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Old 07-05-2015, 10:03 PM
Cal44 Cal44 is offline
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Default Why does 147 gr 9mm have a bad rep?

I have an LCR 9mm revolver and I've been using 147 gr FMJ practice ammo in it.

Works well, is accurate, moderate recoil.

My thought was that since I tend to like heavier ammo like 158 gr in 38/357, I'd go with the heavier 9mm ammo in the LCR.

But now I've read several times that 147 gr 9mm has a terrible record "on the street" as an LE/SD round.

Why is this? Doesn't seem logical.

Is it just an example of Internet rumor BS.

I also have an LC9 pistol and would perhaps use the same ammo there.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:16 PM
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The first generation 147 gr 9 mm loads did perform poorly; by report the newest generation works fine. I think this pertains to expanding bullet rounds, so if you like this weight for practice I don't see any problem.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:20 PM
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Because people writing in gun magazines, and many spreading rumors don't know what they are talking about. I have had access to hundreds of shooting reports with 9 mm 147gr. Subsonic and done first hand investigations and been present at both shootings and autopsies with it....know what is in my daily carry gun.......147gr. federal HST.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:20 PM
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Depends, as always, on the design of the projectile itself. In the 9mm caliber, both the Speer 147gr Gold Dots and the Federal 147gr HST rounds all seem to perform well in controlled testing.

https://youtu.be/PNRqrJRq4T0
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:38 PM
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No issues for my Shield 9 or VP9 with 147g (I've used only Speer gold dot LE only version in 147g), but they are heavy for me. I prefer 124g.

On the other hand, supposed issues with 147g are news to me. Had none, have none.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:39 PM
Charlie Foxtrott Charlie Foxtrott is offline
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Default This is easy.

There are always any number of knuckleheads out there that will bash something. In an effort to make themselves appear to be knowledgeable about something that they really have no knowledge of.

Heavy for caliber bullets are generally always a good option. Make your own observations. There is a reason why Jethro down at the gun store is Jethro down at the gun store. Because that is about as far as his brain power will allow him to go in life
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:55 PM
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Gun writers know everything. They "know" that .38 spl +p in a 158 gr hp loading moving at 850 fps is Thor's hammer while 147 gr 9mm jhp moving at 900+ fps is puny and will bounce off a t-shirt. Joe
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:56 AM
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In the gun magazine world, a round that produces a lot of expansion = good, even if the criminal isn't stopped and a round that produces a little expansion = bad, even if the crimnal drops dead on the spot.

My guess is that the 147 gr 9mm "terrible record on the street" had more to do with bullets that didn't meet the 'classic mushroom' test rather than the actual effect on the target.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:12 AM
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Just did some testing on the 9mm Winchester train and defend in 9mm 147 gr. shot thru 4 layers of denim into filled milk jugs filled with water. They expanded to average of .529 .. with largest being .548 and smallest at .512. That was a 5 shot average !! YouTube has some views of test performed in ballistic jell and these perform very well !! Other brands do quite well also in that weight.

I carry it in my 9mm Beretta PX4 SC and like the Train and Defend ammo as your shooting with the same load you carry for SD. Also I seem to be able to get my next shot off quicker with the reduced recoil of the 147 gr bullet over the 115 or 124 gr bullet.

Just bought the same round in .40S&W in 180 gr they expanded out to .747 average .. smallest being .732 largest .765 .. That was shot through my MP40c. ..

Haven't found any in 165 gr for the 40S&W and will test it when I do to see how it performs .. Used up all my saved milk jugs too ..

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Old 07-06-2015, 03:05 AM
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I think a lot of the bad rep has to do with older ammo. I first started to buy 147 gr hollow points around 1989. Back then the bullets were not as developed when it came to expansion with the slow 9mm. I think the current hollow points expand much better at the slower speeds. I like the 124gr myself unless the target is extremely thick.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:07 AM
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All 9mm JHP's are quite good regardless of bullet weight. If you compare Marshal/Sanow data for the 9mm standard velocity jhp's the 147gr are only marginally less effective than some of the lighter JHP bullets and superior to most or equivalent to some .38 spl +P loadings. 9 mm Stopping Power.

There are lots of tests on YouTube with 147gr JHP 9mm with some that use the FBI gelatin test protocols which show the newer 147gr JHP's are as effective as any other loads. Providing deep penetration and good expansion.
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:08 AM
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I am old enough to have been around, and seen the street results of the first generation of 147 grain HP 9mm ammo. It was not impressive, no better than a FMJ really. The lighter weight HP 9mm slugs had a better track record due to expansion. Contrary to what some believe, bullet expansion is an important component in stopping power, not just penetration alone. Ask any big game hunter which kills (IE STOPS) quicker, a FMJ or expanding bullet.

That said, the newer designed 147, like the Gold Dot and HST, have earned a good reputation for stopping power due to their reliable expansion. Old habits die hard, and I still like a good 124 grain HP in a +P loading in the 9mm. For practice and range use, any bullet is fine as long as it shoots to your sights, is fairly accurate, and feeds reliably in your gun.

