Handgun shooters who prefer the 9x19mm cartridge for personal defense have a wide variety of ammo choices. There are standard pressure loads, so-called "subsonic" loads, and ultra fast, high pressure, +P and +P+ loads.
One of my personal favorite loads is the Federal C9BP 9mm Luger 115 gr JHP load. This is a standard pressure load that fires a 115 gr jacketed hollow point bullet at 1,150 feet per second (as measured at the muzzle) and produces 345 foot pounds of energy.
Independent tests have shown this load will consistently penetrate the minimum of 12" of ballistic gelatin as recommended by FBI protocols.
This cartridge uses a reloadable brass case, Boxer primer, and Federal's115 gr "Hi-Shok" JHP bullet.
This load has been widely used by police agencies over the last 20 years and has developed an excellent reputation both for accuracy and for effectiveness on the target.
I like this load because of it's mild recoil impulse, accuracy, and well proven track record in real-life use. I find that my shot to shot times are generally better with the Federal C9BP then with other +P or +P+ loads. I attribute this to the reduced felt recoil.
This load also features a rounded bullet profile that closely replicates that of FMJ ammunition. This improves feeding reliability and is especially important if used in older gun designs designed when FMJ was the norm.
Since it is a standard pressure load this is a good choice for older pistol designs that are not suitable for firing large quantities of +P or +P+ ammunition. The higher pressures of the +P or +P+ ammunition cause additional wear and tear on the firearm when used extensively. Some designs, such as the Browning High Power, are known to suffer parts breakage after firing large quantities of +P or +P+ cartridges.
The only disadvantage of the C9BP 9x19mm cartridge is that the Federal Hi-Shok JHP bullet is an example of older bullet technology. Both the Hi-Shok and it's competitor, the Winchester Silvertip, have been eclipsed by newer bullet designs that utilize bonded metal jackets for better bullet weight retention in the target and more consistent expansion.
Still, the Federal C9BP 9x19mm round has established a good reputation in police shootings during its lifetime. For a shooter who wants a standard pressure 115 gr round there is probably no better choice.
Here are my other ammunition reviews.
Personal defense ammo for semi-auto pistols:
Winchester Ranger SXT RA9TA 9mm Luger 127 gr +P+ is a top defensive load
Federal C9BP 9x19mm 115 gr JHP is a great standard pressure defensive load
Winchester 9mm Luger 115 gr Silvertip is a good standard pressure load
Winchester .45 ACP JHP's for target shooting or self defense
Personal defense ammo for revolvers:
Speer .38 Special +P 135 gr GD SB - Ammo for snub revolvers
Winchester .38 Special +P 125 gr Silvertips are not for Werewolves
Winchester .38 Special 110 gr Silvertips is a good standard pressure load
Blazer .357 Magnum JHP's for inexpensive target shooting with Magnum Force
Economical target ammo:
Blazer 9mm pistol ammo: Blaze away with cheap bulk ammo for target practice
Winchester White Box 9mm 115 gr FMJ ammo is good, cheap target ammo
Remington UMC Mega Pak 9mm ammo is good bulk ammo
Blazer Brass 9mm 115 gr FMJ is good, cheap ammo for shooters on a budget
Sellier & Bellot 9mm Luger ammunition - An OK plinking round
Federal American Eagle 9mm 115 gr FMJ is good, economical bulk target ammo
Winchester White Box 9mm FMJ ammo is 50 rounds of good, cheap practice ammo
American Eagle 9mm 147gr FMJ FP for target shooting
Winchester Win Clean 9mm bulk ammo for lead free target shooting
American Eagle 9mm 147 gr TMJ ammo reduces the risk of heavy metal poisoning
Blazer .45 Auto pistol ammo for 1911 pistols or other .45 ACP guns
American Eagle .45 Auto (.45 ACP) for the classic American 1911 pistol
The Winchester .45 ACP 230 gr FMJ load is a good budget ammo choice
Blazer Brass .45 ACP 230 gr ammo is good, inexpensive fodder for semi-auto pistols
American Eagle .45 ACP 230 gr TMJ ammo reduces toxic chemical exposure
9x18mm Makarov FMJ ammo by American Eagle for the pistol of the Russian Bear
Wolf Military Classic 9x18mm Makarov ammo - Avoid at all costs
American Eagle .38 Special 130 gr FMJ ammo for revolver shooters
American Eagle .38 Special 158 gr LRN: Good cheap ammo for revolver shooters
Winchester .38 Special FMJ Q4171 - You can do better
Winchester Super-X .22 LR target ammo for .22 plinking
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