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've chosen 147 grain (heavy) 9mm rounds of the Speer Gold dot variety, not because I like heavier, but because they still expand after penetrating ...

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Thread: Light or Heavy Grain HP's?

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I've chosen 147 grain (heavy) 9mm rounds of the Speer Gold dot variety, not because I like heavier, but because they still expand after penetrating 4 layers of denim. Something about the deeper expansion hole.
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  3. #32
    Member Array jbailey's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I may have missed it, but didn't see anyone mention the 200gr 45ACP loads (Gold Dot, Golden Sabre etc. for defense, lead for IPSC games/target). This way, I can reasonably expect the gun to behave predictably in any circumstance. The 200 gr round at just under 1000fps packs considerable energy and momentum, yet is manageable and pretty accurate in a shorter barreled carry weapon such as my Glock 36. That being said, I reload and sometimes adjust the charge weights to suit; but always practice plenty with rounds loaded to produce aprox. the same velocity as the commercial carry rounds.

    With momentum, more is better, higher weight = more momentum, but that alone gets us nothing - you have to have the right combination of mass and velocity to yeild the right combination of kinetic (stored) energy and resulting momentum to achieve good results. I think of momentum as the difference between stopping a VW Beetle and a tractor-trailer at 50 mph. Too much momentum with too little resistance from bullet expansion etc. = over penetration.

    For instance, a 321 lb. person could stand on a nail, and yet not shove it through a piece of wood and result in no work done and 0 momentum, yet a 16 oz hammer strike at the appropriate velocity sends her home!

    By the way, for me, the low pressure 45ACP is no more uncomfortable to shoot than my 9mm S&W, and actually, a lot less "snappy" than the .40 or .357 Sig. I think that if one sticks to the non- +P loads the 45 actually is very manageable and those who have written this cal. off without trying it because they associate bullet dia. with recoil are missing out on maybe the best defensive choice in weapons.

    A while back, I read a post (can't remember where, or I'd try to link to it) on the net written by an autopsy technician in Atlanta GA. Summarizing his posts, he found that in order of one-shot kill frequency, the 45ACP was numero ono in handgun calibers, as attested to by his "customers". Admittedly, revolver caliber deaths were less probably because of the popularity of hi-cap autos on the street.

    If you know what velocity you are shooting, you can calculate the energy in ft/lb using this formula:

    KE= MV^2/450436

    That is mass times velocity squared, all devided by 450436.
    The factor 450436 gets everything to ft/lbs of energy without doing the unit conversions.

    Example: 200gr bullet @ 850fps

    KE= 200g(850)(850) / 450436 = 321 ft/lb

    Just my 2c worth, hope this helps,

    Jim

  4. #33
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Question Flying Ashtray?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbailey View Post
    I may have missed it, but didn't see anyone mention the 200gr 45ACP loads (Gold Dot, Golden Sabre etc. for defense, lead for IPSC games/target). Jim
    Wasn't the old SPEER FLYING ASHTRAY, a 200gr round? Super HUGE opening to the hollowpoint gave it it's nickname. In fact IIRC that was the primary reason early models of 1911 had the feedramps poliched and throated to keep them feeding. In fact that opened up the entire industry of gunsmith modifications to the behemoth it's become...right? I'm talking like the late 1960s here.
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  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier View Post
    Wasn't the old SPEER FLYING ASHTRAY, a 200gr round? Super HUGE opening to the hollowpoint gave it it's nickname. In fact IIRC that was the primary reason early models of 1911 had the feedramps poliched and throated to keep them feeding. In fact that opened up the entire industry of gunsmith modifications to the behemoth it's become...right? I'm talking like the late 1960s here.

    Absolutely correct!

    I remember in the '70's I had to throat my Colt Series 70 to feet that Speer. The bullet fragmented badly on impact, however, but it did look mean!

    I kept 2 of those rounds till now, and test any new 1911 pattern with them to see if it feeds OK. So far, all my Springfields, including the 3.5" Micro, feed them fine.

    The 20 grain .45 is a nice balance, IMO.

    JWB

  6. #35
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    I handloaded a few boxes of the Speer 200 grain bullet back in the late 70's. They didn't perform in my non-tests like their fearsome appearance should have indicated. Running them full throttle at around 1000fps didn't help.