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Old 07-06-2015, 06:53 AM
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I use them now in my pocket 9mm because they have improved quite a bit since we carried them in 1990. We had the Winchester 147 JHP subsonic which had crimped primers and were designed for the military for use in their sub machine guns. I had quite a few of them fail to cycle the slide on the Glock 19. I have chronographed the WW white box 147's and they are right at 1000 fps. You can duplicate this load with Longshot.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishinfool View Post
... Ask any big game hunter which kills (IE STOPS) quicker, a FMJ or expanding bullet ... Larry
Not sure if it helps you but when I hunt, I prefer bullets that give me complete penetration, from any angle. So do many of my acquaintances. Professional hunters in Africa use solids for dangerous game. Many use them for everything as it makes it simple to regulate the sights.

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Old 07-06-2015, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharmer View Post
Gun writers know everything. They "know" that .38 spl +p in a 158 gr hp loading moving at 850 fps is Thor's hammer while 147 gr 9mm jhp moving at 900+ fps is puny and will bounce off a t-shirt. Joe
Jethro, down at the gun store also agrees with this quote.

mb
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:57 AM
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I know I wouldn't want anyone to shoot me with one.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:41 AM
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Any load can fail if not used correctly !!

A perfectly good 124 or 125gr Gold Dot can fail if it does not have enough fps.

A bullet can mushroom to 2x its diameter and fail to penetrate enough.

There are several 147gr SD loads out there that work but getting them is the HARD part.
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:54 PM
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I shoot the Hornady 147 gr XTP's in factory rounds and in my reloads and don't have any problems . I also shoot the 124 gr XTP's and 115 gr JHP's and 115 gr FMJ in my pistols from the PM9, 9c, 6906, CZ 75 SP01 and don't have any problems.

I guess I got off the subject of why the 9mm 147 gr JHP gets a bad rap from some. I believe the bullets have been improved in the last few years.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:08 PM
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What started it was the 1986 FBI Miami incident. After the smoke had cleared the FBI thoroughly damned the 9mm 115STHP as being the reason why their agents got killed and shot up.

After the FBI held their symposium to pick their ammo, the FBI decided to issue the Winchester Olin Super Match 147JHP Subsonic Type-L ammo to their agents. Other agencies jumped onto the "Me Too" Band Wagon and started using the same ammo with very unimpressive results in real life.

The Win OSM Type-L bullet & loading was never designed for use out of handguns, and the first generation 147 loads from Federal and Remington didn't do any better.

That was the start of the "bad rap" for the 9mm 147JHP loads.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve C View Post
All 9mm JHP's are quite good regardless of bullet weight. If you compare Marshal/Sanow data for the 9mm standard velocity jhp's the 147gr are only marginally less effective than some of the lighter JHP bullets and superior to most or equivalent to some .38 spl +P loadings. 9 mm Stopping Power.
Marshall and Sanow have been thoroughly debunked:
https://web.archive.org/web/20140802...l.com/afte.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20130623.../pdf/sanow.pdf
https://web.archive.org/web/20130623...etstoppers.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20130623...trikes-out.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20140203...crepancies.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20131028...l-analysis.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20130623...e-evidence.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20130514...ood To Be True
(Please forgive the archive.org links, firearmstactial.com seems to have gone offline.)
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:59 PM
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I'm starting to think this whole field of ammo/bullet effectiveness is just one big collection of guess work -- with no information that even approaches the level of fact.

Every single piece of analysis has been debunked multiple times, and then the "debunkers" are themselves debunked.

From now on, I think I'll just rely on common sense:

Bigger holes are more effective than smaller holes.

A hole that goes deeper is more effective than one that is shallower.

Once a bullet passes clear through a target, any energy/velocity it has has no more effect on that target and it just becomes a danger to bystanders.

My field is computer engineering and if we understood computing and computer design as poorly as ballistics is understood, then we would still be using abacuses.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate everyone's efforts to answer my questions.

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Old 07-06-2015, 10:12 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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I've got to go along with ctg-collector on the Super Match. I had some original Super Match and it was intended to remain subsonic when fired from 8 inch barrels in suppressed subguns. I'm not sure the bullet was designed for expansion either.

I never saw velocities when fired from pistols, but the cases just sort of rolled out of the slide and fell on the ground. It grouped ok and was easy to shoot well, but it didn't inspire confidence.

Somewhat later, there were several bullet designs that actually did expand. Velocities were also improved. The Hydo-Shok was/is a good load and does come very close to their claimed velocity. It was the most accurate 9mm round I've ever fired.

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Old 07-06-2015, 10:40 PM
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I was being a little tongue in cheek with the gunwriter thing...as I write for several magazines. The difference is I was a hobby gun writer and professional full time police officer, and not the other way around. I also had a job that tasked me specifically with conducting the firearms and ammunition work up on officer involved shootings, and used as court expert on these subjects for criminal cases.

Unless you were there, most of what comes out from a LE shooting is wrong, or not in any way a complete picture. Most folks have no idea of what they are even looking for in bullet performance. A good example was a shooting I worked in which a single 147 gr. SXT hit a felon at long range in low light with a spectacular shot made by one of my guys who was a well trained shooter. The suspect dropped in place with a single shot. I was at the scene and noted the fully expanded bullet fell out of the suspects shirt when we rolled him over for treatment (he lived with excellent medical treatment). One of the officers there said "see, those 9mm's don't work for ****, it just fell out of him" (we were a heavy .45 agency). I explained the error of his ways to the officer. The round penetrated deep, left all its energy in the body, did not over penetrate, and was fully expanded. The only issue was the round missed the heart and spine transversing the body...which is not the fault of the bullet (or the shooter in his case, as most people could not hit the guy at all at the distance, lighting and while the guy was running). The round did its job making a big hole through both lungs, and getting air in and fluid out, and dropped the guy with a single round efficiently. You have to look at totality, and most people will never have access to the records needed and first hand observations. Even pathologists do not always have the entire picture and full spectrum expertise.

