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9mm: 124 vs 147 for SD?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by ViennaGambit, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. ViennaGambit


    Dec 19, 2009
    Need to order some more self defense ammo for my Glock 26 and just wondering which weight is more preferred:

    124 or 147?

    Is it just come down to personal preference on penetration vs. size of hole?

    Maybe I should just give Buffalo Bore's 147 +P a try for best of both worlds...

    Tried searching as I'm sure this comes up, but couldnt find a decent thread.

  2. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    Either will serve you well.
    I believe 124/127 +P/+P+ is likely the most used.
    Winchester Ranger T 127 +P+
    Speer GDHP 124 +P
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012

  3. ViennaGambit


    Dec 19, 2009
    Thank you - have been carrying the Speer 124 +P, but just trying to make the best decisions.
  4. hotpig

    hotpig IAFF Local 4766 CLM

    Back in the 90's the +P and +P+ were popular in short barrel guns. Technology has changed that. Some still prefer throw backs like +P but it does not really help with performance. It is just a personal preference.
  5. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    I think you'll find most pros recommend a hotter load for shorter barrels. Though a G26 is not what I would consider truly short, like a 3".

    Gold Dot 9mm Short Barrel is a 124+P, not a 115, 124, or 147. Of course the Short Barrel ammo has a special bullet designed to open at lower velocities yet Speer still makes it a +P. I think that's telling.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  6. KS Trekker

    KS Trekker That Guy

    Nov 23, 2009
    The Speer Gold Dot 124+p is my favorite in my G26.
  7. hotpig

    hotpig IAFF Local 4766 CLM

    Speer was the last of the big three to offer lower velocity ammo. The T-Series was the first.

    I still sell lots of +P ammo but there has been a steady decline in the demand. Some brands I stock the 147gr three to one on the lighter +P offerings.

    The GD 124+P has always been a good selling round for me. I suspect it will remain so for a while.
  8. Ranger45


    Jan 17, 2010
    North Carolina
    I've used Speer GDHP in 124+P, but prefer Winchester Rangers or Federal HST in 147 gr.
  9. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    I don't know if this round is "the most used" but according to those whose opinions I most respect it's the one they currently list highest for effectiveness. These same experts will caution that it's up to the individual to shoot enough of any CCW ammo to guarantee reliability with the chosen self-defense weapon.

    The 124-grain Speer Gold Dot +P is a very close second choice and the 115-grain Federal +P+ 9BPLE (and other similar rounds) are a highly-regarded third choice. (Again, going by the experts' list of preferred 9mm JHP self-defense rounds.)

    The experts' opinions are arrived at from investigating proven street cred documentation and not solely on the published reports from guys in white lab coats with bifocals and hand-held calculators.

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  10. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    I would think so since the round you mention is the de facto standard for effective 9mm JHP ammo by which all other rounds are measured, from all I've heard and read.

    In every caliber there are certain rounds that are promoted as "the best of the best" but in every case the standard measurement centers on Speer Gold Dot and its proven record of quality and effectiveness. That's why I consider it the de facto standard JHP self-defense ammo and why everybody could do themselves a service by starting out with Gold Dot and then expanding their search for a better round using this baseline standard.

    I wish I'd had known this from the outset as I would have saved enough money spent on ammo/testing to purchase another fine firearm.
  11. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

    Mar 1, 2005
    Old Dominion
    "Throwbacks"?? I'll keep my "throwback" 127+P+'s thanks, you can have those overhyped 147's all you want. You have several choices with the 9mm, standard pressure 115/124=38 special lighter bullet loads, 147's= the oh so effective 158 load for 38 special or you can go light 357 magnum with the sensible and often suggested "throwback" +p/+p+ 124/127. The choice is yours, I run 127 +p+'s and wouldn't consider a 147 for anything other than punching paper.
  12. backcast88


    Dec 10, 2011
    I like 147 in 9mm. I find that 147 grain bullets shoot a little better in my 26. I have shot Gold Dot's and HST +p. I prefer the HST's and only have the +p version b/c when I bought them the standard pressure version was not available. When I find standard pressure 147 HST's I will buy them but until the 147+p will have to do.

