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Old November 5, 2000, 04:34 PM   #1
Josh Smith
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Hi all, I'm new to this forum, though I've been at for years now.

Getting down to business....

I was carrying Cor*Bon 9mm +P 115gr in my Taurus 92. I had to shoot it off because it was getting older than I'm comfortable with. Well, now I'm "stuck" with one magazine full of standard pressure 124 gr Gold Dot. I can order the Cor*Bon from the gun dealer, but it would be $17.50 including HAZMAT for a 20rd box. I need some input as to what those carrying 9mm would choose. Ya' know, stuff you can buy at Wal-Mart or something until finances become more stable (in the middle of a move).

Thanks all.

El Chivato

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Old November 5, 2000, 04:53 PM   #2
Mike in VA
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Welocome to The Firing Line, EC. I have a variety of 9mm's that serve as carry, car, & HD guns, and feel quite comfrotable with anything in Fed. H/S, Gold Dots, Golden Sabres, Cor-Bon, Hornady - any name brand premium self-defense ammo. I do like 115 in summer, 124 in winter, but all in all, and I know you've probably heard this before, placement counts more than the round. Check out Cheaper Than Dirt ( and Natchez Shooter's Supply ( inexpensive mail order on a wide variey of pracitve & SD ammo (or do a search on this forum "mail order ammo'). Again, welcome to TFL. M2
Oooops!Thought we were in Handguns/Pistolcraft - might want to search that forum, there's been lots of discussion on 9mm ammo there. M2

[This message has been edited by Mike in VA (edited November 06, 2000).]
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Old November 5, 2000, 11:25 PM   #3
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Welcome to TFL El Chivato
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Old January 8, 2005, 04:01 PM   #4
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My own Test:

My business partner was stabbed in the head by a schizophrenic-paranoid until the knife broke on my partner's head. He made it. After 7 operations he's back to work. Other than me he is a pacifist. I practice hand-to-hand combat as a hobby and since that incident I carry a gun.

Since there is no reliable information on bullet-performance out there and the subject is too vital to trust anybody else, I did my own ballistic tests. After studying whatever material I could find on the web, shooting .45s and 9x19mm pistols, I decided that the 9x19mm Glock 19 is my gun.

Then I went on to search for the most reasonable defense load. I live in Vienna/Austria (Europe) where hollowpoints are illegal. The Federal EMFJ isn't, frangible bullets are neither. So I conducted my own wetpack-Test of the Federal EMFJ and Fiocchi Frangible Ammunition in 9x19mm. I published the result with many pics on my website:
The EMFJ did remarkably well: When I look at the 18mm (0,70") expansion, the 11,5cm (4,52") penetration (hard wetpack) and the shockwave with a diameter of up to 6,5cm (2,55"), I believe that this bullet is very likely to
1. transfer all its energy to the first body being hit (and doesn't endanger my family or employees around);
2. cause significant tissue destruction, pain, blood-loss, shock, and punch;
3. penetrate deep enough to fatally damage vital organs and central nerves.

More penetration would not be acceptable to me; I assume that in the real world I would not be firing at anybody being farther away than 10m (30ft). I even think that the actual self-defense range is 0 to 3m (up to 10ft). Therefore I think that aiming is not the problem. If he moves towards me, he will be close enough to be hit when I fire. If he moves away, I call the police from my cell phone. If he moves towards somebody I want to save, so will I. some IPSC-practice taught me to run and accurately aim and shoot (at short distances) at the same time.

More penetration than e.g. the EMFJ provides seems to cause an extreme risk of (i) not punching enough, since not all energy is being transferred, and (ii) killing a good guy behind the bad guy or behind the door, window or wall behind the bad guy...

The Glaser, Magsafe and Corbon sound interesting to, but nobody imports them into Austria (any salesman listening?).

Stay safe.
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Old January 16, 2005, 01:40 PM   #5
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I can not imagine being that low on ammo.

