best 9mm ammo for self defense
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8 Best 9MM Ammo for Self Defense

When choosing a caliber for self-defense, you want to ensure that it will provide enough stopping power in an emergency.

9mm is an affordable and common handgun caliber used by law enforcement agencies and civilians for self-defense and target practice.

This caliber packs quite a punch and provides excellent stopping power while remaining relatively cheap.

With so many brands of 9mm ammunition available, it is challenging to choose the best option for your needs.

To help you find the best 9mm ammo for self-defense, we have compiled this list of some of the top options on the market right now.

Each one of these loads has proven itself trustworthy in real-life scenarios.

Below is the 8 Best 9MM Ammo for Self Defense.

#1. Sig Sauer 9MM 124GR JHP V-Crown Elite Performance Ammunition 20RDS

Sig Sauer 9MM 124GR JHP V-Crown Elite Performance Ammunition 20RDS

  • Bullet Type: Jacketed Hollow Point
  • Casing Type: Nickel Plated Brass
  • Bullet Weight: 124 Grain
  • Round Count: 20/Box
  • Muzzle Energy: 374 lb/ft
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,165 fps

The Sig Sauer 9MM 124GR JHP V-Crown Elite Performance Ammunition is an excellent option for any shooter looking for superior performance out of their rounds.

Each round has a Techni-Crom coated brass casing that provides improved lubricity and corrosion resistance for enhanced loading and extracting.

This ammunition has a jacketed hollow point with a 374 lb/ft muzzle energy and 1,165 fps muzzle velocity, providing an excellent balance of terminal performance and weight retention.

The Sig V-Crown has a unique stack design that provides enhanced round expansion and control.

Each box comes with 20 rounds of ammunition.

If you are looking for high-performance ammunition built for personal defense, you cannot go wrong with the Sig Sauer 9MM 124GR JHP V-Crown Elite Performance Ammunition 20RDS.

It is available from Palmetto State Armory. Here’s where to buy it: www.PalmettoStateArmory.com

#2. PMC Bronze 9MM Ammo 115 Grain JHP 50RDS

PMC Bronze 9MM Ammo 115 Grain JHP 50RDS

  • Bullet Type: Jacketed Hollow Point
  • Casing Type: Brass
  • Bullet Weight: 115 Grain
  • Round Count: 50/Box
  • Muzzle Energy: 344 lb/ft
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,160 fps

If you are looking for reliable ammunition, PMC’s Bronze 9MM Ammo 115 Grain JHP is an excellent choice.

The ammunition has a brass casing, a 115-grain bullet weight, and a jacketed hollow point for impressive self-defense performance.

PMC ammunition prides itself on superior quality assurance that only allows rounds that pass rigorous inspections to make the cut.

These rounds are perfect for self-defense, hunting, and target practice.

You also get a box of 50 rounds at an affordable price.

If you are looking for affordable hollow point ammunition built with reliability in mind, PMC’s Bronze 9MM Ammo 115 Grain JHP 50RDS is perfect for you.

It is available from Palmetto State Armory. Here’s where to buy it: www.PalmettoStateArmory.com

#3. Norma Ammunition 108 GR Monolithic Hollow Point 9MM Ammo, 20/Box

Norma Ammunition 108 GR Monolithic Hollow Point 9MM Ammo, 20 Box

  • Bullet Type: Monolithic Hollow Point
  • Casing Type: Brass
  • Bullet Weight: 108 Grain
  • Round Count: 20/Box
  • Muzzle Energy: 413 lb/ft
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,312 fps

Norma’s Ammunition 108 GR Monolithic Hollow Point 9MM Ammo is designed to provide maximum round expansion when it hits its target for massive damage.

It has a cold form monolithic copper construction with a 108-grain bullet weight for consistent performance.

While some ammunition performance may vary based on your barrel length, but with Norma’s Ammunition 108 GR Monolithic Hollow Point, you will have reliable performance regardless of your barrel length.

If maximum expansion is what you are looking for, Norma’s Ammunition 108 GR Monolithic Hollow Point 9MM Ammo, 20/Box is an excellent choice.

