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Hi guys. New here and to guns. How does grain affect a bullet? I've seen 9mm in 115,124,147 etc. thanks in advance.
 

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Grain is a measure of weight.

Therefore, in your 9mm example, a 147gr bullet would be heavier and (assuming the same construction--jacketed lead, for example) longer than the 115 gr and the 124gr bullets.

There can be differences in accuracy and, when it comes to defensive ammo, terminal performance.
 

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Generally, the heavier the bullet, the slower it will go. The lighter the bullet, the faster it will be.
 

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Heavier bullets can have more momentum when plowing through your target. Heavier bullets can also cause you to have a higher point of impact from a handgun but that isn't much of an issue with handgun distances.

Most 'cheap' factory ammo you'll find on shelves is 115gr, because lead is kind of expensive. The bullet is the most expensive component in ammunition. I reload almost exclusively with 124 and 147gr bullets. I prefer the recoil impulse and I believe heavier bullets give me better accuracy in my handguns.
 

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1 grain = 0.00228571429 ounces
115 gr = 0.260 oz
124 gr - 0.280 oz
147 gr = 0.336 oz
 

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Are you ever opening a can of worms! I suggest you do a forum search on bullet weights and I expect you will find lots of past threads about this subject.

In general; lighter bullets go faster but have less penetration, heavier bullets go slower but have more penetration.
 

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... The bullet is the most expensive component in ammunition. ...
I disagree. Unless you are using reclaimed brass, the brass cartridge is, by far, the most expensive component.

Of course, most of us that reload, retrieve our brass so we hardly ever have to buy more.
 

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Hi guys. New here and to guns. How does grain affect a bullet? I've seen 9mm in 115,124,147 etc. thanks in advance.
We need to know more about what you're asking. 'grain' is a weight measurement. After that, the question you're asking needs to be clarified. Right now, it's a bit like asking "how does pounds affect a football player?"
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I guess my question would be, does a higher grain have more stopping power, or is it better used for self defense.
 

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I guess my question would be, does a higher grain have more stopping power, or is it better used for self defense.
Some will argue to use the largest bullet possible or will go with speed and a lighter bullet. I go with what I can shoot the best!

Stopping power depend on where you place your shot! If you shoot the BG in the leg or arm with a 147 gr will it stop a BG faster than a 115 gr to the head?

I personally carry a 125 gr during the spring, summer, and fall. When we take a winter trip to a cold area I go up to my 147 gr. But I'm EDC a 357 Sig.

Here is the formula for calculating the energy of a bullet.

Energy (ft. Lbs.) = (BW x V2)/Constant

BW = Bullet weight in grains
V = Muzzle Velocity
Constant = 450400

Here are links to Speer and Winchester Ranger T-Series which have the data point of their ammunition.

Speer Ammo - Ballistics Tables

http://winchesterle.com/Products/handgun-ammunition/ranger/t-series/Pages/default.aspx


I personally go with the ammunition I can put on the stop button with timely follow up shots! There is no such thing as a one shot stop!
 
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I guess my question would be, does a higher grain have more stopping power, or is it better used for self defense.
Too many variables, such as bullet design, velocity, etc. to give a meaningful answer.

I do, however, suggest you unlearn the term "stopping power"--it's a null phrase. I'll add that energy figures have very, very VERY little bearing at how effective a bullet will be, terminally speaking.

I also suggest that you read this: Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

It'll probably answer most of the questions you have.
 
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For personal defensive purposes I go with the heaviest bullet (most mass).

I am not a ballistics expert by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to me the more mass the more stopping power. I also worry about over penetration Therefore the more mass, moving at a slower velocity, seems more likely to encounter more resistence thus is lees apt to over penetrate.

However as many have pointed out the real key is whether the ammo you are using in your defensive handgun(s) works flawlessly time, after time after time.
 

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For personal defensive purposes I go with the heaviest bullet (most mass).

I am not a ballistics expert by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to me the more mass the more stopping power. I also worry about over penetration Therefore the more mass, moving at a slower velocity, seems more likely to encounter more resistence thus is lees apt to over penetrate.

However as many have pointed out the real key is whether the ammo you are using in your defensive handgun(s) works flawlessly time, after time after time.
Actually, all things being equal, (same bullet type--ie, 115gr Gold Dot vs 147gr Gold Dot), the heavier bullet will penetrate more than the lighter one. More mass=more momentum, harder to stop.
 

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I disagree. Unless you are using reclaimed brass, the brass cartridge is, by far, the most expensive component.

Of course, most of us that reload, retrieve our brass so we hardly ever have to buy more.
I was referring to reloading ammunition, specifically 9mm. Once fired brass can be purchased for 2-4 cents a piece. The going rate for bullets is around 10 cents each it seems like. I still have a pretty good stash of 147gr Xtreme plated bullets at 7 cents each.

I can't make myself buy factory new brass... Too expensive!
 

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Actually, all things being equal, (same bullet type--ie, 115gr Gold Dot vs 147gr Gold Dot), the heavier bullet will penetrate more than the lighter one. More mass=more momentum, harder to stop.
Maybe!
 

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Not maybe--almost certainly.

If both bullets expand, the lighter bullet sheds velocity a lot faster and penetrates less.

Example--these are all Winchester Ranger-T bullets.



Note how even the warp speed .357 Sig bullet doesn't penetrate as far as the 147gr 9mm.
 

