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Old 01-17-2010, 09:34 PM
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Default 9mm 115 Gr. vs 124 Gr. vs 147 Gr.

Help a newbe with understanding the difference. If you use the same type Ammo with just these different Weights...what will be the difference noticed? Recoil?, Accurary? What?

Why use one over the other? How about +P in these same three weights?
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:45 PM
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This is an interesting question as it is part science and very subjective.
As far as accuracy that would depend on the particular gun and the abilities of the shooter. 9mm pistols have two different types of rifling. Guns made by Smith have six lands and grooves. Glocks have polygonal rifling. That is just two of the makers but each type may have its own preference.
Basically a 115 grain bullet should have the most velocity and the most footpounds of energy. The downside is it may not penetrate as well as a heavier bullet.
The 124 grain bullet has enough weight to penetrate and has a good level of speed. For the 124 as with most bullets it comes down to the design of the bullet. Will it penetrate,expand and work well for all possible situations?
The heaviest 147 certainly has enough weight but velocity is slower. While not an ideal bullet for the 9MM I personally enjoy shooting them.

I find the recoil from hot handloaded 115 bullets to be quite snappy even in an all steel pistol. Ammo we buy is not loaded to that level and is quite easy to shoot even in a compact model.

The 124 has a more noticable kick but it is not equal to hotter loaded plus p type of loads.

The 147's I shoot are very easy in recoil as velocity is under 1000fps. More of a push than a snap.

The last PDA ammo I purchased was Federal 135grJHP. I shot these through a Kahr PM9. While it seemed to be a good load it was very easy to control.


That's about all I know for sure.. Most 9MM ammo we shoot is 115FMJ at around 1100fps depending on your barrel length. If I were choosing some PDA for a gun I would get some 125JHP from Federal or another well known ammo vendor.

Bruce

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Old 01-17-2010, 11:11 PM
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i like 115 jhp in the 9mm , you can shoot them a little faster and thats what my gun shoots best
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:12 PM
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I believe the 9mm Parabellum was originally designed around a 124 gn bullet. The 115 was developed as a high speed load offering a little more in velocity and energy.

The 147 gn load was developed for sub-sonic use in suppressed submachine guns. I believe the SEALs were the first to use this round in their sidearms as well. It offered good accuracy and became very fashionable for a time.

In general S&W 9mm handguns are very strong and I would not hesitate shooting any weight whether standard pressure, +P, or even +P+, in any of my 3rd generation pistols.

My Browning Hi-Power, on the other hand, gets standard velocity 115 and 124 loads only, and prefers being treated like the lady she is.

/c

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Old 01-18-2010, 12:43 AM
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What Pistol are you going to be shooting?
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:47 AM
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I've shot all 3 rounds and found that 115gr shoots the best for me. But I have carried 124gr for a few months before started to use +p+ loads.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:55 AM
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The 9m/m in the 147 grain load has very little recoil and noise.
It is supposed to be the most accurate loading and I have found
that to be true in my guns. The 147 load has long been a heavy
favorite (no pun intended) with the police crowd due to penetration. I prefer the 147 over all others because it tends to be the best all around performer for every need. When I carry a nine, I use 147 Hydra Shok.
Many claim that the 147 is jam prone, but I have never seen it. Penetration is in the 14" range.

The 115 grain, especially in the "+P+" chamber pressure are also very
popular. They have an excellent track record in law enforcement.
The +P+ 115 have a loud blast and a snappy recoil. They can be very accurate though. Penetration is in the 8-10" range.

The 124 seems to be the best of both worlds according to many.

It really all depends on what you are most comfortable with and what your gun shoots best. If you are using a S&W, Browning HP, or the like
you would probably have the best results from the 115 and 124.
My Browning HP was best with 115. My SIG 226 however, shoots best with 147 and has almost no recoil.

Try them all and see what you like. You will find that 9m/m shooters are generally very polarized between the slow and heavy 147 and the 115+P+ crowd. Both sides have some very valid arguments.

FWIW, the old 115gr Federal "Classic" Hi Shok (the old pre Hydra Shok) or Remington 9 m/m 115gr are great bullets that most older 9m/ms love. If you have a Browning HP or S&W 39 then you really cant beat this old load. It feeds well.

