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I had really good results (reliability, accuracy, low flash) with Federal Hydra-Shok 124gr +P from my SigSauer P228. Different guns "like" different loads, so your best bet is to try a couple and see what works best in your pistol.
 

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In my tests barrel length has made very little difference in performance. I prefer the 147gr JHP from Federal or Winchester.
 
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Remington 124gr Golden Saber +P+ or 115gr Golden Saber +P+ available from Jerry's here in PA, Federal 124gr +P+ Hydrashock and/or Federal 9BPLE 115gr +P+ available from http://www.ammoman.com or Winchester Ranger 127gr +P+ available from http://www.botachtactical.com.

I would strongly recommend against Corbon's 115gr ammo as I have personally used it against living targets (90lb Dog) and in a direct unexposed shot from a Sig M11 (P228) it penetrated 3.7" in the muscle tissues of the dogs neck and it took an additional two double taps in the skull and neck to bring the dog down/stop it from attacking, penetration was indiscribably/dangerously poor due to complete and total fragementation/over-expansion.

I also used this round (x3) to kill a large jack rabbit with an HK P7 and it also took three rounds in the head to finish the animal.
 

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We can see how David feels about SAAMI :smile:

Why all the +P+ ? And the Fed BPLE? The FBI stats show it getting about as much penetration as Cor-Bon. 10" or so. What about the 147's? I've heard lots of good news about 147 Golden Sabers.

-Morgan
::eagerly awaiting 9mm report::
 
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Why the high pressure/max power loads?

Quite simply because the 9mm is just not very effective against living creatures,let alone creatures determined to do you harm.

I have used it personally to defend my life and while I am in agreement that a pistol is a very poor tool to do so, I would never, ever depend on only a single 9mm pistol of any type given any other option.

No buts about it, plain low velocity 9mm rounds are almost (not quite) useless unless you plan to carry extra mags.

I know the rhetoric, and no I did not like being shot by a handgun but seriously, all gunshop nonsense aside about double taps, head shots adnauseum....
On head shots, they are the "urban myth" of defensive combat as I have searched far and wide and cannot locate an individual who actually used a planned head shot at any distance over 10 feet to end a confrontation.

Unfortunately the truth is that the 9mm is a very, very poor stopper and results can be very different from load to load.

It does have advantages and one is that the cartridge is widely available when outside CONUS and that is important to me so I do own and travel with 9mm pistols but will always choose at lease a 180gr .40, mid weight .357 Sig, 10mm or higher almost always at least two full size pistols and the highest velocity heavy loads when given a choice.

I have nothing against 147gr loads it's just that 124/127gr +P+ loads are more effective, I have tried working with the available 147gr +P+ rounds but the available bullet designs are not as optimized as the next generation mid weights and yes it is high pressure but I only use quality guns in good condition and I have several Glocks and HK's that have digested thousands of +P+ and NATO rounds without a hitch.
 

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"As to the 9mm the issue has never been effectivenss or any percieved "power" differences. The 9mm works and works as often as effectively as any other handgun manufactured when used properly and loaded with properly designed ammunition." -David on HK forum.

So what can these hot 124/127's and 115's do that the slower velocity (say 124gr +P GD) can't do? Or the even slower velocity 147's (like the newer 147 Talons).

Just curious.

-Morgan
 
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Morgan,
In all seriousness I am surprised by your use of my quote and your question.

The 9mm +P+ round is quite good and it does not suffer from a lack of performance or effectiveness.
It is backed by extensive lab work with good street results.

If you have read my other postings then you will know that I will not sacrifice one area to gain in another, in as much that I would not forgo accuracy for increased velocity or increased weight for reduced reliability or higher kinetic energy for reduced penetration and over-expansion.

The 9BP and 9BPLE are two jhp loads that deliver some of the highest accuracy potential from the 9mm auto pistol, the 9BP is an ok perfomer that is helped into a "good" range when the pressure is increased to the +P+ level resulting in higher velocity and energy without experiencing a reduction in penetration distance or increaseing bullet construction failure/fragmentation.

Federal spent a lot of lab and development time refining this round as well as the Hydrashock 124gr +P+ round and both of these rounds have been used in more LE shootings than all other 9mm rounds sold in the US they have a very good street record.

When Winchester began development work on a "new" 9mm police round they spent a considerable amount of research money on the 127gr +P+ Talon loading in the hopes that this load would help to recapture some of the LE market here in the US and they succeded in producing the most effective jhp 9mm loading available, it is optimized in all areas and it has helped the 9mm to remain a viable LEO offering competing with the .40 S&W here in the US.

