Bullet weight in 9mm


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strat81
October 17, 2007, 05:50 PM
What are the pros and cons for the different bullet weights in 9mm? Do some generally penetrate better, offer better accuracy, suffer less drop, expand more reliably? Price not withstanding, is one "better" for plinking and another for SD? All of this assumes the rounds are fired from identical weapons under the same conditions.

I am not looking for a caliber war. Haters go elsewhere, please. :)

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Sunray
October 17, 2007, 05:57 PM
"...Do some generally..." You left out feed better. In any case, yep. It's all in the bullet design and the load used. Handgun ammo isn't any different from rifle ammo in this regard.

mavracer
October 17, 2007, 06:10 PM
generally speaking the good SD ammo is designed to expand and penatrate well at the velocity they are driven at.accuracy and feeding will depend on your gun.I have several 9mms some like 124+p others 147 std pressure.I feed them what they like.

Exmasonite
October 17, 2007, 06:12 PM
I'd say if it's for plinking, the biggest factor is cost.

aside from that, i'll let more experienced voices chime in...

Halo is for Kids
October 17, 2007, 11:40 PM
For Self Defense:

Best actual field performance per Ayoob in Combat Handgunnery 5th Ed.

Here's a link to the new edition:
http://www.amazon.com/Gun-Digest-Book-Combat-Handgunnery/dp/0896895254/ref=sr_1_1/104-1088754-7035147?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192678628&sr=8-1

-115grn +P+ Speer Gold Dots at around 1300 fps.
-124grn +P Speer Gold Dots at around 1250 fps.
-For lower recoil, 115 Federal Classic 9BP at 1150fps.
-147grn is a poor choice due to over penetration and failed expansion.

All of the above is what I understood from reading Chapter 7, pages 101 & 102. My only real world experience in testing ammo is to verify reliable function in my guns.

For SD:
-In my older 9mm I have +P 124grn Hydra Shocks because I know they feed.
-In my newer 9mm I have +P 124grn Rangers and +P+ 127grn Rangers; Again, because I know they feed.

For cheap practice:
-115grn standard pressure WWB FMJ or whatever is cheapest with a brass case.

RyanM
October 17, 2007, 11:51 PM
The biggest factor is bullet design. In 9mm, absolutely the only ammo I would trust for social purposes is 147 gr Remington Golden Saber. Check the gelatin results at http://www.brassfetcher.com/

147 gr Rem GS blew away everything else in 9mm, except the +P 124 gr Rem GS. But from what I've heard, the 124 gr ones are worse at going through intermediate barriers, including heavy clothing.

As a general rule, though, you should practice with a load which replicates the bullet weight and velocity of your carry ammo as closely as possible.

Autolycus
October 18, 2007, 12:10 AM
If I was to carry my 9mm for self defense I would carry 127 gr hollowpoints of one brand or another.

ArchAngelCD
October 18, 2007, 12:13 AM
My son carries 124gr LR Federal Hydra-Shok rounds in his Taurus PT-111 Pro. His pistol seems to like them the best.

possum
October 18, 2007, 01:24 AM
there are many great offerings for the 9mm 115gr+p+ and the 124+p are awesom rds and have devistaing effects there are many documented cases where these rds were used and worked wonderfully. do take into account the weapon, you want to ensure that they function 100% 1st and foremost and that they are accurate in your gun. yes different offerings will do different thing performance wise, but that is all case dependent on the weapon.

mavracer
October 18, 2007, 07:36 AM
-147grn is a poor choice due to over penetration and failed expansion.
another internet myth that has been perpatrated over and over again.
A: this may have been true 20 years ago, new bullet designs IE ranger-t,fed HST,golddots and golden sabers expand very reliably.BTW all of these loads pass FBI protacol.
B: over penatration is not nearly as bad as under penatration.

hceptj
October 18, 2007, 07:43 AM
I also carry the remington gs 147 gr round.

40SW
October 18, 2007, 08:41 AM
barrel length.

Deanimator
October 18, 2007, 09:41 AM
I like the Winchester White Box 147gr. JHPs from Walmart. They're accurate and reliable, and in tests, they have both good expansion and penetration. They're also dirt cheap.

