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In a 9mm Luger CCW, what is best for stopping power?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by mrpackwolf, Jan 30, 2011.

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  1. mrpackwolf

    mrpackwolf Member

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    I recently bought an XD9 sub compact and by the way, love it! I have been shooting 115 grainFMJ American Eagle ammo with a muzzle velocity of 1180fps and muzzle energy of 355 ft-lbs. They range well for this gun and have no problem with them as a practice round. Without getting into whether some other round is better than the 9mm luger:rolleyes:, I would like to know what equals better stopping characteristics? A heavier bullet, a hollow point, a soft point, a faster or slower moving round, etc... I just want to try and decide given an awful but necessary decision to use my weapon, what will save me or my family's lives.
     
  2. gofastman

    gofastman Member

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  3. Myles

    Myles Member

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    I'm not up to date on the latest and greatest ammo that the gun mags are touting, but the last study that I had faith in, stated that +P 124gr. Remington JHP was the best performer in 9mm. Personally, I favor the 147gr +P+ Federal HydraShok, but I do keep a few mags of the Remington as well. They both function flawlessly (1000s of rounds) in my handguns.

    Frankly, pick the highest velocity, heavy (not heaviest subsonic) for it's caliber bullet, that you can safely and reliably (Test minimum 200 rounds) fire through your weapon.
     
  4. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Fast & heavy - and works reliably in your gun.
     
  5. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    My faith lies with HST's in any configuration.

    Grab whatever name-brand JHP that feeds well for you. All the 'premium' rounds put decent holes in things.

    Outside of that, keep in mind that a lot of 147's, especially from short barrels, may not reach the velocity to expand well. Some do, some don't.

    If you really must be picky, grab the fastest 124-grainer, plus or minus a little depending on brand.
     
  6. Doc1911

    Doc1911 Member

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    I have no faith in the stopping power of ANY round, however I do in shot placement. Use the largest caliber most dependable round you can shoot well and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. If you shoot the 115 better than the 147 - carry the 115. If you shoot them the same (or very close ... speed and accuracy) then I would opt for the larger round.
     
  7. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    My favorite 9mm flavor, for defensive ammo, is 124 grain +P hollow points from Winchester or Speer Gold Dot. 115 grain is too light and 147 too heavy for me. I like +P just to give it a little extra muscle and help insure expansion. Sticking with bonded jhps is also a good idea. As long as you stick with ammo from a major manufacturer you can't really go wrong. Stay away from frangibles (don't penetrate enough, soft points (don't expand), and fmj (over penetrate, don't expand) for defensive use.

    Whatever you choose, shoot a box to make sure that they work in your gun.
     
  8. soda

    soda Member

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    Caliber: 9mm Luger Plus P
    Bullet Wt.: 115gr CORBON Self-Defense JHP
    Velocity: 1350fps
    Energy: 466ftlbs
    Test Barrel Length: 4.0 Inches
     
  9. rangerphil

    rangerphil Member

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    IMO, I think a person can get a false sense of security from ft/lb energy levels when looking at self-defense ammunition. This first criteria is to make sure the selected load functions in your firearm, and this doesn't mean shooting a magazine through the pistol and calling it done. I shoot 100 rounds of my chosen load to verify function. I think any of the premium self-defense loadings in 9mm are fine, with the exception of the 147 grain offerings, which may not reach velocities to reliably expand when fired out of short barrels. For me, I use Federal 124 gr. HST.
     
  10. hirundo82

    hirundo82 Member

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    Just pick a quality hollowpoint from any of the major makers--Speer Gold Dot, Federal HST, Remington Golden Saber, Winchester Ranger T or PDX1.

    I prefer 147gr in Federal HST or Winchester Ranger T (both are easy to find online in 50rd boxes) but any weight in the above brands will serve you well.
     
  11. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    I prefer a 124gr +P cartrige from one of the better manufacturers (Federal, Speer, Remington, CorBon). I've carried Federal Hydra Shok for years although recently its gotten harder to find so I've been switching to the newer Federal HST.
     
  12. hiker44

    hiker44 Member

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    A light bullet at a high velocity can do significant tissue damage. A heavy bullet at lower velocities can knock down a target. Take your pick.
     