    You cant go wrong with 124/127 or 147 in any high quality manufacture, just a matter of what you want.
  13. DocKWL


    May 15, 2009
    The quote in this post is disingenuous and (without trying to moderate) is in violation of forum rules for not including a link to the full text which would allow an interested reader to acknowledge the author and understand the context for which it was written.
  14. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    I do apologize if my post hit a nerve, Mr. Doc. But eggheads have always been targets of caricature as long as I can remember. You know, the guys with the slide rule, Coke-bottle glasses, etc ...

    I'm sorry it hit so close to home, my friend.

    PS Going purely on your quoting the text I wrote.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  15. LawScholar


    Aug 23, 2011
    Federal HST 147-grain

    Speed Gold Dot 124-grain +p

    Pick one and rest easy! :)
  16. DocKWL


    May 15, 2009
    I would like to think that one day the line drawn in the sand will erode away.

    This forum has a distinction for the runaway propagation of misinformation. This may come as a revelation for many but there has never (or at least for many years) been any such delineation as "slow versus heavy" or "guys in white lab coats with bifocals and hand-held calculators" versus "street cred". Such statements perpetuate from the misinformed, those which may have financial gain, or from those peddling their pet theory.


    "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 +P JHP
    Winchester Partition Gold 124 gr JHP (RA91P)
    Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)
    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)

    .40 S&W:
    Barnes XPB 155 gr JHP (copper bullet)
    Speer Gold Dot 155 gr JHP
    Federal Tactical 165 gr JHP (LE40T3)
    Winchester Ranger-T 165 gr JHP (RA40TA)
    Winchester Partition Gold 165 gr JHP (RA401P)
    Federal HST 180 gr JHP (P40HST1)
    Federal Tactical 180 gr JHP (LE40T1)
    Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)
    Speer Gold Dot 180 gr JHP
    Winchester Ranger-T 180 gr JHP (RA40T)
    Winchester 180 gr bonded JHP (RA40B/Q4355/S40SWPDB1)

    .45 ACP:
    Barnes XPB 185 gr JHP (copper bullet)
    Federal HST 230 gr JHP (P45HST2)
    Federal HST 230 gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
    Federal Tactical 230 gr JHP (LE45T1)
    Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP
    Speer Gold Dot 230 gr +P JHP
    Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr JHP (RA45T)
    Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr +P JHP (RA45TP)

    Can anyone distinguish where the heavy/slow and light/fast dividing line is?

    Which loadings are the "Facklerites" and which loadings are the one's with the "street creds"?

    The lab coats (or jello junkies) versus "street cred" is equally as silly. It has never been that way except for the ignorant who shun objectivity to promote their pet load or theory.


    "Marshall, Sanow, Massad Ayoob and other "one-shot stop" advocates either ignorantly or intentionally mischaracterize and attempt to discredit the professional wound ballistics community as lab coat wearing nerds who never step foot outside the confines of a controlled laboratory setting. These uninformed or dishonest gunwriters attempt to portray wound ballistics professionals as incompetent dunces who are unwilling to consider "real world shooting results," lest the "real world laboratory of the street" contradict cherished "laboratory gelatin results" and "laboratory theories." One need only peruse a few issues of the IWBA journal, Wound Ballistics Review, to learn otherwise. Many of the articles are written by law enforcement officers or other professionals who work closely with law enforcement agencies."


    "The Firearms Training Unit of the FBI held a Wound Ballistics Seminar from 19 through 22 January 1993 at the FBI Academy.