I have a formula I give people when asking about self defense ammunition. Heaviest modern high performance bullet you can get in a caliber driven at a moderate velocity. Additionally, a mid weight round at elevated velocities is also a good option for some. If I am not carrying 147 HST, you will find me with 124 +p Gold Dot or HST as a second choice.

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Old 07-06-2015, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal44 View Post
I have an LCR 9mm revolver and I've been using 147 gr FMJ practice ammo in it.

Works well, is accurate, moderate recoil.

My thought was that since I tend to like heavier ammo like 158 gr in 38/357, I'd go with the heavier 9mm ammo in the LCR.

But now I've read several times that 147 gr 9mm has a terrible record "on the street" as an LE/SD round.

Why is this? Doesn't seem logical.

Is it just an example of Internet rumor BS.

I also have an LC9 pistol and would perhaps use the same ammo there.
It is not internet rumor in the sense that the original 147 grain OSM load (Olin Super Match), while a hollow point, was not made for proper expansion and penetration. While amazingly accurate, it was not effective as a "stopper."

Post 1986 Miami shootout, the FBI was advised that the lighter 115 grain Silvertip simply would not reliably penetrate deep to vital organs, which is what ballistics experts said was needed.

The FBI went with what was available as far as deep penetration at the time. Other agencies followed suit, and it didn't work. Expansion was a big problem.

Here we are now two generations of 147 grain defense loads later, and they really work these days, if you get the right load. The answer, therefore, is to make certain you get the right 147 grain load.

A good place to start is the 147 grain loads selected by the FBI for its new service load. Only two made the grade. The product numbers are Winchester Q4392 and Federal 54227. Try those first.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:39 PM
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Good back and re-read what Nyeti said. Consider doing so until you can recite it verbatim.

There was a reason for the poor reputation of the early 147 grain loads - but that was most of 30 years ago. As noted above, we are at least two generations past that status.

I have read some recent work by Doc Roberts in which he reports that the new FBI Gold Dot (referred to as Generation 2) has been substandard and is being re-worked. My recollection is that he does advocate the 147 grain Federal HST at standard velocity in that weight class. I have linked to his postings on another forum in which he discusses service ammo; while I don't know if he reported on testing the new FBI ammo there. I can link the general report and recommendations again.

http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.p...f-Defense-Ammo
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:03 AM
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For what its worth, when I was doing shooting investigations I called exactly one person with very technical details of bullet performance....that was Dr. Gary Roberts. We both had deep backgrounds working with a couple of the best guys out there for really looking at wound ballistics in a very balanced and serious way. Gary's recommendations are always on the money for what is currently the best performing ammunition (and this changes with time).
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:01 AM
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By that same reasoning my 230 gr HCLFNGC 10mm load moving at a paltry 1155 FPS from my 1006 should not be able to drop a deer sized animal at 50 yards.

Don't tell this one. He acted like he'd been hit by a dump truck doing 787.5 MPH.

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Old 07-07-2015, 12:19 PM
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A while back, maybe as much as a year, Ayoob's column in Handgunner named numerous LE agencies who were happy with their 9mm ammo in actual shootings, naming the specific ammo the departments were using, and several were 147 grain.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:22 PM
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Truth is, any bullet can kill or incapacitate. A lot of people have died from being shot with 9mm NATO ball, or even .22LR. Shot placement is, and always has been, #1.

A quick succession of follow up shots is #2, shoot until the threat stops.

#3 becomes an area of debate. Which load to use? Yes, there are fans of the 147. It can work, if shot placement is good and several of its brothers follow.

I am not a fan of it, because I never saw the point of trying to "fix" a loading that was horrible before and was essentially an ice pick, especially when so much street history exists to show that high speed, lightweight rounds in 9mm (modeled on the .357 Mag round) work tremendously well.

If it takes 2 or 3 generations to get a round to work, maybe the underlying principle isn't all it's cracked up to be. I'm not a ballistics engineer, nor an ER doctor. But I have in my career become aware of many shootings and know that many, many different loads in different calibers work. But each shooting is like a snowflake or fingerprint - you have to figure in the dizzying number of factors in each shooting - size, weight, angle of round, clothing worn, physical condition, mental determination, presence of drugs, pain tolerance, adrenalin, etc., etc., etc. Saying any one round can conquer all is folly. Which is why I default back to "What load dynamic has the longest, proven street history?"

If you can shoot a 147 gr accurately, quickly and stay on target, go for it. My hesitation comes from seeing test results of that round, witnessing it blow through over 22" of gelatin and not expanding at all, they couldn't even find the round to look at in some cases. Simple physics says that if you have a small, narrow cone of a hollowpoint travelling at moderate speeds, you'll get the deep penetration the FBI is so obsessed with. But you sacrifice expansion to get penetration. Only an ammo vendor will claim you can break the laws of physics, having and eating the same cake.

