9mm Defense Loads?


January 16, 2004, 08:08 PM
Hi all
Well,I got my 9mm several months ago and I would like some advise on some self defense ammo.
Have been shooting Winchester 115gr JHP.What is your all's opinion on it?

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Dave R
January 16, 2004, 08:27 PM
If it functions reliably in your pistol, there's nothing wrong with it.

There are hotter loads available, if you feel the need for more power. Cor-Bon, for example. That means more recoil and muzzle blast.

January 16, 2004, 08:29 PM
Well, the Winchester Rangers should be about top dog along with the CorBons. I've generally used 124 +P Gold Dots and they make pretty nasty looking holes in smaller animals.

I'd feel very well armed with any of those as long as they were reliable in my gun.

January 16, 2004, 08:34 PM
I haven't tried them yet, but the Federal Expanding Full Metal Jacket rounds look pretty nice.

January 16, 2004, 08:54 PM
The lighter Corbon rounds, and the EFMJ, are all fine, but should be considered a reduced penetration round, and possible not the best all around choice. Here are some recomendations that I have seen on ammolab, and tacticalforums.

1. Winchester 147gr Ranger T (RA9T)
2. Winchester 127gr+P+ Ranger T (RA9TA)
3. Speer Gold Dot 124 +P
4. Speer Gold Dot 147gr
5. Remington Golden Saber 147gr (GS9MMC)

I am sure not all will agree with these choices, but thises seem to be the recomendations of those experts I choose to listen to. The Stopping Power Types (Marshall and Sanow) may or may not agree.

All the rounds mentioned above have been proven to expand reliably in even the toughest 4 layer denim covererd gelatin test, and all have shown that they can reliably penetrate 12-18 inches. Good luck with your research.

January 16, 2004, 09:46 PM
I have a simple rule for 9mm's and CCW. Keep it mid weight, 124-127gr, +P or +P+ and make it Gold Dots, Sabers, Corbon or Rangers..........

I have faith they will always work when I need them too............god forbid the day comes.

They are all the best performers for energy, penetration and accuracy.

shoot well.

January 16, 2004, 10:34 PM
I know its unpopular to say it...but the 147 gr. Winchester Silver Tips are the first choice for me. Followed by 147 gr. Hydra shock....the +P and +p+ stuff are great for gel...but over penetrate in real life...unless you live in Fargo where everyone wears a parka. If my memory serves correct....the DEA version of Urban Drug Lab etc. etc. "SWAT" team uses the 147 gr. subsonic. Just a thought.

January 16, 2004, 11:36 PM
I hate to say it, but the 147's penetrate more deeply than the lighter +p, and +P+ stuff. Than is their benefit, plus they tend to have deeper hollowpoints which leads to more uniform expansion. I would take a 147 in fargo of a +P+ any day.

January 16, 2004, 11:44 PM
How is it that a 147 penetrates More? Does it hold shape longer? Lighter weight + higher velocity normaly = more penetration unless the light weight expands or distorts rapidly which causes resistance. While I agree that the 147 has a more uniform expansion I am at a loss as to why or IF it would penetrate deeper unless it is slower to expand. It deffinantly does not have the same velocity.

January 17, 2004, 12:05 AM
What platform are you shooting them from?

I have been round and round (no pun intended) trying to find the best defensive ammunition for my G19 and I finally have a winner.

I have always liked what I have seen with performance in the Gold Dot JHP bullet and have since went with Black Hills Ammunition. I selected the 124 gr +P Gold Dot JHP pushing 1250 fps and 430 lbs of energy at the muzzle.
Feeds fine, groups good and follow ups are easy.

I have used Speer, Cor-bon, Winchester Ranger and Remington in the past. Im happy with the Black Hills.

Avery Goodschott
January 17, 2004, 12:25 AM
It's got mo' mentum than the others

January 17, 2004, 12:28 AM
heavier bullets retain their energy longer than lighter. don't take my word for it, take a look at the ballistics tables on ammolab, or any other scientific site. You will find that heavier bullets usually penetrate deeper. Energy figures mean nothing, expansion and penetration are what counts with handguns. Rifles are another story.

