1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What's wrong with 147 gr Hydrashocks?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by jpruitt, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. jpruitt

    jpruitt Well-Known Member

    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 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?
  2. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Well-Known Member

    They don't make them in .45 is the only thing I can think of. :D
  4. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Well-Known Member

    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.

  5. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. Tomac

    Tomac Well-Known Member

    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
  7. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

    What caliber was that BTW?
  8. jad0110

    jad0110 Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. golden

    golden Well-Known Member

    The 147 grain hydra shoks are good for 147 grain bullets

    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.

  10. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    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. ;)
  11. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    I hope theres nothing wrong with them. They're sitting in my Taurus 709 beside the bed right now. :)
  12. jim243

    jim243 Well-Known Member

    22 LR.


    SHOOT1SAM Well-Known Member

    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.

  14. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

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

    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!
  15. Oceanbob

    Oceanbob Well-Known Member

    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.


    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:


    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

  16. easyg

    easyg Well-Known Member

    Use what's most reliable in your pistol and don't sweat the grains.
  17. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Well-Known Member

    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
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
  18. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    (Re: the Reagan shooting)


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

    bikerdoc Moderator

    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.
  20. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    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.

Share This Page