Hornady Critical Duty Awarded FBI 9mm Full Size Service Ammunition Contract

The 135 grain +P Critical Duty round is once again chosen for FBI duty.

posted on May 5, 2022
Hornady FBI Ammo

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has awarded Hornady with a fixed price indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) agreement for 9 mm +P Luger 135-grain Critical Duty ammunition. “Having our 9 mm +P 135-grain Critical Duty selected for two consecutive 9 mm FBI contracts showcases the hard work and dedication our team puts forward to provide the finest law enforcement ammunition available,” said Scott Javins, Hornady LE/Military product manager.

Critical Duty, introduced in 2011, is loaded with the tough Hornady FlexLock bullet that delivers “barrier blind” performance when shot through common urban barriers. The patented projectile incorporates two revolutionary Hornady features, delivering superior barrier penetration and consistent performance in FBI tactical handgun ammunition tests.

Shooting Illustrated Ammo editor Richard Mann reported that, “In 2009 Hornady found a solution with what it calls the FlexTip (FTX) bullet. The FTX was essentially an XTP with a polymer ball inserted inside the hollow-point cavity. It’s loaded in Hornady’s Critical Defense ammo and circumvented the problem of hollow points clogging, because the bullet already had an uncompressible material inside the nose cavity. When the bullet impacted something, force on the bullet’s nose pressed the polymer ball out against the sides of the cavity and caused the bullet to expand.”

The patented approach eliminates clogging and aids bullet expansion. A large mechanical jacket-to-core InterLock band works to keep the bullet and core from separating for maximum weight retention, and provides excellent expansion, consistent penetration and terminal performance through all FBI test barriers. Other features that make it desirable for law enforcement include its bright nickel-plated cases—which simplify chamber checks in reduced light—and low-flash, clean burning propellants to preserve night vision in low-light firing.

The same loads were selected by the FBI in 2018, although that’s not the first time the Bureau went with the innovative loads. In 2017, the agency chose Critical Duty .40 S&W 175-grain ammo.


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For me, one of the many bonuses of this gunwriter business has been the opportunity to meet and become friends with a number of the firearm enthusiasts of an earlier generation; legendary figures such as Frank Hamer Jr., Bill Jordan, Bill Toney, Col Walter Walsh and the subject of this column: COL Rex Applegate.


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