Settling the 9mm "124 gr. vs 147 gr." Debate

This is a discussion on Settling the 9mm "124 gr. vs 147 gr." Debate within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by AZ Hawk 1. 124 gr. +P Gold Dot is standard in NYC and NJ. They deal with heavy clothing ALL the time, ...

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Thread: Settling the 9mm "124 gr. vs 147 gr." Debate

  1. #31
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Hawk View Post
    1. 124 gr. +P Gold Dot is standard in NYC and NJ. They deal with heavy clothing ALL the time, and they are still using the 124 gr. +P.
    Not implying Gold Dot +P isn't fine (all the rounds are fine). Just think 147 gr is better at heavy clothing (data: 13.0" vs. 15.4" of heavy clothing). NYC/NJ might have had other criteria for choosing GD.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Hawk View Post
    5. The standard 147 gr. load is perfectly fine, and the HST 147 gr. is becoming more popular in LE circles.
    I've read the 147 doesn't cycle the slide as good as +P in some firearms (perhaps the cause of some jams), though HST might have corrected this with a better design. This might be the reason why it isn't popular within a LE. I think this agrees with your point #3.

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  3. #32
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxwell47 View Post
    First, I've never seen a 147gr +P 9mm. Mybe I missed something.
    Federal HST 9mm 147gr +P (P9HST4)
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  4. #33
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
    Not implying Gold Dot +P isn't fine (all the rounds are fine). Just think 147 gr is better at heavy clothing (data: 13.0" vs. 15.4" of heavy clothing). NYC/NJ might have had other criteria for choosing GD.
    Don't get too caught up in the data. Anything that penetrates from 12" to 18" is basically considered adequate. As long as it penetrates consistently between those numbers, I could care less what the actual number is because it changes from test to test.
    gottabkiddin likes this.
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

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  5. #34
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odeaar View Post
    Is this the FBI article that you are referring?
    Not exactly sure. But it might have been http://www.firearmstactical.com/iwba.htm:

    6.1.2
    Most physicians knowledgeable in wound trauma believe that adequate penetration depth is the most important single property in handgun ammunition. The appropriate value for minimum penetration depth has generally been assumed to be 12 inches ever since the first FBI wound ballistics meeting in 1987. Unfortunately, this assumption has often been interpreted very simplistically (i.e., 12.1 Inches of penetration is good, but 11.9 inches of penetration is no good), but the real situation is more complicated. The problem is the possibility that the bullet will require an unusually large penetration to reach vital structures well inside the body. This can occur when the bullet must traverse non-critical tissue; e.g., the extended arm of an assailant aiming his handgun, and/or an unusual bullet path angle in the torso, and/or an unusually fat or beefy individual. The probability of needing this extra penetration is a judgment call, but most people believe it is a significant factor and much more important than the relatively modest increase in expanded diameter achieved by reducing penetration depth (e.g., approximately 30% increase in expanded bullet diameter is achieved by designing to an 8 inch penetration depth rather than 12 inches). This is the reason the professional wound ballistics community specified the 12 inch minimum penetration even though they are well aware that an 8 inch penetration is usually adequate. The suggested specification values for mean penetration depth are greater than 12.5 inches and less than 14.0 inches. Even at the limit of minimum value of this range (12.5 inches) and the limiting value of standard deviation (0.6) in Section 6.1.1, about 80% of the penetration will be greater than 12 inches and essentially all will be greater than 11 inches. This bare gelatin test provides a lower limit on penetration because most shootings will involve at least some clothing; slightly less expansion and slightly deeper penetration can be expected in typical service use.

  6. #35
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odeaar View Post
    @snakyjake
    "5. I read somewhere the FBI considers penetration more important than diameter."

    Is this the FBI article that you are referring? Great article (esp pg 11-12 & conclusion)
    FBI Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness - FirearmsTactical.com
    Yup...found it on page 11:
    It is essential to bear in mind that the single most critical factor remains penetration. While penetration up to 18 inches is preferable, a handgun bullet MUST reliably penetrate 12 inchoes of soft body tissue at minimum...
    If all else is equal in ballistics, I put more weight on the penetration than diameter. Most of the time there's a bigger penetration difference than diameter.

  7. #36
    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Hawk View Post
    Don't get too caught up in the data. Anything that penetrates from 12" to 18" is basically considered adequate. As long as it penetrates consistently between those numbers, I could care less what the actual number is because it changes from test to test.
    Agree. I had to make a choice, and wanted an informed choice, and a good reason for the choice. I chose 147 because of the design advantage of penetration, and presumed less recoil. I can't recall the recoil difference between 124 +p and 147....I need to go shoot my 9mm some more.

