9 mm hard cast bullets for self defense

This is a discussion on 9 mm hard cast bullets for self defense within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I still think a flat nosed hard cast bullet would put a hurt on a bad guy. It would without a doubt. If it weren't ...

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  1. #16
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    I still think a flat nosed hard cast bullet would put a hurt on a bad guy.
    It would without a doubt.
    If it weren't for cast bullets, I wouldn't be able to afford to shoot as much as I do.
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  3. #17
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    It is true; most do not understand it, and I can understand why. We have a tendancy to think that new technology is always better, and many times it is. Most new designs work very well, and so do alot of older designs.

    In threads like this, it is almost like we are believing that people have somehow become immune to older designs, like a bacteria becoming resistant to penicillin. It sounds kind of dumb when you look at it that way doesn't it?

    If you think about it, there are more threads posted here from people stressing about which junk of lead to throw than actually shooting;anything.

    So if one of the advantages that using lead has for you is allowing you to shoot 250 rounds a week, while some other poor bloke is stressing over using too many of his $30 designer rounds which come 20 or even 50 to a measly box , then I would say at the end of a few weeks, the lead shooter will be much,much more proficient.

    I have used both in the game fields and have seen a few differences. But despite the similarities in body cavity size, tissue density, and rib bone material in medium game animals, there are always those who have never put a bullet thru anything but paper, dismiss the evidence of cast bullet performance as not relevant, preferring rather to put more trust into someone who is trying to sell them something.

    Of course there is the alleged proof that JHP are superior by those who point at the LE agencies using these. But I have not seen or heard any shooting incidents that would lead me to believe they are really that much better. And, for those who must have FBI approved ammo, when was the last time the FBI was in a fight using their own prescribed fodder?

    I'm not trying to condemn the JHP bullet, although it sounds like it. I just dont buy the hype, or the expense they bring when a good lead bullet works just as well.
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  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BamaT View Post
    No, I was just using the starting load for Power Pistol in Lyman's manual for a starting point and it turned out well. It actually gives a little higher starting velocity with a slightly lower pressure than the max loads for some other powders.

    Counting my time, reloading the 9 doesn't save much, but I like the flexibility of reloading, to tailor a load the way I want it. Generally, I have been able to craft more accurate ammo than what is usually available in commercial bulk ammo. So far so good on the nose deformation issue, but if it becomes problematic I will take a look at the FMJFN.

    I'm shooting a Smith M&P, so I don't have the polygonal barrel issue. I do have a Glock 19, but stick to jacketed bullets for it. It's one of my primary carry guns.
    "Ah, I see", said the blind man. For some reason I was operating under the impression that the M&Ps had polygonal bores. Duh!

    While I am far from a "serious competitor", some of the guys that I know that can make that claim try use a powder that gives them the best velocity using the least powder. I can only dream of being good enough to have to resort to that.
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  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 481 View Post
    "Ah, I see", said the blind man. For some reason I was operating under the impression that the M&Ps had polygonal bores. Duh!

    While I am far from a "serious competitor", some of the guys that I know that can make that claim try use a powder that gives them the best velocity using the least powder. I can only dream of being good enough to have to resort to that.
    I'm also far from a serious competitor, I shoot IDPA to enhance my skills and have safe fun. I am not in the camp of highest velocity from least powder charge. I don't shoot many magnum loads, really hardly anything over 1000 fps. Quite often, in my experience, trying to get the most from the least can lead to poor accuracy, barrel leading, and shortened case life.
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  6. #20
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    It's likely that I have more opinions than I do actual expertise. . .but I'll bite anyway (as usual).

    I think Glockman's point about the training value inherent in shooting large quantities of lead bullets is a crucial one. Not only is the muscle memory issue a huge one, but the confidence you gain in your chosen lead bullet load could be a crucially important intangible in a crisis.

    Recently I broke in a RIA 1911, suffering a significant number of malfunctions until reaching the 500-600-round mark (note: RIA specifies a 500-round break-in period is necessary). I was using various mags, factory ball and JHP's, plus bunches of my home-brewed Lee .452-230-TC tumble-lubed bullets with VV N310 powder, vel 650-750 fps. I tell you, after the gun was running flawlessly and weak-sister mags were culled out, I went thru hundreds of my cast bullets with 100% reliability and it felt like I was shooting a death ray--the bullets went wherever I pointed. Talk about confidence-inspiring!

