The distinctly different loads, HST and Guard Dog, will meet the needs of even the most demanding self-defense practitioner.
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Currently, there are two divergent beliefs concerning defensive handgun ammunition; some armed citizens desire ammunition capable of satisfactorily completing the entire battery of barrier tests prescribed by the “FBI protocol,” whereas others want a reduced-penetration option to minimize the risk of collateral damage. Whichever is the most applicable to you, the personal-protection practitioner, depends upon your target-engagement philosophy and the circumstances in which you forecast the threat would most likely occur. Some considerations are: your definition of “self-defense,” and the actions you’re willing to take to neutralize a threat; potential barriers (both inside and outside the home, and behind which an assailant could take cover); location and proximity of family members, neighbors or bystanders; backstops (or lack thereof); and temperature/season (thin or thick garments). It’s only after carefully considering each of the aforementioned categories that you can subscribe to a specific philosophy and make an informed decision regarding the corresponding ammunition. A change in any of the categories could also dictate exchanging your defensive load. Why?
The reality is that, to date, there is no conventional personal-protection projectile available to “civilians” that performs optimally “across the board”; a bullet that is intended to maintain its integrity—for sufficient penetration—even when encountering difficult-to-defeat barriers, such as automobile glass, cannot be expected to exhibit the same traits as one designed to expend most of its energy in a soft target, even wallboard, to reduce damage from over-penetration or a miss. As such, it’s prudent for an ammunition company to offer multiple loads with distinct performance parameters. That’s exactly what Federal Premium did with HST and Guard Dog Home Defense.