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Old 02-12-2011, 22:56   #1
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Location: Cleveland OH
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Speer Gold Dot vs Hornady Critical Defense

After a fair amount of research and reading, including taking into strong consideration your own recommendations, I decided on Speer Gold Dot ammunition for carry purposes - 90 grain .380 for my wife's Ruger LCP, 124 grain +P 9mm for my Glock 19, and 124 grain +P 9mm (410 ft-lb) short barrel for my Glock 26.

I've seen lots of advertising and articles lately on the Hornady Critical Defense series of ammunition. For those reading who have managed to avoid the advertising onslaught, it's Hornady's self defense ammunition that has a polymer insert, designed to prevent the "plugging" of the hollowpoint with clothing, which can prevent expansion. It seems like a good idea, and their marketing videos show it working very well (at the expense of their competitors' ammunition of course, which unsurprisingly fails to expand every time).

The Hornady .380 is also 90 grain, however the only 9mm load is a 115 grain non-overpressure load (332 ft-lb).

What is your opinion on the Critical Defense ammunition? Is the benefit of the claimed reliable expansion worth the reduction in energy (in the case of the 9mm)? Do you know of any real-world experiences with this ammunition that might counteract the marketing claims?

Thanks, Mas.
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Old 02-13-2011, 23:17   #2
Mas Ayoob
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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The Critical Defense concept makes for a promising load and I'm happy with the quality control. I just haven't run across any actual shootings with it, and these days there are enough street-proven loads that this old phart is more comfortable going with ammo that has worked in the field. Feel free to check with the manufacturer and see if they have any documented shootings with it yet.

The Gold Dot 124+P in the Glock 19s and other guns of NYPD has been working well in the field for decades, and has proven itself with Chicago PD and Las Vegas Metro and many more. That makes me comfortable enough to recommend it.

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