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Old 06-02-2014, 19:33   #1
hunter 111
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old article but still valid today

According to Steve Johnson, Hornady Marketing Communications Manager, the Critical Defense line of handgun ammunition:

*"...is not designed to shoot through glass, is not designed to shoot through a car door, and is not designed to shoot through a wall.**If you have to shoot through something like that in a personal defense situation you're probably going to jail."

*-- NRA's American Guardian TV

Thus if you carry a concealed handgun for personal defense and need to shoot from the inside of your car, through glass or sheetmetal, then you cannot rely on Hornady Critical Defense handgun ammo to perform.**If you're stopped at the side of the road changing a flat tire and you're attacked, you cannot rely on Hornady Critical Defense handgun ammo to shoot through glass and sheetmetal, if that's what it takes to stop the attack.

Laminated automotive windshield glass is an especially difficult barrier for handgun bullets.

Ironically at least one TV commercial for Hornady Critical Defense handgun ammo depicts a couple stopped on the side of a road, in a remote location, changing out a flat tire.**In a scenario such as this you might have to shoot through a raised trunk lid, glass hatchback, raised engine hood, or through the sheetmetal of an open car door.

If you use Hornady Critical Defense handgun ammo for home defense you cannot rely on it to perform if you have shoot through concealment, such as the corner of a wall or through sheetrock and 2x4 studs near a door jam, to hit the center mass of a violent home intruder who's partially concealed, if that's what it takes to stop the attack.

Hornady Critical Defense handgun ammo is not designed to shoot through anything other than clothing.**It's not tested against anything other than bare gelatin and clothing.**Performance against commonly encountered light barrier materials is untested and unknown.**Therefore if your self-defense requirements include the capability to shoot through commonly encountered light barrier materials then Hornady Critical Defense handgun ammo is not your best choice.

The human target presents the same challenges to private citizens as it does to law enforcement.**Is a law enforcement officer more likely to have to shoot through glass, sheetmetal or the corner of a wall than a private citzen?**Probably.**But because the odds are probably greater for law enforcement to encounter these kinds of situations does not mean that the odds are zero for a private citizen.

Personal defense ammo designed especially for "private citizens" is a niche market.**Perhaps it's somehow more morally/socially appealing for a private citizen to use handgun ammunition with less terminal performance capability compared to common law enforcement handgun ammunition?

If you're looking for specific advice about what handgun ammunition to choose for self-defense then I suggest you consider the loads that have been tested and found to provide outstanding terminal performance which are listed in the thread*Service Pistol Duty and Self-Defense Loads*posted by Dr. Gary K. Roberts ("DocGKR")*at M4Carbine.net Forums.Personally, my primary defense handguns are the Glock 19 and Kahr PM-9.* I load both with Speer 9mm 124gr +P Gold Dot JHP ammunition, which I purchase for about $27 per 50 round box from*Streicher's PoliceHQ.com.* Private citizens can purchase Speer Gold Dot and Federal Law Enforcement Tactical HST handgun ammunition directly from Streicher's.
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Old 06-02-2014, 20:56   #2
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Exactly what I've always said. Odds of a private citizen needing barrier penetration are low but not zero. It does happen. I prefer Gold Dots. HSTs also do well.

Last edited by cowboy1964; 06-02-2014 at 20:56..
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:13   #3
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Thus if you carry a concealed handgun for personal defense and need to shoot from the inside of your car, through glass or sheetmetal, then you cannot rely on Hornady Critical Defense handgun ammo to perform.**If you're stopped at the side of the road changing a flat tire and you're attacked, you cannot rely on Hornady Critical Defense handgun ammo to shoot through glass and sheetmetal, if that's what it takes to stop the attack.
Shorter, just as accurate, and doesn't unfairly single out Hornady for going on the record.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:29   #4
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If you need barrier penetration, you could alternate HP and FMJ in the same magazine.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:43   #5
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Thank you for posting this. From at least one Hornady ad I've seen in magazines it sure as hell LOOKS like they're touting the barrier-penetrating abilities of this ammo.