I'm not convinced. Too many years of street history showing the Warp Factor Rounds (125 gr .357 Mag, 9mm 115 gr +p+ and .357Sig .125 GD) show me that high speed, lightweight bullets designed to expand work great. I don't want to be responsible for shooting a round that can go almost two feet through a person and not expand reliably, if that round passes through heaving clothing, sheetrock or tin. Not all 147 gr fail like that, to be sure, and in fact it maybe only a few. But even if they don't over penetrate, they're not delivering near the same kinetic energy once inside that the Warp Factor rounds are.

Yes, the Warp rounds are harder to shoot faster as they have more muzzle blast and recoil. But if my hide's on the line, in that critical moment, I'm not going to be worried about the comfort of shooting, I just want to pour as much energy into the chassis of the impending potential murderer as I can. And a 147 gr just doesn't have enough "oomph" for me. If you have #1 and #2 covered, then #3 comes to down to what you can do best with and are comfortable with. Your still responsible for every round you shoot, and there's a hungry, greed trial lawyer attached to every bullet, so if it over penetrates and hits someone else, that's bad. A real good reason to stay away from hardball ammo for carry, period. Seriously, I know I guy still doing that. Bad, bad mojo.

If many LEO agencies are having good results with the 147 gr., then great! Maybe that round will develop a database in the future of hundreds of shootings and prove you can have a soft shooting 'range round' that works like an off switch. I hope so. But for now, and this is just my personal preference, I'll stick with the 50+ year history of the .357 Magnum model.

YMMV and I hope none of us never have to test any of this for real.

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Old 07-07-2015, 02:12 PM
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We overthink this stuff. The 1851 .36 Navy was enough gun for a lot of people right through the Civil War and into the cartridge era. Check out the ballistics on that load.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:25 PM
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FWIW, I don't have any issues with 147gr. in my pistols.
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Old 07-07-2015, 05:33 PM
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What you've demonstrated is that Marshall and Sanow are not very popular with many internet experts.

That's however not entirely fair. The larger problem is that those same internet experts read way too much into the data.

There are two basic sides to the terminal ballistic coin.

Ballistic gelatin data and standards based on it is desirable as it is repeatable and testable for load development and comparison. But the 12"-18" penetration standard, >/= to 1.5x expansion and other criteria are based on theories of what should increase the potential for rapid incapacitation.

The problem with that ballistic gel data and the underlying theories, is that without some evaluation of actual real world shoots, it's impossible to validate those theories.

The requirements that drive the ballistic gel minimums are also based on some worst case assumptions, that are often rarely encountered.

The value of Marshall and Sanow's analysis of a large body of data involving numerous real world shoots with a wide range of cartridges and bullet types is that it provides a pretty good feel for what works and what does not. Where people get annoyed is when their conclusions don't always agree with the theories put forward by the ballistic gel crowd.

That's where many of those people stop looking, and start criticizing Marshall and Sanow's work. That's unfair as the real world shoot data involves a huge number of variables that are very hard to control, and Marshall and Sanow do a pretty fair job of at least trying to highlight some of those variables and pitfalls.

For example, they will readily admit that one shot stop percentages have to be taken with a large grain of salt when you consider that about half the people who are shot, stop the assault anyway, even over a minor wound - an "Oh my God, I've been shot and don't want to get shot anymore!" response, or in other words a psychological stop where any caliber would be effective provide it's potent enough for the person to realize he or she has been shot.

They also take care to explain that the better than predicted performance of the lowly .32 ACP may well be due to shooters who carry it understanding it's limitations and taking greater care with shot placement - and they'll point out the limitations in the data that prevent that hypothesis from being proven.

----

So don't take it as "fact", and take care not to take it out of context either, but also don't make the mistake of ignoring it either. Just as you shouldn't read more into ballistic gel data than it actually warrants.

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Old 07-07-2015, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by nyeti View Post
For what its worth, when I was doing shooting investigations I called exactly one person with very technical details of bullet performance....that was Dr. Gary Roberts. We both had deep backgrounds working with a couple of the best guys out there for really looking at wound ballistics in a very balanced and serious way. Gary's recommendations are always on the money for what is currently the best performing ammunition (and this changes with time).
If he is who I think he is I turned to his posts on ammo selection and bullet performance in a different forum. Unfortunately he got into an argument with someone else and left the forum, taking (deleting) his post.

It was an amazing amount of info
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Old 07-07-2015, 07:16 PM
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Just did some testing on the 9mm Winchester train and defend in 9mm 147 gr. shot thru 4 layers of denim into filled milk jugs filled with water. They expanded to average of .529 .. with largest being .548 and smallest at .512. That was a 5 shot average !! YouTube has some views of test performed in ballistic jell and these perform very well !! Other brands do quite well also in that weight.

I carry it in my 9mm Beretta PX4 SC and like the Train and Defend ammo as your shooting with the same load you carry for SD. Also I seem to be able to get my next shot off quicker with the reduced recoil of the 147 gr bullet over the 115 or 124 gr bullet.

Just bought the same round in .40S&W in 180 gr they expanded out to .747 average .. smallest being .732 largest .765 .. That was shot through my MP40c. ..

