Defensive loads for 9mm subcompact

Defensive loads for 9mm subcompact

This is a discussion on Defensive loads for 9mm subcompact within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi all ! I am new to the forum but not new to carrying. I have been toting a Glock 22 with winchester Silvertip 180 ...

Results 1 to 15 of 15
Like Tree4Likes
  • 1 Post By txron
  • 1 Post By Madcap_Magician
  • 1 Post By TX expat
  • 1 Post By Taurahe

Thread: Defensive loads for 9mm subcompact

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Indianapolis IN
    Posts
    3,744

    Defensive loads for 9mm subcompact

    Hi all !
    I am new to the forum but not new to carrying. I have been toting a Glock 22 with winchester Silvertip 180 gr. JHP for home defense and CCW. I now also have a Kahr cm9 9mm for better concealment. My question is this...... Knowing that hollow points work on hydraulic principles to expand and require sufficient force to initiate expansion, what is an ideal bullet weight for reliable performance in a tiny niny. I was given a partial box of Winchester ranger 147 gr JHP, but I am concerned the heavier bullet will reduce velocity from the short barrel, detrimentally affecting terminal performance. Any suggestions ?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array txron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    907
    Check out the Hornady Critical Defense 115g flex tip. This round was specifically designed for small gun CCW. With the loss in barrel length, you will lose velocity, therefore you will lose expansion of the round. The lighter weight bullets 124g and down will be better that the heavier bullets for expansion for the "pocket pistols". Save the 147g for the full size hand guns. My 2 cents.
    Last edited by txron; January 28th, 2013 at 04:01 PM.
    sensei2 likes this.
    No trees were harmed in the construction of this post. However a large number of electrons were indiscriminately aroused.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    2,128
    I would disagree. The 147-gr. bullets will lose a lower percentage of their velocity compared to the faster bullets. Paul Nowak, one of the ballistics testing folks from Winchester, suggests the heavier bullets for shorter barrels as well. tests I've seen show a 147-gr. bullet (Winchester Ranger Bonded, IIRC) losing only a bit less than 50 fps from a 4" barrel to a 3" barrel. The heavier bullets rely less on speed to expand and penetrate and more on mass and momentum. You will see slightly less expansion from the heavy bullets, but you will get 14-15" of penetration and .6-.7 inches of expansion from a good 147-gr. in a 3" barrel through four layers of denim into 10% gel as compared to 11-12.5" of penetration and .65-.8 inches of expansion in the 124-gr. loads.

    I also like the 147-gr. because you get this performance without having to put up with the increased recoil, snap, and wear and tear of the lighter +P loads. I converted from the Ranger 127-gr. +P+ load, myself. Now I use 147-gr. Winchester Ranger Bonded or Federal HST, depending on which I can get.

    Really the recoil was the deciding factor for me. Any of the good 124-gr., 127-gr., 135-gr., or 147-gr. bullets will expand to at least half an inch pretty reliably and penetrate at least 12", but the 147-gr. standard pressure bullets do so with the same recoil as the 115-gr. FMJ practice ammo, that is to say, pretty much no recoil. So you have faster follow-up and practice that's more fun.
    AS90 likes this.
    Not my circus, not my monkeys.

  4. #4
    Member Array CigarStix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Cypress, TX
    Posts
    350
    Interesting thread. Being a new CHL holder, what is the deal with +P? I've got a Shield that can handle the +P, but what is its purpose?

    Thanks!
    Always Carry, Never Tell
    S&W Shield 9mm
    Ruger LCP .380
    NRA Member
    Certified NRA Instructor

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Indianapolis IN
    Posts
    3,744
    +p ammunition is a hotter loading, which results in higher velocity and more kinetic energy. As you noted your shield is +p rated, but not all firearms are rated for +p ammo. With increased power comes increased recoil and decreased recoil management, depending on shooting abilities. +p is a viable alternative in sub compact handguns, but i personally do not like shooting it, hence my search for a more suitable standard load. With +p ammo, wear is also accelerated to some degree, requiring replacement of springs and small parts sooner. Generally, standard ammo is used for training, with +p reserved for carry and occasional familiarization, after assuring functionality with chosen carry load.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,297
    +P rounds will help make up for the loss in velocity from the short barrel of a sub-compact. The only problem is that it of course creates more recoil energy, which is amplified in a lighter weight pistol. If you can shoot them well, than I recommend them. I carry them, in the form of Gold Dot +P short barrel ammo.