Good luck.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:18 AM
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I have absolutely no data or real world experience to back this up, but the physics of inertia lead me to use heavier bullets, since once set in motion, they will tend to stay in motion (i.e., better penetration) than lighter objects.

Oh, and adequate penetration is "queen", right Erich"

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Old 01-18-2010, 09:53 AM
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I carry 124 grain in my 9mm guns, both revolver and semi-auto. I prefer the Speer Gold Dot 124 grain Short Barrel +P; it has a great track record, particularly with NYPD. While the 115 grain bullets can be driven to higher velocities with the same pressure, I've found that the extra muzzle blast is not worth the effort. I don't have any problem controlling the recoil from either a 3 inch barrel auto or a 2 inch barrel revolver with either a 115+P or 124+P round. I've never used 147 grain in any gun, so I can't offer an opinion on it, except that most LE agencies that carried the 147 grain 9mm either converted to another caliber, often the .40 S&W, or to another loading like the 124 grain GD.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:18 AM
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To the question on +P: the +P pressure designation is for a limit of pressure higher than the limit established by SAAMI for ammo produced for use in the US. The exact amount of overpressure (from standard) varies somewhat depending upon cartridge generally running 10%-18%.

The major issue with +P ammo is that driving the same bullet faster will generally increase expansion, but also reduce penetration.

Differences in recoil vary by weapon type. With service type weapons, the difference isn't really noticable. Smaller, lighter pistols will show more of a diffence.

While 147 gr ammo can be wonderfully accurate, it's not notable for terminal performance, delivering significantly less energy.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:08 AM
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While 9x19 is not my usual preferred cartridge for primary carry, I've been known to carry 115, 124, 127 and 147gr. loads in different 9mm pistols. Most often, if I'm carrying a 9x19 as primary, it is loaded with either 127gr. WW RA9TA +P+, 124gr. +P Gold Dots, or 115gr. Cor-Bon +P JHPs. I'm confident in expansion and penetration capabilities of all three loads, and feel adequately served by any of them. I know very knowledgeable folks who like 147gr. 9mm loads, but I prefer the lighter bullets. Insufficient penetration just is not likely to be a problem with very many factory 9x19 loadings these days. Overpenetration, however, can be an issue, especially with ball. I'm told that the latest generation of 147gr. WW Ranger ammo is performing well in the field, unlike much of the earlier 147gr. loads, which were iffy on expansion. I'm hearing good things about 147gr. +P Gold Dots, too.

One other factor worth mentioning is point of impact of various bullet weights. While not as extreme as in revolvers, even in autoloaders, heavier bullets will strike higher than lighter ones. Typically, fixed-sighted 9mm pistols will hit near POA with 124 gr. bullets, with 147s hitting higher and 115s hitting lower. This is due to recoil occurring during the bullet's travel down the barrel, with more muzzle rise occurring with heavier, slower bullets, raising POI.

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Old 01-18-2010, 12:02 PM
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New Cal...
My carry pistol is a S&W 3914.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:16 PM
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I'll go out on a limb here and say that there is no such thing as "over penetration." The term itself makes it sound like complete penetration of your adversary is a bad thing, from a ballistic point of view. The best way to stop your assailant who is trying to kill you is by shooting THROUGH him. That means that we'd like the bullet to expand at least a little bit and we want one hole in and another hole going out. This belief that a bullet must stay inside the adversary to "dump all its energy" is complete nonsense and is the purvey of gun writers, police chiefs and lawyers. Being concerned about being sued is one thing, but advocating the carry of less than effective ammo for the explicit purpose of not being sued is another matter entirely.

Does this mean that we want to go around carrying ball ammo? No, not at all. In this day and age we have bonded cores (Speer Gold Dot) and homogenous construction (Barnes XPB) which should expand at least a little bit and retain enough weight to punch on through. In my experience, many of our better loadings today simply lack velocity. It's unfortunate that we have some of the best technology and it's being defeated by watered down ammo. From what I've seen out on the street, we're far better served by jacketed flat points than most of the hollow points we have nowadays.