Haven't found any in 165 gr for the 40S&W and will test it when I do to see how it performs .. Used up all my saved milk jugs too ..
I, too, keep my CC loaded with the W Defend 147 gr. JHP ammo. The Train and Defend ammo shoots very well from my SD9VE and my FS M&P 9. I haven't tried the 40 S&W yet, but plan to. BTW, the 40 S&W only come in the 180 gr. loading, at least for now. I also want to try the 45 auto loading in my 1911 and M&P 45. I personally think this is a good idea and keeps things simple. I don't shoot +P ammo in any of my guns; my feeling is, if I need more than a standard cartridge offers-I need to look at other cartridges in a magnum configuration. Again, just my opinion/preference.

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Old 07-07-2015, 07:33 PM
V0OBWxZS16 V0OBWxZS16 is offline
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BB57,

Marshall and Sanow do NOT have a database of shootings. The provided analyses demonstrate that quite sufficiently.

Ballistic gelatin has been verified against real shootings at least as far back as 1991.
Performance of the Winchester 9mm 147 Grain Subsonic Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet in Human Tissue and Tissue Simulant by Eugene Wolberg, Senior Firearms Criminologist at the San Diego Police Crime Laboratory

Did you really just accuse Wolberg, MacPherson, Roberts, and Fackler of being "internet experts"?

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Old 07-07-2015, 07:45 PM
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BB57,

Marshall and Sanow do NOT have a database of shootings. The provided analyses demonstrate that quite sufficiently.

Ballistic gelatin has been verified against real shootings at least as far back as 1991.
Performance of the Winchester 9mm 147 Grain Subsonic Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet in Human Tissue and Tissue Simulant by Eugene Wolberg, Senior Firearms Criminologist at the San Diego Police Crime Laboratory

Did you really just accuse Wolberg, MacPherson, Roberts, and Fackler of being "internet experts"?
Yea, no kidding. It goes back farther than that. I spent a lot of time with Gene Wolberg in his lab in the mid 80's. You would be hard pressed to find a better encyclopedia of firearms and ballistics knowledge anywhere.

I'll go back to my side of the world. Buy what you believe. This is why people who do this stuff for a living generally stay off Internet forums.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:00 PM
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I swear, didn't I read through this same thing in all the gun rags back from about '87 to '92? "Marshall and Sanow suck!" "No, Fackler is an idiot!" The morgue monsters versus the jello junkies all over again, sheesh.

Just hit what you aim at quickly, accurately and multiple times and don't use novelty rounds, handloads or hardball. That's about it.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:02 AM
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Unless an investigator is working a HUGE metro PD that has a lot of shootings then their data pool is simply not large enough to make a clear conclusion. As well, depts. & agencies are not as liberal with this info as in the past due to the PC charged atmosphere we live in. As an example, LAPD had 47 OIS incidents in 2013 in which 36 people were hit. Draw from that what you may.
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:35 AM
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I'm in the same generation apparently as TexasRaider above...and to me when it comes to 9mm/.357 caliber projectiles, faster is better.

I was with Dallas PD back in the 1970s/80s and finished up 30 years in LE in NH. While with Dallas we averaged 80 officer involved gunfights a year. I tried to get hold of every shooting report I heard about and a lot of times got to talk with the officer involved. In all the officers I spoke with the only ones who ever changed guns or calibers were those who carried .38s. And all but one of the shooters were carrying the vaulted 158 LSWCHP +P load. The other was carrying the Federal 125 +P Nyclad. Of the ten .38 Special shooting I spoke to the officers about only one was happy with the results. He was an old time Sergent who dropped a murder suspect inside a motor home at a distance of about 10' with one round of the departmental issue 158 +P. The other nine shooters went to .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum or .45 Colt.

9mm shooters at the time mainly ran 115 Winchester SilverTip ammo. Some also carried Remington or SuperVel but most all carried 115s. There was nothing heavier than 124 grains. Not one officer I spoke to or knew of changed guns or ammo after a shooting.

9mm 147s didn't come into play until after I left Dallas and was with Rochester PD....which we carried in or S&W 5900s and 6900 semis. Since we had been carrying Model 65s with .38 Special +P ammo to me I had just been issued a 15 shot .38 Special...

While at Rochester my best friend and our Sergent had to shoot a guy with two knives who charged them at a distance of about 9'. The Sergent fired twice and my friend once. The Sergent hit the guy in the arm and chest, my friend hit the guy in the face just under the left eye socket. Although the guy went right down, he had been hit three times in one second. My friends round had hit the cheek bone, bounced off and skidded around the side of the guys face and lodged in his neck. I doubt that one of the new generation 9mm 147s would have done any better.

In Dallas my friends there reported that the first couple of shootings with 147s went well. After a couple of years however many were less than satisfied. It seems to have been the trend nation wide.

Will this new generation of 147s pan out...I hope so or more people are going to die who should not.

