9mm Ammo Weight as Deciding Factor to Carry

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by robhic, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. robhic

    robhic WOLVERINE!!!!
    Platinum Member Gold Member

    I'm sure this has been discussed but I can't seem to find the correct search combination to track it or something similar down. So let me ask:

    I normally use either Remington Golden Saber 124gr JHP +P Bonded or similar Gold Dots in my G26 and G19.

    I also have some 9BPLE (or Gold Dot) 115gr JHP +P+ and thought about it last night loading a carry mag. I've heard people using the 9BPLE for carry. It is a good round, proven and all, but it seems to me that a 115 gr bullet at that pressure (+P+) would be more liable to pass through a target.

    The bit heavier 124 gr +P seems like a better balance of weight and power to be slightly more effective plus not pass through so readily.

    I also remember seeing a chart of ALL types and caliber ammunition penetration posted a month or so ago (I think it was by SAMMI?) but cannot seem to find the right magic combination of terms to search effectively for that either.

    Anybody with thoughts on the 115 vs. the 124 bullet question is appreciated and if someone knows the chart of which I speak, I'd appreciate a point in that direction, also.

    Thanks for all input.

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  3. dkf


    With a well designed JHP you will notice in a lot of cases that as velocity increases, expansion increases and penetration decreases.(in a soft medium similar to human tissue) All about the bullet design vs velocity vs medium.

    I prefer a 124gr however the 115gr 9bple is nothing to sneeze at and has been proven to be effective. Notice the smaller hp cavity on the 9bple bullet vs say a 124gr GD or HST. The smaller hp cavity helps to control the rate of expansion and increase penetration even though the velocity is increased. It is not like the 9bple is traveling really fast either, you are only looking at around 1250fps out of a G19.

    #2 dkf, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  4. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    and I have concerns that it won't penetrate enough.
  5. BPLE will serve you just fine, everyone is penetration crazy anymore. It's been working for decades VERY well I might add, people haven't changed only our perception of what's needed to work on stopping them. Some loads are timeless, 357/125 from Fed/Rem, 9mm 115+p+ from Win or Fed or hell even the Win 38 +p 158 LSWCHP has proven itself to be a fightstopper. Worry less about the load and practice alot with what you carry, then shoot your threat to the ground, one shot stops are for hollywood.
    #4 9mm +p+, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  6. Penetration uses up the kinetic energy of the bullet. For each tiny increment of the bullet's penetration it gives up energy at a rate proportional to the square of its speed, but the KE of the bullet is proportional to the product of its mass and the square of its speed. So for the same KE a heavier bullet is moving slower and so gives up its KE at a slower rate. This allows it to penetrate further because it is loosing energy at a slower rate. The result is that the lighter faster bullet has less penetration but a wider zone of damage than the heavier bullet. The fact based reputation of the 115gn +p+ loadings is precisely because of their wider zone of damage. This does not mean that in some circumstances more penetration would not be better but on average the 115gn +p+ is superior.

    Unfortunately your intuitive feelings about balance have led you to a conclusion at odds with the reality.

  7. robhic

    robhic WOLVERINE!!!!
    Platinum Member Gold Member

    Very interesting and thought-provoking replies. I appreciate the input and am not worried about either round (124+P or 115+P+) for carry. Thanks to all for the information. :wavey:
  8. Any of the four rounds you noted will do just fine. I personally lean towards the 124-grain bullet weight except for the ultra-small pistol I also own that gets 115-grain Fiocchi Extrema XTP.

    If I remember correctly the width of the average man's body is ten inches, and the FBI's 12" minimum penetration standard is based on the possibility of a bullet's having to pass through bone or other tissue harder than the soft variety.

    Quite a few experts have pointed out that the Illinois State Police put away a lot of violent felons with the 115-grain +P+ round, even in the dead of winter.

    It's great to have good choices and in 9mm there are quite a few great ammo choices available.
  9. The "wound" from 9BPLE in TNOutdoors9 test of it shows damage comparable to the better 357 sig loads, and, IIRC it gets decent penetration.

