Practice makes perfect, or at least pretty good, and Federal has a combo pack as well featuring 100 rounds of practice ammunition loaded with FMJ bullets and 20 rounds of Premium Personal Defense rounds topped by federal Hydra-Shoks. The bullets in all calibers—9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP—are all the same weight.
A fourth combo pack holds 50 rounds of .45 Colt loaded with 225-grain jacketed soft-points and 20 rounds of 2 ½-inch .410 shells loaded with four 000 buckshot pellets. For home defense, Federal has a round called the Guard Dog, and it’s got a bite. The bullet can fool you because it looks like an FMJ, but it’s skived on the inside of the jacket and it has a polymer front end in the core so when it hits, the jacket opens up on the sides and the bullet actually expands. Guard Dog loads are available in .45 ACP (165 grains), .40 S&W (135 grains) and 9mm (105 grains).
I’d be remiss without mentioning the line of Gold Dot ammunition from Speer. Available in several calibers for both revolvers and semi-autos, they’re loaded with Gold Dot bullets, which have a good track record for expansion and stopping power. They are the choice of various law enforcement agencies and for good reason: They work. The alloy core is bonded to the jacket, which is designed to expand along “memory lines” that start at the mouth of the hollowpoint cavity where the lead is exposed between sections of the jacket.
CorBon has developed ammunition that really cooks, including the .25 NAA and .32 NAA that add a sizzle to the .25- and .32-caliber bullets. The CorBon Self-Defense JHP family has loads ranging from .25 NAA to .357 Magnum. Utilizing these lighter-weight hollowpoints, CorBon produces good velocities and delivers solid downrange energy.
Ditto for the CorBon DPX line of defense ammunition. Utilizing all-copper hollowpoints, these loads are simply awesome. CorBon reports that some bullets recovered from various testing media have expanded 150 to 200 percent of their original diameter while retaining 100 percent of their weight.
What got my attention with DPX is that CorBon loads this stuff for virtually every handgun caliber on the map, from .32 ACP all the way up to .500 S&W, with a variety of bullet weights. You’ll even find a .45 Auto Rim in there for anybody who defends his home with an old 1917 S&W or Colt double-action.
A few years ago, CorBon added the Glaser Safety Slug ammunition to its line. Glasers have become legendary for their concept and performance. These things are devastating, with a bullet design featuring a copper jacket filled with a compressed load of lead shot, either No. 6 or smaller No. 12, topped by a polymer tip that serves a couple of purposes.
It is round, to enable feeding in a semi-auto and to insure penetration, and it also pushes back into the projectile upon impact to open up the jacket and allow that lead shot to do its job,
No matter which ammunition one chooses, if it works, stick with it. Try different brands at the range to see what performs best in your personal defense pistol or revolver. Not all guns perform the same with a particular brand or type of ammunition, which is why there is more than one line from which to choose.
This article appeared in the April 8, 2013 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
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