One major problem I have with the lab people, especially those who work in the MEs office is that while they can dig a bullet out and declare it looks just like the one out of the Jello, never once have I ever seen them tell you what happened to the shootee once he received the round. Case in point, one of my best friends in Dallas responded to a shots fired call in an apartment building. He and a rookie positioned themselves on each side of the apartment door and announced... The Shooter (who was about to become a Shootee) said "Come on in". They pushed open the door to see a man standing there with handgun in hand. When told to drop the gun he began instead to raise it toward the officers. They both fired and one of the rounds of 158 +P centerpunched the guy. At the shots both offices ducked from the door. The next thing they heard was a womans voice..."What's all that noise out there..?"...and the then the Shootees voice "The pOlice done shot me". The officers looked back in to see the Shootee still standing there gun in hand. He then walked over to the couch, sat down, put the gun down on the floor and shortly thereafter expired. Yet when the MEs office dug the bullet out of the guy and this would be classified as a "good" shooting as far as the ammo goes... And this was my friends second .38 +P shooting. The first guy was shot in the face at a few inches...the result...he growled at me. (He told this all to me after the second shooting as he was ordering a 6" nickel 25-2 .45 Colt)

The point of this being that rounds fired in self-defense need to immediately modify the behavior of the Shootee. Death is not a requirement but often times the result of Behavior Modification. Until a protocol is instituted that every shooting is analyzed the same way whether or not the person died with special attention paid to what exactly was the reaction of the shootee when hit we will have nothing but fragmented annalist.

Bob

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Old 08-06-2015, 10:45 AM
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Good post, I love reading about real world experience versus lab expert analysis. I believe there is a place for the lab and 'jello', but I also believe that in today's ballistic environment it is vastly over stated and over valued. Common sense tells me that shooting a block of gelatin is simply not the same as shooting a dynamic, thinking human being filled with rage, adrenalin, drugs, psychosis or terror... no one truly knows how any human will react. Huge muscular 6'5" defensive lineman types have been shot with a .22 in the arm and died because they thougth "I'm shot, oh God, I'm going to die", while an opposite case I read about concerned a 5'5" 115 lb female LAP D officer who was ambushed and shot in the chest with a .357Mag but stayed up, fought off her attackers, took at least one out with her issued Beretta 92 and lived to tell the tale.

FBI lab jello cannot and never will be able to quantify things like this, which is why, IMHO, the best way to get that desired 'sudden stop' of deadly behavior on the part of an impending killer, is to put as much energy as possible into the perp and make sure that energy stays inside, transmitting that 'stop energy' and not waste time waiting for someone to bleed out or hope his blood pressure drops enough for him to pass out. That might be great doctrine when deer hunting, but I think it's a poor decision when trying to stop a killer. That means high velocity combined with violent expansion at no more than around 12" of depth is ideal, and of course follow up shots as needed until the homicidal behavior is stopped.

Call me a stick in the mud, old fashioned, a luddite or just a crotchety old man, but when an ammo vendor and a huge federal bureaucracy tell me that the ideal round is one that has a lukewarm velocity, very little recoil for "comfortable" shooting by smaller officers, goes 20"+ through tissue, has a tiny hollow point cavity and was designed for a suppressed H&K Mp5? I call BS. Unless you hit the spinal cord, the brain or the perp says "My gosh, I'm shot!" and goes down out of belief he should, I don't feel like these 'modern' rounds are that impressive.

Besides, humans are not lab jello, which is a homogenous mass that doesn't move or fight back. Humans are made of bone, sinew, elastic organs, non-elastic organs and cartilage. Adopting a primary ballistic philosophy around a bullet designed to perform in a homogenous medium that can't move and doesn't have the mental capacity to ignore pain or commit with a determined spirit to fight past an impeding immanent death out of plain meanness just to keep killing (e.g. Platt and Matix) is a flawed philosophy.

I agree with the above poster, that a street database shared by LEO Agencies of what works in the real world would be a better indicator for ammo design. This is no 'magic pill' and while examples can likely be found of any given caliber/round failing, real world stats can provide great indicators of what is actually working; the lab can be a great contributing factor, but a secondary one.

My agency has 15+ years experience with a light weight, violent expanding, 12"-14" penetrating round and it has been a resounding success. But we're switching to a "Fed Approved" model because their lab says that the 9mm now had surpassed the .357 Sig, .40 S&W and .45ACP in performance while being as easy to shoot as a PPC round. That, to me, is borders on ridiculous propaganda. I just don't buy that.

Like I said in an earlier post, if one was faced with a perp that was about to slice open one's wife/son/daughter/loved one's throat and that shooter had a clear line of fire, which would that person rather put down range, all things being equal? An 850 fps, tiny mouthed HP 147 gr 9mm or a 1325 fps SJHP .357 Magnum that blasts fires, belches smoke and roars like a F-4 Phantom under full throttle? In that moment, I don't think noise and recoil would be my biggest fear...failing to stop a murderous troll would be.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:08 AM
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If I was back in LE today...give me a .357 SIG...there are no bad rounds... Even the 147s are going 1200 fps. My daily carry gun since 1980 has been a Commander in .38 Super...124 at 1350...115 at 1450...and 100 grain PowR'Ball at 1530...all clocked from my gun....just about identical to the SIG.

The other major problem with LE selection of guns and ammo has to do with training and qualification. Training has always been geared to qualification...not street survival. Training should be geared for survival shooting 90+% of which takes place within 10 yards. I will guaranty you that if qualifications were geared more toward reality instead of being based on target scores there would be far fewer officers failing qualification and a higher percentage of hits on the street.

But as long as the tail wags the dog, training is going nowhere...

