9mm bullet weight

To piggy back off of @Dawn post about 380 or 9mm. I’m curious about bullet weight (grains)
Which bullet weight for self defense?

  • 115 gr
  • 124 gr
  • 147 gr
  • Other

0 voters

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115 but I like 135.

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This is really a challenging question to answer with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of answer. Not just for 380/9 but across the spectrum of all rounds for small arms.
Things that become variables of importance are:
the cartridge: 380acp, 9mm luger, 357 SIG, 40 S&W, 45acp, 5.56 et al
for the amount of propellant that can be held in regard to weight of the round
the propellant: not only how much but how does the propellant burn? Is it a quick rapid impulse or somewhat slower allowing the round to commence its travel down the barrel and allowing remaining propellant to burn in a larger space, but increasing pressure until the bullet passes the crown.
now the weight of the projectile as to how much resistance or interia it presents against being accelerated by the expansion of the powder igniting and burning.
then we talk about the overall weight of the gun, how much of it is in the slide, the grip, the body. How much resistance the recoil spring is designed to offer to operate the weapon AND possibly control how much recoil is felt!

So, seriously, the answer is: You have to decide what works for you. And the best way to know that is to try different cartridges, from different vendors, at different bullet weights. The vendors don’t often offer information as to the propellent, but you will know how each given product works for you AND your weapon. The gun may show differences in accuracy if all things are equal. You may experience less or more felt recoil. And it’s not particularly due to a heavier bullet.

AS TO defense performance… Look for the documents regarding the FBI’s research as to effectiveness. Look for people shooting different guns with different cartridges across chronography into ballistic gelatin. You’ll start deciding for yourself what gives you the performance results you value as your knowledge base grows. Sorry mate, you likely know all this and if we’re just clarifying the problem for the next folks in line then that’s good too.
It’s just complicated!

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I believe what I see. I know for a fact 147 grain Winchester Ranger T and Federal 147 grain HST have put many a bad boy in the ground in L.A. It works.

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And that’s the demonstration of an informed decision. Thank you BD!
You just reminded me I totally overlooked payload dynamics!
Oh, and 147 grain rounds are often below hypersonic at sea level. => not so much of a loud ‘crack’. (not quiet without suppression but just a bit quieter.

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It is complicated and I was just kick starting the conversation. This forum has a lot more factual discussion vs what’s the latest fad. There’s pros and cons to all of it, then pile on personal preference and it really gets muddy.
From my research and my preference I carry 147gr JHP. It runs great in all my 9mm pistols

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Here’s a very nice article by Gun Digest that does a wonderful job introducing the topics and is spot on target as we’re all talking 9mm. “How to Choose the Best 9mm Ammo for Self Defense”
And it’s less than 2 years out of date!
j/k!

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I like the stats of the 124gr +P but in my carry guns the 124 gr and 147gr I tested shot something like 4 inches low at 5 yards compared to POA. The 124 gr +P only shot about 2" low, but became LE only a short time later so I cannot get them anymore (no mail order in my area either so I’m stuck with dealer stock). The 115gr and 115gr +P loads tend to hit to POA on my carry guns so I use that… Although I usually end up carrying my 45ACP or 357 Mag now that it’s winter.

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I use Critical Defense 115 grain because it seems to be “the standard.” I know, with it, I can control muzzle flip and put additional rounds on target rapidly and accurately with a short barreled concealed carry gun (G43]. Since handguns are marginal for self defense to begin with, I think it might be more a question of the ability to send more than one round with accuracy than grain weight. Interested in what others think here.

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I didn’t look at the POA vs POI as I tested the new carry ammo at the end of the day and didn’t hang a new target. Next trip that’ll be the warm up testing the different weights.

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+1 for Ranger T Series. To that I will add Barnes XPD +P.

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I voted for 124. I’ve been getting best accuracy with this grain.

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115 grain Critical Defense has become my go-to. Accuracy and minimal recoil

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First which is accurate and doesn’t make your weapon sick? Accurate on target makes a lot of sense, as if I am trying to hit well this makes my likelyhood of stopping the threat a high percentage shot.

A box each of several weights and bullet design in those weights to see how they like to stay with each other at target gets a feel for your ability and weapon. Then run several boxes of the"better" rounds to see if it still holds true. Then make your choice.

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I carry 147 gr. Federal HST. I shoot everything at the range.

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Federal 147 grain HST now LASD and LAPD issue ammo. LASD tested Federal. They chose Federal over Winchester Ranger T due to new pricing. They both performed the same. LASD had been issuing Ranger T for many years and it was the Winchester “Black Talon” 147g prior to that.

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Interesting poll, I haven’t done a side by side comparison… I think I have to spend some time on the range!

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I also shoot a 9 because I prefer the double stack grip in my hand. My Glock 42 is great in a pinch, but the standard Glock 9mm grip feels like a natural extension of my hand.

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Yes, and yes :grin:

I shoot 115, 124, 147, and I actually don’t notice much difference in my glock 19 or my canik. My granddaughters 43 is nicer to shoot with the 147.

Mostly I like my double stacks, 9mm or .45

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My range ammo is usually 115 but occasionally I’ll pick up a case of 124. I don;t see 147 FMJ on sale that often. My goal is to keep the price under $0.19 a round buying by the case including shipping and tax.

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