I will concur with the laws of physics and momentum in that all else being equal, heavier is almost always better.

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Old 01-18-2010, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sinko View Post
(snip) we want one hole in and another hole going out. (snip)
Exactly. How else would Bruce Willis have killed the bad guy in that one Die Hard movie where he shot the bg right through his (Bruce's) own shoulder!

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Old 01-18-2010, 03:06 PM
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Dave, to be clear, when I use the term "overpenetration," I am talking about a bullet passing completely through the target, so I think we're roughly on the same page there. And for hunting purposes, where I'm not concerned about criminal or civil consequences that might land someone in the courthouse, I agree that two bleeding holes are better than one. However, in the self-defense context, I don't want to see pass-through. I'm far less concerned about energy transfer than I am about legal ramifications, although energy transfer is a good thing, and is very real, sensationalist writings notwithstanding.

In a recent case in which I was hired as an expert witness, Good Guy shot Bad Guy 10 times with 124 gr. 9mm ball, basically peeling BG off GG's friend, who was getting the hell beaten out of him by BG, who was on probation for aggravated assault at the time. Every round penetrated through-and-through, including a few that went diagonally through BG's torso from high-shoulder level to low abdomen. (Two bullets entered BG's quadriceps muscles after exiting the abdomen, so they were the only ones that stayed anywhere in his body.) One bullet made it through to cause a wound to GG's friend's calf muscle and stopped under the skin on top of his foot. BG was DRT. GG was no-billed by the grand jury. "Friend" then sued GG, whose lawyer hired me. Rare situation, to be sure, but GG's insurance carrier paid a substantial sum to settle the case (against the advice of both GG's lawyer and yours truly). Food for thought. *

While I've not shot people to make comparisons, the forensic pathologists whose work I've seen will tell you that flat-point jacketed ammo (at least, if we're talking about truncated cones and not full wadcutters) is little to no different from round nose ball, in terms of penetration or wound channel ballistics, just as they will tell you that it is usually impossible to tell the difference between the wound paths left by 9mm from .40 from .45. Erich has handled somewhere north of 200 shooting cases and works with pathologists regularly, and they seem to be consistent on the subject. While I'd agree that some writers, both popular and ad copy types, may have overblown "energy transfer," I sure want any bullets I might have to launch at a goblin to stay inside said goblin, unless I know for sure that no non-goblins are behind him.

*For what it's worth, this shooting occurred just a few months too early, before Chapter 83 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code became effective. Our boy would have been at least arguably immune from civil suit after Chapter 83 came into effect.

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Old 01-18-2010, 04:48 PM
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Default 147 grain gives more penetration

I shoot Speer Golddot Hollowpoints, and I choose the 147 grainer because it penetrates the deepest.
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:08 PM
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Strongly disagree Dave, the best way to stop a bad guy with gunfire is to hit vital structure in their body with your bullets, they do not need to go all the way through in order to accomplish this.

Ditto the comments above ref RNFMJ vs FMJFP/semi-wadcutters, in my experience they bring little or nothing to the table while also normally penetrating more than RN bullets.
One is FAR better off using modern premium JHPs for defense than using ball, be it RN or flat point.

I don't consider an exiting bullet necessarily "overpenetration", but ball rounds tend to be dangerous way downrange after going through people.

Our duty ammo here, the 124gr +P Gold Dot 9mm, normally goes all the way through on a torso shot but then will be caught up in the clothing or pop out and drop to the ground 5-10 feet behind the bad guy.
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:21 PM
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tpd223....That sounds great for the 124 Gr. +P. Based on that...what would you expect from 115 Gr. +P and a 147 Gr. +P that would make them less favorable?
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by David Sinko View Post
This belief that a bullet must stay inside the adversary to "dump all its energy" is complete nonsense and is the purvey of gun writers, police chiefs and lawyers.
I don't think that a bullet necessarily has to stay inside the shootee, but in more rifle like magnum handgun loads there is no doubt in my mind that energy is a factor, particularly with bullets that throw off secondary fragments. I've seen it with my own eyes.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:13 PM
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tpd223....That sounds great for the 124 Gr. +P. Based on that...what would you expect from 115 Gr. +P and a 147 Gr. +P that would make them less favorable?
Dan
I'm not tpd223, but I'll bite.

