Gunfights aren’t won just because somebody can clear leather faster or because the sun gets in the bad guy’s eyes. Nor are they won simply with tactics. There is another factor that may be the most important: ammunition. Experienced handgunners and personal protection experts stress that one should never skimp on his or her self-defense ammunition choices when their lives may depend upon a bullet’s ability to stop an attacker.
Perhaps the newest entry in this technology race is Nosler, now producing a line of ammunition called Nosler Defense. The inaugural entries include two loads apiece in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. The 9mm selections are both loaded to +P levels, one with a 124-grain Bonded Tipped projectile and the other with a Bonded jacketed hollowpoint. The .40 S&W loads both feature 200-grainers, also in the Bonded Tipped and Bonded JHP, and in .45 ACP, both loads are also +P rated and the bullets weigh 230 grains.
Another new entry in the defensive ammunition community is TAC-XPD Defense ammunition from Barnes, another renowned bullet maker now expanding into the ammunition market. Every load in the series is topped with the Barnes TAC-XP bullet, and there are offerings in .380 ACP with an 80-grain pill, a 9mm pushing a 115-grain bullet loaded to +P velocity, a .40 S&W featuring a 140-grainer and a .45 ACP, also loaded to the +P level with a 185-grain bullet.
Winchester’s PDX1 Defender selection of handgun ammunition delivers the goods in calibers ranging from .380 ACP to .45 Colt, and there are selections in .357 SIG and .357 Magnum. In addition, Winchester’s PDX1 family includes a couple of .410-bore loads for handguns in the Taurus Judge and Smith & Wesson Governor families. There’s a 2 ½-inch round with a trio of copper-plated “Defense Discs” and a dozen copper-plated BBs. At close range, this is a nasty combination, but even more so is the 3-inch round that has four of those discs and 16 plated BB-sized shot.
Remington came up with a nifty combo package this year for these popular .410 revolvers. It’s the “Ultimate Defense Combo Pack,” and it holds 10 .45 Colt cartridges and 10 2 ½-inch .410 shotshells. Available in either a clam pack or box. The .45 Colt cartridges are loaded with Remington’s superb Golden Saber 230-grain hollowpoints and the .410 shells hold four 000 buckshot pellets. I’ve used Golden Saber ammunition in .45 ACP and .40 S&W over the years in various tests and for the street, and it’s also available in .380 ACP, 9mm, .357 Magnum and .38 Special +P.