Ammo choice

This is a discussion on Ammo choice within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What's the difference between a 150 grain bullet vs 180 grain? Is there more powder or more bullet? I can't seem to get to the ...

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Thread: Ammo choice

  1. #1
    Member Array Mtnmanca's Avatar
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    Ammo choice

    What's the difference between a 150 grain bullet vs 180 grain? Is there more powder or more bullet? I can't seem to get to the bottom of this debate

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    The answer is yes, to both. The bullet weight is listed in grains, so 180 is heavier than 150. Likewise, the powder load (also in grains) will very according to bullet weight and powder type. Unless you reload, the powder weight is meaningless.
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    What caliber are you talking about? Handgun or rifle? Also the bullet weight changes the amount of powder charge.

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    Member Array Backroad's Avatar
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    Not sure what you're asking here, but the 180 grn bullet is 30 grns heavier than the 150 grn. It's the weight of the bullet, not the weight of the powder, altho powder charges are also weighed in grains.

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    New Member Array Good Old Joe's Avatar
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    Easy Question, Easy Answer...

    No debate.

    Such designations apply to the projectile or bullet, not the powder charge behind it. If you buy an ammo that states states something like " .38 SPCL, 125 GR" or ".45 ACP 230 GR.", the ammo described has a 125 GR and 230 GR bullet, respectively.

    Some older caliber designations referred to the nominal diameter of the bullet and the powder charge, like the .44-40, which has enjoyed a recent resurgence with some due to the popularity of "Cowboy" shooting events. The ".44" part of the designation referred to the diameter of the bullet and the "40" referred to the 40 grain charge of black powder loaded in the cartridge.

    Powder designations are not given on modern factory ammunition because the characteristics of the many different powders available vary so much that comparing the number of GR (grains) of powder between two cartridges would be rather meaningless.

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    Member Array Mtnmanca's Avatar
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    Ammo choice

    To be more specific, when you buy a higher grain cartridge or smaller grain is it only the bullet that changes? And if so, how can it be if you have to keep the same specs to allow the cartridge to cycle properly through the gun. If you have a higher grain does the bullet become longer or wider?

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    The bullet is longer. The diameter remains the same. The heavier bullet will create more pressure and often times uses less powder.
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    New Member Array Good Old Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtnmanca View Post
    To be more specific, when you buy a higher grain cartridge or smaller grain is it only the bullet that changes? And if so, how can it be if you have to keep the same specs to allow the cartridge to cycle properly through the gun. If you have a higher grain does the bullet become longer or wider?
    Well, to answer without giving you a lesson in physics is thatthe "wider" dimension does not change within the caliber of the ammunition. The "wider" dimension or "caliber" of the projectile does not change; all 9mm shoot 9mm projectiles, regardless of the weight.

    So, when the weight of the cartridge goes up, the length goes up and the speed (velocity) usually goes down. Think of it this way; you can throw a baseball much farther and faster than you can throw a lead pipe that is the same "width" or diameter as the baseball.

    It sounds as if you are new to shooting, so I would give you this advice. Look on your weapon to see what "caliber" it is. If you don't have the owner's manual for the weapon, find one on line and read it in regard to both operation and ammunition. Buy and use only factory made ammo of the recommended caliber to get started; no "handloads" even though they may be cheaper.

    The next piece of advice is DO NOT LOAD THE WEAPON UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED FIREARMS TRAINING APPROPRIATE TO THE WEAPON YOU OWN. Find a good qualified instructor at a shooting range or facility. Such training is critical to the safe handling and understading of how your weapon operates.

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    Member Array Mtnmanca's Avatar
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    Ammo choice

    I am not new to shooting. I have been a gun owner an avid shooter for 10+ years. I have just gotten into a lot of debates on this subject and figured I'd come here and see what people say.... The same thing I have been saying

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    When you know... There is no debate.

    Such has been pointed out, the projectile is the objective part of the cartridge that is referred to in " weighted " terms. While the term " grains" is a measurement, I do not like to refer to the bullet in such terms. People do, and this is common.

    I prefer to refer to the bullets as 158 "weight" or 180 " weight", and weigh the powder in " grains".

    The bullet will either gain or lose it's " weight" thru length, for a given caliber. This is a significant consideration because it effects the sectional density, which, contributes in penetrating qualities.
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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    The weights that you see printed on the factory ammo boxes are referring to the weight of the bullet. Remington Golden Saber Ammo 40 S&W 165 Grain Brass Jacketed Hollow Note the 165 grain on this box. By the way, the status = available.
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    New Member Array Good Old Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtnmanca View Post
    I am not new to shooting. I have been a gun owner an avid shooter for 10+ years. I have just gotten into a lot of debates on this subject and figured I'd come here and see what people say.... The same thing I have been saying
    Good man, just keep educating those around you as best you can.

    I've always held that as long as erroneous beliefs don't hurt anyone that it is best to let them slide when the person is adamant in their beliefs.

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