What 9mm Ammo Does The FBI Use?

What 9mm Ammo Does The FBI Use

To answer the question, Hornady Critical Duty 9mm+P 135 gr FTX is what the FBI is currently using, but that could change based on the following information. Keep reading!

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s protocol for selecting ammunition is a rigorous standard that has significantly influenced the landscape of law enforcement ammunition. 

Born from the critical analysis of ballistic performance, especially following the notorious 1986 Miami shootout, this protocol assesses ammunition through various challenging barriers, such as heavy clothing, steel, and automobile glass, to ensure maximum effectiveness and safety for officers in the field. 

Crime scene photo of the infamous FBI Miami shootout, showing suspect and agents’ vehicles and battle debris. Photo by Miami-Dade PD.

Companies like Federal and Speer have historically led the charge, evolving their products to meet these demanding criteria, with innovations like the Hydra-Shok and Gold Dot bullets setting high benchmarks. 

Entering this highly competitive and specialized market, HOP Munitions is now poised to challenge the status quo. Leveraging cutting-edge technology and a commitment to exceeding the stringent demands of the FBI’s testing procedures, HOP Munitions aims to secure its position at the forefront of ammunition innovation, promising enhanced performance and reliability for law enforcement agencies nationwide.

For the FBI to consider new ammunition, it must pass its testing protocol.

FBI Testing Protocol For Handgun Ammunition

The FBI’s ammunition testing protocol is a comprehensive and rigorous method developed to assess the performance of different types of ammunition the agency uses. This protocol was born out of a critical need to ensure that FBI agents are equipped with reliable and effective ammunition, especially after high-profile incidents highlighted potential shortcomings in ammunition performance.

The core of the FBI testing protocol revolves around a series of tests conducted on ballistic gelatin, a substance used to simulate human muscle tissue. This gelatin is prepared to have a consistency similar to human muscle by refrigerating it for two days before testing. The primary objective is to understand how different ammunition behaves upon impact and penetration into the human body.

FBI testing protocol

To add realism and relevance to these tests, 9mm ammunition is tested on bare gelatin and through various barriers that one might encounter in real-world scenarios. These barriers include heavy clothing, light clothing combined with steel, drywall, plywood, and auto glass. The purpose is to simulate common environments where law enforcement might need to use their firearms, such as shooting through car doors, walls, or windows.

In total, the FBI ammunition testing includes six different scenarios:

  1. Bare gelatin with no barrier.
  2. Heavy clothing on gelatin, with no other barrier.
  3. Light clothing on gelatin, with a steel barrier.
  4. Light clothing on gelatin, with a drywall barrier.
  5. Light clothing on gelatin, with a plywood barrier.
  6. Light clothing on gelatin, with an auto glass barrier.

For an ammunition round to be considered effective and suitable for fieldwork by the FBI, it must achieve a balance in penetration depth within the ballistic gelatin. Specifically, the bullet must penetrate at least 12 inches but not exceed 18 inches. This range is optimal for effectiveness while minimizing the risk of overpenetration, which could potentially harm bystanders.

The FBI assigns a score out of 500 points to each tested round, with higher scores indicating better suitability for use by the agency. This scoring system, along with the stringent criteria for passing the tests, underscores the importance of efficacy and safety in the FBI’s ammunition selection process.

The FBI’s ammunition testing protocol has significantly influenced the firearms industry, setting a high standard for developing and evaluating self-defense ammunition. Manufacturers often incorporate these testing standards into their development processes, ensuring that the ammunition available to law enforcement and civilians is of the highest quality and reliability.

So What 9mm Ammo is the FBI Currently Using?

After a thorough review, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) selected the Hornady Critical Duty 9mm+P 135 gr FTX handgun ammo for its official service rounds. The unique Hornady Flex Tip technology in the FlexLock bullet provides consistent barrier penetration and enhances the bullet’s expansion.

With the FBI’s endorsement of Hornady’s ammunition setting a high bar, HOP Munitions is stepping up to the challenge, signaling a bold move that’s catching the attention of the industry’s heavy hitters.

HOP Munitions is Putting The Heavy Hitters On Notice

Ohio law enforcement agencies, including sheriffs from Ottawa, Clark, Ashland, and Jackson Counties, as well as police departments in Euclid, Mansfield, Rocky River, Middleburg Heights, Parma Heights, and Logan, have already integrated HOP Munitions’ 9mm ammo into their operations. This wide adoption is a testament to the ammo’s quality.

HOP Munitions’ 9mm Polymer ammo allows for closer and safer training sessions. Traditionally, training on steel targets required a distance of 25 feet for safety. 

Is Shooting Steel Targets Safe

However, HOP’s innovation enables training at 7ft, mirroring the FBI’s findings that most law enforcement engagements occur within this range. This advancement not only enhances training but also officer preparedness.

Making Training Count: Why Law Enforcement Needs Ammo That Matches the Real Deal

For cops, good training is as crucial as a strong cup of coffee in the morning. It keeps you sharp and ready for whatever the day throws at you. That’s where HOP Munitions steps in with their game-changing 9mm polymer bullets

Think of these as training ammo that feels and acts like the real thing you carry on duty. Here’s the lowdown on why this matters and how it’s changing the game for law enforcement.

9mm polymer ammo
HOP Munitions 9mm Polymer Ammo

The Real-Deal Feel

  • Just Like the Job: HOP Munitions nailed it with training ammunition that closely mirrors the feel and performance of what you use. This means training feels less like a drill and more realistic.
  • Easy on the Wallet: It’s affordable, so your department can afford to let you shoot more for less.
  • Tough as Nails: Our training ammo is built to last, rain or shine, just like you. They won’t let a little weather get in the way of your training.
  • Goes Easy on Your Firearm: Polymer is softer on your gun than traditional rounds, keeping your sidearm in tip-top shape without extra trips to the armorer.

Why It’s a Game-Changer

HOP Munitions is ahead of the curve with 9mm ammunition, making training as close to the real thing as possible. This means when the pressure’s on, your body and mind will remember what to do, thanks to training that mimics real-life situations.

Law Enforcement is Catching On

Departments are getting wise to the benefits of training with rounds that feel like what’s in their duty magazines. It’s all about making every training session count, ensuring that when it’s go-time, there’s no hesitation, just action. HOP Munitions is leading this shift, proving that the right training ammo can make all the difference.

Bottom Line

HOP Munitions is making waves not just in law enforcement circles but also in the broader shooting community. Our polymer ammo has clinched approval from the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) and has proudly taken on the role of official sponsor for Ohio Range Day.

This nod from both competitive shooting and practical firearms training sectors highlights the superior performance and reliability of HOP Munitions’ products. But their commitment doesn’t stop at providing top-notch ammunition.

HOP Munitions Supports The Ohio Tactical Officers Association

A key part of their outreach and support within the tactical and law enforcement community is their backing of the Ohio Tactical Officers Association (OTOA). This partnership underscores HOP Munitions’ dedication to the highest standards of training and operational readiness.

By supporting OTOA, HOP Munitions aligns itself with an organization deeply committed to the advancement, training, and safety of tactical officers across Ohio, further demonstrating its commitment to law enforcement excellence.

This blend of achievements and partnerships—ranging from the competitive arenas of USPSA to the tactical fields of Ohio’s finest—cements HOP Munitions’ standing as a rising titan in the law enforcement ammunition industry.

We’re not just selling bullets; we’re offering a comprehensive package of performance, reliability, and community support that meets and surpasses the multifaceted demands of today’s law enforcement.