January 17, 2004, 12:34 AM
If I'm going to carry a hollowpoint I prefer it's a bullet with a bonded core. Alot of typical hollowpoints like Golden Sabers and Gold Dots make me nervous when it comes to penetration. Just last time shooting some .357 Golden Sabers at a target the things were making about .45 caliber holes in the front and back of the cardboard...

January 17, 2004, 12:54 AM
If you're looking for a self defense load/home defense load, get 115 GR +P+ from Federal, Winchester or Remington.

Plenty of power, good expansion, and more penetratrion than you will ever need.

LEO requirements are different from non-LEO. Cops shoot through car doors. Non LEO who use a gun for defense don't need as much penetration, and in fact are better served by rounds that do not overpenetrate.

Even in LEO circles, the 115 +P+ has a PROVEN record of getting the job done on the street for many years.

January 17, 2004, 01:13 AM
SFSO uses 147gr Federal Hydrashock, they seem to expand well, in a few cases the jacket separates from the core.

January 17, 2004, 01:20 AM
147 grain Rangers....


January 17, 2004, 01:29 AM
147 grain JHP Winchester white box sold at Walmart. They're cheap enough that you can shoot a box fairly often and not go broke. They penetrate well and expand, even in 4-layer denim gel tests. Their performance seems to be about as good as any other 9mm ammo. Reference: Ammolab.com.

January 17, 2004, 04:32 AM
For my handguns, it depends on what the pistol is.

In my house, the shorter the barrel, the lighter the bullet.
For example:

PT99 (bump-in-the-night pistol) 147gr Winchester Rangers
Glock 19 (trail pistol) 127gr Winchester Rangers
K9 (carry pistol) 115gr Georgia Arms +P+ Gold Dots*

Just one person's opinion, but it works for me.

*127gr +P+ Rangers expanded very well out of my K9, this may soon replace the 115gr gold dots, pending accuracy/dependability test

January 17, 2004, 08:07 AM
Glasier +P in the chamber,then alternate 115 HP & BEP. All feed
reliably & shoot to same point of aim.

January 17, 2004, 08:18 AM
Brigrat provided some good advise/info in his posts.

Alduro...check ammolab.com and tacticalforums.com to clear up any confusion.

January 17, 2004, 08:44 AM
I shoot 115gr standard pressure in my star bm and my keltec p-11. I use 124gr speer gold dots in all my other 9's. Im planning on upgrading the 124 gr to speer 124+P gold dots as soon as I make it to the store that sells them around me.

January 17, 2004, 09:31 AM
Lennyjoe...I have the S&W3913.

RON in PA...I have been using the Winchester 115gr JHP that was purchased at WalMart.It functions and shoots well in my pistol.Would I be better off with the 147gr though?

Thanks gentlemen for all the replies and your help.

January 17, 2004, 09:48 AM
I disagree that only LE might have to shoot thru a car door or window.

There has been a group of "bump'n'rob" car jackers operating here recently.

I can easily seen the need to shoot thru my window from the inside!


January 17, 2004, 10:23 AM
Have been shooting Winchester 115gr JHP.What is your all's opinion on it?

It pales in comparison to a 155mm Howitzer!

When I carry a 9mm I stoke it with Remington 115gr JHP +P ammo. Why? Because it is readily available in my area, it is accurate in my 9mm, and it does move out a bit faster than standard pressure 9mm ammo.

As for discharging a pistol from inside a car, all I can say is it is very loud and powder burns hurt. And I was actually wearing ear and eye protection and shooting from inside a mock up of a car!

January 17, 2004, 11:09 AM
I highly recommend not mixing and matching ammo in a clip...it might work 99 out of a 100....but theres always that 1.

January 17, 2004, 11:32 AM
Reliabilty is priority for me. I test a min of 200 of semi auto ammo before I carry it. I also consider POA/POI. I want to know for MY gun for MY needs.

Weight of gun : ammo ratio affect recoil.

