Hornady expanded the chambering offerings of the popular Critical Defense line of ammunition to include .22 Mag, 9mm Makarov, .44 Special and .45 Colt. These new self-defense cartridges fill some aching voids in the ammunition marketplace, and should be met with a great deal of enthusiasm from shooters.

Given the popularity of Kel Tec’s PMR-30 .22 Mag pistol, introducing a Critical Defense cartridge in that caliber is a smart move. Likewise, when you think of all the 9mm Makarov-firing guns imported from the Eastern Bloc in the last 15 years, it is amazing how difficult it is to find high-quality self-defense ammo in that caliber. But to me the most interesting new chamberings are the .44 Special and .45 Colt rounds.


The incredible popularity of Taurus’ Judge revolver chambered for .45 Colt/.410 shotshell caught the ammunition industry by surprise a few years ago. As a result, .45 Colt ammunition went from a sideline, with one or two production runs a year, to a high-demand general use cartridge. Most ammunition manufacturers still haven’t caught up with this round’s burgeoning demand. The popularity of Charter Arms Bulldog revolver has had a similar effect on the supply of .44 Special ammunition.

FTX Technology

Critical Defense ammunition uses the FTX bullet technology that Hornady pioneered in their Leverevolution line. FTX bullets are filled, hollow point slugs. The cavity is filled with an elastometric polymer, and the bullet’s jacket is engineered with six deep pleats for controlled expansion. They don’t need hydrostatic pressure to expand. The elastomer in the tip serves that function. So, if you hit the bad guy, the FTX bullet will expand at .44 Special or .45 Colt velocities, and deliver all its energy inside the target. But, should you miss the bad guy and hit drywall, the FTX bullets are much less likely to drive straight through the wall into the next room. For more information, call 800-338-3220 or visit

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Hornady expanded the chambering offerings of the popular Critical Defense line of ammunition to…