I like the 124 grain HydraShock JHP in my 9mm CZ and Brownings. They function very well. If you just have to stock up on the cheap, frankly, the Winchester Whitebox stuff isnt bad.
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Old January 16, 2005, 06:11 PM   #6
Dusty Miller
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In a nine anything weighing 115gr or better and travelling along at 1300fps or better is going to get the job done. This from a dyed in the wool .45 man.
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Old January 17, 2005, 01:09 PM   #7
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Having recently switched from carrying the .45acp to the 9mm, I've given this subject some serious thought. So far as I can gather, the optimum weight would be the 124g rounds, though 115g bullets work well, too.

One thing to remember is that +P and +P+ rounds don't give you more performance unless you have the barrel length necessary for that extra powder to burn. With my CZ 75B's 4.72" bbl, the muzzle flash from the +P+ 124g and 115g ammunition is quite a sight to see. Out of a subgun, this is another story altogether.

If you don't have a long barrel, there's really no reason to shoot suped-up ammunition.

After that, reliability is paramount. In a recent test, I fired 50 rounds each of 115g, 124g, 125g, and 147g ammunition. The 147g ammunition was the only type that failed to feed (3x), and this was due to the rounds nosediving in the magazine. Why this happened, I don't know. But, out of 200 rounds fired, I found the 124g rounds to offer superior reliability and great accuracy.

I carry the Georgia Arms 124g Gold Dot in standard or +P, whichever is available when they come to the local gunshow.
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Old January 17, 2005, 02:07 PM   #8
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I don't know if they're still available, but I often carry a load of Hirtenbergers (+P+ soft point, 95gr.) I've got no data to back it up, but it seems to me the 1400-1500fps velocity combined with the soft point projectile would do quite a nasty job on soft tissue.
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Old January 17, 2005, 07:04 PM   #9
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Right you are Shaggy, on soft tissue they ought to be just the cat's meow at those velocities. So then what happens when you have to shoot thru heavy clothes or if that light softnose bullet hits a bone? Take a look at some of the other posts on this topic and see if you might want to rethink your ammo choice.
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Old January 17, 2005, 10:39 PM   #10
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This is all based on my highly unscientific studies with wetpacks, but here goes:

The Hirtenberger +P+ seems to have excellent penetration considering how light it is, but I've never seen one expand at all (fired from a full-size handgun into a wetpack about three feet from the muzzle). The channel it cuts seems to be pretty narrow, along the lines of regular FMJ, but the temporary wound cavity would probably be impressive. To my way of thinking, this is a little too much penetration, though. The first test I ran with them, all three Hirtenbergers exited the back of the wetpack, which was the approximate equivalent of 36 inches of gelatin. I made a thicker wetpack and after a second series of tests, they averaged an approximate penetration depth of over 43 inches. Compare that to most 9mm FMJ rounds, which penetrated to around 30 inches, or to most 9mm hollowpoints, which penetrated to between 16 and 24 inches.

Glasers and MagSafes tend to make wide but shallow channels; I wouldn't use them unless I was in a situation where overpenetration or ricochets were a real concern (such as home defense in an apartment with thin walls).

Winchester SXTs, Golden Sabers, and Gold Dots seem pretty good in 147-grain loads.

From my tests, the best HydraShock was the 135-grain Personal Defense load (which appeared to outperform most other 9mm rounds tested, but again, your mileage may vary).

For general use, what I usually prefer is a +P 124-grain round such as a Gold Dot or Golden Saber.
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Old January 18, 2005, 01:54 AM   #11
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I am new here but I'm getting old,I broke my back at work in 2002 and am held together with plates and rods.I own many many handguns and used to shoot shilloutte in the 70's and 80's.Since I can't carry much weight I gave up carring my 10 mm and 45acp's for a 9mm.I use extreme terminal performance bullets,there3.00 each but the air marshells carry them.I tested them at a friends request,at 10 feet I shot through a pair of blue jeans,small hole,jacked ammo hit backstop,I put an old army jacket with a liner in back of the jeans,At 10 feet I would have given anything not to be behind that jacket.The whole inside was blown to pieces and it did exit the jacket with a hole the size of my fist.If that had been a person the jacketed bullet filled with what looked like pweter.I was told by a deputy that they will not exit,if you shoot him in the leg,it would have to be amputated.shoot one in the chest and he wont be hard to find.I use extreme TPB for the first 2 shots and hydrashocks for 8.Thats my choice.Drop-Shot
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Old January 21, 2005, 12:48 PM   #12
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"One thing to remember is that +P and +P+ rounds don't give you more performance unless you have the barrel length necessary for that extra powder to burn."

