• If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

9mm ...115 or 124?

Wdnobile

NES Member
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
22
Likes
20
Whats best to get 115 grain or 124 grain? Im told the 124 "shoots softer" but is better for defense... can someone educate me here?
 
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
5,001
Likes
9,598
Location
RI
Like most cartridges, 9x19 is a sliding scale - 115 has the highest velocity, 124 is in the middle, and possibly 147 and definitely 158 are subsonic.

Between factory 115 and 124, I never noticed a significant difference in unsuppressed handguns to make a meaningful difference for typical target/competitive shooting. A heavier bullet does a better job of knocking down steel poppers, but 9x19 doesn't have an issue with doing that, unlike say 7.62x25.

If you're very particular about sighting in your pistol, 115gr should shoot a little flatter, 124gr would be less so.
 

ReluctantDecoy

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Oct 17, 2017
Messages
4,475
Likes
5,023
Location
Cambridge, MA
Whats best to get 115 grain or 124 grain? Im told the 124 "shoots softer" but is better for defense... can someone educate me here?

As tuna mentioned, it's almost moot these days, as beggars can't be choosers. Aside from going subsonic if you're lucky enough to be somewhere cans are legal, I don't see a whole lot of difference when shooting between 115-147 in a pistol at relatively short range. Might make a difference when shooting for distance, but it sounds like you're more concerned with self defense. I'm hard pressed to tell the difference at my indoor range at 50' or less. I think you'd get more practical return from looking at bullet design as opposed to concentrating on grain if the focus is defensive performance. A good JHP is what you want in most scenarios.
 

Uzi2

NES Member
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
8,279
Likes
12,778
124gn is gods bullet weight just like 230 is in 45.

I literally just walked in the door from testing some 9mm 147 FMJ reloads out back and as much as I like the 124gr, I'm now sold on the 147s. They will be my go to bullet from this point forward. If you've not tried any, do so asap.
 

moojpg2

NES Member
Rating - 100%
9   0   0
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
2,009
Likes
3,210
124gr is what I carry and sight my red dots in for. Right now, I really don't care for practice, they all work fine. I also like124gr it because my shtf stash of 9mm is all 124gr NATO ball.

For reloading, 147 gr is actually probably the way to go as you can use less powder, but it's not a huge difference.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

NES Member
Rating - 100%
13   0   0
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Messages
31,621
Likes
39,050
Whats best to get 115 grain or 124 grain? Im told the 124 "shoots softer" but is better for defense... can someone educate me here?
165. I am serious.

If you can't get 165, then 160. If you can't get 160, then whatever you find.

Depends on your application. Target shooting? Self defense? Plinking?
 

CATI

NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
887
Likes
1,233
124gr is what I carry and sight my red dots in for. Right now, I really don't care for practice, they all work fine. I also like124gr it because my shtf stash of 9mm is all 124gr NATO ball.

For reloading, 147 gr is actually probably the way to go as you can use less powder, but it's not a huge difference.
At what distance do you see a difference on the sighting?
 

bfm

Rating - 100%
14   0   0
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
9,128
Likes
11,509
Location
Somerville
Serious question:
Would any particular bullet weight be preferred depending on platform (pistol vs sbr or carbine)?
Look up YouTube videos from Lucky Gunner and Paul Harrell on the subject.

Short answer, every brand and weight is going to be a little different. But in general, go 147. Some of the light weight ones get too much velocity and expand too quickly so penetration suffers. Similar to how some people will tell you 147 won't expand from a pistol, and I am sure that there are brands where their 147 hollow points will not get enough velocity from a 3" barrel to expand and others will do just fine.
 

moojpg2

NES Member
Rating - 100%
9   0   0
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
2,009
Likes
3,210
At what distance do you see a difference on the sighting?
I shoot a lot, I can tell at pretty close distance, but its not enough to make a practical difference for self defense or practice. If you shoot a lot and train a lot or compete you'd be able to tell but I'd say 75% of shooters would never be able to tell the difference in point of aim/point of impact across 115/124/146gr 9mm loads. Most people just cannot shoot well enough or dont shoot often enough to be able to tell.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
2,487
Likes
4,963
Location
Milo ME
I shoot a lot, I can tell at pretty close distance, but its not enough to make a practical difference for self defense or practice. If you shoot a lot and train a lot or compete you'd be able to tell but I'd say 75% of shooters would never be able to tell the difference in point of aim/point of impact across 115/124/146gr 9mm loads. Most people just cannot shoot well enough or dont shoot often enough to be able to tell.
Very true.

Penetration is more important in a self defense scenario.
 

bauer

NES Member
Rating - 100%
14   0   0
Joined
Sep 1, 2015
Messages
758
Likes
1,896
Location
The Land of Rocks & Holly
Look up YouTube videos from Lucky Gunner and Paul Harrell on the subject.

Short answer, every brand and weight is going to be a little different. But in general, go 147. Some of the light weight ones get too much velocity and expand too quickly so penetration suffers. Similar to how some people will tell you 147 won't expand from a pistol, and I am sure that there are brands where their 147 hollow points will not get enough velocity from a 3" barrel to expand and others will do just fine.

The heavier the bullet, the more penetration.
Thx. I’m in the process of migrating into the world of 9mm carbine/sbr for the first time so the hamster in my brain started to turn the old thought wheel. Without knowing powder charges I was thinking the longer barrel might allow a more efficient powder burn depending on the loads for particular bullet weights. Probably more of a powder charge/burn rate question than bullet weight but figured it was worth asking 👍
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
2,487
Likes
4,963
Location
Milo ME
Thx. I’m in the process of migrating into the world of 9mm carbine/sbr for the first time so the hamster in my brain started to turn the old thought wheel. Without knowing powder charges I was thinking the longer barrel might allow a more efficient powder burn depending on the loads for particular bullet weights. Probably more of a powder charge/burn rate question than bullet weight but figured it was worth asking 👍
Just picture this. If a geo metro runs into the side of a mall at 60 mph and an 18 wheeler also runs into the same mall at 30 mph, which will go further?
Same with bullet weight. The heavier bullet goes slower but penetrates further.
 

bfm

Rating - 100%
14   0   0
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
9,128
Likes
11,509
Location
Somerville
Thx. I’m in the process of migrating into the world of 9mm carbine/sbr for the first time so the hamster in my brain started to turn the old thought wheel. Without knowing powder charges I was thinking the longer barrel might allow a more efficient powder burn depending on the loads for particular bullet weights. Probably more of a powder charge/burn rate question than bullet weight but figured it was worth asking 👍

147s are more likely to be with in their designed performance range from a carbine than the lighter rounds which are more likely to be exceeding their designed velocity range. But again, they will all be different. 124 +P vs 124 standard vs 147 +P vs 147 standard. Both +P might be too fast and both standard might be right in the range.

The by the inch page has some good numbers, seem like optimum for a lot of pistols rounds is about a 12 inch barrel, some rounds are already starting to lose velocity again in a 16" and almost all are slowing down in a 20"
 

AHM

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
13,729
Likes
14,843
54wppa.jpg
 
Top Bottom