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Old November 27, 2012, 06:08 PM   #1
Rifleman1952
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9MM 124 +P vs 147 gr standard pressure

Several 9 mm pistol owners I know claim it is best to use the 9mm 124 gr +P rounds during the warm months and the 147 gr standard pressure rounds during the winter months, when a bad guy may be wearing a heavy winter coat. Any thoughts from 9 mm owners as to whether this thinking has any merit?

According to Speer's ballistic tables, their 124 gr +P rounds puts out 417 ft lbs of energy at 1220 ft per second from the muzzle of a 4" barrel.

The Speer 147 gr standard pressure round puts out 317 ft lbs of energy, traveling at 985 ft per second from the same 4" barrel.

It would seem to me the 9mm 124 gr +P round beats the 147 gr standard pressure round regardless of season.

http://www.speer-ammo.com/ballistics/ammo.aspx
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Old November 27, 2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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Some people simply prefer big and slow.... Look at the 45 ACP
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Old November 27, 2012, 06:17 PM   #3
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Energy isn't the only response you can measure, penetration is another factor.
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Old November 27, 2012, 06:30 PM   #4
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It doesn't really matter, 9mm premium HP in 115, 124, 147, weights are all more alike than they are different. What matters is if they function well and shoot accurately in your handgun.
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Old November 27, 2012, 06:53 PM   #5
JonathanZ
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The 124 has more energy, while the 147 has more momentum. Check out the following home video tests on each round.

124 grain +P HST: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COVoB...ure=plpp_video

147 grain HST: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNRqr...ure=plpp_video

I'd say you get similar performance from either. I load the 124 +P's into my Glock 26, which is my carry gun. For that short barrel I prefer the lighter bullet in +P form. At home I go with the 147's in my Sig P226, which sits on my nightstand. All else being equal, and they are pretty close, I'd rather keep the round that won't be as loud in the gun I am more likely to shoot indoors. If I carried a gun with a longer barrel I may go 147 as well since the bullets hold up better against barriers like car windshields. Although I don't know that I'd ever be shooting through a windshield in a self defense scenario.
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:47 PM   #6
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Duncan MacPherson has already talked about the fallacy of using energy to evaluate/analyze terminal ballistic performance.

Quote:
every now and then someone wants to analyze or think about a problem involving energy, and when they attempt to do this without really understanding energy or other thermodynamic concepts the result is unfortunate. One such problem is the analysis of any of the various aspects of terminal ballistics; some individuals with inadequate technical training and experience have unwisely and unproductively attempted to use energy concepts in the analysis of bullet impact and penetration in soft tissue. (Many others have simply assumed that energy is the dominant effect in Wound Trauma Incapacitation; this assumption is even more simplistic than the attempt to actually analyze the dynamics problem with energy relationships, and is no more successful).

Any attempt to derive the effect of bullet impact in tissue using energy relationships is ill advised and wrong because the problem cannot be analyzed that way and only someone without the requisite technical background would try. Many individuals who have not had technical training have nonetheless heard of Newton’s laws of motion, but most of them aren’t really familiar with these laws and would be surprised to learn Newton’s laws describe forces and momentum transfer, not energy relationships. The dynamic variable that is conserved in collisions is momentum; kinetic energy is not only not conserved in real collisions, but is transferred into thermal energy in a way that usually cannot be practically modeled. The energy in collisions can be traced, but usually only by solving the dynamics by other means and then determining the energy flow.

Duncan MacPherson from the book "Bullet Penetration"
When someone says use this bullet weight or that bullet weight because of summer or winter because of a winter coat - I think they're leaving out an important aspect of the decision making process, that being what can any particular round be expected to do using some valid predictive analysis.

It's not just about a bullet weight or velocity.

I can show you a 124gr +P hollow point that will penetrate 18" in the FBI Heavy Clothing test, and also penetrate 18" of ordnance gel after going through 4 layers of denim. I can also show you a 147gr +P round that will only penetrate 11"

Unless you believe in hydro-static shock or some as-yet-undefined characteristic of bullets that would stop assailants other than damaging vital tissue, you have to make some decision on what penetration is necesary to damage vital tissue.

You have to come to some conclusions about what you think is adequate penetration, what poses a risk of over-penetration for your situation.

Human bodies can be categorized with a bell curve. The average weight of an adult male in the United State is 189.8 lbs. The average shoulder width is somewhere around 17.5" The average male chest measurement is 40", the average waist is 34".

Do you just want to prepare for the 50th percentile? Do you want to be prepared for the 75th percentile? Do you want to be prepared for an individual who is at the extreme end of the spectrum for width and muscle mass ( probably no single shot from a 9mm pistol is going to ensure that you stop such an individual)

Once you have an idea of what you want a bullet to do, you have to look at each cartridge, and see what it actually does in gel tests.

