Short barrel ammunition?

Short barrel ammunition?

This is a discussion on Short barrel ammunition? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I just bought some Speer Gold Dot 124 GR+P Short Barrel Hollow Point ammunition for my Kahr CW9 (3.6" barrel) and PM9 (3.0" barrel). Can ...

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Thread: Short barrel ammunition?

  1. #1
    Member Array LAFLA's Avatar
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    Short barrel ammunition?

    I just bought some Speer Gold Dot 124 GR+P Short Barrel Hollow Point ammunition for my Kahr CW9 (3.6" barrel) and PM9 (3.0" barrel). Can anyone help me understand the benefit of the "short barrel" ammunition and whether the 3.6" barrel is actually going to benefit from it? I'm not sure that would be classified as short barrel like the 3.0" PM9. Did I make a mistake with the purchase? It was a decent price from Midway. I also bought Hornady 124 gr TAP FPD for the "house" gun (S&W M&P 9). Would I be better off using that in the CW9?


  2. #2
    Member Array gotammo's Avatar
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    To my mind short barrel ammo is a gimmick find one that shoots well and use them. If the same round can be used in both great don't have worry about did I grab the right box.

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    The short barrel loads are made for handguns that are not full size weapons.

    Most loads are tested out of a test barrel or a full sized handgun.

    The 110 grain federal personal defense .38 special loads are said to get 1000 fps on the box, but then when you look at federal's website they tell you (or used to) that the test barrel was 4 inches.

    I don't know anyone carrying a 4 inch barrel .38. Do you?

    Now, if the bullet is made to expand only if pushed faster than, say...900 fps, and you aren't able to get that from your snub nose revolver, then you are shooting expensive ball ammo, not JHP, because you don't have enough barrel length to get the speed you need.

    Speer short barrel loads are made specifically for shorter weapons. I have 135 grain gold dot in my .38 snub because it was designed from the ground up as a snubbie load.

    I imagine the short barrel stuff you have is made for guns closer to the kahr mini pistols or baby glocks than for a S&W 59 or a Glock 17.

  4. #4
    Buz
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    I thought short barrel ammo was designed to open/expand at lower velocities??

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    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    Oh, and that 4" test barrel does not have the cylinder gap like every revolver does. Be very skeptical of ANY advertised velocities!
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    Member Array LAFLA's Avatar
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    Thanks MitchellCT, that helps. I also thought I bought Speer .38 Spl 124 short barrel GDHP for my wife's S&W 640 Centennial revolver but realized that they sent me the .38 Spl +P 135 gr GDHP instead. It's been a couple of weeks so not sure if I can return it or not. Do you think it would work ok in the 2 1/8" barrel Smith?

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    That's what it was made for.

    Personally, I'm happy with anything in the Gold Dot line that works in my gun.

    Heavy, light, slow, fast...doesn't matter much to me.

    Its Gold Dot. It is more likely than not going to perform just fine, and if it didn't likely nothing else would have worked in that case either.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    The Gold Dot Short Barrel load bullet is designed to open at lower velocity. Double Tap also uses a 125 gr version in their snub load.
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    Member Array stmcelroy's Avatar
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    They are designed to open at lower velocities and use a powder that burns in the shorter tubes, thus maximizing their velocity.

  10. #10
    Member Array Bonesnofoa's Avatar
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    I have heard tell that when choosing a defense round for a short barreled gun just buy something that is lighter so speeds up faster.

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Here is a study with different ammo out of 3.4" barrells.

    http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs9.htm
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    Senior Member Array Freedomofchoice's Avatar
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    In addition to opening at lower velocities, short barrel ammo is formulated to minimize flash from a short barrel. It's what I carry!

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    Member Array blueridge's Avatar
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    Don't get them mixed up with regular Gold Dots - they look identical, and you can't tell which is which.

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    Distinguished Member Array ripley16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    Here is a study with different ammo out of 3.4" barrells.

    http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs9.htm

    That was an interesting read, thanks. i did find a mis-statement though.
    We feel a truncated cone-shaped FMJ bullet would provide the best combination of adequate penetration and wounding efficiency for both .32 ACP and .25 ACP. The truncated cone-shape is more efficient in crushing a larger diameter permanent cavity than a semi-pointed round nose-shape. Sadly FMJ-TC bullets are not available in these two calibers.
    Winchester makes a truncated cone .32acp round.


    I tested the Short barrel ammo specifically up against the Hornady TAP FPD 124 gr. 9mm, (which I like very much and carry in my CCW). I found the Speer ammo a bit hotter, with more recoil, but I could not get as good a follow-on shot with it as I could with the Hornady. I decided to stick with the Hornady in my P2000SK. Speer Gold Dot is quality ammo and I use it in my other pistol, a Seecamp. If Speer made the "Short Barrel" ammo in .32 I would use it in the Seecamp I believe, as expansion is very iffy from a really short 1" barrel.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    the only difference between the normal and the short barrel is that the short barrel has a faster burning powder, thus getting up to velocity more quickly. may also have a slightly differant designed bullet to expand at slower velocities.
    either way- its not going to do you any harm shooting it out a longer barrel.
    its what i use for my 3". i would have no problem using it in a 3.5", heck, i wouldn't have a problem using it in a 5", theres just no point to that

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