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How heavy of a bullet do you use/prefer and why?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Skulptor, Jan 7, 2013.

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  1. Skulptor

    Skulptor Member

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    I mentioned this on another thread but I thought it warranted a thread of it's own. Hopefully others can use the info but I am really curious about this.
    Here is what prompted the question:

    I took a class on reloading and was told that, when shot, a lighter bullet will make the muzzle of the gun go up (towards the sky) and a heavier bullet will push the gun back (towards you). So in therory, a person could get back on target quicker if the gun did not "raise" as much. What do you think? It was mentioned to me on here on THR that a heavier bullet has more recoil so that, also in therory, could offset any benefit of the gun not coming up so much.

    Personally, I have loaded 115's and 147's and can't really tell much, albeit I haven't gotten really nit-picky about it yet. But the heavier bullet was more accurate out of my gun. So I was curious what bullet weight you reloaded with and for what reasons.

    (P.S. if there is any other threads on this matter, that you know of, I'd like to know about them also. Thanx!)

    Edit: seems I goofed again. I forgot to say "for a 9mm". Sorry. I'm just trying to find the bullet that people find the most accurate for them. (like for shooting IDPA) Thanx.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Whoever told you that had obviously never shot a 350 grain bullet in a 45-70 and followed up with a 500 grain one!

    There are some folks who believe a heavy bullet loaded slow gives less recoil / muzzle flip then a light one loaded fast.

    Mostly game gun shooters who have to make "major" power with a sub-caliber handgun.

    But if both bullet weights are loaded to max velocity for the weight, the heavy bullet always kicks the gun off target more then the light bullet.

    rc
     
  3. Skulptor

    Skulptor Member

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    Good to know. Kinda "shoots" (pun intended) that therory down.

    So what do you guys prefer? I have onle seen about 2-3 people say they like the 147gr.

    OH! Sorry. I was talking about 9mm. by the way. I guess I airheaded that in the OP.
    thanx.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I shoot 90 in .380, 115 & 124 in 9mm, 180 in .40 S&W, and 230 in .45 ACP.

    Except 200 SWC mid-range target loads in .45 ACP.

    I tend to think heavier bullets is why they make bigger bores.

    rc
     
  5. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Member

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    I shoot a 115gr in mine and enjoy it. Here lately though I have been contemplating loading a 124gr. Me personally, 124gr would probably be the heaviest I would go in my 9mm.
     
  6. greenlion

    greenlion Member

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    Because it does...
     
  7. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    My preferred bullet is a 124 gr lrn.

    My gun jams with 115 gr, but is perfect with 124s
     
  8. swathdiver

    swathdiver Member

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    What was your weapon designed to shoot? For example, the Glock 23 was designed to shoot a 180 grain bullet, specifically the Federal Hi-Shok. A 1911 was designed to shoot a 230 grain bullet but not at the pressures we see today, it's been adapted obviously.
     
  9. James2

    James2 Member

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    I don't buy this at all. Any load will do some of both as you well know if you have ever shot a gun. How much of what depends on the total energy developed by the load and the grip you take on the gun. Increase the total energy the load develops and you will get heavier recoil, both up and back.
     
  10. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    You also have to figure in the weight of the individual firearm. Heavy ones handle felt recoil better than light ones. There are lots of factors, including the design of the handgun and it's grip.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  11. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    I prefer 147gr. in 9mm.
     
  12. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    Actually, I do buy into that statement for 9mm luger where my experience comes from range and comp. use of light loads. I also do load SD loads, but shoot them much less.
    Felt recoil is a product of bullet acceleration rate. The 115gr bullet accelerates to to it's "higher speed" faster than a 124/130/147gr bullet does to their max speeds. This faster acceleration feels "snappier" than the "more of a push-type" felt recoil of the heavier bullets.

    I don't care for the felt recoil of the 115gr bullet. I shoot 124/125 gr bullets as my preference due to the lighter felt recoil, faster back on target, widely available in any nose-shape, and cost per rd.

    I experimented with 147 gr, experienced slightly less felt recoil, a higher point of impact and higher cost per rd. Some don't care for the 147 due to a minutely slower cycling of the pistol. I also tried 130gr and was more impressed. The gun cycled fast, felt recoil was slightly less and it hit very close to POA. They were also more expensive and had a lot less nose-shape options and availability.

    For me, The 124/125 bullets shoot softer, are widely available in all nose variations and cost about the same or only slightly more than 115s. Practicality and availability.
    Just my findings in my pistols.
     
  13. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    Really depends on what you are doing with the bullet. For a self-defense load the heavier bullet carries more authority and the lighter bullet will have a flatter trigetory. (more speed).

    Not a super cridical thing in pistol rounds at short distances, but more important in rifle rounds.

    For 9mm I prefer 124 grain JHP, but that's me.
    Jim
     
  14. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    Jim, the op was asking about recoil characteristics, not use. Additionally, competitors think tenths of seconds can be very critical.:D

    My comp. load is a Zero 125gr JHP chronos at 1030 fps. My SD load is a 124gr Speer Gold Dot using a slower powder & chronos at 1200 fps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  15. hardheart

    hardheart Member

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    124/125. 115 is too short and too light imo. I figure there isn't the case capacity to get the 147 going fast enough to make a difference, and gelatin seems to support it (if you care about gelatin tests anyway). I have 158 gr. loaded in 357 brass when I want the SD. As for recoil with 9, I can't tell. Don't shoot fast enough nor well enough for it to matter.
     
