A guy who would know said “they’ve built entire graveyards for guys killed by 9mm NATO ball ammo.” While the team here at Gun Nuts always recommends quality defensive ammo, we also believe that having a gun with bullets of some type in it is better than nothing.
For a number of reasons, I’m a fan of 9mm NATO ammo, and if I had no choice but to carry FMJ ammo in my guns, it’d be NATO spec ball ammo. Important things to remember about 9mm NATO, it is loaded to a higher pressure than regular 9mm 115 grain FMJ, and usually produces a snappier recoil impulse. What’s funny is that whenever someone starts talking about “stopping power” they mention how .45 ACP ball ammo has been dropping guys for 100 years. They then conveniently forget that 9mm ball ammo has been doing the same thing for just as long.
Handgun stopping power is a myth, so the title of the article is a bit misleading. I know that NATO ball ammo isn’t going to be any deadlier than any other FMJ 9mm ammo, but I still like it. It’s like a security blanket. I know that ammo loaded to this exact specification is in use across the world putting fools in the dirt, and that makes me feel better. So whenever I see some for sale, I usually end up buying it.
I’m not saying that you should dump your Ranger/HST/Gold Dots for NATO ball. Definitely not. I’m certainly not going to take the XTPs out of my gun and replace them with this ammo. But if it was all I could get my hands on, for some reason I’d feel better with NATO ball than plain jane FMJ.