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Well, unfortunately, Hornady tried to make a load that ignored the standards for what makes a good defense load, and they ultimately failed in making something that would work well.

If Hornady could revamp the XTP line to resolve a lot of its issues, then it would likely work well.
 

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Does the bad primers apply only to the Critical Defense Ammo or is this a problem with all their Ammo (Hornady Custom + P, TAP, ect.) ?
Denny
I have only heard of the issue with the Critical Defense
 

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Thanks DeltaKilo, Ive used Hornady XTP bullets for some time now for my reloads and was thinking of buying some Hornady Custom +P for concealed carry. Maybe I'll stop by Cabellas and pick up a couple of boxes for my Springfield Range Officer and see if my gun likes them. I think I,ll look and see if they have any Golden Sabers, everyone seems to like them.

Thanks
Denny
Generally, I don't recommend the XTPs for defensive purposes because they tend to plug up and otherwise have issues with penetrating hard barriers. They're an excellent hunting round, but for defensive purposes, there are other, much better designs.
 

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Such as?

I keep hearing about XTP,s plugging up with clothing, but with the exception Power Ball, Hydro shocks and other similar made bullets they are all made about the same, a big open cavity to plug with clothing. I would think the Gold Dots and the Barns copper bullets would be about the same.
Denny
Actually, they're not by a long shot.

XTPs tend to plug up because the hollowpoint is relatively small, and given the shape of the bullet and cavity overall, along with the jacket design, it is very good at capturing material and failing to expand, especially through clothing or other soft matter. Winchester civilian SXTs from the 90s (NOT the Ranger load) had the same issue.

Also, the Hydrashoks also show a propensity to plug and fail to expand through heavy clothing.

The Barnes bullets, HST, Gold Dots, etc. all solve this by changing the profile of the bullet, and also changing the size and shape of the hollowpoint itself, making it less apt to plug and fail to expand.

The other, bigger issues with XTP than the issues they show with plugging up, which has been shown in repeated testing with heavy clothing, is that they tend to fragment easily if they encounter a hard barrier. This is a problem because if the bullet hits some intermediate hard barrier and fragments, it loses much of its ballistic integrity, and therefore a great deal of its terminal effectiveness as a projectile against a threat.

The XTP line is an excellent choice of bullet for hunting where heavy clothing and intermediate barriers are unlikely to pose much of an issue.

However, given that there are other available designs in the field of reloading that are far superior both in the size of expanded projectile and in their ability to behave consistently without failure, the XTP is not my first choice for a hollowpoint to reload for the stated tasks.

The Barnes XPB/TacXP projectile, were I reloading for self defense or hunting, shows far more consistent expansion and expansion to a larger diameter, and has no documented problems of failure to expand with any intermediate barriers short of steel car doors which crush the hollowpoint walls flat, turning the bullet into a slightly enlarged wadcutter, showing 18+" of penetration on the other side.

Hydrashoks are not reliable enough for me to even consider suggesting them to anyone. As stated already, they show a similar propensity to plug and fail to expand, and also have issues dealing with hard barriers and heavy clothing. The HST, Federal's replacement projectile for the Hydrashok line, does far better by increasing the size of the hollowpoint and changing how the projectile breaks down and expands to improve on both reliability and consistent expanded diameter. This is another good choice, although these are only available as loaded ammunition.

While I cannot explain the exact differences between the designs (since I didn't engineer the bullets and don't have an exact breakdown other than casual observation of the projectiles), I can attest to the performance of the projectiles named in the Ballistics info stickie through hundreds of my own tests, thousands of tests done by Doc Roberts, who compiled the list quoted there, and thousands upon thousands of real world shootings where recovered projectiles confirm the findings of testing. There are plenty of decent reviews of functionality including gel test videos, workshops, and seminars replete with visual data and labs that corroborate the data.
 

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Well, I guess it's time for a change:rolleyes:...I like the new Federal Premium Guard Dog Home Defense 9mm and .45ACP
Guard dog ammunition is a warmed over version of the original EFMJ made by Federal. It works, after a fashion, and is better than ball.

However, it's still not as good as a good old-fashioned wadcutter or hollowpoint.

Seriously, these gimmick designs do nothing well but take your money, and cost more than just buying 50 decent hollowpoints that are KNOWN to work.
 

