bullet weight


November 28, 2010, 07:32 PM
I'm some what new to reloading. I am reloading primarily 9mm. Most of the factory ammo is 115. I see some folks loading 124. What is the main difference in the weights both for reloading and preformance. Is there an advantage of one or the other?

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November 28, 2010, 07:59 PM
Difference in weight translates to length as the bullet can only be so wide. The heavier the bullet, the longer it is...the more precious case space it takes up too. Not a big deal on some cases, definitely a concern with the 9mm.

Additionally, you have a trade off between heavy and slow or slower and light and fast. Bullets that are heavy have a lower max velocity but offer more penetration and vice versa for the light bullets.

Lastly, you must consider bullet construction. If you put a low weight but lightly constructed bullet at high velocity, it's gonna blow up when it hits anything.

Bonded bullets (say Speer Gold Dots) are more sturdily constructed and will typically penetrate deeper, especially in the heavier weights.

It's a huge balancing act...you need to decide what performance factors are important to you.

Loading 9mm plinking ammo, I prefer 115s as that is what most reloading stores around here carry. If they had 124s I wouldn't mind.

On the other hand, sometimes you adjust bullet weight to meet competition chrono regulations....for example in IDPA, your load needs to meet a specific "power factor" to be legal. Power factor is bullet weight x velocity. To shoot major category, you need 165,000.

.45 ACP
200 grain bullet x 825 fps = 165,000
230 grain bullet x 720 fps = 165,500

As you can see, it makes a difference...recoil will be different too. Alloy framed guns may recoil a bit more than you prefer with the 230, but the 200s are tolerable....so your velocity requirement will change.

For defense, I like the Speer Gold Dots 124+P.

I never shoot really heavy or really light in pistol bullets...rifles are a different story.

BTW, welcome to THR.

November 28, 2010, 08:05 PM
Thanks BTW That clears things up. I am reloading for plinking. I see a lot of the folks on this site use berry bullets do you know the best online place to purchase them.

November 28, 2010, 08:07 PM
I don't buy Berry's as I can get cast bullets locally for a decent price...I'm sure someone will be along shortly with a link.

If you're willing to switch to cast bullets (and there's no reason you shouldn't), Missouri Bullet Company is very friendly to THR people.

November 28, 2010, 08:10 PM
If i use cast bullets i will need to use a lube is that correct and if so how do you use it and is it a pain?

November 28, 2010, 08:14 PM
If you cast the bullets yourself, you would need to lube them.

If you buy them pre-cast, then no, you load them like normal...well, reduce the load from the manual a bit first.

Leading, when it occurs, isn't a problem to remove with the right tools. I shoot cast bullets in 9mm, 38 Spl, 40, 45, 45 Colt, and 45-70.

Take a look at MBC (http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=117&category=5&secondary=8&keywords=).

I have a feeling you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Jim Watson
November 28, 2010, 08:14 PM
Nearly all commercial cast bullets come with lube in the grooves. Load them up.

On your first question, George Luger used 124 grain (actually 123.5 grains = 8 grams) in 1903. A 115 grain bullet uses less lead and costs a little less, which mounts up over millions of rounds.

November 28, 2010, 08:20 PM
Thanks guys I am going to look at that site tonight. I am in need of some bullets now anyway. I went to our gunshow this weekend to pick up some bullets but didn't see any thing I liked and a little pricie.

November 28, 2010, 08:44 PM
One last thing...what gun are you shooting? If it has polygonal rifling (Glocks, HKs mostly), they warn against shooting cast bullets.

They can foul pretty severe and cause problems.

November 29, 2010, 12:05 AM
Some say the 124gr is more accurate than the 115gr.

I don't know that the 124gr is more accurate, but I do know it's easier to shoot accurately. The felt recoil and muzzle flip will be lighter with the 124gr.

The 124gr will cost a few dollars more/1000.

November 29, 2010, 12:19 AM
You should try all three weights to see what your gun prefers. My 9mm prefers 147gr JHP over anything else.

November 29, 2010, 03:28 PM
I wouldn't say there's no reason not to shoot cast. I tried some the other week, and boy did they smoke. I was using hard cast 94 gr bullets over 3.5 grains of W231 in a makarov. The main reason I wanted to reload for that caliber was to be able to shoot at an indoor range, but there's just too much smoke. Now I have 500 of these bullets that I would only shoot outdoors. The problem there is the brass is time consuming to make and I don't want to lose that much of it, and if I'm shooting outdoors I can just use the cheap steel stuff. :banghead:

November 29, 2010, 05:30 PM
One last thing...what gun are you shooting? If it has polygonal rifling (Glocks, HKs mostly), they warn against shooting cast bullets.

They can foul pretty severe and cause problems.
^^^+1 Let us know what firearm you will be shooting these 9's in. Different guns like different bullets and overall lengths. My CZ-75 loves the MBC 125gr. "Small Ball", but must be seated a little deeper into the case, due to the short chamber design of the CZ's. Again what are you going to shoot these loads in??

November 29, 2010, 05:53 PM
Im shooting the smith and wesson 9mm mp with the 4.25 barrel. When the barrel leads how do you clean it and how do you know when it needs cleaned?

November 29, 2010, 05:56 PM
For plinking and practice, I like Remington or Winchester 115 GR FMJ (ball) type bullets. If you work with a decent dealer, you can probably get a case of 2,000 for almost the same price as cast lead bullets and avoid the hassle.

November 29, 2010, 06:16 PM
I was reading a thread about over all length and it said to drop the bullet you are going to use and then slide a case over the bullet that has been shot but not resized then remove it and measure it and then reduce the length by about .020. I did this but what has me puzzled is that the oal that it will except is much longer then the max oal that any data gives. Can you guys shed some light on this. Thanks Craig

November 29, 2010, 06:36 PM
I like Zero brand bullets. They can be bought here, http://powdervalleyinc.com/ and here http://rozedist.com/. I shoot their 124 grain and 135 grain bullets in competition. Very nice bullets for the price.

November 29, 2010, 07:37 PM
Zeros are available at Ghost Holster (http://czcustom.com/Zero-Bullets.aspx) as well.

November 30, 2010, 09:00 PM
Zeros are available at Ghost Holster as well.

I always forget about them. I'm going to have to add them to my favorites.

November 30, 2010, 09:57 PM
Zero hasn't produced any 125JHPs for some time. I hope my 3+month old order with 'Roze' will come home soon. Everyone I've checked has 'out of stock'.

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