About the nastiest "factory" defense round in 9mm is the Winchester Ranger 127gr +P+. I believe it turns out more than 1250fps from a standard 4-5" barrel...pretty impressive given its weight. That's what I carry in my Hi-Power and keep loaded in my CZ 75, and it shoots smooth as heck in those tanks. I also have some 147gr Fed HST that's a heavy hitter.
The other load that caught my eye (that I haven't shot) is the Buffalo Bore 124gr +P+. Probably measures up pretty well with the Rangers. Honestly though, standard pressure rounds will get the job done just fine and handle a whole lot better for most shooters. I only keep a few boxes of the +P+ Rangers around because I've got a couple heavy 9mms that handle them so well.
I carry standard pressure 115/124gr in my PF9. Impressive ballistics don't compensate for the lack of control in a micro gun for me, and I wouldn't be terribly confident that my little Kel-Tec would be up to the task of digesting too many hot rounds to begin with. I want controlability and reliability, and I've been happy with 115gr Hornady Critical Defense...which essentially feeds like ball.
For a less hot, but not necessarily less effective round, look into some of the Gold Dot "short barrel" rounds. I guess they use powder designed to burn off quickly in a shoter barrel.
"The Future is Unwritten"
Last edited by sweeper22; 06-21-2011 at 06:37 PM.