I have settled on the Lehigh Xtreme Defender bullets in all of my carry and home defense pistols. Usually those loaded by Underwood. I use at least +P and +P+ when it's available. Yes, shot placement is king but velocity is the queen right beside him. These Lehigh bullets do not fragment nor expand but the flutes do tend to fling tissue outwards, making a temporary wound cavity that is larger than any hollow point ammo on the market. Penetration is consistent in gel tests and while adequate, is not excessive. The bullets are barrier blind and due to their round nose profile, work in virtually all semi auto pistols. What's not to like? Even their pricing is about the same (or less!) as other premium ammo.
Bullets such as the fragmenting type or Glasers tend to not penetrate very well and often leave massive flesh wounds that do not stop the fight quickly. While the FMJ (of any style, including SWC and flat nose) are noted for their failures which have been well documented over the years. They are simply not the best bullet for SD/HD. While they will work, an "instant" stop is pure luck or Bob Munden shooting skills, that 99% of us simply do not have. They work... eventually. In the mean time a 250 lb. thug is unscrewing your head. No thanks!
There are other bullets that work... Gold dots (especially the SB, or short barrel versions), HST, Golden Sabers, V Crowns, etc. Personally, I want every bit, every single percentage point, of advantage I can get. If using a hollow point, you want that bullet going as fast as possible, but not to the point it comes apart and doesn't penetrate (most 10mm hollow points were designed for the 40 Short & Weak and thus are not suitable for use in full power 10mm ammo). Personally, I like the 185 gr. Gold Dot HP in my .45's if I were to use up my limited supply of Underwood ammo. I have them stepping along fairly quickly at almost 1100 fps. They do not fragment (most bonded bullets have to be pushed extremely hard to make them not work correctly) nor do the petals fold back along the shank, making the bullet close to an FMJ after the initial opening... but they still penetrate well, so all is not lost! If using factory ammo (other than those using the Lehigh bullet) I usually choose the lighter bullets going as fast as they are willing to load them. However, I usually avoid factory ammo because they tend to load them much too lightly (Speer is very bad about that!).
Personally, I have, starting two years ago, transitioned from the .45 ACP to 10mm, although I still carry the .45 around my property. As much as I like the .45, I like the 10mm a whole lot more! With the light weight Underwood ammo, there is less recoil to deal with making follow up shots easy.
You use whatever makes you sleep better, as I will. I sleep like a baby!
Great article. I love my 45ACP, but might try a 10mm. Can I add one thing. It’s not cheap, but practice with the ammo you carry.