Best 9mm Ammo Reviews — 3 CRITICAL Factors You Need

Best 9mm AmmoLooking for a one-stop shop for all your 9mm caliber guns? Well, I’ve found that there’s a reason the 9mm ammo tends to be the most popular. You’ll be surprised to know how versatile it is and how many types you can find on the market.

Target Practice? Shooting? Self-defense? Hunting? You name it! This small beast can help you conquer all kinds of fields. Furthermore, it was the first ammo that I bought. Needless to say, I spent hours on end at the shooting range firing one after the other. So, what makes the best 9mm ammo so elusive? Read on.

At a Glance: Our 6 Best 9mm Ammo

My Top Choice

The best 9mm ammo easily has to be the Winchester USA Value Pack Ammo. There are 100 cartridges in the box and each cartridge is boxer primed. This makes it easier to remove and reload. These are Full Metal Jacket and affordable in price. Moreover, this makes them suitable for range practice and plinks.

About the 9mm Ammo

The 9mm ammo is also known as the 9×19 Parabellum or the 9mm Luger ammo. It is the most popular and most widely used ammunition size in the world. In addition, it is widely available and does not cost a lot to manufacture. Furthermore, it is the standard cartridge for most NATO forces.

The 9mm cartridge comes with different types of loading. So, they can include the 115 gr., 124 and the 147 gr. Moreover, the penetration depth often varies according to the load and is between 8 inches to 40 inches.

Who Is It For?

About 90% of the police force uses it. Moreover, it is quite popular with folks who want to hunt, target practice or simply keep a handgun for self-defense.

Benefits of the 9mm Ammo

The 9mm ammo is more readily available and is thus more affordable by the general public. The cheaper prices mean you can buy more ammo to help you practice. This eventually helps you improve your accuracy. Moreover, you won’t have to scour the internet or your local stores for this round.

In fact, a simple search will show you where to buy them. In addition, you can use a wide variety of guns to go with your 9mm ammo. So, if you have pistols, rifles or handguns with a 9mm caliber, you won’t have to worry about buying separate ammo for them.

It also has less recoil than some of the larger calibers. Thus, they are much more accurate and reach higher speeds due to the light weight.

Want to know more? Watch:

What is 9mm Ammo Best Used For?

The 9mm ammo is the epitome of versatility in the world of ammunition. Since it is small in size, you can use it for conceal and carry weapons. They are perfect for home defense as they are quite accurate and rarely face any jamming problems.

Since they are so cheap, you can buy them in bulk. As a result, you can hunt or practice your shots without worrying about your rounds running out.

3 Critical Factors to Consider When Buying 9mm Ammo

When buying the best 9mm ammo, there are three critical factors you need to consider. These involve:

Type of Cartridge

There are basically two main types of cartridges when it comes to 9mm ammo. These include:

Full Metal Jacket Cartridges (FMJ)

The Full Metal Jacket cartridges are the most common type of cartridges today. They usually include a soft lead center with a harder metallic covering of brass or copper. Furthermore, they are round or pointy and are best for short range shooting.

Since they are quite heavy in weight, they completely penetrate through objects. However, this tends to be a disadvantage in self-defense and hunting scenarios. These bullets do not stay inside the target and pass right through. This tends to cause less damage and your target might escape.

On the other hand, the huge advantage is that since the lead is completely covered, it does not deposit on the barrel. This helps keep your gun cleaner.

Jacketed Hollow Point Cartridges (JHP)

These bullets expand when they hit the target. This causes more amount of damage to your target as the bullet stops inside and does not penetrate through it. In addition, they are packed with superior stopping power which makes them ideal for self-defense and hunting purposes.

Moreover, they are the safest to use as they impart more damage in a single shot. Thus, you do not need to shoot multiple times to incapacitate the target.

For more information, watch:

Primer Type

Primer is a part of the ammo that plays an important part in the ignition of the ammunition. The most popular type is the boxer brass. The brass construction allows for no corrosion to take place. However, the biggest advantage is that the bullet can be removed and replaces easily.

Of Rounds and Cost

When buying a 9mm ammo pack, ensure that you get the minimum cost for the maximum cost. For a pack of FMJ ammo, you might get 100 rounds for under $30, whereas you’ll only get 20–25 rounds under $30 for a pack of JHP ammo.

Our Top 6 9mm Ammo Reviews

Winchester USA Value Pack 9mm Handgun Ammunition: Best Overall Product

For those wanting a long session at a range, the Winchester USA Value Pack may be the perfect choice for you. Not only did I find it extremely affordable but it performed quite well.

