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.")
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 :rolleyes:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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