Heavy 9mm Ammo


Dan Forrester
July 3, 2004, 06:14 PM
Generally I believe in staying away form extremes when selecting ammo. When you veer too far form the original design parameters you seem to get erratic performance. However I’ve heard and read about heavy 9mm ammo used in carbine length weapons with muzzle suppressors. Does any one have experience with this ammo? I’m specifically talking about ammo in excess of 147 grains. Where can this ammo be purchased? What about just the projectiles and loading data.? I’m really just curious more than anything.

Thanks, Dan

If you enjoyed reading about "Heavy 9mm Ammo" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Zak Smith
July 3, 2004, 07:09 PM
Vihta Vuori has load data for a 150gr Lapua bullet.

July 3, 2004, 07:25 PM
On the popular FAQ based on info from Massad Ayoob, Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow:


Now it is time to impart some crucial information: Never use 147 grain ammo in a 9mm pistol! There was a stupid fad for 147 grain
hollowpoints a few years ago, and many were suckered into buying these
weak, worthless and malfunction-prone rounds. I don't care what you've
heard: never use any 9mm hollowpoint heavier than 125 grains, and the 9mm
115 grain hollowpoints have established the best track record. 147 grain
hollowpoints jam in many popular 9mm guns like the Browning Hi-Power,
SIG, Beretta 92, S&W and Glock. Ignore the gun magazine hype and stick to
what works. If you want to gamble, go to Reno. Don't gamble with your
life. 147 grain ammo sucks.

This isn't my opinion, just something I thought I share if you didn't see it. Thats for 147, not sure beyond that weight.

George S.
July 3, 2004, 07:39 PM
I fired over 300 rounds of Remington Golden Sabre 147gr JHP out of my Ruger P89 and never had a burp except for a couple of stovepipes and that was me limpwristing it when firing one-handed.

July 3, 2004, 11:13 PM

147gr JHP's work fine(see above). My dept. used 147gr Golddots for years with good results including a DRT. 147gr RangerT is used by LAPD and I'm sure they shoot plenty of bad guys

July 4, 2004, 12:46 AM
Like everything else not all guns work with all ammo and vice-versa.



"The critical wounding components for handgun ammunition, in order of importance, are penetration and permanent cavity. The bullet must penetrate sufficiently to pass through vital organs and be able to do so from less than optimal angles. For example, a shot from the side through an arm must penetrate at least 10-12 inches to pass through the heart. A bullet fired from the front through the abdomen must penetrate about 7 inches in a slender adult just to reach the major blood vessels in the back of the abdominal cavity. Penetration must be sufficiently deep to reach and pass through vital organs, and the permanent cavity must be large enough to maximize tissue destruction and consequent hemorrhaging"

I don't carry 9mm but if I did it'd be 147 gr assuming my gun worked with it, most of mine do. I shoot quite a lot of 145gr Silver Bear because I stocked up at a gun show for $80/1000 out the door. My FEG & FM HiPower clones have had no trouble with it. My CZ RAMI had a few FTF that seem to have been resolved with a slight tweak to the top turn of the mag spring.


July 5, 2004, 10:24 AM
I have seen load data for 153gr and 158gr 9mm. However, I believe the bullets were dimensionally 38 Super, which is a tiny fraction larger in diameter than 9mm. I believe I'm correct in saying the 9mm is .355", and the 38 Super is .356". Also, I've seen 38 Super bullets going up to 160gr, so I suppose you could theoretically go up to 160gr in 9mm. I've no idea how dangerous it would be to shoot 9mm loads using the slightly larger 38 Super bullet, but apparently it's been done.

July 5, 2004, 12:09 PM
Ayoob definitely has an axe to grind when it comes to the 9x19. It's ashame he stoops to putting such patently bad (read false) information to do it. LE has been using the 147-grain 9x19 for years with very good success. I think it's kind of funny in that it's the hot 115-grain 9x19 loads LE has abandoned where they have pretty much stuck with the 147-grain loads (despite Ayoob, S&M and a few other hacks).

July 5, 2004, 12:26 PM
The 147gr and heavier rounds are subsonic. So if you have a suppressed pistol or SMG they are the ones you should use. There is a guy that does the Gunshow circuit in Texas, his business is 'T's Guns and Ammo'. He has tons of reloaded 147gr subsonic 9mm for sale at around $7.50 for a box of 50. I haven't tried them. I don't have a 9mm suppressor yet so there isn't any point, but the guy I bought my M10/9 SMG from said they worked well.

July 5, 2004, 12:58 PM
IMI has a 158gr load. I've shot it out of a MP5SD and was plesently surprised at the noise level.

Natchez has in in their new catalog


July 5, 2004, 02:32 PM
(despite Ayoob, S&M and a few other hacks).

Watch it, you're suppose believe they walk on water around here. :rolleyes:

July 5, 2004, 02:48 PM
Anyone know the velocity on the 158gr load...say from a std 4" barrell? (the link didn't have it)

July 5, 2004, 03:32 PM
Try this link for load data:


July 5, 2004, 04:35 PM
Watch it, you're suppose believe they walk on water around here.
Well, Ayoob certainly believes he does. :D

July 5, 2004, 09:12 PM
Contact the folks at Penn Bullets http://www.pennbullets.com/ They will size any .38 super or .357 revolver bullet to .355 or .356 in weights from 115 to 158 gr.

