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Lighter and Faster VS Slow and Heavy

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by KAK, Aug 25, 2010.

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  1. KAK


    Aug 20, 2010
    Waco Texas
    No matter what caliber we choose we have the option to go with different bullet weights. What do you prefer and why?

  2. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    I prefer mid-to-heavy. So 124+P or 147 for 9mm, 165 or 180 for .40. But I'm always more concerned about velocity loss from a particular gun than I am about bullet weight. For example, a .357 Magnum out of a 2" barrel never made sense to me. Or a .45 ACP out of a 3".

  3. ancient_serpent


    Jun 6, 2008
    That's something I'm actually working on figuring out, still.
    I have been running 165 gr +P PowR' Ball in my Kimber Pro CDP II.
    I'd feel more comfortable with a heavier bullet, but the FMJ profile of that PowR' Ball is very nice to have. At least something in the 200 gr. range.
    From ballistic gelatin tests I've seen, the 165 has good penetration. I'd just like to see a heavier bullet weight, with the same basic FMJ design.
  4. GunFighter45ACP


    Jun 11, 2005
    D/FW, TX
    I prefer 'heavy for caliber' except when it comes to 9mm; I seem to prefer 124 +P or 127 +P+. If I could get my hands on 115 +P+, I'd probably like it too.
  5. glock031


    Jun 18, 2010
    I prefer the weight that the bullet was originaly designed with. To the best of my knowledge the 9 in 124gr and the 40 in 180gr.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  6. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    I tend to go middle of the road in any SD caliber. I like to get as much vel as I can w/o giving up penetration (SD). So 124gr/9mm, 165gr/40, 200gr/45, but I would really use any good JHP loading in any of the service calibers.
  7. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Totally depends on the cartridge, play to its strengths.
  8. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Sep 15, 2003
    I agree.
    The 9mm for example has earned decent reputation for its efficiency with light to medium bullets(115-124gr) given its small case and high pressure, whereas the .38sp tends to fair better with heavier bullets (158gr and up) due to its larger case and low pressure.
    It comes down to the cartridge and where its efficiencies are best utilized.
  9. BadAndy


    Oct 2, 2004
    Irmo, SC
    I like both options and middle of the road.

    115gr +P+, 124gr +P and 147gr standard vel. So far, I've had good results from my 124gr GD +P and 147gr standard vel XTP hand loads...just need to make time to load up some 1300fps 115gr Nosler JHPs to play with.
  10. JK-linux


    Mar 5, 2009
    I generally tend to go heavy in most cases: 124gr 9mm, 230gr .45ACP, 158gr .38SPCL. The exception would be .357 Magnum, as the fairly large amount of results over the years would trend towards the 125gr .357 Magnum being the ideal weight for that particular caliber. Honestly though, I wouldn't feel under gunned with a lighter bullet weight.
  11. M&P Shooter

    M&P Shooter Metal Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    Phila, PA
    45acp because bigger holes are still bigger holes no matter what anybody says. If a 45acp and 9mm both fail to expand for any reason we both no what still made a bigger hole.
  12. Glockbuster


    Jun 30, 2005
    Middle America
    I like to stay in the middle. I used to have Corbon 135 grainers in my Glock 22, decided this was too light then switched to GD 155 gr. I now carry a G31 with GD 125 grains. The ammo companies seem to have decided for us 357 lovers as 125 grains is the best and only load available from Federal or Speer. If I had to use 9 mm I would stick with 124 gr. +P
  13. mclaren


    Dec 10, 2009
    I also tend to go middle of the road weight. It is important to be using a quality cartrige with a quality bullet in good condition. If you are using Crap+P Hollowpoints, you will get crap results, heavy or light. The same is true I think to a certain extent with quality ammo. If you do your part and sink it where it counts you will still make gains even if the weight is not ideal.
    That being said, my bullet weight strategy is usually this; medium weight for all around and go up or down for special occasions.
    Until recently I carried a G20 regularly (sold it, miss it) I usually carried 180 grain XTPs or 175 grain Silvertips. If I was going to a known crowded area like a mall or the grocery store, I would load up 155 grain XTPs to limit penetration. For bedside duty or for areas of high risk, low population, I would go up to the 200 grain XTP for maximum penetration.
    All of these loads are capable, but there is something confidence inspiring about the 200 grainers, not much will stop them, car doors, windshield, spinal cord etc.
  14. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    I think energy plays a roll, but it is nothing you are going to see from a 2" 38 whether light or not. The 9mm, I would definately go for the 115+p+ for self defense, for the 40 S&W I carry Corbon 135's, although a fast 155gr would be good. The border patrol chose the 155 non-bonded, at least the last time I checked. For some reason the 165 Golden Saber seems to be successful. In 45 ACP it would be 185. Here again, I believe the Golden Sabre has an excellent performance record. Most will tell you that a large temporay stretch cavity has little effect on lethality, and that may be correct. However, a person hit with a bullet that creates one, knows he has been hit. Since over 80% of hangun injuries are survived, my goal is to do whatever it takes to throw the attacker off of his plan. I believe a lighter faster bullet does that. I carry a 357 sig with a Gold Dot 125 gr bullet traveling 1,500+fps. My friends at the FBI have told me of incidents where people have been shot with the 180gr bonded and the bullet seemed to have no immediate effect, even with wounds that ended up being fatal.

    Also let me add that the border patrol, who is involved in more shooting that any other agency, believes that 9-10" of penetration is all that is needed.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  15. BOGE

    BOGE Millennium Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    My girlfriends tell me the same thing. :supergrin:
  16. packinaglock

    packinaglock John 3:16

    May 1, 2007
    Loxahatchee Fl
  17. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    I truly want to thank you. I was having a bad morning and you really made me laugh.
  18. Erich1B


    May 18, 2008
    I'm wondering if you handload, because I haven't been able to find 125gr GD's loaded to 1,500+ FPS?
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  19. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    Not anymore it is too much trouble, but I was able to get a GD over 1,450fps with power pistol out of a 4" barrel. The 1,500+ are Buffalo Bore purchased about three years ago and when saw how fast they went, I bought about 400. Now the 1,500+ is from a 4.5" barrel. I think the current ones are advertised at 1,430fps from a 4" barrel, but I do not know what bullet he is using since Speer will no longer sell their premium GD bullets to other ammo manufactures.

    There is another thread on Buffalo Bore and one of the people who posted claimed he got 1,550+ from BB with G31.
  20. Erich1B


    May 18, 2008
    OK, thanks. I would be all over 1,500+ FPS GD's. But, I don't think I'd see that out of a G33. I carry 125gr Federal HST's in my G33.

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