View Full Version : Thoughts on 147gr 9mm

September 3, 2007, 03:37 PM
I've been hearing really good things about federal's LE tactical HST ammo. They offer it in both 124 grain and 147 grain. Has anybody used this ammo, or know anything about it? Will the heavier bullet be of any advantage? I assume the velocity will be slower, so it would seem that any advantages from the weight would be negated by the slower velocity.

September 3, 2007, 03:45 PM
so it would seem that any advantages from the weight would be negated by the slower velocity.

Yes it's a toss-up between velocity and weight. It depends on your opinion mostly. Some people want the heaviest bullet for the best penetration. But the lighter and faster rounds are more likely to expand reliably.

September 3, 2007, 03:47 PM
I have heard, but not confirmed, that heavier bullets tend to be more acurate in 9mm's as the bullets at higher velocities tend to get a little wild.

keep in mind this is only something I've heard a couple of times.

September 3, 2007, 03:48 PM
The only way to resolve this is find Gello tests on both.

Good hunting, I don't have them. This is a fairly new load, isn't it?

Generally, the 147's penetrate better, because the lack of velocity causes the bullet to open up less, and slower. Also, the lighter bullets loose their momentum faster in gello anyway, as they open up, then the heavier bullets.

Specifics may break my generalities. Each bullet is different, and, with the small bullets, sometimes they expand, sometimes they don't. Result is, some penetrate plugged, a lot, some don't. FBI results reflected the difference in gello, vs. Mormon Gello.

Have a look at brassfetcher.com for some gello results.

Just remembered. If Federal is paying him well, Marshall, of Marshall and Sanow fame, might have Gello results on his website. I think it's called stoppingpower.com or something like that. The group there seems to be pretty good about testing stuff they like, have liked in the past, and, Federal qualifies.

September 3, 2007, 03:58 PM
Whichever one you shoot best is all that matters - rest assured.

September 3, 2007, 04:20 PM
When you compare the different HP 124 and 147 9mm's they are actually usually look fairly close in penetration and expansion.

I'll try to find it but I think the test info is on the Winchester web site.

The 147 grain Ranger standard pressure had more penetration and expansion than the Ranger 127 grain +P+.

The 147 gr Gold Dot does the same over the 124 gr +P Gold Dot.

The diffrences aren't enough to make me worry about which one to use but they are there.

September 4, 2007, 07:11 AM
Is it on this list?


September 4, 2007, 08:23 AM
There is another issue with the 147gr 9mm. What is that? I have found bullets in this weight to be more accurate than 124gr or 115gr bullets. This may just be me but it is my conclusion. Regards, Richard:D

September 4, 2007, 11:51 AM
But I do like the Federal Hydra-Shok's in 147gr allot, and so does my G17 and BW89PDW. :)

September 4, 2007, 01:06 PM
Since I have only shot 115gr 9mm, I can only asume shooting a 147gr bullet would be similar to shooting a .45 round, in that its heavier, leaving the barrel slower, with better recoil action.

September 4, 2007, 01:30 PM
I have also found the 147 grain 9mm to be more accurate than the lighter rounds. I use them in IDPA matches, out of a 4" S&W model 910, and a 3913. I also carry them in fall/winter, on duty in the 3913. Good accuracy combined with flawless feeding, and adequate penetration. Whats not to like? Regards 18DAI.

September 4, 2007, 07:06 PM
Take a look at the Winchester Law Enforcement site and click on the testing tool. It compares different bullet weights as well as bonded bullets as to penetration and expansions in various mediums.


It appears that the 147 grain 9mm has superior penetration with no decreased expansion. The bonded bullets penetrate even more but with slightly less expansion.

Great site for comparing 9mm, .40, and .45 acp.

September 4, 2007, 10:01 PM
I've always shot better with the 147 grain loading. They especially handle well in a 92FS in my opinion. 124s are popular self defense rounds, and I feel the 115s are a little on the light side.

September 5, 2007, 07:08 PM
Heres is a good article on the 147 gr although it is a little dated.

The new premium brands perform even better.


September 5, 2007, 08:17 PM
It is a very viable defensive round . There are several Pd's that use the 147gr. Portland is using the 147 HST and is working very well according to someone with first hand knowledge. Go check out Evan Marshall's site a wealth of knowledge and testing has been done on just about every bullet you can think of.

September 5, 2007, 08:59 PM
I prefer 147s. The penetration is better, and the expansion 98% as good.

September 5, 2007, 11:29 PM
I am guessing 147 grain ammo is more accurate because of the same reason subsonic 22 Long Rifle is more accurate that high velocity, the round never has the transonic buffeting that a supersonic or near supersonic round experiences near the speed of sound.

September 7, 2007, 12:51 AM
To all of those who say it is more accurate, are all of you using longer barreled pistols?

Would the accuracy still be noticeable out of a Glock 26 or similar length pistol? Also, how would expansion and penetration be affected out of a shorter length gun?

I generally go with 124gr out of a Glock 26, but I can't really test expansion or penetration. I was reading a thread about what the best rounds would be to use out of older revolvers, a lot of people say to use standard load non HP, HSK bullets because expansion out of the shorter barrel would be less likely. Would this also be true for a shorter barreled pistol?

