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Federal vs. Speer

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Brad55102, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Brad55102


    Dec 4, 2010
    West MI
    I have done tons of research and decided on 4 carry rounds

    1 Federal HST 124gr +p
    2 Federal HST 147gr
    3 Speer Gold dot 124gr +p
    4 Speer Gold dot 147gr

    what one would you pick and why?
  2. LawScholar


    Aug 23, 2011
    My two favorite brands and bullets. All four are amazing. Tough choice.

    For me, tossup between the HST and GD 124+p

    I like 180s in .40 and 230s in .45, but prefer the middle of the road 124s for 9x19. Hard to articulate why

  3. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

    Mar 1, 2005
    Old Dominion
    Personally I'd pick the gold dot 124+p, it has been around for a while and has a real good street rep, hst is kind of new despite all the hype. I have no use for 147's at all.
  4. cadillacguns

    cadillacguns Millennium Member

    Jan 20, 1999
    Indianapolis, IN USA
    I too carry in my 9mm's the 124+p Speer GDHP, cannot find any 147gr HST anywhere but I witnessed a recent ballistics workshop where it performed very well. Opened up and performed like a recoil controlable mini .40,(of which its not) almost the same performance of a Federal 180 gr HST.
  5. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    I'd carry every one but the 147-grain, and I'd carry that if I didn't have the others listed.
  6. JBP55


    Mar 4, 2007
    I use the 124+P Gold Dot and HST.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  7. hotpig

    hotpig IAFF Local 4766 CLM

    None would be my first choice but all listed are pretty equal. You are not sacrificing anything by picking a 124+P over the 147 so it pretty much is a wash. Personal preference is the main decider unless the gun does not like a particular load.
  8. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Gold Dot 124+P followed by HST 147 if I wanted a 147, which I normally don't. To me I'd rather have 200+ more fps than 23 more grains. The GD 124+P is also about the easiest to find in that list.

    I don't like the Gold Dot 147, never been especially impressed with the expansion I've seen in tests.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  9. FatBoy

    FatBoy Millennium Member

    Sep 2, 1999
    I'd buy the one that shoots 100% in your gun and was the best price. ;)

    I am still shooting 124+p GDs that I picked up before the prices went crazy. I sure miss the $200-$230 per 1000 of the ole days. Luckily I stocked up.

    I am not a brand snob. Rangers in my .45s, HSTs in my .40, and GDs in most of my 9mms.
  10. CigarandScotch

    CigarandScotch Fartacus

    Sep 22, 2011
    Naw Cackalacky

    Why all the hate for 147gr? Did you have a bad experience with some?
  11. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    I think folks sometimes over-think the ammunition aspect of carrying a handgun as a dedicated defensive weapon.

    While none of the listed 4 loads are what I might run out and look to buy, I'd not have any concerns over someone handing me one of the boxes at random for me to use to load my carry weapons & magazines.

    I've used any number of different 9mm hollowpoint duty & off-duty loads over the years. The last couple of them that were issued were the Ranger RA9TA (SXT/T-Series) 127gr +P+ and the Remington non-bonded Golden Sabre 124gr +P. When it's time to load magazines I pretty much grab whichever box is closest and use it. Sometimes I may choose one over the other (and I tend to like the T-Series bullet design, given my druthers), but it's still just one of the good quality, modern defensive loads being offered by one or another of the major ammunition companies. I have some RA9T 147gr T-Series stashed somewhere, as well as some Speer 147gr GDHP, too (I used up all of the Speer 124gr +P GDHP I had as range ammo).

    I tend to look at the ammunition aspect as being important, sure ... preferring something of modern design in the way of defensive hollowpoint ammunition, and good quality ... but I tend to look at the shooter's knowledge, skillset & mindset, followed by the actual weapon's condition and maintenance, as being the more critical aspects for me.

    If you were to bring me all 4 of those 9mm loads to the range and ask me that question, I'd probably ask you which load(s) your gun did best with, as far as normal functioning & practical accuracy, when you're shooting it, and see whether there was any noticeable differences in controllability among the loads when you were using them.

    That's one of the nice things about being restricted to a certain type of duty ammunition any given time, it removes the 'ammunition factor' and places the emphasis back on the shooter and his/her equipment, skills, etc.

    While I'm not in the ammunition business, if someone could choose to use anything in the way of ammunition they desired, I'd probably suggest they figure out which good quality defensive load they could buy in quantity, that worked well in their gun, when being fired in their hands. Then I'd suggest they buy it in sufficient quantity (maybe a case?) so they could use a reasonable amount of it to confirm normal feeding and functioning in their gun, and then put the rest aside for carry use ... and use something in a similar bullet weight for their training & practice. Unless, of course, they could buy whatever it was they'd chosen in sufficient quantities, at an affordable enough price, to be able to use it for both carry & training/practice use.

    Most of the time when someone asks me about some new gun or ammunition, and what I think about it, I usually just respond by asking how well they can shoot using it. You have to be able to hit the intended target for the ammunition to be of any use, right?

    Just my thoughts.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  12. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo

    May 31, 2011

    I'll bet you're using either the T-Series RA9TA or the RA9115HP+. What do I win? :supergrin:

    You're kiddin', right? (Sarcasm intended). :supergrin: Excellent point.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  13. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    I carry the 147g Gold Dot in 9mm. Why?, because my agency gives them to me for free. I also generally carry a round that is heavy for caliber. I feel that a heavy, bonded bullet will give you adequate penetration if you have to go through a arm or heavy bone before hitting COM.
  14. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

    Mar 1, 2005
    Old Dominion
    Not personally but a colleague has had several failures to stop with assorted 9/147's that he was issued. Ballistically speaking IMO they neuter the 9mm and make it a 38 special and I'm sorry but I want all the power I can get, 115/124/127+p/+p+ is ALL that I will use in my 9's ,period. Use what you like, if you are comfy with 147's rock on, I am not.
  15. glock20c10mm


    Dec 4, 2004
    Out West
    Couldn't have said it better myself.
  16. hotpig

    hotpig IAFF Local 4766 CLM

    RA9T, RA9B, or the 147 PDX1. I did use both the +P+ loads back in the day when the 147 was not the most reliable.
  17. Xenogy


    Mar 7, 2006
    I like the 124gr GD over the 124gr HST, because the HST tends to under penetrate. The 124gr GD also has better weight retention through barriers.

    I like the 147gr HST over the 147 GD because it doesn't over penetrate. The 147gr GD hits 16" penetration. The 147gr HST has the most robust expansion and about 13" penetration. It also has weight retention like a bonded bullet through barriers.

    So for me it's pretty much a wash between 124gr +P GD and 147gr HST.

    The 124gr GD could be considered more reliable. Faster slide speed for anti limp wristing. Also shorter OAL for better feeding. While the 147gr HST may have a slight edge in performance. I say get a few boxes each and see which you shoot best.
  18. Frank V

    Frank V

    Jan 20, 2011
    S.W. Montana
    I really wish a shop near here would carry the Speer GD 124gr +P!
    I've heard so much good about it I'd really like to try it.
  19. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    I like 'for my gun and use "when carrying a nine," the 124+P GD, and the WW PDX1, and Speer 147gr bonded for deeper penetration.

    You have to make the choice for your own needs and gun function.

    Good luck

  20. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo

    May 31, 2011

    CM, was it you or Glolt who showed the photos of the handloaded 147 gr. Gold Dot that had ZERO mushrooming? I'll never forget those photos which only reinforced my bias against the 147 gr. 9mm bullets I've held since the 1980's.