Key Features

  • Full Metal Jacket rounds
  • 115-grain bullet weight
  • 9×19 Luger brass casing with a boxer primer
  • 1190 fps muzzle velocity

What Other Users Are Saying

Most users seemed to love the affordable price as well as the high-quality ammo they got from the Winchester. The 9mm ammo comes with a 100 round pack that makes it easier for all-day range shooting. In addition to this, the FMJ design made it perfect for most users to use it with semi-automatic pistols.

Another well-praised feature seems to be the non-corrosive boxer primed brass case. Most buyers, like me, found that the case was quite easy to replace and remove. In terms of performance, most users agree that the Winchester makes sure and accurate shots due to the FMJ design.

Lastly, users agreed that the 1190 muzzle velocity made for suitable penetration force. For a real user testimonial, watch:



  • Perfect for full day range shooting
  • Non-corrosive coating tends to last longer
  • Easily replaceable and removable projectiles
  • Low misfiring probability
  • Heavy metal design aids in full penetration of the target


  • Shots are dirty
  • You might need to clean the gun more often

Sum Up

All in all, the Winchester 9mm 115 gr.pack is perfect for long-range shooting and target practice. They might be a little dirty, but make up for it with straight and accurate shots.

Overall Rating: 4.8


Hornady Custom Handgun 9mm Ammunition: Best Value Product

The Hornady Custom Handgun Ammunition is perfectly designed for self-defense and hunting as it expands vastly and can penetrate easily into the target without leaving through the other side.

Key Features

  • JHP XTP type rounds available in a pack of 25
  • Expands to 1.5 times the original diameter
  • Boxer type primer
  • 125-grain bullet weight and Muzzle velocity at about 1110 FPS

What Other Users Are Saying

Most users consider it a go-to package for hunting or self-defense. The 25-round package is quite sufficient for most self-defense users as well as hunters. Moreover, the users found that the XTP bullets held exceptional stopping power, whereby they penetrated deeply into the target without leaving through the other side.

Furthermore, they noted how vastly the bullet seemed to expand. It expands about 1.5 times the original size. Moreover, this helps deliver more damage to the target and helps to incapacitate it quicker. As a result, hunters made cleaner and more humane kills.

They ensure straight and accurate shots without the worries of jamming the gun. To see how it holds up in real life, watch:



  • Expands to a large size for better incapacitation
  • Penetrates deeply into the target without exiting
  • Lightweight and faster muzzle velocity
  • Accurate and straight shots
  • The cases are easy to reload or replace


  • Very hard recoil

Sum Up

I highly recommend the Hornady Custom Handgun Ammunition for hunters, officers as well as self-defense users. Perhaps one of the best 9mm ammo, it packs a punch that will surely incapacitate your target quicker.

Overall Rating: 4.7


Hornady Critical Defense Handgun 9mm Ammo

Another JHP ammunition from Hornady, the Critical Defense Handgun ammo is perhaps the best 9mm ammo when it comes to self-defense. It features maximum knockdown energy and velocity to ensure reliable performance.

Key Features

  • Polymer tipped hollow point bullets
  • Non-corrosive nickel cases
  • Minimal muzzle flash
  • 1150-grain bullet weight and 1140 fps muzzle velocity

What Other Users Are Saying

The FTX bullet rounds delivered large expansion that helped users leave deep cavity wounds. According to buyers, the Hornady is unaffected by thick as well as heavy clothing. This is due to the polymer tip of the bullet. The polymer tip further helps prevent any bullet clogging.

Other users seemed to admire the nickel cases which eliminated any chances of corrosion. In addition, most of them noted that the cartridges burnt cleanly which reduced recoil as well. Also, the muzzle flash was minimal which helped deliver higher velocities and protect night vision.

It expanded considerably well, leaving behind larger wounds. Watch the real-life performance of the Hornady here:



  • Large expansion of the bullet
  • Burns cleanly and reduces recoil
  • The low flash point for a higher knockdown force
  • Unaffected by thick or heavy clothing
  • Prevented any bullet from clogging
  • Non-corrosive


  • Can be harder to feed into the pistol
  • Reloading can be a little difficult

Sum Up

The Hornady Critical Defense 9mm ammo performs quite well as it has lesser recoil and delivers a larger force. The FTX bullets are popular for undeterred expansion regardless of the type of fabric.

Overall Rating: 4.5


Speer Gold Dot Pistol 9mm Ammunition

Specifically engineered to be used by law enforcement, the Speer Gold Dot 9mm ammo is perfect for handguns. It includes true and bonded-core bullets to prevent any failures or misfires.

