I still like the federal HST 147 gr the best for self defense. they are a little hard to come by at the moment. but when they hit something the expansion is huge! there's a lot of energy transfer on impact which is what you want in a self defense round. you can check them out compared to other rounds at the link just below. good luck!
I've done some further investigation and also find the Federal 147gr HST seems to be the best. After comming back and looking at Scarecrow's link I think the results are obvious. The147gr HST is the best. I found this link to buy it. It's not cheap but worth the security it gives you.
You ask a loaded question.:wink: You'll get a lot of different answers because it's subjective. What one likes another won't like it. I recommend that you try different brands and see which is the most accurate and feeds best for your firearm. Ammo is worthless if you can't hit the target and won't feed. I use Hydra Shocks in some of mine, CorBon 115gr JHP+P in some, Silver Tips in others and don't forget about Gold Dots.
I am also fond of Winchester Silvertips. I have heard mixed opinions on the expansion of the 9mm 147 grain Silvertips.
There are many choices in 9mm personal protection ammunition. I prefer the Federal C9BP since it has a very long track record and history and is a very accurate round even out of short barreled 9mm pistols. I do not recommend using +P(+) rounds in an alloy framed 9mm pistol as it can affect the service life of the pistol and the recoil can be an issue. If you can get an acceptable standard pressure 9mm round they why go through the hassle of acquiring +P(+) rounds? Also if you're practicing with standard pressure 9mm rounds then you will not be up for a surprise if you need your 9mm in a self defense situation as the recoil will be similar to what you practice with. The only way to get +P(+) is to reload them yourself or pay a commercial reloader to make them for you. Since you're pushing the 9mm to the envelope with +P(+) you are redlining the capabilities of your pistol. Not a good thing IMO.
I have +P(+) rounds, I only put those through my steel framed pistols; S&W 5906 or my EAA Witness Steel Compact. Since I predominately carry small alloy framed 9mm pistols, I only put standard pressure rounds through them. The bulk of my 9mm personal protection ammunition is standard pressure ammo.
Hornady TAPS, Eldorado's Star Fire are two that I have used with out a feeding problem. Sense reliability is the no 1 important thing for me I would have them high on my list. I have heard good things about Spear Gold dot but have not tried it yet.
I'm glad DarrellM5 mentioned the shorter barrels since I'm getting a Khar PM9. Performance out of a 3" barrel is what I'm most interested in. It seems there's great debate between "Smaller and faster" and "Bigger is better"