New to the world of ammo

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Thread: New to the world of ammo

  1. #1
    Member Array xtramile's Avatar
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    Question New to the world of ammo

    Second time going to the range with my XDM9C today, and had some thoughts.

    Because of the recent ammo shortages, I have not been able to be as consistent in what I am throwing downrange. But I think I had a learning experience today, and was looking for some of your thoughts. I got to fire both PMC Bronze 115 gr JHP, and Hornady Critical Duty 135 gr JHP. The difference in HOW they felt, and how I experienced them surprised me. All of my previous experience was between one brand of ball ammo, and one brand of defensive ammo.

    I guess I am so new to all of this that I dont even know what my question is. The CD felt so manageable, and sight alignment came back so much quicker. While the PMC was snappy and was causing this new shooter to flinch on the trigger more often (I am improving though!) And the muzzle flash! The first round of PMC about made my jaw drop when a giant star of light obscured the entire target from view. I guess a good place to start would be how does bullet weight and velocity affect felt recoil? Also, more than just ballistics, I am not into crunching numbers, what are factors to consider when choosing a defensive round?

    Thanks for any thoughts, there is a wealth of knowledge on here and I am a sponge .

    - Xtra

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    Member Array AS90's Avatar
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    The main difference between say the PMC JHP and the Hornady or other premium loads, is that premium loads have nickel plated casings to aid in feeding and resist corrosion, they have low flash powders so that you do not experience the blinding muzzle flash if you were shooting at night, and they use a much higher quality bullet. Hornady CD is a good load, PMC Bronze, well, is not. Just because a bullet has a hole in the tip does not mean it will expand reliably.

    The most important things for a bullet to do, in my opinion, in order:
    Reliability. Your chosen carry load must be absolutely, 100% reliable. Premium loads tend to be more so.
    Accuracy. Your bullet could expand 5X but if you don't place the bullet properly it will do no good.
    Penetration. Many low end JHP designs under penetrate and do not hit the vitals. This is well documented and something of primary concern.
    Expansion. This is how much your bullet increases in diameter. Many good 9mm hollowpoints will expand from their original size, .355, to well over .60, Creating a much larger wound channel.

    So as you can see, the primary action of the hollowpoint, expansion, is the least important characteristic a bullet can have. Now, assuming your round is reliable, you are accurate with it, and it penetrates deeply, now you can worry about expansion.

    In my very unprofessional opinion, heavier bullets recoil less. +P bullets recoil more. A 115gr +P+ is going to recoil much more than say, a standard pressure 147gr. Regarding choosing a load for you, I would spend some time on youtube watching ballistics testing. Brassfetcher and tnoutdoors9 both have very good channels. Some people prefer to practice with the same grain as they carry, and since the most common ball load in 9x19 is 115gr, many carry 115gr JHPs. Personally, I carry 147gr. The search for the best bullet for many is never ending, and there is a ton to learn. I hope this is a decent start for you, feel free to ask any questions you may have.
    Last edited by AS90; January 28th, 2013 at 12:23 AM.

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    Member Array xtramile's Avatar
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    Ya PMC was the only stuff that Cabelas had more than 25 rounds of. Luckily I got 100 rounds of Critical Duty at a nearby big box store.

    What is the advantage of firing the same weight for ball and defense ammo? If the velocity is different I would think that would not do much for continuity.

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    Member Array AS90's Avatar
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    The point of impact of the bullet is going to change as the bullet weight changes. At self defense distances you aren't going to see any practical change in your accuracy at 7 yards, though. Maybe an inch up or down.
    Last edited by AS90; January 28th, 2013 at 12:23 AM.

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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    You want enough penetration, but also the biggest hole possible. You want low recoil for faster follow up shots, but you want enough power to accomplish the penetration and expansion that is your ultimate goal. You want low flash powder, and clean burning powder - but you don't want to spend all your income on quality ammunition either.....

    You want it all, but you don't want to have to pay for it. That's the short version. Do some searching, and some reading. There is a lot of info - lots on this site, which is a just a start.

    Austin

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    Member Array xtramile's Avatar
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    Did some snooping around Tnoutdoors9's channel and found some of what I was looking for.

    Underwood 9mm 115 gr +P+ JHP Ammo test - YouTube
    9mm Speer Gold Dot 147 gr JHP Ammo Gel test - YouTube


    Polar opposites demonstrating exactly what I think could be expected. Now from what I understand when we are dealing with permanent stretch cavity in gel, it is not representative of flesh. Correct? The elasticity of flesh closes up the stretch cavity, and what really matters at that point is the cutting from the pedals. He also says that recoil is more manageable in the heavier bullets.

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    Member Array AS90's Avatar
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    Correct. The primary mechanism of injury from a gunshot is tissue being crushed by the projectile, and in the case of JHPs there is also a cutting action from the petals. This is pistol rounds, mind you. "Temporary cavity" and "hydrostatic shock" are basically a non factor at the pressure levels which pistols operate, even the vaunted .44 Mag. Rifle rounds however there is a very real shockwave and temporary cavity that can cause organs to rupture. Ft/lbs and a whole lot of other nonsense like "stopping power" is thrown around but, again, in handguns, that's a joke. The key to putting a person down with a handgun is putting large holes through vital organs and waiting for them to bleed out. The only way it will be lights out is if you hit the brainstem which is practically a statistical impossibility under that kind of stress. Here's a great video of a Dr. discussing GSWs.

    aus71383 likes this.

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    VIP Member Array 40Bob's Avatar
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    Now from what I understand when we are dealing with permanent stretch cavity in gel, it is not representative of flesh. Correct? The elasticity of flesh closes up the stretch cavity, and what really matters at that point is the cutting from the pedals.
    That is the only mechanism of injury that can be duplicated in the lab.


    This is pistol rounds, mind you. "Temporary cavity" and "hydrostatic shock" are basically a non factor at the pressure levels which pistols operate, even the vaunted .44 Mag. Rifle rounds however there is a very real shockwave and temporary cavity that can cause organs to rupture.
    That theory was developed over 100 years ago and is actually low velocity vs high velocity. Low velocity was defined as under 1000 fps.
    My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.

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    Member Array xtramile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    That theory was developed over 100 years ago and is actually low velocity vs high velocity. Low velocity was defined as under 1000 fps.
    Do you have any good source to read up on that? Thanks.

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