HORNADY’s Critical Defense Ammo

Hornady is launching their new line of Critical Defense ammunition…

Hornady is launching their new line of Critical Defense ammunition loaded with the new FTX bullet at the SHOT Show. Hornady’s Steve Johnson said that he was the one to test it against other hollow points on defense media (like blue jeans and leather) and found that the materials used in Hornady’s Critical Defense ammo do not enter the cavity of the bullet nose and distort the expansion process like other hollow points do.

Conventional hollow points have always had issues with the cavity becoming clogged with fibers from clothing, rendering them ineffective in terms of expansion in soft tissue after they encounter the clothing barrier. But Hornady’s Critical Defense cartridge plugs this with their closely-guarded rubber material making for a clean penetration and predictable expansion with every shot. Nickel cases eliminate corrosion and premium low flash propellants deliver maximum velocity in short barreled handguns. To start Hornady is offering this in .380 Auto (90-gr./1,000 fps/200-ft.lbs.), .38 Special (110-gr./1175 fps/337-ft. lbs.), .38 Special +P (110-gr./1270 fps/394-ft.lbs.) and 9mm Luger (115-gr./1140 fps/332-ft.lbs.).

Load Comments
  • Jim Bullard

    I never thought I’d actually USE my weapon. But I did one day, and I can say, It felt darned good to survive 5 burglers at my home. I would dust someone in a nanosecond once I had decided not only was I in danger, but so was my wife. Boom-Boom, out go the lights. JB

  • Jaydee

    Whenever a firearm is used, self defense or whatever, there is a very good chance of a law suit..better than a good chance. This is why my PERSONAL philosophy of firearm use is ..there needs to be a damn good reason regarding my own, or my own families life. I would be very hesitant to inject myself in someone else’s problem…very hesitant. Being party to a suit is hard on you..at best.

  • DLo

    Does anyone know if this ammo been tested with auto glass and other barriers?

  • scott

    Go NRA for boosting gun and ammo sales by scaring American gun owners into believing Uncle Sam is gonna take our guns. The NRA is good and BAD at the same time.

  • Ray

    I believe the CJ major below was speaking of shot placement. You dont take a shot the will likly maim an attacker you take a kill shot. However if that “kill” shot does not kill and the attacker is down taking another shot would then be illegal. Like wise the geneva convention requires military personnel take kill shots rather than shots that would wound. Anyways this ammo is of high quality and works well in my .38 carry gun.

  • dan

    I like the Critical Defense, but I wish they would start making a 9mm 124 gr. I just like the heavier bullet out of my Kel Tec P-11. Also, you shoot to stop the agression, not to kill.

  • JDiver

    criminal justice major is wrong.

    You don’t shoot to kill. You shoot to STOP. When the threat is over, you stop shooting. If that point is death, then so be it. If that point is when the attacker retreats or drops his weapon, then it is there.

    You have a lot to learn if CJ is your major.

  • criminal justice major

    The person asking about possible infections resulting from a gunshot doesn’t have a clue. In a self defense scenario you don’t shoot to incapacitate, you shoot to kill. Dead criminals don’t sue. This information I’m passing along comes directly from one of my former adjunct professors in college who is a circuit court judge. She explained to shoot to kill in a self defense situation, especially in the home because only injured criminals sue, not dead ones.

  • Ben

    Impressed with this new rounds downrange capabilities, I bought some in standard pressure 38s, For my alloy Colt Cobra, MickeyB complained about its recoil in his Airweight, I’m hoping he was shooting +Ps, & not Standards to get that result …

  • Scrounger

    I’ve got all my 9mm handguns loaded with Hornady Critical Defense rounds. I have some .380 on backorder (yeah, whatever) and am going to see if I can swap a box of Black Talon .45 acp for a box of HCD with a gun shop buddy.

  • ben

    whatever it takes to stop the threat….i think this cartridge is cutting edge

  • dan123

    these will not clog at all i have shot many boxes out of my pt-111 i have shot gel with and without heavy clothing, wax, water jugs with and without heavy clothing, wood, vehicles, metal barrel full of dirt and never had one clog the tip always open

    Keep in mind i did comparison’s with other ammo such as the much loved gold dot, win. hollow point, gold sabers, cci blazer, fiocchi, hydra shock, cor-bon and prob. a few more i cant think of right now all i have to say is try them and you wont go back

  • Bill Austin

    Ok Guys the key word is Defense! If you need to protect your life or family members you will be very happy you chose this ammo . just remember who cares what it cost. if this ammo saves your life it is the best investment you ever made.

  • MickeyB

    Shot 5 .38 rounds through a S&W Airweight to see what the recoil was like. I don’t think I have ever had a cartridge with so much recoil in my .38. If you are going to carry it in your weapon, buy a spare box to practice with. Might be a little pricy, but do it. Just to make sure you can hit your mark with this stuff. Recoil can through off your targeting it’s so strong. Critical Defense Mule load.

