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Bullet Weight - Heavy vs Light Login/Join 
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Funny about the 357 Mag - I have three here now and all seem to shoot better for me with the Federal or Remington 125 JHPs than with 158s. These 3 include:

686 4"
GP100 6"
MK V Trooper 4" Vent Rib

For hunting rifles I like the mid sized bullets - 165 gr in a 308 as an example. In south Texas where I hunt I could easily get by with a 243.

Posts: 2640 | Location: Unass the AO | Registered: December 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Like a party
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When my ass is on the line, I go biggest hole, heaviest bullet.
Posts: 3817 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks! I'll check it out.

I was just using 9mm as an example. I currently carry .357 SIG, and am thinking about switching to 10mm, but I also carry .380 ACP from time to time.

Fascinating discussion - thanks all!

Originally posted by kkina:
There's a more thorough discussion of the different 9mm weights in the ammo section 115 gr vs 124 gr and 147 gr, but I lean towards 124 gr (HST) as a nice compromise between penetration and flat trajectory.

Phone's ringing, Dude.
Posts: 5648 | Location: Upstate SC | Registered: April 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use Federal HST 124s for SD in all of my 9mms. At this point, I tend to doubt that it will change.
Posts: 3212 | Location: Alexandria, VA | Registered: March 07, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Whack-Job
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I use heavy for caliber rounds. 158 grain for 357, 147 grain for 9mm and 230 grain for 45.

In 9mm I want maximum penetration. So, I use Winchester Ranger 147 grain RA9B. A bonded round. Very good record of ending criminal recidivism in actual street use. And works well out of sub 4 inch barrels. Which is all of my 9mm carry guns. Regards 18DAI

7+1 Rounds of hope and change
Posts: 4090 | Registered: August 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
War Damn Eagle!
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For a long time, I was a 124gr guy.
My 320s really shot that weight bullet the best, so I kept my SD rounds the same grain weight.

A handful of years ago, I was introduced to the 147gr round. In my Berettas, it was a match made in heaven. Better recoil impulse, softer/flatter shooting, and crazy accurate.

Now I reload exclusively 147gr bullets and have 147gr HSTs in almost all the carry guns.

"It pays to be a winner."
Posts: 12269 | Location: Realville | Registered: June 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I tend toward heavy and slow over light and fast, but I'm not terribly religious about it. In 9mm I've always gone with 124gr GD or HST for carry, and whatever I can get cheap for practice/blasting, which usually means 115gr although I have picked up .30 ammo cans of reman 124gr ball at gun shows from time to time. Now though, I have a 9mm/.45 can in the pipeline so I'm starting to play with some 147gr stuff. In .45ACP, 230gr HST. For practice, either 230gr ball or reloaded 200gr LSWC. I shot a lot of IPSC/USPSA stuff many years ago with 1911s and fired many thousands of the 200gr LSWCs.
Posts: 6394 | Location: Portland, OR | Registered: February 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Prefer heavier as a general rule, particularly with stouter calibers. With my carry caliber of 40S&W, I definitely choose 180gr over any of the lighter weight-bulleted cartridges.

Posts: 973 | Location: The commie, rainy side of WA | Registered: April 19, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In 9mm I prefer 124gr, +P, either Gold Dots or more recently Federal Tactical HST.
Posts: 5936 | Location: Northwest Indiana | Registered: August 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Telecom Ronin
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<<waffling>> depends on the bullets or velocity offered in the caliber

Back in the late nineties for 9mm I carried cor-bon 115gr as they were pretty hot and there was not the selection we have now. I also liked the Cor-bon 110gr 38 Spcl offering.

I also carried the 180gr gold dot in my Bulldog due to the lack of selection for .44 spcl offerings.

In the woods I carried a 185gr +p in my 1911...can't remember the brand but it came close to the 10mm 175gr Silvertip in performance....which at the time was quite hot but for normal EDC carried 230gr Hydrashocks.

Today there are so many good bullet designs that I will take any of the better brands in 9mm, I prefer the Gen 2 Winchester in 127gr +p+ in my full sized pistols but really like the non +p 124gr HST loading for my BHP or Ruger LC9s. I carry several mags either on my plate carrier or go bags which might be the Fed 115+p+ gr or standard 124gr / 147gr GDs. I figure if I have to use those mags any decent HP is better than FMJ.

In the smaller calibers I do not think it matters as much as in the larger calibers....

Now in 44 Mag I prefer the Hornady 300gr and it seems to be highly rated and I figure if I have to use it on a hog it will at least change his direction so I can run the other way.

For hunting rifles I prefer heavier for most applications.
Posts: 8130 | Location: Back in NE TX stay | Registered: February 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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9mm in G26, BHP and PT99/92: Speer GDHP 124 gr +p. The weight this caliber was designed around and every penetration test I’ve seen meets FBI guidelines. +p probably doesn’t add much in the sub-compact G26 but doubt it’s a negative.

.45acp in P220 and G30S: Speer GDHP 230 gr. Tried and true. Tried 180 gr +p in the Glock sub-compact and boy, was that snappy!


NRA Life Member
Posts: 82 | Location: Northern Michigan | Registered: April 30, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In 9mm, all of my 9's (P229, M11A1, P225, P230, Colt 1911 Gov't & Commander, and BHP) prefer 124 gr JHP's from an accuracy standpoint. I choose Gold Dots when I can get them and Hornady's when I can't.

In .40 S&W, I have a Sig, a BHP, a Colt Delta Elite, Bersa, and a Glock...all prefer a 155 gr bullet over the other weights with a 135 grainer as a very close 2nd. Again, the choice is based on accuracy with a proven defensive JHP.

In .45 ACP, I get equal accuracy from 200-230 gr JHP's but choose the lighter weight for it's miniscule recoil reduction. All feed well through my 1911's, and the sole Sig P220, so there's no real reason to go heavier. Gold Dots, again are the #1 choice.

HTH's Rod

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Posts: 649 | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Heavy for caliber, always.

tempus edax rerum
Posts: 1227 | Location: Oregon | Registered: March 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ignored facts
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In on of my 9mm's, the 124 cycles more reliably than the 115 gn.

I sometimes get failure to eject with the 115's. never with the 124's. YMMV.

Posts: 9262 | Location: The Beaver State | Registered: February 28, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have lighter solid copper HPs from SuperVel along with Gold Dot and Hornady XTPs in heavy for caliber. The first couple are SuperVel, followed by the heavier rounds. I sometimes carry different caliber pistols so how they are loaded varies a little bit.
Posts: 3 | Location: Central Ohio | Registered: December 27, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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