Hollow point. Trocar tip. FTX. RIP. Frangible.
Those are just some of the many defense-oriented projectiles out there. So how do you choose? If you plan on carrying a pistol every day, your choice of round is almost as important as your choice of pistol. So to help you make the right decision, we’re giving you our top 5 best-selling defensive rounds—so you can see what brands and styles our customers trust with their lives. And really, who knows more than the people who carry these rounds every day?
So here they are, in no particular order.
Hornady Critical Defense
It may not look like a hollow point round, but it is. While other HP rounds feature a hollow cavity, Critical Defense ammo features Hornady’s innovative FTX projectile that maximizes the potential of a hollow point. The FTX bullet features a Flex Tip that expands reliably while avoiding the clogging that can plague other hollow points—so it doesn’t get hung up on clothes, etc. Upon impact, the soft tip compresses into the bullet, initiating immediate expansion across a wide range of velocities. All Critical Defense ammo is loaded in nickel-plated brass cases that resist corrosion and are easy to see in reduced light. 4.9 stars on over 200 reviews should tell you everything you need to know: our customers love and trust Hornady Critical Defense.
Liberty Civil Defense
Liberty knows that speed kills. That’s why they load their Civil Defense rounds with projectiles that weigh in at about half of typical projectile weight. The 9mm Civil Defense ammo, for example, features a 50-grain projectile. Most entries on this list are 115- or 124-grain. With such a light projectile, Civil Defense ammo is blisteringly fast. The aforementioned 9mm rounds travels at an estimated 2,000 FPS—that’s rifle-like speed. Just as unique is the hollow point itself, which is cut extra-deep. Unlike most hollow points that mushroom upon contact, Civil Defense hollow points are designed to fragment. Civil Defense projectiles are capable of punching through barriers without deformation, but once they hit an organic target, they break apart to cause maximum wounding. With offerings for both auto and revolver, Liberty Civil Defense could be the right choice for you.
Remington Golden Saber
Golden Saber is your classic duty hollow point round, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. At the heart of Golden Saber is a high-performance hollow point bullet with a jacket made entirely of cartridge brass—not copper gilding metal. Thicker and stiffer than other bullet jackets, the “High Performance Jacket,” as Remington calls it, releases energy over a longer distance.
And, unlike conventional hollow point bullets, the jacket is nose-cut completely through, promoting controlled expansion to well over 1.5 times the bullet’s original diameter. The nose cuts, configured in a patented spiral pattern, produce larger petals and reduce the nose cavity for optimized mushroom performance.
Over a wide range of velocities, Golden Saber delivers virtual 100% weight retention. The precise hollow point cavity design also maximizes penetration by minimizing lead core deformation. It all adds up to the kind of knockdown performance lives may depend on. It’s also the least expensive round on this list, so you can practice with it. All. Day. Long.
G2 Research RIP
The first thing you’ll notice about RIP ammo is the totally unique and very intimidating projectile. Well, it’s every bit as mean as it looks—and if you’ve seen G2R’s popular marketing video, you already know all about it. The solid-copper, trocar-style RIP (Radically Invasive Projectile) was designed to maximize the dissipation of energy while defeating every known barrier in its path. The trocar design helps stabilize the projectile in travel. As material fills the center, the teeth function like a hole saw, ripping through obstacles like sheetrock, sheet metal, windshields and plywood (not to mention denim and other problematic fabrics). On contact, the RIP creates between 7 and 9 separate wound channels (depending on caliber) that absolutely devastate soft targets. So it really is “the last round you’ll ever need.”
Speer Gold Dot
How could any list of carry ammo be complete without one of the oldest and most trusted duty/defense rounds? Speer Gold Dot was the original bonded-core ammo…and it’s still the No. 1 choice of law enforcement worldwide. Speer utilizes Uni-Cor technology, which bonds the copper jacket to the lead core one molecule at a time. This virtually eliminates core-jacket separation through hard impact—so it retains energy and causes more devastation.
Each Gold Dot hollow point cavity is tuned by specific caliber and bullet weight to ensure optimum performance. Speer forms the hollow point cavity in two stages. The first establishes how far the bullet can expand; the second controls the rate of expansion. This patented two-step cavity formation gives Speer engineers incredible control in the design process. Each bullet caliber and weight is tuned for optimum expansion and penetration. That’s why Gold Dot is the gold standard for personal protection.
So there you have it. Our customers trust these rounds with their safety and the safety of their family.
But don’t forget—it’s important to test ammo in your firearm to see how it performs. Make sure you’re comfortable with the recoil and patterning…and practice practice practice! There’s no substitute for range time.
If you have any questions or comments, leave ’em below, and we’ll do our best to answer. Thanks for reading!