  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier View Post
    Wasn't the old SPEER FLYING ASHTRAY, a 200gr round? Super HUGE opening to the hollowpoint gave it it's nickname. In fact IIRC that was the primary reason early models of 1911 had the feedramps poliched and throated to keep them feeding. In fact that opened up the entire industry of gunsmith modifications to the behemoth it's become...right? I'm talking like the late 1960s here.

    Not an ashtray, A Cigar Stand! Ha

    Jim

  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
    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.
    I'm just not looking for 10" - I'm not a cop, I can't shooting into cars and I shouldn't really be shooting people in the side either (i.e. through the arm into the chest). I carry a pistol to shoot someone up close in the chest. For me, more like 8-10" is pretty ideal. I want the round to hit and explode, the heart and lungs are only a couple inches below the ribs (of course there's muscle and fat on top of the ribs). If you look at the handgun ammo used to defeat body armor, most of it really, really light - but fast.

    For me with the compact G30, I like the +P 165grain,
    Here's some specs, it's a pretty wild round: http://www.magtechammunition.com/sit...search=details

    If I had a FS carry .45, I'd probably carry a 230grain though.

    As for your rec for the 9mm, again, if I were a cop I might carry124gr. but for me, (in my compact M&P), I carry 115gr +p+

  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    <snip>So, in a pistol my selection is a ~full-sized 9mm in 124gr in the hardest-hitting round I can find (DoubleTap JHP 124gr +P), since I'm able to equally manage on-target performance equally with all rounds I've found (in my specific gun and level of training). <snip>
    Hi,

    Have you looked at Double Tap's 115 gr rounds? An amazing 511# at the barrel (G19) while the 124 gr round produces 462#. Better than Cor*Bon, and Cor*Bon's better than the other standard company's rounds. I might send for a box of DT's 115gr and 124gr rounds and see how they work out of my little gun ...and my wife's.

    BTW, if you can conceal it OK, the full-sized guns are sure a breeze to shoot compared to the little guys. My little PM9 takes practice, but my wife's slightly larger XD (9mm) is a sweet shooting gun. I don't know what it is, but those Springfields just naturally point... For her and me, the XD has been the easiest to get accurate with when it comes to time or number of rounds fired. Sweet little gun.

    Brian

    PS: I lust after the XD45 now...

  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
    Calculating energy or momentum are equally valid, but you must consider the mass of the pistol (which decreases as the magazine empties) and to some extent the mass of the hands and arms gripping it as well as the bullet.

    The energy released when the powder burns does 2 things:

    (1) imparts equal energy to moving the pistol and its support in 1 direction and to moving the bullet in the opposite direction.

    (2) imparts equal amounts of momentum to moving the pistol and its support in one direction and to moving the bullet in the opposite direction.

    The only way to attain a reasonable value for the speed of a bullet exiting your firearm is to measure it with a chronograph; then you can use the known mass of the bullet and the known speed to calculate its energy and momentum. Everything else is guesswork.
    Yes ...but. The firearm-to-firearm differences aren't due to the weight of the gun, but instead to the barrel length and the head space (primarily) with the cartridge loaded. Study after study has shown that the round leaves the barrel before the gun recoils, so what the gun is doing once the bullet is gone doesn't matter when it comes to energy or momentum. The bigger issue is how well can you get your gun back on target after a shot, and how well can you control the natural snap that occurs so you don't have to do too much to get it back on target. THAT's where gun weight and how it fits you becomes an issue (not to mention practice.)

    I may have to buy a slightly larger gun sometime since my little PM9 (great deep cover gun) doesn't fit my big hands very well. I'm 6'3", 255#, long legs, long hands. The A-Grip that I put on helps, but it's not a miracle worker. Double-stackers fit me a LOT better, even if the gun is just as small. It took several thousand rounds with the PM9 to master it, and I still shoot other guns better. Single shot is fine, but double-tapping is tougher and you have to be current in your practicing.

