Self-Defense 9mm Ammo

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by TexasGlockster, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    In a short barrel, the 147's will be closer to 1005fps than the 124's will be to 1250fps. That's why I have Ranger 147 T's in my LC9, 950fps just like Winchester intended. They also shoot softer than the 124+P GD that I shot, but didn't chrono. The non+P 124GDHP was barely doing over 1000fps in the 3.1" barrel. So I have a choice between two bullets going about the same speed, one a 124 the other a 147.

    Also, heavy for caliber bullets can expand more rapidly and still penetrate. Most heavy bullets have larger HP's than their lighter syblings.

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  2. I have been bouncing around a few options lately since I just started carrying a 9mm; I always carried a .40 or .45 until recently.

    Right now its between 115g Gold Dots, HST 147g +p, and 100g Corbon Pow-r-bals.

    Its probably going to be the HST or Corbons that I go with, and the 200 rounds of Gold Dots will be backup.

    I am really on the fence about the Corbons and never would have considered them if I didnt get 2 recommendations for them lately.

    Dont berate me for this because I know it could be a dumb reason to choose a round, which is why I am still waiting to test them for myself, but...

    I work with 3 former Operators, and the newest guy to come on just got out of it and into the private sector within the last few months. He has been doing military executive protection and special forces firearms training, among other things, for the last 20 years. Hands down his preferred 9mm round are the Pow-R-Balls. He has used them for their intended purpose for quite some time, and knows how well they work.

    So that right there is a pretty powerful endorsement IMO.

  3. The company is Hornady and it enjoys a stellar reputation for quality.

    The caliber is .357sig, not 9mm. There are a lot of folks who recommend a 124-grain/127-grain 9mm running at 1250 fps in a 9mm, so I was wondering about a 147-grain .355" JHP bullet running at the same velocity.

    Does anyone have an opinion on this round and its effectiveness?

  4. Speer engineers have gone on record stating that Double Tap velocities were within the window of expansion for the Gold Dots.
  5. My son and I spent some time doing a bunch of shooting yesterday afternoon. We finished up with shooting some 124 grain +p HST and Gold Dots out of my G26. When we were done, the Gold Dots come out of the gun and magazine and in went the 124 grain +p HST. This is what I'll be carrying from now on. This isn't to say the Gold Dots didn't perform, they are a great bullet and I'd carry them in a heartbeat but based on yesterday, I'll rely on the HST's for now.

    Based on yesterday's information I really need to get a hold of some of the 125 grain HST's for my 357 Sig. I know they exist but I just can't find them.
  6. Unit, I'd say that having a better designed bullet for the target at hand outweighs a couple hundred feet per second. In this case, I think a 147/147+P HST is about ideal for defensive use against people, but I would be much more inclined to pick something like the 147 XTP from a .357 Sig case if I was carrying the pistol on something like a hog hunt.
  7. try,,, and always

    I think it was either TDS or ATG that had them when I got a few boxes.
  8. There are probably about a half dozen totally trustworthy self defense loads, if not more. Remington Golden Saber, Winchester Ranger-T and PDX1, etc. come to mind.

    For me, I'm a believer in two rounds forsaking all others: The heavy-for-weight Federal HST and Speer Gold Dot. I carry 180-grain HST .40 in my Beretta, and when I get a 9 I will carry either 147-grain GD or HST.

    Honestly it's whatever I can find easier at the time. I trust both entirely.

    ATK is getting my money either way :D
    #48 LawScholar, Jan 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  9. Warp


    I suggest Speer Gold Dot
  10. The trick is one never knows beforehand who and what the threat is. If LEO in a majority of cases are carrying .40S&W with 180-grain JHP with no significant problems what might be the problem(s) with a 147-grain .357sig?

    This past September I shot some 125-grain Gold Dot bullets downloaded to 1300 fps by Bitterroot Valley into water-filled Pepsi bottles along with Double Tap 147-grain Gold Dot (from a 2007 purchase when DT was loading Gold Dots). Both ammos penetrated into the third bottle and mushroomed perfectly. Wouldn't the larger, heavier Gold Dot be better than the 125-grain Gold Dot from everything I've read about heavy-for-caliber advantage, especially if it yields a milder recoil?
  11. If they're similar bullets as far as expansion and consistency go, I'd definitely go with a heavy for caliber bullet over a lighter one. most of the old reasons to use a lighter bullet in a service pistol caliber don't really exist anymore, unless the bullet happens to date back to the bad old days of JHP design when it took a lightweight to get any meaningful expansion.
  12. Jello and manufacturer tests are just that -- "tests". Shooting a block of goo and some drywall are far different than actually using the software for real.

    Pretty much what everybody has said already - 124+P Gold Dot, 127 +P+ Winchester. The old loads that worked 25-30 years ago still work today - 115gr 9BPLE +P+, 115/125gr CorBon JHP +P.