    "Thirty-seven forensic pathologists, trauma surgeons, law enforcement trainers, firearms examiners, and ordnance engineers met to discuss handgun bullet effects and bullet testing. This group unanimously affirmed the principles set down by the FBI workshop of 1987: primarily among these was that a bullet must possess the capacity to penetrate deeply enough to reach and disrupt vital body structures if it is to stand any chance of performing reliably in the variety of circumstances a law enforcement officer might meet in a gunfight. Since the 1987 workshop, most law enforcement agencies have adopted the more deeply penetrating heavier bullets. At the 1993 symposium, trainers from five large departments (California Highway Patrol, Indianapolis PD, San Diego PD, Louisiana State Police, and Amarillo PD) reported data showing excellent performance from bullets chosen using the FBI penetration criterion. Several of these trainers had polled their counterparts in other departments and found that their highly favorable observations and impressions of the heavier bullets were widely shared."

    Can anyone point out where the "us" versus "them" appears?

    To expand on the "jello junkies" comments I often read here, I present this:

    "Myth Number 1: Ordnance gelatin testing is used to predict bullet effectiveness.

    A common misconception about ordnance gelatin testing is that it can be used to predict the effectiveness of personal defense ammunition. It cannot. Testing bullets using standard ordnance gelatin as a soft tissue simulant provides useful information about a bullet's terminal ballistic mechanical performance and wounding effect. That’s all. These two attributes are directly linked to the bullet’s design, construction and velocity. They are defined as follows:
    Terminal ballistic mechanical performance is a measure of bullet penetration, expansion, fragmentation and yaw at a given velocity.
    Wounding effect is the disruption produced by a bullet’s terminal performance characteristics.
    To be "effective" a bullet must inflict an injury that produces dysfunction of the central nervous system. This is accomplished by one of two mechanisms: 1) direct physical damage to a central nervous system structure (the bullet must penetrate the brain or cervical spinal cord), or 2) blood loss in quantity to rapidly deprive the brain of the oxygenated blood it needs to remain conscious (the bullet must penetrate a major cardiovascular structure).
    Consequently, wound effectiveness is a function of what tissues (vital or non-vital) are disrupted by the wounding effects of the bullet. Wound effectiveness is dependent upon where the bullet’s wounding effects are located in the body and what tissues are involved.
    Therefore, when a bullet is shot into ordnance gelatin, the only traits that can be quantified are the bullet’s terminal ballistic mechanical performance characteristics and wounding effects. Gelatin does not reveal "how effective" a bullet is, because "effectiveness" is a result that cannot be measured in a test medium.
    Wound effectiveness is a consequence of shot-placement (the bullet’s path through the body) and penetration."

    Anyone who claims that gelatin can predict "total wound volume" or other predictors of bullet performance are uninformed or ignorant of the subject. The previous statement applies to all on either side of the line.

    I would also suggest reading "Myths 2 and 3" by following the link provided.

    To the OP:

    Why limit yourself to the 124 or 147 grain bullets when others are available?

    From the list provided above, choose the one that you have access to, functions flawlessly in your weapon, and the one that you are most accurate, seek quality training, and practice until your weapon, mind, and body are one.
  17. ViennaGambit


    Dec 19, 2009
    Doc, thank you very very much for posting this info - I have been reading through your work on the M4Carbine forums and it is a wealth of information for someone who is especially new to the handgun world, but eager to learn. This is turning into a fascinating hobby that has overtaken most, if not all, of my others. Thank you.

    @ the others - I also appreciate your insight and advice as well.

    I am going to order a host of different weights and brands and see what my Glock likes and what I can shoot best.
  18. DocKWL


    May 15, 2009
    I am not Dr. Roberts.

    See this...

    ...for pictures of Dr. Roberts, a "lab coat" who could:

    A. Out shoot


    B. Physically kick the snot out of some of the more mouthy and overly-opinionated members in this forum.
  19. pisc1024

    pisc1024 AASG

    Oct 9, 2005
  20. hotpig

    hotpig IAFF Local 4766 CLM

    I'm not affraid of Dr. Roberts. GPS will not get him to my house.:tongueout: