What's wrong with 147 gr Hydrashocks?


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jpruitt
July 21, 2013, 02:53 PM
I have a Beretta Nano, and have heard they don't like 115 gr bullets as much as heavier ones (and my own experience backs that up, had a couple of FTEs with 115 gr Blazers while the 124 gr and 147 gr American Eagle performed flawlessly).

I was going to try out some 147 gr Hydrashocks (since my local store has those in abundance), but then I read this page (http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm) with ammo recomendations, and those were listed as one of the "don't carry" types. And although I don't know exactly who the source of this advice is-there are several sources listed (Massad Ayoob, Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow)-I have heard of and read all of them and believe them to know what they are talking about.

And they say don't use them. Why?

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wally
July 21, 2013, 03:07 PM
Not being paid to endorse them?

Bullet Placement, Placement, and Penetration are the three most important things in handgun effectiveness. Which bullet it happens to be is secondary. but that won't stop those shooting into artificial media from making measurements and all manner of claims about "better".

Look at the Reagan shooting, two accidentally very well placed shots with a caliber we'd all agree was "inadequate" were immediate one-shot drops, the third poorly placed left Reagan not even knowing he'd been hit until he saw the blood, but still darn near killed him an hour later.

The article linked likes WW Silvertips, rounds who's inadequate penetration on well placed shots have been blamed for the poor outcome in the Miami FBI shootout (agents with handguns going up against a criminal armed with a rifle had a poor hand form the start) that led to the "FBI standard" tests and the 12" minimum penetration requirement.

So I'd give it little credibility. I'd worry more about the ability to put the rounds where they need to be when under stress than what round you happen to have loaded.

DeepSouth
July 21, 2013, 03:09 PM
They don't make them in .45 is the only thing I can think of. :D

BlindJustice
July 21, 2013, 03:17 PM
Nothing wrong with them, I saw some gel test videos of
the .45 ACP Hydrashok and the newer HST - both performed
well, the HST seems to expand more consistently and a bit
greater diameter.

Same guy did gel test on the Gold Dot JHPs in 147 gr. and 115 gr. the 147 gr. penetrated further

The Federal 147 gr. American Eagle is great for the range
and at approx. 1,000 fps is mild in recoil and report.

R-

Deus Machina
July 21, 2013, 03:33 PM
The reason they're on the "Don't Use" list is because they probably won't work very well for your application.
Back when Hydrashocks were new tech, 147's were designed more for SMGs or at least full-length handguns, and traditional JHP's without pre-perforated needed some good oomph behind them to expand. Heavier 9mm's may penetrate deeper but didn't get enough speed out of shorter barrels.
Long story short: 147-grain 9mm's go too slow to expand well from sidearms.

This has largely been taken care of with the new designs, in part because they have started designing some specifically for short barrels. Hydrashock is a fine round with some speed behind it, but I personally don't like using anything 'lower tech' than HST, Golden Saber, Gold Dot, etc. out of a short barrel.

That said, my preferred SD round is 147gr--and I revert to 124gr +P if I can't get it--but it's HST from a CZ PCR.

Tomac
July 21, 2013, 04:09 PM
I was suspicious of that list the moment I read the term "stopping power."
There is no such thing as it cannot be measured or reproduced scientifically.
All handguns are relatively poor "stoppers" regardless of caliber or bullet used. Shot placement and sufficient penetration are paramount, all else is secondary.
Barring a hit to the CNS, a quality expanding bullet *may* increase the rate of bleedout and reduce time to incapacitation due to drop in blood pressure and oxygen deprivation to the brain (in seconds? minutes? hours?) but will that be enough to alter the outcome of the encounter?
I follow conventional wisdom that you should carry the most powerful caliber you can shoot both quickly and accurately and use a quality expanding bullet.
Beyond that, I don't expect *any* expanding bullet to significantly alter the odds in my favor but it certainly doesn't hurt to carry them (as long as they're reliable in your handgun).
I carry Winchester 147gr bonded in all my 9mm's as I find 147's provide a little more push but less snap for faster followup shots.
If you must consult a list, I trust this one much more: http://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm#9mm
Tomac

Potatohead
July 21, 2013, 04:32 PM
Look at the Reagan shooting, two accidentally very well placed shots with a caliber we'd all agree was "inadequate"

What caliber was that BTW?

jad0110
July 21, 2013, 04:46 PM
Long story short: 147-grain 9mm's go too slow to expand well from sidearms.