    And before someone says it, I know it's not real life.
  10. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    of any bullet media test results of the 9mm 115gr +p+ loading? I would be interested to know how far it penetrates. :upeyes:
  11. While penetration depths under different rigidly controlled testing conditions can be useful when comparing performance to certain criteria, bear in m ind that the "real world" can introduce circumstances which can have an effect on such things.

    For example, I can think of a denim/gel test where old style JHP's exhibited deep penetration and only "average" expansion ... but then in an actual shooting one such 180gr round hit an arm and was deflected by bone up along the arm, coming to rest in the shoulder capsule. It didn't penetrate the arm and enter the thoracic cavity.

    When bullets hit intervening barriers (including limbs), or have to traverse the intended target when impacting from an oblique angle, encountering bony structures and different layers of tissues, organs, muscles and structures ... unexpected things can happen.

    I used to worry about subtle nuances such as bullet weight.

    Nowadays I either use whatever is available, or has been issued ... (and would always prefer one of the more modern hollowpoint designs, when possible) ... but I've become increasingly more concerned about my ability to accurately & effectively use whichever caliber, bullet design & weight is loaded in my guns.

    Misses and peripheral hits (perforations in non-critical body ares) concern me.

    Mindset concerns me.

    Skillset concerns me.

    Weapon maintenance concerns me.

    Suitable carry methods concern me.

    Remaining current on the relevant laws concerns me.

    Being able to employ optimal tactics concerns me.

    Being aware concerns me.

    Remaining is sufficiently good enough health to function as needed concerns me.

    My thoughts ... (no "expert" answers, not even for myself ;) ).
  12. Berto

    Berto woo woo


    Only good hits count. I like the middleweights in 9mm simply because I feel it's most efficient in 124gr weights, but the nine has proven to work with heavy and light too. A decent load in 115,124 or 147 will get the job done if you put it in the right place.
  13. robhic

    robhic WOLVERINE!!!!
    Platinum Member Gold Member

    That's what I was talking about in the OP (above). I remember seeing a very comprehensive bunch of tables for different calibers and type bullets posted here not too long ago. I thought it was from SAMMI but it coulda been an ammo manufacturer or the like. I wish I could remember who posted it and who it was from. :shocked: Anybody? Bueller?
    #12 robhic, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  14. robhic

    robhic WOLVERINE!!!!
    Platinum Member Gold Member

    Check this out. It isn't 'zactly what I was talking about but it could be helpful: http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/ammodata.htm
  15. Warp


    You sure like to roll your eyes at other posters an awful lot.

    #14 Warp, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  16. I'm also a fan of the 'middle weight' 9mm loads. I usually carry 124, 125 or 127 grs in either a Gold Dot or Cor Bon loading. I plan on trying out the Underwood brand some time soon.
  17. Merkavaboy

    Merkavaboy Code-7A KUZ769

    Of what I have seen and read, the 9mm 115+P+ and the 357Mag 125JHP both penetrate 9-10" in ballistic gel tests. Since this doesn't meet the FBI's and IWBA's 12" minimum, they disregard these 2 loads as not being "worthy" of being an acceptable LEO or civilian SD loads (and yet they have DECADES of proven street performance). So much for the all mighty and wise FBI/IWBA "experts". :upeyes:

  18. http://www.stoppingpower.net/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6951&SearchTerms=9,BPLE

  19. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

  20. They didn't pull 12" out of their ***. The fact is that 9-10" just isn't enough sometimes. Most of the time it may be. But the 12-18" standard came about for a reason.
    #19 cowboy1964, Oct 12, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  21. The point is to keep shooting until the threat is stopped. You can't rely on a one shot stop, so maybe you have to fire an additional round of one bullet weight verses another. But the threat is still stopped.

    I made my choice of 147 gr RA9T. I bought a case of it, so for me it's going to be around for a long time.

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