Bob

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Old 08-06-2015, 11:19 AM
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The 147's my dept is looking at are still running from 850-950 fps. Maybe a 1200 fps 147 would work, but my instincts tell me that with that tiny mouth, it'd just zip through even faster and deeper. Velocity is not the end all, I think it has to be combined with the ability to expand. I agree with you, gimme a .357 Sig in 125 gr Gold Dot. The speed and wide open HP are what I prefer, I mean that thing has a maw on it like a shark; kind of reminds me of Speer's old 200 gr "Flying Ashtray" Lawman round of years gone by.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:55 AM
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...My agency has 15+ years experience with a light weight, violent expanding, 12"-14" penetrating round and it has been a resounding success...
What round is this, please?
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:47 PM
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125 gr .357 Sig in Gold Dot. Great, great round.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:51 AM
V0OBWxZS16 V0OBWxZS16 is offline
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Originally Posted by TexasRaider View Post
I swear, didn't I read through this same thing in all the gun rags back from about '87 to '92? "Marshall and Sanow suck!" "No, Fackler is an idiot!" The morgue monsters versus the jello junkies all over again, sheesh.
I'm sure you did and it's pathetic that anybody still trusts Marshall and Sanow's "data".

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One major problem I have with the lab people, especially those who work in the MEs office is that while they can dig a bullet out and declare it looks just like the one out of the Jello, never once have I ever seen them tell you what happened to the shootee once he received the round.
Psychological reactions cannot be predicted by the physiological damage sustained. You're asking for the impossible.

Quote:
FBI lab jello cannot and never will be able to quantify things like this, which is why, IMHO, the best way to get that desired 'sudden stop' of deadly behavior on the part of an impending killer, is to put as much energy as possible into the perp and make sure that energy stays inside, transmitting that 'stop energy' and not waste time waiting for someone to bleed out or hope his blood pressure drops enough for him to pass out. That might be great doctrine when deer hunting, but I think it's a poor decision when trying to stop a killer. That means high velocity combined with violent expansion at no more than around 12" of depth is ideal, and of course follow up shots as needed until the homicidal behavior is stopped.
Energy is not a wounding mechanism.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WOUND BALLISTICS LITERATURE, AND WHY by Dr. Fackler subsection 4. Presumption of "Kinetic Energy Deposit" to Be a Mechanism of Wounding.

Quote:
Besides, humans are not lab jello, which is a homogenous mass that doesn't move or fight back. Humans are made of bone, sinew, elastic organs, non-elastic organs and cartilage. Adopting a primary ballistic philosophy around a bullet designed to perform in a homogenous medium that can't move and doesn't have the mental capacity to ignore pain or commit with a determined spirit to fight past an impeding immanent death out of plain meanness just to keep killing (e.g. Platt and Matix) is a flawed philosophy.
Ballistic gelatin has been verified against real shootings.
Performance of the Winchester 9mm 147 Grain Subsonic Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet in Human Tissue and Tissue Simulant by Eugene Wolberg, Senior Firearms Criminologist at the San Diego Police Crime Laboratory


I am curious about "today's ballistic environment" and how it is different than yesterday's ballistic environment...
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:41 AM
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We can settle this right now.
Pick a load you can shoot well.
Shoot the bad guy until he quits moving.
Unless he's carrying a knife-then you're screwed Knife vs Gun - 21 Foot Rule
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:01 PM
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Why does 147 gr 9mm have a bad rep? Why does 147 gr 9mm have a bad rep? Why does 147 gr 9mm have a bad rep? Why does 147 gr 9mm have a bad rep? Why does 147 gr 9mm have a bad rep?  
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Originally Posted by V0OBWxZS16 View Post
I'm sure you did and it's pathetic that anybody still trusts Marshall and Sanow's "data".
But the FBI's "penetration" worship, as a result of blaming a single 9mm bullet for a supposed lack of penetration in 1986, and convening an entire ballistics seminar just to echo chamber that same result to build credibility, isn't pathetic?

These types of debates began long before the Miami Shootout, but we live in a world where pistol ballistics are still analyzed as a direct result of that event. It wasn't the first time a tragedy caused us to look at bullet design, but it certainly crystalized it for us, and its effects are still rippling. While some disagree with Marshall and Sanow's methods or results, the underlying theme they strove for, examining real world results after a police shooting, is worth pursuing. We dismiss real world results in exchange for lab testing at our own peril. If Marshall and Sanow can be dismissed for bias and pursing an agenda, then so must the FBI and it WBS of 1987. Horrible tactics and poor marksmanship were the parents of the Miami horror, not a 115 gr Silvertip that failed to penetrate enough.

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Psychological reactions cannot be predicted by the physiological damage sustained. You're asking for the impossible.
True, but statistics are revealing. While predicting psychological reactions will never be mathematically predictable equations, the more info we collect on what actually happened on the street might make trying to predict such things irrelevant.

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Energy is not a wounding mechanism.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WOUND BALLISTICS LITERATURE, AND WHY by Dr. Fackler subsection 4. Presumption of "Kinetic Energy Deposit" to Be a Mechanism of Wounding
I'm not a physicist, but I understand kinetic energy. A projectile travelling at a slow velocity will impact an object with calculable energy, delivering calculable joules (or foot-pound if you prefer) of energy into that object. The same projectile with the same mass travelling at a much greater velocity will posses a much higher level of kinetic energy, therefore delivering more joules of energy into a target. While the energy itself is not the wounding mechanism, the kinetic energy possessed by a projectile is the reason the projectile will enter the subject and cause wounding. It is the relationship of kinetic energy and the projectile in which it resides that results in wounding. Effective bullet design does seem like witchcraft , but one fact is certain - without energy, a projectile is simply sitting around doing nothing. Potential energy is worthless, kinetic energy stops potential killers.