This has largely been taken care of with the new designs, in part because they have started designing some specifically for short barrels. Hydrashock is a fine round with some speed behind it, but I personally don't like using anything 'lower tech' than HST, Golden Saber, Gold Dot, etc. out of a short barrel.

Agreed. The linked article was probably right about 147 grain JHP 9mm 10 or more years ago. Today, I'd that specific information is out of date. I typically prefer heavy-for-caliber handgun loads (158 grain .38 special (though I carry 135 gold dots as a reload), 200 grain or higher .44special and 230 grain 45 ACP. If I do carry my CZ-75 one day, I'll load it with 147 grain HST, Remington GS or the Gold Dots.

golden
July 21, 2013, 08:47 PM
That is not saying thet are great, but compared to other 147 grain hollowpoints, they worked better. The best of a poor lot. The HYDRA SHOK bullets will expand at a lower velocity threshhold than conventional bullets and should be accurate as the HYDRA SHOK designs shot well for me.

The 124 grain HYDRA SHOKS worked very well and I would always choose it over the 147 grain ammo.

Jim

481
July 21, 2013, 08:48 PM
I have a Beretta Nano, and have heard they don't like 115 gr bullets as much as heavier ones (and my own experience backs that up, had a couple of FTEs with 115 gr Blazers while the 124 gr and 147 gr American Eagle performed flawlessly).

I was going to try out some 147 gr Hydrashocks (since my local store has those in abundance), but then I read this page (http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm) with ammo recomendations, and those were listed as one of the "don't carry" types. And although I don't know exactly who the source of this advice is-there are several sources listed (Massad Ayoob, Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow)-I have heard of and read all of them and believe them to know what they are talking about.

And they say don't use them. Why?

During the period that the Chuck Hawks article was initially authored, the large mid-western police department (well over 700 sworn personnel) that I was working with was issuing us the 9mm 147 gr. HydraShoks and we never had a problem with it in numerous (more than 100) OISs during the eleven year period that it was issued. If you are not comfortable with them, there are many other options available these days....if you can find ammunition, that is. ;)

Arkansas Paul
July 21, 2013, 08:58 PM
I hope theres nothing wrong with them. They're sitting in my Taurus 709 beside the bed right now. :)

jim243
July 21, 2013, 09:04 PM
What caliber was that BTW?

22 LR.

Jim

SHOOT1SAM
July 21, 2013, 10:03 PM
IINM, the 9mm 147 gr. was developed for Special Forces, and was designed to be super accurate, as the Spec-Ops were taking head shots; it was not developed for the common marketplace where over-penetration was a serious consideration.

Likely, that article was written a very long time ago-I didn't notice a timeline on it, but it may very well have been written about the early history of the 147 gr.

I am not up to speed on the current bullet designs and testing that have taken place since.

Sam

wally
July 22, 2013, 09:22 AM
Likely, that article was written a very long time ago-I didn't notice a timeline on it, but it may very well have been written about the early history of the 147 gr.


Which would make its recommendation of WW Silvertip ammo even worse.

I am not up to speed on the current bullet designs and testing that have taken place since.


Me either, but one would hope they've changed WW Silvertip design!


I don't carry a 9mm, but if I did, it'd be with 147 gr ammo!

Oceanbob
July 22, 2013, 11:20 AM
Hydro-shocks are expensive (in my opinion) for what you get. I am a fan of heavy bullets ie, 147 grain 9MM, 180 grain in .40, 230 grain in .45ACP.

Of course when shooting 9 expansion is very important for obvious reasons.
When shooting .45, expansion is not as critical if you have some good speed.;)

Our friend Mrgunsngear posted a good video about a certain 147 grain round and the expansion (in GEL) did not impress me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHBl9fjI-60

Some recent progress in 9MM bullet designs will expand and will be reliable in feeding. Some designs won't expand as well as we would like.

I usually don't carry a 9 for SD but when I do I carry Underwood Ammo in 147 grain weigh. This stuff expanded to .810 (wow) in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMiI8VcPQ3c

Of course pushing a 147 grain 9MM round to 1125 FPS is going to generate more recoil and energy; something to consider for follow-up targeting.

I have no connection with Underwood Ammo. I believe the price point (which is important these days) is a good value.

