Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Balrog, Dec 1, 2018.
What bullet weight do you like for a self defense/carry load in 9mm...
I reload 124gr Gold Dots. 147gr anything seems a bit too heavy and slow to me. 124gr seems to me the best of all worlds between both the lightweight and heavyweight bullets.
Middle ground so to speak.
I have always preferred 124 grain but I am starting to experiment with 147 grain. It's nitpicking I know but "+P" refers to the cartridge powder charge, not its projectile mass.
Why did you list +P when asking about bullet weight?
I usually prefer the bullet weight that was original to the cartridge when it was developed. I voted for the 124gr bullet.
I put both standard pressure and +P options out there so I wouldn't get responses where bullet weight is depending on whether or not its +P or not.
115 +P+ (9BPLE) for full size, 4 inch or longer barrels. (tons of street cred with LE)
147 +P seems to lose less velocity and work well for the little short barrels.
124 gr. standard and +P. I bought some 147 gr. bullets to see how the guns run with them. I'm thinking subsonic, so less chance of ear damage if it comes to that.
Like Mike, I perfer 230's, but I voted 124's, as that's what I had for the 9mm I used to own, and what I will run in one when I get one in the near future.
I don't carry anymore, but will resume when I am able to get a new license in my new state of residence, but I typically equate deer hunting to self defense. Bone structure around vitals is similar, density is similar, size is similar, and the thick hair mimics thin clothing on a human. I have shot deer with both 115 and 124 gr8 jhp loaded to the top of book specs. I didn't see much difference but I know that the extra few grains of mass can help retain some energy if I hit a bone, tree limb, etc, or in a defense role if I hit a cellphone or outstretched arm. That said, I have no issue with the 115s, and I have a few hundred old school bowler jhp bullets left to load up, and I wouldn't change a thing between 115 and 124 as they shoot the same to 30 yards which is my personal max distance with a 9mm.
Generally speaking I tend to gravitate towards more grain weight. But I want reliable expansion too. And penetration that is neither excessive or inadequate. And hopefully with mild recoil and little muzzle flip so I can stay on target as necessary. If I find a cartridge that meets this criteria I would be inclined to use it regardless. If I find multiple cartridges that generally meet the criteria and one is cheaper, or less muzzle flip, or less pressure, or performs on par with another...again I would gravitate towards more projectile weight because more weight is better if other factors are met.
Sooo...my answer is: yes. (?)
I like the ammo I'm issued, either Gold Dot or HST 124 gr +P ... we used to carry Hydra-Shok 115 gr +P+, but our current stuff is definitely more accurate and has pretty good documented results by the ammo testers and on the streets. For suppressed work, obviously 147 gr subsonic is the ticket.
147gr. Winchester White Box JHPs.
I won't even consider anything less than 124gr., under any circumstances.
I like penetration and expansion, and the Winchester gives both.
I like heavy for caliber in all my calibers.
For whatever reason I consistently shoot 147 grain best, and quality HPs seem to have plenty of penetration and expansion in testing.
I also generally prefer heavy for caliber projectiles. My thinking seems to be along the lines of West Kentucky's. In 9 mm Luger 147 grain loads give up a little in velocity and muzzle energy compared to 124 or 115 grain loads, but generally have an edge in momentum. If I were to choose a simple metric by which to judge terminal ballistic effectiveness I would choose momentum over kinetic energy. Momentum is what will tend to keep a projectile moving in a straight line fashion as it encounters media of higher density.
Whichever JHP is on sale by a major American manufacturer. I use a Glock, so its not picky on what I feed it.
124, all my nines seem to like that weight best.
Or maybe the 115 i tried were loaded too light and caused FTE. Never tried the 147, I thought the subsonic was for suppressed.
All of my 9mm.s run well with 124 gr. ammo.
For self-defense I like the 115's. Less recoil means better gun control and quicker return to fire. 124's for targets/115's for defense.
Plenty of choices available for carry ammo. Mine is 124 +p Gold Dots. I like what I saw piddling around in my back yard with jugs of water - nothing scientific, just fun - but all that messin' around made me confident everything I shot would hurt a lot. I just picked one that made the biggest mess, made sure it ran perfect in all my carry guns, and that's what I pick up at the store.
I might change brands soon, but will stick with the same weight and velocity. Seems the majority of LEO's like 115's, as does Ayoob... but as long as I'm getting both consistent penetration and expansion, I consider 124 is the best balance of weight and speed.
But... there are smarter folks than me to ask.
124 +P Gold Dots, 124 +P Rangers, or 127 +p+ Rangers.
I also like the 115 BPLE +P+
115's because that's what I use for range ammo.
I try to keep as much as possible the same from practice/training to carry.
For me 124/147's shoot different.
I shoot a lot of 115gr and buy 124gr whenever on sale , I have Speer GD 124 gr +p loaded in my 9mm Shield.
Guess I'm the oddball, but I like the 50gr liberty civil defense running 2000 FPS. Just to be sure I chronoed them out of 2 different carry guns, both with 3" barrels, averaged 1980FPS out of one and 1996FPS out of the other.
Bonus, 11 rounds of this ammo don't add much weight to my 365, perfect for pocket carry.
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