I’m a big fan of both. Hornady ammunition is solid, reliable, and accurate. Their Critical Defense line of ammo is very good. Very clever. Putting a rubber plug in the cavity of a hollowpoint to insure expansion without the need for they hydrostatic pressure to force expansion. Brilliant. And the Critical Duty like is a tougher bullet, loaded hotter. I’m impressed with the 135 grain 9mm CD load so much so that I may adopt it for use here at Ogre Ranch and for my personal carry gun (this month being the Beretta 92FS) and for the carry load for my Son’s pistol, an M&P.
But is the new Critical Duty better for serious use than the Winchester PDX1 loads? Winchester did a great deal of engineering to get these loads just right, and they built off the long years of experience for making the most effective duty loads you could get for the last 20 years. I am an unabashed PDX1 fan. I was a fan of the Black Talons and the Ranger T loads. In fact, I still have Black Talons standing by. The PDX1 takes that reverse tapered jacket approach and now gives us the Bonding improvement that made loads such as the Gold Dots so popular.
I’m not sure… but I am thinking that I will keep the PDX1′s for all my guns, save for the 9mm’s and roll with Critical Duty loads for those. Actual testing will have to be done though before I make any changes.