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View Poll Results: best Hardcast 9mm weight to shoulder a small deer: 125gr or 147gr
125 1 14.29%
147 6 85.71%
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Old January 16, 2020, 04:43 PM   #1
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125gr vs 147gr Hard cast 9mm Hunting Performance

I want to choose a bullet to hunt small-medium game with a 9mm <30yrds.
I like the 147xtps but, If I had a broadside shot on a small deer and my intentions were to crush their shoulder, send bone fragments into and penetrate through most of the vitals, Im going to want a FP Hard Cast bullet.

Which bullet weight would do that job best?
I chronograph 150gr FP fsj at 1009 fps
I cant find 125gr FP Hardcast but I imagine I could load them about 1200fps
What would be the difference in terminal ballistics between 147gr slug and 125?

While I'd expect both to penetrate deeply enough, I would expect the 147 to do less damage to the bone but penetrate deeper while the 125 would smash more tissue causing more damage but have less potential penetration.
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Old January 16, 2020, 06:21 PM   #2
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What are you hunting?

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Old January 16, 2020, 06:41 PM   #3
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The 147 gr hardcast are designed for extreme penetration and protection from large predators when using 9mm. I've seen testing with them penetrating 5'+ in gel. They only had 60" of gel and did not stop the bullets. When Phil Shoemaker killed the brown bear that attacked one of his fishing clients a few years ago he was using a Buffalo Bore 147 gr hardcast bullet.

I'd expect one of the heavy hardcast bullets to give complete penetration on most deer size game, but I'd also expect a HP bullet to do more damage and put down a game animal a little faster.

The early 147 gr HP loads did not reliably expand at the slower speeds necessary with the heavier bullets and got a bad reputation. That appears to have been solved. If I were planning on hunting deer size game with 9mm I'd be looking at 147 gr HP loads for deer size game and save the hardcast for larger game where much more penetration is needed.
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Old January 17, 2020, 12:06 AM   #4
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I'm thinking that the end result of a non expanding 9mm hard cast lead slug shot on a whitetail will be a small entry and exit hole, caliber size wound channel, and a difficult to recover animal. The flat meplat on a 9mm slug is not very big, I'm thinking that the crushing and fragmentation you expect will not happen. While heavy, blunt big bore bullets have a reputation as good game slugs (think Keith and his .44/250 LSWC) I'm believing the 9mm just does not have the frontal area to gain results from the theory.

The 9mm was largely criticized over the years as a poor stopper on live targets with standard FMJ ammo. While the truncated/FP bullet is an improvement over FMJ ball, I'd think in all calibers, modern HP's would be a better choice, both in SD and for hunting. Concerning choices, what led to choosing a 9mm as a deer hunting cartridge? Sure you can kill a deer with a .22 lr......., but 9mm on deer seems little more than a stunt.
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Old January 17, 2020, 03:20 AM   #5
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If I had a broadside shot on a small deer and my intentions were to crush their shoulder, send bone fragments into and penetrate through most of the vitals,
Won't happen, not enough velocity or mass to crush and spray the bones. A 145 gr bullet at 1,200 fps will have about 470 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle. To say it's marginal is an understatement, but I'm sure it will kill a deer. Trying to break bones and joints is a recipe for losing game, go for the more dependable shots. Rather than trying anything fancy, I would aim for the heart at the point of the elbow and try for double-lung shots. You will have to place your shots very accurately and be good at tracking. It's going to be a lot like hunting with a small caliber muzzle loader.
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Old January 17, 2020, 09:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Scorch View Post
Rather than trying anything fancy, I would aim for the heart at the point of the elbow and try for double-lung shots. You will have to place your shots very accurately and be good at tracking. It's going to be a lot like hunting with a small caliber muzzle loader.
^^^This. Having hunted deer with a .357 mag, I agree, the idea of breaking shoulders and still getting penetration with such a marginal caliber is a pipe dream. Think of it as bowhunting with a recurve or very old compound bow. You need to find a path of least resistance to the boiler room.
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Old January 17, 2020, 02:56 PM   #7
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The 9mm is not suitable for hunting anything but small game with any bullet weight. Not enough energy at any distance. All bullet weights are way under 400 ft-lbs. Which is way under what is considered minimum for deer of 1,000 ft-lbs.
Bone fragments do not kill.
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Old February 13, 2020, 10:49 AM   #8
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9 mm hunting