I read this. A potential problem here is his quote:

"Handgun penetration was rarely considered prior to 1986, except perhaps by those who the larger handguns for big game hunting. When the FBI lost two agents , in the "Miami Shootout," due to inadequate bullet penetration, they convened a workshop (Sept. 1987) and determined that they (along with many others) had been misled by the National Institute of Justice now infamous Relative Incapacitation Index (which rated bullet performance by temporary cavitation -- ignoring penetration depth)."

The author has clearly revealed a partisanship in his analysis. No one can truthfully say that penetration was THE reason the FBI lost two agents...the reasons again involve training and marksmanship and a large, very political Federal agency is unlikely to ever come clean and say "We screwed up in training our guys", it's a lot easier to blame hardware. Also, few took the RII seriously, even back then, so for the author to say it took Miami for the FBI to devalue the RII is probably not true, either. Lastly, the author only says there was a "close correlation" but that's hardly conclusive, it certainly does NOT say that ballistic gelatin provides a true equivalent in testing to shooting human tissue. And I understand that for lab consistency, bone hits were disregarded. But in street shooting analysis, they certainly aren't. If you have a round that can split or shatter bone in stopping a killer, that's a plus, it's not something I would disregard for the sake of a lab test.

This article also is contradicted by history on two levels:

1. The large number of successful shootings by state police with .357 Magnum light weight, high velocity rounds which flies in the face of the underlying theory of this paper. Those type rounds only go about 12"-14" in depth, but this paper calls for 12" to 20"! That's a 60% increase in margin of error! While the paper cautions against over penetration, a 60% increase in penetration margin seems very, very excessive to me. And history proved this right as the next point says...

2. This was printed in 1991; 9 to 10 years later nearly every LEO agency in the US dumped this exact same 147 gr type round because although it did prove fatal, the 'street lab' showed it wasn't a quick or fast stopper and over penetrated badly. That round was even issued by my agency in 1991 ,but it was dumped circa 1998 for those same reasons. Ironically, it was ash canned in favor of the .357 Sig, which has been a resounding success and operates under a theory that flies in the face of this same paper. History has spoken on both. Agencies that had the 147 gr 9mm dumped them in mass. Agencies that had .357 Mag wheel guns that have adopted the .357 Sig are generally very pleased with the results.

I'm not anti-9mm, but IMHO it's at its best when loaded hot and light, 115 gr +p+ or maybe the 124 gr +p.

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Originally Posted by V0OBWxZS16 View Post
I am curious about "today's ballistic environment" and how it is different than yesterday's ballistic environment...
Can't answer that. Bad guys are bad guys. But technology has progressed to the point where you can get .357 Magnum performance without the blast and flash, the heavy revolver and the limited 6 round capacity. Modern ammo design makes rounds like the 10mm, lightweight .45's and .357 Sigs great options (and yes, even the 9mm, if loaded properly).

While any bullet can kill (Heck, kids have been killed playing at pellet gun wars) and the 147 gr certainly isn't non-lethal, I still maintain the street history of high velocity, lighter bullets with great expansion is preferable to heavy, relatively slow moving, slow expanding, super penetrating rounds.

But to each his own, they sell both. As one poster above said, choose your caliber/loading, hit accurately and hit multiple times on the bad guy until the threat stops. That's Job #1.

Last edited by TexasRaider; 08-07-2015 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:54 PM
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Why does 147 gr 9mm have a bad rep? Why does 147 gr 9mm have a bad rep? Why does 147 gr 9mm have a bad rep? Why does 147 gr 9mm have a bad rep? Why does 147 gr 9mm have a bad rep?  
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BB57,

Marshall and Sanow do NOT have a database of shootings. The provided analyses demonstrate that quite sufficiently.

Ballistic gelatin has been verified against real shootings at least as far back as 1991.
Performance of the Winchester 9mm 147 Grain Subsonic Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet in Human Tissue and Tissue Simulant by Eugene Wolberg, Senior Firearms Criminologist at the San Diego Police Crime Laboratory

Did you really just accuse Wolberg, MacPherson, Roberts, and Fackler of being "internet experts"?
Really,..? I've known Mr. Marshall for going on 38 years. Honest to a fault, been there and done that. He has probable forgotten more about ballistics and shootings than most folks recall.
147 grain rounds are fine when properly placed just like any other projectiles. I've seen a great deal of folks downed and out with 9mm ball or less. Personally, I never much cared for them but NOW, with 3rd or 4th generation projectiles, I load my BHP with them as I prefer to use standard velocity rounds in it. We must still endeavor to place as many projectiles into a threat as possible as fast as possible or until that threat ceases to be one. Carry what you like and your weapon likes as it really doesn't matter what I or any other party likes or doesn't. It's your Tookas on the line.
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:47 PM
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147 grain why did you change your handle to V0OBWxZS16?
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:54 PM
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Well, I'm certainly not going to go into all that technical stuff. The reason I use 147gr in my 9mm is that I'm more accurate with it than I am with 115 or 124, and it's that way with every single 9mm I own - 439, 469, 908, 910, 5903. So it's probably the way I shoot that causes it, but an accurate shot is the highest priority.
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