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Discussion Starter #1
I've recently purchased a Taurus PT709 Slim 9mm and have put 300 rounds through it flawlessly. I've mostly shot 115 grain FMJ to break it in and have been carrying 115 grain JHP rounds. I've shot numerous mags of the JHPs through it too to make sure it would cycle. Today, I shot some 147 grain FMJ rounds through it to see if they would cycle well and they shot flawlessly as well. I noticed a little more recoil and a lot more muzzle flash, but managable. Is a 115 grain JHP round suitable for self-defense or should I seek out a 147 grain JHP round for carrying? Is there any advantage to carrying a FMJ round nose round for more penetration for SD in winter (more layers of clothing) or are HPs suitable?

I also carry a S&W 442 occasionally with Mag Tech JHP +P 38 rounds and typically practice with standard 38s. I'm not sure how the JHP+P 38 rounds compare to the various 9mm rounds. They seem fairly comparable.

Any thoughts? Thanks.
 

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Us gun nuts have beet trying to answer those questions for years, and still nobody has come to any agreement. Hold on to your hat.

Good 115gr JHP is fine. Good 147gr is fine. If it kicks more and has more flash, why not stick to the 115? Or split the diference and grab a 124gr JHP. They should be fine too if you do your part. People have survived .357 to the heart and 12ga to the head and died from a .22short hit. And the way ammo is here, People are taking what they can get.

And if your 115gr JHP gets plugged with winter clothing it will act like a FMJ and penetrate deep, it may still open. Maybe less than designed but it might. An FMJ will not expand at all in any case.

I have heard recently of bad performance from Mag Tech .38 ammo. I haven't experienced it myself. Might be worth some research.
 

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With a quick browsing through the "Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics" section, all of your questions will be answered.

The short answer is all premium ammunition tends to offer quality defensive rounds. Not only that, but they always provide their premium ammo in different grains. A popular choice is 124gr +P... If I remember correctly, before the Secret Service changed from 9mm to the 357 sig, they used 115gr +P+.

At the end of the day, your amount of training & practice is going to determine how much of a chance you have to survive a situation, not your ammo choice.
 

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I did some testing back a month or so ago on some ammo with my .380 (Beretta 85F), 9mm (Ruger P94), and .45 (SA XD45). For years I have been collecting the old phone books from a number of business in my area and I take them and duck tape (3) thick books together and soak them in a bathtub over night. I set them up at randem set yards. After shooting into them I can pull the bullets out and get a idea of what is happening with bullet expansion.

I tested PMC Starfire, Federal PD Hydra-shok, and the Hornady CD ammo. I have to be honest the Hornady ammo bullets expanded more of a true mushroom than the others. Don't get me wrong the others did a great job. I was rather impressed on the "full" mushroom the Hornady CD bullets made.
The Hornady in all calibers traveled a bit faster and had a bit more energy than the others.

If you haven't tried the phone book target give it a try. Gives you a good way to see what your ammo is doing.

Peace, Rhino
 

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I do test in wet paper, not sure it tells me anything about people vs bullets, but I do it a lot. Let me suggest a neater way than phonebooks and tape. Fill a 5 gallon paint bucket with paper, add a few drops of soap and fill with water until it's totally saturated. When all the water soaks in add more, repeat. It's a lot easier and neater to move than taped phone books and doesn't make a mess. One bucket will stop just about anything common for SD. for magnum hunting rounds stack two buckets.

And Tros has pretty much the thinking shooter's answer.
 

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All these debates do for me is to predict what will happen if I am ever mugged by 3 gallons of water, 2 phone books, and some thick gelatin!

I use 115 grain XTP's... or 124 GDHP's
 

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All these debates do for me is to predict what will happen if I am ever mugged by 3 gallons of water, 2 phone books, and some thick gelatin!
We better be careful! If phone books are involved, the gallons of water will know where you live and just might eat you for dessert! :dead:
 

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This is an on-going debate.... do some research and testing... But Shot placement is king and thats how it is. Doesn't matter the Caliber. Use grain that you are the most accurate with....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for your feedback and the links guys. I've done some research on the web as a result. I may do a little shopping for some other stuff just to try it out, but at least I feel comfortable that the 115 grain JHPs I'm currently carrying (along with my practice) are sufficient (not necessarily "the best") and not woefully inadequate. I've learned a lot from this forum and I appreciate the generosity of the members sharing their knowledge, opinions, and experiences. Merry Christmas and everyone be careful and safe.
 
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