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Thread: 9mm Ammo Selection

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    9mm Ammo Selection

    So it seems like 9mm shooters all like different weight in their 9mm rounds. The most populars being 124 gr, and 147 gr. While reading and watching videos I have came to the conclusion the lighter rounds such as Speer GD 115 gr +P+ and Speer GD 124 gr +P have more kinetic energy with about 415 to 430 foot pounds of pressure coming out around 1,220ish feet per second.

    With the heavier 147 gr. HST it shows the round goes at a speed of about 1000 feet per second with only 330 foot pounds of kinetic energy.

    I carry the 124+P in my G17 and the 115+P+ in my G19.
    I am NOT trying to start a 9mm/.40/.45 debate here.

    What are you guys issued or carry in your 9mm's either on or off duty? Looking forward to the replies.
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    124gr Gold Dots in my CZ75 Compact, 124gr +P Gold Dots in my Glock 19.
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    Issued Ranger SXT (147gr).

    (We are issued .45's (glock 21sf) but a few people carry personally owned 9mm's.)

    Policy forbids "+P" rounds.

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    Gold Dot 124 +P. I use GD in all my pistols, .380, 9, .40, and .45.
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    If we have a 9mm we are issued 124g +p gold dots. It's kind of cool they have a huge board at the range with 5 different ammo brands that were shot through different targets I.e. car door, glass, Sheetrock etc.. In addition to the different brands they also tested different bullet weights. Basically you can just look up the weight and bullet type you want and see how it would do against X type of material. I feel very confident w/ gold dots and really appreciate the extra steps our department took to test the ammo
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    I use the 124gr Nato fmj in subguns and 158gr Fiocchi Subsonic through silencers.

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    im issued 124 gr. gold dots I carry rangere 124 gr +p+ when i get to pick out of my glock 26 im looking in to switching to hornady critical duty
    124 gr. +p

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    HST or Ranger-T in 147

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    115g Federal Classic or 124g HST...

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    I just found a box of speer Gold Dots 124 +P 50 rounds for $20.95 at my gun store last night! Time to shoot up those golden sabers ive had for a year.

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    Holes pocked to sufficient depths that bore through or smash something important is what matters, not kinetic energy. Factor in barrier penetration concerns, and that is why most have moved away from cartridges using 115 grain 9mm bullets. (And the lighter bullet weight offerings in .40S&W and .45acp, for that matter.) I've been issued the following, all with reputations as reliable performers:

    Winchester 147 gr bonded JHP (RA9B/Q4364)
    Federal HST 147 gr JHP (P9HST2)
    Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P JHP

    Best - E
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERMedic View Post
    So it seems like 9mm shooters all like different weight in their 9mm rounds. The most populars being 124 gr, and 147 gr. While reading and watching videos I have came to the conclusion the lighter rounds such as Speer GD 115 gr +P+ and Speer GD 124 gr +P have more kinetic energy with about 415 to 430 foot pounds of pressure coming out around 1,220ish feet per second.

    With the heavier 147 gr. HST it shows the round goes at a speed of about 1000 feet per second with only 330 foot pounds of kinetic energy.

    I carry the 124+P in my G17 and the 115+P+ in my G19.
    I am NOT trying to start a 9mm/.40/.45 debate here.

    What are you guys issued or carry in your 9mm's either on or off duty? Looking forward to the replies.

    A concept debunked as an essential part of terminal ballistics on hand gun rnds a long time ago. Well made modern designs made by legit manufacturers produce handgun rnds with very specific performance characteristics designed to penetrate and expand reliably. Heavier bullets tend to perform better through intermediate barriers, and thus ma be better suited for LE.



