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Old January 31, 2013, 08:16 PM   #1
BlueOvalFitter
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115gr, 124gr,147gr In 9mm

Each grain has a different characteristic. Which do you use and for what purpose?
I use 115gr FMJ for target practice and a 147gr HP for home defense. Every now and then I will use 124gr FMJ for target practice.
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Old January 31, 2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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As a general rule, heavier slugs penetrate well, faster rounds expand well. Again, general rule.

Living in Oregon, I favor 147gr Gold Dots. It's overcast here most of the year, so people generally layer. Because they layer so often, there is less incentive to be fit. Cliff's notes: we have a lot of heavy people in heavy clothing. Penetration is king.

The 147gr GDHP is also a light-recoiling round.
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Old January 31, 2013, 09:42 PM   #3
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For home defense I use 147gr Winchester JHP.

I wasn't being specific on name brand ammo used. I shoot anything that's cheap in 115gr for target practice. Usually WWB or TulAmmo.
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Old January 31, 2013, 10:46 PM   #4
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Depends on the gun. A smaller gun with a shorter barrel I would lean towards a lighter bullet to get the velocity up enough to expand. A fullsize gun with a ~5" barrel I'd load with 147 grain, probably even +p.
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Old January 31, 2013, 11:05 PM   #5
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Bigghoss, I agree with you. I guess there are all kinds of variations I left out. When I stated "Each grain has a different charecteristic" I should have been a bit more specific.

I sold ALL of my firearms in the last (2) years to pay doctor bills.
I just recently bought a 5906 and that thing eats ANYTHING! I guess I was basing my Q?s on that.
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Old January 31, 2013, 11:36 PM   #6
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my home defense are the Hornady Critical Defense rounds. I think they are 124gr.

My competition and therefore target loads are 124gr JHP. I buy bullets in bulk 3,750 bullets in a case.

147s are great for knocking over steel if you want to really hear a gong sound instead of a "ping" sound 115s make.

Just make sure you target practice with a similar recoiling round that your home defense load is.
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Old January 31, 2013, 11:51 PM   #7
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I mostly use 115 gr FMJ for target practice simply because that is what most local stores carry. I like the 124 gr Gold Dots for defense ammo.
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Old February 1, 2013, 12:27 AM   #8
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I practice mostly with 147 grain plated reloaded bullets. I carry with Buffalo Bore 147 grain +P+ HP rounds. I also have magazines with Buffalo Bore 124 grain +P HP loads.
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Old February 1, 2013, 12:30 AM   #9
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While my signature will show that I don't own any 9mm guns yet, I am fond of and familiar with the round. The 5-6 first-time gun owners I have helped purchase a home-defense pistol, practice with it, and choose ammo have all been steered toward the 9mm.

As their pistols tend to be 4" or longer in barrel length, I usually make sure they're supplied with a 147-grain JHP. Gold Dot, HST, and Winchester Ranger-T are my choices for defense ammo. Other brands like Remington Golden Saber and Winchester PDX1 are impressive, but to simplify my life I constantly find myself falling back on Gold Dot, HST, and Ranger-T - Proven, tested-and-retested rounds.

It's usually cold or windy in Wyoming, so heavy coats are common. I like the 147 for penetration. We're pretty physically fit, but we wear lots of layers.

In a smaller gun (3.5" barrel or shorter) I'd like Gold Dot, HST, or Ranger-T in 124 +p

I would not use a 115-grain JHP for defense. I would not trust the penetration.

For practice, whatever's cheap - and reasonable quality - you shouldn't need to wonder if your pistol or your ammo caused a failure. I have had flawless experiences with thousands of rounds of Winchester White Box and Federal Champion, but if I have the coin I prefer Federal American Eagle.
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Old February 1, 2013, 12:31 AM   #10
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Hook, that Buffalo Bore is wicked stuff. What pistol(s) do you shoot it in? How's the felt recoil?
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:32 AM   #11
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The heaviest round fired at subsonic velocities. Simply because, if I had a pistol, it'd be suppressed. Heavier bullets tend to have better SD's and BC's too.
I don't care much about velocity when the round is fired at barely supersonic velocities.
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Old February 1, 2013, 03:32 AM   #12
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In my Kahr K9 which is my warm weather EDC, I carry Hornady Critical Defense 115gr. In my CZ, which I use for winter carry and home defense I have Hornady Critical Duty 135gr +P.
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Old February 1, 2013, 04:11 AM   #13
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Which ever one you and the gun like. I use 115 JHP for HD on the theory that they won't over penetrate. The 124 +P have a great track record and I like the 147 grain currently being produced by the top three.
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Old February 1, 2013, 04:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
I just recently bought a 5906 and that thing eats ANYTHING! I guess I was basing my Q?s on that.
Those are nice guns. I drooled over a 4506 at my LGS for probably a month or so. They were just a little high on the price ana with as big as they are I kinda fell out of love with the idea of owning one.

Anywho I think the barrels on those are about 4 inches, I don't know. Probably a 124 grain would do well. Really any good quality JHP should work, you'd be hard pressed to find the best load out of your gun without doing ballistics testing from it. Even bullets of the same weight from different makers would perform differently.

