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Old January 2, 2013, 10:27 PM   #1
RHafleyJ
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Reloading 9mm 125gr for personal defense

I'm new here but this looks like a great forum/source for good info.

I've been loading for a couple of months and I've only loaded handgun rounds strictly by published recipes. I want to load some hot 9mm for personal defense using 125gr jhp from Zero Bullets. I was hoping I could get some advice on target velocities. I suppose I just need to know what's feasible and reliable in a 9mm. I plan on working up a few to chronograph this weekend.

My details:
125gr JHP from Zero
CCI 500 primers
Power Pistol powder
4" barrel
1.130" oal (anything longer pinches in my pistol)
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Old January 2, 2013, 11:42 PM   #2
Jimro
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Call your local police department. Find out what they carry. Carry that.

Make your handloads duplicate that as best you can for practice. But carry what your local police carry.

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Old January 3, 2013, 03:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodiac View Post
I took my wife to get a gun... There were several I thought she would like... She looked at every gun at Green Top (the biggest gun shop in VA) and picked the Kahr LADY Kahr. To me its almost a mouse gun... but she loves it and is a crack shot with it. Makes me swell with pride... I don't moan when dinner is not on the table when I get home anymore...

[This message has been edited by Kodiac (edited 10-16-98).]
I thought law enforcement uses JHP specifically Federal hydra-shoks

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Old January 3, 2013, 06:57 PM   #4
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dikroundtree,

Different agencies use different loads. The point is that if you get into a defensive shooting and you are using the same load that your local police use, IF a prosecutor tries to paint you as a killer who chose "bullets intended to kill" or some such nonsense, your attorney can put the chief LEO on the witness stand to explain why that agency chose that load.

It was one bit of advice from Mas Ayoob that I really liked, as it turns several "anti-gun" arguments on their heads all at once.

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Old January 3, 2013, 07:07 PM   #5
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^^^^^^ What he said. The only factory ammo that I buy is what I carry. In my case Hydroshocks in 9mm and Golden Saber in .45. I don't know what the local PD uses but will ask someone at the next match.
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Old January 3, 2013, 11:23 PM   #6
boxerrider
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velocity

1100 - 1200 fps?

I've used Zero bullets, and really like them, but just being a JHP doesn't mean they're built to expand. Test them and you may be happy with the way they open up. Otherwise I recommend any premium self defense bullet that feeds in your pistol.

Enjoy!
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Old January 4, 2013, 10:44 AM   #7
RHafleyJ
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I must say I have never given any thought to the issue brought up here about how a prosecutor would look at the round used in a self defense scenario.
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:49 AM   #8
Jim Watson
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Quote:
I've been loading for a couple of months
I want to load some hot 9mm for personal defense
This does not sound like a good combination to me.
Do you get in so many gunfights that the price of factory JHP is a problem?

I would buy factory to carry and a similar reload for practice... right out of the book. Power Pistol gives high velocity with a bright flash and loud report to let you know you are shooting Manly Ammunition.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:55 PM   #9
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This topic gets argued to death. In theory, if you were justified in using lethal force and didn't put innocent bystanders at imprudent risk, it shouldn't matter what the weaponry was. In the real world, though, prosecutors are elected, and for that reason public perceptions of what you use could affect what the prosecutor actually does. Also, civil suits can happen after the legal issues are settled, though some jurisdictions don't allow when the case is closed with a finding of self-defense.

I suspect the best preparation is to know the situation where you live. You could call your county sheriff (also elected) and ask if he has a preferences about what kinds of ammunition CCW permit holders have in their weapons or if there there's anything they discourage or don't like to see or recommend avoiding, even if it's legal. They may be most concerned that you not have something that could penetrate police soft body armor or patrol car doors. Even if the sheriff has no specific recommendation, then at least you are on record as having done your due diligence in the matter, and unless you ignore any specific advice the sheriff offers, that creates an affirmative defense if the prosecutor should try to make a hill of beans out of what was in your gun.
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:29 PM   #10
rajbcpa
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....what makes you think a hot load is needed or is more deadly for self defense?