    The kicker is that I subsequently loaded up a couple of hundred-bullet boxes of Hornady 200g and 230g XTP's over Bullseye, using the same brass. In the first- or second magazine-load, I suffered a failure to chamber! No subsequent problems in about 50-75 rounds, but I tell you--the confidence I'd enjoyed with my cast bullets was replaced with that old, nagging doubt.

    When I next load that pistol for HD, what will the magazines will be filled with? One guess :-)

    I'll soon run thru a big bunch of the XTP's and see if I can re-establish the same confidence level with them after all, but for now--it's cast bullets in that gun!

    And as to your ballistic comparisons of your 9mm/147/FN load and commercial 38/158/SWC ammo, I think they're quite valid. Not a weak load, and you're measuring penetration in feet, not inches :-) What you lose in expansion, you make up pretty handily in ability to penetrate any/all BG bone structures, I expect. And when you say "soft-shooting loads," that translates to me as "fast & accurate shooting." Terminal effects of lead against bone, depending on the lead's hardness, are equal to or better than jacketed bullets; and the flat nose inflicts a better wound channel than pointy 9mm ball. All in all, I think you've found a pretty well-balanced combination that is nothing to sneeze at.
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  7. #21
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    For SD loads I carry only factory ammo. One less thing for a potential prosecutor to drag out in court should there be an "incident".
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  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoppo View Post
    For SD loads I carry only factory ammo. One less thing for a potential prosecutor to drag out in court should there be an "incident".
    More inet crapola continuing its BS path.
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  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LouisianaMan View Post
    And as to your ballistic comparisons of your 9mm/147/FN load and commercial 38/158/SWC ammo, I think they're quite valid. Not a weak load, and you're measuring penetration in feet, not inches :-) What you lose in expansion, you make up pretty handily in ability to penetrate any/all BG bone structures, I expect.
    If you were refering to the calculations I made earlier for both loads, there are mathematical models out there that allow an informed comparison to be made with a little effort. If you are a "math kinda guy", there are two models by two different guys (1-Schwartz and 2-MacPherson) that can predict penetration and weight of the tissue damaged by a bullet.

    MacPherson's book and model is pretty deep and requires more mathematical ability than many can muster.

    Schwartz's book (the one in my sig line) is written more like a CC instructor would talk, but there is still a little techno-speak to get around. The model is lots easier to work with, too. There's a ton of step-by-step "go-by" examples that remind me of my high school algebra book, but it is still very understandable.

    Of course, if you aren't a "math kinda guy", you're probably laughing at me by now.
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  10. #24
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    Hi 481,
    And thanks for the kind offer of technical sources.

    Sadly, perhaps, my mathematical abilities are more along the lines of: "let's see, a milk jug full of water is approximately 6" wide; my .38-200 lead flat-nosed bullet at 625 fps just drilled thru 6 such jugs in a straight line, and stuck into the 2x12 stop board. 6x6=36" of water penetration, with an x factor for all those layers of plastic. Internet say-so claims an approximately 2:1 ratio of penetration in water jugs vs. ordnance gelatin." Somewhere in there is something about trains leaving from L.A and NYC at 60 mph, but I always give up at that point, I admit :-)

    I reckon my calculations are within a margin of error of less than or equal to one buttload, give or take.

    Just joshing! I drill lots of milk jugs from time to time, and I use the relative penetration index on the Beartooth Bullets website, but beyond that I concede the field entirely. :-)
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  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKflorida View Post
    Isn't there a problem shooting lead through the Glock pistols with their polygonal rifling?
    I've put a bunch of 230 LRNs thru my G30 with no more/no less leading than any other handgun, and minimal at worst. Best advice I could give is try it. If you get leading (and I checked frequently at first), then cease or adjust the loading until it's not an issue--just as with any other gun/load combo.
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  12. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by LouisianaMan View Post
    Hi 481,
    And thanks for the kind offer of technical sources.

    Sadly, perhaps, my mathematical abilities are more along the lines of: "let's see, a milk jug full of water is approximately 6" wide; my .38-200 lead flat-nosed bullet at 625 fps just drilled thru 6 such jugs in a straight line, and stuck into the 2x12 stop board. 6x6=36" of water penetration, with an x factor for all those layers of plastic. Internet say-so claims an approximately 2:1 ratio of penetration in water jugs vs. ordnance gelatin." Somewhere in there is something about trains leaving from L.A and NYC at 60 mph, but I always give up at that point, I admit :-)

    I reckon my calculations are within a margin of error of less than or equal to one buttload, give or take.

