NEVER use 147 gr AMMO in a 9mm pistol? - THR

Go Back   THR > Tools and Technologies > Handguns: Autoloaders

Welcome to THR
You are currently viewing our site as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have, access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit the help section.

Closed Thread
Thread Tools
Old September 28, 2009, 01:47 PM   #1
Join Date: February 12, 2009
Location: Spuds, FL
Posts: 302
Question NEVER use 147 gr AMMO in a 9mm pistol?

I've been meaning to discuss this topic for a while, so here it goes.....

One of the initial literature guides I used regarding 9mm defense ammunition came from the website http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm.

Under the 9mm section the website states the following in regard to 147 gr JHP;
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. 147 grain hollowpoints often 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.

Bad 9mm Loads to avoid (and certainly NEVER carry). Numbers given:

Federal Gold Medal 9mm 147 grain JHP (9MS)
Federal Hydra-Shok 9mm 147 grain JHP (P9HS2)
Winchester 147 grain 9mm Silvertip Subsonic JHP (X9MMST147)
Winchester 147 grain 9mm Super-X Subsonic (XSUB9MM)
Remington 147 grain 9mm JHP (R9MM8)
Remington 147 grain 9mm Golden Saber JHP (GS9MMC)
Remington 140 grain 9mm JHP (R9MM7)
Remington 88 grain 9mm JHP (R9MM5) This bullet is far too light.
CCI Lawman 147 grain 9mm PHP "Plated Hollow Point" (3619)

With that said could any of you please explain where/how this opinion came about regarding 147gr 9mm?

How has the 147gr 9mm evolved since whenever this article was dated?
(Over the past 3-4 yrs, I've fired hundreds of 147gr WWB JHP flawlessly out of my Taurus PT92, so I'm confused on why the article says it's prone to jamming.)

Appreciate all the help and info you guys can give me!

p.s. Tried using the search function for this ? but failed to get a precise answer.
"I got a Shotgun a Rifle and a 4-Wheel Drive, and a Country Boy can Survive"
cleetus03 is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 01:50 PM   #2
Join Date: December 24, 2002
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 1,923
You know what opinions are like, right? Sometimes they don't pass the smell test, either.
Erich is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 01:59 PM   #3
Join Date: June 5, 2006
Location: In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
Posts: 12,665
I've used Chuck Hawks for a lot of info, but this one is phrased WAY too absolutely. As always, test your carry gun with your carry ammo for reliability. 200 rounds failure-free, MINIMUM.

I WANT to believe that tha sub-sonic 9mm idea works, it's kind of pushing it into my favored .45 perception, but I have heard a lot of mixed feelings on how effective it is in the real world.
"I'm not saying we should kill all the stupid people. I'm just saying that we should remove all the warning labels and let the problem work itself out."
mljdeckard is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 02:00 PM   #4
Join Date: October 7, 2005
Location: Rochester, Minnesoviet
Posts: 1,181

Yeah, I have one.

Let's start with the theory that 147 grain loads were developed in an effort to try to get as much "oomph" out of the 9mm when loaded down to subsonic levels for the guys who have suppressors on their handguns (I'm jealous).

The 9mm was a hot number when it was kinda new in the German Luger in WW1, and (by the way) they loaded it kinda hot in 115 grain ball. Most 9mm handguns, I believe, were built anticipating that the standard ball cartridge was the standard load to be used. Feed ramps, magazine lips, all that stuff, designed for that load.

This doesn't mean 147 grains won't work, but does your GI M1911A1 always feed 185 grain wadcutters? Mine doesn't.

There for awhile, 147 grains was popular since it's subsonic (mostly), but I suspect that the hollow point bullets weren't always up to expanding predictably at low velocities. Handgun ammo has come a long way in recent years with all the big bucks "self defense" stuff for $1 a round.

I'd expect today's premium 9mm ammo to do well for expansion - but if you're going to carry something that's not between 115 and 125 grains, I'd want to shoot a bunch of it to make sure it cycles.

If you're really curious, drop a note to somebody like Speer or Hornady for their opinion.
jjohnson is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 02:16 PM   #5
Join Date: August 8, 2006
Location: Colebrook, NH
Posts: 284
I've shot 147 grain JHPs from several different manufacturers through several different autoloaders over the years and never had an issue.