The 124 gr. is giving ideal penetration, 115s tend to give a little less, so underpenetration could be an issue with them.

If the 124+P is penetrating deep enough, going heavier (147) will give more penetration that likely is not needed. Because the bullet is heavier, it will be traveling slower and closer to it's expansion threshold (the velocity at which a bullet will begin to expand). As bullets get closer to their expansing threshold, their performance (as in reliable expansion) tends to become spotty, especially from shorter barrels. Also the heavier bullet will be lower energy (velocity is a better builder of muzzle energy than bullet weight is). I'd rather use a bullet that is too heavy than one that is too light, but if the 124s are working well, then the extra weight of the 147 is unneeded, and a robber of optimal performance, unless it is more shootable, more accurate, or hits POA.

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:22 AM
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Just to talk about apples vs apples, I'll stick to Gold Dots for now;

The 115gr +P+ Gold Dot expends a bit less than the 124gr +P Gold Dot but they penetrate about the same. The 147gr Gold Dot at standard pressure expands about the same as the 124gr +P and also penetrates about the same. All of this is due to the bullets being bonded and being designed to meet the FBI test specs for LE ammo.

Some folks prefer the 147gr since it is standard pressure and recoil is low. I prefer the +P round as it runs the gun more robustly, and in the very rare occasion I need to make a longer shot the trajectory is almost the equal to a .357Sig.

They don't make a 147gr Gold Dot in +P, and I am told it is due to pressure concerns. The 9mm case is small, so pressure spikes can happen rather easily, especially if a round is rechambered a few times too many.

I have seen some testing of the 147gr standard pressure and +P HST rounds, they pretty much work the same in gelatin.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:33 AM
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TPD,
So is what your saying, that the quality of bullet construction in the 9X19 as well as all other calibers has changed a few of the "rules" as they may have been known to exist in the past?
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:59 AM
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TPD....So if I understand you correctly....The 115Gr.+P+ the 124Gr.+P and the Std. 147Gr. in these configurations (JHP) make then all about equal?
The only variable being how well you and your pistol shoot them. Then would you agree out of the three above specs...go with the one you can get the best price and availability on? Also would the 147Gr. have the less recoil to contend with?
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Then would you agree out of the three above specs...go with the one you can get the best price and availability on? Also would the 147Gr. have the less recoil to contend with?
Unless you are shooting an ultralight pistol or have a physical problem with your hands, recoil should not be an issue with 9mm, if you learn how to hold the gun.
The usual process is to pick a defense load that shoots to point of impact and is 100% reliable in your gun (Most important!!)
Then pick or make a practice load that uses the same weight bullet at about the same speed. (Then practice, practice)
I chose the Speer 124gr Gold Dot and load the 124 FMJ for practice.
Both these function 100% and shoot to point of aim in all the 9mm I have.

It does no good to pick the "theoretically perfect" ammo (by conjecture or consensus) if you can't buy or load it in large quantities and practice, practice.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:29 PM
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Federal 147 HST is a REALLY GOOD STUFF!!!!
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:33 PM
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Spotteddog and dbc, yes to both questions.

For carry pick a quality modern bullet that works in your gun (reliability is first) and is accurate. Any of the current HST, Ranger-T and Gold Dots in 9mm will work fine for defensive use, as will the Cor Bon DPX.

For practice I use whatever I can find cheap that won't blow my gun up, which normally means "generic" boxed US factory stuff since I don't reload. I have found WWB, CCI Blazer and Lawman, Federal AE to all work fine.
I don't even worry about bullet weight in practice ammo unless I am shooting a match. 115-147gr runs my guns just fine, and POA vs POI with a 9mm out to the 25 yard line is so close that I quit worrying about it 20 years ago.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:33 PM
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I figured I'd be in the minority with my comments. I've seen too many people shot with hollow points that just don't penetrate. Even the excellent Gold Dot often fails to penetrate at the velocity to which Speer loads it.

