Best ammo for my 9mm sub-compacts?

This is a discussion on Best ammo for my 9mm sub-compacts? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello everyone iam needing help deciding on what ammo to change to for Self Defense in our Kahr PM9 & M&P compact. We currently use ...

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Thread: Best ammo for my 9mm sub-compacts?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Slim_45's Avatar
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    Best ammo for my 9mm sub-compacts?

    Hello everyone iam needing help deciding on what ammo to change to for Self Defense in our Kahr PM9 & M&P compact. We currently use Federal's 135 gr Hydra-Shok JHP (low recoil). But at about $1 per round they are very expensive & there for have not test fired a whole lot of them but they seem to be accurate.
    Heres what prompted this, i was reading my latest issue of Combat Handguns & the author states that finding a good load in a 9mm sub-compact is hard because the muzzle velocity is greatly reduced in the sub-compacts & there for most SD ammo does not fully expand.
    He recommends CorBon's 115 gr DPX JHP w/the Barnes-X JHP.
    Any thoughts from someone that knows about bullet characteristics would be great as i do not & want optimal performance out of our little carry 9mm's..........thanks
    Last edited by Slim_45; April 14th, 2008 at 06:55 PM.
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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Wasabi's Avatar
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    Try the Federal HST 147g from ammunitiontogo.com.

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    Distinguished Member Array Stetson's Avatar
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    I like 147 grain for self defense ammo as it's sub sonic ;less than 1100 feet per second as it mimics good old 45 just not as much knock down but I've got
    7 more in the mag.You got trade offs.

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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    I love the Remington Golden Saber rounds myself. We (wife and I) carry them almost exclusively.

    But, all things being considered, any round that your gun will feed reliably, and you are accurate with is what you should be using.
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    Senior Member Array Slim_45's Avatar
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    Whats the reason for the 147 gr Federals? Are they made for 3 inch barreled guns? Does anyone know where i can find info about this subject or know what ammo to use & how it works better for the short barrels? ..... Thanks in advance iam just confused about this
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    Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel

    Built specifically for the application in question (and sitting comfortably in my M&P 9c 24/7).

    Matt
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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    I would not go with the 147 gr in a 3" barrel as the velocity will be to low and they will not expand. I am currently use Remington Golden Saber , but the more I read about the CorBon DPX the more I like them and will most likely be changing in the near future. From the tests I have seen results from they seem to have good performance from all length barrels.

    You may want to check out this website as they seem to like the DPX and have run tests.

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    Last edited by Bill MO; April 14th, 2008 at 08:53 PM. Reason: added website

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    Senior Member Array Cap'n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel

    Built specifically for the application in question (and sitting comfortably in my M&P 9c 24/7).

    Matt
    I believe Matt has your answer. I use the regular Speer Gold Dot 124 gr. +P for my 9mm Beretta.
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    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    I am a big believer in Winchester Ranger 127-grain +P+ and use it exclusively in 9mm. At some point, I saw a recommendation from an employee at Winchester that recommeded using the 147-grain Ranger load vs. the 127-grain Ranger load in short-barreled guns because, while both perform almost identically out of larger guns, the 147-grain has a lower threshold for expansion and will therefore provide better expansion out of a short-barreled gun. Darned if I can't remember when or where I saw it, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel

    Built specifically for the application in question (and sitting comfortably in my M&P 9c 24/7).
    That was my first thought in response to the OP's question was the Speer SB load. However, in looking at Speer's numbers though, the SB load gives 1150 fps from a 3.5" barrel at the muzzle while the standard 124-grain +P gives 1220 fps from a 4" barrel at the muzzle.

    I suppose there may be a difference in terms of the threshold for expansion, but in terms of external ballistics I fail to see a difference. It seems that rather than designing a specific SB load like they did for the .38, Speer slapped the SB label on the 9mm 124-grain +P load.

    Just some food for thought...

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    Member Array dan728's Avatar
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    I read and liked the artical in CH as well I also agreed with the author as to 124 gr. being the best for short barrel. I carry 124 grn. federal hydra shok. seems to be accurate and does well in wet tightly bundled news paper.

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    Senior Member Array Slim_45's Avatar
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    So in my laymen's terms i want the highest possible velocity (fps) i can get? Thats what makes it expand faster, even in the short sub-compact barrels?

    What do u think of this winchester ammo?

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    Or what about Magtech, reliable enough for P.D.

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    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    You want a balance of expansion and penetration. The bigger bullet does do any good if it does not go deep enough to hit anything important.

    Personally, I would select a Winchester Ranger, Speer Gold Dot or Federal HST +P load in the 124-grain range and call it good.

  14. #13
    Member Array Gunney's Avatar
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    I like the Glaser 100 gr Power-R-Ball in my 9mms. Using the "ole" reliable phone book test (three Raleigh phone books stacked atop each other) I get expansion 100% of the time. Hydra-shok, Golden Sabres, DPX do not match this performance. Mostly clog with paper and become high performance round nose and zip through 2 1/2 3 inch thick phone books. PrB's will generally make it through the top book, stopping in the top third of the second. I realize that this is not the most scientific test there is and there is as many differences of opinion as there is bullet shapes, sizes and configurations. I just get a nice warm feeling when I see the way this round performs.

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    Member Array PSIShapiro's Avatar
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    I have a full-size M&P9 and have been using the Federal HST 147 gr. It feeds well and all my research suggests it performs well. Here is a link that has info on several rounds. Does make some sense to use a lighter, higher velocity round though. They make the HST in 124 gr.

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    the 147s not expanding is a myth, based perhaps on old data. I read the article and the author claimed that "X" FPS is required for expansion. That is the statement of someone who knows nothing about material sciences. A round could be made to expand at just about ANY velocity.
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