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Home defense load for 9mm

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by PGT, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. PGT

    PGT Well-Known Member

    I've got a bunch of Winchester Ranger 147 grain Bonded Hollow Points (Law Enforcement overruns supposedly) as well as Speer Lawman and Blazer Brass to practice with. Is the Winchester stuff more than sufficient for HD use or should I try and pick up a couple boxes of more specialized stuff?

    I don't mind paying a premium for stuff as I'll only be shooting enough of it to ensure it works properly in the gun I decide to keep in our bedroom (probably the Bersa). Thoughts?
  2. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Well-Known Member

    RA9B is a good load. RA9T is also a good load. I would consider it perfectly good ammo for self defense.
  3. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    I've heard great things about the Ranger BHPs. IIRC, Wyo highway patrol issues those to the troopers. From what I understand, they're very similar to other popular bonded hollowpoints like Speer Gold Dots. I think the Ranger BHPs would be a fine choice for HD.

    I don't know much about Bersa. Hope this doesn't come across as condescending, but make sure its a reliable firearm.
  4. PGT

    PGT Well-Known Member

    Of course....if its not reliable, it won't stay. Everything I've read so far is that its a great carry gun but I'll only be using it for a nightstand gun.

  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Well, one would think if it was good enough for real cops, who get in real life or death shootings way more often then you do?

    Then it would be good enough to keep in a bedside gun that will probably never be fired in anger the rest of your life.

    Now, I'll let you in on a little known secret I have learned over the last 50+ years.
    Truth be known, and a little known secret?
    There are no 'Magic Bullets'!

    Only good gun handling skills, and front sight focus.

    If you can handle the gun and hit what you shoot at inside 10 feet?
    Any gun or load will do about as well as the next one inside your bedroom, if you can stand and deliver.

  6. PGT

    PGT Well-Known Member

    Right. I'm concerned the kindergartner in her bedroom across the hallway, i.e., I want to know I'm not going to be shooting through the perp and endangering her. That's going to be a concern the way the house is set up though she's a bit adjacent to the stairs. We've got security cameras front and back and an early warning system:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    My two 9mm defensive loadings are the Winchester Ranger 127gr +P+ and the Speer 124gr +P Gold Dot.

    You should pick a premium JHP load which functions reliably through your chosen gun and with which you can repeatedly place accurate shots on a discreet target very quickly
  8. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    I would use it and not worry. Unless you want to upgrade to an AR and use something like Hornady TAP, you would have to do a LOT of testing between a lot of loads to see a significant difference between 9mm rounds for overpenetration at all.
  9. Water-Man

    Water-Man Well-Known Member

    Another load that's as good or better than the ones already mentioned is Federal HST 147gr. HP.
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Well then, I would not use heavy for caliber 147 grain bullets then.

    A lighter faster 115 grain load is more likely to open up and put on the drag brakes, whether you hit or miss the perp.

    A 9mm 147 is about as heavy and long as you can shoot in a 9mm pistol.
    It will plough through things a lighter faster JHP bullet will probably stop in.

  11. Hilljun

    Hilljun Active Member

    A shotgun with some birdshot will not go through the wall and will be better for hitting a moving target while your half asleep. My suggestion run the scenario through in your head before it happens. Another thought even if you can hit with the 9 at 3 am can your wife or girlfriend. ( you never know these days)
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Of course it will, unless it's a brick wall.

    A normal sheetrock wall will not stop a load of birdshot inside a normal size bedroom.

  13. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    rcmodel is, as usual, correct.

    I think that many of the posters, including the OP, need to get themselves over to www.theboxotruth.com and read up on various loads and drywall/barrier penetration.
    Follow up with brassfetcher for performance in gelatin (which makes a pretty good meat analog)

    These questions have been answered, with actual ammo, realistic fake walls, simulated (sometimes real) meat, and pictures.

    Anything capable of causing real immediate damage to an adult human will sail through drywall as if it weren't there for many layers. There is no magic bullet, not heavy loads, not light loads, not birdshot, not flaregun flares, not frangible rounds, not FMJ, not JHP, not BHP, not squishy-ball HP, not rimfire, not centerfire, not pinfire, not blackpowder, not fixed metallic cartridges ... ... etc
  14. Hilljun

    Hilljun Active Member

    I went to the box of truth and there conclusion on birdshot was it will not pass through the wall with enough force to strike the vital organs. While a 9 mm would. A refresher course never hurt anyone.
  15. SabbathWolf

    SabbathWolf member

    Quoted for truth.
  16. Water-Man

    Water-Man Well-Known Member

    Yes but some work alot better than others.
  17. SabbathWolf

    SabbathWolf member

    Ranger ammo is pretty good stuff in most of it's forms.
    I have a whole lot of Ranger-T ammo myself and trust it completely to function just as well as any other decent modern brand.

    The only things you really need to worry about is:
    a) Does it function reliably in "your" gun?
    b) Is it accurate out of "your" gun?
    c) Have you practiced enough shooting it out of "your' gun to be competent with it?

    Other than that, pretty much "all" 9mm ammo will punch right through sheetrock like already mentioned. That is one of those hazards that's almost unavoidable.
  18. SabbathWolf

    SabbathWolf member

  19. Gabes220

    Gabes220 Active Member

    As soon as i read this, many options flew out the window. Over penetration is a serious issue. The OP mentioned over penetration through an intruder, but you must also consider over penetration of rounds that miss their target. Many rounds fired in defense miss their target. Even police have something like a 30% hit rate.

    Many particular loads that have been mentioned on this thread will DEFINITELY over penetrate in the OPs hypothetical use for this ammunition.

    This is my recommendation:

    Guard Dog by Federal
    PD9GRD - 105g 9mm EFMJ

    Review by TNOUTDOORS (has an awesome channel and i trust his reviews)

    Clearly an under-penetrating round. Depends on if you are willing to trade minimized performance for an also minimized risk of over penetration and endangering a loved on.

    Your call.
  20. PGT

    PGT Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. I've read just about every article on Box of Truth at least once over the years. It's what first got me interested in buying a K31 actually. :)

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