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Old 08-25-2017, 07:29 PM
marathonrunner marathonrunner is offline
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Default 9mm HST 147 JHP VS 9mm Ranger T Series VS 115gr Critical Defense

Hey Guys

I was pretty sold on the .357Sig cartridge and it baffled me why anybody on earth would prefer a 9mm round when you can have 320fps higher velocity and also a heavier bullet(115gr vs 125gr for .357sig), it just seemed like a no brainer that .357Sig should be the go to round for self defense. Yes I know, some like more rounds in magazine but 2 rounds less I think I can live with that. Yes more recoil but I shoot double taps just fine with my Sig P320 in .357Sig.

But I just read or saw ballistic data and it seemed the .357sig wasn't leaps and bounds over some of the 9mm that had less velocity.

That said, and if it is true I think I want to go back to 9mm but I normally carry Hornady Critical Defense 115gr in 9mm. But after I seen HST 147gr and Winchester 147gr T, I am thinking I might opt to go with either one.

One thing I have been told by Hornady ,they said 147gr will tend to over penetrate and it could hit an innocent bystandard and I was better off going with their 115gr bullet because it is designed not to over penatrate. They also critiqued the fact that a hollow point like the Ranger T and HST will become an FMJ once it gets filled with jean material.

So do you all agree with Hornady's statement? And my guess is, shot placement is more important than what type of bullet or kind of bullet you are using. I think Critical Defense can get the job done just as effectively as HST or Ranger T. And then I am thinking, well if you are going to go with a subsonic round, why not just switch to .45ACP and use the 185gr or 200gr or 230gr and you can be even better

Last edited by marathonrunner; 08-25-2017 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:02 PM
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Default Over-penetration non-issue (mostly)

We hear much about a bullet over penetrating a target to menace innocent bystanders. Two things are left out: about 80% of bullets fired against live adversaries miss altogether and, regardless of your bullet, you should not fire with innocents in your line of fire.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by federali View Post
We hear much about a bullet over penetrating a target to menace innocent bystanders. Two things are left out: about 80% of bullets fired against live adversaries miss altogether and, regardless of your bullet, you should not fire with innocents in your line of fire.
That goes without saying but I am just quoting from what the rep said at Hornady. They were telling me the Critical Defense is designed so it does not over penetrate and lessons the chance of over penetrating. I guess you were not reading my question carefully.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:09 PM
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I was reading some posts and this goes back to 2008, but lots of users of 147gr complained that the OAL was too long and caused some 9mm to misfeed
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:26 PM
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Why not check out some of the lab results at LuckyGunner.com? It's one interesting source of information (more so than a rep from a manufacturer anyway).

Among some of the results you'll find that when shooting through clothing consisting of cotton T, cotton shirt, fleece, and denim (all together) and then ballistics gel, the HST and Ranger T both expanded more than Hornady rounds in various flavors, and tended to fall within the 12 - 18 inch standard (one can quibble over the standard) better than Hornady rounds, for example. Just a test with its own parameters, of course, but something I am more likely to look to than advice from a manufacturer's rep.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Cortelli View Post
Why not check out some of the lab results at LuckyGunner.com? It's one interesting source of information (more so than a rep from a manufacturer anyway).

Among some of the results you'll find that when shooting through clothing consisting of cotton T, cotton shirt, fleece, and denim (all together) and then ballistics gel, the HST and Ranger T both expanded more than Hornady rounds in various flavors, and tended to fall within the 12 - 18 inch standard (one can quibble over the standard) better than Hornady rounds, for example. Just a test with its own parameters, of course, but something I am more likely to look to than advice from a manufacturer's rep.
That is very true and yes the mfg rep will not be as objective. I just watched a youtube video and a guy who used denim and ballistic gel, the HST acted like a FMJ in some of the test fires. I have been using Critical Defense for the last two years but looking at how much it costs for HST, yikes! The guy who made the video said since bone is the worse enemy of hollow points, it is why he likes to go with something more potent like a .357sig cartridge over 9mm of any flavor.

The youtube video also noted that the 147gr is better suited for barrels shorter than 4" not sure if eveybody agrees with this. He said high velocity causes bullet to expand less.