  16. MovedWest

    MovedWest Member

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    I prefer a 240gr JHP, but I load and fire 44 magnum. ;)

    For competition loads I load 180gr JHPs, but only because 210gr JHPs are hard to come by regularly. The lack of muzzle flip allows me to get back on target sooner with the lighter rounds.

    -MW
     
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I guess I'm old fashioned because I like to use the bullet weight most associated with a cartridge and the one used when that round was developed.

    In the 380 Auto I like a 95gr bullet (not sure what the original weight was)
    In the 9mm Parabellum I like 124gr bullets
    In the .38 Special I like 158gr bullets
    In the 45 Auto I like 230gr bullets
    In the 45 Colt I like 250/255gr bullets

    And so on... I just feel using the bullet that a cartridge was developed with performs best and give the best results. I'm not saying this holds true for everyone but it works for me...

    Anyone know the bullet weight used to develop the 40 S&W?
     
  18. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    The .40 S&W was first brought out in 1990 by Winchester. It was loaded with a 180 gr. bullet.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Thank you Sir...
     
  20. hueyville

    hueyville Member

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    My bullet choice for a caliber is task specific. Let's say I am packing my model 60 Smith for self defense. If I am in Arizona where it is warm all the time I will probably have 110 to 125 gr JHP bullets for high velocity and quick expansion. If I am in Minnesota in February will bump up to a 140 to 158 grain bullet to make sure and get through all the extra heavy clothing of a perp. I don't believe their is a definitive best for all situations. If so, manufactures would not be inclined to tool for so many choices.

    That said here goes. .22lr, Aguila 60 gr sniper subsonics. .380 acp 90 gr RN. 9mm 124 gr JHP. .38 spl 125 gr JHP. .357 mag 140 gr JHP. .40 S&W 165 gr JHP. 10mm/.45 acp 200 gr JHP. .44 spl 185 gr JHP. .44 mag 225 gr JHP or 280 gr hard cast gas check flat point. .454 casull 325 gr hard cast gas check flat point.

    .223 62 gr JSP or FMJ steel penetrator. .22-250 35 & 55 gr ballistic tip. .243 win 58 gr v-max or 100 gr JSP. 25-06 117 gr sst or ballistic tip. .270 Win. NONE, least favorite of all the "cult" calibers. 7mm mag 150 gr ballistic tip. .308 too many favorites to list... same with all .30 calibers, so many uses and so many choices. From .30 up would have to know exact circumstances of use to make recommendations.
     
  21. oldpapps

    oldpapps Member

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    "How heavy of a bullet do you use/prefer and why?"

    I will not respond to that stuff about heavy/light recoil :what:

    And 'hueyville' hit it on the head. Differing loads for differing needs.

    I see both ends of the spectrum but don't necessarily conform to either.

    These are my 'generalities':

    .45ACP - 200gr SWC - I load them on the warmer side but not hot, negates the need for 230 Ball and fill my need for a target load at the same time. I've loaded everything from 185gr lead to 250gr, jacketed and lead, very fast to powder puff slow. My load does everything I ask of it.

    .44 Mag - Lead and jacketed, both are 240gr. Lead is soft and easy, the grand-kids love to shoot it. The jacketed load is somewhat brisk and I don't just go out plinking with it. As this load was devised for a S&W 29 (old school) with the cut-outs right on the chambers, they are not pushed. If at any time I may obtain a more suited weapon, I would like to try for a heavy/er load with 300 or 310 grain bullets. My load/s do what I want from them in the weapon type they were built for.

    .40S&W - This is the bare minimum for me. Both practice lead and business jacketed are 155gr. Both loading have near the same velocity/arch and I can dope where to shoot the same with both. The weapon/weapon's size is the only reason I considered and bought a .40cal.

    I don't have/shoot the smaller caliber hand guns. Gave up on them in the early 80's and haven't looked back.

    Pistol standing; 1 out of 3 for heavier (revolver), 2 out of 3 for lighter (auto-loaders).

    I will do rifles quicker.
    .375H&H - heavy (300gr).
    30.06 - medium light (150gr for Garands).
    .308/7.62 - medium light (150gr).
    .300 BlackOut - all over, sonic only (110 to 150gr).
    .223/5.56 - Very use specific. 50gr for target use, 55gr for target and general blasting, 62gr for crap blasting and 75gr for something, just not sure what.

    Rifle standing, all over the place.

    That's what I have loaded in the past, the biggies anyway. Skipping the .222 Rem, .243, 7MM Rem Mag, .30Carb, 30.30, 303 Brit, 7.7 Jap, 8MM (7.92 & 7.95), 45-70, .32 S&W, 8MM Nambu, .35 Fr MAS .38 S&W, .41 Mag, .44 Spec, .45 Auto Rim.

    Just more useless info to view (and laugh at).
     
  22. Centaur 1

    Centaur 1 Member

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    I bought a mold for a 100 grain fn bullet for my .380. It woked so well that I tried it in 9mm just to see how it worked. I load them with either 4 grains Unique or 5 grain Power Pistol, very light recoil compared to any factory ammo and they're very accurate also. I've always felt that light for caliber bullets have less recoil than heavier bullets. This is a good thing because they use less of my limited supply of lead.
     
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