  8. #37
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
    Agree. I had to make a choice, and wanted an informed choice, and a good reason for the choice. I chose 147 because of the design advantage of penetration, and presumed less recoil. I can't recall the recoil difference between 124 +p and 147....I need to go shoot my 9mm some more.
    In my Glock 19 the only real noticeable difference I've experienced when shooting 147 gr. is the slightly slower slide cycle. The 124 gr. +P might produce slightly more muzzle flip, but the grip angle on the Glock takes care of that.
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

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  9. #38
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    while I normally carry 147gr standard pressure, my local GS had a sale on 124gr +P Golden Sabers....I think I'm good to go after watching both these vids.

    SLOW MOTION 9x19mm Luger Remington 147gr Golden Saber impacting ballistic gelatin - YouTube

    9x19mm Luger Remington 124gr +P Golden Saber impacting 20% ballistic gelatin - YouTube
    Kimbers are the guns you show your friends....Glocks are the ones you show your enemies.

  10. #39
    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    We all need to agree to only use handgun caliber's for deer season so we can test the effectiveness of these rounds. Pick a weight and manufacturer and report back. It'll be like our very own goat shoot, except it's more sporting.
    "Brilliant. So now we got a huge guy theory, and a serial crusher theory. Top notch. What's your name?" - Paul Smecker

  11. #40
    Senior Member Array mastercapt's Avatar
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    I am a semi-retired engineer, who has done a lot of "research" on different susjects for various projects.

    While the "stopping power" graphs frm Handloads.com com are a guide, they don't tell the whole story.
    For instance, a seemingly good load, with an epanding bullet has a lot lower one shot stop than another, yet the velocity and bullets are very close to each other.
    Another caviet: The 38 special data with a 158 round nose lead, while it generally agreed is something you wouldn't carry, has the data from a 2" barrel showing better "stopping power" than that of a 4" barrel. The 4" velocity is higher, so higher ft/pounds should equal higher stoping power, but not here... A possible explanation is the 2' is usually deployed at very short distances, and maybe, just maybe, bullet placement was better. The difference was small, however, there was a difference.
    What if the data includes some BG getting hit in the arm, then the next shot thru the COM and he is down. The data would not show a one shot stop.
    Bullet placement is the key. 25 auto thru the ear beats a357 in the arm for stopping power.
    I carry hydrashoks in all my carry guns. I think the fereral company is replacing it with a different name, but with simular bullets. Just a different name.
    Silvertips wee originally designed NOT to penetrate. They wewre for air marshalls, court room LEOs, city police, and other who may have to us ethe weapon in a somewhat crowded area to put down a BG, without it going thru and endangering others. However, it was found that a BG with a down vest or heavy winter jacket would cause insufficient penitration..
    Thats what the hydra-shok was designed for expansion, but the base of the bullet was made from harder alloy to carry on thry if it hits a bone, or heavy material garments. A the time, the FBI and other agencies were carrying HS ammo. The state of Florida is still isuing HS ammo, in various calibers, to their officers.

    Again, anything in the right place is a one shot stop. Better ammo allows the shooter to be a little bit off the ideal spot and stop the BG, now.

    If you doubt any load as being good, get a 1 gallon plastic jug, like the kind milk comes in, with a screw down lid. Fill with water and shoot it from10' away. Watch what it does to the jug. Even my lowly 380 causes the jug to explode.

  12. #41
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    I like pie






    Oh, and I shoot whatever premium (non plus P) 9mm round I can find on sale. Then I buy a bunch of them.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

  13. #42
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    + 1 on the non +p..... So not needed in these calibers.. Better to go heavy IMO.. Oh' I said that already... Carry on.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36

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  14. #43
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    I like my Geco B A T Bullets in some on my guns. I also use 124 gr gold dots and 147 gr Winchester sub sonic rounds. They all go in one end and come out the other end of the gun.
    Why Waltz when you can Rock-N-Roll

  15. #44
    Distinguished Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    I think you'll notice that all the bullet weights for a caliber penetrate close to the same amount.

    I think this is because all the loads for defensive ammo for a given company are designed to meet the same performance standard.
    smolck likes this.
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  16. #45
    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamRudolph View Post
    I think you'll notice that all the bullet weights for a caliber penetrate close to the same amount.
    Exactly.

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