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9mm 115 grain vs. 124 grain Login/Join 
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Handloaders probably can tell me what the positives and negatives are of these two weights in 9mm. I understand that the NATO round is a hot 124 and that the really heavy rounds are needed to have sub-sonic velocities.
Put another way, why would one wish to use 124 if 115 works well? Mac


Mac in Michigan
 
Posts: 370 | Location: Below the Bridge in Michigan | Registered: July 04, 2015Report This Post
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My usual protocol is the 115's at a modest velocity for range use and 124 grain for CC or woods carry use.

It's not that one couldn't use different weight bullets & load combinations, just the way I USUALLY operate.

If one wanted to keep things simple, just have one load for everything. Most if us reloaders like to fiddle a bit though.
 
Posts: 3088 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Report This Post
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Thanks Sourdough44. Makes sense.

To impart the same energy, 124's velocity could be about 4% slower than that of 115. Not apparent what significance that has.

About 5 grains of WSF and either HAP 115 or Berry 115 HB, seems to work well in several 9mm pistols.


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Posts: 370 | Location: Below the Bridge in Michigan | Registered: July 04, 2015Report This Post
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I think a mere nine grains is insignificant. I load either 115's or 124's...whichever one MT Gold has on stock when I buy in bulk.

Never noticed any issues with reliability between the two.
 
Posts: 5225 | Location: Craig, MT | Registered: December 17, 2010Report This Post
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I have skipped the 124's, at least for now. I load 115's sometimes for casual plinking, but mostly reload 147's. I almost always shoot suppressed so I like to keep my 9's subsonic. Plus my carry ammo is 147gr.


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Posts: 4345 | Registered: July 17, 2007Report This Post
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Cost aside recoil impulse is a big factor in choosing a bullet weight. If you are just plinking it won't really matter, if you are shooting competitively and have to make minor pf a heavier bullet is usually better. Even if you don't shoot competitively it isn't a bad idea to load rounds that will have a similar recoil impulse to whatever you use in your carry gun (if you carry 147gr ammo practicing with 115gr ammo won't be the same) if you are training to get better at shooting.

As far a competition goes 147s usually shoot the flattest, but a lot of people load 124s as they are a lot cheaper and even though they are snappier it may not affect split times very much (or at all). A minor pf load with a 115 will be snappier than a 124 or 147 which is why hardly anyone loads them.


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I load 124s because that is the weight of the bullets I keep loaded when not at the range. (In CA a CCW is [still] about as frequent as that unicorn little girls always want.)







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Posts: 8545 | Location: It was Lat: 33.xxxx Lon: 44.xxxx now it's CA :( | Registered: March 22, 2008Report This Post
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I too use 124s for reloading a target/range round mostly because that's the weight of my SD ammo.

I think it would also depend on the handgun being used. My P938 came with a SIG recommendation of 124 or better. Apparently they thought the 115s didn't produce a recoil impulse suitable for the slide/recoil spring. I've read an article by Bill Wilson that discussed tuning recoil impulse to charge weight and engineering the slide recoil spring to work efficiently. It borders on rocket science as far as I'm concerned. In short I tend to think it depends on the pistol, the shooter and the given ammo. You're either going to successfully avoid malfunctions and be accurate or not. If not, it's time to try a different ammo assuming everything else is GTG.


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Posts: 3532 | Location: N. Texas | Registered: May 21, 2012Report This Post
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Recoil impulse. A 124gr bullet going 1100fps feels softer than a 115gr going 1200fps+. In a def bullet choice, both bullets expand the same, the heavier bullet penetrates deeper.


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Posts: 7652 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Report This Post
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I keep both weights on hand for loading. I see no specific difference in my target shooting with either bullet. Usually the 115gr bullets are a bit cheaper to purchase. I do not load SD loads.
 
Posts: 3723 | Location: Az | Registered: May 27, 2005Report This Post
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I seem to get better overall accuracy with 124 grain bullets, so I stick with them. Even better accuracy with properly sized cast bullets I whip up, and loading and shooting 158 grain LSWC-HP's driven to 910 fps is a hoot. It's like having 16 rounds of "FBI loads" on tap, and they hit hard.


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Posts: 2018 | Location: W PA | Registered: March 03, 2007Report This Post
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I use mostly 147's in USPSA, but prefer the 124-125's over 115's for the reason stated by fredj338.

My go to powder for 124 gr plated is Unique, very accurate. With LRN or similar I use powders that give the best accuracy at 1080 fps or less.
 
Posts: 932 | Location: Montana | Registered: October 20, 2007Report This Post
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Not sure the question has any answer.
You can ask about .45 Auto bullets, having a standard weight range of 185 to 230gn or .30-06 with a weight range of 110-220gn.
We can discuss the fine points of 155 vs 165 gn bullets for .30-06, but I leave that for magazine writers who need something to write about.
In 9x19, I find that 115gn just isn't quite as accurate. Now, you have to note that 115gn is the most popular weight for 9x19 shooters in Bullseye, where accuracy in the name of the game, so you may well find something different.
Some find that the longer 124gn bullet gives them more flexibility for COL/feeding reliability and more bullet tension. Some say you are all nuts and shoot 90gn bullets.
My favorite/most accurate 9x19 bullet is the Zero 121gn 38 Super JHP. How's that for splitting the difference?
So, are you complaining that you don't like choice or what?
PS: recoil impulse to me is almost entirely the slide coming back. I really don't notice that much difference in recoil—but that is just me.
 
Posts: 140 | Registered: July 28, 2011Report This Post
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As Noylj has said: An answer may not exist as to why two weights are in regular use in 9mm. I am certainly not complaining about anything. Goal is to profit from the wisdom of the crew.

Both the Berry 115 HB and HAP 115 are longer than a plain 115 FMJ - and that fact may be important.

Somewhere in the history is an explanation. But the why is less important that gaining insight into the effects of the two weights.

[again, the 147 grain is almost in a different category] Mac 09:10 EST


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I've been using Precision Delta 124gr JHP for a while now, and it's because I load them in .357SIG as well as 9mm. Because of the .357SIG requirements, I don't see the need to use 115gr bullets.

Being said, I just built a 9mm AR pistol and am tempted to buy some 115's, as I have a feeling I'm going to plow through ammo like crazy and it's going to be cheaper in the long run! Big Grin


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Posts: 6753 | Location: Idaho | Registered: November 20, 2007Report This Post
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That is a pretty small difference in weight.

What everyone said about recoil, etc. is true, but the difference between 115 and 124 is almost too small to notice in actual practice.




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Posts: 44446 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Report This Post
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I have used 124 Berry FP's with WSF powder for years until someone mentioned me to try the Berry 147 RN with the WSF powder. I have not went back to the 124's.

Del
 
Posts: 27 | Registered: October 17, 2008Report This Post
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That is interesting. Clearly, Del, you found something better when using 147 RN. What did you find was better? What pistol are you shooting them in? Thanks.


Mac in Michigan
 
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Six of one, half dozen of the other...with today's current crop of boutique CC bullets. Try 'em both, your pistola will let you know which it likes better...and do your testing out at 25 yds. Anything shorter is a waste of time. Rod


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Posts: 478 | Registered: April 04, 2012Report This Post
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Thanks. 25 yards does seem to be the distance where differences become apparent.
The science of the effects of size of bullet (length, shape, weight, and so forth) barrel-twist, and velocity must be contained in a reference somewhere. One can by trial-and-error arrive at a "load" that works. It would be nice to know why. Mac


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