Phil DeGraves
October 18, 2007, 11:12 AM
Whichever one goes into the target right where you want it to go. I personally prefer the Federal 115 +P+ or the Winchester 127 +P+. But I wouldn't hesitate to use 124 FMJ if that is what I happened to have. One of those in the eye works pretty well.

magnolia
October 18, 2007, 03:04 PM
I have Car Bon 115gr+P JHP in my carry magazine but practice with any other of the cheaper shells.

Ala Dan
October 18, 2007, 03:59 PM
When carrying a 9m/m semi-auto, my load of choice is the very secretive
"9m/m Secret Service Load", that was issued to all agents armed with the
SIG-SAUER P228~!

I have NO idea what this load actually is*, but it works great in my 1990
West German P228. Actually, these were obtained from my local FOP range
master; after the agency's qualification. :cool:

*FootNote: The actual load used by the Secret Service is a closely guarded
secret; and data is not published regarding its use.

Walkalong
October 18, 2007, 04:14 PM
You lucky dog you.


ROLL TIDE The showdown is almost here my man Ala Dan :D

alucard0822
October 18, 2007, 04:56 PM
I reload, so facory 124gr+p gold dots are my round of choice, as I have fairly closely duplicated the load for practice use, and speer is not that stingy with the components. I use rainier 124gr fp plated bullets for practice and plinkng. I have shot a few thousand of the plated bullets,and at least 500 of the gold dot duplicate loads, with probably a couple hundred of the store bought through my 92FS to verify the duplicate data, and to be 100% sure of function. I have never had a misfire or jam of any kind, but I can also afford more practice with the plated bullets that shoot similar to my defense loads or the gold dot handloads that shoot exactly like them.

Hauptmann
October 18, 2007, 05:59 PM
This will give you a general idea of how the different 9mm loads behave. This is from Winchester's official testing data on their Ranger Talon series:

9mm+P 124gr(1180fps): (Penetration/Expansion)
Bare Gel: 12.2”/.70”
Through Denim: 13.9”/.67”
Through Heavy Cloth: 13.3”/.68”
Through Wallboard: 14”/.66”
Through Plywood: 13.1”/.65”
Through Steel: 18.9”/.40”
Through Auto Glass: 10.6”/.48”

9mm+P+ 127gr(1250fps): (Penetration/Expansion)
Bare Gel: 12.3”/.64”
Through Denim: 12.2”/.68”
Through Heavy Cloth: 12.2”/.68”
Through Wallboard: 12.1”/.66”
Through Plywood: 12”/.68”
Through Steel: 20.5”/.40”
Through Auto Glass: 9.4”/.48”

9mm 147gr(990fps): (Penetration/Expansion)
Bare Gel: 13.9”/.65”
Through Denim: 14.5”/.66”
Through Heavy Cloth: 14”/.66”
Through Wallboard: 15”/.67”
Through Plywood: 14.8”/.62”
Through Steel: 17”/.45”
Through Auto Glass: 10.8”/.52”

All testing is done in accordance with the standardized FBI protocols. The bare gel test involves 10% ballistic gel calibrated to mimic human muscle tissue. The other tests involve placing various materials in front of the bare gel to demonstrate what it would be like to shoot someone through such materials. After the bullet punches through these barriers it may become damaged /deformed or plugged with material(wood/cloth) which will reduce its expansion capabilities. When a hollow point expands it acts like a parachute reducing penetration. If it is damaged or plugged it may not expand very well which results in deeper penetration with less expansion. The FBI has done continued testing of ammunition for two decades and they take into account the results of actual street shootings and how that ammunition behaved against an actual person and/or barrier. With that knowledge, they still recommend that you use ammunition that achieves a minimum penetration depth of 12” in bare gel. They also conclude that good penetration is always more important than expansion, but as long as 12” of penetration can be maintained every bit of expansion improves terminal damage effects.

You’ll notice that lighter and faster bullets tend to penetrate hard barriers such as sheet steel or wall board better, but they are impeded by cushioning or shock absorbing materials such as clothing, wood, or auto glass. Heavier bullets at a slower velocity are impeded by hard barriers such as sheet steel or wall board, but tend to punch through cushioning or shock absorbing materials such as clothing, wood, or auto glass much better.

Halo is for Kids
October 18, 2007, 09:00 PM
I guess it's time I rethink my position on 147grn...