    From Doc Roberts:

    The following loads all demonstrate outstanding terminal performance and can be considered acceptable for duty/self-defense use:

    9 mm:
    Barnes XPB 115 gr JHP (copper bullet)
    Federal Tactical 124 gr JHP (LE9T1)
    Federal HST 124 gr +P JHP (P9HST3)
    Remington Golden Saber 124 gr +P JHP bonded (GSB9MMD)
    Speer Gold Dot 124 gr JHP
    Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P JHP
    Winchester Partition Gold 124 gr JHP (RA91P)
    Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)
    Winchester Ranger Bonded 124 gr +P JHP (RA9BA)
    Winchester Ranger-T 127 gr +P+ JHP (RA9TA)
    Federal Tactical 135 gr +P JHP (LE9T5)
    Federal HST 147 gr JHP (P9HST2)
    Remington Golden Saber 147 gr JHP (GS9MMC)
    Speer Gold Dot 147 gr JHP
    Winchester Ranger-T 147 gr JHP (RA9T)
    Winchester 147 gr bonded JHP (RA9B/Q4364)

    See works/info by Dr Roberts, for additional info:

    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887
    Last edited by WillBrink; 07-08-2012 at 09:48 AM.
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    I'm not sure on the validity and currency of this article

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm

    but here's what's written for the 9mm

    9mm Parabellum (9mm Luger,9x19mm, 9mm NATO, or simply "9mm")

    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).

    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)

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick_leo View Post
    I'm not sure on the validity and currency of this article

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm

    but here's what's written for the 9mm
    "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."

    100% first class Bull Sh&%. Either ignorance of the topic, or he has vested interest in the brand, but it's BS. One can choose to listen to an actual industry professional who does testing for various federal, mil, etc, with the creds to back up his statements, or "Opinion by Anonymous"
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillBrink View Post
    100% first class Bull Sh&%. Either ignorance of the topic, or he has vested interest in the brand, but it's BS. One can choose to listen to an actual industry professional who does testing for various federal, mil, etc, with the creds to back up his statements, or "Opinion by Anonymous"
    You may well be right. That's why I don't rely on only one source of information.
    However I haven't found so far a recent paper that may be used as reference regarding good self-defense and police ammo per caliber.

    When I'm saying a reference, I would refer to what I'm used to in the scientific world:

    - description of tests and raw data
    - proper scientific method
    - reproducibility
    - peer review

    I have seen many articles by some well known shooters, but they were often slanted by personal bias or did not provided enough background on their experiments. There were also some interesting scientific studies on some ballistic properties but they were well disconnected from practical needs.

    I would appreciate if you can give me some links to current articles to further my quest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick_leo View Post
    You may well be right. That's why I don't rely on only one source of information.
    However I haven't found so far a recent paper that may be used as reference regarding good self-defense and police ammo per caliber.

    When I'm saying a reference, I would refer to what I'm used to in the scientific world:

    - description of tests and raw data
    - proper scientific method
    - reproducibility
    - peer review

    I have seen many articles by some well known shooters, but they were often slanted by personal bias or did not provided enough background on their experiments. There were also some interesting scientific studies on some ballistic properties but they were well disconnected from practical needs.

    I would appreciate if you can give me some links to current articles to further my quest.
    Link supplied above takes you to the person who supplies such info/data, where he's posted plenty of published data (much of which was involved), tests reports, etc. and is the go to guy in that arena. He's generally good about responding directly if a Q has not been answered via his posts, links to data, citations, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawdawg45 View Post
    keep in mind that with large departments ballistic data doesn't usually play a major role in their selection, just money.
    This is usually the case.
    Quote Originally Posted by SCSU74 View Post
    It's kind of cool they have a huge board at the range with 5 different ammo brands that were shot through different targets I.e. car door, glass, Sheetrock etc.. In addition to the different brands they also tested different bullet weights. Basically you can just look up the weight and bullet type you want and see how it would do against X type of material. I feel very confident w/ gold dots and really appreciate the extra steps our department took to test the ammo
    When I became a range officer, I attended a three day training: Duty Ammunition Evaluation Seminar. The training was sponsored by Winchester, Federal, Speer, and Remington. We shot various calibers, bullet weights and brands into ballistic gelatin itself, and through different mediums. This workshop included most popular rounds (9mm, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and the .223) used in law enforcement (in 2003 anyway)..
    We had the actual FBI (Wound Ballistics Seminar) results to compare these to, as well as our own controlled results.
    In our experiment, Speer Gold-Dot, Remington Golden Sabre and CorBon were the top three overall. The tests were for penetration, weight retention, separation, expansion, and plugging.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    Holes pocked to sufficient depths that bore through or smash something important is what matters, not kinetic energy. Factor in barrier penetration concerns, and that is why most have moved away from cartridges using 115 grain 9mm bullets. (And the lighter bullet weight offerings in .40S&W and .45acp, for that matter.) I've been issued the following, all with reputations as reliable performers:

