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9mm ammunition for animals

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by doconix, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. doconix

    doconix New Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    What is the best 9mm ammunition for large animals like cougars or even bears? I have done some research and read that FMJ is best because it penetrates thick hides best. Personal defense ammunition (hollow point) doesn't pentrate animals well. What type of FMJ is best? Is there a +p version that would get the best results?

    BTW, I already know that the best defense against a large animal is a rifle (or a good buddy that I can run faster than). And I know that a 44 mag would work better than a 9mm. Similarly, I don't need to know that a 45 or 40 is better than a 9. :)

    The point is that I have a 9mm that I want to carry on my side. I will already have a 30-06 rifle with 180 grain ammo with me -- the 9mm is my backup gun. What is the best ammunition to have in this BUG for back woods use where I'm more worried about animals like cougars/bears/etc. than humans?
  2. mavracer

    mavracer Senior Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    147 fmj would be my first choice next would be 124 nato.
  3. BoneDigger

    BoneDigger Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    Tyler, TX
    The best 9mm ammo for a large animal such as a cougar is a .45 ACP JHP. But, you have to jam it in there really HARD!

    Seriously, I think a FMJ round in a 124 grain, as noted above, it probably a good choice. But, I would stagger the rounds with some JHP ammo in +P between.

  4. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Senior Member

    Aug 8, 2006
    No. CA.
    This topic has been hashed and rehashed many times.

    I would not feel good about a 9mm being my life protector against the game you are talking about, I would not feel good about 45 acp either.
    But if you are wanting to go that route and have one that you are good at shooting I think :

    Is about the best you could do also.

    I have gone to the 357 Sig and feel it is one of the best for my purpose.

    I like some heavier shooters also. If I could offer a request, why are you limiting yourself to the 9mm for protection against these animals?

  5. RyanM

    RyanM Senior Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Not everyone has a million guns and a six figure disposable income.

    Anyway, I'd suggest trying to find a flat-nose 147 gr FMJ. Flatnose bullets are less likely to deflect off bone than roundnose bullets.
  6. doconix

    doconix New Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    Thanks for the info everyone.

    Because I already have a nice 30-06 with me that is great for these animals. This is just my backup gun, and I currently have a 9mm. I don't have a 45, and I can't justify getting one just for a backup. Perhaps someday, but not in the cards right now. I'm trying to get the best ammo for the gun I already have.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2007
  7. MS .45

    MS .45 Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    Central Mississippi
    I recently did some hiking in North Carolina. I decided to carry my Glock 17 because I shoot it better than other pistols I own. After much research into different bullet types/weights, I used the following:

    Fiocchi 147gr FMJ @1050 fps (the fastest 147gr FMJ I could find)


    Double Tap +P 147gr JHP @1135 fps.

    I alternated the different rounds in my magazines. Both proved reliable and accurate in practice sessions before the trip.
  8. Slugless

    Slugless Active Member

    Jun 9, 2007
    Bayou City, TX
    Air horn/pepper spray

    If I ran into a bear I would only use the 9mm as a noisemaker or as a very last resort. Some say you should grind the front sights down. For cat, well it's a more fragile animal.

    You might consider an air horn or pepper spray as backup to your BUG. Or actually as a first resort to your BUG. Pepper spray works on bear, a friend of mine used it on a 3yr old female who broke into his cabin (and literally ate his lunch!). Hose it down, it took 2 good shots of spray to blind and incapacitate the bear. But the bear was incapacitated where I wouldn't count on a perfect 9mm shot when all that adrenaline is going.

    Despite the fact we have guns all over the place we always have air horns or pepperspray around. The big bottle of pepperspray has a belt loop holster so you can carry it like a pistol.

    Shoot into the ground near the animal. A mock charge by the bear is not a real charge.

    Good luck, it does feel better to have a pistol on the hip doesn't it?
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    Any good JHP for mountain lions.
    You might consider the Corbon DPX.


    For bears:
    File off the front sight and apply Vaseline to the gun.
    (It will hurt less when the bear sticks it up your --- nevermind.)


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