View Poll Results: best 9mm grain ammo for defense

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  • 147

    51 25.50%
  • 124

    149 74.50%
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Thread: 9mm Ammo

  1. #51
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Packard View Post
    The most commonly accepted tactic I've come across in my reading has the first two shot to the largest vital area with the third shot to the head.

    So if you have three assailants you go tap-tap to the center of mass to each of the three and then go back and go tap to the head of each one that is still standing.

    The thinking on this is that the center of mass (sternum) offers the largest target that can be quickly acquired and even if you miss the 10 ring, you will likely do damage. Whereas in a high stress situation a first shot to the head is harder to make than a first shot to the sternum.

    Heavy clothing or a bullet proof vest make the re-visit to the head a wise choice.

    I have yet to read any expert suggesting that the first shot be made to the head. The main advantages of the 9mm are the large round count available and the light recoil. It allows you to engage multiple assailants with the tap-tap plus tap as described above.
    3 assailants, 3 shots to the forehead makes all the other shots redundant and wasteful

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  3. #52
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedDeBearFrmHell View Post
    3 assailants, 3 shots to the forehead makes all the other shots redundant and wasteful
    Under stress the center of mass shot is considered a high percentage shot; the head shot, a low percentage shot.

    At paper targets I can hit the head at 25 yard, but bad guys are not paper targets and some of them shoot back. So although I am confident on my marksmanship, is will go with the conventional thinking.

    Also I worry about the legal ramifications of the "three bad guys, three shots to the head."

    No doubt some namby pamby DA will say, "If you could shoot that accurately there was no reason to kill all three. A shot to the shoulder of the shooting hand is no more difficult to make than a shot to the head. Manslaughter."

    So, if you do take down 3 bad guys with 3 shots to the head, it would be worthwhile to spray another 6 or more rounds in the same general direction to preclude that scenario. ("I shot 10 rounds, I got lucky with 3. I ain't no assassin.")

  4. #53
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    PAWPAUL is offline Junior Member
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    If the F.B.I thinks the 147 grain RANGER is the ticket ...who am I to doubt them .

    I bought a whole crapload of them , and then read that feller saying they were the worst load you could use in a 9 m.m .........

    one things for sure - their either the very Best , or the very Worst

  5. #54
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    Interesting read new hand gun owner here. And starting the process to get my CPL, I've been to the range all fall and winter using Remington 115gr. FMJ rounds. And trying to figure out the best defense round, was leaning towards Hornady Critical Defense 115gr. I take it from this post not a good choice. I quess I'll have to look at a 124gr. choice.

  6. #55
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichiganBob View Post
    Interesting read new hand gun owner here. And starting the process to get my CPL, I've been to the range all fall and winter using Remington 115gr. FMJ rounds. And trying to figure out the best defense round, was leaning towards Hornady Critical Defense 115gr. I take it from this post not a good choice. I quess I'll have to look at a 124gr. choice.
    This is not a simple question to answer.

    To expand reliably a round has to travel in excess of a minimum threshold speed. Usually this is about 950 to 1,000 fps.

    A light bullet can be driven to higher speeds so it can be counted on expanding. Also it is lighty constructed (an aid to expansion).

    But the flip side of a light bullet is that it does not penetrate as well as a heavy one.

    The Critical Defense ammo is designed not to over-expand, and not to pass through certain barriers (sheetrock, for example).

    The police, on the otherhand want bullets that pass through barriers such as sheetrock, windshields, etc.

    All bullet designs are a compromise. Too much expansion too soon and a bullet may not penetrate deeply enough to stop a man. Too little and it can poke a neat little hole in a body with far too little disruption.

    Some bullets rely on the size and weight of the bullet for stopping the bad guy. The classic is the .45 in 230 grain. Many loads travel at speeds that will not reliably cause expansion, but the size and weight of the bullet guarantee a significant amount of damage.

    The 9mm does not have that size and weight and you need to choose very carefully to get a round that is adequate.

  7. #56
    Blade is offline Junior Member HGF Gold Member
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    I normally prefer a heavier bullet, given a choice. But it depends on the gun too. Very short barreled guns, like my Kahr CM9, when loaded with heavier bullets have a rather dramatic drop in muzzle velocity. Just not enough barrel to get that heavy bullet up to speed. In smaller guns like that, I go with a standard 115gr.

  8. #57
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Chuck Hawks seldom gives sound advice. His bashing of the 9mm/147 is a case in point. The guy knows some about some kinds of rifles, mainly hunting, but taking him as an authority on fighting pistols is a big mistake.

    I am surprised submoa hasn't come along to correct this, like he corrected me. And he was right.
    He's wrong about a few things and one is this;

    9mm ammunition is available in two pressure levels: standard and "+P."

