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; Here's some information for consideration from Dr. Roberts of what was formerly known as the IWBA (International Wound Ballistics Association). Take it all in, and ...

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

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    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Settling the 9mm "124 gr. vs 147 gr." Debate

    Here's some information for consideration from Dr. Roberts of what was formerly known as the IWBA (International Wound Ballistics Association).

    Take it all in, and then let me know how you feel.

    ----------------------------------------

    All information is from this thread: 9 mm 124 gr testing - M4Carbine.net Forums and this thread: http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=26390

    This week we tested some 9 mm 124 gr +P JHP's in contrast with current 147 gr duty ammunition.

    Fed HST 124 gr +P JHP (P9HST3) fired from G17 at ave vel of 1208 f/s; 5 shot ave below:
    BG: Pen = 12.2", Ave RD = 0.64", Ave RL = 0.38", Ave RW = 123.8gr
    4LD: Pen = 14.4", Ave RD = 0.53", Ave RL = 0.39", Ave RW = 124.1 gr
    AG: Pen = 14.2", Ave RD = 0.46", Ave RL = 0.50", Ave RW = 123.0 gr

    Rem Golden Saber 124 gr +P bonded JHP (GSB9MMD) fired from G17 at ave vel of 1188 f/s; 5 shot ave below:
    BG: Pen = 12.6", Ave RD = 0.59", Ave RL = 0.37", Ave RW = 123.0 gr
    4LD: Pen = 15.9", Ave RD = 0.55", Ave RL = 0.41", Ave RW = 124.1 gr
    AG: Pen = 14.2", Ave RD = 0.46", Ave RL = 0.50", Ave RW = 123.8 gr

    Fed HST 147 gr JHP (P9HST2) fired from G17 at ave vel of 1014 f/s; 5 shot ave below:
    BG: Pen = 12.2", Ave RD = 0.63", Ave RL = 0.39", Ave RW = 147.5 gr
    4LD: Pen = 15.4", Ave RD = 0.53", Ave RL = 0.50", Ave RW = 147.2 gr
    AG: Pen = 13.0", Ave RD = 0.50", Ave RL = 0.59", Ave RW = 143.6 gr

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____


    The G26 is a 3.5" barrel, G19 is 4", G17 is 4.5". Generally we test using a 4" barrel, although in this specific test we were asked to use a G17. There is minimal difference using well designed 9 mm ammunition in barrels from 3.5" - 4.5". No go down to a 3" barrel or use another caliber, things can change a bit.

    9 mm Speer 124 gr JHP Gold Dot (53618) fired from G17 at ave vel of 1149 f/s; 5 shot ave below:
    BG: Pen = 13.0", RD = 0.62", RL = 0.32", RW = 125.5 gr
    4LD: Pen = 16.6", RD = 0.51", RL=0.43", RW = 125.2 gr

    9 mm Speer 124 gr +P JHP Gold Dot (53617) fired from G17 at ave vel of 1232 f/s; 5 shot ave below:
    BG: Pen = 12.0", RD = 0.67", RL = 0.30", RW = 124.2 gr
    4LD: Pen = 13.0", RD = 0.54", RL= 0.39", RW = 124.5 gr

    Both of these loads offer acceptable performance, although the 124 gr +P has a slight edge.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______

    And more testing from Doc Roberts, this time on the CorBon 115 gr. DPX and 147 gr. Federal HST.

    9mm Corbon 115 gr +P Barnes XPB JHP; ave vel=1229 fps (G19); gel cal= 9.5cm@593fps
    BG: pen=14.8", RD=0.54", RL=0.48", RW=115.1gr
    4LD: pen=15.1", RD=0.54", RL=0.49", RW=115.4gr

    9mm Fed 147 gr HST JHP; ave vel=997 fps (G19)
    BG: pen=14.6", RD=0.61", RL=0.39", RW=147.1gr
    4LD: pen=15.6", RD=0.56", RL=0.53", RW=145.5gr

    (There is a picture comparing the two rounds if you follow the link).
    snakyjake likes this.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I assume the test was done in ballistic gelatin. Doesn't change my mind.
    I'm sure the 124+p will do fine, but I still prefer to error on the side penetration with the 147+p.

    I noticed the light weight pills were listed as +p, but the 147 was a standard velocity loading.
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    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    I find those results interesting. Especially that the CorBon DPX in 115+p penetrates as much as the 147gr Federal. This test merely supports my idea that there isn't enough difference between 115gr, 124gr, or 147gr in 9mm to make much difference. A grain is a very small unit of measurement. In the end, I think that the CorBon loads in 9mm probably give the best chance for success in stopping someone.

    Also, a bullet that stays in the body and doesn't over penetrate will dump all of it's energy in the body. The more energy you can impart to the target, the better.

