Question for You 9mm AR Folks

Question for You 9mm AR Folks

This is a discussion on Question for You 9mm AR Folks within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Knowing there are some very smart people here on DC, I have a question. I just finished my 9mm AR. This gun has a 10.5 ...

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    VIP Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    Question for You 9mm AR Folks

    Knowing there are some very smart people here on DC, I have a question.

    I just finished my 9mm AR. This gun has a 10.5 inch barrel so I need input from those of you who have selected a good defensive cartridge to run in one. I am a little hesitant to put boutique stuff in it that may run right at $32 to load a single magazine (32 round).

    I've thought of the Winchester white box (Ranger T 124 grain if I remember right) or maybe some 9BPLE. Or, should I go 147 grain since velocity is no longer any issue at all with the long barrel?

    Anyway, your wise expertise and advice would be welcome at this point.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits."

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    Senior Member Array DownInTheDark's Avatar
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    I hate to be this guy but here you go:

    BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: 9mm Luger Results
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    VIP Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownInTheDark View Post
    I hate to be this guy but here you go:

    BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: 9mm Luger Results
    Thanks. No problem, but I have used that excellent site for a long time. That really isn't the question. I would like some specific advice about which one of the many excellent 9mm loads is both effective and inexpensive - by reason of real world experience.

    I have no problem loading my wife's Shield with $1 a round defensive loads. I thinking about 2 to 6 32 round magazines for the sub gun. So quality at the lowest price makes a real difference.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits."

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    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChap View Post
    Knowing there are some very smart people here on DC,...
    I'm glad you said some, as I would not like being falsely accused of being smart.

    Ripping through 32 rounds of anything other than .22s will get pricy in a hurry. That's the downside of any AR version--they're ammo hogs if you don't keep them on a strict diet. Even the AR 22s can clean out a wallet.

    I, myself, wouldn't get too concerned about the cost of a good SD ammo, although I'm not one to spend extra on a "boutique" brand when plenty of others will do as well. For stockpiling for the EOW scenerio, a bunch of NATO 9mm would suffice. I'd be looking more to affordable practice ammo.

    And a reloading set up!.
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    VIP Member Array graydude's Avatar
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    I went with HST 147 gr +P loads for our PCC; they were only $20 per 50 round box a few months ago, now up to $30, but still less than $1 per shot. A longer barrel should make better use of the 147 +Ps than my carry pistols can. We have a handful of Glock 33 round happy sticks kept on hand.

    For practice we mostly shoot cheap 115 gr FMJ that have a POI about one inch higher at 50 yards.

    ETA: The 9BPLE loads aren't a good choice, IMO, because those 115 gr bullets overexpand and fragment at handgun velocities, decreasing penetration. At higher velocity from a longer barrel they may grenade out too quickly and not penetrate to vitals.
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    VIP Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    @graydude Thanks...that was sort of my conclusion about the 9BPLE too. I just found a good read by Grant Cunningham:

    What self defense ammunition is best for the 9mm carbine? - www.GrantCunningham.com www.GrantCunningham.com

    And more of a general article on 9mm defense loadings from Patrick Sweeney:

    https://gundigest.com/gear-ammo/ammu...o-self-defense

    HSTs would be ideal but the cost is rapidly rising. May still be a good option. One mag of good ones and a second of so-so ones. The new Winchester +P PDX1 147s look like a good choice, but about the same price as HSTs.

