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Difference between 115gr and 124gr?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by WalHam, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. WalHam

    WalHam Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to decide on a target ammo, and am trying to figure out the difference between the grains. I've been mostly using 115g for target, but what is the advantage or disadvantage in using a higher grain (ie: 124g)? Is it pretty much just velocity, or is there something else? Is one better than the other?

  2. MolonLabe416

    MolonLabe416 Well-Known Member

    Makes no diff for target shooting. Get the one that shoots best in your pistol. Wt and vel comes into play for defensive shooting or hunting. If you use your pistol for personal defense, it's best to practice with a round with similar blast, recoil, and flash.
  3. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    They will shoot to different POI. Generally the lighter the bullet the lower the POI will be on target. Something to think about if you can't adjust for elevation in your sights.
  4. timbo

    timbo Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't a lighter bullet hit the target higher than the heavier bullet? Since the lighter bullet is traveling faster, it has less time to drop and therefore should impact above the heavier bullet that has been in flight longer.

    For pistols, I'd say that the weight difference is insignificant. If this is for a rifle, then pick one and stick with it.
  5. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    On face value it seems that way, but actually the lighter bullet being faster leaves the barrel faster. The heavier bullet being slower and causing heavier recoil exits the barrel as it's rising and therefore hits the target higher.
  6. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member

    9 grains.

    Nothing else, really.
  7. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Since 115 Grain and 124 Grain weight generally seem to come in handgun loads, I'm gonna boot this one over to the handgun forum.
  8. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

    I used to shoot 115g exclusively in my KelTec P11, as I was concerned about beating it up too much, what with the lightweight polymer frame and all. Then my P.D. standard was Gold Dot, and all I've found is 124g (use it as a BUG) GDHP. It shoots well, and when I practice, I like to use a similar, if not identical load to what I carry and qual with. So I use the 124g in it. And you know what? I really don't notice much difference. (Except my POI is slightly higher, but not enough to bother me.)

    The only significant jump seems to be to 147g, or down to 95g (which I haven't seen in a long time.)
  9. ysr_racer

    ysr_racer Well-Known Member

    You're talking about 9mm right? Shoot the Winchester White box from Wal-Mart. 100rnds $9.99

    Best deal out there.
  10. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    Wal, remember, it's just a pistol. 124, 115, 147--yeah, whatever. It's just a pistol. Pick one, get your sights dialed in, locked them in, don't mess with them.

    I prefer Black Hills 115 gr. for my buggie. Low flash, know where it hits, pistol (Kahr P9) likes it, hot little pill, Black Hills ammo (very reliable and good people over there)--I dig it.

    Find out what your gun/you like. Test it at night, buy a lot, shoot a lot.

    Don't worry about us gun nuts splitting hairs. Sometimes bgs don't read ballastic tables.

    You'll do great.:)
  11. WalHam

    WalHam Well-Known Member

    Thanks for everyones help. Makes sense now. Actually, I have one more question. What is "P" and "P+" etc?
  12. Kentucky Rifle

    Kentucky Rifle Member In Memoriam

    I always wondered why the Federal 9MM "PD" Hydra-Shoks are 135gr and the Gold Dots (both Non+P and +P) are 124gr, when the Federal PD rounds are supposed to have LESS recoil. Seems like a heavier bullet (the PD's) would have MORE recoil. Hummm.

  13. TheLastBoyScout

    TheLastBoyScout Well-Known Member

    +P --> Higher chamber pressure than "plain vanilla" ammo, but still safe to shoot in most guns.

    +P+ -> Higher chamber pressure than +P, only safe to shoot in certain handguns (i.e. HK USP series) and submachineguns. I remember reading somewhere about a Marine who was seriously injured in Grenada after his M9's slide blew apart because he fed it some +P+ 9mm intended for his MP5.

    Higher chamber pressure gives the round more energy. For example, a 124g +P has a higher muzzle velocity than a normal 124g.
  14. HogRider

    HogRider Well-Known Member

    No matter what gun I have tried it with, the 124 grain seems to hit the target about 1" higher than the 115 grain bullet. I personally prefer that on a gun without adjustable sights.
  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    i always thought the 124gr would be more accurate because that was the original design weight, but i haven't been able to prove it...even to myself.

    i understand that when ernest langdon won the IDPA national championship shooting his 92 elite that his load consisted of a 135gr slug loaded to meet the power floor requirement. i might be wrong but i think the increased accuracy came from a longer bearing surface without undue increase in recoil from a heavier slug (147gr has the longest surface)
  16. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    My guns subjectively "feel" better shooting a moderate 124gr load (4.2gr Titegroup for about 1060fps), and they group nicely.

    For defense ammo, the 124gr+P offerings generally do better after penetration glass or sheet metal than the 115gr bullets.

  17. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

    Winning IDPA has a lot less to do with how inherently accurate your load is, than how accurately the shooter can shoot, having drawn and flung rounds downrange, fast. IDPA Masters sometimes sound like their sear went full-auto on them, shooting at targets ranging from 3 yds to 15 yards. Anything cutting paper in the A-Zone is good enough. I'm not denegrating inherent accuracy, at all, but I'm betting Mr. Langdon's first requirement for that load was reliability in feeding, then that it meet the power floor, then that the recoil pulse was managable enough to make fast repeat aimed shots.

    Please know that I have EVERY respect for those guys, and try to learn when I can from them. (IDPA hasn't gamed it up like IPSC did.)
  18. voilsb

    voilsb Well-Known Member

    I'd question the authenticity of that story, personally. There were some slide issues during the testing for the M9, but Beretta had to fix them (hence the 92FS) to satisfy the Army. And of the slide failures, I don't think any of them involved the slide "blowing apart."

    I'm not saying the story's wrong, just that I'd do some serious looking into it before I'd accept it.

    BTW, NATO loads are 124gr at +P+ pressures, I think.
  19. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Can anyone come up with the SAAMI rating for +P+ in ANY caliber?
    :scrutiny: :rolleyes: :uhoh:

    Don't worry I won't hold my breath
  20. voilsb

    voilsb Well-Known Member

    Yes, I know +P+ simply means "greater than +P specs."

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