New Aguila Handgun Ammunition

Aguila 9mm ammo

Aguila Ammunition announced several new loads for centerfire handguns. These are in addition to the recent announcements about 5 RRM ammo returning to the catalog and the company’s shotshells being sold in the US. These loads are due out later this year (2016), but the company does not have a specific shipping date.


In 9×19, Aguila Ammunition announced one new load. This load uses a 117 grain jacketed hollow point bullet. It is +P rated, but no velocity specifications have been released for it yet. In 9mm, 117 grains tends to be a lighter bullet, but is not a typical weight.

The company does offer a 117 grain standard pressure round with a JHP type bullet. That round is loaded to 1,150 fps, so I would expect the +P version to be rated at or above 1,200 fps.

.40 S&W

For the .40 S&W cartridge, Aguila Ammunition introduced two new rounds. Both of the loads use a 180 grain bullet, though one is a hollow point and the other is a full metal jacket projectile. The JHP round is fairly typical, offers “deep penetration and controlled expansion” and is loaded to 920 fps.

The FMJ round, however, is a little different. This particular load is identified as a +P round. I should note that SAAMI does not offer a +P specification for the .40 S&W cartridge, so the pressure generated by this load is completely unknown. At the muzzle, the round makes for 1,100 fps.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • BattleshipGrey

    I find it interesting that 9mm has been fairly standardized with three bullet weights (115, 124 & 147 gr) over the last 100+ years. Yet in the last couple years, we’ve had at least two different offerings in 117 and 135 grain weights.

    The 117 gr doesn’t really bother me at all, but the 135 gr (Hornady Critical Duty) really threw me for a loop. Our department just switched to it from .40s&w. If at all possible, I like to train with as close a weight as I can to my duty ammo, but I’m not going to go out of my way to buy the 135 gr practice ammo. Especially since our actual duty round is the +P version.

    Maybe I’m just splitting hairs, because a 20 gr difference isn’t that big in a handgun. I’m going to the range tomorrow, so maybe I’ll load some 115, 124, 135 and 135+P back to back and see if there’s a noticeable difference.

    • Do you know why they switched to the 135gr Critical Duty over the 124gr Gold Dot, or 147 HST?

      • BattleshipGrey

        In our case I couldn’t say. I wasn’t consulted in the decision making process and the chief just went with whatever the sheriff’s office chose. I haven’t discussed their reasons with the S.O.’s firearms instructor yet.

        We had been using the Winchester Ranger T series (180gr) when we had our .40s. I’d done some non-gel tests with those that I was impressed by the outcome.

        I really wouldn’t mind if we switched to a more standard offering. When I originally proposed we switch to 9mm, it was partly for cost savings on practice ammo, and from what I can tell, the 135 gr practice stuff is more expensive than some. I have yet to find paperwork on how much we paid.

        • Big Daddy

          Better barrier penetration due to that little red piece inside the hollow point. It won’t expand as much but the hollow part won’t fill with debris which causes it not to expand at all.

          I had some issues with accuracy and the Hornady 135+P Critical duty a few years ago. I could not get any HST or GDs so I tried them. They also about that time had a recall. I’m sure that problem is no longer.

          They are a very good round especially if you need that consistent barrier penetration like a .357SIG would. A little snappy like the HST 147 +P is.

          • Suppressed

            Although it certainly helps, the red polymer dot isn’t the sole reason for better expansion post barrier penetration, as the same dot is in critical defense/zombie max ammo as well. It’s also on Hornady’s v-max varmit-hunting rifle bullets, where I would really hope barrier penetration isn’t a factor, lol. I think the critical duty’s barrier penetration is also aided by the fact that it’s designed to be shot out of longer-barreled duty/service pistols (as opposed to crit def being optimized for compact/subcompact guns). Now whether there are differences in the bullet itself such as bonding, jacket type, metals used, etc., I don’t know without doing some digging.

            I’m not positive on all this, so please correct me if I’m wrong. I won’t take offense 🙂

          • Big Daddy

            It’s not about better expansion it’s about consistent expansion especially going through barriers. The problem with hollow points is that the cavity fills with debris and it fails to expand. Although each bullet might have a red thingy in there or sticking out they all serve a different purpose.

            For instance they are finding out that even though you can use almost any .308 bullet in a .300 blackout round the lack of velocity makes certain designs ineffective. That round has to be approached with a different design parameter and philosophy. I read it is best to approach the .300 AAC more as a handgun round because of the lower velocity. that makes a lot of sense to me. This is a fascinating subject and misunderstood by the layman.

            Not knowing enough about the subject makes me just use whatever LEO agencies use. Even with that I will wait until the information is in before I change anything. They were all in on the new 147 G2 Gold Dot, I waited and guess what? It was a total failure and pulled. After reading about the round I was skeptical, they did the typical one size fits all and does everything approach. What they got was a round that did nothing well and did it consistently poorly.

            Right now I feel comfortable putting my life on the line with a Glock filled with either God Dots or HST until something proven comes along I’ll stick with them.

          • HSR47

            With .300 BLK it depends what velocity you’re aiming for: With a light bullet (~115 grains) you can get ~2000 FPS muzzle velocity. It’s really only when you get into the subsonic loads (187 grains and up) where bullet design becomes a lot more of an issue.

