The 9mm Luger cartridge offers good velocity and energy. This energy isn’t useful unless it is harnessed by an expanding bullet that transfers energy to the target. An expanded bullet results in greater wound potential and will cut flesh rather than push it aside. A loading with a good balance of expansion and penetration is needed. These hollow point bullets also result in greater public safety as they are less likely to ricochet. A good choice is the Black Hills Ammunition 115-grain EXP or Extra Power loading. This load maximizes the caliber with the highest velocity with a standard pressure loading. The +P load offers greater energy and penetration. The 115-grain EXP is an excellent home defense loading. The +P loading is a good choice for those that may face heavily clad felons or those behind cover. The 124-grain JHP +P is among the outstanding 9mm service loads, well suited to personal defense and for addressing the full range of possibilities including felons in vehicles or behind cover.
There is much to be said for a loading that is mild to fire and accurate. The Fiocchi Extrema line uses the proven Hornady XTP bullet. This bullet features a balance of expansion and penetration that favors penetration. At about 1100 fps each load is controllable and accuracy is good to excellent. These loads are good choices but it is up to the shooter to provide the most important ingredient—marksmanship.