Hornady Expands Critical Defense Line of Ammunition

Hornady announced three new loads in the Critical Defense line of ammunition:  .357 Magnum, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP.  Refer to the chart for specific loading information:


Claiming to be the “pinnacle in self defense ammunition,” Hornady lists the following benefits of the Critical Defense line of ammunition:

  • Unaffected by thick and heavy clothing, including denim and leather.
  • FTX bullet delivers superior controlled expansion and large, deep wound cavities over a wide range of velocities.
  • Clean burning and stable propellants reduce recoil in lightweight handguns, and perform consistently in all temperatures.
  • Minimal muzzle flash protects night vision.
  • Feeds reliably in pistols.
  • Shiny silver nickel plating prevents corrosion, and is easily visible in low light situations.
  • Bullets are cannelured and crimped to avoid bullet setback.
  • Bullets are custom designed for individual loads.
  • The most effective, consistent, and reliable self-defense ammunition available today.


The Critical Defense line of ammunition has proved to be a solid performer, and the line has expanded even more to include such calibers as the 9×18 Makarov and the .22 WMR.  The performance of the FTX bullets that Hornady loads in these rounds is excellent across a wide range of velocities and the loads are very reliable in many different firearms.  Without a doubt, this line of ammunition is a real winner for the company.

Since the original introduction of these rounds, Hornady has also started a parallel line of ammo products called the Critical Duty line.  The Critical Duty line of ammunition is designed for greater penetration and is marketed to law enforcement agencies.  It meets all of the FBI testing protocols and offers the same reliable expansion and performance that people have come to expect from Hornady and the Critical Defense line.  These rounds are all exceptional performers and do very well for anyone looking to defend themselves from a violent assault or attack on their person or on their family.  Two thumbs up, so to speak.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.