It is available from Palmetto State Armory. Here’s where to buy it: www.PalmettoStateArmory.com

#4. Liberty 9MM+P 50GR HP Civil Defense Ammunition 20RDS

Liberty 9MM+P 50GR HP Civil Defense Ammunition 20RDS

  • Bullet Type: Hollow Point
  • Casing Type: Brass
  • Bullet Weight: 50 Grain
  • Round Count: 20/Box
  • Muzzle Energy: 450 lb/ft
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,000 fps

Liberty’s 9MM+P 50GR HP Civil Defense Ammunition has the highest muzzle velocity and energy on this list and offers a serious impact with a lightweight round.

With a hollow point design, the ammunition is perfect for self-defense.

Even with this round’s massive power, you will experience reduced felt recoil.

It is important to note that your weapon needs to be rated for +P ammunition.

With superior muzzle velocity and a much flatter trajectory, the Liberty 9MM+P 50GR HP Civil Defense Ammunition 20RDS is perfect for those looking for more range or penetration.

It is available from Palmetto State Armory. Here’s where to buy it: www.PalmettoStateArmory.com

#5. Federal Personal Defense 124 GR HST JHP 9MM Ammo, 20/Pack

Federal Personal Defense 124 GR HST JHP 9MM Ammo, 20/Pack

  • Bullet Type: HST Jacketed Hollow Point
  • Casing Type: Brass
  • Bullet Weight: 124 Grain
  • Round Count: 20/Box
  • Muzzle Energy: 396 lb/ft
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,200 fps

The Federal Personal Defense 124 GR HST JHP 9MM Ammo is specifically designed for self-defense.

This ammunition has an HST jacketed hollow point design, which is perfect for maximum projectile expansion to cause massive damage to your target.

With a nearly 100% weight retention, your shots will not get plugged while passing through barriers.

It features a bullet nose profile, a nickel-plated case, and a unique primer that enhances reliability.

The Federal Personal Defense 124 GR HST JHP 9MM Ammo, 20/Pack is an excellent option for shooters that want ammunition with a history of reliability and performance.

It is available from Palmetto State Armory. Here’s where to buy it: www.PalmettoStateArmory.com

#6. Hornady 9MM 147GR XTP Custom Pistol Ammunition 25RDS

Hornady 9MM 147GR XTP Custom Pistol Ammunition 25RDS

  • Bullet Type: Extreme Terminal Performance
  • Casing Type: Brass
  • Bullet Weight: 147 Grain
  • Round Count: 25/Box
  • Muzzle Energy: 310 lb/ft
  • Muzzle Velocity: 975 fps

Hornady’s 9MM 147GR XTP Custom Pistol Ammunition is a high-performance hollow point round that provides impressive accuracy and power with a lower muzzle velocity than the other ammunition on this list.

It is perfect for any type of shooting, including law enforcement, competition shooting, and self-defense.

The round features a swagged core and a drawn copper jacket to have an even expansion on impact and accuracy in flight

Also, each box comes with 25 rounds.

If you are looking for a heavier bullet with excellent spread and stopping power, the Hornady 9MM 147GR XTP Custom Pistol Ammunition 25RDS is right for you.

It is available from Palmetto State Armory. Here’s where to buy it: www.PalmettoStateArmory.com

#7. Hornady 9MM 100GR FTX Critical Defense Lite Ammunition 25RDS

Hornady 9MM 100GR FTX Critical Defense Lite Ammunition 25RDS

  • Bullet Type: Jacketed Hollow Point
  • Casing Type: Brass
  • Bullet Weight: 115 Grain
  • Round Count: 50/Box
  • Muzzle Energy: 359 lb/ft
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,185 fps

Hornady’s 9MM 100GR FTX Critical Defense Lite Ammunition is perfect for those looking for a hollow point round with reduced recoil.

This 100-grain ammunition features a 27% reduction in recoil, making it perfect for all shooters who want consistent follow-on shots

Even with the reduced recoil, it can penetrate 10 inches into ballistic gelatin through heavy clothing.

Making this a hard-hitting round with enhanced accuracy and control.

It features a pink flex tip, and a portion of the proceeds goes to help fight breast cancer.

The Hornady 9MM 100GR FTX Critical Defense Lite Ammunition 25RDS should be your first pick if you are looking for powerful ammunition with reduced recoil.

