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Hornaday 9 x 18 critical defense load

9 X 18mm

Hornady Personal Defense
Russian Military

by Timothy P. Banse

9 x 18 mm Makarov is a pistol and submachinegun cartridge issued to Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc military and police. These days Hornady offers the round in two different self defense loads: The Custom XTP and the Critical Defense.

Hornaday 9x 18 xtp load Hornady Custom XTP
Hornady's Custom XTP load features the, you guessed it, the XTP bullet that expands up to 1.5 times its original diameter over a wide range of velocities. More particularly, it expands with deep penetration at a muzzle velocity as slow as 700 feet per second and as fast as 1500 fps. Its heavy jacket stands up to the high pressures and velocities, performing a magical a balancing act between expansion and penetration. Namely, if you drive a bullet too fast it opens up quickly but won't penetrate. All Hornady brass meets unusually high standards for reliable feeding, corrosion resistance, hardness and the ability to withstand maximum chamber pressures. The bullet design is offered from .25 ACP thorugh .500 S&W- Quite a range!

Hornady 9X18  FtX LOAD Critical Defense Ammunition
The Hornady Critical Defense round is renowned for its punch. Some experts go so far as to claim it is the most effective, consistent and reliable self-defense ammunition on the market. That may or may not be true, yet there is no argument it is a potent performer. Heart and soul of the round is its High Performance FTX Bullet that is undeterred by thick, heavy clothing. Suffice it to say the 95-grain FTX bullet boasts superior controlled-expansion and large, deep wound cavities over a wide range of velocities.

Moreover, the clean burning, eminently efficient propellant reduces recoil in lightweight handguns, performing consistently at all ambient temperatures. The minimal muzzle flash protects night vision.

Personally, and because I reload, I like the Silver nickel-plated cases that show up in range debris and as an added benefit prevent corrosion and are greatly enhance low-light chamber checks. Hornady's Flex Tip bullet nose is filled with a soft polymer insert that lends rapid, controlled expansion with deep penetration with a muzzle velocity as low as 800 feet per second and as high as 2100 fps.

Manufacturer Bullet weight (grains) Muzzle Velocity (fps) Velocity 50 yds(fps) Velocity 100 yds(fps) Muzzle Energy (ft.lbs.) Muzzle Energy 50 yds(ft.lbs.)
Critical DefenseFTX
95 1000 934 880 211 182
Hornady XTP 95 1000 934 874 211 182
Russian Military (57-N-181S) FMJ 92.6 978 185