Tuesday, September 5, 2017


So, I got my 9mm back.  New mag springs to break in, fun to be had, let's see if I can replicate my .22 success with a centerfire pistol.

I am new the 9mm.  With .45 it's just, really, one size of projectile, 230 grain.  Sure there are 185s out there, but that is few and far between.  With 9mm there is 115 grain, 124 grain, 147 grain...

Like I said, I am new to 9mm.  Is there any noticeable difference in recoil and pistol control?  I am figuring I will get adequate penetration from a faster 115 as well as a heavier 147, but...  my initial impression is I can't tell the difference, on my end.

I remember shooting a 185 grain semi-wadcutter .45 and I could DEFINITELY notice it was easier to manage.  If you put one of those in a magazine of 230 grains cartridges I could tell you which one was 185.

I haven't attempted that with the 9mm, putting a 115 in a mag of 147.  Like I said, I don't think I should bother.

I also haven't noticed shot groups shifting anywhere dependent on projectile weight, but, with my groups who would notice...

Am I missing something here or need to do more testing?  What say you? Is your experience different? 

Instinct says to split the difference, get noting but 124 grain, 1000 FMJs, and a buncha Federal HST to test and load as defense rounds and make it the house gun when the reliability is hammered down. 


Lantry said...

I'm not a huge fan of the 9mm but I have a few. I really don't notice much difference in recoil between 115, 124 and 147 grain loads either. A retired LAPD Homicide Detective told me that most of their officers carry Federal HST. I took his advice and that's what I got for my 9mms. Then I took a class by Massad Ayoob and he mentioned having just ordered a case of Federal 124 grain HST +P for his 9mms. Good enough for me.

Jonathan H said...

The biggest difference I notice with the heavier weights is noise level - in my experience, 147 grains works well in a pistol with a silencer and 158 grains works with a silenced rifle; the higher weight keeps speed down with a long barrel.

Yes, they are heavier than 115 or 124 grains, but I suspect that penetration varies on so many factors that the heavier weight alone doesn't make much a difference - bullet shape, barrel length, speed, material, etc all play a part in penetration.
Given the lower speed of the higher weight bullets, and that energy is based on speed squared but weight to the first, I would think that there is little to no increase in penetration and quite possibly a decrease in it.

Rich P said...

It's my understanding that 124 grain was the Original Form. I have seen slightly different poi with different weights in 45 ACP/1911, but with the 9mm, I think if there's enough momentum to work the slide, the difference in bullet weights would not, by itself, leave enough extra recoil for the difference to be obvious.