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. #1
    mmasteve is offline Junior Member
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    9mm Ammo

    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?

  2. #2
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
    TOF is offline Senior Member
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    I like 124 grain. No particular reason other than I am a speed freak and 147's are slow.

    They both make holes in paper and I use my 40 for PD.


  3. #3
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    I usually lean toward the 115s, but I've slowly been convinced that a little bit more penetration might be a good thing in some cases. So I went with 124, above.

    I have no use for the 147s.

  4. #4
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    Agreed w/ DJ. A good mix of speed (energy) and weight (momentum).

    Availibble everywhere too.

    In a subcompact gun, lighter is better.

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    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.
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  6. #6
    MAN WITH A GUN's Avatar
    MAN WITH A GUN is offline Junior Member
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    Either Will Work

    Looking at the street results, either is just fine for social work.

    115gr has been the darling for a long time however, glass, doors, walls etc take the steam out quickly as would heavy clothing.

    124 and 147 (NOT sub-sonic) loads running over 1,000 fps with good bullets will do every time.

    Law enforcement MAY take another look at the 9mm since things have vastly improved.

    All that heavy breathing about .40 and .45's lends itself to one thought, do you really want to catch a 9mm anywhere on your pink little self?

    A Gold Dot will expand to about 50 -60 cal even if bone is not hit. OUCH!

  7. #7
    bruce333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWard View Post
    Agreed w/ DJ. A good mix of speed (energy) and weight (momentum).

    Availibble everywhere too.
    I agree with 124 gr.

    But have to disagree with available everywhere. The 2 Wal-Marts near me only have 115 gr.
    Bruce, Life Member: NRA, NCRPA, GRNC, GOA

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  8. #8
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    I tend to gravitate towards the 124s as a PD round. At the moment, I have 125gr Cor-Bons in the magazine.
    When at the range, I shoot 50 115s (Wal-Mart), then switch to a 1/2 mag of my PD round.
    Then I do a similar drill with my revolver, 50 rounds .38 special (round dujor), then one cylinder of my PD load in .357, again Cor-Bons.(110 jhp)

  9. #9
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    115 or 124 grain, i don't care what you have heard about 9mm ammo. don't ever use anything over 125gr in a 9mm handgun for defense

  10. #10
    cupsz71's Avatar
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    I personally have no preference and admit I've shot very few rounds of 124gr. I've heard from range members of my that 147gr. is too heavy But as mentioned by bruce333, the same is true here that the Walmart only carries 115 gr. And I buy it cause it's cheap!

  11. #11
    Liko81 is offline Member
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    My PD rounds are Federal Hydra-Shock 124gr hollow-points. There's a cone in the center of the point that increases expansion: first, more damage dealt to Sparky the BG; second, less chance of killing the neighbors with an exiting or missed shot.

  12. #12
    thug23 is offline Junior Member
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    New guy here and green in every way to this CCW and Ammo stuff...with that said, after reading some posts on 9mm ammo, why wouldn't I want a heavier load ? I'm not a "target shooter", I carry for "protection only" and want my ammo to STOP the bad guy....so why do I want to use a smaller grain? By the way, I have one box of ammo a friend gave me, SPEER LAWMAN 9mm Luger 115 gr. TMJ ......is this stuff worth carrying or should I use it for target practice?
    Thanks for the info guys I appreciate it.

  13. #13
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thug23 View Post
    New guy here and green in every way to this CCW and Ammo stuff...with that said, after reading some posts on 9mm ammo, why wouldn't I want a heavier load ? I'm not a "target shooter", I carry for "protection only" and want my ammo to STOP the bad guy....
    There are various theories on what causes a bad guy to stop. Some theories hold that a lighter bullet propelled at higher speed will do a better job. Other theories hold that a heavier bullet going slower will work better.

    Personally, I think the answer lies in looking at the tissue damage a particular bullet causes. Pistol bullets, unlike rifle bullets, can generally only destroy tissue they physically touch. Thus, if we examine the depth of penetration and the expanded diameter of a bullet (which will tell us how much tissue the bullet physically contacted), we have a pretty good basis for comparing loads.

    so why do I want to use a smaller grain?
    If a lighter bullet penetrates to the same depth and expands to the same diameter as a heavier bullet, it should be equally effective. But the light bullet will often recoil less, thus aiding with speed of follow-up shots. This could be one reason for choosing a lighter bullet over a heavier one.

    Good ammo info can be found here: www.firearmstactical.com.

