At the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers show in October, Hornady introduced a number of new products that will be available in 2015. Among them is the new Critical Defense Lite round in 9mm.
The new load uses an FTX bullet – a hollowpoint with a polymer plug – like the other Critical Defense loads use. However, this bullet is light for the caliber: only 100 grains. Also, it is a standard pressure round, not a +P.
Combining the standard pressure with a lightweight bullet can create less felt recoil as compared to heavier and faster rounds. In fact, Hornady states this round generates 27% less recoil than “standard loads.”
What the comparison load was that the company used to calculate the recoil reduction is not given. However, Hornady does offer a heavier, faster 9mm load in the Critical Defense line that would be the best choice for comparison.
Hornady states this load will penetrate 10″ in ballistics gel in the FBI heavy clothing test.
The polymer tip is pink, and the company donates a portion of the proceeds to fund breast cancer research. The rounds are also more expensive than the standard Critical Duty loads: $28.12 for a box vs $27.71 for a box of the normal Critical Defense 9mm.