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  #1  
Old 05-14-2019, 9:15 PM
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Default Self defense ammo for M&P Shield 9mm

For you CCW guys, what have found performs best in the M&P Shield 9mm.

I picked up some Federal Personal Defense 135 Grain Hydra-Shok JHPs to try out. On the package it claims to be "Low Recoil".

Seems like the Federal Law Enforcement 124 Grain HST Jacketed Hollow Point is more popular, but harder to find nearby.

So what have you found to be reliable and effective in the M&P Shield? Anyone had any particular brand that did not function reliably? Mine has been highly reliable with multiple brands so far.
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Old 05-14-2019, 9:30 PM
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Speer Gold Dot has a specific load for short barrel weapons. Ive tested it in my Shield and it performs just fine.
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/10...d-hollow-point
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Old 05-14-2019, 9:37 PM
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shoot much HD ammo at the range?

if you shoot HD ammo regularly, i suggest going with Law Enforcement 147gr HST (or 124), which can be bought in 50rd boxes for ~$0.60 per round or less (when you can find it).
you can always get it online.



the personal defense ammo is probably great, but they sell only in the small 20rd plastic boxes typically cost $1 or more per round.

Last edited by theLBC; 05-14-2019 at 9:41 PM..
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Old 05-14-2019, 9:41 PM
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Shield is a good gun, it cycles everything reliably. I think Remington golden Saber in 124 or 147 is an excellent SD load
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Califpatriot View Post
Shield is a good gun, it cycles everything reliably. [. . .]
I agree with Califpatriot - Shield will cycle a wide variety without issue. Best, IMHO, to get comfortable with a SD round you have confidence in, and then shoot it every so often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theLBC
shoot much HD ammo at the range?
Slightly OT, but I am in favor of shooting SD ammo with some regularity (and I'll emphasize that nothing @theLBC posted disagrees with that approach).

To the extent that the round may present any issues, better to find out sooner than to miss it because the first 20 rounds worked fine. And better to experience firing SD rounds than normal range ammo if your chosen SD rounds differ in terms of recoil or feel or POI than what you'd otherwise be used to. Finally, if you happen to chamber and unchamber any SD rounds with any frequency, better to regularly use those rounds now and again than use rounds in your SD firearm that have been chambered numerous times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrail
On the package it claims to be "Low Recoil".
I'd personally take this as marketing bull**** and not give any credence to it. YMMV. Look at some SD rounds through whatever metrics make sense to you, and shoot them. Find one you believe in and that works in your firearm, and then buy a pile (of indeterminate size) so you always have a bunch on hand and can shoot some with some regularity, even if it's only a small fraction of all rounds you shoot through your SD firearm.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cortelli View Post
Slightly OT, but I am in favor of shooting SD ammo with some regularity (and I'll emphasize that nothing @theLBC posted disagrees with that approach).

To the extent that the round may present any issues, better to find out sooner than to miss it because the first 20 rounds worked fine. And better to experience firing SD rounds than normal range ammo if your chosen SD rounds differ in terms of recoil or feel or POI than what you'd otherwise be used to. Finally, if you happen to chamber and unchamber any SD rounds with any frequency, better to regularly use those rounds now and again than use rounds in your SD firearm that have been chambered numerous times.
right on.
i like to shoot what ever was in my SD gun when i go to the range.
this ensures the ammo is cycled frequently and i don't have rounds sitting in the magazine for years.
ideally i can also find affordable range ammo with similar shooting characteristics.

that's going to get expensive if you go to the range a lot, and you've decided your SD ammo is the 135gr hyro-shok that sells for $1.40 per pop at the lgs.

Last edited by theLBC; 05-14-2019 at 10:40 PM..
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theLBC View Post
right on.
i like to shoot what ever was in my SD gun when i go to the range.
this ensures the ammo is cycled frequently and i don't have rounds sitting in the magazine for years.
ideally i can also find affordable range ammo with similar shooting characteristics.
We take the same approach. And this same thinking (which I fully endorse!) had me buying / investing in a full case of pistol SD ammo in two different calibers because . . . well because I could afford it, I wanted to shoot it regularly even if only a couple of magazines every so often, it matched ballistically in terms of bullet weight, muzzle energy, performance in my guns, etc. with commonly available range ammo, and my guns ate (and continue to eat) the ammo without issues. So I am slowly working through SD ammo on range trips at $0.30 - $0.36 a round that should last me many years. And I feel pretty good about that!