    Of course, I think people generally make way too big a deal about choosing guns and ammo. As long as your gun/ammo combination is reliable and you choose any premium hollowpoint load from a reputable manufacturer, you should stop wasting mental energy and move on to more important things. Mindset, marksmanship ability, gunhandling skill, and tactics are all far more important than the particular gun and load you choose.
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  14. #14
    thug23 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the info . I checked out the site you provided...little out of date though?

  15. #15
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thug23 View Post
    Thanks for the info . I checked out the site you provided...little out of date though?
    Not really. The vast majority of the rounds tested there are still in use and very popular. Change is glacial in the gun industry.
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  16. #16
    Grip's Avatar
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    i use:
    winchester white box 115gr fmj's for target
    Federal hydra shok 124gr jhp's for home defense


    im looking to try out some new JHP home defense round's:

    Speer Gold Dot 124gr
    Hornady TAP 124gr
    Federal HST 124gr

    i dont see the need for 147gr

  17. #17
    mc2
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    How do you all feel about Corbon 90gr JHP rounds?

  18. #18
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mc2 View Post
    How do you all feel about Corbon 90gr JHP rounds?
    I haven't seen any tests, but based on the bullet weight and the velocity, I suspect they would be woefully short on penetration.
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  19. #19
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    From chuckhawks.com:

    This is unquestionably the world's most popular pistol round. For this reason it has been the subject of a lot of experimentation, because 9mm ball - used by every army in the Western world - is a mediocre manstopper. Jacketed hollowpoints are a must if one wishes to rely on the 9mm as a defense round. Use ball ammo for practice only.

    9mm ammunition is available in two pressure levels: standard and "+P." The latter should only be used in newer guns (made since 1985 or so), and is best used sparingly. I will deal here with only commercially available ammunition: there are specialized loads available only to law enforcement personnel. Civilians should not worry, as there are commercial loads as good or better than anything restricted to law enforcement usage.

    I will now tell you the best 9mm Luger load for self-defense: it is the Cor-Bon 9mm 115 grain +P Jacketed Hollowpoint. This is the most powerful and street-proven manstopper available in this caliber. It is a high velocity (1340 fps) and high pressure round, and more effective than any load restricted to law enforcement use (such as the Federal 9BPLE).

    Unfortunately, it is also likely to jam many older guns. For this reason I add a table at the end of the 9mm section discussing round suitability for different guns. Modern hollowpoints may either (a) jam, or (b) be too powerful for some older guns. This load is suitable only for First Class pistols (see table).

    The best standard pressure 9mm load is the Federal 115 grain JHP (9BP). Its effectiveness and accuracy make it the world standard. Buy several boxes. Other excellent standard pressure 9mm loads are the Winchester Silvertip 115 grain (X9MMSHP), and Federal 124 grain Hydra-shok (P9HS1).

    For guns that may jam with the Cor-Bon or Federal 115 grain hollow-points, the Remington 115 grain +P JHP is a good choice (R9MM6). For older guns I would use the Remington standard pressure 115 gr. JHP (R9MM1).

    Now it is time to impart some crucial information: NEVER use 147 grain ammo in a 9mm pistol! There was a stupid fad for 147 grain hollowpoints a few years ago, and many were suckered into buying these weak, worthless and malfunction-prone rounds. I don't care what you've heard: never use any 9mm hollowpoint heavier than 125 grains. 147 grain hollowpoints often jam in many popular 9mm guns like the Browning Hi-Power, SIG, Beretta 92, S&W and Glock. Ignore the gun magazine hype and stick to what works. If you want to gamble, go to Reno. Don't gamble with your life. 147 grain ammo sucks.

    Bad 9mm Loads to avoid (and certainly NEVER carry). Numbers given:

    Federal Gold Medal 9mm 147 grain JHP (9MS)
    Federal Hydra-Shok 9mm 147 grain JHP (P9HS2)
    Winchester 147 grain 9mm Silvertip Subsonic JHP (X9MMST147)
    Winchester 147 grain 9mm Super-X Subsonic (XSUB9MM)
    Remington 147 grain 9mm JHP (R9MM8)
    Remington 147 grain 9mm Golden Saber JHP (GS9MMC)
    Remington 140 grain 9mm JHP (R9MM7)
    Remington 88 grain 9mm JHP (R9MM5) This bullet is far too light.
    CCI Lawman 147 grain 9mm PHP "Plated Hollow Point" (3619)

  20. #20
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Mike Barham; 02-13-2008 at 08:39 PM.
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