There is no better pistol cartridge than Great 9mm Loads. Because it is chambered in some of the best pistols ever made, it is by far the most popular handgun cartridge in the world. The cartridge is also available for use in low-cost pistols and carbines. Limiting the field to five loads is tough, but they are outstanding and function well.
The 9mm Pistol has a high-pressure rating. The compact cartridge case is handy. Most ammunition has a complete powder burn even in the standard four-inch barrel of defensive handguns.
In a high-quality pistol, the 9mm Pistol may be pretty accurate. The cartridge’s velocity is high enough to deliver impacts beyond what many people consider normal handgun ranges.
Some people favor a rapid bullet, while others prefer a big bullet with a lesser velocity. The 9mm provides enough speed to ensure projectile expansion. The 9mm is likewise a tiny cartridge; you may carry several on the belt in spare magazines. Let’s look at some of the best 9mm loading options.
1. Winchester 147-Grain Silvertip:
Numerous government organizations in the US and EU have employed Winchester Silvertip rifles. With the 115-grain 1,200 fps loading, expansion is decent, and the 147-grain 980 fps load also expands nicely but has higher penetration.
While both bullets are accurate, the 147-grain bullet outperforms the lighter bullet at extended ranges. In each loading, the Silvertip proved to be precise and dependable.
2. Hornady 115-Grain Critical Defense:
The Critical Defense employs a polymer plug to initiate expansion, which is effective against a wide range of materials. The Hornady Critical Defense load has a velocity of 1151 feet per second. At 16 inches, penetration was excellent, and expansion was good at 0.58 inches. It is an ideal all-purpose defensive load.
3. Federal 124-Grain Punch:
We like the Punch! In the SAR 9, this loading exceeds 1,100 fps. The velocity of the five-inch barrel Springfield Ronin 1911 pistol was a little over 1,160 fps. It is a powerful but reasonably priced loading with decent performance and high accuracy.
The 9mm pistols on hand performed well with the Federal Punch loading. The design is meant to provide civilian shooters with a bullet that expands consistently, and it does so.
4. Buffalo Bore 124-Grain +P:
This +P load causes a Hornady Extreme Terminal Performance hollow point to accelerate to 1,270 fps in SAR 9. Surprisingly, the Ronin had a high velocity of 1,340 fps. The function is superb, and the precision is adequate.
Recoil isn’t a problem despite the extra speed. Still, this is not a handgun we would carry in our subcompact carry. This Buffalo Bore loading provides an excellent combination of expansion and penetration. If you’re searching for a 9mm +P loading, this is one of the most powerful.
5. Underwood 90-Grain Extreme Defender:
The Underwood 9mm load is one of several available from the manufacturer. It is one of the fascinating loads tested and a top-rated 9mm. The flutes carved into the nose of the solid copper bullet boost cutting action, produce a fluid dynamic and induce a more intricate wound.
Total copper bullets follow a distinct set of regulations. The lighter weight is generally detrimental to accuracy and penetration, but not in this instance. A 90-grain all-copper bullet doesn’t sacrifice much in terms of penetration.
Because of the all-copper design, its bearing surface is still reasonably long for the caliber, resulting in exceptional accuracy. Two variants are available: a regular pressure number at 1,400 fps and a +P at 1,475 fps. These specific and intense loads provide excellent performance, in our opinion.
6. Hornady 100-Grain Critical Defense Lite:
This loading satisfies the demand for a low-recoil loading for people of petite size, especially in a tiny pistol. Older shooters may also desire lower recoil. Despite the lower bullet weight, the Hornady load performs well.
The average velocity was 1140 fps, and water penetrated 12 inches and expanded 0.59 inches on average. It is a viable option that will suit recoil-averse shooters or those who use the smallest 9mm pistols.
7. Fiocchi 115-Grain Extrema:
It is a versatile load that can travel anywhere and accomplishes anything. It performs well in every 9mm cartridge I’ve tried, with excellent accuracy and a clean powder burn. The 115-grain Fiocchi Extrema is loaded, neither too hot nor too light, and the precision is superb. The load averaged 1160 frames per second. The penetration was 16 inches, and the expansion was 0.55 inches.
8. Underwood 124-Grain JHP:
We intended to put at least one +P or maximum-effort loading to the test. The Underwood loading averages 1302 frames per second. Recoil was the most severe of any load measured. We wouldn’t put this one in a sub-compact pistol.
Recoil would be stronger, and increased slide velocity might result in problems. Its load was durable, and its accuracy was excellent. Moreover, there was an 18-inch depth of penetration and a 0.82-inch expansion, both of which were test bests.
9. Buffalo Bore 147-Grain JHP:
Buffalo Bore also provides fast-stepping 9mm loads in weights of 115 and 124 grains. We wanted to put a heavyweight 9mm to the test. The 147-grain JHP seems to have an industry norm of 960 to 1000 fps. It is a great velocity for a 147-grain bullet, with little recoil.
Reliability is excellent. It is a solid option if you need deep penetration against thickly dressed opponents or believes that light cover is expected. The penetration was 20 inches, and the expansion was 0.56 inches.
10. Winchester Active Duty 115-Grain 9mm:
For practice, most 115-grain loads are loaded relatively lightly. The Winchester Active Duty has a maximum speed of 1,243 fps in the SAR 9 and a top speed of 1,260 fps in the Ronin. Its precision is superb.
The Winchester Active Duty is a good option if you require a full-power practice load or a powerful FMJ for carbine usage. The accuracy is above average and is an excellent choice for competitive use against steel plates or carbine matches.