9mm 147gr(990fps): (Penetration/Expansion)
Bare Gel: 13.9/.65
Through Denim: 14.5/.66
Through Heavy Cloth: 14/.66
Through Wallboard: 15/.67
Through Plywood: 14.8/.62
Through Steel: 17/.45
Through Auto Glass: 10.8/.52

Not only does it expand more after penetrating wallboard, it penetrates deeper too. So it's more effective when shot through a barrier than into a naked perp?:evil:

In the text of CH 5th ED the 147grn was dropped by the PDs using it due to lack of real world performance. Granted, there have been improvements in bullet construction since then; However, the PDs are not going to go back to 147grn ammo just to provide real world shooting results.

I prefer actual street performance to lab tests. With no chance at future real world testing of the 147 grn I'm satisfied with the results of 115 +P+ or 124 +P loadings.

I do not imply that the current loadings of 147 grn are inferior, I just like that 115 and 124 have been "proven" adequate.

Halo is for Kids
October 18, 2007, 09:17 PM
Do some generally penetrate better
-147 grn, Heavy + FMJ = penetration

offer better accuracy
-Any, Consistent powder load + consistent bullet weight = better accuracy

suffer less drop
-115 grn +P+, Faster + lighter = less drop

expand more reliably
-115 grn +P+ and 124 grn +P, Faster + lighter = more likely to expand

40SW
October 19, 2007, 11:47 AM
eehhm, hmm, ok, once again, :uhoh: I will replicate my earlier post to this thread.

"barrel length":)

C. H. Luke
October 21, 2007, 10:44 AM
"the very secretive...Secret Service Load", that was issued to all agents armed with the
SIG-SAUER P228~!

*FootNote: The actual load used by the Secret Service is a closely guarded secret"

The HUGE SS has a "secret" general issue round? {when compared to the FBI}
If it's "secret" they must have come up with it themselves and ignored the enormous amount of data produced from the testing the Bureau does on an ongoing basis?

Willing to bet it's not so secret that it's made at LC munitions plant, etc. rather than by a regular major mfg. like Winchester or Federal.

alucard0822
October 21, 2007, 11:07 AM
"the very secretive...Secret Service Load", that was issued to all agents armed with the
SIG-SAUER P228~!


like many things to do with the govt, I suspect the super double secret round is really Win White box HP, painted red white and blue, and probably costs uncle sugar $30 a box.

RON in PA
October 21, 2007, 02:45 PM
I thought that the Sec. Svc. had gone to .357 Sig and that's a whole different ball of wax.

When I carry a 9mm (Smith 3913) I load the WW White box 147 load. The test results demonstrate good penetration and expansion. I also like the fact that it's standard pressure and comfortable to shoot.

akodo
October 21, 2007, 09:09 PM
Short and Sweet answer. 2 factors, penetration and expansion.

Hollowpoints can fail to expand if they go to slow.
Heavier bullets tend to penetrate better.

Put these together, that's why you don't see 200 grain 9mm bullets, while they would penetrate well, and have lots of energy, they probably wouldn't have the velocity to expand well.

147 is usually as heavy as 9mm gets. Most will go fast enough and have a hollowpoint design that will expand okay most of the time...

115 is usually as light as 9mm gets. It goes a lot faster, making it easier to design a hollowpoing that expands a lot and reliably, but even thin barriers cause problems, and it tends to not penetrate flesh as far as 147s

124s are a comprimise. With improvmenets in hollowpoint design, even though it goes a little slower than 115s, it still expands very well very reliably. Also, with the little bit of added weight it seems to be able to drive itself a bit deeper into flesh and handle light barriers well.

RyanM
October 21, 2007, 09:33 PM
Put these together, that's why you don't see 200 grain 9mm bullets, while they would penetrate well, and have lots of energy, they probably wouldn't have the velocity to expand well.

That's definitely not true. 158 gr .38 SPL LHPs work fine at velocities around 820 to 880 fps. The real issue is that the 9mm case is too short to accomodate a bullet longer than a 147 gr one.

GRIZ22
October 21, 2007, 10:03 PM
I use just about anything between 115 and 147 grain. There is no magic bullet out there. I like 115 Silvertips at the lighter end of my scale. 147s seem to be a lot more accurate in my Beretta, Taurus, and S&W 9mms.

Use what shoots well in your gun.

Snowdog
October 22, 2007, 10:30 AM
:rolleyes: Why do people fret so much?

Why not simply pick a quality JHP that your 9mm likes and stick with it? Save the fretting for the more important things in life.

slzy
October 22, 2007, 10:35 AM
like shot placement.

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