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  1. #1
    InfiniteGrim is offline Junior Member
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    Does this sound right...9mm bullet drop

    Trying out my first 9mm reloads and they went well, my 155gr loads were dead on at 30-50 feet, but my 124gr P's were 3-4" to the left?

    Anyway the real question of this thread is that i took my XD-9 with the 115gr rounds to the 100 yard range just to see if i could possibly hit a new steel target i got.

    Aiming straight at the target, xd-9 4" barrel was about 4.5-5ft from the ground, the target being about 4 feet off of the ground, the five shots i fired hit the dirt about 8-10 feet in front of the target about 1 ft to the left, aimed about 1-2ft higher, and they were still hitting 5-6ft in front of the target, I didnt feel comfortable aiming any higher, since the backing isnt that high.

    Is this normal, or are my reloads pretty slow? Any physics pros here that can find the velocity?

  2. #2
    falchunt's Avatar
    falchunt is offline Member
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    I have never personally fired any handgun at anything that far away, but I would think that your results aren't overly far from what is expected.

  3. #3
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    no physics expert here, but certainly certain that this is not right.

    shooting 100 ft in a round that should be traveling at right around 1200 fps that round should be hitting target in (nearly) 1/12th of a second, and on any decent weapon only be a handful of inches off of your aim point or so.

    whats the difference between your 155 and 124 gr projectiles? different shape, different material, manufacturer, and how much propellant are you using?

    it seems like the round you are using for the 124gr isn't large enough for your barrel. being just slightly too small and not attaining a good enough grip on the grooves (rifling) doesn't give the round the spin it needs to be gryoscopically stable, it may be coming out of the muzzle with too much yaw to recover from.

    one way to test this is to use the ammo on a carbboard backed paper target at various ranges from 10 to 50 ft and check the hit's for "keyholing". as opposed to a perfectly round puncture it'll look as if the round had hit the target vertically (face off the bullet facing vertically as opposed to directly at the target). this is a clear indication of something being incompatible between that projectile and your barrel. easy fix, try different projectiles.

    give us as much information as you can and we can better assist you. if you've got exact dimensions of the projectiles or if you've got a micrometer or vernier caliper some specs we could use are the max diameter and length of both the 155 and 124 gr as well as the diameter the lands and grooves in your barrel, and what twist it has. and what materials each round is (lead, fmj, ect).

  4. #4
    nailer is offline Member
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    Shooting a distance of 100 yards with a 4 inch barrel pistol is not a realistic situation; however, the drop should be considerable. I practice at 5, 10, and 15 yards and notice a difference, so I'll assume at 100 yards there would be a significant drop.

  5. #5
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    I am extremely confused, here, by both the original post and the reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by InfiniteGrim View Post
    Trying out my first 9mm reloads and they went well, my 155gr loads were dead on at 30-50 feet, but my 124gr P's were 3-4" to the left?

    Anyway the real question of this thread is that i took my XD-9 with the 115gr rounds to the 100 yard range just to see if i could possibly hit a new steel target i got.

    Aiming straight at the target, xd-9 4" barrel was about 4.5-5ft from the ground, the target being about 4 feet off of the ground, the five shots i fired hit the dirt about 8-10 feet in front of the target about 1 ft to the left, aimed about 1-2ft higher, and they were still hitting 5-6ft in front of the target, I didnt feel comfortable aiming any higher, since the backing isnt that high.

    Is this normal, or are my reloads pretty slow? Any physics pros here that can find the velocity?
    Here's something to go by:

    A 9mm Luger bullet, in 124 grain, fired at 1100 fps, will drop 3" below the level line of sight at 106 yards (MPBR). All other things being perfect, such as your sights and shooting ability, you should be able aim at the bulls eye, at 100 yards, and still hit on the paper, somewhere. Of course, most shooters are not good enough to do that, especially with a ~4" sighting radius. I have done it occasionally at 50 yards, and I'm a pretty average marksman, these days, but 100 is very difficult for anybody, with a normal SD type handgun.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gunners_Mate View Post
    no physics expert here, but certainly certain that this is not right.
    it seems like the round you are using for the 124gr isn't large enough for your barrel. being just slightly too small and not attaining a good enough grip on the grooves (rifling) doesn't give the round the spin it needs to be gryoscopically stable, it may be coming out of the muzzle with too much yaw to recover from.
    Huh???

    9mm bullets are .355 diameter, whether in 115 gr., 124 gr., 147 gr., and I would assume even in this mystical 155 gr. bullet that I have never heard of before (did you cast it yourself?). I didn't know that anybody ever loaded 9mm Luger beyond 147 grain. Changing the bullet weight changes the length of the bullet, not the diameter. Am I misunderstanding you?

  6. #6
    InfiniteGrim is offline Junior Member
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    I meant 115gr!

    Loads where

    WIN brass 115gr RN with 4.2gr of bullseye OAL 1.1"

    WIN brass 124gr JHP with 3.8gr Bullseye OAL 1.090 (anything longer touches the groves when chambered)

    I am using Berry's preferred plated bullets.

