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Why do "experts" not like the 9mm 147 grain jhp or the 9mm caliber

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 9mmhpfan, Aug 23, 2005.

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  1. 9mmhpfan

    9mmhpfan Member

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    I read alot of stuff about how the 147 grain 9mm luger bullets both jhp should be avoided at all costs for self defense use. Why is this? I understand the FBI used this bullet weight in a jhp for issue to it's agents. I have read reviews that have been both full of praise for them as well as full of scorn. Are the 115 or 124 grain jhp's supposed to be the best grain weights for this caliber.

    Just curious about this and wondered if anyone here on this forum might know the answer. I think the 9mm luger is a good round for self defense but I seem to be in the minority in that opinion in other shooting forums. I often heard of it refered to as the "euro pellet" but I don't understand all the disdain heaped on this fine round.

    I remember a quote from a retired infantry officer of 3 wars in a gun magazine years ago. He said" lots of so called experts who have never heard a shot fired in anger love to give opinions on subjects they know nothing about." One example he gave was the scorn heaped on the 38 Special as a poor manstopper He said " Lots of bad men have been made permantly good by the 38 Special." I agree with him on that and think it applies to the 9mm Luger too.

    Is it because it is of european orgin that it gets little respect?
     
  2. pax

    pax Member

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    I like the 9mm round. What I have heard is that the heavier, 147-gr. bullet simply doesn't travel fast enough to achieve reliable expansion.

    pax
     
  3. GRB

    GRB member

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    It is my understanding that the 147 grain Federal Hydra Shock round was believed by some to be an over penetrator. Certain firearms and tactics instructors shied away from advocating their use on aircraft because of feared overpenetration potential. They instead favored Speer Gold Dot 124 grain Gold Dot JHP +P. I believe this was backed up by testing but, I doubt very much that those particular test results are available to the public.

    All the best,
    Glenn B
     
  4. phantomak47

    phantomak47 Member

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    I know this is going to piss some people off, but go read some ayoob books. He has done a lot of "real world" research with actual shootings. In his findings many experts found that the 147 grain was not effective in downing suspects.

    combat handgunnery by massad ayoob, I believe.

    Personally I use gold dot 124 grain because the nypd uses it and thats good enough with me. Plus I did some work for a retired nypd officer who had shoot some people in his career and he liked the 124 9mm.

    Read, research more more importantly do what makes you happy.
     
  5. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

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    Of course the 147gr. has also been used by more than a couple of fed agencies, probably due to the penetration capabilities.
     
  6. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...bullet simply doesn't travel fast enough to achieve reliable expansion..." No pistol bullet will give you 100% reliable expansion. Nor will they "down" a suspect with 100% reliability. Not even the .45ACP.
    NIH is the primary reason. That'd be 'Not Invented Here'. Same reason the M-14 was chosen over the FAL.
     
  7. GRB

    GRB member

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    I don't understand, why would the comment about Ayoob upset anyone? I am curious though:
    So what you are saying is that this Ayoob fellow just reiterated what other experts had already found to be so, is that correct? Sort of like certain federal agents, from a certain federal agency, who sort of borrow reports from every other type of federal agent, then rewrite those reports as their own to make to make it look like they did all of the work.

    As for the Ayoob thing, do yo know who those other experts are? I would rather read first hand findings than borrowed work.

    As to the round not being a good manstopper, overpenetrating rounds are notoriously poor rounds at expansion and, they are poor at delivering their energy within the intended target - in my limited understanding. One of the reasons I understand they can over pentetrate is because they have not expanded properly in the first place.
     
  8. shield20

    shield20 Member

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    In the late '80s, while everyone was switching to the wondernines, as the number of shootings grew, it was discovered that the standard rounds were a bit...iffy...stopping power-wise. The standard 115s weren't dependable enough so they came up with +p, then the +P+. When these too turned out to be marginal, they 'discovered' the subsonic 147s (originally designed for surpressed SMG) for duty use, and figured the lower speed and extra penetration would make the difference. Well, they weren't all that dependable either - probably due to lack of reliable expansion. With real-world incidents like the Miami/Dade FBI shootout - many were thinking, for good reason, that maybe the 9mm wasn't really such a wonder.

    Nowadays, bullet design has helped the 9mm live up to alot of the hype - as expansion and penetration are more reliable and repeatable. [These improvements have helped other calibers too (even if some didn't need it as much!)]. But some, like me - were there when we had to carry it, when it was iffy, when no-one could agree which round (if any) was really effective, and when we couldn't switch fast enough to the .40SW when it came along...we will probably always think - for very good reasons - that bigger is better.

