9mm Lehigh Extreme Defense Testing: Performance From a Compact Handgun Part 1

Why Lehigh Extreme Defense for Conceal and Carry?

If you have the question above, your interest has been peaked enough to deserve an honest answer. 9mm Lehigh Extreme Defense is what I have settled with as a good self-defense projectile because they seem to be the SAFEST and most reliable bullet I can find. So, what do I mean by “safe” exactly?

9mm Lehigh Extreme Defense Rounds

Well, they cannot clog up like a hollow-point when shot through barriers. Therefore, you get the intended full effect from the projectile under most circumstances, which is extremely important to me for one main reason.


Overpenetration has always been a concern for me. Unfortunately, active self-defense with a firearm involves rounds being fired from one person at another. Now, as if that portion alone isn’t scary enough, you have to worry about those projectiles traveling past their intended target.

Therefore, you as a shooter have to consider what kind of ammo/bullet you choose to use in this situation, and you need to consider the possibility of overpenetration. This also goes hand-in-hand with knowing your target and what’s beyond it.

Lehigh Extreme Defense Consistency

Consequently, Lehigh has won the spot in my magazine because they are extremely consistent with penetration. A hollow-point can have the tendency to turn into a FMJ if fired through a barrier/clothing that disrupts the ability for the projectile to open up. This leads to the bullet traveling further due to less resistance, which is a serious concern for bystanders.

Remember, bullets don’t always travel in a straight path when fired through tissue/barriers. Think about that if there is an attacker and other people aren’t “directly” behind the assailant.

Thankfully, Lehigh will never have the “FMJ” problem because there is no hollow-point to begin with. So, they tend to punch through whatever barrier is met and continue on with the same characteristics following on.

Here is a great video done by Military Arms Channel to demonstrate the previous statements.

9mm Penetration Tests w/ Ballistic Gel

My Testing

I simply wanted to put some rounds on paper and get an idea of the velocities from my gun using load data from Lehigh’s website.

Load data from LehighDefense.com; 9mm Lehigh Extreme Defense

WARNING: The loads shown are for informational purposes only.  They are only safe in the rifle shown and may not be safe in yours.  Consult appropriate load manuals prior to developing your own handloads.  Risencitizen.com and its authors, do not assume any responsibility, directly or indirectly for the safety of the readers attempting to follow any instructions or perform any of the tasks shown, or the use or misuse of any information contained herein, on this website.

The handgun used is a stock Ruger SR9c. The only modification is the addition of night sights. The chronograph used is a Competition Electronics ProChrono DLX , and the exact loads used are listed below.

  • BRASS – 9mm Starline +P (New)
  • POWDER – CFE Pistol 5.3g – 6.1g
  • BULLET – 9mm Lehigh Extreme Defense 90g
  • PRIMER – Federal 100 Small Pistol

The chronograph was placed at 3 yards from the shooter and the target at 7 yards. I fired 9 shots, measuring the velocity from low to high on the powder charges.

Results: 9mm Lehigh Extreme Defense Velocities

The velocities are listed below for each powder charge, as well as a photo of the target I used in the test.

Powder ChargeRecorded Velocity
9mm Lehigh Extreme Defense from Ruger SR9C
9 shots at 7 yards: 9mm Lehigh Extreme Defense

Final Conclusion

In conclusion, feeding and reliability was flawless, and overall, the accuracy was good, considering I was the one shooting.

Ultimately, the bullets did not reach the velocities I wanted them to. However, I was shooting them from a short barrel and I was not measuring “true” muzzle velocity.

Therefore, I am going to be performing this test again with the max load again, since there were no signs of pressure, on a larger handgun using a magnetospeed chronograph. This will probably put us a right at their advertised velocity with this load combination.

Part 2 will be posted HERE soon…

For more information on Lehigh’s products, visit their website here.

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