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This thread gets a 5 star...for its hypothesis value. Do we actualy have any ballistic engineers on board here or we just got a whole thread of speculation and a few isolated incidences ? Has Hornady recalled ALL of this ammo or is it still being sold under a big pretend scheme that it might work if you hold your tongue just right. You'd think they might just have "some enjunears that could fix this there problem", at that "small time Horndeny Co." :biglaugh: I know our expert says so-lol
I am an engineering student (night classes to get my degree in it.)

That said, however, There is nothing wrong with Hornady's critical defense design from that perspective. It does have specific issues penetrating hard barriers, but they state that from the factory, and it is a known quantity, even to the point that hornady's engineers designed it that way. As to the failures of the cartridges overall, yes, Hornady can and most likely will fix the problem with the primers. That's not the issue from my perspective. My perspective, and general caution with these bullets, aside from the blatant fact that the design is stated not to be able to pass certain tests i feel are necessary of a defense round, is directly related to the fact that the rounds have had stated, proven failures across lots and production runs. they are not "a few, isolated incidents", but enough across enough different lots that until that has been remedied and we have a track record of reliability to go on, I don't believe that it's worth trusting. Why buy a round with a spotty track record and an unproven reliability in the field to use for situations where absolute reliability and performance are needed? Why bother taking the risk when other, proven designs are available and less expensive? I'm all for creating better/new designs that improve on the bullet's ability to perform, but until those new designs have shown success and reliable operation, they're still a gamble. In some areas, new techniques or technologies are readily good to embrace on the bleeding edge, but where my life is at stake, I'll wait for a thorough shakedown of the product before I invest my money and trust.

Hornady's XTP design has had the stated flaws for at least 15-20 years, or so the testing and real world data/recovered bullets show. In that time, Hornady has done little to address the failures of the bullet or modify its design, despite sufficient evidence of the faults available with ready testing and field use.

Hornady is, was, has been, and will continue to be an excellent company for reloading materials and quality ammunition that cater to the hunting community. Their handgun loads are extremely good for hunting purposes, as they were originally intended by design.

They are decent design to use for self defense within the scope of what they do, but have stated issues with their design, and drawbacks which have been corrected in other types of projectiles designed to overcome certain barriers and continue to be lethal.

The blatant fact of the matter is that what is useful for hunting is not entirely the same as what is useful for self defense, because with hunting, penetration is greater than expansion, and the animal wears no clothes nor uses no barriers or cover; the hunter has time to place his shot for optimal damage to central body structures, and the animal usually poses no immediate threat (and selection of an appropriate caliber with greater velocities/penetration capabilities for those game you hunt with a handgun that DO pose an immediate threat is viable).

Humans, because of the unique circumstances/challenges they pose in a case for self defense (or even offense if we're talking about combat or certain law enforcement scenarios) require some considerations that are unique, and thus need to be accounted for with designs that resolve those particular concerns, and still do the necessary amount of damage to the body to physically incapacitate the threat should the escalation of violence reach a point where such is necessary.

Just like not all hammers are created equal or are optimal for every job, not every bullet is likewise equal or optimal for every situation. Choose according to the application.
 

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Since Posts in this section of the forum are usually lopsided or one sided at best, with the usual experts chiming in that everything they say is "fact" and "How dare you question the resident experts" (thats knowledge and experience can be truly verified by NONE)...that I thought it only fair to see just what this company (Hornady) had to say about all the unfounded opinions posted on here that sometimes borders on slander. Disclaimer: I don't happen to use Hornady ammo but not for any reason other than I get my ammo issued for free and our contract is with another quality Manufacturer but I also wanted to find out the real truth for my own curiosity. Below is the reply I got after inquiring about this thread and its claims to Hornady....


The poster has an opinion about what he or she finds desirable for personal protection ammunition, and that is their prerogative, and we respect that. However, to dissuade people from Hornady Critical Defense ammunition for personal protection / concealed carry is a mistake. The design of the Critical Defense FTX bullet was built around the fact that personal protection situations are often very close, and in most instances do not require the person protecting themselves to engage anything THROUGH a barrier of any form. When people shoot through barriers, it’s often a true “gun fight”, and most commonly associated with law enforcement officers who have to engage “bad guys” using vehicles for cover.