The most deadly ammo is the kind that is carefully placed in the vitals of the perp. Upper torso hits are usually real man-stoppers.
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:56 PM   #11
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I can think of only one case where handloaded ammo came into question for use in a SD situation. Seems the whole "don't handload your SD ammo" thing is mostly a perpetuated myth.
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Old January 4, 2013, 05:12 PM   #12
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I think the whole thing actualy varies not only by state, but also by district in some states.

I know someone that used hand loaded ammo in a self defense shooting. The bad guy was pronounced dead at the scene. (In fact he was dead on the spot where hit.) It was a justified shooting. He had to surrender his gun till the grand jury hearing. Facts of the case were presented. It was deemed justified. His gun, and the remaining ammo that was in were returned to him. (Ammo was in a sealed shipping package type envelope.)

If one is justified in this state in use of force. Then they are waived of civil liability from the person they used force on, and/or that person's family/estate. Not every state has the same law.


Ok enough thread jacking. Most 9mm hollow points will expand well at standard velocity, and give good penetration. If one were loading them to mimic self defense loads I would suggest working up to the load you shoot the best.
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Old January 4, 2013, 05:33 PM   #13
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A lot of good points here about the legality of carrying your own reloads. I myself carry my own reloads. When I carry my .40 it's full of 180grn XTPs. When I carry my 9mm it's full of 124grn XTPs. These are loaded to printed data and are not modified in any way. I'm comfortable with that. I think what should be a concern is if your gun has been modified in any way. Mine have not, they shoot flawlessly and I've never seen the need to work the triggers, trigger bar, springs nor any thing else. JMO
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Old January 4, 2013, 08:21 PM   #14
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I've never understood how using handloaded ammo in your EDC would be an issue when and if you had to defend yourself. How do you make a handloaded round more lethal than factory +P, or +p+ ammo without damaging yourself or destroying a firearm? I guess there could be some wild assertion that you put poison in the tip of a HP or used nuclear waste instead of lead in the bullet makeup. As long as a load you were using could be pointed out in one or more published lists of handload data, I think any accusaton would quickly fall flat.

As far as asserting that modifying a gun to make it more lethal goes; I mean, come on, what you possibly do to accomplish that? Of course you could cut off the barrel of a shotgun or rifle, or turn a semi-auto into a full auto. Either would be illegal and, I guess might fall into this category.
I can't imagine that by changing your grips to fancy ones on your 1911, adding night sights, or a laser would apply though.

I've seen this topic come up from time to time in this and other forums, but no one(that I'm aware of) has ever been able to point to a single documented case where this impacted the outcome of a trial.
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:19 PM   #15
RHafleyJ
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Well my thought process behind the question is based on the Hornady 135gr+p at 1150/369 and the Corbon 125gr+p at 1250/434, both for self defense. I know getting shot with any bullet would be a deterrent but if you're loading to carry why not make them safely powerful? I was thinking that 1250fps might be a little stout but perhaps 1200fps may be achievable with a 125gr bullet which would give me around 400ft-lbs of energy without to much punishment on the gun. You guys know way more than me as I am new to the hobby, I thought perhaps someone had worked up some similar loads and could give some insight. Of course I could just be over analyzing everything when I could be making bullets!
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:50 PM   #16
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The police carry loads are not always based on effectiveness standards; sometimes the selection is based on budget issues. I have one box of commercial HP as my carry load and I know where they print. I practice w/ reloads w/ LRN so they are less expensive.
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxerrider
I've used Zero bullets, and really like them, but just being a JHP doesn't mean they're built to expand. Test them and you may be happy with the way they open up. Otherwise I recommend any premium self defense bullet that feeds in your pistol.
I agree with Jeff. Don't trust the inexpensive HP bullets to be effective. They may expand but not penetrate or penetrate but not expand.

Premium bullets are available as reloading components if you decide to go that route.