I also think 115s to be too light, but I see there are 110, 90, and 85gr 9mm rounds, what theoretical advantages are there in choosing such light rounds? There is also a 125gr, just one up from 124? Why? One more, 135gr, best middle ground for 9mm?

Sorry for sounding like a little kid asking "why?" to everything someone says to them. Ballistics is the one area where I'm trying to learn more about.


What Just Happened?
September 8, 2007, 12:01 PM
Well CGSteve,

To go into all this, you're gonna have to understand something about physics. In combustion, an amount of gas is created with a high pressure. And because this pressure is above that of the ambient pressure (atmospheric pressure) it will seek to equalize itself to the ambient. Due to the construction of the pistol, the only way this can happen is if the bullet if pushed down the chamber, creating more volume that the high pressure gas can occupy and at the same time this expansion of the high pressure gas will cause the gas to proportionally decrease in pressure. Basically think of the Ideal Gas Law.

Pressure * Volume = Number of Molecules in the Gas* the Gas Constant * Temperature

In a typical pistol, the volume where the gas can expand in a controlled manner with all of the gas behind it (this volume being the volume of the barrel) is less than ideal. You will notice that a bullet fired from a pistol is less than that of the same bullet fired from a rifle. Basically, there is a lot of gas at a high pressure when the bullet leaves the barrel of a pistol and .... opps, go to go. Previous obligation. Basically, there is an optimum length for a bullet's performance, and this is usually around the length of a rifle. Not sure, but I would like to see some numbers or tests that people have done.

September 8, 2007, 12:25 PM
To get super accuracy:

Consistent bullets
Heavy for caliber bullets
Consistent powder charges
very little flucuation in velocity, round to round powder primer dependent
Fill the case as much as possible without compression, to achieve the above.
Consistent crimp
Excellent bullet design for accuracy.
Complete powder combustion prior to bullet exiting.
Powder matched to the length of barrel the round is shot in.

In revolvers, the bigger rounds tend to be more accurate, since they actually line stuff up straight that otherwise might stay misaligned. You can have a sloppy tolerance, accurate revolver,depending on the loads used.

In Semi Autos with smaller calibers, flaws in bullets or barrels become more apparent the smaller the bullet is. A small variation in weight is, in proportion, much greater then that same flaw would be with a bullet weighing considerably more.

The heavier the bullet, the harder it is to get it to fail at it's intended purpose...

S esq.

What Just Happened?
September 8, 2007, 02:28 PM
Socrates is right. I'm sure that's going to get quoted and put into his (her?) signature.

For accuracy's sake, you'll want the most quality controlled ammunition you can get your hands on. If each bullet is going on a different path due to one of a million factors, you'll never get a proper sighting in (although I suspect this is more important for high-powered rifles than it is for handguns, but it's important none-the-less). Also, with a heavier bullet, it will be less likely to drift off it's initial course due to external factors (such as wind or the sonic shockwave).

But the heavier bullet is better for bullseye shooting. If you're considering a self-defense load, with all other things equal, you'll want the bullet that goes the fastest. And this would indicate that you'll want the lightest bullet you can get (115 grain most likely). This is because the expansion of a hollow point is due to the drag that the tip experiences. And drag is proportional to the velocity of the bullet (another physics thing).


Bullseye shooting --- heavier bullet

Self-defense --- lighter bullet

plinking --- cheapest

Of course, the first two are assuming equal quality control and well-designed tips. But yes, all of the different weights have their purpose.

September 8, 2007, 02:49 PM
To all of those who say it is more accurate, are all of you using longer barreled pistols?Barrel length has almost nothing to do with accuracy. Increasing the sight radius of an open sighted pistol can improve practical accuracy, but barrel length is pretty much a non-player.Would the accuracy still be noticeable out of a Glock 26 or similar length pistol? Also, how would expansion and penetration be affected out of a shorter length gun?Good questions. Most shooters do not operate at the accuracy limits of the gun/ammo combination they're using. This is more true the smaller the gun since larger pistols tend to make it easier to shoot more accurately.

A shorter barrel will result in lower velocity which will decrease expansion. Decreased expansion (if the velocity were held constant) would result in increased penetration. Of course the velocity ISN'T held constant so it's hard to say exactly what will happen.There is also a 125gr, just one up from 124?Don't get too wrapped around the axle on this one. There are seven thousand grains in a pound, about 454 of them in an ounce. One grain doesn't make any difference.

Lighter bullets (in a given caliber) allow higher velocity. Higher velocity means more energy and some people put a lot of stock in high kinetic energy when it comes to stopping power.

Heavier bullets tend to penetrate more even though they're going slower. Many people believe that penetration is the primary factor in handgun effectiveness.

I think that both penetration and energy are both important. You can't discount either one too much--so I don't like the really light bullets or the really heavy bullets in a given caliber.

As far as the accuracy goes, I've gotten sub-2inch 5 shot groups at 25 yards with 115gr 9mm ammunition. Maybe the 147grain stuff is more accurate than that, but I can't see the practical application.

September 8, 2007, 06:08 PM
My preference for accuracy or defense.
1. 147
2. 124-127