  • Matt R

    >>>I would like to know what happens to the plastic material on impact. If it is not detectable under medical x-ray I can see the lawsuits now.<<<

    Um, if you are legally justified in shooting someone, you are legally justified if they subsequently die – even if it is from a subsequent infection.

  • Dave C.

    I think the guy mentioning lawsuits because of a x-ray not finding all of the bullet, is very confused and must think an x-ray works like a airport metal detector. X-rays will even show air, water, scar tissue plus numerous other things in the body. Rest assure Doubting Thomas – an x-ray will detect plastic. It is goofballs like that, is what give us pro-gunners a bad image.

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  • Daniel

    Finally found a box of .380 for my LCP. Wish they would come out with a .45 acp for my baby glock!!BTW, The dealer really screwed me by charging three times the price. His reasoning? “I’ve got it and I’ll charge whatever I want for it” Beats carrying fmjs but he lost a good customer over his attitude. 25 rounds will last till hornady cranks up their production.

  • The gentleman who thinks that a foreign mass (regardless of the material) would not be detected by an XR, CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound is absolutely ignorant. Sell all of your guns sir. You obviously don’t need to carry a weapon if you are that much of a re-re.

  • Deputy Dog

    1. Critical Defense Ammunition isn’t for plinking. Practice with similar weight/type ammo. 2. Defense means defense; use of lethal force does not include having an attorney at your side. Know the law as it applies where are. 3. Ammo prices and availability is getting more questionable quickly [particularly since the recent election results]. If CD Ammo fits your needs; don’t ponder the questions – purchase ASAP. You may not have the opportunity later.

  • Fred Pate

    Sounds like a great round. After all we “don’t shoot to kill… we shoot to live.”

  • Ismael

    Seems to me the guy crying about lawsuits shouldn’t even carry. He sounds very paranoid and with all that on your mind. An intruder may have the upper hand? I believe the reason why these bullets are being produced for the 9mm/.38 calibers is because. These are the rounds that are often criticized as not having enough stopping power which IMHO is not the case. But with heavy clothing on a target. These smaller rounds can have performance issues. It just depends on a few variables. So if these bullets can prevent these calibers from having these issues with clothing? Then in 40 & 45Cal. It will most likely succeed. Wat works for small usually works in larger scales. But its always much harder to go from large to small.

  • kenneth Kaplan

    Is Hornady going to make there new ammo to replace my .454 (260)gr or my .500 440 hard grain that I now carry off duty?

  • Greywolf

    Why would you care about a law suit, I thought you intended to kill the person.
    The only time you shoot someone to incapacitate them, is if, they are family, then a shot to the knee would do just fine…

  • Shane H

    Thumbs up to Hornady! The ammo sounds promising. I have a few performance questions though. How does the bullet perform after penetrating windshield glass and what type of penetration characteristics can be expected through dry wall, wood and other materials used in the construction of homes, apartments, office buildings, trailers, etc.

  • DOC

    If your going to shoot someone giving them an infection is that last of your worries. All wounds are subject to infection and are treated accordingly.
    Good job Hornady! Keep the good stuff coming.

  • Doubting Thomas

    I would like to know what happens to the plastic material on impact. If it is not detectable under medical x-ray I can see the lawsuits now. Unretreivable material is cause of infection/amputation/death….how about a 10 million dollar civil suit!

  • HowardCohodas

    The first listing for distribution in the retail channel that I’ve found is MidwayUSA. You can’t order it, but you can sign up for email notification.

    Price: $18.49 for 25
    Date Expected In-Stock: 11/27/2008


    Product Spec Sheet: http://www.hornady.com/images/sell_sheets/09-critical_defense.pdf

  • Will Thay be make Ammo in 357 mag.??

  • robert

    I wish they had a 125 gr load for the stub 38 special.
    125 gr at 1100 fps.

  • Wayne

    Sounds good, but will the price for a box of twenty be?

  • FC

    This is very similar to the CorBon PowerBall.



  • Eric R. Poole

    I spoke with representatives from Hornady yesterday and they said it took them years to become satisfied with the design of the Critical Defense bullet. The initial offerings feature a dimensional similar bullet and they expect to have chamberings for the .40, .45, etc. to follow thereafter. Hornady wants to be sure that they have the ballistics optimally configured for self-defense before releasing any other calibers. They are going to be officially debuting this at the SHOT Show in Orlando, FL this coming January, so Tactical-Life is excited to bring those that follow this website an exclusive look. Best – Eric R. Poole

  • It look like very interestin new ammo in the market but also I support what Jonh Evans said, why Hornandy and of course many others don’t produce trial basis for larger calibers these days. It will be a great idea.

  • John Evans

    Why wouldn’t Hornady produce a .40cal for a trial basis since more people are starting to carry the larger calibers.