It's a more complicated process than just getting the KE product out one end of an equation.

IMO you have to look at each cartridge, and see what it actually does in gel tests.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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How do gel tests account for all the different sizes of bones in a human body? Are we to simply assume we won't hit a bone? I know it doesn't work that way when I'm hunting.

John
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
How do gel tests account for all the different sizes of bones in a human body? Are we to simply assume we won't hit a bone? I know it doesn't work that way when I'm hunting.

John
John if you'd like to provide us a number of deceased individuals whose families are willing to have ammo makers shoot their corpses, then please forward that information. Until then ballistics will always be an imperfect science.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
the average waist is 34".

Last time I saw a 34 inch waist was on a woman in CO.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Last time I saw a 34 inch waist was on a woman in CO.
Lol, I actually have a 34" waist. Used to be 30" then I got fat. I'm a skinny dude. That said I don't think the average waist is that small.
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Energy isn't the only response you can measure, penetration is another factor.
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9mm, 40, .45 JHPs are statistically a wash when it comes to real world effectiveness.

All handguns are underpowered and the stats show that well over 50% of people who are shot with handguns in civilian life survive and continue to live normal lives (typically criminal ones).

Shoot whatever floats your boat or buy a .500 S+W.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:54 PM   #12
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9MM 124 +P vs 147 gr standard pressure

I like my Brownings, and my EAA Witness ca. 1993, too much, to use "plus p". However, in answering the question why to using a 'heavier' versus a 'lighter' bullet weight, yes, the trade-off is penetration comes first. When I use 'heavier' production loads, I use Win. 9mm 147 gr. FMJTC. (USA9MM1).

Hollow Points do not always work as designed, and become modified 'fmjs'.
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Old November 29, 2012, 05:08 PM   #13
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124grGD +P ammo from the same company for the last 6 years for carry.
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Old November 29, 2012, 05:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
When I use 'heavier' production loads, I use Win. 9mm 147 gr. FMJTC. (USA9MM1).

Hollow Points do not always work as designed, and become modified 'fmjs'.
Why use FMJ? Is it because you believe JHP will just function like FMJ in certain circumstances? In a personal defense situation, there's really no good reason to go with FMJ.

They have to be used by the military. They aren't allowed to use JHP. I don't think (actually, I'm almost 100% certain of this now) there are any Law Enforcement agencies left in the country that use FMJ anymore, except possibly in certain SWAT type situations. They changed because the data showed the JHP perform better than FMJ in almost every circumstance. This is proven in both gelatin tests and real world situations.

As for me, I use Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P.
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Old November 29, 2012, 05:28 PM   #15
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All ballistic performance is irrelevant if you can't hit the target, use the most accurate load that functions 100% in your firearm.
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Old November 29, 2012, 08:16 PM   #16
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Momentum or energy?

Jonathan raises the question again. Is the key factor momentum (mass times velocity) or energy (0.5 times mass times velocity squared)? Would like to hear a definitive answer, if there is one. The rankings of SD ammo is very different depending on whether the key variable is momentum or energy. Why so little discussion/
-am
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Old November 29, 2012, 08:36 PM   #17
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Check out Winchesters PDX1 124+p and 147jhp. Both are outstanding and have some very good balistic test on them on YouTube. There is no wrong answere. The 147 will penetrate a bit farther but both will work winter or summer. I would shoot what ever is the most accurate out of your gun and forget about splitting hairs. It's amazing what so called experts can put in a book. Any succesful handgun hunter will tell you there is absolutely hydrostatic shock with hollow point bullets over 1000fps. It's still all about multiple hits on the target.
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Last edited by Mystro; November 29, 2012 at 09:25 PM.
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Old November 29, 2012, 11:42 PM   #18
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Phew, and I had some stuff by an avid hand gun hunter who says there is no such thing.

Pistols are not under powered, they just are not powerful. Its like saying my car is under powered compared to a Ferrari. While granted I can't afford a Ferrari, I would also not want one as it does not work for me.

Ergo the wagon does that job better than a Ferrari does for what I need and do.

A pistol has a certain level of power and its less than a rifle because its smaller and handier. I give up speed and cornering in the wagon for capacity. You give up a large caliber heavy hitting gun for a pistol because a pistol works better to carry, keep in a drawer conceal etc.

And at what point does your heavy caliber gun just blow through and you still get nothing? Bid difference between a deer sideways with a nice spitzer lead tip that you blow the lungs and or heart out and a human coming at you with mayhem on his mind.

