147 Grain Subsonic 9mm Loads?


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CmdrSlander
June 18, 2012, 03:33 AM
Will these work in a unmodified 9mm pistol? I am assuming so because the bullet weight and powder charge will balance out and though the round is subsonic the recoil impulse is enough to cycle the firearm.

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Steve C
June 18, 2012, 04:12 AM
In my experience assorted 147 gr 9mm commercial and law enforcement loadings will work fine in unmodified 9mm handguns. I've shot 147gr rounds in my Beretta and Taurus 92's, Walther P1, Browning HP, Glock 19 and have yet to have a jam or FTF. Note these are mostly full size military or police type handguns. How well any ammo works in small light weight sub comparct pistols may vary with brand of firearm and ammo. Some of these small pistols do not recommend using the heavier 147 gr while others do.

With the exception of perhaps the Federal +P load the 147gr in 9mm is subsonic. Typical velocities are 1000 fps or less with most being around 950 fps. When you get down to a 3" or shorter barrel velocities will drop to 900 fps or less.

theCan
June 18, 2012, 05:55 AM
Remember that short barrels may not propel the 147 grainers fast enough to expand reliably.

psyopspec
June 18, 2012, 11:26 AM
You don't say if you're looking at FMJ, JHP, or for what purpose, but FWIW:

My last IDPA match I ran out of the 115 Gr FMJ I usually shoot during a bonus match the club ran. A friend sold me some 147 Gr FMJ subsonic by Atlanta Arms & Ammunition. It fed reliably, was very soft recoiling, hit with enough force to knock down steel, and it makes IDPA power factor. I ordered a case when I got home. The price shipped to my door was comparable to WWB.

murf
June 18, 2012, 11:35 PM
like steve c said, most 147 grain loads are subsonic. even buffalo bore's +p+ rounds are at or a little less than the speed of sound.

so, how fast are they going?

murf

NG VI
June 18, 2012, 11:52 PM
Well supersonic occurs around 1100 feet per second, so there are lots of calibers with normal power loads that are still subsonic.

There are also loads for any given caliber that are intentionally loaded super light, those ones are generally meant for target pistols with finely tuned spring set ups. And you won't accidentally buy loads like that at a store.

NG VI
June 18, 2012, 11:59 PM
Remember that short barrels may not propel the 147 grainers fast enough to expand reliably.

In 1991 that was a legitimate concern.

These days ammunition companies are doing quite well at designing bullets to work properly at the velocities they are likely to hit flesh at.

And the heavier bullets aren't as dependent on velocity to begin with, and they don't lose as much of what they were supposed to have from a shorter barrel than the velocity-dependent, light and fast loads.

It's telling to me that most of the newly introduced duty and defense bullets are intentionally designed as heavy for caliber, with the lighter bullets usually available as an option, and often companies aren't even designing new 115 grain bullets at all.

Even Hornady with their Critical Duty added twenty grains to what's basically the same item as their Critical Defense loads. They aren't even offering Critical Duty in a non-135 grain weight. HST works best as a 147. Ranger-T, current generation, I believe is available as a 147, if you get the RA9TA, the 127+P+, I think it's still being loaded with the same bullet it was first introduced with.

It says something that all of these companies are favoring heavy for caliber bullets, and that Winchester's ammo guy advises people to carry heavy for caliber bullets in short barreled pistols. There's a letter out there from Paul Nowak, you can probably email him and get the same thing sent out to you direct from Winchester.

CmdrSlander
June 18, 2012, 11:59 PM
The load is the Georgia arms 147 grain canned heat. It clocks in at 950 fps.

NG VI
June 19, 2012, 12:00 AM
Yeah that's not a hot rodded 147 but it's well within the normative velocity range for that bullet weight in this particular caliber.

theCan
June 19, 2012, 12:45 AM
In 1991 that was a legitimate concern.

These days ammunition companies are doing quite well at designing bullets to work properly at the velocities they are likely to hit flesh at.

And the heavier bullets aren't as dependent on velocity to begin with, and they don't lose as much of what they were supposed to have from a shorter barrel than the velocity-dependent, light and fast loads.

It's telling to me that most of the newly introduced duty and defense bullets are intentionally designed as heavy for caliber, with the lighter bullets usually available as an option, and often companies aren't even designing new 115 grain bullets at all.

Even Hornady with their Critical Duty added twenty grains to what's basically the same item as their Critical Defense loads. They aren't even offering Critical Duty in a non-135 grain weight. HST works best as a 147. Ranger-T, current generation, I believe is available as a 147, if you get the RA9TA, the 127+P+, I think it's still being loaded with the same bullet it was first introduced with.

It says something that all of these companies are favoring heavy for caliber bullets, and that Winchester's ammo guy advises people to carry heavy for caliber bullets in short barreled pistols. There's a letter out there from Paul Nowak, you can probably email him and get the same thing sent out to you direct from Winchester.

I still woudn't carry them if my barrel was less than 4".

murf
June 19, 2012, 02:19 AM
yup, upper end of the range. should cycle fine in a stock pistol.

murf

ny32182
June 19, 2012, 02:30 PM
If you get a 147gr to go supersonic from a 9mm pistol, chances are you have done something horribly wrong.

Minor power factor 147gr loads used in competition (851fps minimum... most will run them around 900fps) are well under mach 1 (1100fps) and in my experience, will run better with a slightly lightened recoil spring. But anything 950fps or more, as most factory 147s will be, will run just fine with a stock spring.

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