velocity of a 9mm in a revolver

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    1. #1
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      Thumbs up velocity of a 9mm in a revolver

      I'm planning on buying a ruger speed six in 9mm from a coworker. I'm curious if there is any difference in fps versus a 9mm pistol. Would the recoil be similar to a .38?

      thanks

    2. #2
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      I have a DBI book titled "The Gun Digest Book Of 9mm Handguns" (1986), and in it, they test fire 50 different 9mm handgun models/variations with the same 6 loads (three factory loads, and three handloads). You didn't mention what the barrel length was on the Ruger Speed Six in question, but luckily, they tested both the 2.75" and 4" barreled guns. Here is the data for the three factory loads, for the Rugers and a few common 9mm autoloaders:

      Winchester Silvertip 115 grain JHP

      Ruger Speed Six, 2.75" bbl -- 1201 FPS
      Ruger Speed Six, 4" bbl -- 1254 FPS
      SIG 226, 4.4" barrel -- 1177 FPS
      Glock 17, 4.49" bbl -- 1215 FPS
      Browning HP, 4.625" bbl -- 1261 FPS
      Beretta 92F, 4.9" bbl -- 1169 FPS

      -------------------------------------------------
      Federal 9BP load, 115 grain JHP

      Ruger Speed Six, 2.75" bbl -- 1180 FPS
      Ruger Speed Six, 4" bbl -- 1228 FPS
      SIG 226, 4.4" barrel -- 1140 FPS
      Glock 17, 4.49" bbl -- 1245 FPS
      Browning HP, 4.625" bbl -- 1259 FPS
      Beretta 92F, 4.9" bbl -- 1182 FPS

      -------------------------------------------------
      Federal 9AP load, 123 grain FMJ

      Ruger Speed Six, 2.75" bbl -- 1070 FPS
      Ruger Speed Six, 4" bbl -- 1092 FPS
      SIG 226, 4.4" barrel -- 1058 FPS
      Glock 17, 4.49" bbl -- 1071 FPS
      Browning HP, 4.625" bbl -- 1113 FPS
      Beretta 92F, 4.9" bbl -- 1112 FPS

      -------------------------------------------------

      The accuracy of the Rugers was better than some of the autos, worse than others; right in the same ballpark, I'd say. The shooter will make or break accuracy testing, in any case.

      Recoil will probably be just a bit snappier than all but the strongest .38 loads fired in the same size/weight gun; 9mm velocities are higher, but bullet weights are lower. Overall energies are higher with the 9mm loads, and that energy output is felt on both ends of the gun.

      Hope this was helpful.

      .

    3. #3
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      Thanks for the nice chart Dj niner. I'm surprised the ruger stacks up with the pistols, I thought there might be a little compression loss. The 226 lags for some reason.

    4. #4
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      The barrel/cylinder gap probably does account for some loss of pressure and velocity, but it is at least partially offset by the way barrel lengths are measured in pistols vs. revolvers.

      Pistol barrel lengths include the chamber in the overall measurement; revolvers do not (barrel is measured from the forcing cone at the rear of the barrel, to the muzzle at the front). When you add the length of the cylinder to the revolver barrel measurement, you get closer to an apples-to-apples comparison of "true" barrel dimensions.

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