I'm not opposed to the better hollow points like the Gold Dot, but nobody is producing any velocity figures here. I can shoot the 124 gr. Gold Dot to 1158 FPS and the 147 gr. Gold Dot to 1080 FPS out of my 940 but I have no idea what the factory load will do. I bet it's quite a bit less out of the 2" barrel.

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Old 01-20-2010, 04:51 PM
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the lighter bullets in 9x19 come close to 357mag preformance, the heaver bullets are close to +p 38 spec, i think the newer 9mm bullets have came a long way in improving the 9x19 s preformance. no the 9mm is not my favorite carry gun, i like 44 and 45 cal guns so if they dont expand it realy doesnt matter! mike
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Also would the 147Gr. have the less recoil to contend with?
I'm no 9mm X-pert for sure, but I do like and carry Cor-Bon 147 grain +P (yes, they are +P) in my Glock 19. The box end says...+P 1100 fps.

They do have more recoil than 124 grain +P and 115 grain +P...at least in my hand but still an easily manageable load to shoot.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:00 PM
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the load i carry is 115 jhp book shows it @1244 fps, that should open up? and the 115 shoot to point of aim in my glock 17, so thats what i shoot in it, now the 38 super is a whole new ball game! i have thought about getting one. mike
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:38 PM
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Mike,
The concept of not enough "penetration" and then not having enough velocity to "open up" are two concepts working against one another. As any bullet begins to open, it's doing nothing more than having it's brakes applied. So for a rapidly opening bullet design to be driven fast enough to penetrate deeply, it typically has to be driven much harder. Sometimes I think that a measure of a bullets penetration would be more accurately described as a bullet having standard or anti-lock brakes? The newer bullets (regardless of caliber) are far better than their predecessors were at penetrating and expanding when timely, rather than at first contact. And then also having cores and jackets hanging together when slowed down by encountering heaving structures. That last is of no small import to hunters. Who regularly encountered core/jacket separation in bullet designs of years past. Apparently, even the cavity becoming plugged while passing through clothing or light barriers has been improved. That's why though I'm very new to the 9X19, I'm not overly concerned about running the 147 Winchester SXT? But that's just for me!
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:20 PM
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Default A bullet can expand very quickly.....

....as long as the expansion is controlled properly once it starts. And I think that's smarter than making a bullet that's harder to get started expanding.

Spot raises interesting points, and this discussion has had me thinking of something I observed while testing the .380 in Perma-Gel. The Speer .380 Gold Dot is engineered so that once it expands to about .44" the expansion all but stops. By allowing the bullet to expand to the right diameter, and no more than that, the engineers at Speer are controlling how deep the bullet goes. There is no doubt in my mind that is what they did in the info tpd223 posted where he said that the 115 gr. and 124 gr. Gold Dots penetrated to about the same depth, but the 115 gr. bullet was a little smaller in diameter. I've seen overwhelming evidence that Hornady's engineers are doing the same thing in .380.

A bullet's design, weight, and velocity must work in harmony for it to be optimally effective. That is what all of the best handgun cartridges have going for them. A great example would be the Remington 125 gr. .357 SJHP. It is, as far as fight stopping performance goes, optimal for caliber, right down to the bullet weight. Of course, one cannot ignore the human factor; not everyone will shoot their best with that load, so lighter loadings and/or different weights may be the best bet for certain individuals.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:53 PM
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Our issued +P 124gr Gold Dots run about 1275 through my G17, give or take for temperature or lot variations.
This round routinely shoots clean through with a torso shot on a large man.
I am not worried about insufficient penetration.

Even with the OISs we had with the 124gr +P Ranger-T (a non-bonded bullet) we saw superb expansion and penetration.

flop-shank, you deduce correctly as to what the bullet designers are up to.
You can have too much expansion, and this is normally worse than no expansion if you are in a fight.


