5 Best 9mm Self Defense Rounds

Not everyone may agree with the opinion, but a large number of people believe that 9mm’s are the best self-defense pistols out there. There are several reasons why they are so popular. They’re not only easily available but they are also easy to use, making them suitable for a variety of uses.

Gun aficionados especially prefer them over any other, mainly due to the barrel size and the ease by which you can carry a 9mm. This is very important since carrying a big weapon can be both risky and difficult.

Probably the only problem in choosing a 9mm is the fact that there are so many rounds you can choose from. This can make it difficult for users who do not know much about weapons, Worry not, we have you covered.

Here’s a list of the best 9mm self-defense rounds you can’t go wrong with. Let’s have a look:

#1 Federal 124gr HST

Federal 124gr HST

  •  Average Penetration: 18.3 inches
  • Average Expansion: 0.61 inches
  • Average Velocity: 1,135 feet per second

This 9mm ammo is the go to choice for many law enforcement agencies but it’s also an excellent ammo option for the average citizen.

It easily delivers 364 foot lbs of drive, so it packs all the power you need in a nutshell.

On the outside it has a nickel plated casing which will ensure glitch free ejection and feeding. To all you shooters out there, that is what matters the most.

Why This Is The Best 9MM Self Defense Round:

  • No risk of corrosion 
  • Available in two packages 
  • Prevents over penetration and increases damage

#2 Speer Gold Dot 124 Gr 

  • Average Penetration: 16.4 inches
  • Average Expansion: 0.55 inches
  • Average Velocity: 1,143 feet per second

This one is another LEA favorite and an all-rounder as well, but above all it is affordable and comes with highly attractive ballistics.

Its muzzle velocity will clock in at 1,150 feet/second. Plus, it goes up to  327 foot pounds. By far the best element about the bonded Speer Gold Dot bullet is its ability to resist core jacket separation.

Gun lovers who prefer long barrel weapons will consider this a sound bet each time around.

Why This Is The Best 9MM Self Defense Round:

  • Very accurate ammo
  • Incredibly clean
  • No misfires
  • Used by law enforcement agencies

#3 Winchester PDX Defender 124gr +P

  •  Average Penetration: 16.4 inches
  • Average Expansion: 0.52 inches
  •  Average Velocity: 1,150 feet per second

This is among the most popular self-defense ammo options on the market, the Winchester PDX Defender 124gr+P is impressive to the core.

Effective and reliable, it is the first choice of major organizations like the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This bonded bullet round will produce deep wound channels.

Once triggered, the muzzle velocity will reach 1,200 feet per second, which means great penetration. The Winchester PDX Defender is recommended for soft targets.

Why This Is The Best 9MM Self Defense Round:

  • Excellent hollow points – expand 1.5 times
  • The shell case is nickel-plated
  • Offers excellent retained weight
  • Highly accurate and reliable

#4 MagTech Guardian Gold 115gr +P

  • Average Penetration: 15.1 inches
  •  Average Expansion: 0.55 inches
  • Average Velocity: 1,246 feet per second

For all of you out there who prefer quicker ammos for your 9mms, this one’s for you. The Magtech 115gr +p will not disappoint, it boasts a muzzle velocity of about 1,246 feet/second.

It offers 397 foot lbs of energy upon discharge and hit.

Expanding impressively upon contact, its powerful round of cartridge is accurate and precise and also offers low recoil.

All in all, it is definitely one of the faster ammo options available to the general public. Despite its high price tag, it’s popular among the users.

Why This Is The Best 9MM Self Defense Round:

  • Non-corrosive hence made to last
  • The accuracy is amazing 
  • Primed with top-notch ignition primers

#5 Hornady Critical Duty 135gr +P

  • Average Penetration: 15.2 inches
  • Average Expansion: 0.61 inches
  • Average Velocity: 1,110 feet per second

We’d list the Hornady Critical Duty 135gr +P as one of the best and most innovative options available on the market today. This is  a cartridge that will deliver, thanks to its advanced FlexLock Technology; the bullet expands quickly upon contact.

It has a muzzle velocity of about 1,110 feet/second which makes it penetrates deep.

Why This Is The Best 9MM Self Defense Round:

  • Corrosion resistant thanks to high quality nickel plating
  • Extremely durable and effective due to high quality lead
  • Unique technology improves efficiency

How to Get The Best Out of Your Top Notch 9MM Ammo

The best ammo in the world will prove pretty useless if you’re unable to use it when you need it the most. 

Carry the best holster possible, one that’s designed for your favorite carry arm. 

Also, get comfortable with your weapon, comfortable just doesn’t mean trigger happy, it also means you feel confident holding it in your hands, it grips well and responds to your finger movements. It may take a little while for you to get comfortable but remember practice makes a man perfect.

Another thing you should consider is the recoil, the quicker the recoil the better.


There were five of the best 9mm self defense rounds. They’re all durable, made from high quality materials, and offer exceptional hits. However, it is important that you pick one according to your budget and requirements.