  7. #7
    Member Array Ransom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    352

    Defensive loads for 9mm subcompact

    I've got +P Gold Dot Short Barrels in my Shield 9mm. Search the forum--somebody did a nice write up on them.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array txron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    907
    Quote Originally Posted by SamRudolph View Post
    I would disagree. The 147-gr. bullets will lose a lower percentage of their velocity compared to the faster bullets. Paul Nowak, one of the ballistics testing folks from Winchester, suggests the heavier bullets for shorter barrels as well. tests I've seen show a 147-gr. bullet (Winchester Ranger Bonded, IIRC) losing only a bit less than 50 fps from a 4" barrel to a 3" barrel. The heavier bullets rely less on speed to expand and penetrate and more on mass and momentum. You will see slightly less expansion from the heavy bullets, but you will get 14-15" of penetration and .6-.7 inches of expansion from a good 147-gr. in a 3" barrel through four layers of denim into 10% gel as compared to 11-12.5" of penetration and .65-.8 inches of expansion in the 124-gr. loads.

    I also like the 147-gr. because you get this performance without having to put up with the increased recoil, snap, and wear and tear of the lighter +P loads. I converted from the Ranger 127-gr. +P+ load, myself. Now I use 147-gr. Winchester Ranger Bonded or Federal HST, depending on which I can get.

    Really the recoil was the deciding factor for me. Any of the good 124-gr., 127-gr., 135-gr., or 147-gr. bullets will expand to at least half an inch pretty reliably and penetrate at least 12", but the 147-gr. standard pressure bullets do so with the same recoil as the 115-gr. FMJ practice ammo, that is to say, pretty much no recoil. So you have faster follow-up and practice that's more fun.
    How can you disagree with my post. No one on this forum every disagrees about caliber or bullet weight!! (Sarcasm, just in case)

    I agree with the points made by SamRudolf. For penetration, the heavier the bullet the more penetration. The critical defense 115g is made for expansion more than penetration. I use the critical duty 135g +p so I lean a little more to Sam point of view, but the recoil will be more from this round in a small gun than a larger frame pistol (I carry the XD 9 Service model). I have not shot 147g standard pressures, so I do not have any experience with the 147g recoil being about the same as the 115g FMJ.

    I guess the answer to your question based on my and Sam's response is, try many rounds of different weights and pressure and see what works best for you.
    No trees were harmed in the construction of this post. However a large number of electrons were indiscriminately aroused.

  9. #9
    VIP Member
    Array TX expat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    3,983
    Regardless of what you decide to carry, you really need to get a bunch of that specific round through your pistol to verify that it works well in your firearm. A half a box isn't going to cut it if you actually plan to depend on that combination to save your life.

    For the record, I carry 147 gr. bullets in my G19.
    indykid likes this.
    NRA Life Member

    "I don't believe gun owners have rights." - Sarah Brady

  10. #10
    Member Array indykid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    137

