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Nine millimeter pistols like this Smith & Wesson M&P 9c are the most commonly-seen concealed carry guns on the market today. As technology advances and ballistics improve, cartridges fall in and out of favor.

Yes, 9mm is a capable self-defense cartridge. But here’s my question: how many of you do your own testing on your carry ammo rather than relying solely on the numbers provided to you by the manufacturer? If you can do it, testing your own ammo using gel and, yes, the FBI protocol, is a great way to learn more about its performance.

Anyone here already do some of their own testing?

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  1. No testing…MY question is have you shot anyone or been shot yourself Kat? I do what I assume the vast # of gun owner’s do. I check function,I look at myriad numbers of YouTube videos,Facebook,HERE and what is affordable. And ask around at shops & ranges. Not some goofy boutique round like LibertyDefense…

  2. No. I don’t have the money of time.

    Folks like shooting the bull, scuba oz, tntoutdoors and licky gunner have dome yeoman service.

    Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow and Mas Ayoob have reported on street results.

    So we can make an informed decision but will never know if it was the right one until the ballon goes up…..and maybe not then.

    Pay your nickel and make your choice.

  3. This seems dumb.

    I don’t test my truck’s oil to confirm what the manufacturer says. I just buy it and trust it. Hell I don’t even know what gauge of wire is running through my house.

    • Probably 16G NM / NM-B for lights and wall outlets. Your kitchen, microwave / oven / fridge might have a 12/2, or 10/2 if its 120.

  4. I got to attend a day of testing. It was very informative. The instructors advised us to bring what our department issued to compare it to the Federal HST.
    We must have had 30-40 gel blocks.

  5. I was forced to shoot two people back in the 70’s and will never forget it. The gun was a Star PD 45 ACP . It made a mess of things and I don’t think the type of ammo. would have mattered much. I now carry a 9mm and think that’s plenty large enough.

    Oh, the ammo. in my 45 was HP but can’t remember the brand.

  6. Wish I could afford gel, I’m thinking if it splinters the hell out of a 2×4 or 4×4 at 20′. It should do some serious “ugly” to flesh within 10′.

  7. I have seen enough people shot by a variety of ammo types to know getting shot by any ammo is not a good thing.

  8. “9 mm pistols, like this Smith and Wesson M&P 9 c are the most commonly seen concealed carry guns on the market today.” Evidently it’s not a very good sidearm for concealed carry. ,,,,.. A tactical pen. NASA spent over $150,000 developing an ink and pen that would function in space, Russia used a pencil,

    • Yes, NASA didn’t use a pencil because pencil shavings, lead or graphite is generally bad for delicate electronics.

    • Fisher developed the pen on their own, then sold the pen to NASA for $6.00 a pen, they also sold them to the USSR. USSR used grease pencils in space, having personally used them on vertical plots, scope screens, etc in a cold dark room on various ships that all started with USS…way back in the day, grease pencils do work while not only pointed down.

  9. I forgot to answer the question because of my smarta$$ remark: Yes I’ve tested every pd round I’ve ever used. Usually in mud or wet magazine’s, newspapers, books, and hard barriers, cars, ovens, refrigerator’s, couches,, TV’s, things one could use as concealment or cover during ones daily activities. It lets you actually see and determine what you like best. II liked the performance of the old Corbon +p’s and recently have been impressed with Hornady’s Critical Defense, those two seemed to be the top performers IMO . Most all the other hp’s were pretty much the same, you might get a few inches deeper penatration, a little bigger mushroom , but nothing of significant difference between most brands. Oh and for shts n grins a sheet metal screw screwedinto a hollow point makes a darn good AP

  10. Is there a good source of tests showing light weight, non expanding flat nose penetration depth and directional reliability on various hard structures and angles, to replicate bones? I know there are some very light rounds that get consistent 18″ depth, but would be concerned about performance on the above .

    Please don’t comment on why this is a bad question, that these aren’t acceptable SD cartridges, etc., except with data supporting failure, with specifics, in the above situations. Thanks. Sorry for being a grouch.

  11. Furthermore, is there ANY documentation that would support the idea that carrying a “Tactical” pen is a worthwhile self defense idea? Maybe I missed it but don’t recall ever seeing any reports ever. While it sounds pretty cool that you could kick ass with a little pen, I do not see why anyone could be serious about carrying one. Think about it … if it comes down to the point where you have to actually deploy one, you better be among the most bad-ass dudes on the planet. I think I’ll just go with an extra magazine or two.

    • It’s definitely a last ditch weapon, but it sure makes hammer fist blows a lot nastier with an aluminum spike sticking out of them.

    • I carry this tactical pen for the most tactical reason ever. Writing!! The fact that it could serve as a last ditch self defense tool is just a bonus. It must be a fairly worthwhile tool for defense, since the TSA doesn’t allow then as carry-on items. And what Case says is 100% accurate. Having some additional training with ANYTHING you carry as a defensive implement is a must though.

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