There is some good info in the link below about standard handgun calibers and terminal performance and even has a list of specific ammo to look for.
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887
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Old February 1, 2013, 07:29 AM   #15
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Depends on the gun. A smaller gun with a shorter barrel I would lean towards a lighter bullet to get the velocity up enough to expand.
9mm velocites are not effected much by barrel length. I've generally seen about a 100 fps difference between a 3.5" barrel and a 5" barrel. The modern bullet designs of today have a much wider upset velocity range then the difference you will see in fps from using a shorter barrel. Mind you this is just talking about 9mm. Other calibers have their own characteristics.
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Old February 1, 2013, 07:50 AM   #16
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I've recently switched to the 147gr Federal HST load over the Speer GDHP 124gr +P load for serveral reasons. Mainly because my HD gun is a suppressed M&P but also because of the 147gr loads lighter recoil. A 147gr load will also deflect less then a lighter bullet. Lots of good 124gr and 147gr loads out there today.
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Old February 1, 2013, 07:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
I use 115gr FMJ for target practice and a 147gr HP for home defense
this
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Old February 1, 2013, 09:31 AM   #18
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I shoot almost all 125gr RNL for target. 00 buck for home defense, I dont want to be precise in a hurry. My 9mm is loaded with 124 Hydra Shok at home but it wouldnt be first choice.
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Old February 1, 2013, 09:56 AM   #19
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When I joined the Army in 1984 they were phasing out the M1911A1 and starting to issue the Baretta M9. I qualified expert with both, using a 124gr NATO round. I have no idea what they are using now.

I'm sure there are plenty of you that reload your own here, but who was caught with their pants down before this ammo shortage/hysteria? I was and continue to be well stocked up. Every now and then my cousin, an FFL holder whom reloads his own, stops by to give me a few rounds.

The LGS in the small town I live in is selling TulAmmo 115gr, 50 round boxes for $23.50! And people are buying it!
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Old February 1, 2013, 11:00 AM   #20
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For a long time, the 147 grain 9mm had serious problems. So I'm sure that biased me against them. I realize they are better now. But... if you go to that heavy of a bullet, you are starting to look a lot like a 158 grain .38 Special. A modern one with higher velocity than the old RN bullets... but still. The advantage the 9mm has over .38 Special is velocity. So it seems like the wrong approach _to me_ to go to the heavy bullets. (Unless you are using a can, of course.)

With modern bonded bullets, I'm sure the 115 grain bullets work great. But once again, we are all slaves to our own memories of history. And I remember the 115 grain bullets that expanded too much or fragmented and then you got insufficient penetration. So I don't generally carry them either.

Which leaves us with the 124-127 grain bullets. Which I think is kind of funny since that's where the Germans were loading it 100 years ago. Again, any modern bullet will work. I like Gold Dots and use them in some of my guns. But if I'm actually going to carry a 9mm, my "go to load" is the Winchester Ranger LEO 127 grain +P+ SXT. I normally CCW a .357 SIG and that 9mm load gets me as close as possible in 9mm. I've shot a few varmints with it and they were VERY impressed.

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Old February 1, 2013, 11:19 AM   #21
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Hook, that Buffalo Bore is wicked stuff. What pistol(s) do you shoot it in? How's the felt recoil?
i carry a S&W 3913. I find the recoil about the same, or a little less than the S&W 329PD with Buffalo Bore Heavy 185 grain .44 Specials, or the S&W M&P 340 with .38 +P. Any of these I can spend the afternoon practicing at the range with. Actually after going through several boxes of these to check reliability I have started reloading what I consider equivalent bullet weight/speed for practice, as that saves a bucket of money.
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Old February 1, 2013, 11:43 AM   #22
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I find my guns tend to like 124 gr the best, both in terms of reliability and accuracy (that could be me though). I don't mind 147 gr but I don't group with it near as well as 124 gr. I only use 115 gr for plinking.

I wouldn't want to be shot with any grains .
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Old February 1, 2013, 11:55 AM   #23
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In a 9mm, I've always thought that the 124-127gr loadings offer the best balance of weight and velocity so I prefer them for SD (my favorite is Winchester Ranger-T 127gr +P+). For practice, I normally use 115gr FMJ because it's the most widely available and affordable.
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Old February 1, 2013, 12:25 PM   #24
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9mm velocites are not effected much by barrel length. I've generally seen about a 100 fps difference between a 3.5" barrel and a 5" barrel. The modern bullet designs of today have a much wider upset velocity range then the difference you will see in fps from using a shorter barrel. Mind you this is just talking about 9mm. Other calibers have their own characteristics.
Well that's good to know. It's been a while since I looked at velocity in relation to barrel length and darned if I know anymore how fast they need to go to be effective. I like to carry my glock 26 as a BUG to my g17 or sometimes just carry the 26 with two extra G17 mags so it's nice to know I can run the same ammo through both without much impact on terminal performance.
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Old February 1, 2013, 12:31 PM   #25
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I tend to go with the 124gr loads. The lighter ones don't always play nice in the really small guns and since I prefer to practice with the same load I carry (where possible and practical), there's just not many 147gr practice loads... I've never seen any.

The 124gr Golden Saber seems to be a very good performer, so that's what I use for defensive purposes.
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