I would not look past the 147 xtp if you reload check out Vihtavuori 3N38 load data it's the hottest load I've seen. A 147 xtp can be driven a bit over 1200 fps if I remember correctly . Berry's bullets has both a 124 and a 147 gr hollow point in there lineup that could be tried. Or maybe even try their 148 hollow base wadcutters sized down and loaded inverted.
The 1000 ft lbs "rule" I've heard before but unless you live in a state that requires it, and some do, I for one don't agree with. Take these instances into consideration, a 44 mag 240 gr bullet must have an impact velocity of about 1370-1375 fps to hit with 1000 ft lbs. The 44-40 which has a reputation for killing more deer than anything but the 30-30 is loaded to 1100 fps and that is something like 551 ft lbs at the muzzle not at range.
My home state of Tennessee lowed the required minimum caliber for muzzleloaders to 36 Cal. I know that our fore fathers put meat on the table with those old 32,36 and 40 caliber squirrel rifles. Do you really believe that if so armed and needing meat for the table they wouldn't take the shot if it presented itself on a deer? A 36 Cal round ball is about 80 to 90 grs and driven at 1300-1400 fps was enough back then.
Fast forward 50-75 years and think of the guy that would be armed with a 32-20. It was a very popular small game rifle in its day. It's ballistics we're about the same as a hot 9 mm or a 98 to 100 gr bullet at 1200 fps. While I do agree that a 9 mm won't do much bone smashing it will do the job in either a head or broadside shot in the heart/lungs area. My .02
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Old February 13, 2020, 09:30 PM   #9
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Why choose a 9mm for hunting medium game?

I wouldn't take a 9mm as a first choice to the woods to hunt deer. I'm not saying it couldn't be done or that I wouldn't put down a deer that was wounded or hunt with a 9mm in a survival situation when I had no choice but a 9mm handgun cartridge wouldn't be anywhere near my first choice.
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Old February 22, 2020, 08:53 AM   #10
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You should first investigate whether you can even legally carry your 9mm into the field to hunt deer.

Two specific points would be that the .355 bullet isn't approved in some jurisdictions, and some specifically ban the 9x19. Those places that ban it may allow .357 caliber but only in a magnum round.

The next point is important as well, most states limit the magazine capacity of weapons while hunting. Maybe its 3 in a waterfowl gun, etc, but some regulations that I have seen specifically ban hunting with a handgun with chamber and magazine capacity over 11. Now keep in mind, this doesn't say that you can load your pistol up to ten rounds and carry it, that's not the meaning at all.

Some laws will read that as meaning a ten round magazine, some may read as only ten in whatever you have, but others pretty clearly read that the handgun itself must be capable of holding no more than 10 + 1. In those areas, you cannot carry a hi cap handgun of any sort, regardless of whether your magazine has a limiter or not.
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Old February 22, 2020, 07:59 PM   #11
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Go over to the late Steve camps' website: Hipowers and handguns,com.

And revieew his deet]r takes with the 124 XTP's.
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Old February 22, 2020, 08:20 PM   #12
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What type of 9mm gun are you using?

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Old February 25, 2020, 02:47 AM   #13
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The type of gun matters greatly. A Glock 26 or Taurus g2c are a different beast from a 16" carbine.

I won't say you can't do it, because I have done it...but Idaho isn't known for small deer. Will you pass on a big deer?

Personally IF I were gonna do it, I would look to Buffalo Bore. Either their 124gr+P+, or the 147gr+P+ hard cast. IF I were doinh this with my Glock 19 (a duty weapon I sometimes hunt Cottontail with...but with ball ammo), I might consider an aftermarket extended barrel. Lone Wolf Precision makes 6" and 9" barrels that might help it punch above its weight class.
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9mm , deer , hard cast , medium game

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