  13. gofastman

    gofastman Member

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    from what I gather, 147gr ammo is ideal for short barrels
     
  14. Ripped

    Ripped Member

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    any word on the extreme shock ammo, or is that all marketing hype?
     
  15. Wishoot

    Wishoot Member

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    That about sums up Extreme Shock.
     
  16. mrpackwolf

    mrpackwolf Member

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    gofastman. I appreciate the links from earlier. Lots of great discussion here but it sounds like I need to buy some different rounds and do some extensive testing out at the range. Darn, I hate having to tell my wife I am going to need to do some research out with my guns and lots of ammo. Thanks to all for the great advice.
     
  17. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    MY guns prefer the 124 for accuracy - speed without accuracy is pointless
     
  18. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    Knock down a target? Really? Unless you mean steel targets I don't follow.
     
  19. mikerault

    mikerault Member

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    I got very good results with 124 grain JHP loaded with 4.4 grains of HP38.
     
  20. DasFriek

    DasFriek Member

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    I think you will have a never ending battle of the 124gr versus the 147gr which is better question.
    I carry Federal HST 147gr +P in my Kahr MK9 and im more than confident it will fully expand and penetrate deeply.
    But that is my bug.

    If i was to carry it as my main ccw id use the Gold Dot 124gr +P short barrel ammo i have.
    Reason is the 147gr may have a harder time expanding in a 3" barrel. And since its my bug it means i used 17 rounds of .45acp already so i want a deep penetrating round in that case.
     
  21. Proud Southern Son

    Proud Southern Son Member

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    I think the major ammo producers make effective rounds in all of the 9mm weights now. I would base my decision on what my particular gun likes, as long as your choosing from a modern hollowpoint design from a major manufacturer. I personally prefer the lighter and faster stuff, and my 9mms all seem to like the Ranger 127 +p+, but if they shot significantly better with the Golden Sabre 147, I wouldn't hesitate to carry it.
     
  22. shooter_from_show-me

    shooter_from_show-me Member

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    I run the Winchester Ranger 127gr +p+ ammo in my XD9 Service model. Very accurate for what it is.

    But the only place I can find to sell it to me is at the local gun shows.
     
  23. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Any JHP will be better than any FMJ or SP ammo. There is lots of good self defense grade ammo on the market and there's really not much difference in end results between any of them.

    Ammunition used by law enforcement and its civilian marketed self defense ammo is the best choice as its the most tested ammo both in the lab and on the streets. Your best bet will be ammo loaded by the major US manufacturers like Winchester, Remington, Federal, Hornady and CCI. Pick something you can afford to test in your gun making sure they'll feed and function reliably and you can hit where you aim with it. Don't buy into the hype from the small makers that their ammo is "better" because its higher velocity etc. There are no death ray bullets. A miss with the fastest most powerful bullet is less effective than a hit with the most anemic hardball round.

    In general 147gr JHP bullets offer deeper and better barrier penetration than the 115gr. Barrier penetration is much more important to LEO's that may be faced with barricaded suspects and the need to shoot through automobile doors and windshields. Penetration isn't as important to a civilian in self defense situations.

    You can get a feel for some of the relative effectiveness of ammo, mostly used by police, at Handloads.com-Stoppingpower. Remember the numbers show relative effectiveness of ammo used where the target was hit in a similar center mass area with one shot and are not a representation of your "odds" like when gambling. Small percentage differences of a couple percent shouldn't be construed to show any wast superiority.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  24. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    I don't recommend any FMJ load in 9mm except for target/range practice. There is considerable overlap or similarity in "stopping power" (quotation marks used purposely) between various 9mm jacketed hollowpoint loads. It is more important, by far, that your load feeds reliably, with accuracy second. Personally, I like Federal's "Classic" (non-Hydra-Shok, HST or whatever they call them these days) 115-gr. JHP at standard pressure, popularly known by its SKU number, 9BP, because I know it will work in everything.
     
  25. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    Stopping power in handguns is a contradiction in terms...

    The reality is 9mm like any pistol caliber requires one to put lots of little holes into the target causing enough tissue damage to cause rapid blood loss, hit a critical artery, organ or spine. Use ones that feed reliably in your gun.
     
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