There is some controversy over how well it actually works as self-defense load. However, I chock that up mainly to the fact that the 147 Grain 9mm was once touted as some sort of super round, and it has since been discovered that it sucks just like every other pistol round. I doubt it's really much better or worse than other common bullet weight in the 9mm.
ATW525 is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 02:18 PM   #6
Join Date: March 14, 2008
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 641
Remington 147 grain 9mm Golden Saber JHP (GS9MMC)

I think I use this. It feeds perfectly in my XD9SC.

You can't get into a boxing match with a Norinco 982!
Norinco982lover is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 02:22 PM   #7
Join Date: January 7, 2009
Location: W. Washington
Posts: 1,781
It's Chuck Hawks, what do you expect?
I know he says he didn't write it, but he sure put it up on his website.
I take anything on his site with about as much salt as is in the dead sea.
Totally not me
Gryffydd is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 02:30 PM   #8
Join Date: December 26, 2002
Location: Within the lightning
Posts: 2,550
Yep, everyone's got an opinion.

Some folks have some experience to support their opinions.

Some folks seem willing to adopt the opinions of others just upon their say so.

Some folks seem willing to base their opinions on info, experiences and other opinions which may be somewhat dated.

Some folks are willing to reconsider their opinions based upon newer experiences.

Some folks like to try and reference LE/Gov info and testing. (The problem with this is that many LE/Gov sources don't want their in-house results to be viewed as some sort of 'endorsement' or recommendation for ammunition, so they don't like to make their testing easily available. Last time I checked the FBI required a formal agency letterhead request, signed by someone of at least supervisory capacity, who would agree not to disseminate the info outside their agency.)

Some folks are willing to accept manufacturer data. (The problem sometimes encountered with this is ammunition manufacturers may be inclined to spend the significant money involved in strict gel testing protocols only on their 'premium' LE-type loads, not bothering much with their 'old style' JHP loads.)

Bullet design does have a significant influence on its potential deformation & expansion, and there's been some ongoing refinement and improvement in bullet design when it comes to defensive hollow points.

The development of the original W-W OSM load and its military application is pretty much easy to find online. The reason for its first acceptance into the LE field is also pretty easily found.

The subsequent developments in the area of bullet design, and how it affected and influenced the 147gr hollow point loads developed for LE use, can vary a bit among the different companies.

There are some good modern bullet designs available today in this heavier 9mm bullet weight, designs which have demonstrated the potential for some consistent expansion in some of the rigorous testing protocols favored among many LE users (and therefore among manufacturers who hope to receive contracts from LE users) ... and some satisfied LE users.

There's some of the older design bullets still available in this heavier weight, too. If these older style bullet designs had been able to meet the same requirements for performance under the same testing conditions, the manufacturers probably wouldn't have had to invest all that money in designing new ones, I'd think ...

Just my thoughts ... but I'm neither an expert nor an author.
Retired LE - firearms instructor & armorer
fastbolt is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 02:59 PM   #9
Join Date: June 12, 2005
Location: Phoenix Az
Posts: 3,675
I would say a new production 147 grn 9mm would work well. Back in the day the hollow points needed a certain velocity to reliably open up. The slow 147 grn did not meet this threshold many times.

Modern ammunition is loaded with different bullets in different loadings to reliably expand at their velocities.

I have no idea about the reliability issue and have never heard that before.
2nd platoon C Co.
1st Battalion 30th Infantry Regiment
3rd Brigade 3rd Infantry Division
OIF 1 and 3
C-grunt is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 03:03 PM   #10
Join Date: July 30, 2007
Location: Stalingrad, USA
Posts: 3,187
With that said could any of you please explain where/how this opinion came about regarding 147gr 9mm?
I think the guy pulled it out of a deep dark corner of his posterior.

I have never had any functioning issues with 147g ammo out of my Glocks and Sig. Actually, most of the standard pressure 147g stuff out there even expands nicely through denim covered gel.

I normally use 124g +P for urban carry, but I also have some 147g laying around that I would not hesitate to use.
KBintheSLC is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 03:20 PM   #11
MS .45
Join Date: January 12, 2006
Location: Central Mississippi
Posts: 286
I always keep a magazine loaded with Fiochi 147gr. FMJ with me in the car. It is the hottest loaded 147 gr.FMJ I could find ( 1050 fps ). I have tested it against various barriers and it out-performs other loading I have tried. While not my first ( or even 3rd ) choice for SD, you never no when the ability to shoot through something will be needed.