    We want a wide deep wound channel - heavy, and wider bullets do it better, without RELYING on bullet deisgn to get it done.
     
  9. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Member

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    Oh, man, I can see another caliber war brewing. :evil:

    These arguments are just not very convincing to me. Let's see, the two largest land armies the world has ever seen were the Nazi Wehrmacht and the Soviet Red Army. What did they use for handguns?

    Nazis: P08, PPK, P38
    Soviets: Nagant, TT

    What were the calibers? Four are 9mm and one is 7.65mm.

    Wouldn't they have changed their erroneous ways after finding out the horrible problems with their piddly pee-shooter calibers? After butchering each other for four years and losing over 37 million on both sides combined? :rolleyes:

    Hmm, the Soviets switched to Makarov - another 9mm, okay, 9.2mm for you purists. The Germans kept using the P38 named P1 and later switched to other 9mm.

    Most armies in the world are 9mm. Are they not concerned about stopping power, killing the enemy, instant incapacitation etc.?

    Is bigger better? Yes, most probably. But, why aren't the .40 guys then using .45, and why aren't the .45 guys using .50? How big is big enough? :confused:

    Hey, what has been good for most armies in the world, including the two biggest ever, is good enough for me. :D

    Let me tell you something. Both the Nazis and the Soviets knew something about killing. And before you say they only used the pistols to shoot prisoners in the back of the head, ask yourselves if you truly believe in that. :D
     
  10. Boats

    Boats member

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    I have two 9mms currently, an XD and a CZ-85B on loan to my father. I normally don't "bash" the 9mm, but I will take this opportunity to reiterate that it is far from replacing my .45ACPs as my primary autoloaders.

    The 9mm is widely considered to be unimpressive in pistols firing FMJ. There is no way I'd ever feel comfortable relying on 9mm FMJ for any serious self-defense work, say were one attacked at an informal range while loaded with cheaper ammo.

    In JHPs the 9mm has a checkered history. The 115 grain loadings are considered marginal, and anything lighter than that has achieved "snake oil" status. The 124, or midweight rounds up to 135 grains, are charged to at least +p levels to attempt to get the 9mm competitive with the larger bores. Then there is the 147. Oddly, this is the loading I like best. The San Diego PD has been using 147 gr 9mms going on a second decade now. They like the round, and that is good enough for me were a 9mm all I had at hand when the balloon went up.

    Then again, the 147 grain round out of a pistol is trying to be something the caliber was not intended to be--heavy and slow. The 9mm was meant to be a lighter bullet going as fast as can be propelled, not to act as a half-weighted .45ACP.

    So if the slow and heavy slug is what I want, I reach for the old American warhorse, the 1911A1 in .45ACP

    And now a segue into the difference between our Armed Forces and those of continential Europe. Here, pistols have been used in combat since the get go. The Army and militia in the Revolutionary War used their flintlock pistols in CQB and later in the early 1800s the US Navy used them alongside the Marines on the shores of Tripoli. The Colt Patterson was adopted early by the armed services. In every American war since the start, pistols were not just a badge of rank, they were acquired either through official channels or employed as POWs, by anyone who could get ahold of one back in the day.

    Of course, the pistol was the badge of the gentleman soldier in Europe, which meant that usually the officers, and maybe the odd sargeant major, would sport a pistol, every other man a rifle or some such. I daresay once again, that most of the Reich's 9mm pistols were used against noncombatants. I would lay money that most of the pistol shots by the USSR during WW2 were against enemies of the state internally, and by political kommissars against their own soldiers not willing to throw their lives away for Papa Joe during the early incompetent stages of the Red Army's campaign.

    Perhaps the 9mm as killed alot of people in world combat. The .45ACP has probably put down more people sporting various uniforms over the years and with a lot, lot, fewer behind the ear shots too.
     
  11. shield20

    shield20 Member

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    Unfortunatly armies, even big ones, don't always make the best decisions. Sheesh the Nazi's and Soviet's primary weapons were still bolt-actions when the US carried the M1. Armies are NOT primarily concerned with stopping power and instant incapacitation - especially in a pistol. They have political concerns, financial concerns, equal oppurtunity concerns, weight of load concerns, design and inventory and manufacturing concerns, and armies also usually see pistols as secondary weapons. I also think the US military knew a few things about killing - and winning - in a few wars too. The .45 was recommended over the 9mm, and it was requested, and tested, and proven IN combat - for a long time.