Quote:
that's going to get expensive if you go to the range a lot, and you've decided your SD ammo is the 135gr hyro-shok that sells for $1.40 per pop at the lgs.
Like you I believe that OP should find some SD ammo that he has confidence in, that is widely available, that works well in his firearm, that shoots comfortably and with similar characteristics as common range ammo, and that he can buy at a reasonable price so he can shoot it regularly. There are many options out there. None should cost a buck and a half (or close to) to shoot.

OP - I looked at various ballistic gel tests for performance expectations, looked at YouTube tests, surfed the internet for other info, and found Lucky Gunner's tests to be helpful in thinking about SD rounds (but recognize it is not any sort of end-all, be-all). You can see a bunch of data at: https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...llistic-tests/ . Make of it what you will; some will give it credence and others will scoff at it.
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  #8  
Old 05-14-2019, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrail View Post

I picked up some Federal Personal Defense 135 Grain Hydra-Shok JHPs to try out. On the package it claims to be "Low Recoil".


"Bullet designs like the Hydra-Shok were state of the art 15 or 20 years ago. These older bullets tend to plug up and act like FMJ projectiles when shot through heavy clothing; they also often have significant degradation in terminal performance after first passing through intermediate barriers".

Dr. Gary Roberts

https://modernserviceweapons.com/?author=5

I would recommend whatever ammo your local PD uses. Thats an easy way to explain why you used the ammo you used.

Barring that, the FBIs 135 grain Hornady Critical Duty or Speer 147 grain G2 would give you the same explanation.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:36 PM
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Here's a review of Federal HST 124 gr out of a short barrel. It did VERY well. There's also a sister video of the 147 gr and it performed very well too. It's worth ordering on line if you can't find it locally.

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Old 05-15-2019, 6:21 AM
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Federal HST or Speer Gold Dot are rated as some of the best self defense 9mm ammo.
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  #11  
Old 05-15-2019, 7:26 AM
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I use HST 147 in 2 of my Shields with 0 issues. Have a few boxes of Gold Dot that I will try next range trip.
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Old 05-15-2019, 7:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Litespeeds View Post
Federal HST or Speer Gold Dot are rated as some of the best self defense 9mm ammo.

The Federal HST is a fantastic SD round and what I originally carried in my Shield, but now use Hornady Custom. The reason I stopped using them and went with Hornady XTPs was so I could reload using the XTP and match the +P performance for practice and save $$$. Both my Shield 9 and 45 have functioned 100% with the XTP through thousands of rounds. As for the OPs question, I haven't found any SD ammo that didn't perform well through the Shield, and I tried just about all of them.
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Old 05-15-2019, 9:03 AM
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I know its old school but I love the stuff. I keep all my defensive guns both 9MM and 45 loaded with Remington Golden Saber. I am a firm believer in the brass jacketed hollow point.
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Old 05-15-2019, 9:06 AM
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As mentioned, Federal HST is the go-to. They also have +P in 9mm, although I’ve never tried it (HST Tactical).
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Old 05-15-2019, 9:23 AM
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Another HST vote here, in any weight. It really doesn’t get any better. I’ve seen proof that they open up at really low velocities, like out of 1.87” LCRx barrel. Some of the other bullet technologies require more velocity than I believe the shield’s 3 inch barrel can provide.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:44 AM
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Gold dots at standard pressure for me.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:44 AM
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I've had a Shield 9mm for 5 years or so. Never an issue.

For defense rounds, you will always get a ton of Federal HST responses on this forum-- which, even though I have never used it, I firmly agree with and assume it is great ammo.

Personally, I stocked up high and deep many years ago on Speer Gold Dot both in 230gr .45 as well as a bunch of 147gr and 124gr +p 9mm.

I've always liked Speer Gold Dot and never had any type of FTF, etc in any of my .45's or 9mm's with it.

As far as 124gr vs 124gr +p vs 147 gr-- you'll always get a bunch of different answers.

I personally use 147 gr for my shield -- the thinking being that the +p round doesn't have enough barrel length to get optimum performance- so, for me, why not just go with the heavier bullet. But I could be totally wrong on that.

There really is no absolute right answer other than I see Federal HST as well as Speer Gold Dot mentioned a lot on this forum, and other forums, as very high quality self defense ammo, and just pick a bullet weight and main thing is making sure it feeds 100% reliably in your Shield and hits POA.

Good luck.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrail View Post
For you CCW guys, what have found performs best in the M&P Shield 9mm.

I picked up some Federal Personal Defense 135 Grain Hydra-Shok JHPs to try out. On the package it claims to be "Low Recoil".