The reason that I suggested these rounds is that they are the top performers in the 9mm class, the 124 and 127gr +P+ rounds out perform every other 9mm loading available hands down.

I don't really care about the light/heavy slow vs. fast arguments and don't care to debate them or even open a discussion on such nonsense, yes there are some ok to moderately good 9mm "heavy" loads be it in subsonic or +P+ velocity but they are not optimized as well as the 124/127 gr +P+ loadings and do not perform as well against living targets.

As to the +P+ or SAAMI being a potential issue in a USP, be serious.

The USP pistol series was and is designed to function with NATO and +P+ ammo with no adverse effects as stated by the HK USP development team the USP 9mm has proven time and time again to be fully capable of firing over 20,000 rounds of +P+ ammo with no mechanical breakdown or adverse wear and I will almost guarantee that very, very few Police Department issue USPs will ever see that many +P+ rounds and even fewer civilian owned CCW USPs will ever see half of that many +P+ or even +P rounds for that matter.

As to why +P+ over +P? if that is really your question then why +P over standard?
The answer is that the 9mm is a very tiny little bullet with relatively low energy and potential to do tissue damage at low velocities and going to "light" bullets as in 90gr and below to gain the velocity without increasing pressures to the NATO and +P+ level is just silly as perfomance from these rounds is so poor that you might as well carry a .380.....
The +P+ rounds are available and if you can get them buy them, if you cannot then choose the best +P round you can buy in your area.
If your gun is not a modern firearm in good condition and cannot handle the pressures then I suggest that you purchase a gun that can as this is your defensive use pistol system we are discussing right?

To say it again, the 9mm when loaded with properly chosen and optimum ammunition does not suffer from either power or performance.
But when loaded with mediocre ammo of marginal power some of the 9mm jhp rounds can be almost but not quite useless.

The 9mm is a border line caliber in as much as you can optimize your 9mm system to be quite effective or if you are not careful and choose poorly at less than optimum; you can effectively marganalize your defensive effectiveness.

It is a close line but when done correctly the optimum 9mm system can also be remarkably effective as the 9mm +P+ has a very low level of recoil, most of the good 9mm pistols are quite accurate when used with good ammo.

The 9mm is widely available, most skilled shooters can shoot the 9mm platform with a remarkable degree of accuracy and speed.
Most of the really good 9mm guns were designed as full size/high capacity duty guns and you can still purchase high capacity magazines for them quite easily giving the armed citizen an advantage in carrying capacity over some of the larger caliber pistols.

The 9mm when chosen wisely can be a very good defensive firearm.

_________________
Think, Plan, Train, Be Safe.
Thanks
David

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-11-24 04:07 ]</font>
 

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Two sides to the argument.

David knows how much I respect his opinion, but on this issue we disagree.

I personally feel that +P and +P+ rounds are a total gimmick. Once a bullet penetrates past the 12" mark in gelatin, then you have just about maximized it's potential to stop a threat. Obviously a .45 makes a bigger hole compared to a 9mm, but really not by much at all. +P and +P+ rounds add nothing but speed, and speed doesn't kill. A hole in a vital organ or structure kills.

Bullets fired from handguns merely make a hole. They cut, crush, and break the structures in front of them, and nothing more. The deeper, the better, the bigger the better.

I prefer the Federal and Winchester 147gr JHP's as they penetrate reliably to at least 12" in gelatin, and expand consistently in humans to around .55-.66 cal, according to the SFPD and other field reports.

The Winchester 147gr JHP in particular is one of the most accurate 9mm rounds available. It was originally designed as a match load, hence Olin Super Match.

The Federal 9bp, 115gr JHP is very accurate and consistant, but fails to penetrate even 12" of gelatin. This makes it unacceptable to me.

Accuracy isn't that big a deal to me, as most factory ammo offers more accuracy than I can deliver, especially in a fight. Having to deck a guy across a room doesn't require match grade ammo. Rarely does a fight even extend past ten yards or so.