Key Features

  • Sufficient expansion and penetration
  • Bonded-core bullets
  • High-quality corrosion-resistant nickel-plated jackets
  • Uses CCI Primers and low flash propellants
  • 147-grain bullet weight and a muzzle velocity of 985 fps

What Other Users Are Saying

It is mostly law enforcement officers who use the Speer Gold Dot. The manufacturers use a unique Uni-Cor process that helps to bond the jacket with the core. As a result, no user has to face jacket separation or handgun failures, making these durable bullets.

Furthermore, the JHP bullet provides users with sufficient expansion and penetration resulting in large wounds. The low flash propellant ensures a larger muzzle velocity and force. Also, the nickel and brass construction ensures that the case faces no corrosion. In addition, users found it easier to replace and reload the cartridge due to the boxer primer. Don’t believe me? Watch it here yourself:



  • Lesser handgun failures or separation
  • Easy to replace or reload the cartridge
  • Large muzzle velocity compared to the weight
  • Non-corrosive and durable bullets
  • Easy to feed into the gun


  • Blunt edges
  • Tends to jam a little in some pistols

Sum Up

All in all, the Speer Gold Dot Pistol Ammo is perfect for those looking for a durable set of ammo. It is perfect for those who work in law enforcement due to the vast expansion it shows.

Overall Rating: 4.4


Federal Premium Personal Defense HST 9mm Ammunition

Another Jacketed Hollow Point ammo, the Federal Personal Defense 9mm ammo is perfect for self-defense. The HST performs amazingly well and can penetrate through the toughest of materials.

Key Features

  • Premium terminal performance
  • JHP type bullets
  • High level of penetration through tough materials
  • 100% weight retention
  • 124 gr. bullet weight and 1150 fps

What Other Users Are Saying

Self-defense users seem to love the Federal Premium 9mm Ammo. It offers sufficient expansion and penetration to allow for superior performance. This makes it easier and quicker to incapacitate your target with fewer shots. In addition to this, the hollow jacketed design makes it easier to penetrate through tough materials.

Moreover, most users found that it worked well with short barreled pistols which made it perfect for concealed carry guns. Moreover, the core is locked to the jacket which enables better bonding between these layers. Lastly, for more efficient expansion, the jacket tip is thinned.

How does it hold up in a ballistics test?



  • Superior expansion and penetration abilities
  • Easier as well as quicker to incapacitate targets
  • Works well with short barreled guns
  • No separation or jamming
  • Easily penetrates through the toughest of fabrics and materials


  • Expensive
  • Hard recoil

Sum Up

Overall, the Federal HST is perhaps the best 9mm ammo for self-defense in the higher price range. The superior penetration power ensures your target is wounded in the most humane way possible.

Overall Rating: 4.4


Federal American Eagle 9mm Handgun Ammo

The Federal American Eagle ammo includes mull-metal jacket bullets that are sold in packs of 100. Thus, they are ideal for high volume shooting practices.

Key Features

  • FMJ bullet rounds
  • Full power loads which are accurate
  • 115 gr. Bullet weight and 1160 fps muzzle velocity
  • Boxer primer

What Other Users are Saying

The American Eagle 9mm features a non-corrosive brass case along with boxer primers. Moreover, the primers make it easier to reload and reuse the cartridges up to a whopping 5 times. Users found this a very affordable option for target practicing and range shooting since it comes in a pack of 100.

In addition, the non-magnetic Full Metal Jacket grants it the required heaviness to fully penetrate through anything. Furthermore, he full-power loads make it easier to hit and pass right through objects with ease. Furthermore, users found the ammo to be reliable to feed into the gun. Find out more:



  • Affordable price
  • Fully penetrates the body
  • Can be reloaded and reused up to 5 times
  • High muzzle velocity and force to allow for smoother penetration
  • Non-corrosive
  • Reliable as well as easy to feed


  • Tends to get very dirty
  • Requires frequent cleaning of the pistol

Sum Up

The FMJ American Eagle is perfect for plinking, practicing or just target shooting. They are affordable in price and yet still tend to be quite accurate and high quality.

Overall Rating: 4.3


Other Great 9mm Ammos

Overall Conclusion

9mm ammo is perfect for shooters and officers who want to operate simple handguns. They are versatile and can be used for both self-defense and target practice. All our top six choices hold their own; however, the Winchester USA Value 9mm Ammo is by far the best 9mm ammo.

It is extremely easy to reload and reuse. Moreover, it is affordable in price and delivers accurate and straight shots without jamming the gun. The FullMetal Jackets guarantee full penetration. In addition, they come in a box of 100 so you can use them in bulk. All in all, the Winchester 9mm Luger ammo is perfect for a wide variety of applications including plinking, target practicing, and range shooting.

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