It is available from Palmetto State Armory. Here’s where to buy it: www.PalmettoStateArmory.com

#8. Remington UMC 115 GR Jacketed Hollow Point 9MM Ammo, 100/Box

Remington UMC 115 GR Jacketed Hollow Point 9MM Ammo, 100/Box

  • Bullet Type: Jacketed Hollow Point
  • Casing Type: Brass
  • Bullet Weight: 115 Grain
  • Round Count: 100/Box
  • Muzzle Energy: 335 lb/ft
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,145 fps

Remington’s UMC 115 GR Jacketed Hollow Point 9MM Ammo is an excellent choice for those who want an incredible value.

The ammunition comes with factory-fresh brass and clean-shooting Kleanbore primers to provide a smooth shooting experience.

Their rounds feature a lead core and lead-free primers.

You also get 100 rounds per box with the Remington UMC.

If you are looking for excellent performance at a great value, the Remington UMC 115 GR Jacketed Hollow Point 9MM Ammo, 100/Box is a top pick.

It is available from Palmetto State Armory. Here’s where to buy it: www.PalmettoStateArmory.com

What to Consider When Buying Ammo for Self-Defense

Before buying ammunition for your 9mm pistol, you should know the basics of what to look for in ammunition and why those differences matter.

Types of Bullets

Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket ammunition is also called ball ammunition and is perfect for target practice and range use.

These types of rounds are inexpensive, making them perfect for throwing rounds downrange.

Full Metal Jacket rounds do not expand as much when striking a target providing enhanced penetration.

Because of their penetration, Full Metal Jacket rounds are not preferred for self-defense because they can go through a target and hit an unintended target.

Frangible

Frangible ammunition is unique because the round scatters into small particles or dust upon impact.

The benefit of this is that it decreases the chances of a ricochet, making it perfect for target practice.

While this ammunition is still lethal and has less penetration than a Full Metal Jacket, it is not recommended for self-defense.

Jacket Hollow Point

Jacket Hollow Point ammunition is your go-to ammunition for self-defense or shot to kill.

It is the best option for self-defense because upon hitting a soft target, the round will expand and cause more damage to the target.

Additionally, hollow point ammunition has decreased penetration, making them a safer option.

The last thing you want is to injure or kill a loved one accidentally.

The below YouTube video does a great job explaining the differences between range ammo and self defense ammo: 

Key Attributes of Ammunition

Besides the type of ammunition, there are a few things to consider when choosing what ammunition is right for you.

Things such as weight, muzzle velocity, and muzzle energy will affect how a round hits a target.

Bullet Weight

The basic unit of measure for a bullet’s weight is grain.

Lighter grain bullets will travel faster, meaning their trajectory will be more flat, improving accuracy.

However, ammunition with a higher grain will be more effective at taking down your target.

Higher grain ammunition will travel slower, meaning it will also have a shorter effective distance.

Muzzle Energy

Muzzle energy is the amount of force a round can deliver to a target and is also known as kinetic energy.

It can be used to indicate how destructive a round can be on a target.

Muzzle Velocity

Muzzle Velocity is the speed of a projectile as it leaves the barrel.

The benefit of having a higher muzzle velocity is that a round travels on a flatter trajectory and transfers energy better.

With self-defense in mind, the transfer of energy can mean different things based on the ammunition.

More velocity could mean more penetration or a better spread on a hollow point round.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for self-defense ammunition designed to take down a target, look for a hollow point.

While full metal jacket rounds are excellent for the range, you may want to try out a few different types of hollow points at the range to see what ammunition works best for you.

It may take a few tries to find the best fit, but all the ammunition on this list are excellent options for anyone looking to defend themselves.

References

What Gun To Purchase: Consider the 9mm Pistol for Self-Defense?

5 Tips For Buying The Right Ammo For Your Gun

9mm vs. .45 ACP

See Also

12 Best 9mm Pistols For Concealed Carry & Home Defense

12 Best Handguns For Beginners

Best Subcompact 9mm Pistols

8 Best 10mm Pistols

 
Rob V.
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If you're looking for the best 9mm ammo for self defense, check out these 8 great choices.
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