    Defensive loads for 9mm subcompact

    I carry Underwood 147 gr. +P+ Bonded JHP's (which are actually Gold Dots in a much hotter loading). I'm a firm believer that you get more penetration to recoil with the heaviest loading per caliber. When I first started buying Underwood, I tested all of their bullet weights in 9mm +P+ and the 147gr. had the least recoil of them all. According to TNOutdoors9 YouTube testing of these same 3 rounds the 147gr. has both better expansion and penetration. These are no doubt hot loads but I've sent 200 or so through my gun and I can routinely get double and triple taps in a group the size of my hand at 7-10yds. And that's through my M&P9c not a full size. Just my $.02. I haven't and won't send +P+ rounds through my single stack 9mm's but I do shoot +P rounds through them. With some practice you can learn to tame the recoil and get a rhythm as to when to take that follow up shot and still be on target.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    2,128
    Quote Originally Posted by indykid View Post
    I carry Underwood 147 gr. +P+ Bonded JHP's (which are actually Gold Dots in a much hotter loading). I'm a firm believer that you get more penetration to recoil with the heaviest loading per caliber. When I first started buying Underwood, I tested all of their bullet weights in 9mm +P+ and the 147gr. had the least recoil of them all. According to TNOutdoors9 YouTube testing of these same 3 rounds the 147gr. has both better expansion and penetration. These are no doubt hot loads but I've sent 200 or so through my gun and I can routinely get double and triple taps in a group the size of my hand at 7-10yds. And that's through my M&P9c not a full size. Just my $.02. I haven't and won't send +P+ rounds through my single stack 9mm's but I do shoot +P rounds through them. With some practice you can learn to tame the recoil and get a rhythm as to when to take that follow up shot and still be on target.
    The only thing I've wondered about the crazy Underwood loadings is whether or not they're pushing the velocity of a given bullet design past its optimum expansion window. I imagine this would be much less of an issue with bonded bullets, but IIRC, some of the early warp-speed +P+ 115-gr. bullets would expand and then fragment.
    Not my circus, not my monkeys.

  12. #12
    Member Array indykid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    137

    Defensive loads for 9mm subcompact

    Very good point SamRudolph. That has happened with some Underwood 10mm loadings but the ballistic gel tests I've seen don't show that with the 9mm +P+ loads.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Indianapolis IN
    Posts
    3,744
    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    Regardless of what you decide to carry, you really need to get a bunch of that specific round through your pistol to verify that it works well in your firearm. A half a box isn't going to cut it if you actually plan to depend on that combination to save your life.

    For the record, I carry 147 gr. bullets in my G19.
    You are 100% correct. I am not carrying my kahr as I have not put enough Ranger ammo through it to be sure of its reliability. Until the ammo shortage is fixed and I can get my hands on some ranger ammo, my glock will be my sidekick. I run a minimum of 200 rnds of carry ammo before I call it safe. exspensive, but I have seen others run more.

    I am also thinking of switching carry loads when ammo is readily available again, as Winchester Ranger can be tough to come by on a good day, let alone in an ammo shortage.
    TX expat likes this.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array bandrich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    S.E. Wisconsin
    Posts
    864
    I carry Hornady Critical Duty +P rounds in my Kahr CM9. Love em both.
    BA
    Kahr CM9, Beretta PX4 SC .40, Ruger LCP/LM, Dan Wesson .357, Beretta 21A .22, Four Aces .22, H&R .22, Marlin .22 rifle and 1946 Remington 12 gauge.

  15. #15
    Member Array AS90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    38
    I used to be in the light and fast school of thought, but the more I research terminal ballistics I prefer heavy and slow. Expansion isn't amazing but is respectable and I was amazed at how low the recoil is out of a Glock 26 with 147gr loads. If you keep an eye out sgammo.com often has Winny Ranger Bonded 147gr. It's product code is RA9B, should say that on the box. It's also sold as Q4364, which is the code for a contract run of RA9B for the DOJ (FBI, etc) and is essentially RA9B +P. That's my current carry load.

    As others have said make sure the load is reliable in your gun and equally important that you are accurate with it. Don't get overly hung up on brand loyalty if you cant find Ranger, there are many good brands and designs. HST, Gold Dot, Cor-Bon DPX, Ranger T, Golden Saber Bonded come to mind. I think the short barrel GDHP 124gr +P would be your best bet for that Kahr's bbl. If you decide you want standard pressure go 147 gr Ranger Bonded or 147 gr HST. my .02

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

remington 9mm htp
,
remington 9mm htp review
,
remington high terminal performance
,
remington high terminal performance 9mm
,
remington high terminal performance review
,
remington htp
,

remington htp 9mm

,
remington htp 9mm ammo
,
remington htp 9mm p
,
remington htp 9mm p review
,

remington htp 9mm review

,

remington htp review

Click on a term to search for related topics.