EDC- Black Hills Honey Badger 125 grain Subsonic in both my 9mm's (online review in Handguns Magazine) which still has good barrier penetration at 11.5" and is a relatively soft shooter at 1050 fps with 15+" into bare gel. Range- Fiocchi 124 grain (bought a case I found on sale). Happy with both though the range ammo is a bit snappier which I like for training purposes and the price was right. The Honey Badger is pricey, but for EDC, worth it to me.
Just because someone else's identical model gun likes ÜberDethwulf Exploding Hollow Points (for example), it doesn’t mean yours will. It's just the way it goes; things like tolerance stacking, slight machining differences, your actual grip, etc can make all the difference. So, you're gonna have to try stuff out.
Which, let’s face it, sucks the big one right now, with supplies being short and prices being high.
But, here's the good news: XD 9mm's tend to (TEND is the important word, there) not be very finicky when it comes to ammo. So...for practice/blasters, anything that you can get that's cheap should run....115grFMJ being by far the most common...and brand really doesn’t matter...seriously. I’ve run 9mm blasters from pretty much every major manufacturer in the US, and many in Europe(S&B,Fiocchi, GECO, RUAG), South/CentralAmerica (Magtech, Aguila)...Russia, even (Wolf, Barnaul, Tula, etc)...they all work in the vast majority of pistols I've owned.
Lucky Gunner tests more than 110 different 9mm, 45 ACP, 40 S&W and 380 ACP handgun self-defense ammunition loads in ballistic gel with analysis and video.
Look there. Read up on what makes a good defensive round. Buy a box, try it. If it's 100% reliable, and shoots good enough to satisfy you, buy a couple more boxes and you should be good to go for a while.
And if you don’t want to try out defensive ammo...carry FMJ that you know runs in your pistol.
Good advice Hans! I tried many different defensive rounds in both my 9mm's before settling on what I posted. Getting what runs best in your firearm for EDC, and range for that matter, is always rule #1. Rule #2- Try to test several brands at the same time and try to spread your shots out during EDC gel tests as the cost of the blocks adds up quickly.
What Hams said above is right on. The only thing I’d add is for training, 115gr FMJ is generally a little bit cheaper as it’s the predominant weight. Usually it’s a matter of a few cents per round but prices are crazy right now.
Another good place to look up quality self defense rounds is
Like several had stated, not all guns, even the same make will shoot ammo the same. You will have to try different brands to find the one your gun will like. My 9mm Shield does not like Hornady Critical Defense 115gr, but it loves Hornady XTP hollow point in 147gr, it also doesn’t like Winchester 115gr or Remington 115gr, but shoots Magtech and Fiocchi 115gr fine. Just buy a box of each and see what your gun prefers.
@HansGruber nailed it. This, I won’t say is the unfortunate part about it, because it’s fun to shoot and see what your pistol likes but get what you can, in terms of quality ammo. The post above named some good brands. I know you said you didn’t have a lot of money left over for a bunch of ammo so if it were me I’d go with the reputable stuff. HST, Speer, Hornady, ect. For range ammo, Blazer Winchester White Box, Remington, ect. Lots of good stuff out there, if you can find it. Ask a buddy if you can shoot a 3 shot group of what he’s got.
Hans experience came before LA? As some of the same cartridges with different mfgs I reload too meet function and reliability in both. Most are top velocity for their cartridges anything less would be a large caliber BB gun.