A variety of ammo on a desk

Best personal defense ammo for Glock 45 Gen 5 pistol

I recently tested several different types of personal defense ammo at the range to see how my trusty pistol, the Glock 45 Gen 5, would handle them. I wanted to find a round that felt right so that I could shoot accurately when it matters most.

Heavy Grain Bullets vs Lighter Grain Bullets

It may be because of my lack of experience and skill, but the heavier rounds (124 grain and up) had a little too much kick to control well. The recoil slowed down my ability to re-aim and fire another shot on target.

In a self defense situation where milliseconds can mean life or death, I prefer the lighter rounds (115 grain) for speed and accuracy.

I know the heavier rounds may have more “knock down” power, but if I’m not able to be accurate and fast I won’t be hitting anything to knock down.

For now I prefer using the lighter ammo until I improve my recoil control skills.

Gear & Ammo Tested

Ammo Test:

1) Hornady Critical Defense, 9mm Luger 115 grain FTX  ammo

The Hornady Critical Defense 115 grain 9mm ammo was my personal favorite of all three, and what I’ve got loaded in my self defense pistol mags right now.

hornady critical defense 9mm ammo box

opened Hornady Critical Defense 9mm ammo box with rounds coming out side

hornady critical defense 9mm ammo box with bullets in font

Hornady Critical Defense 9mm JHP ammo round standing up next to loaded Glock 45 Gen 5 mag

Glock 45 gen 5 mag with hornady critical defense 9mm jhp ammo rounds

Hornady Critical Defense 9mm amm round in chamber of Glock 45 gen 5

Ballistic Gel Tests for Hornady Critical Defense 9mm 115gr ammo


My Opinion on this ammo:
  • Pros:
    • Low recoil gave me better control and faster follow up shots on target
    • Ballistic Gel Tests done by Lucky Gunner found that this ammo round goes about 10 to 23 inches depending on the test, which is close to the FBI standard for ammo penetration, but a little too far in some tests.
  • Cons:
    • More expensive than the other two ammo varieties tested
    • May over-penetrate your target in some cases and hit something behind it.
  • Where to buy:

2) Federal Premium Law Enforcement, 9mm, Tactical HST JHP, 124 grain ammo

3) Speer LE Gold Dot, 9mm +P, JHP, 124 grain ammo


As usual, I used my reliable Glock 45 Gen 5 9mm pistol for testing.

Gun Range:

I conducted this test at the indoor range at Shady Oaks in Cedar Park, Texas. I shot several rounds of each type of ammo to get a good feel for how it performed with my Glock 45.

Target shot from 20 yards

Wow, I’m bad at this! Gotta improve my accuracy shooting from 20 yards away with a pistol.

Target shot from 10 yards


Ammo Supplier / Sponsor:

AmmoToGo.com supplied all the ammo for this test. They offer super fast delivery and a wide selection of bulk ammo to choose from at solid prices. Thanks guys! I really appreciate the support.

Box of ammo from AmmoToGo.com
Box of ammo from AmmoToGo.com



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