Also, these ammo shortages all around our Country are a good reason to invest in the ability to RELOAD ammo. Just my opinion. I reload various calibers but not 9MM; mainly because 9 was so cheap it wasn't worth it. That has changed this last year. :(

Be well, Bob

http://i47.tinypic.com/rw5eu1.jpg

easyg
July 22, 2013, 11:30 AM
Use what's most reliable in your pistol and don't sweat the grains.

Shawn Dodson
July 22, 2013, 12:06 PM
Federal 9mm 147gr HydraShok JHP arguably has the worst terminal performance of all 147gr JHPs.

The reason is because the lead post facilitates clogging of the hollowpoint cavity when the bullet passes through medium-heavy clothing, which prevents or inhibits bullet expansion.

If you desire to use a 147gr JHP then I suggest Federal HST or Speer Gold Dot.

The Chuckhawks article is bunk.

If you desire to learn more about ammunition performance I suggest you visit the Wound Ballistics page here - http://www.firearmstactical.com/wound.htm

MedWheeler
July 22, 2013, 12:59 PM
(Re: the Reagan shooting)

What caliber was that BTW?

.22LR.


And, if I recall correctly, weren't they fired from an RG revolver?

bikerdoc
July 22, 2013, 01:25 PM
Just me and YMMV but I am from the school that shot placement is king. That said I use 124 as the 147 work better in my 9mm carbine(Ruger PC 9)
No science involved just some milk jug testing. YMMV and I could be wrong.

Steve C
July 22, 2013, 03:24 PM
One of the main problems with any of the short barreled guns is the reduced velocity of rounds being fired through the shorter barrel. Since HP ammo relies to some extent on a minimum velocity to ensure expansion the short barrels marginalize the bullets performance, esp for rounds manufactured and designed for full sized service guns.

Now, just because the 147 grain may not perform as well out of the Nano as it would from a 4" to 5" service pistol that doesn't mean it is useless or without merit as a defensive round.

Arkansas Paul
July 22, 2013, 05:04 PM
This really is making me rethink my choice of defensive ammo. Maybe the switch to 115 grainers would be in order.

mljdeckard
July 22, 2013, 05:10 PM
With modern ones? Nothing at all. I would prefer to use 147 gr HSTs in a medium-full size 9mm. Having said that, I got my wife a 9mm, and she didn't like the recoil, so she's using 115 gr. No big deal.

orionengnr
July 22, 2013, 06:05 PM
The 147 gr 9mm earned a bad reputation 20 years ago or so. Bullet technology has come a long way since then.

I don't know if the Hydra-Shok has been updated since its original design--my guess would be no.

The good news it that its progeny, the HST, is an exceptional performer in just about any caliber and bullet weight.

You didn't ask my advice, but if you did, I'd say use the Hydra-Shok you have for target practice, buy some of the 147 HST and (after function testing in your pistol) you are good to go.

planetmobius
July 22, 2013, 11:35 PM
About 17 years ago 147 gr Hyrashocks were the duty carry round for my department. Some of us wanted 45's but the powers that be said that they would never transition to 45's. One day a mentally ill individual rushed two of our officers with a 30-30 levergun and began firing. Before the fight was over, the guy with the 30-30 was hit over 15 times including head shots before he went down. The autopsy revealed horrible bullet performance including riccoches off his skull and one in the eye that stopped at the socket. We now carry 45's.

benEzra
July 23, 2013, 08:14 AM
Some of the early 147gr loads were very underpowered (even subsonic). More modern 147's are typically loaded hotter. I personally like 124's in 9mm but would certainly be comfortable carrying 147gr +P.

wally
July 23, 2013, 11:31 AM
Some of the early 147gr loads were very underpowered (even subsonic). More modern 147's are typically loaded hotter.

The speed of sound is approximately 1100 fps, offhand, I can't think of any 147gr 9mm loads that actually chrono above this in pistols. 1100 fps would be about 395 ft-lb of energy.

Shawn Dodson
July 23, 2013, 12:14 PM
One of the main problems with any of the short barreled guns is the reduced velocity of rounds being fired through the shorter barrel.

As unintuitive as it seems, 147gr suffers less velocity loss when fired from shorter barrels than 124gr and 115gr.

...and one in the eye that stopped at the socket.

Ummm... NO unless the particular cartridge was defective (inadequate propellant charge).

Some of the early 147gr loads were very underpowered (even subsonic).