After checking, Double-Tap now makes a 147gr. FMJ at 1135 fps. I need to check those out.
‘‘Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined’’ — Patrick Henry
MS .45 is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 03:21 PM   #12
Join Date: December 26, 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 7,950
I have shot thousands and thousands of 147 grain 9mm bullets out of Glocks as well as Browning Hi-Powers and my Colt 9mm AR15. I have used Hornady XTPs, Remington Golden Sabres, plated cast bullets, Remington Bulk 147s................. I mean thouands and thousands of them.
I am an avid suppressor owner and load 9mm subsonics. Since I load them 1000 at a time, I usually am shooting 147s whether or not I am using a suppressor simply because I have a lot of them sitting there loaded.

Based on my experience, this guy is FOS.
His experiences may not mimic mine. All I can relate are my own experiences.
You know the rest. In the books you have read. How the British Regulars fired and fled, How the farmers gave them ball for ball, From behind each fence and farmyard wall, Chasing the redcoats down the lane, Then crossing the fields to emerge again. Under the trees at the turn of the road, And only pausing to fire and load.
444 is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 03:25 PM   #13
Join Date: July 30, 2007
Location: Stalingrad, USA
Posts: 3,187
After checking, Double-Tap now makes a 147gr. FMJ at 1135 fps. I need to check those out.
Those are straight nasty... good nasty. I use them for my wifes gun when we go hiking in bear/cougar/moose territory. It is the most powerful load she can shoot well with.
KBintheSLC is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 03:29 PM   #14
Join Date: January 7, 2003
Location: Central WA
Posts: 1,933
I think the nub of a lot of good comments can be boiled down into a couple tenets:

1. A 147 gr. 9mm bullet of modern design (not a cheap standard bullet like the WWB) can be expected to perform well at the lower velocities of this heavy-for-caliber projectile. A cheaper, old-school 147 (like the WWB) probably can't.

2. Test whatever specific ammo you plan to use in the particular gun you plan to use it in. I had a Glock 17--the gold standard of reliability in sem-auto handguns, in a lot of people's opinions---that would eat 115s, 124s, shucks, that gun would eat lug nuts, but would not reliably feed 147 Gold Dots. So I shot 'em up and moved on.
ChristopherG is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 04:15 PM   #15
Join Date: December 19, 2006
Location: Alabama
Posts: 7,383
My Ruger P89DC ate Remington 147 grain 9mm Golden Saber JHP (GS9MMC) with ease and never a failure of any kind.
Hundreds of rounds fired.
Pet peeves;"If you don't carry your gun like I do you're irresponsible","if you don't use the lube,cleaner and preservative that I do...you don't know guns","if you don't agree with my favorite gun scribe/guru,you are obviously uninformed".....just to name a few.
jimmyraythomason is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 04:30 PM   #16
Join Date: March 16, 2007
Location: Helena MT
Posts: 3,878
I have thousands of rounds of 147gn hydroshock, and shoot them in my pistols and SMG with zero problems. The only issue I have had is with a Kahr K9. The 147gn are slightly too long for that pistol's magazine and can drag, cause a failure to feed. BHP, CZ-75, Colt Commander, Glock 19? No problem.
Tod Glenn
"Everything I need to know, I learned by killing smart people and eating their brains."
GunTech is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 04:34 PM   #17
Join Date: September 7, 2009
Posts: 1,451
My two cents. I LIKE heavy for caliber hollow points. Problem with 9mm, for me, is adequate penetration with ANY HP.

I looked at the ballistics on the 147's, and, most are slow, and still don't penetrate enough
You might look here to get some idea of how well the ammo makers, and 9mm match for defense ammunition, in your barrel length: Keep in mind that out of that ammo table, with lighter bullets, you get 125 grain Corbon that runs, in a full sized gun, real close to .357 magnum 125 grain loads: 1314 fps with a 125, in a 5" barrel is not a joke.
In a short barreled carry gun, 3" or so, the loads are still going nearly 1200 fps, which, by the way, matches the .357 Magnum load in my 1.8" S&W 360 PD, which goes 1204 fps.

I actual gun tests, I found for my Kahr PM9 147 grain loads going all the way down to 800 fps, and, others just under 1000 fps.

I suspect penetration might be seriously compromised with some of these loads...


Federal seems to have cured this situation with HST ammo.

