Many people like to think they are doing sufficient research to find the PERFECT carry round for their firearms. Realistically and simply, there is a marginal difference between the performance of premium and generic ammunition. Of course this depends on what you get, but older designs like Winchester white box JHP ammo seems to perform really well and consistently in most testing. Of course it isn't pretty, but penetration is dominant for those of us in the real world with our priorities straight and logical.
Now let us look at the premium ammo products available today. Typically this is categorized as being used by Law Enforcement and either comes in 50 round boxes or in 20 round boxes. Some rounds like the PDX-1 are civilian specific counterparts designed to be more flexible to variations in barrel length. Law Enforcement ammunition is based on department needs and politically based decisions. This makes little sense when you think about the flexibility we have as citizens in this case. But people seem to automatically think Law Enforcement ammo is some magical rounds. This is a severely flawed perception.
Now let us look at the generic counterparts to the premium ammunition selections. For instance, the Winchester and Remington JHP options are inexpensive and have evolved over the years to provide the most amount of versatility and reliable performance. There are two types of JHP weights for the 9mm for instance. 115 grain JHP options are generally good terminal performers for all barrel lengths from 3" to 4". The 147 grain JHP is good for all longer barrel lengths due to the lower velocities and the need for longer barrels to give the round a better chance at optimal penetration.
The problem with generic carry ammo is the fact that they are not necessarily built to perform terminally after passing through certain barriers. That is where I have a hard time shifting to generic carry ammo. There is little in the way of testing that shows performance of the generic options when it comes to terminal performance through barriers. That is just one of the things that prevent me from a complete switch to generic ammo. Home guns and vehicle guns are going to have premium ammo for a long time until I am convinced that I will get good terminal performance to match the premium options.
In my evaluation, people place too much stock in the looks of the JHP rounds instead of how it penetrates. Personally, even if it doesn't expand, optimal penetration is the goal. I would prefer to save money and also have a good performing round for my carry pistols. For that reason, I have recently gone to less premium ammo options available to me. But it is hard to phase out the premium ammo like the Sig V-Crown due to how it performs through most barriers. I really like how it works and I think the performance of it is hard to beat through barriers. But generally, I am not too concerned with performance out of generic ammo since they typically perform well, though not to the same degree. But in this case, they are good enough as a minimalist option.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.