Personally, I buy my defense ammo. I'll replicate it on my reloading bench for practice.
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:03 PM   #18
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I would take jimro's advice, no reason to chance it
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:48 AM   #19
Gster
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I can kind of understand wanting to carry what the police carry just because they do but.... I'm a reloader and work up and shoot my own ammo. We all know , what works in one gun may not work as well in another. That is why most reloaders like to reload, or so I thought. I shoot and trust my own ammo and I know how it shoots. I pay strict attention to what I am doing and have never had one fail to go bang. I have in the past had factory ammo do just that. I load on a single stage press and am in complete control of every stage. I follow load data manuals . I figure that if (God forbid) I have to shoot someone (and I would to protect me and my family.) I'm gonna be in a world of %#@& any how. When they find that I was just using published data and their published components, every will come out just fine.
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Old January 5, 2013, 11:46 AM   #20
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Gster,

That is a method. So far prosecutors have a poor record actually convicting someone for using handloads. However, that doesn't mean that it doesn't cost you time, energy, stress, and money, to mount your defense.

The first question I have to ask is: Is the potential lawyer fees really worth the 25 bucks for a box of whatever the police in your area carry?

The second question I have to ask is: if the police load groups 5 inches at 25, and your handloads are 1.5 inches at 25, does that really matter in a defensive pistol situation?

I guess if you are truly concerned more about bullet performance than any other factor, and aren't worried about being able to pay an attorney to defend yourself from an aggressive prosecutor then your method makes perfect sense. I don't want anyone to get the idea that "using published load data" is a ticket to not being prosecuted (Mas Ayoob has served as an expert witness in several successful defenses of individuals who used handloads).

So, with all those factors to consider, I hope you understand where my advice comes from, and why using the same load as the cops is cheap insurance.

And anyone who is concerned about a cop load not being "lethal enough" needs to get an education on terminal ballistics. All bullets are lethal, and if you do your part the bullet will work just fine.

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Old January 5, 2013, 11:54 AM   #21
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If the 125gr JHP from Zero bullet is anything like that from Montana Gold they do not expand. I tested some Montana Gold 124g HP's a few years ago into some wet sand bags and none of the 15 rounds expanded. The jackets came off and the lead core had little to no deformation.

124g XTP's on the same sand bags opened up nicely as did 147g Gold Dots.

I don't recall the powder charge used but, I know it was published data and not hot loads for all the above loads.
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Old January 5, 2013, 12:05 PM   #22
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Here is a picture of the XTP's and Gold Dots.



Here is a bad picture of the Montana Gold jacket and bullet. The lead core in the picture went through the the sand bag and hit a log and is my guess as to how the tip was dented.

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Old January 5, 2013, 12:18 PM   #23
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Dude asked a good question and we get the B.S. about reloading self-defense ammunition. Once again, there has never, ever, in the entire history of the United States, been one single person convicted of any crime for using reloads for self-defense. But we know for a fact that getting advanced firearms training or using a 10mm has contributed to the conviction of a crime in a self-defense shooting. But we never hear anyone cry about advanced firearms training or using a 10mm for self-defense. Let's keep it real.

To the O/P, I wish I could give you some advice, but I only reload for .38/.357 and .45 Colt and I do use reloads for self-defense. Working on some shotgun reloads that should kick some arse.
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Old January 5, 2013, 04:36 PM   #24
RHafleyJ
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Well the expansion question and the Montana Gold results scared me so I loaded a Hornady XTP 124gr with the published max of 5.7gr Power Pistol and loaded a 125gr Zero with 6.2gr of the same. I'll try to get a pic up of the results after i shot them into some old phonebooks.

Last edited by RHafleyJ; January 5, 2013 at 06:51 PM.
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Old January 5, 2013, 05:36 PM   #25
Jimro
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jmortimer, it isn't about being convicted, it is about avoiding prosecution.

That is not BS.

You don't have to be convicted to be treated like a criminal.

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