    And thanks for the thoughts @OldVet We got the practice thing covered. I can let the wife train on the 5.56 pistol with the Ciener 22LR kit I bought a long time ago and has served me well. Most people look for dedicated 22 uppers for training, but I've never found one that shoots any better for training than the Ciener.
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    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    I run 115 grain through my Sig MPX which has an 8 inch barrel, for practice. But I have a couple of magazines loaded with 147 grain HST for self defense purposes.
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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I cant answer directly to your question on the AR but I can say that Win White box HP seems to be the same as there LE and boutique ammo but in a white box. It has been suspected by more than one person that they just put product overruns in those boxes and sell them that way. I don't know anyone that works for win but if I did Id ask. DR
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    I cant answer directly to your question on the AR but I can say that Win White box HP seems to be the same as there LE and boutique ammo but in a white box. It has been suspected by more than one person that they just put product overruns in those boxes and sell them that way. I don't know anyone that works for win but if I did Id ask. DR
    WWB ammo is generally of the same nominal performance level as their premium stuff, but I am convinced that the tradeoff for the lower price is quality control - resulting in inconsistent dimensions and velocity. Just my observation, particularly with regard to 9mm.
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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    WWB ammo is generally of the same nominal performance level as their premium stuff, but I am convinced that the tradeoff for the lower price is quality control - resulting in inconsistent dimensions and velocity. Just my observation, particularly with regard to 9mm.
    So you think they are seconds? I haven't found any that were out of spec or inconsistent. If you are right, they would be startup and end of run bullets. That might account for some consistency issues in a very small number of them. But I haven't found any. Like I say If I knew anyone at Win I would like to know for sure. DR
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    Senior Member Array Gunnie's Avatar
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    We have a couple Colt 9mm SMGs at work for practice we use Speer lawman and for patrol they are loaded with Speer gold dots 124 +p. I say sight in the optic with your choice of defensive ammo then load a few magazines with carry loads. Practice with whatever ball you can buy cheap and leave optic set way it is and enjoy. Just like your carry gun you donít have to feed it the expensive stuff after you verify it will work.

    ETA: Iíd run whatever you keep for your carry pistol unless your set on going cheaper in which case 9BPLE is about the cheapest.
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    Senior Member Array BamaT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChap View Post
    Knowing there are some very smart people here on DC, I have a question.

    I just finished my 9mm AR. This gun has a 10.5 inch barrel so I need input from those of you who have selected a good defensive cartridge to run in one. I am a little hesitant to put boutique stuff in it that may run right at $32 to load a single magazine (32 round).

    I've thought of the Winchester white box (Ranger T 124 grain if I remember right) or maybe some 9BPLE. Or, should I go 147 grain since velocity is no longer any issue at all with the long barrel?

    Anyway, your wise expertise and advice would be welcome at this point.
    I donít believe WWB is the same as Ranger T. The Ranger T is a premium self defense line; it replaced the SXT line, which replaced the Black Talon line.
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    In a 9mm PCC I'd opt for a bonded bullet to avoid fragmentation.
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    VIP Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    I don't really know anything about this WWB except it is marked "Law Enforcement Only". I picked up a few boxes about 5 years back when I was helping my friend out at the LGS. The price was right, but I've never shot or carried any. I found a new box of 147 SXTs in my ammo stash, so I loaded one mag up just for a full-up weight check. I have some boxes of Ranger T somewhere, but I am leaning toward 147 HST's, or maybe some 124 Gold Dots. I am going to check my ammo suppliers when I get time.

    I've got some range-only stuff and we'll go break it in when we get a chance. I am getting gun-shy. My wife picks it up and aims at the ceiling going "pew pew pew". I hope she decides we need to share this gun.

    @entertainment72 I agree. Several sites recommend the bonded 147 PDX1.

    Thanks to everyone for your time and assistance - and in advance to those who have yet to comment.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits."

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    VIP Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    Remember, with the longer barrel and increased velocity, bullets will expand more and penetrate less. Some of the boutique loadings like Underwoodís loading of the Speer Gold Dot bullet show some interesting things. The 9mm bullet performs great in the 124gr weight with a 9mm standard or even a +p loading. You get that 12-18Ē of penetration, uniform expansion, and the near perfect weight retention we all expect from a Gold Dot.

    When you take that same bullet and load it in a hot .357 Sig out of a full length barrel, things go south. With the extreme velocity the cartridge gives that bullet (a bullet designed for 9mm velocity), you would expect increased performance, but the opposite happens. First of all the bulletin hits the target and nearly explodes. It almost turns inside out. The expansion isnít uniform or controlled, itís extreme to the point of being a problem. The extreme expansion could possibly cause the bullet to break apart, which isnít what you want. On top of that, the extreme amount of expansion negatively effects penetration. With something like a 124gr 9mm loading you will get around 14-17Ē of penetration with a 1050-1150fps, when youíre at 1350-1400fps like in a .357 Sig, the expansion will limit penetration to 10Ē or less. Not good.

    Thatís just one example of how you need to take into account the velocity when you choose your ammo. With a 124gr loading, you could be approaching 1400fps. Personally, for me anything 115gr or less would be out automatically. 124gr would be questionable. Iíd stick with a 147gr load personally. Iíd want penetration over all else in a defense ammo.
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