Their 115 cast SWC for 9mm works like a charm in my STI Trojan. However the 147gr. cast TC is more accurate. I would not be afraid to load a 158 gr. SWC that is normally used in .38s if sized to .356. However, YOUR 9mm might shoot the 158 cast SWC sized in .357 just fine. Each and every barrel being a law into intself.

My personal choice for range use is the Magnus 147gr. Cast TC over 3.5 grs of 231. I have shot over 4,000 of this particular load. It is very accurate, cleaner than one would expect from cast bullets, and very easy on aged joints.

The replies to your post seem to assume "tactical" use. The local bullseye shooters(who seem to win a lot of national matches) all shoot a local smith's (Jerry Keefer) 9mm bullseye gun made with Les Baer slide and frame. The one bullet that they all use is the Hornady 147gr. XTP for best accuracy.

July 6, 2004, 06:45 AM
I believe the 147-grain loads started life as target loads well before the Spec Ops types adopted them for suppressed loads. Right now, of course, it's the most common weight used by LE. I have noticed that it tends to give the best accuracy while the 115-grains give the worse. The 124-grains hold somewhere in the middle occassionally besting the 147-grains in some weapons.

July 6, 2004, 07:22 AM
i read somewhere once... I believe it was on czforum, that the CZ's rifling was optimized for a NATO 124gr bullet, and as such accuracy would be best with that.

I've only ever fired WWB in 115 and 124gr, and a handful of speer gold dots of a weight I can't remember, and never had a feed or accuracy problems... but then, my furthest shots are 25 yards :)

July 6, 2004, 08:05 AM
If you want subsonic, then it is the round you want. It is just under the 1050fps mark. I think 955fps - 980 IIRC (and depends on the powder charge). Now I have no experience with heavier, but I think since I have had good results from using the 147 in all my 9mm's I'll stick with that. 147 is a good round in my honest opinion. I think I must disagree with Ayoob on his assessment of the 147 gr. (of course maybe once upon a time when he tried them there may have been issues, it is not the case now)

July 6, 2004, 10:59 AM
It all started back in the day when S&M and Ayoob, and Fackler were at each others throats. Fackler recommended the 147-grain 9x19, and of course, S&M and Ayoob had to tear it down. Unfortunately, they resorted to lies and half-truths to do it, and a lot of that bad information is still around (and often repeated). Time has proven Fackler had it right in spades, but some people are still stuck in the 80s.

July 6, 2004, 11:38 AM
I disagree with Ayoob on his assessment of the 147 gr. I push 147's at 1100fps with no pressure signs in both my glock CZ and M68. They peform flawlessly.

Dan Forrester
July 7, 2004, 02:15 PM
Thanks for all the responses guys!

Assuming Massad Ayoob, Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow are indeed correct, that matters little to me, as I’m not a big believer in expanding bullets anyway. My standard carry load is Winchester 9mm NATO in my Glock 26. Supposedly form what I’ve read over at ammo lab back when they still had their discussion board up, the best carry round in 9mm was the CCI Gold Dot in 147 grain. David agreed that the original 147 grain 9mm rounds did indeed suck. Apparently over the last couple years a lot of time and research has been spent on 147 grain ammo. According to David the 147 grain Gold Dot has the greatest expansion window spanning both the upper and lower extremes.

JeepDriver: Thanks for the link, that’s the kind of stuff I’m looking for.

I’m hoping to have enough money saved up for my second suppressor by new years. Then add 5 months for form 3 and 4 transfer and approval times and I should have it by early next summer.

Thanks again guys.


Daniel Watters
July 7, 2004, 03:33 PM
FWIW: IMI and Fiocchi have produced 9x19mm ammo loaded with 158gr FMJ. Lapua and MEN have also produced loads using fairly heavy (>147gr) bullets.

Al Paulson and Peter Kokalis used to claim that the SEALs once played with a subsonic 9x19mm load using the Sierra 170gr FMJ and a husky charge of Herco powder (that is way over max even for a 147gr bullet).

August 21, 2011, 11:24 AM
This week I shot a couple of mags of 158 gr blue tip, throught my HK P30.

Didin't have any malfunction, but ...

Something happened that made me wonder if it had enough power to penetrate human tissue.

One of the rounds hit the sand and just rolled a couple of feet .. !!

Any ideas?

August 21, 2011, 01:26 PM
I have an idea. Your ammunition is defective.

August 22, 2011, 01:28 AM
[QUOTE=jc2;1099759]Ayoob definitely has an axe to grind when it comes to the 9x19. It's ashame he stoops to putting such patently bad (read false) information to do it. QUOTE]

Ayoob has stated on this forum that while he doesn't like 147gr 9mm rounds the modern ones do work better than old ones. He has changed his tone some what when it comes to the heavier round.

August 22, 2011, 02:24 AM
This is a record, someone resurrected a seven year old thread, absolutely amazing...

August 22, 2011, 11:10 AM
Whas amazing is people still question the reliability of 147gr ammo, some 20 years after it got reliable.

August 22, 2011, 11:25 AM
This doesn't answer your question regarding 9mm heavier than 147gr but my choice would be Federal 147gr +P HST. It can be difficult to find and, I've read, that Federal is making it difficult for on-line sellers to advertise availability and pricing of their LE ammunition.

August 22, 2011, 11:32 AM
i alternate a 9mm black taon with a geco fmj in my 26.when i got extra mags,speer gold dot and geco

August 22, 2011, 11:42 AM
This is a record, someone resurrected a seven year old thread, absolutely amazing...

Hah... I missed that little fact!!:D

If you enjoyed reading about "Heavy 9mm Ammo" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!