View Full Version : 9mm - 115 grain vs. 124 grain on steel

January 15, 2008, 08:26 AM
Is the 124 grain more effective than the 115 grain when it comes to knocking down steel IDPA targets....or does it make any difference? I am about to purchase some 9mm hardball and have the choice between the two bullet weights.

January 15, 2008, 10:53 AM
I like the 124 for steel. It takes the steel with athority. Sometimes the 115's take the steel and it is slow falling. I see this out of the corner of my eye and I almost want to swing back on it, which is bad.

January 15, 2008, 11:33 AM
124 has had better results for me. I have also been experimenting with 147 gr in my beretta 92FS. They seem to work well, but still need to chrono as soon as my buddy returns my chrono.

January 17, 2008, 08:53 AM
IME the 147g bullets can be expected to knock over steel.
IME the 115g bullets don't spend enough time on the steel to be reliably expected to knock over steel.
IME the 124g bullets might.

My 9x19 'steel' (USPSA) ammo?

124g FMJ or TCJ-RN
131g LRN
146g LFN
147g FMJ (Hornady; discontinued?)
.355" 151g TCJ-RN
.357" 151g TCJ-RN

My last match? shot with 146g LFN over 4.9g WAP......

My fastest 9x19 ammo? 115g R-P JHP over none-of-your-business......

My fav 9x19 match cartridge? Rainier 124g TCJ-RN over 6.1g WAP.......

Hunter Customs
January 17, 2008, 09:11 AM
Back when I was competing I shot a lot of steel matches in different parts of the country. I did so using a 9mm loaded with 115 gr bullets and never had a problem knocking over steel.
Even the Opening Door stage of the American Handgunner World Shootoffs was handled with the 115 gr 9mm load, believe me if the 115 will take down the heavy tombstone plates of that stage they should handle any steel in the country.
Falling steel should be regulated at no more then a 130 PF.
Bob Hunter

January 20, 2008, 02:25 AM
While steel is suppose to be calibrated for 130 pf often it is not. Unless you hit the steel several times and it doesn't fall your not going to get a reshoot. In a local match they might have you hit it 3 or 4 times call it a hit and tell you to move on. Anyway you look at it your kind of screwed. With a 124 moving at a decent speed you take some of these factors out.

Here is the big thing for me. When I hit something with a 124 it drops with athority. It is also a lot more forgiving with a sloppy hit. A 115 with a sloppy hit may fall but is really slow doing so. If I see this out of the corner of my vision I'm tempted to swing back on it. I don't need that. I want to know that if i hit it, it went down.

At the handgunner the first tombstone on opening doors really needs to be hit several times. One hit might do it but it falls slow even when hit with a 124. Also getting cheated out of a win by sombody powering the stop plate under yours sucks. With a heavier bullet if you do your part this is less of a factor.

January 20, 2008, 11:42 AM
The most common 9mm IDPA/USPSA (minor) reloads that I’ve seen use 147grain bullets. The lightest recoiling load that I know of is 3.1 grains of VV310 and Berry’s 147 rn @ 1.160”. 3.1 of TiteGroup is close, but you can feel the difference. Both have no problem with steel.

January 20, 2008, 12:57 PM
I prefer and recommend 147g bullets if steel is anticipated.

Not a velocity thing, but a momentum thing.

Sigma 40 Blaster
January 20, 2008, 11:56 PM
The heavier bullet will win the battle as far as I have seen. It depends if you're talking about shooting knock down targets or just regular plates though...

This weekend I watched a gun hit a steel at least four times with a 115 grain 9mm bullet. I do not know where he was hitting it (close to the base or what) but I have never seen anything like it. I shot it with my .40 close to the bottom and it still fell over.