Critical Defense and the FTX bullets loaded in those rounds are optimized and purpose built to perform better and more consistently in personal protection situations than any other rounds on the market today. Critical Defense is not recommended as a true “duty” round for law enforcement, as no concern was given to design the Critical Defense FTX bullets to deliver FBI protocol barrier performance levels. It was designed for personal protection situations, and is the best product on the market for that application.



Additionally, other manufacturers have done a great job of NOT showing the public at large that their hollow point bullets often clog with material, even through meager heavy clothing, thus rendering them a NON-expanding FMJ. This bullet, once clogged, will usually travel well over 20” in gelatin therefore NOT imparting all useable energy within the target and potentially traveling down range unaccounted for.



Aside from the actual bullet design of the Critical Defense FTX, there are many other features that combine to make Hornady Critical Defense ammunition the most advanced and reliable concealed carry / personal protection ammunition available on the market today.



Here’s the url for the product overview that helps explain how it all works, and showcases some of the “dirty little secrets” about conventional hollow points in personal protection situations - http://www.youtube.com/hornadymanufacturing#p/u/16/L-DAqo_FcXg



As to the comments about “failures across lots and production runs”, that is unfounded. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that everything on the internet is the “truth” or even representative quite frankly. Conversely, we have received more than a few testimonials from people that have employed Critical Defense ammunition in personal protection situations where their life was truly in danger from an armed assailant. All have reported favorable results, but results that we do not feel are in good taste to post or exploit as you can only imagine the final outcome of the assailant/s.



Regards,



Neil Davies

Marketing Director

Hornady Mfg Co.
So, the marketing director tells you that he has received "several cases of favorable results", but won't publish them. How is this any different than others who have done testing or observed faults reporting their failures?

I have no dog in this hunt. I'm not an ammunition manufacturer, nor do I get any kind of reward (save for maybe the pleasure of helping others and sharing knowledge while giving me an excuse to obsess over a topic that interests me), so, I could care less whether an ammunition is "good" or "Bad".

My purpose in repeating what I stated about the critical defense is precisely as stated: There are reports of failures that are documented in both published articles and on internet forums. Does this make them valid or not? I don't know. Nor am I in charge of Hornady's QC, so it makes little difference.

My recommendation is purely based on the fact that there exist *reports* of failures, that would make me want to at least test the ammunition more thoroughly than I might another type of ammunition before I carried it, or choose another product that works equally well and is less expensive, unless I had a particular reason to need this particular design.

I wrote of a concern I had, that this ammunition has reports of failure to ignite, and that I would want to be damn sure the ammo worked before I used it and trusted my life to it, which I feel is only fair, considering I have only one life to give, and I'd rather not give it up because my carry ammo didn't work or caused a malfunction.

On the topic of expertise, I can't help but feel that you're taking a swipe at me, so without resorting to petty or childish retorts, I'll simply say this:

I'm not an expert. i can take photographs of stacks of medical charts and files, boxes of them in fact, that I have copies of that I have reviewed. I can list the names of dozens of Law Enforcement and Medical personnel I've asked questions of (with their permission, of course). I can show you pictures of the gel blocks from the next batch of testing I do.

i've spent probably 7 years or so studying the subject, reading books on forensics and ballistics and all that. I've looked at it from every angle I can, and consider myself to be a well-read novice at best. I know what I know.

Anything I've written is founded on the works of my own study, and roots from knowledge espoused by such people as Dr. Gary Roberts, Dr. Martin Fackler, Dr. Vincent DiMaio, etc. All of those people are well documented, and their published works are available to read and are vetted by various agencies and recognized by various organizations, and you can research them yourself, read what htey have to say, and see what you think.

However, all of this penny-ante one-upsmanship or snide backbiting serves no purpose, nor does having these discussions. All it boils down to is a set of hard, reliable facts that you can get from any source, and SHOULD get from your own experience, because they're quite logical:

  • Handguns are poor choices for self defense. Bring a rifle.
  • The only way to ***guarantee*** the threat is stopped is to do enough damage to the body to physically incapacitate it, either through blood loss or damage to the central nervous system.
  • Lots of holes are better than fewer holes, bigger holes are better than smaller holes, and more big holes are better than fewer big holes.
  • Holes in center of mass trump holes in extremeties.
  • The head is a diffuclt target to hit under stress. Shoot for the upper chest.
  • Hollowpoints, when they work, make bigger holes than ball, and when they don't work, are no different than ball.
  • No matter what the design or technology or hype, they're *all* chunks of metal being flung at really fast speeds tearing through a squishy target and letting the fluids out.


