Does Grain count really matter?

Does Grain count really matter?

This is a discussion on Does Grain count really matter? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am looking to get some 9mm JHP ammo in bulk so I can practice with it and know exactly how it operates in my ...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22
Like Tree14Likes

Thread: Does Grain count really matter?

  1. #1
    Member Array Novarider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    15

    Does Grain count really matter?

    I am looking to get some 9mm JHP ammo in bulk so I can practice with it and know exactly how it operates in my guns. What i need to know is how important is the grain count? I see 115,124,147 etc. That's the amount of powder in each round right? What difference does it make? I want a round that will function flawlessly in any 9mm I decide to fire it in. I am looking at Speer Gold Dot right now.

  2. #2
    Member
    Array wsigl91's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    SE Wisconsin
    Posts
    492
    That is the weight of the bullet. I think most handgun rounds only use a few grains of powder (I could be wrong; I'm no reloader).

    In general, heavier bullets will have slower velocities, meaning that they expand less and therefore penetrate more. The reverse is true for lighter bullets.

    Most JHPs of large manufacturers (Federal, Speer, Winchester, etc) will suffice for self defense given bullets in the standard weight ranges (in 9mm, 115-147gr). Then main decider (in my opinion) should be reliability in one's chosen carry gun. A fantastic-performing JHP might not do you much good if it fails to feed after the first round fired in a self defense encounter.

  3. #3
    Member Array Sea Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    267
    Get the 124. It has a good reputation in the GD hollow points. You can youtube ammo testing and watch all of the deferent weight bullets being tested in gelatin.

    The 124 is the weight of the projectile in the cartridge. The powder would be much less +-5 gr. An indication of the amount of powder in the load will be the +p when selecting GD's. If it is designated +p it will have a slightly higher velocity but will still meet the SAAMI pressure specifications.
    SW

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array nathanjns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    549
    Various bullet weights will usually impact at different places on the target. Most folks are happier when the bullet impacts where they aim. It may be worth trying a few different weights before buying in bulk. JMO.
    DingBat, Chuck R. and oldranger53 like this.
    Never argue with an idiot. He'll bring you down to his level and then beat you with experience! - George Carlin

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array DingBat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Colorado, Rocky Mountains
    Posts
    3,418
    Quote Originally Posted by nathanjns View Post
    Various bullet weights will usually impact at different places on the target. Most folks are happier when the bullet impacts where they aim. It may be worth trying a few different weights before buying in bulk. JMO.
    that is correct. and the inverse of what may be intuitive. a heavier bullet will impact the target HIGHER than it's lighter counterpart. (at close ranges anyway, with a handgun, rifles at 100 yards or more are different)

    a heavier bullet is slower, and therefore in the barrel of the gun longer, therefore the gun has more time to recoil, the muzzle has more time to rise, and your heavier bullet impacts the target higher.
    Phaedrus and ShooterGranny like this.
    "I tried talking them down. ...they made a grab for the girl. After that it was a short conversation."

    "I am Wrath. I am Steel. I am the Mercy of Angels."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array darbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Fl
    Posts
    885
    I would suggest, before buying in bulk to try 3 or 4 or 5 different brands to make sure they will feed in your pistol. Then buy bulk in what you find a good price on.
    ETXhiker and Hoganbeg like this.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Stetson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Augusta,Maine
    Posts
    4,532
    Bullet weight affects the foot per second speed.For example you may have one round that weighs 135 grains that goes 1000 fps
    and 147 grain round that goes 860 fps and when you get over 1120 feet per second you are no longer sub sonic.Lighter amm is faster but it has less mass.

  8. #8
    Member Array Rainsong's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM (although not really NEW, not really MEXICO!)
    Posts
    231
    Yes, grain is the weight of the bullet like others have said. Smaller grain bullets have a higher muzzle VELOCITY (ie: travel faster) with the same charge behind it and USUALLY expand more but with less penetration. Opposite of course with heavier bullets. Smaller bullets also usually have more felt recoil because of said muzzle velocity. 147 bullets seem to hit a bit higher than POA for me. As far as reliability, you would need to make that determination. SOme guns have trouble with .147 gr HP's. I use 124gr HST's as they are a good compromise of both expansion and penetration, run well in both my 9mm's and shoot a little closer to the 115gr range ammo I use. Not a huge difference in all 3 mind you. If you were to mix 115 and 124, I doubt i could tell you which one I fired.
    S&W M&P Shield 9mm
    CZ 75 B 9mm
    Bersa Thunder .380
    Taurus TCP 738 .380

  9. #9
    Member Array Novarider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    15
    Good point, thanks

  10. #10
    Member Array 1OldDog2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    305
    Grain count would probably matter more to the person being shot.
    oldranger53 and zonker1986 like this.

  11. #11
    Member Array petecamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    74
    I didn't see anybody mention this so......

    I wouldn't buy "bulk" quantities of actual defense ammunition. It runs around $1 per round. You can go through 2-300 rounds in practice pretty quick. If you're independently wealthy, no worries. The rest of us usually practice with whatever is cheapest and functions. Buy 50 or 100 rounds of actual defense ammo, I like either 124 or 147 grain loads for 9mm, and shoot one magazine full to verify functionality. Clean the gun, load it with defense ammo and you're set.

    I should add this. If you're looking at defense ammo and the manufacturer promises their grossly overpriced product will perform miracles of demolition, pass it up. It's designed to empty your wallet. The fine folks on this forum will steer you to quality defense ammo.
    zonker1986 likes this.

  12. #12
    Member Array mathiasinthe314's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    220
    Lots of good responses so far. One thing I'll add, it's important to take the barrel length of the intended firearm into consideration. As previously mentioned - heavier weight (especially, heavy for caliber) bullets travel slower than lighter loads. If you fire these out of a shorter barrel (ie 3" barrel of a pocket pistol) you lose more muzzle velocity. With this lower velocity you could encounter failure to expand in your defensive hollow point ammunition.

    So, in summary, familiarize yourself with basic ballistic performance standards and read/watch quality ammo tests on the various brands/loads from a similar test gun to what you'll be using.
    "In matters of taste, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like the rock." - Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    4,517
    I've carried this round in several of my 9mm's for years. Winchester White Box 147gr JHP that you can pick up at Walmart or your local GS at a reasonable price. It's a very good performer that won't cost you a bunch.

    "Said I never had any use for one.....never said I didn't know how to use it. " Matthew Quiqley

  14. #14
    Member Array Novarider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    15
    By "bulk" I meant about 200 rounds or so. That way I could run 50 through a couple guns to make sure it functions properly then fill those up and have some to spare.

    I read that you should practice with what you plan to carry so you know how it will function. I have had some hang fires lately with cheap target ammo so I want to make sure the ammo runs properly.

  15. #15
    Member Array mathiasinthe314's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    220
    Quote Originally Posted by Novarider View Post
    By "bulk" I meant about 200 rounds or so. That way I could run 50 through a couple guns to make sure it functions properly then fill those up and have some to spare.

    I read that you should practice with what you plan to carry so you know how it will function. I have had some hang fires lately with cheap target ammo so I want to make sure the ammo runs properly.
    If that's your primary concern, I recommend Winchester Train and Defend 147gr JHP and FMJs.

    They have the same dimensions, shape, and weight in the JHP and the FMJ. If the FMJ feeds and performs, so will the more expensive JHP. It's pretty economical and available, plus it gets the job done out of all barrel lengths. I carry this when I can't find Federal HST.

    https://youtu.be/KwsVe1fxXLE
    kmckinnon likes this.
    "In matters of taste, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like the rock." - Thomas Jefferson

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Remove Ads

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
  •