    Just joshing! I drill lots of milk jugs from time to time, and I use the relative penetration index on the Beartooth Bullets website, but beyond that I concede the field entirely. :-)
    OK, but you'll have to stop with all that technical jargon- I just spent an hour looking for the metric equivalent of one buttload. Nothing 'bout it on that treasure trove of wisdom- the internet. I am beginning to think that you just pulled that unit of your bu...er...the air.
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  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I have used both in the game fields and have seen a few differences. But despite the similarities in body cavity size, tissue density, and rib bone material in medium game animals, there are always those who have never put a bullet thru anything but paper, dismiss the evidence of cast bullet performance as not relevant, preferring rather to put more trust into someone who is trying to sell them something.
    Hey Gman - I remember reading somewhere that the WC bullet profile was the most destructive to tissue - basically a cylinder flying through the air with a flat front and sharp shoulders. Problem is that most auto loaders have difficulty feeding that bullet profile. And, at longer range, accuracy suffers.

    I also seem to recall a discussion about wounding patterns from older, large soft lead ball rounds (like the kind fired from muskets) compared to modern, high velocity pointed Spitzer bullets. Under some circumstances, the old round lead ball actually produced more wounding.

    I'm not a hunter, so I would be very interested in your anecdotal observations about the wounds produced in medium game animals by JHPs, compared to the more "old fashioned" lead SWC rounds.

    Do share...
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  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Hey Gman - I remember reading somewhere that the WC bullet profile was the most destructive to tissue - basically a cylinder flying through the air with a flat front and sharp shoulders. Problem is that most auto loaders have difficulty feeding that bullet profile. And, at longer range, accuracy suffers.

    I also seem to recall a discussion about wounding patterns from older, large soft lead ball rounds (like the kind fired from muskets) compared to modern, high velocity pointed Spitzer bullets. Under some circumstances, the old round lead ball actually produced more wounding.

    I'm not a hunter, so I would be very interested in your anecdotal observations about the wounds produced in medium game animals by JHPs, compared to the more "old fashioned" lead SWC rounds.

    Do share...
    Straight line penetration and busting up everything in its path is a hallmark trait of a swc design. I think the misunderstanding among those who are not familiar with their use, is not that they kill quicker, or are " better " in a sense, but that they are more consistent regardless the medium. Knowing what to expect regardless the angle is very useful to the handgunner. And, with the ability to shoot them by the thousands for the price of hundreds of high tech bullets, allows the shooter to become an incredible shot.

    Heres a picture of a deer shot with my Colt last year. I was using an FMJ, but the results would have been even better with a swc design.

    This is a typical example of using a full weight bullet to work, instead of speed with the hope of expansion. Notice the leg?

    It was completely shattered by the exited bullet on the off side, or exit wound.

    I could go on and on with pics of game killed with handguns and terminal performance of cast bullets, but I reckon this explains it.

    Nothing wrong with using a tradional JHP. But go heavy for caliber. I shot this one with a 147 weight 9mm Glock, using a Gplden Saber bullet. The bullet did exit, and worked well.

    It was a going away quartering shot where I had to shoot for the area just in behind the rib cage aiming for the off side shoulder. On shots like that, the bullet encounters alot of guts and has to dependably pass through those to get to the vitals. It was about 20 yards when I dropped the hammer. It jumped up, turned around, and ran about 20 yards before piling up. It was dead before I could get to it.

    I think thats the greatest advantage to a heavy bullet or a swc design. Predictable results, regardless of angle, or tissue encountered.

    Note; I have documented so many deer kills with various handguns and loads, that I might be wrong about the specifics of this last deer. But, its dead just the same,lol. I lose track sometimes
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  15. #29
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    Beartooth Bullets > Ballistician's Corner > Permanent Wound Channel calculates wound channel given meplat size and velocity, and it's surprising how flat noses at increasing vels liquefy unexpectedly large holes thru soft tissue. It's a hunting-oriented site, so there's lots of info analyzing bullet effectiveness on game.

    For example, my Lee 230g truncated cone bullet has a meplat of .32" as close as I can tell. At 900 fps, the predicted wound channel is .72" By their chart, 45 is adequate for antelope, 50 for deer, 100 for black bear.

    If your 9mm can operate a flat nose with a .22 meplat at 1000fps, the estimate is .55"

  16. #30
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    I carry Gold Dots in my main Defensive carry pistol and Hard Cast Buffalo Bores in my backup mag. If the bad guy is behind light cover, ill mag switch and take him out.

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