230gr .45 ACP and 180gr .40 S&W are also "subsonic". The problem with early 147gr bullets was poor bullet design, which was resolved when the IWBA developed the four-layer denim test to force ammo makers to design bullets that expand more robustly.

planetmobius
July 23, 2013, 07:04 PM
Ummm...Yeah. They are lousy defensive rounds. I read the ME report.

481
July 23, 2013, 08:22 PM
Buffalo Bore has one at 1175 fps if I am not mistaken.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=120

Shawn Dodson
July 24, 2013, 10:19 AM
Ummm...Yeah. They are lousy defensive rounds. I read the ME report.

A 9mm 147gr bullet traveling at 950 fps has about 300 foot/pounds of kinetic energy. If it stopped in the eye socket then there's more to the story. There was something else that caused this kind of terminal performance than it merely being a 9mm 147gr bullet. It may have passed through an intervening obstacle before it struck the offender.

Modern 9mm 147gr JHP bullets deliver excellent terminal performance.

planetmobius
July 24, 2013, 08:00 PM
Nope, no intervening obstacle. Rounds traveled line of sight directly to the target (no pun intended). One failed to penetrate the cranium, others hit center mass and failed to penetrate to any vital organs. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Some of the misses hit the house behind the subject and were recovered just underneath the vinyl siding. I was one of the lead investigators and know the case inside and out. You can cite all of the numbers you want but our real life experience with this round has been dismal. The 147 gr hydrashock was a failed attempt to turn the 9mm into a 45. Real life performance was so bad that it caused a drastic although reluctant revision of our firearm policy.

Shawn Dodson
July 25, 2013, 10:44 AM
One failed to penetrate the cranium...

I can believe this if it struck and an angle.

...others hit center mass and failed to penetrate to any vital organs.

I'm still throwing the BS flag on your claims.

rbernie
July 25, 2013, 11:27 AM
Not trying to call anyone a liar, but I cannot accept as fact an assertion that a 147gr Hydroshock would not penetrate 'to the vitals' on a center-mass hit of someone dressed in a t-shirt unless the shot was taken from such a long distance that the round itself had shed most of its velocity or had hit an intermediate barrier along the way. Simply put, I'm not aware of ANY 9mm non-frangible round that lacks adequate energy and mass to penetrate the thoracic wall of a lightly-dressed human of reasonably standard dimension.

If anything, the Hydroshocks tended to OVERPENETRATE due to lack of expansion - not underpenetrate.

dbp
July 25, 2013, 12:31 PM
I have a Beretta Nano, and have heard they don't like 115 gr bullets as much as heavier ones (and my own experience backs that up, had a couple of FTEs with 115 gr Blazers while the 124 gr and 147 gr American Eagle performed flawlessly).

I have a Nano and had the same experience with 115 vs 124 for target use. I picked up a box of 135gr Hornady Critical Duty and they fed and performed perfectly in the Nano. I now use them for carry ammo.

jpruitt
July 26, 2013, 10:16 AM
I have a Nano and had the same experience with 115 vs 124 for target use. I picked up a box of 135gr Hornady Critical Duty and they fed and performed perfectly in the Nano. I now use them for carry ammo.

Critical Duty was the only 9mm SD round they had for sale besides the Hydrashocks. I thought those were intended for full-size semi-autos thoough. If they had any Critical Defense I would have grabbed that up in a heartbeat.

dbp
July 26, 2013, 12:40 PM
Critical Duty was the only 9mm SD round they had for sale besides the Hydrashocks. I thought those were intended for full-size semi-autos thoough. If they had any Critical Defense I would have grabbed that up in a heartbeat.
I have run both Critical Defense and Critical Duty through the Nano and can't tell the difference really.

mr.trooper
July 26, 2013, 01:11 PM
It takes approximately 60 (six zero) foot pounds of energy to penetrate the skull of the average adult male, according to my forensic texts on terminal ballsitics...

This is accompanied by copious photographs of a human skull that was obliterated by a tear gas canister at close range (hand held CN grenade, propelled from a launching cup at low velocity by a blank - very low KE numbers compared to firearms cartridges).

300 foot pounds of energy from even a sub sonic 147gr 9mm is far in excess of what is needed to penetrate an eye socket (even a .22LR or 25acp can do that).

1911Tuner
July 27, 2013, 06:20 AM
Let's look a little closer before we assume things.

