From someone who would know:
“I’m not convinced the ball ammo in use by our troops is necessarily “crappy”. Graveyards have been built over the last 12+ years due to the fatal wounds inflicted by 9mm NATO Ball.”
This is the corollary to Rule 1 of a Gunfight, which is of course “have a gun.” Rule 1A is “have ammo in your gun.” We talk a lot about making good choices for your defensive pistol and defensive ammo, but at the end of the day you’re better off with a pocket .380 loaded with ball ammo than you are with a sharp stick.
Please don’t mistake that statement to mean that I, or Gun Nuts thinks you should be carrying a pocket .380 with ball ammo as your primary. Everyone should carry full sized handguns in serious service calibers all the time; those guns should always be loaded with the latest and best in defensive ammo.
But at the end of the day, a .38 loaded with 158 grain LRN is better than your fists; and a 9mm loaded with ball ammo is better than a sharp stick. I’d much rather see someone carry an SD9 with ball ammo because they blew all their money on training and practice than someone with a $1,000 HK full of Ranger T-series who never trains.