Light or Heavy Grain HP's?

This is a discussion on Light or Heavy Grain HP's? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I use powrballs or a quality hp to 165 grain; unless I can get ranger 180s in .40s&w...

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 44

Thread: Light or Heavy Grain HP's?

  1. #16
    VIP Member
    Array nn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    7,119
    I use powrballs or a quality hp to 165 grain; unless I can get
    ranger 180s in .40s&w

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #17
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Coral Gables, FL
    Posts
    5,724

    Wink +1!

    Quote Originally Posted by blueyedevil View Post
    My first priority is energy, whichever load has the most muzzle energy is what I prefer. After that, if loads are very similar in energy I go for the heavier one. Most of the time I have found that the mid-weight bullets have the best energy with the exception of 9mm.
    I'm pretty much with you. My sole provisio is that I'll use whatever feeds best in the weapon. All things being equal however, I'll go 230 or 185 in a 45, 165 in a 40 and 115+P+ in a 9mm. The exceptions being when I carry a MagSafe frangible in any of the above as my primary load in south Florida. My backup load is always one of the above. I like the magsafe for the lack of a richochet.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  4. #18
    Member Array Alien Nation's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    283
    This is one of those subjects that is mostly about preference and opinion. Some take it more to heart than others. I will not argue to what IS better or make any claims about ammo I have not tested.

    I personally like the 230gr HP's for my .45 because in my testing I liked their performance better. Now if I had a .45 that was reliable with 185 or 200gr loads and not 230's I'd use them.
    In .40 (I'm not a big fan of the .40 but it's a goo SD round) I prefer the 165 grain loads for the same reason I like the 230gr .45's.

    In 9MM I definitely like the 124+P loads best. No exceptions. If I have a gun that wont feed one brand or another of the fast 124's I'll work on the gun. If it still won't I'll sell or trade it off for one that will.
    Why? In all my testing they generally out penetrate the 115gr loads and don't over penetrate as much as 98% of the 147gr loads I've tested.

    These are my opinions. These loads are my preference. I'm not claiming them to be superior to all because I like them. I've tested them and I like the performance so it's what I choose for myself.

    PS
    I stopped testing on a regular basis a year or two ago. Maybe a little more, so I have not tested allot of the newer loads. My opinions are subject to change as I begin testing again in a few months.
    So far I've become more and more of a believer in the Gold Dot ammunition. It has been the most consistent performer in every cal. I've tested it in bar none.
    “You come at me with a sword and with a spear. But I come at you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you". 1 Samuel 17, 45-46
    Brian

  5. #19
    Senior Member Array Sig229's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    568
    Man, so much info in this thread.

    So many theories to weigh.

    Thanks everyone!

    (I still am not sure about which HP to carry, but I think I will be sticking with the heavier 180 grain now)
    Primary Carry Gun: Sig Sauer 229~R (.40cal w/ Golden Saber JHP's)

  6. #20
    Member Array floridaguy911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    FLORIDA
    Posts
    486
    I actually believe I'm carrying 165 gr. loads right now in my .40
    N.R.A. Member
    G.O.A. Member
    Unified Sportsmen of Florida Member

  7. #21
    Moderator
    Array Bark'n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    West Central Missouri
    Posts
    9,916
    I tend to forego the science and go to the numbers on the street. I try to find the ones that have the best proven track record in stopping bad guys in gunfights.

    And also for liability purposes I tend to go with rounds used by law enforcement so a cop can't get up on the stand and testify that I was using some sort of "cop killer" bullet or something like that.

    Right now I am shooting:
    124 gr. +P Speer Gold Dots in my 9mm or Hornady 124 gr. TAP Personal Defense
    165 gr. Speer Gold Dot's or Fed Hydrashock in my .40 cal.
    158 gr. +P semi-jacketed lead hollow points in the .38 spl.
    158 gr. Federal Hydrashock in .357 mag.
    230 gr. Speer Gold Dot's in the .45 acp.

