Critical Defense Vs. Critical Duty ammo for EDC

Any opinions on which is better for EDC? I know the Critical Duty has greater penetration vs. the Critical Defense loads. Since LE uses Critical Duty would it be okay for a civilian to use also?

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I use Federal HST, so I dont have a ton of knowledge on Hornady’s Critical series, but my limited understanding is the one that penetrates less is the newer one and is the one preferred for defensive use. That said… its hard to go wrong if you pick the same as your local PD.

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I feel like it would be good to use. I run Critical Defense since I am not as concerned about barrier penatration as I am penetrating thick clothing and flash reduction. If the FBI and police use Critical Duty, I would think normal folks could use it without great concern. Just my opinion though.

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I run critical defense as well.

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Let your gun decide… you won’t go wrong with either Critical Duty or Critical Defense they both are proven loads. Your gun may like one load better than the other however, so I would try both and see if they feed reliably and are accurate in your particular gun.

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I use Crit Def for 357 mag. However, in that caliber, the power factor is pretty similar to other 357 mag defensive loadings. In some calibers, the power factor for the Crit Def is lower than competing defensive loads. If that’s not an issue, it seems like a fine design.

It’s my understanding that the Crit Duty line was designed to give consistent performance through hard barriers, meeting the FBI requirements after breaching. Although consistent, some of the tests I’ve seen on videos yield just OK expansion. However, these loads often are loaded to a higher power level than the Crit Def versions… of course that usually means increased recoil, blast, and wear.

Additionally, the loss in velocity from a shorter barreled firearm firing the Crit Duty line might reduce the amount of expansion versus a full size firearm. My personal opinion would be to use whichever 1. functions better in your firearm, and 2. which one you shoot better with.

Here’s a link you might find interesting. It’s Lucky Gunners tests with compact firearms. It includes both Crit Duty and Crit Def for the 9mm.

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I would use Critical Defense. If you want more penetration, switch to a heavier bullet. Since C Duty is designed for barrier penetration. To answer the question would it be suitable since law enforcement uses it, yes. In fact, that’s what I’ve had several instructors recommend. Seek out whatever ammo local law enforcement uses. It could(although it shouldn’t matter) come up if you were ever in court.

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My understanding was that Defense was optimized for shorter barrels more commonly carried for citizen use, while Duty was made for the longer 4" or 5" barrels that police officers use.

If you want to shoot through barriers, get an M1 Garand. :crazy_face:

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Both are quality rounds. I’m a real simple guy, and ask … which have you thoroughly vetted in your firearm, and where would you most likely use it? Personally I opt for CD, simply due to the fact I may have to use in my home, and want to minimize the potential for penetration into adjoining rooms full of my loved ones.

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I agree with your thoughts. I’m range testing various brands now. I’ll let my gun decide for me.

I use speer gold dot it’s what the local Police department carry so if it’s good for them it’s good for me.

Take a look at a few YouTube videos by Hornaday and others regarding performance. As @MarkinMT posted basically for barrels 4" or shorter you want to use Critical Defense, for Barrels greater than 4" (like duty weapons carried by police) you would want to use Critical Duty.

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Exactly, I use Hornady critical duty in our Glock 21 .45ACPs, and critical defense in my Glock 23 .40SW and Glock 26 9mm.

I also use their 12Ga buck shotgun ammunition.

With the 2-9mm ARs we now have I’ll have to see how the critical defense performs with a 16” barrel.

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So far I’ve fired Hornady Critical Duty and Defense, some federal ammo and Winchester Ranger LE ammo. All has worked very well in my G30.