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Best Self Defense Ammo
Federal HST +P 9mm
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By Dan S. Defense

Deadly, Accurate LEO +P 135gr 9mm Tactical Bonded Ammunition (LE9T5)

What is the best self defense ammo? If you believe marketing firms, you'll find that whatever they want to sell you is indeed the best self defense ammo. I much prefer facts to fiction and this is where the Federal HST self defense ammo comes in. The Federal HST Tactical Bonded ammunition is highly effective, accurate and deadly. Its performance speaks for itself.

The Federal HST self defense ammo offers a benchmark few others can match--with a muzzle velocity of 1060 feet per second (fps), 100% weight retention through most barriers and 1.5 caliber expansion. The +P 9mm Tactical Bonded cartridge is available in two 9mm flavors: 124 grains and 135 grains.

While both HST Tactical Bonded rounds are rated as Law Enforcement Only, they can be legally bought by civilians. The HST line in general, and the Tactical Bonded line in particular, rank as some of the best self defense ammunition, in 9mm and other service calibers.

In this article we'll look at the technical specifications of the cartridge, and more importantly in the context of carry self defense ammo, we'll look at a range report for the HST +P 9mm 135gr Tactical Bonded ammo.

We'll discuss its accuracy and controllability. We'll talk about using +P self defense ammunition and we'll strive provide sufficient information for you to decide if the Federal HST Tactical Bonded cartridge is indeed the best self defense ammo for you. 

To be considered as one of the best self defense ammo, a cartridge needs to meet a high bar, and the FBI set a bar that's pretty hard to meet. The Federal HST line strives to exceed the FBI's ammo requirements with respect to penetration and real life usage. First, let look at some terms that we will use in this article.

The Federal HST Tactical Bonded ammo that we'll look at here weighs 135 grains which 8.75 grams and 0.308 Oz. That sounds quite small, but consider the fact that, the little Federal HST bonded bullet travels at 1060 feet per second (fps) and delivers a punch of 337 Foot Pounds. Add to that an expansion of 1.5 times its initial caliber and 100% weight retention and you get a very deadly combination. 

But is the Federal HST Tactical Bonded cartridge accurate enough for self defense? We think that the answer to that question needs to come from personal testing and not from a data-sheet. We took two boxes of the Federal HST +P 9mm 135gr ammo to the range.

For testing weapons we brought a Nighthawk Custom 1911 in 9mm (5" barrel) and a Sig Sauer P226R (4.4" barrel). We placed our typical Police Department Qualifier Target at 40 feet and got to work.
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