Non-bonded JHP, is it a big issue?


March 15, 2013, 08:39 AM
I've been dead set on finding 9mm 124 grain JHP. I've got a chance to buy some 9mm Golden Saber 124 grain non-bonded at a good price, and it has been the only 124 grain non +p I have been able to find I've never owned non bonded ammo, but I've done some research on it over the past few days on the performance issues. Should I buy a few boxes to use until the craziness ends and more JHP starts becoming available? Hold out and see if any bonded ammo shows up? I did find some 147 grain bonded Golden Saber to just complicate my decision even more. Normally I'd go buy some 124 grain bonded, but in this ammo drought any JHP is as rare as gold. Just looking for personal opinions. Thanks for your input.

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March 15, 2013, 08:54 AM
Personal opinion follows. My priorities in an SD system consisting of the gun and ammo:

1) Reliability.
2) Accuracy.
3) Penetration.

With a premium SD round, reliability and accuracy on the part of the ammunition generally aren't a problem. Speaking on penetration, in order to get that out of a fired round that strikes it's target, the round must retain as much mass as possible. Applying my own criteria to your situation, I would go with the 147 grain bonded ammunition for now, then change to whatever you prefer down the road.

If 147 weren't an option, the 124s are still better than a sharp stick. While not my first choice (or really anything I would readily go to under normal circumstances) I wouldn't lose sleep if that's all I had until my preference became available.

March 15, 2013, 08:57 AM
just about anythings better than a paperweight that resembles a gun..

March 15, 2013, 09:47 AM
Non bonded can still perform just fine. One of my favorite 9mm loadings for SD is non bonded...the Ranger 115 grain +p+ JHP.

Testing for this round in ballistic gel shows devastating wound channels.

March 15, 2013, 10:55 AM
Non-bonded are often quite viable. The "old" 125 grain .357's were not bonded and are/were touted as being the meanest thing to throw at a deserving soul.

March 15, 2013, 11:00 AM
The 124 grain 9mm Golden Saber is a good round, +p or not, bonded or not.

March 15, 2013, 12:25 PM
Well, thanks to I scored two boxes of Federal Tactical HST 124 grain JHP. I've heard good things about Tactical HST, and it's 124 grain.

March 15, 2013, 12:41 PM
I sure wouldn't turn my nose up at some good 115's, +, ++ or not. bonded or not
They'll flat silly slap stuff.

March 15, 2013, 01:17 PM
Lotta JHP designs are unbonded these days.

The biggest advantage of bonded JHPs seems to be remaining intact after barriers. It is something worth considering, but it shouldn't stop you from carrying an unbonded JHP if that is what you have settled on.

March 15, 2013, 01:45 PM
Bonded gives you an advantage if you are shooting through barriers

March 15, 2013, 02:52 PM
IMO the intended target isn't going to notice the difference and I doubt you will either. Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement is what matters.

Steve C
March 15, 2013, 05:06 PM
As mentioned, bonded bullets give you advantage in barrier penetration and where developed primarily for law enforcement who may have to shoot through cars and other barriers.

For the most part a good bullet holds together fine without being bonded. I have to chuckle every time I see a review where the bullet is praised for great penetration and panned for slight jacket separation. Like a little jacket separation makes a bit of difference to the bullets ability to make a lethal hole in what was shot.

In many cases some fragmentation makes a round much more lethal, take the .357 mag 125gr semi jacketed JHP's also mentioned, as the fragments disperse severing blood vessels and damaging other vitals while the major portion penetrates deeply.

March 15, 2013, 06:06 PM
Felons shot with non-bonded will just laugh, and then beat you to death with your empty gun. OK, seriously, non-bonded ammo should serve well for personal defense, as private citizens rarely engage opponents behind barriers. Even non-bonded ammo can do amazing things to intermediate barriers, just not as consistently as bonded.

The non-bonded Golden Saber was quite advanced in its day, tending to maintain most of its mass when moving though a target. I read an anecdote that indicated non-bonded Golden Saber performed better than some bonded stuff, when shot through an old car. I cannot remember the source; too long ago.

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