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Smith & Wesson M&P Pistols All Variants of the Smith & Wesson M&P Auto Series


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Old 08-27-2012, 04:26 PM
1sailor 1sailor is offline
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Default How well have 147gr bullets performed in your FS 9mm

I normally load 124gr bullets but have been thinking about trying some 147gr. For those of you who have used them what kind of accuracy were you getting. I'm happy with the 124's but wouldn't mind trying to squeeze a little more out if I could.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:38 PM
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I shoot nothing but 147 grain in my 92fs, M9, and 92 Elite II. I shoot maybe 6000 rounds a year. The only time I shoot 124 grain in my M9 is right before I have to requal for military purposes. The 147's as backwards as it may sound shoot a little higher than the 124's and a lot higher than the 115's. I would highly recommend the 147's. I have never seen a malfunction of any kind with the 147's be it factory or reloaded ammunition. Just my personal experiance with it.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:49 PM
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My experienced with the various weights in the M&P 5" Pro showed no advantage with the 147gr, and the 124gr was only slightly better than the 115gr in accuracy with Precision Delta bullets.

When firing all loaded to the same power factor (PF), the 147gr showed incipient instability at long range, making me believe I needed a little move speed. In general, the longer the bullet, the slower the twist, and the lower the speed, the more likely to go unstable.

At distances up to 35yards, I saw no practical difference, and chose to use the 124gr. I know several competitors who use the 147gr for slightly less recoil impulse (at the same PF). Some are using faster twist aftermarket barrels. YMMV

If I remember correctly, the M9 Beretta that FCUSN1 has, above, comes with a barrel rifled 1 turn in 250mm (about 10 inches) which makes it more suitable for the longer bullets than the slower twist S&W.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:23 AM
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Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:43 AM
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Absolutely the most accurate ammo I've ever fired in a full size 9 was 147 gr Hyda-Shok JHPs at a something over 900 fps (listed velocity was 1000 fps). One ragged hole at 25 yards. The gun was a 5906 with stock barrel & 18 3/4 twist. JHP pistol ammo tends to be more accurate than RN in 9mm. The USAF developed a 124 gr truncated cone match bullet for 9mm, Hornaday produced it. I believe they still do as the HAP bullet (Hornaday Action Pistol).

I'll also point out that powder puff loads with low velocities also have relatively long barrel travel times. This makes followthrough much more important to accuracy than when using standard velocity ammo.

Just exactly how much accuracy are you trying to get?

Last edited by WR Moore; 08-28-2012 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:07 AM
danysw danysw is offline
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I'm not an expert but have the same impression. The best accurate ammo I fire with my M&P 9F and M&P 9C is the Federal HST 147 grain rated at 1000 fps. It goes a little high compared with the 115 or 124 but the groups go smaller.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:42 AM
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In the years that I have owned it, my M&P Spec Ops has only fired 147 and 158 grain FMJ and HPs.

This has nothing to do with accuracy, it has to do with the fact that these rounds are subsonic and easily suppressable.

If I were carrying the M&P for personal defense, I would have a nice hot 124 JHP +P or +P+ in my magazines.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:00 AM
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Out of my two 9s (neither an M&P) I find the 147 gr more accurate than the lighter bullets. Besides factory SD ammo, I load 147 JHP from Zero and 147 lead from Bayou Bullets and BBI. Of course that is me and my pistols: that doesn't mean you would have the same results....
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:54 AM
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I found Hilton Yam's take on bullet weights and accuracy in the FS9, as described in a blog post, an interesting set of observations.