Claws in paws: the original CCW. Bear claws: the original open carry.If everyone says if you are going to a firefight bring a rifle, and we have handguns now as powerful as rifles, why not have a handgun that is as powerful as a rifle in a firefight?
Prosser is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 04:37 PM   #18
Join Date: November 23, 2008
Location: Longview, TX
Posts: 534
Hmmm. I bought a box of 147 gr Remington Golden Sabres for my 1971 Browning HP just so I could say I had some rounds for social work if absolutely necessary. Interestingly, the guy at the gunshop told me they sell more of those than anything else for guns that have a hard time feeding other types of HPs. I like the GS in about everything else I use so I bought a box. At a buck a pop I painfully fired up a 10 rd mag without a hitch. Loaded the 15 rounder and called it good to go. It's not my "go to" gun and I ain't buying a couple hundred rounds to feel confident with the 147 grainer.

Hawks is OK, I don't know why he would put that up on his site unless it was simply to show diversity of opinion. I think the other guy is talking out his nether regions.
nitetrane98 is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 05:34 PM   #19
Join Date: November 4, 2006
Posts: 4,733
I find 147 gr ammo the most accurate in S&W and Taurus 9mms. I have had no issues with reliability.
GRIZ22 is online now  
Old September 28, 2009, 05:38 PM   #20
Join Date: November 30, 2003
Posts: 3,195
Guest article. Guess he didn't want us to know his name.

147's may not be the ultimate man-stopper, but they've never choked any of my 9's, which include Sigs, Berettas, Glocks and H&Ks.

I usually get excellent accuracy with them.
PO2Hammer is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 05:53 PM   #21
Join Date: January 1, 2006
Posts: 33
Chuck Hawks is completely wrong.
He often is.

cpermd is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 06:14 PM   #22
Join Date: January 2, 2004
Location: Houston, Tx
Posts: 11,723
Who is Chuck Hawks? and why should I care what he says?

If I were to carry a 9mm it'd be loaded with 147 gr bullets for the following reason: The sectional density of the 147 gr 9mm is a tad higher (better) than the 180gr .40S&W and .45ACP 230 gr (which are the same). Penetration is proportional to sectional density times velocity. The velocity of the 147gr 9mm is a bit higher than the 230gr .45 and a bit lower than the 180gr .40 S&W so penetration should be very good.

The three most important things with pistols and shooting for self-defense is Placement, Placement, and Penetration. Make mine the heaviest bullet for the caliber.

No magic bullets for me. I buy what's on sale so I can afford to practice with what I carry, but then I don't carry a 9mm.

Your commitment to Freedom and Liberty is measured by your tolerance for others doing things you disapprove. NRA Endowment Member, 2007.
NRA Patron Member, 2009. NRA Benefactor Member 2012. There is no "race" or "ethnicity" section on the NRA membership application, unlike the Federal 4473 form to purchase a firearm!
wally is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 06:55 PM   #23
Join Date: May 15, 2009
Posts: 858
At the time the piece was written, there may have indeed been problems with 147gr 9mm ammo. He's using the 'gun is always loaded' mode of thinking. "If this ammo sucks in some guns some of the time, it sucks".

This person is probably a writer or magazine owner/editor. If he doesn't do this as anonymous - he's going to lose his livelyhood.
m2steven is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 07:16 PM   #24
Zak Smith
Join Date: December 24, 2002
Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA.
Posts: 9,035
Look at this data

The 147gr load is actually the best performing 9mm load of those listed.
My PM inbox full? Send e-mail instead.
Zak Smith is offline  
Old September 28, 2009, 09:22 PM   #25
Join Date: February 12, 2009
Location: Spuds, FL
Posts: 302
Appreciate all the thoughts and info on the matter......I come to the conclusion "To Each His Own"
"I got a Shotgun a Rifle and a 4-Wheel Drive, and a Country Boy can Survive"
cleetus03 is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:31 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
This site, its contents, Shooting Reviews, and its contents are Copyright (c) 2010-2016 Firearms Forum, Inc.
Although The High Road has attempted to provide accurate information on the forum, The High Road assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. All information is provided "as is" with all faults without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. Neither The High Road nor any of its directors, members, managers, employees, agents, vendors, or suppliers will be liable for any direct, indirect, general, bodily injury, compensatory, special, punitive, consequential, or incidental damages including, without limitation, lost profits or revenues, costs of replacement goods, loss or damage to data arising out of the use or inability to use this forum or any services associated with this forum, or damages from the use of or reliance on the information present on this forum, even if you have been advised of the possibility of such damages.