Only been carrying little over a year now and with Hollow point, but with all the different type and design how do choose?
Do your research, read all you can - but it really comes down to what works for you. I have heard many times to start by checking what your local LEOs carry. It is tough for the local DA to try to make you look like a blood thirsty killer if you carry the same ammo as your local cops. Along the same lines, you may not want to carry anything called “cop killer”, “vigilante” or “bad billy” (or anything similar).
Whatever you think you want to carry - always run a couple of boxes through your pistol! If you have malfunctions, you need to reconsider the ammo and/or the gun! If it does not work every time in your gun, it is the wrong ammo to bet your life on.
I’ve shot truck loads of hogs with various handgun ammo and did a post on all of them since we either eat most of them or have them processed and give them away.
For the most part today I’m carrying Federal HST because of minimal risk of over penetration and excellent internal results.
There are several others including both Speer and Hornady and all three will give you good performance in their ammo labeled specifically for self defense.
Another good choice are the Winchester Lone Ranger and other Winchester ammo labeled for self defense.
A lot of folks like the Golden Saber but I found it often over penetrated and that’s a major concern at least for me.
Federal HST is like the Glock of defensive ammo in my opinion. It’s very easy to find and It just works. All the time everytime and You won’t find a lot of stories about this ammo causing or having failures.
It’s a great place to start
On YouTube there’s a gentleman named Paul Harrell who has done a lot of research for folks about different equipment, ammunition, and types of ammunition. If you haven’t seen any of his work, I highly recommend spending a bit of time getting acquainted with his offerings. You may feel better informed after seeing some of the answers to your specific initial questions. You may feel very comfortably aware of the state of the options available after seeing a large percentage of what he’s done.