    Still see no reason to go with a 147gr 9mm that moves at 900fps, unless you want a 15-round .38 Special. There's a reason the .357 Magnum was introduced and works better than a .38, and why you rarely hear of any disappointment with a .357SIG. Smaller bores need speed.
  13. There are 147-grain loads that perform very well. The 147-grain Federal HST performs better than the 124 +p HST and very similar to the Gold Dot 124 +p.
  14. Merkavaboy

    Merkavaboy Code-7A KUZ769

    Are you talking about environmentally controlled labratory gel tests or you talking street results from real shootings involving real human beings?
  15. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Few places have the frequency of police shootings like SoCal. I know people like to sat things like "the Corbon round has good street cred", but does anyone know of an acutal police department that issues Corbon ammo?

    LAPD, LASO, SDPD and most of the surrounding areas comprise tens of thousands of cops, in an area where police shootings are almost routine (unlike most PD's) and those places use 147's.

    I always get a kick out of "street results" compiled from places where they almost never have shootings. I worked in the most densley populated part of the country in a large county. The number of times a cop's bullet hit a badguy in a given year could be counted on two hands. I could say things like "The Newark PD has had good results with their ammo" and it would be meaningless.
  16. My whole world is collapsing! Tell me it isn't so!

    At this very moment I have the 124-grain Federal HST +P ammo in my sub-compact 9mm and am suffering incredible insecurity that it may not actually prevent a potentially deadly attack.

    I gave up my 115-grain Federal +P+ 9BPLE in favor of the 135-grain Federal 135-grain Tactical Bonded +P when cold weather hit my area, then for some unexplained reason I thought perhaps expansion might be the trump card in CCW ammo and loaded the HST +P.

    Now I'm psychologically crushed under the burden of not knowing the right round to carry in my chosen weapon. And to top it off, I've got a few hundred dollars invested in premium JHP self-defense rounds that at one time or another led me to erroneously believe would carry the day against criminal aggressors.

    What's a guy/gal to do?:crying:
  17. I understand that the New York City Police Department is the largest urban police force in America and they are completely satisfied with the proven street results of Speer 124-grain Gold Dot +P JHP.

    My own take is if the honchos in charge are satisfied with the results then that's their call. I'm really more interested in the rank-and-file opinion and documented street results that can be verified. NYC likes the Speer +P; you say LA likes 147-grain ammo. I don't have any qualms about that.

    That's why the experts' opinions I follow mean something. Those opinions are based upon the real observations and testimony of beat cops. Right now the preponderance of the experts I follow say the 124- and 127-grain +P and +P+ JHP self-defense ammos are the best choice in 9mm.
  18. Warp


    We have a local department that averages 7+ OIS per year. They've been using, coincidentally, 147gr Ranger Talon.
    #58 Warp, Jan 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  19. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    The beat cops have nothing to make a comparison to. If they are issued 124+P Gold Dots, what do they know about 147's? Their prior ammo to the 124GD+P was the 38 with a solid lead bullet. Also, as big as NYPD is, they have very few shootings. I would be interested to see some data from them, since even with few shootings, with lots of cops over a several year period, you could have a serious chunk of data to work with.

    Street results just don't offer any usefull info. People get shot in the hip and fall like a house of cards. Others get center punched, run away, and don't even show up at the hospital. I know a guy who shot a BG in the center of the back as he was running away with a 180 Ranger SXT. He told me it didn't even slow the BG down, he ran off and they never found him. What do you do with an anectdote like that? I know he was telling me the truth, so what do you do, not use a 40 cal? I know a cop shot in the gut with 9mm ball, one shot. He dropped right where he was standing, his partner took two under his vest from the same BG and emptied his 9mm into the BG killing him. Both cops were close to death from infection for a couple of weeks. One shot of 9mm ball was a one shot stop, and two shots of the same ammo, in the same general area, failed to stop. What do you make of that?

    Here is my $0.02, and that's about all it is worth. Bullets need to penetrate. Expansion is better than non-expansion. In service style guns, you can have both with most any of the modern bullets out there. The 124's expand and penetrate, and so do the 147's. Heavier bullets go slower, but they are designed to expand at lower velocities. They have bigger cavities and often deeper skiving. 124's are designed to penetrate thanks to smaller cavities and more shallow skiving.

    I wouldn't use an old style, ultra light, ultra fast bullet though. IMO, they simply don't go deep enough. An old style bullet, like the Sierra Power Jacket used by Corbon, or the standard JHP's from the bigger makers, at a lower speed might actually work well. It's hard to say since they don't get tested in jello. Maybe a fragile bullet, driven slow enough, would acutally work well and be a good round for recoil sensative shooters?

    What I don't think will work well, again this is based simply on nothing other than my own uneducated guess, is a modern, sturdy HP like a GS, GD, T, etc driven too slowly. A 124 GD desigend to work at 1150 and only doing 1000, probably is going to act like ball ammo. That's what 124GDHP's do out of my LC9 and that's why I don't carry them. I'd put them in my G17 if I carried it though. The Ranger T's, and other 147's I've shot through my LC9 are doing 950 which is exactly what they are supposed to be doing, so I carry them.
  20. pisc1024

    pisc1024 AASG


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