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Not maybe--almost certainly.

If both bullets expand, the lighter bullet sheds velocity a lot faster and penetrates less.

Example--these are all Winchester Ranger-T bullets.



Note how even the warp speed .357 Sig bullet doesn't penetrate as far as the 147gr 9mm.
You are correct that the heavier bullet does penetrate deeper into "Bare Butted Jell-O"! But I doubt that either of us will be attacked by "Bare Butted Jell-O" anytime soon! I'm old enough to remember the Blob, but I think all the Anti-Bacteria soap has wiped him out!

Below is the terminal ballistics (FBI full testing) from Winchester's website for the Winchester T-Series:

Terminal Ballistics: Penetration 9mm 147 gr T-Series
Bare Gelatin - 13.9
Heavy Cloth - 14
Wallboard - 15
Plywood -14.8
Steel - 17
Autoglass - 10.8

Terminal Ballistics: Penetration 9mm +P 124 gr Bonded (PDX)
Bare Gelatin - 12.6
Heavy Cloth - 18.2
Wallboard - 11.9
Plywood - 15.8
Steel - 22
Autoglass - 12.7

So if the "Bare Butted Jell-O" is wearing heavy clothing the 124 gr goes deeper! OMG!

Again the correct answer is "Maybe!"

FYI -
Terminal Ballistics: Penetration for the 125 gr Winchester T-Series .357 Sig:
Bare Gelatin - 12.3
Heavy Cloth - 14
Wallboard - 12.7
Plywood - 11.8
Steel - 21.5
Autoglass - 11.7

Terminal Ballistics: Penetration for the 125 gr Winchester (PDX) Bonded .357 Sig
Bare Gelatin - 12.5
Heavy Cloth - 16.9
Wallboard - 14.7
Plywood - 16
Steel - 21.7
Autoglass - 12.8

So as you can see from above even the model of bullet can effect the Terminal Ballistics!

Again the correct answer is a definite "Maybe!" :wave:
 

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Diiferent weight are imbued with different magical properties, and therefore are used to stop the different colors of dragons of Shzulagrag. Now roll a 24 sided die and consult with your dungeon master..... in seriousnes... the dirrent weights are exactly that.... different weights. Heavier bullets go slower but retain velocity better at longer distances. Lighter bullets fly faster but will shed velocity faster over distance..... IMO, at handgun distances for SD, pick whatever functions best in your weapon and you shoot accurately. The best bullet in the world does nothing if you dont hit the kill zone.
 

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You are correct that the heavier bullet does penetrate deeper into "Bare Butted Jell-O"! But I doubt that either of us will be attacked by "Bare Butted Jell-O" anytime soon! I'm old enough to remember the Blob, but I think all the Anti-Bacteria soap has wiped him out!

Below is the terminal ballistics (FBI full testing) from Winchester's website for the Winchester T-Series:

Terminal Ballistics: Penetration 9mm 147 gr T-Series
Bare Gelatin - 13.9
Heavy Cloth - 14
Wallboard - 15
Plywood -14.8
Steel - 17
Autoglass - 10.8

Terminal Ballistics: Penetration 9mm +P 124 gr Bonded (PDX)
Bare Gelatin - 12.6
Heavy Cloth - 18.2
Wallboard - 11.9
Plywood - 15.8
Steel - 22
Autoglass - 12.7

So if the "Bare Butted Jell-O" is wearing heavy clothing the 124 gr goes deeper! OMG!

Again the correct answer is "Maybe!"

FYI -
Terminal Ballistics: Penetration for the 125 gr Winchester T-Series .357 Sig:
Bare Gelatin - 12.3
Heavy Cloth - 14
Wallboard - 12.7
Plywood - 11.8
Steel - 21.5
Autoglass - 11.7

Terminal Ballistics: Penetration for the 125 gr Winchester (PDX) Bonded .357 Sig
Bare Gelatin - 12.5
Heavy Cloth - 16.9
Wallboard - 14.7
Plywood - 16
Steel - 21.7
Autoglass - 12.8

So as you can see from above even the model of bullet can effect the Terminal Ballistics!

Again the correct answer is a definite "Maybe!" :wave:
Well, one small issue. In 9mm, especially through barriers, you will get a plug that stops the hollow point from expanding. The PDX round seems to be, from the tests I have seen, prone to not expanding. So in the case of the 124gr bullet that goes deeper than the 147gr, if the expansion was less, that would make sense.

The reality of the matter is this, the LAWS of physics say a heavier object will be harder to stop, therefore all things being equal the heavier bullets will go deeper. This has also been proven in live tissue by hunters for a long time.

But bullet design and the variables of clothing, movement, body mass, etc is just too much to overcome and create any real database that definitively says "XYZ bullet weight is better for killing dirtbags than ABC bullet". I just recently saw a medical report where on a frontal chest shot with a .45 acp and the bullet failed to make it to the heart by .5". Had the round made it that extra .5", the doctor said the guy would have died almost instantly. As it was, he lived (though I doubt he was fighting very hard).

So until the laws change and allow us to use child molesters and rapists as ballistics material (and a way to lower the cost of inmates in our country) we will just all have to carry what we think is best.

There is no magic bullet! (however, my 200gr +p Gold Dots out of my Kimber and XDs are close :biggrin2:)
 
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