Last edited by marathonrunner; 08-25-2017 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:50 PM
Cortelli Cortelli is offline
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Originally Posted by marathonrunner View Post
That is very true and yes the mfg rep will not be as objective. I just watched a youtube video and a guy who used denim and ballistic gel, the HST acted like a FMJ in some of the test fires. I have been using Critical Defense for the last two years but looking at how much it costs for HST, yikes! The guy who made the video said since bone is the worse enemy of hollow points, it is why he likes to go with something more potent like a .357sig cartridge over 9mm of any flavor.

The youtube video also noted that the 147gr is better suited for barrels shorter than 4" not sure if eveybody agrees with this. He said high velocity causes bullet to expand less.
Well, maybe you should decide on which pistol and which caliber works for you. From there, it seems to me the next step is to see how you chosen pistol handles various different cartridges. I wouldn't go about settling on a cartridge and then finding a gun that goes with it - strikes me as backward. Of course you should satisfy yourself that "in general" your chosen generic round will suit your purposes; but once you have some degree of confidence in .380 ACP, 9mm, .40SW, .45 ACP, .357sig, etc. (and any other caliber), *then* finding a handgun you like in that caliber, and *then* finding a cartridge that works for your gun makes sense to me.

And, again noting that the LuckyGunner data is just one data set, they tested 9mm ammo in a pistol with a 3.5" barrel, whether it was 115gr or 147gr (or others).
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:12 PM
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My own personal preference for SD ammo is medium-to-heavy weight bullets. In 9mm that'd be 124-147gr. Lighter weight bullets don't tend to penetrate as deeply and for SD you want rounds that will penetrate deeply enough to reach vital organs, major blood vessels, etc., while minimizing the possibility of overpenetration.

I like Dr. Roberts' list of recommended ammo. His research involves not only gel results but also the results of actual shootings. He generally recommends against 115gr 9mm JHP because of the lack of penetration they tend to exhibit, with the Barnes all-copper bullet being the only exception the last time I read his list. If you choose a round from his list, I think you can be confident it'll serve you well. If you don't want to overthink things, which is probably a good idea, you could just Google his list and skip the rest of my novel post.

Regarding .357Sig vs. 9mm, service caliber rounds all perform similarly, whether in gel or actual shootings. A bigger or faster caliber may have a slight edge in performance, but I haven't seen anything to suggest it's a significant edge. I think the one area where .357Sig does seem to outperform other calibers is in hard barrier penetration and subsequent soft tissue/gel performance, so that may be something to consider, though I think that's more of a concern for LE.

My own choice for 9mm is the 147gr HST, which is what I keep in my HD gun, a Beretta 92FS. It performs well in gel, but I try not to rely solely on gel results; I prefer rounds that have a good track record in actual shootings. Massad Ayoob, who keeps tabs on how rounds in police service have performed in actual shootings, has said that agencies using the 147gr HST have been satisfied with its performance.

The one issue I have with the Lucky Gunner tests is that they don't use the same gel as the FBI when they established their standard. The Lucky Gunner results are ok to compare between rounds, but I would not use their results if I'm using the FBI standards as my frame of reference. If you're watching YouTubers testing ammo in gel, pay attention to what kind of gel they're using and what their frame of reference is. I can't remember their exact names, but IIRC tennesseeoutdoor9 and ShootingtheBull both use the FBI formulation, and both had good performance from 147gr HST.

One thing I've never understood is why posters bring up missing whenever the subject of overpenetration comes up. Missing the target is a concern regardless of the type of ammo you're using. But if you are able to get solid hits on target, the FMJ has a much higher likelihood of overpenetration than JHP (this is aside from JHP also having a much higher likelihood of causing more trauma than FMJ). When the NYPD adopted the 9mm they started with 115gr FMJ. They switched to JHP because they had too many instances of rounds going through their intended targets and injuring bystanders as well as other officers. While it is important to be sure not only of your target but what (or who) is behind your attacker, the stress of a life-threatening encounter can induce tunnel vision and make it difficult to do so. Or there may be a situation where you just have to take the shot because it'd be more dangerous not to (active shooter situations come to mind).