  7. #7
    Sully2 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by InfiniteGrim View Post
    Trying out my first 9mm reloads and they went well, my 155gr loads were dead on at 30-50 feet, but my 124gr P's were 3-4" to the left?

    Anyway the real question of this thread is that i took my XD-9 with the 115gr rounds to the 100 yard range just to see if i could possibly hit a new steel target i got.

    Aiming straight at the target, xd-9 4" barrel was about 4.5-5ft from the ground, the target being about 4 feet off of the ground, the five shots i fired hit the dirt about 8-10 feet in front of the target about 1 ft to the left, aimed about 1-2ft higher, and they were still hitting 5-6ft in front of the target, I didnt feel comfortable aiming any higher, since the backing isnt that high.

    Is this normal, or are my reloads pretty slow? Any physics pros here that can find the velocity?
    Sight radius of that sort barrel. Try the same with a 2" snub nose and you might not even hit the "dirt". Shoot at a distance of 25 yards and from a solid REST.

  8. #8
    johnr is offline Member
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    someone pointed me to this site:

    http://arizonagunrunners.com/handgunballistics.pdf

    this chart finally made sense to me! a 9 mil will have 8 1/2 in drop at 100 yds
    !

    if you have a 10" target, aiming at the top may not hit the bottom, as others have posted the site radius of a short barrell also comes into play with a hand held weapon.

    i remember a training video where an "on-target" shot would hit the center of an 8x11 target at 15 yards. by moving the front sight to 'close the gap" on the rear site, you would move left or right, but still on the 8x11 target. moving the target 10x will get you a 10x error.

    it will take a steady hand, great trigger control, and a perfect aim. try placing a "dot" the drop distance above the intended target (small flag). aim for the dot, not the target.

    ymmv
    john

  9. #9
    InfiniteGrim is offline Junior Member
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    The rounds were hitting about 5 feet low though, I just realized i frgot to crimp the rounds, im guessing that might have had an adverse effect on the velocity, therefore increasing drop of 100 yards. According to hornady though my 115gr load should be at 1050fps.

  10. #10
    Sully2 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by InfiniteGrim View Post
    The rounds were hitting about 5 feet low though, I just realized i frgot to crimp the rounds, im guessing that might have had an adverse effect on the velocity, therefore increasing drop of 100 yards. According to hornady though my 115gr load should be at 1050fps.
    If you insist on doing 100 yard shots...for whatever reason..??....use factory ammo...something like WW Whitebox as the "baseline".

  11. #11
    SaltyDog's Avatar
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    Buy a rifle

  12. #12
    Bisley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bisley View Post
    ...A 9mm Luger bullet, in 124 grain, fired at 1100 fps, will drop 3" below the level line of sight at 106 yards (MPBR)...
    After re-reading my post, it didn't sound exactly right, so I checked on the definition of Maximum Point Blank Range, and drew this sketch to clarify what it really means. It's a term that seems not to have much relevance, these days, but it answers the original question fairly well.

    Imagine that you were shooting through a pipe with an inside diameter of 10", which is the approximate kill zone radius for medium size game animals. MPBR is the maximum distance that the bullet will travel inside the pipe, if you position the muzzle at the bottom of the pipe, and fire it with the muzzle tilted upward, so as to just graze the top of the pipe, at the top of the bullet's arc.

    Of course, you would not actually perform such a test, by firing inside a pipe, but this graphically illustrates how far away your gun is capable of hitting inside a 10" circle, by aiming directly at the top of the circle. In the example I gave in my original post, the source I used stated that the MPBR of a 124 grain 9mm bullet, at 1100 fps, was 106 yards.

    So, for the purpose of this discussion, you should be able to assume that one of your hand loads, aimed at the bulls eye, should hit less than 10" below it, with all other conditions being perfect.


  13. #13
    TOF's Avatar
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    Shooting a pistol at distance can be a lot of fun and it is possible to hit things at 100 yards or greater.

    You will never know what velocity your loads (factory or reload) are achieving unless you measure them with a chronometer.
    They can be faster or slower by wide margins than load books indicate.

    If your load was dropping 5' it was not doing 1000 FPS.

  14. #14
    Sully2 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOF View Post
    Shooting a pistol at distance can be a lot of fun and it is possible to hit things at 100 yards or greater.

    You will never know what velocity your loads (factory or reload) are achieving unless you measure them with a chronometer.
    They can be faster or slower by wide margins than load books indicate.

    If your load was dropping 5' it was not doing 1000 FPS.

    Guys will spend $1500 on a pistol...yet wont spend the $$ to buy a chronograph. I bought one right after my first Kimber when I started reloading...??/

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sully2 View Post
    Guys will spend $1500 on a pistol...yet wont spend the $$ to buy a chronograph. I bought one right after my first Kimber when I started reloading...??/
    Some of my friends that have loaded for 30 years and better were amazed how wrong their opinions were when we used my chrono to verify what they thought they were doing.

    Last I looked they can be had for $100 or less and without one you haven't got a clue what is happening.

  16. #16
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    A short barrelled handgun isn't the ideal tool to be engaging many things at 100yds or more on a regular basis, chronograph, factory or reloads aside. Best to get the right tool for the job, whatever that might be in this case.

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