    Winchester 147 gr bonded JHP (RA9B/Q4364)
    Federal HST 147 gr JHP (P9HST2)
    Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P JHP

    Best - E
    Valid point. What they do, as opposed to what the slide-rule says they’re supposed to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by APDSgt View Post
    Policy forbids "+P" rounds.
    A lot of agencies do not allow +P or +P+ rounds. Apparently, the pressures vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and there is no across-the-board standard.


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    Quote Originally Posted by WillBrink View Post
    Link supplied above takes you to the person who supplies such info/data, where he's posted plenty of published data (much of which was involved), tests reports, etc. and is the go to guy in that arena. He's generally good about responding directly if a Q has not been answered via his posts, links to data, citations, etc.
    Doc is a great guy with a TON of info about ballistics. He has helped me more than once on caliber related questions and also with selecting hard armor. I believe he has his own sub forum on m4carbine.com and is also a mod on lightfighter
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCSU74 View Post
    Doc is a great guy with a TON of info about ballistics. He has helped me more than once on caliber related questions and also with selecting hard armor. I believe he has his own sub forum on m4carbine.com and is also a mod on lightfighter
    Yup, and was linked above.
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    I live in Alaska but I travel all over the country quite a bit. For that reason, I try to stay with ammo that I can be reasonably sure to find anywhere. I tend to stay with the 124 grain +P Speer Gold Dot for 9mm although there are other good choices as well. The Gold Dots cycle reliably in all my pistols so I favor them in .45 and .40 as well. In fact, I also use the Gold Dot 136 grain rounds for short-barreled revolvers. I shoot a lot of different ammo (often whatever is inexpensive) but I mostly carry Gold Dot.
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    My issued duty ammo is Speer GD 124 +P, so that's what I use.

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    Remington Golden Saber 124gr +P

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    The 9mm has several options available to it, making it one of the most versatile cartridges available. Like WillBrink said, that ChuckHawk posting is wrought with inaccuracies and "factual statements" based on nothing more than opinion that is not shared by ballistics experts like SSA Buford Boone, Dr. Martin Fackler and Dr. Gary Roberts.

    If we want to talk about the king of velocity and energy, we need to be looking at rounds like the Winchester Ranger T-Series 127gr +P+, which has been known to penetrate various trauma plates and NIJ Level II soft armor.

    Bonded bullets have been shown to behave the best and most predictable. CorBon uses their DPX loads, which are nice. However, their JHP loads are not bonded and prone to jacket separation and fragmentation more than bonded and copper solid loads. Most defense/duty loads in 9mm are more than sufficient, regardless of what they are. The best option is choose your load based on what you need it for. For LE, we need barrier-blind loads like bonded and copper solid bullets. This does not mean that non-bonded bullets (that do not behave like bonded bullets) are worthless. They just have less desirable characteristics through barriers.
    I personally choose either 124gr +P, 127gr +P+ or 147gr +P loads for my 9mm carry guns. I prefer higher pressures and the heavier bullets as opposed to the 115gr options. That's just my preferences, though.
    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
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    Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

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    9MM 124 grain +P Federal HST. I won't trust my life to anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mookster View Post
    9MM 124 grain +P Federal HST. I won't trust my life to anything else.
    not even an AR?
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