    As to why .40 guys don't use .45 - but we do! Depends on whether ya want to compromise capacity a bit for the bigger caliber. And why buy a 1911 in .40 - no reason to. As far as .45 guys using .50 - nah - just not cost effective. SOO - to answer your question - the .45 is big enough!
     
  12. KONY

    KONY Member

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    True. But now that bullet design has improved, modern 147 gr ammo is a fine choice. Winchester RA9T and Remington 147gr Golden Saber are two such good modern choices.
     
  13. gvass

    gvass Member

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    "Nazis: P08, PPK, P38
    Soviets: Nagant, TT

    What were the calibers? Four are 9mm and one is 7.65mm."



    Hmm,
    What were the calibers?
    The Nagant is 7,62 mm Nagant
    The TT is 7,62x25 mm TT NOT 9 mm at all.

    The Wehrmacht used any possible pistol models what the Waffenamt could get. From Italian Berettas to Hungarian FEGs and Czech CZs. They even used Browning HiPowers, too.

    Pistols are unimportant in war.
     
  14. mete

    mete Member

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    You've all missed the history of it ! The 147 was originally designed to have an accurate ,subsonic round for a specific SMG [MP 5 I think], nothing else. Somehow people thought it was the answer to all their prayers,the ideal 9mm !!! Well since it wasn't designed for expansion it didn't [DUH !].So the original ones were poor performers.They have now been redesigned and work OK. Many still feel that the ideal weight for the 9mm is 115-125 grains.
     
  15. 147 Grain

    147 Grain Member

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    Speed isn't the issue with the 147-gr. anymore as the old style bullet that didn't expand much has been upgraded by everyone for outstanding performance results.

    Look how the 9mm outdoes the 357 Sig in Ranger Talans.

    After firing thousands of rounds into testing ballistic media, Winchester's latest Ranger LE Catalog shows the following data on 357 Sig 125-gr. (RA357SIGT) @ 1,350 fps versus 9mm 147-gr. (RA9T) @ 990 fps (page 19):

    Gelatin
    357Sig 125gr. = 10.9 & .63
    9mm: 147-gr. = 13.9 & .65

    4-Ply Denim
    357Sig 125gr. = 12.1 & .66
    9mm: 147-gr. = 14.5 & .66

    Heavy Cloth
    357Sig 125gr. = 10.7 & .69
    9mm: 147-gr. = 14.0 & .66

    Wallboard
    357Sig 125gr. = 15.4 & .48
    9mm: 147-gr. = 15.0 & .67

    Plywood
    357Sig 125gr. = 12.2 & .66
    9mm: 147-gr. = 14.8 & .62

    Auto Glass
    357Sig 125gr. = 10.3 & .49
    9mm: 147-gr. = 10.8 & .52

    Summary:

    Looks like the easy recoiling 9mm 147-gr. outperforms the hot & fast 125-gr. Sig despite a 360 fps velocity disadvantage.
    ___________________

    Just because a round is louder, recoils plenty more, and has a lot of flash doesn't make it more effective in stopping the BG.

    * Shot Placement
    * Accurate Rapid Fire
    * Bullet Construction / Weight
    * Choice of Caliber
     
  16. BigG

    BigG Member

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    115, 124, 147 ...

    No matter how you slice it, 9mm is just a second tier cartridge.

    I've turned in all mine except a few plinkers like Luger, P38, for white box nostalgia, but any current hardware is 40 or 45 caliber. YMMV JMTC, etc.
     
  17. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I'm no 'expert' but I love 9mm handguns and don't care for 147 grain bullets because I haven't found a loading that will group better than 4"@25 meters in any of my pistols,,,,,
     
  18. Captain

    Captain Member

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    147 grain,

    Surely you are joking when you say that a 9-147 is more effective than a 357 Sig (in any bullet weight). You guys amaze me with your gelatin analysis! I would much rather use statistics from real shootings, whether they are one shot stops or not, than use the ballistic gelatin block as an altar to worship at! The 357 Sig is much more powerful than any 9mm on the market....even the +P+ loads.

    I think the 9mm is a fine defensive caliber and occasionally carry one or two. The real advantage to the 9 vs whatever other caliber out there, is the capacity of the pistols available, the low recoil making follow up shots easier and faster and the low cost to practice with it.
     
  19. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

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    The 9 is fine! So are 147s. "They'll kill ya but good!".

    -Kahr MK9
    -CZ PCR 75 Compact
    -CZ 85
    -Tanfoglio TZ99

    Cannoneer, you make a very good point. But "euro pellet" - tee hee.
     