I find the .38 Super to be rather watered down in most loadings. The 127gr +P+ Ranger-T runs like at least 100fps hotter than all of the 130gr Super rounds I have run out of a Commander.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:44 PM
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For a bit of fun, you can go here;

http://www.winchester.com/Products/l...n-testing.aspx

Hit the "Launch Testing Comparison Tool" and you can compare the various Ranger-T loads, note that the 124gr +P, 127gr +P+, and 147gr 9mms, and the .357Sig all give about the same performance in gelatin (in fact the 9mm is often better), also note how close all of the service calibers come in actual performance.




PS; pop gun carriers should note that the .380 is NOT "almost the same as a 9mm", I'm not saying don't carry one, I'm saying don't fool yourself into thinking it's a real gun.

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Old 01-22-2010, 12:12 AM
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[QUOTE=tpd223;1269771]For a bit of fun, you can go here;

http://www.winchester.com/Products/l...n-testing.aspx

Hit the "Launch Testing Comparison Tool" and you can compare the various Ranger-T loads, note that the 124gr +P, 127gr +P+, and 147gr 9mms, and the .357Sig all give about the same performance in gelatin (in fact the 9mm is often better), also note "how close all of the service calibers come in actual performance".

Bingo! As far as a CCW SD round, Winchester has negotiated a truce in the caliber war, it doesn't matter.

LEO may have the need for a particular round because of barrier performance, but us normal folks are fine with 9mm.

As an aside, I have heard the San Jose PD is very happy with the 9mm 147 gr Ranger, and at one point was at 100% "effective" with it.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:14 AM
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Safearm can you document your claim that agencies using 9mm 147 grn loads switch to 40 caliber? And if you can back it up, why did they change?

I tend to go with the heavy bullet. I want the penetration. Puts me in the David Sinko camp.

In the gravest extreme, I'm not going to worry much about secondary or tertiary consequences. Besides, where is the evidence that through and through shots endanger third parties? Even the civil liability case offered up by HD 38-40 doesn't change my mind. I am only going to shoot to defend my life or the life of another innocent. When I do, winning is the only outcome I care about. It doesn't make sense to compromise that outcome. Despite the fact that some civil action could result.

Check the stats on police shootings. The number of shots fired compared to shots hitting the target. On average, way more shots fired than that actual hits on target. Why aren't there more unintended consequences?

Perhaps we are overthinking.

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Old 01-23-2010, 12:54 PM
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What are the real world velocities of these 147 gr. bullets that supposedly are not performing? And what bullets are being used? Either the bullets aren't going fast enough or they are expanding too quickly. Simply dismissing them as too heavy to perform properly doesn't make any sense at all. I'm willing to bet that I can cast a 147 gr. bullet out of a cheap mold, give it some velocity and have it perform as well as or better than all the high tech hollow point bullets out there.

Dave Sinko
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:24 PM
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The part I'm amused at, is when the Federal 147 grain +P .38 Special is being discussed. Everyone worries over the wildly effective loading liquifying their J frames. But the 147 grain 9X19 traveling at basically the same velocity (950-1000 FPS) is thought to not be able to do anything but cut a round hole? What a strange, strange world we live in master Jack?
(EDIT)
http://www.ammobank.com/cgi-bin/csho...ctx=P38HS2G%23

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Old 01-23-2010, 07:15 PM
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Wow, that stuff costs $77.40 a box?!?! My Academy just gave me four boxes of that same load, just to get rid of it! My goal (as soon as the weather becomes more reasonable) is to chronograph it, then pull some bullets and see what I can get by handloading it. I'll then compare it to the 147 gr. bullets in the 9mm. My only concern is that the Hydra-Shok would come apart at maximum velocity before it penetrates.

A quick glance at my Midway catalog tells me that the only two "factories" that are loading 147 gr. 9mm bullets with any good velocity are Buffalo Bore and Double Tap, with 1175 and 1135 FPS quoted. Both loads use the Gold Dot and I'd prefer either of these to any of the lighter bullet weight loads.