Having said all that, carry what you're comfortable with. As I mentioned at the start, service calibers all tend to perform the same, so choose the one you prefer. If you like .357Sig, pick a gun you like in .357Sig. If you're a .45ACP fan, carry that. As long as your gun/ammo combination is reliable and you can shoot it well, and you're willing to carry it, you should be well served.

Just my opinion.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:51 PM
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:05 PM
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I have tested the 124gr HST +P in my 9mm Beretta, and absolutely nothing would clog the hollow point allowing complete and uniform expansion every time no matter what.

In comparison, the Speer Gold Dots were a big disappointment and got clogged quite a bit resulting in minimal expansion during the same tests. Yet, everyone just loves Gold Dots. So to each their own, but if I wanted HP ammo, it would be HST or Ranger first and foremost whenever an option.

Last edited by iPac; 08-26-2017 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:37 PM
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The ShootingTheBull410 series of ammo test videos includes the three ammo choices you mention. These are those tests:

9mm Ammo Quest - YouTube

I tried several of the better performing ones and picked the standard pressure Federal 147gr HST for all my 9mm's because of the reputation but mainly because they group best to point of aim.
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
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I have tested the 124gr HST +P in my 9mm Beretta, and absolutely nothing would clog the hollow point allowing complete and uniform expansion every time no matter what.

In comparison, the Speer Gold Dots were a big disappointment and got clogged quite a bit resulting in minimal expansion during the same tests. Yet, everyone just loves Gold Dots. So to each their own, but if I wanted HP ammo, it would be HST or Ranger first and foremost whenever an option.
Ranger tested the best but it costs like $173 for 250 bullets where HST from SGammo is $379 for 1000 rounds of 147gr
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:31 PM
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Wow seems like the 147HST is better than the 124+P ammo except slightly less penetration. The 124gr had 2" more penetration than the 147 but according to this review 147 seems better

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Old 08-26-2017, 07:52 PM
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Here is another video that shows the HST .357Sig really didn't outperform the 9mm version of it in 125gr.

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Old 08-26-2017, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marathonrunner View Post
I was reading some posts and this goes back to 2008, but lots of users of 147gr complained that the OAL was too long and caused some 9mm to misfeed
I have yet to find a 9mm that won't feed 147s.

To the OP:

The HST has consistent expansion even when clogged with jean material. The guy at hornady is just blowing smoke. Many times the 115gr will not have enough penetration. My preference is 147 but 124 works also. I wouldn't recommend 115s unless you have no other option
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:28 PM
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FPS is just something the ammo makers use to sell ammo.......

It is what a bullet does, either fast or slow, that counts and what I go by.

As for the 147 gr. bullet being too long................
the Speer 115 and 124gr Gold Dots are around 1.12" OAL...
and Speer calls for the 147gr HP to be set at 1.13" OAL.

If a pistol fails with just .01" more OAL........a new ammo is needed.

I like all three 9mm weights, just that they have to be "Spread around"
in my weapons that like them.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brasky View Post
I have yet to find a 9mm that won't feed 147s.

To the OP:

The HST has consistent expansion even when clogged with jean material. The guy at hornady is just blowing smoke. Many times the 115gr will not have enough penetration. My preference is 147 but 124 works also. I wouldn't recommend 115s unless you have no other option
The folks that complained the 147 had feeding problems was back in 2008 so I am sure HST has fixed the probelm
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:30 PM
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if you will shoot the 9mm more due to ammo cost I say go for it. You'll be a better shooter, and using modern jhp ammo its plenty. Personally I'm not a huge fan of the 357 SIG because I carry a 357 Mag in places where I want more punch than what a 9 mm offers (the woods). For civilian use (me) the 124 +p offers enough penetration, but if I was concerned about barrier penetration like cops would be I'd go with a 147gr.

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Old 09-05-2017, 09:45 PM
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Today at the range shot the HST .147gr and it had a lot more felt recoil than 115gr Critical Defense. The recoil of the .147gr also felt more than my Glock 30S.
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