You just accept that nothing form 9mm to 44 magnum is going to be a one shot stop ever and keep shooting until the threat is gone.

The serious experts seem to think the 124s are preferred in 9mm so that's what I go with. Others disagree and feel the 147s are better and I think you can go that way and very likely be fine.

I don't see anyone shooting through gels with ribs, shoulder blades with gelatin behind it or an arm or leg bones and geletin in various ways. It proves nothing other than being able to measure a result of penetration between bullets and designs. It does not mean you will get your 18 form the 124 or 11 from the 147 if you actually shoot someone.

Real world says its shot placement not bullet size nor caliber.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:27 AM   #19
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Nobody is preventing our military from using JHP. They voluntarily choose to use FMJ.
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Old November 30, 2012, 07:14 AM   #20
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It seems the 124's used to be better because they expanded more reliably. With the advances in bullet technology I am not concerned at all loading up the 147's.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:48 AM   #21
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I agree. The only down fall to the 147 jhp was its expansion issues. Now that we have much better bullets and expansion isn't a issue any more, the PDX1 147 might be the best deep penetration round. I am currently carrying them in my sidearm for rifle hunting this year. It may be the best woods round you can carry in a 9mm. Very accurate with lower recoil than the +124 jhp.
The Hornady 135 Critical Duty is also a good round.

Great stretch cavity (aka hydrostatic shock) and deep penetration.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rBIDnzDDx6Q


Quote:
It seems the 124's used to be better because they expanded more reliably. With the advances in bullet technology I am not concerned at all loading up the 147's.
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Last edited by Mystro; November 30, 2012 at 08:59 AM.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:15 AM   #22
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Nobody is preventing our military from using JHP. They voluntarily choose to use FMJ.
This is somewhat misleading. The Hague Convention restricts the use of expanding ammunition. Now, I understand that the US didn't sign the Hague convention, but we have made the decision to abide by it. We didn't voluntarily choose to use FMJ, we voluntarily chose to abide by a set of international laws, where one single part says we must use FMJ.

They aren't using FMJ because they are superior, ballistically. They may say they want the penetration, or something like that. My point was for the civilian, for personal defense, the penetration offered by an FMJ round is undesirable in nearly every situation.
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Old November 30, 2012, 10:55 AM   #23
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The only reason you would ever use full metal jacket is if you're gun did not reliably cycle jacketed hollow points or as a cost saving measure for practice.
I have seen 357 magnum rounds that didn't open up which is essentially a full metal jacket blow through a Whitetail deer. It's effect was lousy. The bullet had total pass-through of course but the deer look like it hadnt even been shot and ran for over a mile without recovery. On the other hand I have seen a 10 mm 180 grain hollow point traveling at approximately 1080fps kill a deer in under 30 yards with total expansion.

If you do have a gun can't reliably cycle hollowpoint ammunition, I suggest you find a better gun.
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Old November 30, 2012, 11:48 AM   #24
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Military is also interesting primarily in penetration (despite the fact recently we have been fighting people who do not wear any kind of protection!)

M16/M4 is the same, you read a lot of do dah, but the end result is they are continuing to meet the spec to penetrate a helmet at 300 yards or some such, when the Taliban and the Ben Ladens bunch do not wear them, let alone body armor and the field resutls say they need an expanding deer type bullet.

You can't have both and you hope the holes you make do something critical (ergo the constant comments about multiple 5.56 shots to stop the enemy and double taps stuff (hmmm, double tap my foot, keep shooting until the threat is gone).

Anyway, my disagreement wit the 147 is based on its slow and gelatin is not a human body. In that regard the 124s (and near size ) have the velocity to expand reliability. I am still not sold on the 147s doing the same thing in a "homo sapient"

I am not saying I am right, I just think the 124s have a better record there and want to see some real world data that supports a 147.

And how much penetration do you need or want?

For a HD or SD over-pentarion and carry on is an issue.

Frankly if I miss I hope that my walls and neighbors walls stop the bullet before it goes on through into their house (I am going to shoot and hope for the best because I have to but I don't have to like it).

That goes double for the Critical Duty. Its place is for LEO, not HD or SD. Its intended to penetrate more. Not something we are likely to need. Its not intended for that and frankly should not be in a gun unless you are in a barrier penetration role need.
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Old November 30, 2012, 03:46 PM   #25
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I use 147-gr. HSTs or Ranger Bonded at standard pressure and am very fond of them. Tests data and anecdotal evidence from police departments using them say it does well, according to Ayoob.

I switched from the nuclear 127-gr. +P+ load because the 147-gr. bullets typically have another inch or two of penetration compared to 124-gr. loads at +P while not really giving up any expansion, and just as importantly, have substantially less recoil.
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