  20. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    All I'll say is I have bet my life on almost every pistol caliber out there, including .32, .45, and .40SW. I currently carry a 9mm CZ75 PO1. If I can afford to get a CZ75 40 Compact, I'll carry that, too, but I know exactly where this little high speed pill will go, and with the good ammo, I do not feel underarmed. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we have so many handguns and ammunition to choose from - so everyone can be happy with thier choice. So, if you carry a 9mm, a 45ACP, a 40SW, a 7.62x25mm, a 9x18mm, or even a lowly .32, become proficient, and use the best ammo you can afford.
     
  21. hotpig

    hotpig Member

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    Why do "experts" not like the 9mm 147 grain jhp or the 9mm caliber



    You have to remember it is very common for the "experts" to be ten years behind on their printed articles. They have to write stuff to get paid. It is easy to go back to their old files and alter some past article to sell to another gun rag. ;)
     
  22. Riktoven

    Riktoven Member

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    I'm willing to bet that the vast majorty of "experts", and 99.9% of all people who dismiss the 9mm have never shot anyone or been shot themselves.

    9mm IS a wuss.

    But guess what, the .45 is a wuss that is .095" larger so you bleed a little faster.

    Unfortunately no one bleeds fast enough to instantly stop them, so a central nervous system (CNS) hit is the only quick stop there is and either caliber can reliably penetrate skull. If you can get the CNS shots better with a .45 than a 9mm, carry it. If not, the .45 just gives you more mass to crush bone with and a little more surface area to hit those arteries (more relatively slow bleeding that is still going to let your target pull the trigger).

    If it's worth it to you great. If not, the 9mm is still a killer and gives you more and quicker followup shots.

    As for bullet wieghts, it doesn't matter a whole lot. I like the 147 gr. Ranger Ts because they work well in my pistol, have super light recoil, and all the scientific tests I've seen show them to be as good or better than anything else. Some people say 115 gr. are too light and don't penetrate, and that 147 grains over penetrate and don't expand. If you want to care about everyone's OPINION on the subject, get 124 or 127gr. rounds and split the difference, but in the end shot placement is 99% of the job.

    And to whoever used the term "energy dump" or talked about the bullets "expending all thier energy in the target"...well, you're hopeless so nevermind.
     
  23. Harold Mayo

    Harold Mayo Member

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    Wow...guys, if you think that only officers in Europe carried pistols, think again. The German army was the most pistol-heavy force in history with almost every soldier being supplied with a handgun.

    To think that huge armies with 9mm pistols never used them except to murder people while the good ol' USA used the .45 ACP in combat is ridiculous. A German soldier is just as likely to draw his pistol in combat as an American one...MORE likely, really, since by someone's own realization they were using bolt rifles rather than semi-auto.

    Guys, if you want to know how well handgun rounds perform, get with local farmers (if you live anywhere near any) and volunteer to put down sick animals for them OR go and hunt wild hogs with handguns. You'll "get" two facts relatively quickly:

    1. All handgun rounds are equally worthless
    2. Shot placement counts for more than caliber, be it big and slow or small and fast
     
  24. senior

    senior Member In Memoriam

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    9mm round

    dont wish to get into a heated arguement, but, i cant help but wonder how many of these so called "experts" on which is the better round to drop a BG have in actuality zaped anyone and instantly become authorities on the subject? I NEVER used pistols in combat that often, to claim that my word is wisdom, however, i have seen a share of bodies with 9mm, 38, 45, etc holes in them, true, 45's will put a wicked hole in the human body compared to a 9, but, from obervations, i've never seen any difference in "dead," from their wounds, they all seem to be just as dead, dead!! Also NEVER seen a man stand and laugh when confronted with any gun, regardless of caliber
     
  25. Opeybarr68

    Opeybarr68 Member

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    A military does not use a round bases on it's ability to kill instantly or it's preceved stopping power. A military uses a round that meets a variety of needs. The main objective is to take the enemy out of the fight. That doesn't always mean instant death. The next thing to consider is weight. A soldier humping through the hills needs to be able to carry enough ammo to accomplish his objective. Yet another consideration is reliability. The weapon using the rounds chosen must fire under ungodly conditions. Yet one more factor to figure is cost. A military has a budget and must meet all of the above criteria with out breaking the bank. The last thing to investigate is that the military must find a manufacturer that will produce a weapon in a desired cailber at the lowest price possible. No one caliber is perfect for all conditions listed so through compromise one is selected. These are some of the reasons some militarys have chosen to use the 9mm both in the past and present.
    makes sense to me..
     
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