Dave Sinko
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:37 AM
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Out West,
Marshall and Sanow documented a number of agencies that had less than acceptable success with the 147 grain 9mm. I believe Indiana State Police was one (Sanow is from Indiana); they went to the Glock 22, and after a number of problems with the gun, went to the Glock 17. I'm not certain, but I believe they are using the either a 124 or 127 grain round.
As I said, I never used the 147 grain round in any department I was with. However, we did go through the 9mm/.38/.357 to .40 conversion. It wasn't necessarily that any of the other calibers were ineffective, it was primarily to match what the state police was carrying, i.e., if it's good enough for the SP, then it's good enough for us.
I believe is was coincidental that failures in the 147 grain 9mm began surfacing at the same time the .40 S&W came out; it was easier for police chiefs to adopt the new round, and the guns to go with it, rather than making the ammo makers come up with a better round. The new gun/ammo combination would also calm officers' fears that they were undergunned, something that wouldn't have the same impact as just replacing the old duty round with a new one.
It's ironic that some agencies that went with the .40 are now going back to the 9mm; Topeka, and Indiana SP are two. In these instances, it was specifically due to failures of the Glock 22. Both Topeka and ISP are using Glock 17s. Chicago and New York have stayed with the 9mm (Glock 17/19) without much fanfare or problem (Chicago uses the 124 grain Winchester Ranger, NY uses 124 grain GD).
Another agency opts for the .40 over the 9mm:
Another Police Agency Adopts the S&W
In the article, the Chief says they are behind the times because they carry the 9mm.
Quoted from "The Stopping Power Debate," by Mas Ayoob, March 2000 American Handgunner:
"FBI, which first adopted the 147 gr. subsonic 9mm, has quickly backpedaled by adopting the .45 ACP for its SWAT and HRT personnel, and adopting the .40 S&W for new agents. Almost every state police agency that got 147 gr. ammo for its 9mm pistols has switched to the .40 or the .45."

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Old 01-25-2010, 04:48 PM
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I was flipping through the latest Combat Handguns magazine and found an article by Chuck Taylor wherein he dismisses all 147gr. 9mm ammo as being anemic because it gets only 875 FPS in the 3.5" auto that he was testing. I find this pretty amazing, in light of the fact that I have gotten 1080 FPS in a 2" 9mm revolver by handloading the 147 gr. Gold Dot. Does anybody care to discuss this bullet when it is driven to its full potential?

Dave Sinko
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:01 PM
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David, I think some of our "senior" writers like Chuck are sometimes guilty of being frozen in time with respect to advances in bullet design, load efficiency, and the like. Chuck would fit that category. Since I'm something of an old guy, I try not to hold it against them.

I don't use 147gr. 9x19, so I've not kept up with what the "majors" are doing with it, velocity-wise, but I know that Mike McNett at Double Tap is running it pretty hot, and I'd sure be willing to depend on his loads. Cor-Bon, too, for that matter.

Back when I was shooting lots of IPSC, when folks first started loading "Major 9" loads, and Major required a PF of 175, I loaded some 147gr. bullets up to 1220 fps. with AA#7, from a stock Glock 17. (DO NOT TRY THIS, kids!). 1100fps from your 2" 940 equates to the same from roughly a 3.5" auto, so it should be doable plenty safely.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sinko View Post
I was flipping through the latest Combat Handguns magazine and found an article by Chuck Taylor wherein he dismisses all 147gr. 9mm ammo as being anemic because it gets only 875 FPS in the 3.5" auto that he was testing. I find this pretty amazing, in light of the fact that I have gotten 1080 FPS in a 2" 9mm revolver by handloading the 147 gr. Gold Dot. Does anybody care to discuss this bullet when it is driven to its full potential?

Dave Sinko
Dave, I have tested two factory 147 grain 9mm loads, the Corbon +P and the Federal Hydra-Shok. From a 4.05" barrel the Corbon averaged 1061 FPS and the Federal 948 fps.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:25 PM
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I have never owned a 9mm Glock and I've always wondered if it is the weak link with its chamber dimensions. I can run my 9mm handloads pretty hot in the 940 with its offset cylinder stop notches but I'd be reluctant to let anybody try this stuff in a Glock. On the other hand, if you can do 175 PF in a stock Glock, my fears just might be unfounded.

An interesting thread has been resurrected in the Handloading section regarding duplication of the Buffalo Bore 158 gr. SWCHP in .38 Special. This bullet has a reputation for being a very good stopper (though the lead is very soft) and I have already exceeded the 1050 FPS velocity with 147 gr. bullets in the 9mm.

