9mm personal defense ammo for a pocket pistol
Would you choose a lighter (115 gr or less) bullet or a heavier (more than 115 gr) one? Why?
I'd use what works best in your pistol. Try to carry what you practice with.
Originally Posted by P35
Functionality (functionability? functioness? functionicity?...) is more important than bullet weight. Especially if all you are going to do is recreational shooting.
I'm considering more for personal defense. These 9mm pocket pistols are really light and kick pretty hard so I was just entertaining the thought of lighter rounds (less than 115 gr) in an attempt to have less recoil. I'm just wondering if there are negative effects to having lighter ammo.
Velocity/Energy... vs. Weight/Momentum... vs Recoil/Control... The eternal arguement...
In a 4-5" barrel, the burning gases have more time to push on the bullet, producing greater velocity than a shorter (3") barrel.
You can push a 124gr bullet faster out of a 5" barrel than out of a 3". Many 124-147gr bullets may not fully expand out of a 3" barrel, where a 115gr bullet will expand fine.
Heavier bullets require more velocity to fully expand tha lighter bullets.
Expansion is key, expansion with momentum is best.
Out of a 3" barrel (subcompact), you will get greater velocity and expansion with a lighter bullet, at the expense of bullet mass (momentum). Out of a 5" barrel, you will get greater velocity, with a heavier bullet, with full expansion... at the expense of concealabilty...
Rule of thumb (IMO):
3" barrel... lighter bullet (115-125gr 9mm, or 185gr .45ACP)
4-5" barrel... heavier bullet (125-147gr 9mm, 230gr .45ACP)
3" concealable "comfort"
Hope his help everyone!
In addition to Jeff's excellent recommendation of Todd Louis Green's site, also check out www.firearmstactical.com for ammo info. My only concern with 115s is their lower penetration levels. Some of them only dog 9"-10", which is marginal. I prefer 124s in all barrel lengths, including my stubby Glock 26.
But of course remember that the gun/load you choose is a tertiary consideration when compared to mindset, marksmanship, gunhandling skill and tactics.
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