Years ago when I had my Uzi I used to hunt jack rabbits utilizing the 16 inch barrel. Even though It was a turned on Uzi, I shot semi-auto because I found that hollowpoints out of that barrel would almost tear a rabbit in half. It was amazing how one hit would send those big rabbits flying in the air and they looked like an Alien just dug themselves out from the inside. I had no doubts about 9mm at the proper velocity since those days. It's very destructive to flesh.
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Old January 21, 2005, 05:15 PM   #13
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I suggest Winchester's "regular" JHP 115gr @ ~1220fps, 383 ft/lbs. Especially since cost seems to be an issue, it sells ~ $11/50rd. I bought these when I couldn't find any Remington 115+P @ 1250fps, which costs about twice as much. Their performance in soaked telephone directories was the same, as far as I could tell. Another consideration which might or might not make an ant hill's difference if something bad would happen is that I sure would like my lawyer arguing I didn't have a supergun with super ammo looking for an excuse to hurt somebody. I consider it a "stealth" +P round.
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Old January 21, 2005, 06:01 PM   #14
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My Taurus PT99 9mm loves the 124Gold Dot +p and Taurus guns are +p rated and thier brochure states they are designed for a steady diet of +p. The +p gold dots will shoot a ragged hole at 50ft and feed 100%, they actually out group the standard 124 gold dots which go into 1 1/2 at 50ft. the PT99 also likes the winchester and federal +p+ 115 grain Law Enforcement only JHP and the 147gr winchester Law enforcement Ranger. I tried the walmart winchester USA 115gr JHP and they fed fine and averaged 1 3/4 groups at 50ft are std. velocity but still pretty warm. The light weight high velocity rounds are OK for limited use in high density population areas where a pass through could be a problem but they do not pass the FBI protocol test for ammunition as far as penetration which if I am right is a minimum of 13 inches. I am ot sure how well they would perform on heavy clothing or a very large individual, I would pick my shots carefully. Since the Miami shootout where the bureau lost 2 agents and had multiple wounded some severly after putting round after round into Platts body having one round stop approx. 1 inch from his heart he still managed to kill and wound and reload until he retreated to the vehicle where agent Mireles approached the vehicle and emptied his revolver into Platt and Matix though it appears Platt was all but expired by then. The agents were carrying 357mags using 38 special +p ammo and 9mm pistols with 115gr ammo which proved to be unable to stop the perps even with what should have been at least one lethal hit. The FBI since then done extensive research on bullet penetration and expansion and has undergone a variety of weapons and ammo changes and the one 9mm round thats passes thier protocol is the Winchester Ranger 147grain ( formerly black talon) redesigned and now gold/copper in color to be politically correct. There is no perfect bullet for every situation but I usually carry one that will get to the vitals. I carry the gold dot 124+p and the 147gr ranger.
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Old January 24, 2005, 05:04 AM   #15
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I prefer the Winchester Ranger 127 +P+ or the standard pressure 147s of the same label. As for what you can find at Walmart etc, I would be about as happy with anything throwing Gold Dots or Golden Sabres above 124 grains. Another "obsolete" load I would be very content with is the old Federal Classic 147-grainers.
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Old January 24, 2005, 03:54 PM   #16
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hmchardy, your past experience seems to support what I was saying about bbl length and the performance of a +P or +P+ round. Just like a .357mag out of a 16" levergun has roughly the same performance as a .30/30 cartridge. The extra barrel length allows that powder to burn completely.

For my CZ, I've chosen to carry 124g Speer Gold Dots in a +P configuration. The only reason I went with +P was that that is what was available at the last gunshow. I wouldn't mind the 147g rounds as I firmly believe in shooting the heaviest round possible. But, I have to look at reliability first and cannot abide a round that has failed to feed three times in fifty rounds fired. That would be some way bad mojo if I needed the weapon while working!