Removing expansion from the equation...which may or may not happen, depending on a few variables...that would make it the near ballistic twin to the .38 LSWCHP +P at its advertised velocity of 940 fps. My chronograph testing hasn't shown that the round will consistently break 900 in a 4-inch barrel. The 147 Hydra Shok has made 920-930 from my High Power, which is the only 9mm that I own, aside from the P38 war trophy that my father brought back from the Ardennes...and I don't shoot it very much.

I only tested the one lot of HS and two lots of the .38 Special...one each Remington and Winchester...so others may produce different readings. Allowing for variables, I take the results as more of a comparison than actual velocity figures. Both calibers were tested on the same day under the same conditions.

The .38 LSWCHP +P has delivered adequate penetration in most cases, even when it expanded. I would expect that the 9mm round would pretty much match that penetration in a given situation, all else assumed to be equal in an unobstructed shot. Clothing...Body mass...angle of entry, etc. Mass/momentum is mass/momentum, regardless of caliber, and caliber and frontal area are close enough to call it equal. The target would never know the difference.

RBid
July 27, 2013, 02:11 PM
Bottom line:
Hydrashoks are an old design, with less consistent performance than modern rounds (HST, Gold Dots, Ranger T, PDX1) are delivering.

There is no reason to go with Hydrashoks, with better choices on the market.

TonyT
July 28, 2013, 01:00 PM
I prefer the 147 gr. in 9mm since it makes less noise and comes back faster on taret for a second shot.

C0untZer0
July 28, 2013, 01:26 PM
The 147gr Ranger "T" Series - RA9T is a great performer in my opinion.

Muzzle Velocity = 990 fps

Penetration - Bare gelatin: 13.9"
Expansion: .65"

Penetration - 4 layer denim: 14.5"
Expansion: .66"

Penetration - Heavy cloth: 14"
Expansion: .66"

Penetration - Wallboard: 15"
Expansion: .67"



http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/flash-SWFs/law_bullit.swf

481
July 28, 2013, 01:43 PM
For those who want to see the whole thing:

http://www.infohow.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Winchester-Ammo.gif

M1key
July 28, 2013, 02:21 PM
"old school"

:cool:

M

Madcap_Magician
July 29, 2013, 11:10 AM
I like HST and Ranger-B 147-gr. standard pressure. :D

Deer_Freak
July 30, 2013, 12:12 AM
If I am shooting 147 gr 9mm ammo for SD I wouldn't waste my money on HP ammo. The tests performed by Winchester were done under carefully controlled circumstance. After all their posters wouldn't look very cool if the bullet didn't expand.

A friend shoots IDPA with 147 gr Berry's HP bullets. He has recovered them. He reports they didn't expand at all. He carries 124 gr store bought ammo for SD. He is still reloading the Berry's for IDPA. He gets them cheap. He can shoot them real fast and accurate. But he doesn't trust his life to them.

Shawn Dodson
August 1, 2013, 06:03 AM
The tests performed by Winchester were done under carefully controlled circumstance.

With modern bullet designs there are numerous reports that when they're recovered from a human body after a shooting they closely resemble the same bullets that have been tested and recovered from properly prepared and calibrated ordnance gelatin using the four-layer heavy denim test protocol.

He has recovered them. He reports they didn't expand at all.

They're not designed to expand unless they penetrate a fluid medium, like water and soft tissues.

481
August 2, 2013, 11:09 PM
If I am shooting 147 gr 9mm ammo for SD I wouldn't waste my money on HP ammo. The tests performed by Winchester were done under carefully controlled circumstance. After all their posters wouldn't look very cool if the bullet didn't expand.

Of course, Winchester's testing was done under carefully controlled circumstances- testing in calibrated gelatin requires strict control of test medium's temperature and viscosity and it must also be calibrated to ascertain that it is within specifications. If you believe that Winchester's strict control of test conditions amounts to manipulation of the result, you couldn't be more incorrect- that is just simply not the case.

Even with such control, some JHPs will not expand. Look at the Winchester Ranger .380ACP JHPs fired through wallboard and plywood- if Winchester was manipulating their data and willing only to portray expanded JHPs, they wouldn't have included those results in their chart.

Phaedrus/69
August 3, 2013, 05:45 AM
If you have a bunch of Hydra-shoks laying around I wouldn't throw them out. But if you're buying new stuff I'd go with the HST. Most places I've shopped the Hydra-Shok stuff costs at least as much as the newer stuff and isn't as good. I don't think it gets much better right now than the HST.

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