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Originally Posted by Hilton Yam
The main downfall of the M&P 9mm is the wildly varying accuracy thanks to some QC issues and design flaws. The M&P 9 barrel uses a tragically slow 1:18.75" twist, which does a poor job stabilizing heavier bullets. To add insult to injury, the M&P also unlocks extremely quickly. This early unlocking tends to negate any conventional wisdom on what bullet weights should shoot well with the M&P, and you'll want to do a bit of experimenting. The Glock is inherently more accurate than the M&P, and will shoot 3" or better at 25 yards with a wide range of ammunition. I feel that 3" or less is a good measure for service pistol accuracy at 25 yards. My 3 primary M&P 9mm's will all shoot 3" or better at 25 yards with any 147 grain ammunition that I feed them, and two of them have printed 2 5/8" standing offhand at 25 yards with 147 grain. That works for me. However, all three of the guns shoot about 6-8" at 25 yards using 115 and 124 grain ammo. My solution at this point is just to stick with 147 grain.
The complete Hilton Yam 10-8 Performance blog post can be found here: 10-8 Performance: Glock vs. M&P...or why I shoot an M&P .
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:39 AM
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I've found the 147gr is more accurate in both of my 5" Pro Series pistolas at 10 yards. My groups are much tighter than with the others.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:42 PM
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It's always been my experience with handguns that lighter is lower i.e. a lighter bullet will usually shoot to a lower point of aim. I believe it all has to do with muzzle flip and a heavier bullet will produce more felt recoil (muzzle flip) producing a higher point of impact. In the past I've used this in reloading to adjust my target impact with fixed sight handguns.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:49 PM
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I think it's actually "dwell time" the amount of time the bullet is in the barrel. Yes, we're talking micro-seconds when talking about the time a heavier bullet is in the barrel (due to reduced speed), but it's enough to make a difference in impact, since the barrel is ever so slightly higher by the time a heavier bullet exits. If a lighter bullet was in the barrel for the same amount of time, it would have approximately the same point of impact as the heavier bullet at the usual handgun ranges of 25 yards or less.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:50 PM
Goathead75 Goathead75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gran Torino View Post
I've found the 147gr is more accurate in both of my 5" Pro Series pistolas at 10 yards. My groups are much tighter than with the others.
Same experience here with my pro.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:25 PM
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Interesting.I have been shooting low, like 12" at 50' with 115gr. It is me and this gun. (there has been another thread on shooting low with it, and SW sent the guy lower sights). however, this gun is correct, I have had 3 different people try and they have no problem. I am fairly new, but I am pretty sure I have the fundamentals correct, my sig 22 I have about a 5" group at 50'. I am wondering if I went to heavier bullet if this would change my accuracy?
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:39 PM
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I wouldn't think that bullet weight would make 12" of difference at 50ft. Next time you're out shooting try using the end of your finger on the trigger (not quite the base of your nail). I was having the same problem and found I was pulling the muzzle down when I pulled the trigger. Also, try the next size larger grip. That will help to keep you from wrapping your finger around the trigger.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post
If I were carrying the M&P for personal defense, I would have a nice hot 124 JHP +P or +P+ in my magazines.
That would not be recommended. I will verify when I get home, but if I recall correctly the M&P manual states it is not rated for +P+ ammunition and not to use anything beyond +P.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamrith View Post
That would not be recommended. I will verify when I get home, but if I recall correctly the M&P manual states it is not rated for +P+ ammunition and not to use anything beyond +P.
You are right. Manual says not to use +P+ on the M&P.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:23 PM
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I was having a difficult time at 50 yards with my 9L under time pressure in a training class I was taking. It occured to me that the gun might not be grouping well at that distance. I took some WWB 115 to the range as well as some Federal HST 147 JHP. Rested on a bag at 50 yards the group went from roughly 14 inches with the 115's to roughly 6 inches with the 147 JHP's. This gun has between 10,000 and 15,000 through it. YMMV
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKFC05 View Post
My experienced with the various weights in the M&P 5" Pro showed no advantage with the 147gr, and the 124gr was only slightly better than the 115gr in accuracy with Precision Delta bullets.

When firing all loaded to the same power factor (PF), the 147gr showed incipient instability at long range, making me believe I needed a little move speed. In general, the longer the bullet, the slower the twist, and the lower the speed, the more likely to go unstable.

At distances up to 35yards, I saw no practical difference, and chose to use the 124gr. I know several competitors who use the 147gr for slightly less recoil impulse (at the same PF). Some are using faster twist aftermarket barrels. YMMV

If I remember correctly, the M9 Beretta that FCUSN1 has, above, comes with a barrel rifled 1 turn in 250mm (about 10 inches) which makes it more suitable for the longer bullets than the slower twist S&W.
Uh, you have it backwards. The longer the bullet, the faster the twist needed.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_E_ View Post
Uh, you have it backwards. The longer the bullet, the faster the twist needed.
Isn't that essentially what he said?

Quote:
...In general, the longer the bullet, the slower the twist, and the lower the speed, the more likely to go unstable.
So you need a faster twist to get more stability.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1sailor View Post
I normally load 124gr bullets but have been thinking about trying some 147gr. For those of you who have used them what kind of accuracy were you getting. I'm happy with the 124's but wouldn't mind trying to squeeze a little more out if I could.
i get equivalent accuracy out of my 124 gr. Montana Gold JHP or 147 gr. Star FMJ's. I prefer the recoil impulse of the 147's at ca 900 fps over the 124's at ca 1050-1150 fps.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:12 PM
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Reliability wise, it's 100% just like any other weight in my FS 9mm. Accuracy wise, it's just as terrible as the other weights but that's due to my particular example.

