Favorite Defensive Handgun Loads

During training classes or while conversing with shooters, I'm often asked about my favorite defensive handgun loads.

First Shots: Springfield Armory Ronin Operator 10 mm

Springfield Armory's Ronin Operator 10 mm is a full-size 1911 that pairs style with a rugged build that's meant to last a lifetime.

First Look: Federal Premium Adds Four New Handgun Loads

Federal premium has added four new handgun caliber lines for 2021. Several new product line extensions in Hydra-Shok Deep, Punch, Syntech Range and more will be manufactured and delivered to dealers throughout the year.

.40 S&W Remington 155-grain JHP

Often, ammunition without a sexy name or touting some new and wicked bullet design gets overlooked by those searching for defensive handgun loads.

.45 ACP Federal 230-grain Hydra-Shok

The Federal Hydra-Shok 230-grain load for the .45 ACP cartridge is one of the most well regarded defensive handgun loads of all time.

.460 Rowland Wilson Combat 230-grain XTP

The .460 Rowland is considered by many as nothing more than a way to turn a 1911 into a big-game hunting pistol. That's not entirely the case, especially in the instance of the pistol used for this test.

.357 Mag. Barnes 140-grain VOR-TX XPB-HP

Barnes Bullets has been offering loaded ammunition for about a year, and this .357 Mag. load offers a ton of speed.

.357 Mag. Federal 125-grain JHP

This .357 Mag. load lives up to the magnum moniker, and then some.

.45 ACP 185-grain Winchester Silvertip

This classic load is a popular self-defense choice. See how it performs after 15 years in storage.

.45 ACP Federal 230-grain Hydra-Shok (3-inch barrel)

Does a proven .45 ACP load provide fight-stopping performance through a short-barreled 1911?

Page 1 of 4


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.