Since we are speaking of a 3913 I think the 115gr JHP from Win is a fine choice. As is the Win 115 gr STHP have run 100% in the range 3913 guns we had, POA /consistent and afforded quick follow up shots.

Different recoil and follow up may not be a big deal in a Beretta 92 or Taurus eqiv...pop that round in a 3913, Glock 26 or Keltec P-11, test for yourself.

Do a Search under Stephen Camp , check his site. Mr. Camp is a sharp fella with real world experience whom I respect . He will also support the testing in your gun for reliability, POA/POI, shot to shot recovery, and choose for the task.

WESHOOT2 is another to search under, this fella kinda/sorta plays with ammo :p

January 17, 2004, 07:18 PM
Glock G34. Winchester Ranger 127gr +p+ SXT Talons, part #RA9TA

January 18, 2004, 09:13 AM
Alduro- It's a holdover from my revolver days when I alternated
Glasiers with Federal NyClad HPs. Here's my reasoning:
The Glasier is in the chamber as it is a fairly devestating load & I
want that power first-up to hopefully end the fight with one shot.
But Glasiers sometimes don't feed all that well & might break up on
heavy clothing so I follow that with a hollow point that should penetrate &
expand.The BEPs will penetrate &,being a lead-exposed soft point,might expand. As I said,these latter two loads feed reliably in my Star BM & shoot to the same POA.I've always felt that HP's should expand but might not penetrate & soft points should penetrate but would likely not expand:call these a compromise between ball & HP.

January 18, 2004, 09:23 AM
I generally prefer lighter bullets in smaller guns to keep the muzzle velocity up. I load my CZ-75B with Speer 124gr. +P GDHPs and my Keltec with 115gr. +P Corbons. Testing by numerous sources seems to show that lower than normal muzzle velocity yields less expansion and deeper penetration,hence my choice of a normally rapid expanding,relatively shallow penetration load for the P-11. That said,at the end of the day I think just about any decent hollow point will do what needs to be done in a pinch. Marcus

January 18, 2004, 10:23 AM
But when all's said & done if it feeds reliably & shoots accurately it's a good load: it's less what you hit 'em with than where you hit 'em.

January 18, 2004, 01:41 PM
124 gr. Gold Dot +P, Ranger T 127 gr. +P+, Pow 'R Ball +P

January 19, 2004, 01:03 AM
I've mostly used 124 Gr +P Gold Dots and 115 Gr +P CorBons... have seen what both do in dead animals... pretty ugly. Both seem to do decently in most testings... I'd count on either.

The Rangers are very consistantly recommended and seem to expand quite reliably from at least moderate barrel lengths of 4" or so.

I would (and do) feel well armed with any of the above listed. :)

Mil Novecientos Once
January 19, 2004, 09:20 AM
I 've been using Fiocchi's JHP in my CS9 since day one. I've done the Fackler's* milk cartons test and the bullet always stop in the 5 or 6 carton.

*A Simple Method for Testing Bullets with Your Guns

A quick and easy method to determine bullet or shotshell performance out of any handgun or shotgun is to gather several (and we mean several -- about 30) cardboard half-gallon milk cartons (plastic won't do).

Fill them full of water, line them up side-by-side three abreast, in three rows of 10 (each carton should be in contact with its neighbor). Back-up several feet and shoot a bullet from your handgun into the center row of cartons.

Count the number of water filled cartons the bullet penetrated, including the carton where the bullet came to rest. Multiply the number of cartons times 2.5 to determine penetration depth in inches. This will give you a SWAG (scientific wild-??? gauge) of how your gun/cartridge combination will perform in soft tissue (both bullet expansion and penetration).

The data obtained and averaged from three test shots should give you a fairly accurate SWAG. Remember to observe all safety rules when handling your firearm.

January 20, 2004, 02:22 PM
Try this link to an October 1997 Evan Marshall article and tables on the best loads in .380acp, 9mm, .38 special out of 2" and 4" barrels, 40S&W, .357 magnum (still #1), .45 ACP and .45 colt.

January 21, 2004, 08:33 PM
Or don't, if you prefer information that is generally respected throughout the firearms, ammunition, and law enforcement communities.

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