Regards,
Clayton

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Clay on 2001-11-24 12:11 ]</font>
 

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Info from DocGKR on TF:

"This subject has been covered previously. For review, there appears to be minimal differences in terminal performance for most law enforcement and military caliber handgun bullets when fired in service weapons with barrel lengths between 3.5 to 5 inches. The vast majority of our testing is performed with 4 inch barrel handguns.
All of the following 9mm loads offer acceptable terminal performance for law enforcement and defense use: Fed 147 gr JHP (9MS & P9HS2), Rem 147 gr JHP (R9MMS & GS9MMC), Win 127 gr +P+ JHP (RA9SXTP), Win 147 gr JHP (RA9147HP, X9MMST147, RA9SXT, RA9T)

Although providing good terminal performance, due to adverse publicity in the popular press and media, the original Winchester SXT bullets, the "Black Talon" are no longer in production. A variety of bullets labeled "SXT" are available from Winchester, but their performance is quite variable. Generally, the civilian SXT loads have sub-standard penetration and/or expansion and should not be relied upon in lethal force situations. The law enforcement Ranger SXT bullets generally offer adequate terminal performance for law enforcement use.

The Winchester 127 gr +P+ is the only 9mm bullet less than 147 gr which has demonstrated adequate penetration and expansion in our testing. This bullet gained notoriety as it can penetrate soft body armor made of Spectra, although it is stopped by Kevlar vests. The downside to this bullet is the increased muzzle flash and blast and increased wear on the weapon due to the higher pressure loading. The lighter weight may be a disadvantage when intermediate barriers are present.

JHP handgun bullets often fail to expand when passing through heavy clothing due to the hollow point getting plugged, and the bullet then acting like a FMJ. The Winchester RA9T load gives more robust expansion and is less likely to exhibit expansion failure when passing heavy clothing. While the Federal P9HS2 "Hydra-Shok" has the largest expanded diameter of the bullets listed above, the blunt, rolled deformed edges are not as effective at cutting tissue and enhancing the permanent crush cavity as the sharp deformed surfaces of the Winchester RA9T. When I carry a 9mm, my first choice is the Winchester 9mm 147 gr JHP SXT Ranger (RA9T).

Recently, there has been a trend in 9 mm LE ammunition sales to the 124 gr JHP's. The most recent sales distribution data I have seen indicates 50% 124 gr, 40% 147 gr, and 10% 115 gr. Is it possible that the illogical hype of bullets shown to b e less effective than the 9mm 147 gr JHP’s is a result of bullet salesmen and gun magazine writers who need to sell a product? Perhaps the well documented success of the 9mm 147 gr JHP in California is a result of differing laws of physics on the West Coast than in other areas…….. Unfortunately, that conjecture does not stand up to scrutiny, as the extensive Royal Canadian Mounted Police studies determined that the 9mm 147 gr JHP was the most effective load for the caliber. In addition, during the ammunition trials for the U.S. Military M11 pistol (Sig P228) conducted by Navy Weapons Center Crane Indiana, the 9mm 147gr JHP was selected as the issue load for the M11, beating a variety of other 9mm JHP loads, including both standard pressure and +P pressure 115 gr and 124 gr JHP’s.

The largest independently verified study of bullet penetration and expansion characteristics in living human tissue has shown the 9mm 147 gr JHP to offer acceptable performance in law enforcement lethal force confrontations. A senior criminalist with the San Diego P.D., Mr. Eugene J. Wolberg, has analyzed their 9 mm 147 gr JHP performance in 10% ordnance gelatin and compared the laboratory results with the actual terminal effects produced in human tissue in nearly 150 officer involved shootings with the San Diego Police Department. When I last spoke with Mr. Wolberg in May of 2000, the majority of their bullets have penetrated 13 to 15 inches and expanded between 0.60 to 0.62 inches in both human tissue and 10% ordnance gelatin. This appears to be ideal performance from a 9mm. San Diego PD switched to the 9mm 147 gr JHP when their lighter weight, higher velocity 9mm 115 gr JHP bullets had several failures to penetrate deeply enough to create damage to vital organs in the torso and cause rapid incapacitation.

Other large California agencies with experience using the 9mm 147 gr JHP, such as Los Angeles PD, Los Angeles SO, San Jose PD, Santa Clara PD, Santa Clara SO, San Mateo SO, and San Francisco PD have had similar results. These and other California agencies successfully using the 9mm 147 gr JHP have thousands of officers with hundreds of officer involved shootings."
 
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Clay,
Perhaps we do not disagree as much as you may have thought at first.
The +P+ rounds do offer an advantage in as much that moving to a 5" barrel from a 3.5" barrel pistol offers an advantage.

I would have to strongly disagree that the +P+ loading spec as used by Winchester, Federal, and Remington is the exact 100% opposite of a marketing gimmick as the +P+ rating has actually hurt thier sales considerably and if the LE reps were allowed to call the ammo something else they definitely would and it would not be +P+.

