper and well worth your investment buying them in bulks compared to buying multiple 50 rounds ammo.

Suitable for :

  • 1000 rounds altogether
  • 115 grain full metal jacket
  • High consistency bullet
  • Non-corrosive and reloadable

4. Prvi Partizan JHP

Prvi Partizan 9mm projectiles

Manufactured by the Prvi Partizan, this 9mm ammunition comes with a 115 grain (bullet weight) jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullet. To give you a little insight, the JHP bullet type refers to the hollow point of the bullet being covered by alloy metal in order to enhance the bullet strength as well as prevent fouling in the barrel due to the lead stripped from the projectile.

Moreover, the casing is boxer-primed brass which is easily reloadable as well as rust-resistant to ensure the high shelf life of the bullet in the long run. Moving on to the bullet performance, it cycles well as well as delivers controlled expansion. As a result of that, it punches clean holes in paper targets.

In addition to that, this projectile is mainly used for range training, however it can also be utilized for self-defense. Its standard pressure load ensures that it works well in both compact and full-sized handguns. Not only that, the bullet travels from the muzzle at a velocity of 1148 fps and with muzzle energy of 335 foot pounds.

It comes in 1000 total rounds. The 1000 rounds are divided into 20 boxes per case and 50 rounds per box in which they are neatly packed and arranged for easy handling. Buying in bulk such as purchasing 500 or 1000 rounds one short really saves cost rather than buying multiple 50 rounds box.

That being said, it is a good deal if you’re about to use them frequently or a lot at once, such as for range training. All in all, it is a good choice for budget self-defense with its excellent ability to expand upon impact and deliver controlled penetration, to provide you with the best shooting experience.

Suitable for :

  • 115 grain jacketed hollow point
  • 1000 rounds altogether
  • Cycles well
  • Controlled penetration
  • Boxer primed brass

Conclusion

All in all, the top rated 9mm ammo should have the perfect balance between expansion and penetration. There are various types of bullet with different designs and types out there so you should choose wisely depending on your personal preference. Therefore, I hope my review assists you in making the right decision.

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