          • Big Daddy

            But what is your velocity at 100 yards? It’s no longer 2000fps. It’s down about 200fps per 100 yards. So after 100 yards you’re down to 1800. That makes it a very short range gun even with super sonic bullets similar to the 7.62×39 ballistics. I guess it’s about squeezing every inch of reliability for the bullet design to work other than just at 50 yards.

      • mig1nc

        All three are on “the list” from Dr. Roberts. So I assume it was the cheapest contract price?? Maybe?

      • Nicks87

        Why is everybody so stuck on those two rounds? There are plenty of excellent choices for self defense ammo why do people think they only have two options? I refuse to buy HSTs or Gold dots just because I don’t want to jump on the band wagon.

        • Not sure if syrys? But in case not, essentially those two are available in 50-500rd cases, as opposed to the typical 20-25rd boxes we’re seeing a lot of defensive ammunition in, and are the two most extensively tested designs.

          The Gold Dot has a bonded jacket, which offers a wide velocity envelope, more uniform and reliable expansion (less chance of murphy in the assembly process when bonding as opposed to a separate jacket) and solid penetration and expansion. It’s the “Gold Standard” for a reason and is the most common 9mm projectile for LEO use. It’s effectiveness has largely been responsible for the resurgence of 9mm as a LEO caliber.

          The HST is known for excellent expansion and a sharp edge profile due to the jacket design.

          With the exception of the Corbon DPX/ Barnes solid copper HP, they really are the best HP designs on the market. And since they both can be had for around $0.50, there’s really not much in cost savings to be had by using an alternative bullet, with the exception of the Federal 9BPLE +P+ which can be had for around $0.33 and is a proven, albeit oldschool load.

          What ammo did you prefer?

          • Nicks87

            Yes I’m serious. You can buy MOST defensive ammunition in 50-500 rnd cases (including Black Hills), so there is point #1 shot down. Remington golden saber has a bonded jacket, so does Winchester PDX1 and others do as well, so there goes point #2. Golden Saber is usually cheaper than HSTs and Gold Dots and comes in a 25 round box instead of just 20. The Barnes Solid copper bullets have been very inconsistent when it comes to expansion and penetration, they seem to do ok as a hunting projectile but for self defense the jury is still out. I prefer whatever is cheap. I buy the hornandy zombie ammo because its just rebranded critical defense and it’s usually on sale because nobody buys it(zombie derp). Remington UMC makes a JHP round that works well too and it sells for about $0.40 per round and comes in 100 rnd boxes. Do you need me to keep going? HSTs and Gold dots are excellent choices for defensive ammo but they aren’t the ONLY choices so let’s stop pretending that they are.

          • Remington Golden Saber is actually jacketed with cartridge brass, which is it’s chief selling point. Only the “Bonded” Golden Saber is.

            You are absolutely free to choose any ammo you want – even Zombie themed ammo and Remington Bulk pack JHP.

          • HSR47

            To be clear: As far as I know, the only difference between Hornady’s Critical Defense and zombie-themed ammo is that one comes with nickel-plated brass and a red insert in the bullet, while the other comes in bare brass with a green insert in the bullet.

          • The other difference being that at trial, a prosecutor can mention that the defendant shot the “victim” with maximum performance anti-zombie bullets.

            A round so deadly that even the manufacturer warns it should never be used on humans. Cue actual disclaimer on the Hornady website:

            “Hornady® Zombie Max™ ammunition is NOT a toy (IT IS LIVE AMMUNITION), but is intended only to be used on…ZOMBIES, also known as the living dead, undead, etc. No human being, plant, animal, vegetable or mineral should ever be shot with Hornady® Zombie Max™ ammunition. Again, we repeat, Hornady® Zombie Max™ ammunition is for use on ZOMBIES ONLY, and that’s not a nickname, phrase or cute way of referring to anybody, place or thing.”

            So yeah, for saving a few cents per round, you get the delightful benefit of increased risk at trial. Whereas Gold Dot, HST etc have bland names and are extensively used by Law Enforcement, and therefore not exotic or malicious.

          • Nicks87

            …or they could say that you were using police ammunition because you had delusions that you were some sort of vigilante dealing out your own brand of justice. But you and I know that both accusations are totally ridiculous. The zombie ammo is for a SHTF/end of the world scenario anyway so it stays in storage until then. 😉

          • HSR47

            It’s not something that I would carry as a first choice, nor as a second/third choice.

            I generally carry Critical Defense/Duty (depending on the gun, and what I can get in quantity). For the gun I tend to carry most, I’ve been carrying Critical Duty, and I’d take Critical Defense or Critical Duty +P over zombie max. That being said, if my understanding is correct regarding the difference between zombiemax and critical defense, then if I’d carry it if I couldn’t get Critical Defense/Duty in any flavor — it comes down to what I know works well in my guns, and what I have experience shooting (POA/POI don’t always match up between different defensive ammunition varieties).

            I would never advocate carrying it as a first choice, only as a tertiary choice, and then only so long as it actually uses the same powder and is a ballistic match for one of their actual defensive loadings, and even then only until some actual Critical Defense/Critical Duty ammo can be found/sourced.

  • Cameron Bissell

    just picked up a box to try this weekend, ill post how i like them.

  • tb556

    I’ve been very happy with Agulia 115gr FMJ. Great ammo if anyone is thinking about using it. My go to ammo seems to be Aguila and S&B.

    • SpartacusKhan

      that’s exactly what I use when I can get it, when I can’t, I use Win white box for practice.