As I have previously stated I do not dislike 147gr loadings and in most calibers I strongly prefer the "standard" or "white box" jhp loads from Winchester to the premium loadings when given a choice.

I do rely on the 147gr GD load in my Sig P210 as it is the most accurate load in my gun and from the longer barrel of the P210 I have no issues with the performance of the GD 147gr jhp.

However, and I do know that the 147gr 9mm has generated a lot of debate the issue remains that the 9mm is a small cross section bullet with an elongated shape
with a prepensity for penetration.

I do like good penetration and believe in 14" of gelatin when possible, but the 147gr rounds do not pefrom as consistently as I would like. They do not expand in gelatin 100% as stated and the people who are claiming such are not being honest.

Also, the Navy Crane results do not show a 100% rating for that endorsement.
They do rate the 147gr loading as "good" but it is not a glowing endorsement and they actually do specify that further development work should be done FWIW.
(for those that are interested the Crane and RCMP tests added into the Street Stoppers books are abbreviated versions included as anecdotal information. I do not believe they are intended to be the complete test results. Each test is fairly long and contains quite a bit more info and I believe it is worth taking the time to read them completely before coming to conclusions).

I have seen this each and every time I test the premium 147gr rounds and even the Federal PD load at least two-three of the rounds will clog/fail to expand and will then penetrate over 20" until they are stopped by the kevlar panel I use on the end of my blocks.

The Hydrashock and Golden Saber do this consistently and I have found the Starfire and Winchester SXT 147 to do this almost every other round.

I have tested the RA9T a total of 10 times now and I have had one failure to expand in the same .177 calibrated gelatin batch, same denim barrier, and same bullet lot #.

I have tested the 127gr +P+ T model a total of 35 times and each and every round has penetrated 13.0" to 15.0" and all rounds regardless of obstruction material have expanded fully with the exception of auto body steel panels and laminated glass.

I have said it many times before and will say it again you use what you want to, test your ammo and develop the optimum system for your use. I test for my own purposes and I have learned what I know of bullet performance from personal experience as both a life long handgun hunter and as a gunfight survivor and as a victim of violent crime having suffered personal gunshot wounds.

But before you lable me a stalwart please understand that if there was something "Better" in 9mm made anywhere I would own and carry it and when a new development comes along that proves itself to be worthwhile or offer an advantage I will own and carry it.

Until then I will continue to test and test and test some more.

*Note, I edited this message as I wanted to include the RCMP and Crane note when I first posted my response and I feel it is still valid as far too many people have emailed me with conclusions about them, I do not believe that Evan, Ed, or Palddin Press misrepresented or inculded them for some other purposes.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-11-30 19:26 ]</font>
 

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Good advice :smile: .

I've noticed that none other than Chuck Taylor has been mighty impressed by the Winchester Ranger Talon 127gr +P+ round. He recommends it above all others in 9mil.

With all ammo you seem to be forced to give something up, as nothing out there is perfect. Rounds that penetrate well may clog in clothing and fail to expand, while rounds that are unaffected by even heavy clothing may have other undesirable traits. Win. Ranger T ammo, for instance, is a bit difficult to obtain for most people and may not be the best thing to use in some jurisdictions.
 

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This is exactly why I'm thinking of moving to a higher caliber. 9mm seems to be borderline to me. Choosing what round you use can be a matter of life and death. I don't need those kind of thoughts running through my head all the time (who does). I can't do alot of testing on my own right now so I rely on data produced by others, and I dont like doing that.

That said, choosing ammo in any caliber is critical but not as much as it is in the 9.

The other problem is I love Glocks. They make great 9mm but personally I'm not all that impressed with their other pistols. 357sig is expensive to shoot, unless you reload, and is hard to find ammo for. And I dont like the barrel length on their 45s.

Switching caliber and gun design...what a
B&#*$
 
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Doomist,
It's almost somewhat of an odd relationship or a "hidden seceret" but a great many Expert people in the know carry 10mm Autos especially the Glock models 20/29 and to a lesser extent S&W 10mm pistols.
And this list includes guys like Ayoob, Karwan, Carter, Cirillo, Rauch, Rich Davis of second Chance and others who do not often "hype" the combo.

FWIW, I have even seen more than a few very vocal 1911 .45 supporters with very expensive custom 1911s as thier "public hip guns" with a G29 as thier "oh Sh.. gun".
In the holsters they use day in and day out.

Sometime ago I read a review of the G20 10mm wherein the writer remarked that it seemed that only "gunfighters" or survivors of gunfights carried 10mm pistols.