Take it for what it is. it's me speaking from what I know and have observed, either in testing, or in real life situations. It is not universal truth, it is not irrefutable, and it is not absolute. I'm right until someone else finds facts or data that proves my thinking wrong, and then I adapt and change my thinking to fit the new data.

As sherlock holmes observed: Shape the theory to fit the facts, watson...
 

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i would also point out that Mr. Davies, while not commenting on actual experiences, does state pretty plainly that the round is not designed to penetrate certain barriers, which I don't personally find desirable in my opinion.

In point of fact, use of these soft-rubber expanding hollowpoints is a *good* idea. Anything that maximizes the reliability of expansion.

Yes, hollowpoints do clog with heavy clothing (although probably not as much as Mr. Davies would have us believe, but it is irrefutable fact that they do, in fact, fail to expand sometimes), so the only way to prevent that is to use some sort of positive wedge. Perfect that in such a way that it works, but still penetrates needed barriers, then it works 100% and I'll agree that it's a better option.
 

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That is a good indirect point (linking to outside source) and one that should be brought front and center...Don't take any one source, from the Intranut, as fact or fiction, and base your intellegence and your life on.

Everybody thats been to different ammo & gun websites should know and see the trends that evolve when you get popular posters that go from contributing to discussions to taking the topic over and taking it upon themselves to try and edjucate the masses to "their line of thinking". Learning from history, why we study it, tells me not to believe everything I read on the internet and have an open mind studying from multiple sources to base my own conclusions on. If I don't, just like in past history, I'm no safer or smarter than than the guys that stood in line for koolaide down in Guyana.
Well, I don't mean to take over any discussion. I wish only to share what I have. If that's not welcomed, then I'll stop.
 

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The biggest problem I see is that Critical Defense still specifically engineers the round to NOT perform against certain types of barriers and so forth, and they do not test it against a full, rigorous set of tests.

So, what happens when you need this ammunition to perform against a situation where the round is A) untested, and/or B) is designed NOT to work?
 

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The round works the way it is designed for. It is designed to not make it through the barriers you speak of because well frankly in most states, its hard to argue self defense in a situation where you're shooting through a median. Well with the exception of shooting out of automobile glass.

This round is designed to punch through thick layers of clothing and still expand when it hits the bad guy. the problem with several Jacketed Hallow Points is that when they go through thick layers of clothing as someone would be wearing in the winter the tip clogs and the bullet doesn't expand. This causes the round to act much more like a Full Metal Jacket. The point of the polymer in the hillow of the round is to punch through these thick durable layers and then force expansion when hitting the bad guy. The round does what it is supposed to. And if you don't like it there are plenty of other options out there, even by Hornady that are completly up to your standards.
Most of the recommended hollowpoints for Duty and Self Defense use, including Speer's Gold dot, Federal's HST, Winchester Ranger T-series +P, and the Barnes SCHP as loaded by so many quality manufacturers these days all work well, and do not clog in heavy clothing.

Wilson Combat, among others, indicates that they do not recommend using these rounds in their guns because of reliability issues. The polymer tip, while a good idea in theory, has also caused reliability issues in other guns as well.

Let me be clear, I do not have any particular bias, nor do I personally have any vested interest, short of arguing for the use of the most universally-capable and best-performing options available to the public in cases where self defense must be employed. The goal is to be prepared for and capable of handling any self defense scenario, regardless of what it is. Whether something is "hard to prove" is of lesser concern than preserving your life.

With that said, the ammunition, and its basic ideal is a good one, but it has flaws and issues that have yet to be worked out. Until those flaws are resolved, then there still remain reasons against recommending this ammunition.

As far as Hornady's other bullets, none have yet to show reliable performance in all areas of the standard tests for function compared to other brands, so they remain great hunting bullets, but not ones I would recommend for self defense based on hundreds of tests I've reviewed.
 
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