The ammunition you put in your gun is arguably just as important as the gun itself. Your gun and your ammunition work as a single system. If you put bad ammunition in your gun, you’re going to get bad performance and malfunctions.
Fortunately, good ammunition is easy to find. And you don’t even need to spend top dollar to get reliable ammo.
SPOILER—if you’d rather shoot guns than read about ammunition, get the Blazer Brass 9mm Handgun Ammo. It’s reliable ammunition that performs well enough for training and recreation. And it’s quite affordable.
If you’re looking for something a bit more specialized, stay with us. We’ll show you the best 9mm ammo for every type of shooting.
Top 9mm Ammo on the Market Today
The Best 9mm Ammo: Choose the Best, Shoot the Best
Our winning ammunition is up first. The remaining ammunition will be fired in order of price, from least expensive to shoot to most money per shot.
Let’s blast a few bullets off.
1. Blazer Brass 9mm Handgun Ammo - Overall Best 9mm Ammo
The Blazer Brass 9mm Handgun Ammo delivers the best performance for the money, as far as ammunition goes. Unless you buy in bulk, it’s tough to find ammunition with a better price per round.
But, even though it’s inexpensive, this is good ammunition.
The bullets and casings are well polished. So this ammo feeds smoothly. And the casings are brass. So you won’t have extraction or ejection issues.
It uses industry standard boxer-type primers, which means it fires reliably.
And it meets all the minimum SAAMI standards for FMJ ammunition.
However, this isn’t super hot ammunition. Even with 115 grain bullets it only achieves a muzzle velocity of about 1100 feet per second. It’s still plenty fast for most typical types of shooting. But, occasionally, this ammunition struggles in guns that prefer hotter ammunition.
Overall, though, for the money, this is excellent ammunition for everything except self-defense.
2. Sellier & Bellot 9mm 115gr FMJ Ammo - FMJ 9mm Ammo for Competition
The Sellier & Bellot 9mm 115gr FMJ Ammo isn’t the least expensive FMJ ammo around. But it’s surprisingly good ammunition that’s loaded pretty hot.
This ammunition uses brass jackets and brass casings. So it feeds and extracts reliably. Also, for those who reload, the S&B brass casings are excellent for reloading.
It’s fitted with boxer-type primers. And I’ve never had an issue with misfires with this ammunition.
The thing that stands out about this ammo is the powder load. It pushes rounds at a muzzle velocity just over 1200 feet per second.
This is just training and recreation ammo. So the muzzle velocity isn’t a huge deal. But the hotter load makes it nice if you have a gun with a heavy slide or stiff springs. And it runs very well in 9mm carbines.
However, this ammunition does give a bit of snap in smaller guns.
But—overall—it’s reliable, affordable ammunition that you can pretty much throw in any gun.
3. Federal American Eagle Syntech Handgun Ammo - Competition 9mm Ammo
The Federal American Eagle Syntech Handgun Ammo is designed for competitors. But it’s also an excellent option if you want range ammunition that shoots easy and runs clean.
This is synthetic jacket ammunition. So the jacket on the bullet is a type of plastic. This reduces wear and extends the life of your barrel.
Additionally, the bullets are totally jacketed. So there’s no exposed lead. And the primers are also lead-free. All this reduces your lead exposure. But it also reduces fouling in your gun.
This ammunition is loaded fairly light, to help meet competition power standards. So the muzzle velocity is around 1150 feet per second. It still runs reliably in almost any gun. But it’s not intended to push through heavy actions or stiff springs.
However, the lighter load makes this ammunition pretty soft shooting. That’s why competitors like it. This ammunition is easy to shoot fast, with less loss of precision.
Lastly, the cases are reloadable, which is nice if you make your own competition ammo.
This Federal American Eagle ammo isn’t super cheap. But it runs really clean and shoots really easy. It’s a great option for performance focused shooters.
4. Hornady Critical Duty Tactical Handgun Ammo - Home Defense 9mm Ammo
The Hornady Critical Duty Tactical Handgun Ammo was designed for the FBI. And the FBI started using it as their official duty ammunition not long ago.
This is hollow point ammunition. It’s the Hornady Flexlock bullet that uses an interlock band to bond the jacket to the core for consistent expansion.
And it uses a soft polymer filler in the hollow point for barrier penetration without sacrificing terminal ballistics in soft targets.
It’s also +P ammunition. So it’s got a slightly higher powder load than standard ammunition. That’s how it tops 1000 feet per second with a heavy 135 grain bullet.
The cases are nickel plated for corrosion resistance. So your ammunition stays reliable even when you leave it in your home defense gun for weeks or months.
However, this ammunition is designed for full size guns. In small guns with a barrel that’s less than 4 inches long, it tends to perform poorly because the muzzle velocity isn’t high enough. So it’s best for use in a full-size duty or home defense handgun or 9mm carbine.
But, if you have a full-size gun to put it in, this ammunition is the way to go for defensive 9mm ammo.
5. Federal Premium Personal Defense Micro HST - Concealed Carry 9mm Ammo
Many defensive rounds are designed to work best in full-size guns, because of federal tactical ammunition standards. The Federal Premium Personal Defense Micro HST is designed to work reliably in the smaller handguns that are common for concealed carry.
The Federal HST bullet has proven to be a reliable self-defense round over and over. It delivers consistent expansion in soft targets, even when fired from guns with short barrels. And this ammunition is designed to perform best when it’s fired from a compact or subcompact gun.
Even though the bullet weighs 150 grains, which is remarkably heavy, it still uses a standard powder load. So it’s not too snappy, even in really small guns, which makes it easier to get defensive accurate hits when it matters.
All this means that this ammunition operates at a relatively low muzzle velocity. It flies at about 850 feet per second. It’s enough to get adequate penetration, especially with the heavy bullet. But it’s subsonic. Which is nice if you run a suppressor for hearing protection.
Although you probably won’t have a suppressor on your concealed carry gun, subsonic ammunition is nice for home defense guns, where you have the space to keep a suppressor attached.
However, the low muzzle velocity makes this less than ideal for armed professionals. It just doesn’t have the barrier penetration that security and police need.
But it’s an excellent choice as a go-to defensive round for civilian concealed carry.
6. Remington UMC Handgun Ammo - Value 9mm Ammo
Remington UMC Handgun Ammo is the best option when you need a lot of 9mm ammo for a great price.
It comes in 250 round boxes. And it will run you roughly $10 per 50 rounds. So it’s a great deal.
This ammo isn’t super polished. But I’ve never seen any serious feeding issues. And it’s brass-cased. So there are none of the extraction issues you see with super cheap, steel-cased ammunition.
It also uses boxer-type primers, which deliver reliable ignition.
All in all, this ammo is remarkably reliable, especially when you consider the price.
Additionally, the muzzle velocity is just over 1100 feet per second. It’s not super hot ammunition. But it runs in most guns with heavy slides and stiff springs.
And it seems to run well in 9mm carbines.
Remington says the brass is reloadable. But most of the reloaders I know say they will only reload UMC brass once. You probably could reload it more than once. But you might find that many of the cases aren’t sound enough for use after they’ve been fired twice.
It’s not amazing ammunition. But you can get it in bulk. It’s affordable. And it works well enough.
Overall, this Remington ammunition is a great buy, especially if you need to pick up a heap of ammunition real quick for a shooting course or some other high-volume shooting event.
Emptying Your Mag
In the end, your ammunition is important. But, if you get good factory ammunition, you’ll usually have no issues. Beyond that, it’s just a matter of getting the ammunition that meets your needs.