As far as other guns, it's no more accurate but it does tend to shoot higher which should be expected with a heavier weight bullet.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:52 PM
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I was telling a shooting buddy of mine earlier today that I shot better out of my M&P with 147's. We both thought it was me. Conversely, my CZ75 seems to do better with 124's. Glad I logged in to see this.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:33 PM
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Well, today I bought a box of Berry's 147gr round nose and a box of 124gr HBFP so we'll se how it goes next week.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:41 PM
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I'm no reloading expert but couldn't the extra seating depth of a heavier bullet in the case along with added pressure in the barrel behind the heavier bullet when fired contribute to better accuracy??
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
Interesting.I have been shooting low, like 12" at 50' with 115gr. It is me and this gun. (there has been another thread on shooting low with it, and SW sent the guy lower sights). however, this gun is correct, I have had 3 different people try and they have no problem. I am fairly new, but I am pretty sure I have the fundamentals correct, my sig 22 I have about a 5" group at 50'. I am wondering if I went to heavier bullet if this would change my accuracy?
The problem is that you are losing patience with the longer trigger stroke of the M&P series and yanking the trigger before it releases. The issue is your trigger control, not the weight of the bullet. This is proven by the results of others using your weapon and ammo.

Practice grasshopper.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
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I'm no reloading expert but couldn't the extra seating depth of a heavier bullet in the case along with added pressure in the barrel behind the heavier bullet when fired contribute to better accuracy??
NO. Same pressure for one, and the seating depth in the case means nothing for intrinsic accuracy in a pistol. In the 9mm, HP bullets generally have better accuracy than RN since they are shaped differently and have a longer bearing surface with the bore. The shape the USAF came up with was a truncated cone 124 gr bullet. This profile is much like that of a HP bullet. The 147 closely approximates the same shape, or at lest it does in JHP configuration.

The 147 does seem to be easier for many to shoot decently. It typically operates at lower velocities and recoil impluses than many other loads. I don't know if it's still true, but the Federal 9BP/C9CP used to be the most accurate 9 mm load readily available.

Last edited by WR Moore; 09-09-2012 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:25 AM
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Regular, +P, +p+, it's like cramming a 600 HP motor in a VW Bug, you can do it...but? I guess it's just the way it is. Each to his own. I like my ammo like me, heavy & slow!
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:43 PM
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I got a chance to try out some 147gr round nose today before work. I had a few different loads I was trying with other bullets and only had 25 of the 147's. Not nearly enough to really establish their accuracy but I did find that they seemed to be hitting about 1" or maybe even 1.5" higher than the 124's. The biggest difference I noticed is the difference in recoil. Not nearly as snappy as my 124 loads. Very controlable and very fast back on target. Can't wait till my weekend comes to try out a few boxes.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:52 PM
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I hope to find out fairly soon. I did a lot of reading and decided to get the 147 gr bullets since they give you less recoil than the other ones. Been setting up my Dillon 650 for awhile now (problems with Hornady Bullet Feeder Die) but going to skip that and start a few rounds with the powder in it for the first time tonight still, or by Tues. night for sure I think.
I'm going to start off with 3 gr of TiteGroup and go from there. I'll probably have to get the Dillon Small Powder Bar (or whatever the smallest one that does under 3 gr is). I want to make sub minor loads, that's why I got that RCBS Lock-Out Die, well it's a good idea no matter what. Even though for the first 25 to maybe even 100 I'm going to weigh each bullet. Then after that every 25 or so to make sure everything is setup right for the sub minor loads. If I go to really sub minor later on then I'll probably set aside every 10 rounds to make sure it's enough, the only USPSA mag I got had a squib on the back article, so it made me take notice (even though already knew I really have to be careful).

Still have to get my M&P9 FS though, but I hope that should be very soon though. Waiting for Grant from G&R Tactical to come out with the 1/2 to 1" grouping custom fit barrels, then I'll order from him.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:51 PM
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I finally got a chance to get out and shoot another 150 of the 147gr round nose. My initial results had them hitting about an inch higher than the 124gr bullets (also round nose) at 50ft. However that was with a limited number of rounds and my most recent outing showed them to be hitting more in line with the 124's. Group size between the two bullets was very similar. The 147's do seem to have noticably less recoil though (at least much less snappy). All in all though I think I'll stick with the 124's. They're cheaper to reload and not as touchy about their powder charge with my favorite powders.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dereksfl View Post
Regular, +P, +p+, it's like cramming a 600 HP motor in a VW Bug, you can do it...but? I guess it's just the way it is. Each to his own. I like my ammo like me, heavy & slow!
HEH, How about a 5.0l SBF into an MGB? Been there done that..

When I did the numbers for reloading, the proce difference between 115g reloads and 147g was only $.25/50rnds. Made sense to step up to the heavier round and I will do the same for my carry rounds. I have only fired my initial 15 starter rounds of 147g, but they did shoot nicer and were on target. We will see how the next 30 go.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:23 AM
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How well have 147gr bullets performed in your FS 9mm How well have 147gr bullets performed in your FS 9mm How well have 147gr bullets performed in your FS 9mm How well have 147gr bullets performed in your FS 9mm How well have 147gr bullets performed in your FS 9mm  
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How well have 147gr bullets performed in your FS 9mm
Like a boss.
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