The Hornady Critical Defense ammo is designed by be used for the concealed carry market. With this goal in mind, Hornady has developed the patented Flex Tip technology. The flex tip technology essentially means that the hollow point cavity is filled with a polymer plug. The reason for doing this is so that the hollow point will expand more reliably by preventing and hollow point clogging that has been demonstrated to be an issue with other hollow point projectiles.
Nickel plated cases are used for this ammunition line. The reason why is so that they are more visible in low light situations. Also, this plating prevents corrosion, enhancing the feeding reliability of the round.
The propellant (gun powder) used for this defensive ammunition as chosen partially base on the low flash signature. Since many defensive scenarios occur in low light, some fear that the muzzle flash of a gun shot may cause some temporary blindness. Since the critical defense line of ammunition uses low flash signature powder, this is not an issue.
Out of a 4” barrel, this load is rated for 1000 feet per second, which equates to 200 foot pounds of energy.