Wonder why they'd do that? Clothing I can see and I'd even spot 'em some drywall (maybe) but I remember it depicting auto glass, wood, sheet metal and possibly some other material and showing the deformation of the slugs after.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:49   #6
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I think his point is that there is no perfect bullet for all situations and that their design priority is for the most likely ones.
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Old 06-03-2014, 21:37   #7
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If you need barrier penetration, you could alternate HP and FMJ in the same magazine.
That's dumb on many levels.
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Old 06-03-2014, 21:56   #8
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Supposedly Hornady FXT is a vast improvement. I haven't tried it. I'm a big bore guy.
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Old 06-03-2014, 22:14   #9
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I think you will find that most of the major makers who make "Personal defense" lines would say the same thing. Their ammo is designed for up close and personal encounters. not shooting through barriers. When I was still a trainer ans we used Hostage targets, "Center Mass" was the center of the available target, not shooting through the hostage so you can hit them in the chest. I would not rely on any pistol ammo to shoot through trunks lids.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:55   #10
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What is more likely, shooting through something to reach an attacker or over penetration injuring a bystander? I also use Speer gold dot but not because of it's ability to shoot through barriers. I don't think any hollow point that is designed to prevent over penetration is going to perform well in those situations. Don't bad mouth hornady because they are honest about the shortcomings of hollow point ammo.
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Old 06-04-2014, 18:00   #11
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What is more likely, shooting through something to reach an attacker or over penetration injuring a bystander? I also use Speer gold dot but not because of it's ability to shoot through barriers. I don't think any hollow point that is designed to prevent over penetration is going to perform well in those situations. Don't bad mouth hornady because they are honest about the shortcomings of hollow point ammo.
You don't hunt do you.
You always I mean always know what is behind your target.
If you can't shoot you duck and cover
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Old 06-04-2014, 18:27   #12
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You don't hunt do you.
You always I mean always know what is behind your target.
If you can't shoot you duck and cover
Yes I do hunt. When hunting you get to pick the time and place. You also don't have to shoot if you are worried about what is behind the target. In self defense, the bad guy is picking the time and place. He is also putting more pressure on you to shoot. If I feel like I have a choice I am not shooting at a human.

Also, I don't hunt in the middle of a big city. I hunt where I have several safe directions to shoot.
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Old 06-04-2014, 22:27   #13
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I'm of the opinion that the chance of a complete MISS is infinitely greater than the chance of an over penetration.
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Old 06-04-2014, 22:29   #14
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People need to start watching videos of actual armed citizen shootings that get posted on YouTube and Liveleak and carefully observe just how dynamic and how quickly things go bad in a hurry. I have yet to see a shooting where an armed citizen has had to shoot through a door or through a windshield let alone into a car. And if you're inside your house and you are forced to shoot through a bedroom door, any JHP will easily penetrate the common hollow core door. Bonded bullets are not necessary.

As for the continued advise of using FMJ ammo for penetration, this is wrong on so many levels, especially with known overpenetration that FMJ/solid bullets are known for.

Where I live I might see a day or two of light snow during the winter, but that doesn't mean I'll be driving my car with snow tires all year long. The chances of a legally armed citizen needing to fire his/her pistol in SD is rare, let alone needing to shoot thru barriers to stop his/her attacker. Pick a good JHP bullet that functions 100% in your pistol and leave it at that. Use the FMJ ammo for range and practice.
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Old 06-04-2014, 23:09   #15
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I'm of the opinion that the chance of a complete MISS is infinitely greater than the chance of an over penetration.
In an actual justified SD shooting, a missed shot that may kill an innocent can and should be considered as an excusible homicide. (Check you state's laws regarding Excusible Homicide. Here in CA we're covered under Penal Code 195.).

If you carry ammo that is known to have a history of excessive penetration (namely FMJ/solid bullets) and your bullet passes through your attacker and kills someone else, that in itself can easily be considered negligent in the eyes of a prosecutor, judge and ultimately the jury.

It's much easier to convince a judge/jury why a reasonable and prudent armed citizen would carry a good modern JHP ammo in one's gun than why one would carry some other type of ammo that is known to overpenetrate a human body and that has actually maimed and killed innocent people in the past.

I'm sure that Mas could provide more on this subject in his GATE forum.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:28   #16
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I was referring to over penetration with hollow point ammo. Which is what the thread started off with and is mostly about.
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:54   #17
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Critical Defense vs. Critical Duty
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:46   #18
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That's dumb on many levels.
Explain why alternating FMJ with JHP is dumb please.
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Old 06-07-2014, 19:05   #19
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Explain why alternating FMJ with JHP is dumb please.
The mere fact that FMJ/solid bullets in service calibers have a known fact of dangerously excessive penetration is reason enough to not use such ammo in SD handguns.
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Old 06-07-2014, 19:31   #20
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Yes I do hunt. When hunting you get to pick the time and place. You also don't have to shoot if you are worried about what is behind the target. In self defense, the bad guy is picking the time and place. He is also putting more pressure on you to shoot. If I feel like I have a choice I am not shooting at a human.

Also, I don't hunt in the middle of a big city. I hunt where I have several safe directions to shoot.
I tell you the time
You tell me how a clock works
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