    Seems to be some pretty good imperical data on those rounds.
    Last edited by Bark'n; June 18th, 2007 at 11:35 PM.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  8. #22
    Member Array Mass-Diver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    204
    Espically since I carry mostly compacts, I go for the light, fast rounds. The way I see it, people's chest's aren't very wide, I don't need or want serious penetration, I just want massive damage in the first couple inches. Right now, for example, I have some 165gr +P magtechs in my G30 that I think are a good choice.

  9. #23
    Member Array Alien Nation's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    283
    Bark'n;404267 I tend to forego the science and go to the numbers on the street. I try to find the ones that have the best proven track record in stopping bad guys in gunfights.
    That is not a bad way to do it at all! That'a pretty much how I pick out the loads I test for myself. I do it partly cause it's fun for me but I like to see how they perform in whatever gun I'm going to be using.

    You have a fine selection of loads there.
    I personally like the 145gr Silvertip in .357.
    “You come at me with a sword and with a spear. But I come at you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you". 1 Samuel 17, 45-46
    Brian

  10. #24
    Member Array conservaDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    A cold place
    Posts
    60
    The so-called advantage of the faster HPs is that they impart shock more quickly. Same applies to higher energy rounds, but they impart MORE shock. Does that matter? Nope. Watch a football player do a flying catch in the end zone and bounce off the ground ...he just absorbed more energy than any defensive round on the market. Is he dead or is he dancing? What stops a foe is crushing trauma to key organs or the central nervous system. For that, you first need shot placement. Second, you want a round that is a best compromise between penetration and expansion ...and all the standard and +P rounds meet those requirements, e.g. Gold Dot, Federal, Cor*bon, etcetera. The key is placement and practice.

    THAT said, there is some evidence that higher weight, higher caliber, rounds have more knock-down potential. Google 'Taylor Knock Down' and check... keep in mind that humans are very light weight animals compared to what the Taylor formula (and other similar formulae) were empirically developed from. Placement and practice ...repeat. Upper torso, center of mass ...bullet proof vest? Crotch shot. Twice. Can't run with a crushed pelvis. Put 2 in the upper center of mass then 2 in the pelvis area. Done.

    And if it matters to anyone, I shoot Cor*bon 9mm's ...and always buy the heavier rounds. The more energy that I can get above 400#, the better. I carry a 9mm because mine's less than an inch thick... and more likely to be carried as a result. Big guns stay home too often.

    Later taters,
    Brian

  11. #25
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,751
    I generally prefer the heaviest hollow point I can find in a caliber that has a muzzle velocity of at least 990 feet per second. Sometimes my choice is limited temporarily by what is in stock when I decide its time to rotate the old stuff out.

  12. #26
    Member Array lexington86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    27

    Some actual numbers...

    I used to be steadfastly in the heavy slug camp, but after doing some research, I think I'm moving over to the "faster is better" camp. I've been considering switching to Federal HST HPs, and found some very informative data sheets about HP performance in the FBI tests.

    For the most part, it seems that faster HPs generally achieve greater expansion while penetrating about the same distance.

    Datasheet: http://www.le.atk.com/pdf/Pierce%20C...20Workshop.pdf
    More datasheets: http://www.le.atk.com/Interior.asp?s.../downloads.asp

    When it comes to energy, I also found more surprises. Again looking at ballistics data for HSTs, I found that even at 50 yards, a regular 9mm, 124 grain slug still retains more energy than the 147 grain slug (310FtLbs vs. 300 FtLbs). The same trend holds true for .40 cal (at least for 165 grain vs. 180 grain.

    Source: http://www.le.atk.com/Interior.asp?s...ol_tatical.asp

    Someone might have said this already, but this makes sense mathematically. The formula for Kinetic energy is (m*v^2); that is, "mass times velocity squared". Since velocity is squared, it has a much greater influence on on the energy of the object. Thus, to capitalize on energy, I would take a small gain in velocity over a small gain in mass.

