Poll: Favorite Self-Defense Ammo

None of the listed ammo, I use Lehigh Defense, Xtreme Defense. The reason behind this is that it is made by a company with defense in it’s name and the bullets have defence in their name, so there is no doubt that this is strictly a defensive round, add to that their .380 round passes the FBI standards for a 9mm round, weak .380 no more.

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In my 9mm, I use Federal HST in 147gr (I voted accordingly).

I’ve collected some links over the years that helped me when deciding which defensive ammunition to try. Hopefully it will be useful to others here, I’ve put them below.

The gel tests can only tell you so much tho… You still have to try it out and make sure it runs well in your firearm, you are accurate with it, and you can afford to not just keep a few mags loaded, but to train regularly with it too. Those who have experience with firearms in real usage (like the hogs someone posted above) is invaluable info to share with the community.

The crew at Lucky Gunner has done a fantastic job running ballistic gel tests on over 200 different loads across a range of calibers from .380 to 10mm. They do pics of the gel tests results, slo-mo video, and a ton of stats. Great for comparing different rounds. They also do a great job explaining their testing methodology and what the different scores mean. They use all short barrels (~3.5in") in their tests.

YouTube user ShootingTheBull has a great series of gel tests mostly across 9mm and .380.

This link from ar15.com is a little dated (last updated in 2016), but also has some explainers around what makes a good defensive round. They have recommended lists for most major handgun calibers, and additionally most popular rifle calibers for those who might use a rifle for HD usage.

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Here’s a good link. These guys do slow mo videos of TONS of different ammo in gel, and sometimes other media.

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LG runs some of the best, most unbiased testing avaialable.


I finally got some good defensive ammo. After doing some research I decided on some federal hyshock in 38 special and 380. Using Winchester and Remington jhp for 9mm carry.


Older bullet technology but still an excellent round.

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Underwood or Leheigh are my preference but I voted Sig as that was on the list and I use those too.

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