    Brian

  11. #40
    Member Array conservaDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alien Nation View Post
    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.
    ...Except that all the data is from whatever cops use, and what they use is a department decision not necessarily (in the beginning) based on anything more than the science and numbers we've been discussing here plus a few gelatin tests. Police departments (etc) don't experiment a lot as far as I know, so it's hard to say out some of the other brands and bullet weights would work on the street. That said, I think the Speer 124 gr Gold Dot in 9mm is the most common street round and has a good performance record. I could be wrong but I think I read that somewhere... Or WAS the most popular. It seems everybody is switching to .40 S&W nowadays.

    Brian

  12. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by conservaDude View Post
    Have you looked at Double Tap's 115 gr rounds?
    Have looked at them all. And, yes, they're "better" than CorBon from an energy and penetration standpoint. The 124gr flavor happens to be my preference, given the mix of penetration and energy. Far more importantly, though, is that they're exceedingly reliable in my specific guns. That's about 95% of what matters, for me. Nicely, they pack a punch. To my way of thinking, these are one of the best rounds made, for a 9mm pistol.
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  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by conservaDude View Post
    ...Except that all the data is from whatever cops use, and what they use is a department decision not necessarily (in the beginning) based on anything more than the science and numbers we've been discussing here plus a few gelatin tests. Police departments (etc) don't experiment a lot as far as I know, so it's hard to say out some of the other brands and bullet weights would work on the street. That said, I think the Speer 124 gr Gold Dot in 9mm is the most common street round and has a good performance record. I could be wrong but I think I read that somewhere... Or WAS the most popular. It seems everybody is switching to .40 S&W nowadays.

    Brian
    I don't choose which loads I test for myself just because an LEA chose it. I go by thier actual effectiveness on the street. I also choose loads for testing based on the manufactures claims. The important part is I test for myself. I use 1 gallon water bags, denim and cotton clothing. I also have hunted deer with most of the loads I've tested(legal in Ky). One load has stood out from the rest. The Gold Dot. In 9mm, .40, .45 especially. The .45 was the best as far as quick kills. The 9 and .40 were not far behind and so close to equal that I couldn't determine a winner there. They all killed deer well. I tok no shot less than 8-10 yds and no more than 30 yds. All deer were killed with one shot to the vitals. The farthest any ran after the shot was 80 yards. I've seen as much from high powered rifles.

    I gotta admit though that I'm very excited to test out the Fed. HST loads.
    “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

  14. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alien Nation View Post
    I don't choose which loads I test for myself just because an LEA chose it. I go by thier actual effectiveness on the street. I also choose loads for testing based on the manufactures claims. The important part is I test for myself. I use 1 gallon water bags, denim and cotton clothing. I also have hunted deer with most of the loads I've tested(legal in Ky). One load has stood out from the rest. The Gold Dot. In 9mm, .40, .45 especially. The .45 was the best as far as quick kills. The 9 and .40 were not far behind and so close to equal that I couldn't determine a winner there. They all killed deer well. I tok no shot less than 8-10 yds and no more than 30 yds. All deer were killed with one shot to the vitals. The farthest any ran after the shot was 80 yards. I've seen as much from high powered rifles.

    I gotta admit though that I'm very excited to test out the Fed. HST loads.
    Sounds like you'd be fun to go shooting with! Have you tested the Double Tap's v. Speer's Gold Dots?

    As luck would have it, the Gold Dot is the one round that sometimes FTFs (usually the first out of the mag too) in my PM9. I've hesitated to send the gun in to Kahr because it shoots so perfectly otherwise ...but Gold Dots are so popular. I get one FTF in every 100 to 200 rounds or so ...just barely enough to make you nervous. You know how ol' Murphy can be. I'll trade this thing in on an XD9 like my wife's someday...

    Brian

  15. #44
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    An XD 9mmSC would be awsome! Have you tried polishing your PM9's feed ramp? I haven't tested the DT loads. I would imagine they would be even better if you don't mind the extra recoil. I personally don't like +P ammo in anything but 9mm and .38spcl.

    It really sucks! I used to have all the recovered bullets, but we got beat up pretty bad by F-4 tornado a couple years ago and lost pretty much everything. I'm still trying to recover the financial burden of that one!

    Oh! Thanks by the way. I try to be a fun person to hang around with.
    “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

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