    Please don't flame me... just my $.02...
    ~Lex

    "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
    - Pennsylvania Constitution, Section 21

    Dramatic Hamster (my avatar)

  13. #27
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,675
    Quote Originally Posted by Mass-Diver View Post
    Espically since I carry mostly compacts, I go for the light, fast rounds. The way I see it, people's chest's aren't very wide, I don't need or want serious penetration, I just want massive damage in the first couple inches. Right now, for example, I have some 165gr +P magtechs in my G30 that I think are a good choice.
    I don't know the data on your current loading but just my .02 from reading your post.

    If you don't get sufficient penetration then you are not going to end the fight. If you don't end the fight quickly it puts you at at even greater danger of being seriously hurt or killed.

    I am not an anatomy major but I know that you have to penetrate through the breastbone/sternum/ribcage to hit vitals. You want massive damage to the internals, not just the first couple of inches. Find a good quality HP that expands and penetrates at least 10 inches in ballistic gelatin.

    As far as my personal choice on a load I feel like the 124 gr. +P loadings offer good expansion and penetration. These are a good middle ground for 9mm shooters.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

  14. #28
    Member Array Alien Nation's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    283
    I definitely like the mid to upper weight rounds. I especially like them (except for the .45ACP) when they are fast.

    A 165gr load from a .40 that's doing 1150 FPS is a great compamise of speed ang weight same with the +P124gr 9mm's. In .45 880-900 FPS is plenty fast for a 230gr bullet.

    I prefer my loads to be bonded as well for good penetration. There is a mid wieght class. It's not all either heavy and slow or light and fast. +p 124gr 9mm loads are that calibers middle weight. 165gr .40's are that calibers mid wieght. They offer good speed with great penetration.

    The reason I'm not including the .45 in that last part is because I'm not crazy about the .45's middle weights. I prefer a standard loaded 230 gr HP because the bullets for the .45 are made to expand at the lower velocity and they are plenty heavy enough to penetrate well.
    “You come at me with a sword and with a spear. But I come at you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you". 1 Samuel 17, 45-46
    Brian

  15. #29
    Member Array jbrooks175's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    AL
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by lexington86 View Post

    Definitely not a flame, you have some good data. But look at who the sponsor of the tests is... the MFR of the bullets/ammo.

    My personal experience with such datasheets is not nearly as positive. Wallboard and heavy clothing results are not as pristine as those I see in various data sheets.

    But, just my 0.02, also...

    JWB

  16. #30
    Member Array lexington86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    27
    Quote Originally Posted by jbrooks175 View Post
    Definitely not a flame, you have some good data. But look at who the sponsor of the tests is... the MFR of the bullets/ammo.
    Sure, ATK was the event's sponsor, but I think that can be thought of as just another way to advertise. All of the shots were taken by member(s) of an attending PD, numbers were recorded by the rangemaster, and those numbers were verified independently by members of an attending PD.

    Seemed pretty kosher to me.
    ~Lex

    "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
    - Pennsylvania Constitution, Section 21

    Dramatic Hamster (my avatar)

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

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
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Buffalo Bore +P 95 Grain JHP or +P 100 Grain Flat Nose in Sig P232
    By dbramhall in forum Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: October 11th, 2010, 06:07 PM
  2. heavy and slow, light and fast
    By Bricktop in forum Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: August 17th, 2009, 02:22 PM
  3. Why a heavy bullet for "light plinking load"?
    By tommy610 in forum Reloading
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: May 25th, 2009, 11:03 AM
  4. Heavy or light bullets?
    By metallicorey in forum Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: February 23rd, 2008, 11:10 AM

Search tags for this page

difference between heavy and light grain bullets

,
difference between high and low grain ammo
,
difference between high grain vs low grain ammo
,
heavy grain vs light grain
,

heavy grain vs. light grain bullets

,
heavy or light grain ammo
,

heavy vs light grain bullets

,
light grain ammo
,
light grain vs heavy grain
,
light grain vs. heavy grain ammo
,
light or heavy grain
,
which is better in 40 s&w light or heavy ammo
Click on a term to search for related topics.