Dave Sinko
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:41 PM
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dbc-

I would say your safe with 124gn Speer HP for carry

and for paper punching anything cheap.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:34 PM
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Safearm, I agree with you when you stated that the adoption of the 40 S&W was coincidence. It doesn't make sense that one particular 9mm load would be the movitvation to change calibers AND all the guns in the department. Other factors had to have been present.

I keep seeing Ayoob's comments from 2000 being used against the 147 grain 9mm loads. Those comments are 10 years old. Too much has happened with bullet design in that decade of time for me to believe those opinions to still be accurate. I can't speak for Mr. Ayoob - maybe he will chime in for himself. I do know that many departments are using the latest 147 grain HP 9mm loads with very good results.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:47 AM
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Out West,
While the change from the 9mm to the .40 was not due solely to the failure of the 147 grain round, I don't see many departments changing back from the .40/.45 to the 9mm unless there is a very compelling reason, i.e., the documented, continued problems with the Glock 22. Admittedly, the 147 grain round has advanced over the last ten years, but I don't see an agency going to the 9mm from a larger caliber just for an improved bullet design.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:41 AM
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I prefer the "premium" 147 grain loads because I believe a handgun projectile, especially a relatively small diameter handgun projectile, should have as much mass as possible to offset the possibility that it will not expand properly. Besides, a bullet that size moving at roughly 1,000 fps is nothing to sneeze at.

I doubt that the "transition" from 9mm to .40 had as much to do with the perceived ineffectiveness of the 147 grain 9mm loadings as it did with achieving near .45 ACP level performance from a 9mm platform (with the original 180 grain .40 loadings).

The truth is that all of those gelatin tests look so similar because the loadings are so similar. 165 grain .40, 147 grain 9mm, 158 grain .38 +P, not much difference between those three...and, they will all get the job done as well as any standard handgun loading.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sinko View Post
I have never owned a 9mm Glock and I've always wondered if it is the weak link with its chamber dimensions. I can run my 9mm handloads pretty hot in the 940 with its offset cylinder stop notches but I'd be reluctant to let anybody try this stuff in a Glock. On the other hand, if you can do 175 PF in a stock Glock, my fears just might be unfounded.

An interesting thread has been resurrected in the Handloading section regarding duplication of the Buffalo Bore 158 gr. SWCHP in .38 Special. This bullet has a reputation for being a very good stopper (though the lead is very soft) and I have already exceeded the 1050 FPS velocity with 147 gr. bullets in the 9mm.

Dave Sinko
Dave, I don't know if the fears are unfounded. Even before I read your last post, I had planned on adding to my "Don't...!" warning. I didn't blow up my Glock 17, but I didn't shoot over 50 rounds of that load through it. It was intense, and I suspect that pressures were way over +P+ levels. I backed off the attempt because it was evident that I was skating too close to the edge and the gun was taking a serious pounding. Some years later, when I briefly ran a Glock 22 as my Limited Class gun, I noticed that the recoil from 180gr. bullets at 1000fps. or so was not nearly as heavy as it had been with the Major 9 loads. There were some Glock 17s blown up by others running Major 9, using both AA#7 and Viht 3N37, which is why USPSA banned it for a long time. Your 940 can handle more pressure safely, I'd wager. Hell, Dane Burns has converted some 940s to 9x23, and factory 9x23s hit pressures in the range of 42KPsi. Dane told me that as far as he knows, the guns have held up well.

As for the Buffalo Bore 158s being super-soft, yes and no. It depends on the lot. I have some of their +P 158gr. LSWCHPs that are extremely hard and will not expand at all. I don't know how one tells the difference without trying a bullet nose with a thumbnail.
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:16 PM
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I use all of the above in my guns.

For Self-Defense a good quality bullet is what I look for mostly. I currently using 115 Grain Federal (9BP) as my protection load, but also some 124 gr +P Speer gold dots and some 147 gr JHP from Federal.

For target shooting, I shoot federal and winchester 115 gr FMJ that I pick up from Wal-mart (inexpensive to shoot).
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