    And as always, you are entitled to think what you want and I do not expect my remarks to be agreed with.
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    My contention is simple..... I don't what to use the + p wear and tear on my guns to get pretty much the same end result...JMO, YMMV


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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I assume the test was done in ballistic gelatin. Doesn't change my mind.
    I'm sure the 124+p will do fine, but I still prefer to error on the side penetration with the 147+p.

    I noticed the light weight pills were listed as +p, but the 147 was a standard velocity loading.
    Yeah, Dr. Roberts usually only tests loads that LE agencies want him to test, and no agency has ever asked him to test the 147 +P HST.

    Quote Originally Posted by smolck View Post
    I find those results interesting. Especially that the CorBon DPX in 115+p penetrates as much as the 147gr Federal. This test merely supports my idea that there isn't enough difference between 115gr, 124gr, or 147gr in 9mm to make much difference. A grain is a very small unit of measurement. In the end, I think that the CorBon loads in 9mm probably give the best chance for success in stopping someone.

    Also, a bullet that stays in the body and doesn't over penetrate will dump all of it's energy in the body. The more energy you can impart to the target, the better.

    And as always, you are entitled to think what you want and I do not expect my remarks to be agreed with.
    1. The CorBon DPX load utilizes an all-copper bullet, and it is therefore not the same as comparing it to a normal jacketed lead 115 gr. bullet.

    2. What makes the CorBon DPX 115 gr. +P load more likely to stop someone than a the Gold Dot 124 gr. +P load or any other load for that matter? I don't understand how you can come to that conclusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by gottabkiddin View Post
    My contention is simple..... I don't what to use the + p wear and tear on my guns to get pretty much the same end result...JMO, YMMV


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    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
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    Settled?

    It will never be settled... there would be no point to forums if that debate ever ended.

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    The results are certainly very close in gelatin testing, and I'm glad they are, it means that modern SD rounds are very close in performance. I thought the whole point though was that 147gr will continue to retain momentum after hitting obstacles such bones and cartilage, which is hard to accurately test in simulation. Either way, just keep on shooting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder71 View Post
    Settled?

    It will never be settled... there would be no point to forums if that debate ever ended.
    Makes it interesting.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IAm_Not_Lost View Post
    The results are certainly very close in gelatin testing, and I'm glad they are, it means that modern SD rounds are very close in performance. I thought the whole point though was that 147gr will continue to retain momentum after hitting obstacles such bones and cartilage, which is hard to accurately test in simulation. Either way, just keep on shooting.
    No 9mm bullet has enough mass to penetrate the denser bones of the human body. 9mm is good at penetrating soft objects like cartilage due to it's smaller size and higher velocities, and it's possible to make a 9mm soft AP bullet if you make the bullet small enough. (Arcane makes/made a 45 gr. 9mm bullet that moved at 2400 fps and was capable of defeating most any soft armor). The 9mm was never designed to penetrate hard targets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder71 View Post
    Settled?

    It will never be settled... there would be no point to forums if that debate ever ended.
    Well, at least I tried!
    gottabkiddin likes this.
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    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Hawk View Post
    1. The CorBon DPX load utilizes an all-copper bullet, and it is therefore not the same as comparing it to a normal jacketed lead 115 gr. bullet

    2. What makes the CorBon DPX 115 gr. +P load more likely to stop someone than a the Gold Dot 124 gr. +P load or any other load for that matter? I don't understand how you can come to that conclusion.
    1. I don't think I mentioned anything about that. I simply said it penetrated as well as the 147gr load. And I know it isn't a lead bullet, that was my point, the construction of the DPX makes it do as well as it does.
    2. I never said the Gold Dot was a bad load or even mentioned it in my post. But given the velocity, copper construction, and reliability of the DPX, that is how I came to my conclusion. That, and it's expansion results in hard targets.

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    It's hard to argue with actual results:

    9 mm Stopping Power

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Hawk View Post
    No 9mm bullet has enough mass to penetrate the denser bones of the human body. 9mm is good at penetrating soft objects like cartilage due to it's smaller size and higher velocities, and it's possible to make a 9mm soft AP bullet if you make the bullet small enough. (Arcane makes/made a 45 gr. 9mm bullet that moved at 2400 fps and was capable of defeating most any soft armor). The 9mm was never designed to penetrate hard targets.
    I wasn't insinuating that the 9mm was designed to penetrate the "denser" bones of the human body, or any other "dense" target, I was just commenting on the fact that of the three weights I would give better odds to a heavier bullet doing better after encountering say...a rib.
    "Brilliant. So now we got a huge guy theory, and a serial crusher theory. Top notch. What's your name?" - Paul Smecker

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    Yawn. . .
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    It might be expedient to take no ballistic tables too seriously. I've yet to ever seen anything in any of them to actually influence a decision on an appropriate choice.
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