The full power 10mm has ample "power" to inspire confidence and it has the a great success record as a hunting handgun and as a "street gun".
If you like Glocks and want to ensure you do not need to worry the G29 is a combination that is unmatched for CCW and the G20 is unbeatable as a full sized large frame system.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-11-25 03:18 ]</font>
 

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On 2001-11-24 22:19, Clay wrote:
Good advice :smile: .

I've noticed that none other than Chuck Taylor has been mighty impressed by the Winchester Ranger Talon 127gr +P+ round. He recommends it above all others in 9mil.
But that is sort of like Jackie Stewart (am I dating myself?) recommending Dunlops for your Volkswagen :smile: Make the best of a bad situation, I guess.

Press on,
Jim H.
 

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In all seriousness, I should note that it is one of the better 9mm loads.

We make this too complicated.

Good hits (that penetrate to the required depth) are better than bad hits or rounds that fail to reach the vitals.

More hits are better than fewer hits.

Bigger holes (in the right place) are better than smaller holes.

Faster hits are better than slower hits.

That did not originate with me, I heard it from Jeff Gonzales so maybe he came up with it...he is a bright fella.

Best regards,
Jim H.
 

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Too complicated indeed :wink: .

I carry a .40, but I would be happy with a 9mm. if I couldn't make the hits with a .40, or couldn't afford to "upgrade" to a larger caliber. Maybe I should be more picky :smile: .

I should probably move up to a .45+P or a 10mm, but I really like my Glock 23's and I have a lot of confidence in them.

I tend to think that a person is better off choosing a carry gun that works for them and sticking with it. Better to be proficient with a 9mm than a piss poor performer with a larger caliber.

Once I have a bullet that penetrates well and expands most of the time, I move on to other issues.

Don't get me wrong, though. I do enjoy testing out new ammo, but I don't worry about it like alot of folks.
 

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So, in answer to my question, what can these +P+ rounds do, that the slower rounds do not, your reply is that they expand more reliably, yes? Before I proceed I should note some of these questions will likely be answered when you publish your 9mm tests.

As I said before the data I have for the 9BPLE says that it under-penetrates. Perhaps you have data that says otherwise. But to date, I have not seen it.

As far as the Fed 124gr +P+ HS, it's velocities are rather low, advertised at 1170, and achieving 1162 out of a P7M8. I acquired the following quote from Keith on the stopping power forum: "The R&D engineers at Federal Cartridge have told me that, by internal policy, their +P+ 9mm ammunition is loaded to no higher than 38,500 psi." Thus it is +P, rather than +P+. Has this policy, to your knowledge changed? Additionally, you've stated and shown that the Hydra-Shock is not a reliable performer, often the little spike aids in clogging. Shawn Dodson has stated a similar observation on other forums. However, the FBI data from 6/27/95 shows the standard (not +P+) HydraShock penetrating 13.35" and 13.10" clothed, at an average velocity of 1159fps. This demonstrates to me that it expands very reliably, as the penetration values through heavy clothing, and bare gel are very close. The website I acquired the velocity data from (a member of the P7 Cult) also shows that the 124gr +P+ HS grossly over-expanded in water (though water is not a valid test medium). For a comparison here's the link: http://www.rothenbuhler.com/gun/ammo.htm it did though, retain weight well through water. So perhaps it does do well, but 6 year old data doesn't comfort me. Any more recent test results with this stuff would silence my questions about this load.

I'm not concerned with +P+ rounds doing damage to guns used for defense, particularly a USP. I was just pointing out the plethora of +P+ rounds. I've not heard of any issues with using +P+ rounds in well designed 9mm pistols (Beretta's excluded).

But what is all this talk about low energy, and potential to do tissue damage at low velocities? Perhaps the second remark is having to do with the 9mm's small diameter, but when has energy been an issue?

You state that in the longer 5" barrel of the Sig P210 you are not worried about reliability of expansion with the 147 GD, this would seem to suggest that if the 147's were loaded hotter they'd perform better, and expand more reliably. But you stated earlier that 147gr +P+ rounds are not as optimized as the next generation of midweights. This seems like a contradiction to me. If moving from a 3.5" barrel to a 5" barrel offers an advantage in as much as moving to a +P+ round does, then how would 147's in a 5" barrel be good, and +P+ (or just fast moving ala PowerMax) 147's NOT be good?

Please understand I mean no disrespect and I only ask these questions because you are the most knowledgeable person available who also responds with regularity.

-Morgan
 
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