Choosing Ammunition for the Springfield Armory XD-S & Other Short Barrel Handguns

These Speer Gold Dot .45 ACP 230 grain Short Barrel bullets were shot from an XD-S through four layers of denim and still expanded properly.

The performance of any gun is only as good as the ammunition you put into it. And I’m not just talking about using any quality self-defense ammunition. One of the reasons that 9mm guns are more effective today than ever before is the performance of modern 9mm ammunition. Of course, improvements are not limited to […]

Ammo Test: Winchester PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P 130 Grain

Winchester's PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P self-defense load.

When I lug my ammunition testing setup to the range, I get more strange looks than Michael Bloomberg lactating at a Mayors Against Legal Governing (MALG) press conference. That’s because I bring a couple of now-perforated trash cans full of soaking wet newspaper, some old boots and a bunch of discarded clothing. Shooting into water […]

Ammo Review: Remington Golden Saber .45 ACP +P 185 grain JHP

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Recently we added the Remington Golden Saber .45 ACP 185 grain JHP load to our buyers guide. It performed exceptionally well after penetrating tough barriers – like multiple layers of leather and light canvas. But then we found the same load – in a +P version – The Remington Golden Saber .45 ACP +P 185 […]

Hornady Critical Duty 9mm +P 135 grain Flexlock

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We’ve been doing lots and lots of shooting with both Hornady Critical Defense and more recently Hornady Critical Duty. Our supply of the relatively new Hornady Critical Duty 9mm +P 135 grain Flexlock arrived this week so we took it out for some testing. The first observation – and we’ve seen this consistently with Hornady […]

Hornady Critical Defense .38 Special +P 100 grain Ammunition

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We’ve been testing a lot of Hornady Critical Defense ammunition and with rare exception, we’ve observed excellent results. Critical Defense is designed with a polymer plug in the hollow point cavity which aids with bullet expansion – even after the round penetrates barriers that would clog a normal hollow point round. We’ve shot it through […]

Speer Gold Dot 9mm +P Bonded Hollow Point Ammunition

Speer 9mm Gold Dot 124gr HP bonded hollow point ammunition

With all the ammo testing we do here, we keep coming back to Speer Gold Dots. Is it the newest? No. Does it contain exotic metals called something-illium? No. Does it play tricks with hyper-velocity? No. It just works. We find it expands reliably after penetrating all sorts of barriers. Just as importantly, the 124 […]

Ammo Review: Will Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Expand in Rocks?

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We’ve had great success getting Hornady’s Critical Defense ammo to expand after passing through all sorts of crazy things – plastic, old garage rags, honey bears, Wal-Mart house brand grape jelly, spam, flour, e-mail, leather boots, canned vegetables, and more. So we figured it’s time for the ultimate test. Rocks. Rocks are hard and as […]

Hornady’s Critical Defense Ammo: Will It Expand? You Suggest, We Test!

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Inspired by our recent review of Hornady’s Critical Defense ammunition in .357 Magnum, we’ve decided to kick things up a notch. We were pretty impressed with how this ammo expanded even after passing through hard barriers. So, with some help from the good folks at Hornady, we’re going to really put both Critical Defense and […]