9mm ammo selection


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ramsfan
September 13, 2008, 08:33 AM
I have been trying to settle on a round for self defense. I have narrowed it down to 2, Federal 147gr HST or Federal Classic Hishok 115gr. I have done 2 wetpack tests to compare the rounds.

The 147gr HST's consistently had 1" more penetration and the recovered bullets were 2mm larger than the 115gr Hishok's. That should make them the better choice from this test.

Here is what I am hung up on. The Hishok rounds made considerably larger holes in the wetpack for about 2". After about 3.5" the holes from both rounds were pretty much the same and not much different than the initial entry hole (actually smaller than the recovered bullet).

With the penetration and expansion of the 2 types of rounds being close, I'm having a hard time ignoring the massive holes the Hishoks made. I don't know if this should be significant in comparing the 2 or not.

Any input/thoughts on this would be much appreciated.

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Mad Magyar
September 13, 2008, 08:48 AM
With the penetration and expansion of the 2 types of rounds being close, I'm having a hard time ignoring the massive holes the Hishoks made.
I believe you are heading toward that direction...Can't go wrong with either if reliability isn't an issue..Personally, I'd go with whichever is cheaper...

SureThing
September 13, 2008, 09:35 AM
I have researched this a bit. Stay with a 125ish gr bullet. The 147's can cause feeding problems.

I like a plus P, just not a +P+. I prefer Gold Dot, Ranger, or Hyd Shocks.

chupacabrah
September 13, 2008, 09:51 AM
i run some 147 gr std pressure gold dots...not had any feeding trouble.

of course, my M&P will eat just about anything.

I'd go with the HST, I prefer heavier loads in general

RonE
September 14, 2008, 12:32 AM
When in a stress situation I can reliably put eight rounds in the breast bone of a bad guy I will start worrying about penetration and expansion. Until that time I will worry about feeding function and with that in mind, I prefer the round designed for the 9mm para. The 124 gr fmj (round nose). Easy on the pistol too.

hotpig
September 14, 2008, 01:36 AM
First off wet pack and water jug testing are some thing to do for fun. You also get a chance to see if the ammo feeds well.

Calibrated ballistic jell is more accurate but it also has its faults. It only shows what a bullet might do under ideal circumstances.

Since the Government will not allow real world testing on prisoners at Guantanamo we will have to make do with jello.

9BPLE has a excellent street record. 147gr HST has not been around as long but it has a couple of dozen successful LE shooting out west. So far this is the only HST weight with that many real world shootings.

Since the 9BPLE does not use a premium bullet it will always be cheaper. Both loads are easy to get so it comes down to personal preference.

MTS840
September 14, 2008, 04:02 AM
When in a stress situation I can reliably put eight rounds in the breast bone of a bad guy I will start worrying about penetration and expansion. Until that time I will worry about feeding function and with that in mind, I prefer the round designed for the 9mm para. The 124 gr fmj (round nose). Easy on the pistol too.

Actually, this is very sound advice. The best hollowpoints in the world won't do you any good if they won't work in your carry gun. If ball ammo is all that works in your gun, it will work just fine if you continue to hit something vital within the bad guy.

I imagine many terrorists have been eliminated from the world because of ball ammo. And the more the better!

Snowdog
September 14, 2008, 05:28 AM
Here is what I am hung up on. The Hishok rounds made considerably larger holes in the wetpack for about 2".

Velocity will do that to wetpack.
Personally, if I need to employ a slug or two to repel an aggressor, I prefer the deep leaky holes that the heavier JHPs provide. This is precisely why I prefer Federal's 147gr HST for both my K9 and Hi-Power.
I've found the 147gr HSTs impeccably dependable, so in light of the HST's performance, I honestly couldn't ask for more in this caliber.

ramsfan
September 14, 2008, 01:14 PM
What led me to the wetpack tests in the first place was all the conflicting comments I've seen about whether or not a 147gr would even expand.

I wanted to answer that for myself and the test did. I also wanted to see if they penetrated deeper, they did but not as much as I expected.

The recovered 147gr HST rounds were very impressive. As I mentioned before I just had a hard time ignoring the very large holes made by the 115gr Hishok rounds.

I ran the 2nd wetpack test to verify what I saw in the first one and to have a closer look at the bullet tracks through the newspaper. The HST's made large holes (with lots of shredded newspaper in them), but I could drop a quarter in the ones the Hishoks made.

When all is said and done, I suppose it is just splitting hairs.

I have been to the range to test reliability and accuracy of both, no concerns there.

skers69
September 14, 2008, 02:16 PM
Ramsfan. I have been down the 9mm ammo what to shoot road. Here is what I did...I tested ranger, speer, black hills, saber, cor bon, hydra shocks, federal ranger. 50 rounds of each of 124 gr and 147 gr with my g26 and cz pcr. I spent this extra time and money for my own piece of mind. I found that 124grain gold dots in regular pressure worked best for me with both guns. I have shot/carried some gold dot 124 plus p in both as well and have found that the regular pressure is just fine for me.

I do not make a habbit of shooting a lot of plus p in either gun to save on wear and tear on the guns and the extra cost. But both guns will shot extra pressure with out any issues that I have run across when I do shoot plus p ammo. Good luck and shoot safe.

searcher451
September 14, 2008, 08:36 PM
With ammo, as with firearms preference in general, one man's gold mine is another man's shaft. Put another way, the only person who can truly answer the question you put forth here is you and you alone. Take your gun to the range and bring along a variety of ammo from various manufacturers. Then start running a test, keeping careful track of what happens when you shoot one brand v. another. Keep an eye on accuracy, of course, as well as reliability issues.

At the end of the day, you should have a pretty good idea of which ammo works best for you and your gun. And by testing the various brands, you won't have to make such a vital decision in the dark.

Good luck to you, and have some fun while you are at it.

tblt
September 14, 2008, 08:50 PM
was your test with the classic 115 gr. +p+ LE ammo 1300 fps and 432 ft lbs.
you can see all the federal law enforcment ballistics here

http://le.atk.com/general/federalproducts/pistol/tacticalhst.aspx

wheel
September 14, 2008, 11:16 PM
Federal HST 124gr +P. It's got 150 f/s advantage over the 147gr +P. It's the velocity that provides consistent expansion. I'll take the added velocity over bullet weight.

Gold Dot 124gr +P is also excellent.

Hook686
September 15, 2008, 02:51 AM
Different strokes for different folks. :)


I prefer heavy and fast, so my carry load is Buffalo Bore 147 grain +P+, or Double Tap 147 grain +P.

C-grunt
September 15, 2008, 07:44 AM
My department uses the HST in 180 grn .40 and 230 grn .45 caliber flavors. The firearms training guys have stated that it has worked very well in our shootings.

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