I'll try some heavy Corbon rounds and see how they perform. I wouldn't mind those big rounds, but I have to have reliability and accuracy in anything I'm going to carry on the job.
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Old January 24, 2005, 05:08 PM   #17
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Parabellum you left me a message that needs explaining.You used a junk frangible for your test and there fore flawed.I did my own test with clothes not wet books.The extreme shock ammo is currently being used by air marshells and was tested fully by them.In close apartment context a local law enforcement deputy uses frangibles by extreme shock for close quarters possible shots and other agencys are talking about using them.They are jacketed and filled with soft metal and are not as accurate for long distance shooting but way more than good enough to have the US Government stamp of approval.I use them with complete confidence.If you ever saw what 1 bullet did to a pair of jeans and an old army jacket with a liner,you too would agree with our government.Drop-Shot
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Old January 24, 2005, 05:46 PM   #18
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Parabellum I can get them localy but they are 3.00 each.You can go to and look for extreme shock ammo,there are 2 kinds,ff and afr.I use the ff part number is-f10ex9mm124ffo5.They have the best prices7.49 for 5 rounds or the AFR is 12.99 for 5 rounds.One of the government letters about the round(Don't know if FF or AFR) said it doesn't go deep into ballistic gelletin but it tears up and scatters the stuff all over the place.I used clothes and I would have given any amount of money I had not to be in those clothes when that bullet hit.Drop-Shot
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Old January 24, 2005, 09:00 PM   #19
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I've spent a lot of money on Glaser, Magsafe, etc. I believe they have their place (inside the home, esp if an apartment) but these days, I am leaning more towards quality JHP (Cor-Bon 115 +p, Federal 115 +p+ or BHP 115 or 124+p Golden Sabers). I'm also intrigued by the EFMJ; just can't seem to find any
The subject, and the research are fascinating
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Old August 23, 2012, 01:21 PM   #20
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I know I'm bringing an old thread back from the dead, but I found it in a search and wanted some opinions. Would you guys consider Hornady 147gr hollow points to be a good defensive round? Is there any advantage to the heavier bullet, or disadvantage? That is what I bought a box of for my 9mm, which I don't really ever carry, it's a nightstand and fun to shoot range gun. I don't know what happened, but for the life of my I can't find my box of these. I think I may have left them at the range last time I was there. So I'll most likely be buying another box of hollow points for my 9mm, and was just curious what would be best for a home defense gun that might occasionally be carried. Also if it matters the gun is a Ruger SR9C. Thanks!
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Old August 24, 2012, 12:10 PM   #21
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Wow! Necropost central. Ok, I'll play. For 9mm I like 124 gr. +P Federal HST, (try Kyles gun shop online for 50 round LE packaging)

Very close second choices are Winchester Ranger T, and Speer Gold Dot, ALWAYS in the +P versions for 9mm.
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Old August 26, 2012, 08:49 PM   #22
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I carry the Speer Gold Dot 124gr "molecularly bonded" JHPs in my Ruger SR9C. Somewhere I have a photocopied sheet from the NJ State Police (my home state) with ballistics test data, this round at various distances fired from the HK P7M8 they used to carry. The ballistics impressed me enough that I.m sold on that round.
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Old August 26, 2012, 09:08 PM   #23
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Corbon DPX 115 gr +P
Speer Gold dot 115 gr +P+
or Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P

I'm comfortable carrying any of those in my G17 or 19.
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Old August 27, 2012, 12:40 PM   #24
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There is not a whole lot of real world results or OIS reports with Hornady self defense ammunition and for this reason I have tended to stay away from it since there are many well proven loads out there for the 9mm now. As far as the 147gr bullet loading for 9mm, there is nothing wrong with it given the bullet is of good design. They have a tendency to deflect less then lighter bullets of the same caliber. If you want to use a 147gr load I'd recommend Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot or Winchester Bonded off the top of my head. Here is a very good list of loads that have passed the FBI requirements. I would trust anything on this list without question.
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Old August 27, 2012, 12:59 PM   #25
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+1 on the WWB. If you need some rounds to get you buy, the Winchester White box is pretty decent stuff actually. When you get more money for 'better' ammo, the WWB also makes for a good practice round. The other round I like that has good performance and is still affordable is the Federal American Eagle. Similar specs to WWB. These aren't expanding SD rounds, but they are good rounds. And Federal Champion is my favorite practice round.

Oh man ... Thread is old as the hills! Just FYI.
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