Seems like the Federal Law Enforcement 124 Grain HST Jacketed Hollow Point is more popular, but harder to find nearby.

So what have you found to be reliable and effective in the M&P Shield? Anyone had any particular brand that did not function reliably? Mine has been highly reliable with multiple brands so far.
Whatever you choose to shoot with, just make sure it shoots to the poa/poi with YOU using YOUR pistol and see if it can hit what you're looking at when you need it to. Stop your research on the net and get out there and try a bunch of different brands/types.

There have always been the latest/greatest expanding ammo designs made and sold. New designs/materials will come and go as they have for many years. The only thing that doesn't ever change is the need to apply the ammo in a consistent/effective way by the shooter.

We all shoot handguns that have more than 1 round on board. Always plan to use every one of them if need be.

Be more pragmatic and less dogmatic concerning what you use/carry for sd purposes.

Here's some guy's opinion... https://www.policemag.com/340890/sto...-and-realities
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:02 AM
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Stay away from Hydra Shock, it plugs up easily and fails to expand.

Anything HST except the 150 grain "micro Pistol" stuff is great.

Anything Gold Dot except the 115 grain is great.

Golden Saber only the 147 grain and 124 grain bonded is any good.

also consider Winchester bonded, PDX1, or Winchester Defend

Hornady critical duty 135 +P and Speer G2 are good but tend to expand less and penetrate deeper than some other options

Choose one, and run a couple hundred rounds through your gun to ensure proper function and reliability, and then don't worry about it.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:20 PM
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Mine likes zinc Tulammo...
...but for housework it eats Federal 9bp (hey I got a case of it for $0.20/round, still works fine!)
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Old 05-15-2019, 1:42 PM
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HSTs run like crap through shield
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Old 05-15-2019, 1:42 PM
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In the final ammoquest video, the Winchester defend and the Federal HST were the top 2.
Winchester penetrated deeper while the HST expanded consistently larger.
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Old 05-15-2019, 1:56 PM
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147gr HST is my first pick for any 9mm handgun.
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Old 05-15-2019, 2:15 PM
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Not sure if it is because of the bullet shape but like a poster above I’ve never had a malfunction with Gold Dot in 9, 40, and 45. I believe it is bonded ammo, and the choice of many departments. YMMV but I would look in to it.
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Old 05-15-2019, 2:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faterikcartman View Post
Not sure if it is because of the bullet shape but like a poster above I’ve never had a malfunction with Gold Dot in 9, 40, and 45. I believe it is bonded ammo, and the choice of many departments. YMMV but I would look in to it.
Gold Dot is excellent defensive ammo and is quite possibly the most vetted duty round available. The best variety in 9mm is the 124 grain +P but the standard pressure 124s and 147s work fine too. It's a little spendy but most of the premium defense rounds are.
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Old 05-15-2019, 3:13 PM
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Old 05-15-2019, 3:40 PM
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The Short Barrel +P Gold Dot variants use a quicker burning powder to reduce muzzle flash while at the same time giving it similar ballistics to the standard pressure load out of a 4" barrel. It is one of the few SB loads out there that reportedly performs just as well as the standard load unlike the Micro HST stuff.

Last edited by code_blue; 05-15-2019 at 3:46 PM..
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Old 05-15-2019, 3:44 PM
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Are the ammo tests you rely on or reference done by engineers and scientists, or some Bubba's shooting stuff in the woods behind their double wide?
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Old 05-15-2019, 3:48 PM
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I usually keep a stock (not too large) of two different types of defensive ammo with different characteristics that I have vetted through my pistols so I can load them up according to the situation I'm likely to be in.

For example I had been loading up with HST 124 +P until recently I received threats from a man who is 6'4" and 300 pounds, I switched to Ranger bonded 147 grain for the deeper penetration.
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Old 05-15-2019, 3:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopetonBrown View Post
Are the ammo tests you rely on or reference done by engineers and scientists, or some Bubba's shooting stuff in the woods behind their double wide?
The link that someone posted earlier is to a list compiled by Dr. Gary Roberts, who is pretty much the foremost authority in the field of terminal ballistics. He odes testing for many law enforcement agencies and has worked with the FBI for many years and knows his stuff. That's the list I use.
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Old 05-15-2019, 6:08 PM
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I've run Speer Gold Dots through my Shield and it functioned perfectly.
If you can find some of the old Federal Guard Dog in 9mm, those work well (in my Shield at least), too...
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