    The 9mm comes is a number of "pressure levels". Standard, NATO, +P, and +P+. There are a host of high quality 9mm loads on the market which have proven track records.

    Federal 124gr HST in standard and +P.
    Federal 147gr HST in standard and +P.
    Gold Dot 124gr in standard and +P
    Winchester Ranger 127gr JHP +P+.

    There are more but these loads are among the best of the lot with the Gold Dot and HST loads sitting pretty much on top of the heap.

  9. #58
    jdw68 is offline Member
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    I have done some research on this topic because I wondered the same thing a few years back. I have come to believe that there really isn't a clear winner on the best 9mm defensive cartridge. There are just to many variables to consider when trying to determine how a projectile will behave from your barrel, or how a cartridge will function in your gun. For example, I've come to prefer a 124 grain golden saber for my Ruger LC9 but a speer gold dot 124 grain +P for my glock 26. I prefer federal HST or gold dot standard pressure 124 grain for my Beretta 92 fs. I do opt for the 124 grain over the 147 grain, but that's just because I prefer less penetration in 9mm since the 9mm tends to over penetrate anyway. Of course, that's just my opinion and I do believe the 147 grainers make great defensive rounds and are often preferred by law enforcement. My needs tend to be a lil different than law enforcement.

    When you check some differenct loadings for your gun I would recommend Corbon DPX, Federal HST, Remington Golden Saber, and Speer Gold Dot. I also believe that whatever ammo you use the placement of the shot is more important that the design or caliber of the bullet.

  10. #59
    truggles is offline Junior Member
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    Can anyone help me out by explaining the difference between 9mm Luger and 9mm Luger +P? I see it on websites trying to sell ammo but never a description of what it is or means.
    I get that it is a pressure difference but what difference is that going to make when I am shooting the gun?

  11. #60
    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    You'll feel a bit more recoil, the bullet will probably move a bit faster than the exact same bullet loaded to non-plus-P pressures (actual velocities will vary, but I've seen increases of 50 to 150 feet-per-second in 9mm), and the gun will have to absorb more force when it is fired. Most folks agree that extensive use of +P rated ammunition will decrease the overall service life of a handgun, but no one knows how much it will be decreased. Most (but not all) modern firearms are thought to be safe to use with small to moderate amounts of +P ammo, but a steady diet of high-pressure ammo may cause or accelerate problems like peening, cracked/broken parts, or premature wear on certain surfaces. Check your owner's manual for info on whether your weapon can be safely used with +P ammo.

    Here are some links to pages with more info on the subject:

    Overpressure ammunition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Demystifying +P
    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

  12. #61
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    9mm Ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasteve View Post
    what is the best grain 9mm ammo for defense. i have noticed that 124 and 147 are the most common grain. which is best and why?
    I use both. I load my S&W 5946 and 3953TSW with 124 gr Gold Dot +P JHP; for my Ruger LC9, a smaller frame pistol, I use 147 gr. FMJ.

  13. #62
    Lonestar3 is offline Junior Member
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    The 9mm gets constant criticism for not being A good stopping round in gun forums but I figure a round that has been around over 100 years has passed the test. It has been used and "field tested" by thousands of shooters over time and found to be effective. If this was not the case it would have been abandoned years ago. I carry a .45 cal load but sometimes wonder if all the discussion over big cals, which JHP etc., is best is just hype started by bullet mfgs to get us to buy more expensive loads. I have never shot anyone but I notice the 9mm is referenced a lot in cop reports on murders. The people shot by the 9mm seem to be satisfactorily dead.

  14. #63
    neorebel is offline Junior Member
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    I agree with Mike and his choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    I, too, prefer the 124s with a good modern premium bullet (Gold Dot, Golden Saber, whatever). Still, I'd have no particular qualms about using modern 147s if that's what's available. Either will work fine with proper shot placement.

    I'm less picky about ammo than a lot of guys, though.

  15. #64
    shaolin's Avatar
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    I use the 127 Winchester Ranger +p+ and 124gr +p Golddot. The golddot has great result according to the NYPD and the Ranger is consider the best out there. The Illinois state police uses them with good results. Utube the Rangers and you will see they are Black Talons on Steroids.

  16. #65
    Cait43's Avatar
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    And the winner is.......
    115 grain
    124 grain and
    147 grain hollow point


    Comes down to whatever suits the individual weapon owner.......

  17. #66
    GCBHM is online now Member
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    I use the Hornady Critical Duty, which is a 135 grain "flexlock" bullet. It has very good reviews, and it really doesn't matter if you use +P or standard loads. The 124 seems to be more popular, from what I've read and gained from LEOs that use it, b/c it is fast and generates more energy when it hits the target. That said, a lot depends on the length of the barrel, but for the avg shooter, shoot what you're most comfortable with. Any round is going to be lethal if it hits vital areas.

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