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For 9mm, I use whatever ammo on Doc's list that I can obtain, and runs in my gun. Over the last five or so years, that is either Federal HST 147 or Speer Gold Dot 124+p. The last order in 2021, the GD was available, so that's what I ordered. Both have run in all my plastic striker guns 100%.

I don't have an experience with .45 SD ammo, so am hoping to pick up on input here for my new Garrison (my first .45, my first 1911). Looks like Federal HST or Ranger T Bonded are popular.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
For 9mm, I use whatever ammo on Doc's list that I can obtain, and runs in my gun. Over the last five or so years, that is either Federal HST 147 or Speer Gold Dot 124+p. The last order in 2021, the GD was available, so that's what I ordered. Both have run in all my plastic striker guns 100%.

I don't have an experience with .45 SD ammo, so am hoping to pick up on input here for my new Garrison (my first .45, my first 1911). Looks like Federal HST or Ranger T Bonded are popular.
Solid choices; thanks for sharing.

Yes, reading the thread thus far, it seems that flagship LE product lines from the leading ammo producers—Federal HST, Winchester Ranger, and Speer Gold Dot—are the most often chosen thus far. It also seems that folks prefer heavier bullets (e.g., 230gr. for .45 and 147gr. for 9mm) and more often than I expected, +P too. It also seems that Underwood is very popular among Addicts and that Doctor Roberts list and it’s data driven approach has inspired many folks, despite being older, because the essentials of what makes solid self defense ammo are unchanged. One exception is the addition of Lehigh full copper rounds to the mix.
 

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Solid choices; thanks for sharing.

Yes, reading the thread thus far, it seems that flagship LE product lines from the leading ammo producers—Federal HST, Winchester Ranger, and Speer Gold Dot—are the most often chosen thus far. It also seems that folks prefer heavier bullets (e.g., 230gr. for .45 and 147gr. for 9mm) and more often than I expected, +P too. It also seems that Underwood is very popular among Addicts and that Doctor Roberts list and it’s data driven approach has inspired many folks, despite being older, because the essentials of what makes solid self defense ammo are unchanged. One exception is the addition of Lehigh full copper rounds to the mix.
Hmmm, 2 questions....?

1.) "... What’s Your 1911/2011 Self Defense Ammo? ....

Well, it depends on the day and the barometric pressure and what I had for breakfast... but, if I can drag out the Desert Eagle 1911 you can bet I'll be using the Browning 230gr for the 45 --- go big, or don't go at all...
And depending on the alignment of the planets on Tuesdays, I prefer the Browning 124gr on a few of the 9mm's... on certain hot days I prefer Sellier & Bellot and Fiocchi 115gr for 9mm use - they're clean burning.


My super favorite is the Norma products ..I like the 124gr .. but in the last 10 months I've been using a lot of their 65gr "Frangible" 9mm ammo.... super clean, no muss, no fuss ------ try it, you'll like it

Why did you choose it
?..."

They were the easiest to grab when somebody left their trunk open...?;)
 

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Speer Gold Dot, 45ACP, 230gr or 40S&W 180gr. It was recommended in a concealed carry class I took to use the same ammunition that local law enforcement used.
 
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My typical carry loads...
9mm - 124+P Gold Dot
.40 - 155 Gold Dot
10mm - 180+P Gold Dot
.45 - 200+P Gold Dot
I do like HST and Ranger T’s. I’ve bought a few of the Lehighs but have done any experimenting with them yet. I do find them an interesting SD load.
 

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Speer Gold Dots by Underwood. 125gr 38Spl+P, 124gr 9mm+P+, 125gr 357 Magnum, 125gr 357Sig, 180gr 10mm, 200gr 45 Auto Colt Pistol

Chose it for the velocity and low flash powder
 

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230 ball.
I'm no ballistics expert, just figure if it was good enough for generations of our warriors to carry into battle it is adequate for taking out the trash today.
 

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Speer Gold Dot or HSTs at 124gr loaded to +P pressure. They're both proven, reliable bullets that are readily available. +P is a "nice to have" but not an absolute necessity imo.

If they disappeared tomorrow I wouldn't lose a ton of sleep with Winchester Ranger or Hornady Critical Duty. Both have performed well in gel but don't have as widespread adoption as the standard bearers above.
 

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The Lehigh bullets do see
Thank you for the detailed and helpful follow up, @Merton and extending to more common calibers! The fact you can reload is an awesome plus, especially given no boon in the future of the ammo marketplace.

I want to share a suggestion and solicit feedback from others too wrt the usage of FMJ in different calibers. The primary scenarios for using FMJ as far as I understand it are: (1) concern a JHP wouldn’t expand given some problem (e.g., insufficient velocity, HP cavity plugged), and (2) a requirement for deep penetration.

Both of these can be addressed (after proper self testing) with the full copper, non-expanding Lehigh Defense penetration bullet which is available from them, WC (Wilson Combat bought the company), and Underwood.
View attachment 1132807
After stripping lots of marketing talk, they say this: ”…the Xtreme Penetrator Fluid Transfer Monolithic (XP FTM) product line, for both handgun and rifles. The progressive nose geometry allows for deep, straight penetration while creating a permanent wound cavity diameter exceeding that of most expanding bullets.

The rest of the above as well as their offerings can be found on:Xtreme Penetrator - Our Technologies and it would be great if anyone who has done first hand testing, or research into these and can offer an informative view rather than my testing suggestion.
I have yet to shoot the Lehigh-type bullets but the data that is out there is very compelling. It really does seem to work as advertised.

For me, your suggested uses of FMJ is about spot on. In the end, a non-expanding HP will still act as a FMJ, theoretically. I believe that under penetration is the biggest deterrent to me. I do not live with North America's large Brown and Grizzly bears, but I do live with cougars, wolves, feral dogs, black bear and other vicious if smaller animals like badger. 12-18 months ago I shot a badger at under 15 yards with a .45 FMJ and it did not exit that little animals body. It died, but it did not pass through and to this day I have wondered if somehow I missed the exit hole, but I didn't. That bullet stayed inside and it made me rethink everything. I used to carry a Ruger LCP .22lr in my jacket pocket as something of a "backup". Not only is it too unreliable of a backup as it is a semi-auto and a rimfire(a centerfire revolver is the true belly gun), but then of course there is the underwhelming performance of .22lr out of 2" barrels.

For me, the use of FMJ/hardcast is for a few reasons. I believe that reliability of course is tops with RN bullets. I also believe that cast will shoot better than lead in 90%+ barrels. I love the 200gr. SWC in the .45 as it is accurate and effective, but reliability drops with the SWC profile. The .45 is in my opinion the "perfect" cartridge for defense because the diameter, weight and slow speed are an ideal combination for bipedal animals that are under 24" deep at the juicy bits. My only concern with HP's in the .45 for my personal situation is that they could underpenetrate on a wolf or cougar, but though they live right outside my door Oregon has neither a cougar nor wolf attack of a human in the record, ever.
 
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