9 mm 147 gr LE testing

So we had an opportunity to run some 9 mm 147 gr comparison testing for an LE agency, including gel and accuracy testing using a gen3 G19 with OEM barrel.

Had some surprising results.

9 mm Speer 147 gr G2 at 955 fps (accuracy 95-0x):
BG: Pen = 13.8”, RD = 0.53”, RL = 0.45”, RW = 147.5 gr
4LD: Pen = 20+”, RD = 0.35”, RL = 0.65”, RW = 147.0 gr (all rounds failed to expand)
AG: Pen = 10.5”, RD = 0.65”, RL = 0.54”, RW = 147.5 gr

9 mm Win 147 gr RA9B at 953 fps (accuracy 95-3x):
BG: Pen = 13.8”, RD = 0.55”, RL = 0.46”, RW = 147.5 gr
4LD: Pen = 15.5”, RD = 0.53”, RL = 0.50”, RW = 147.9 gr
AG: Pen = 17.5”, RD = 0.44”, RL = 0.53”, RW = 147.1 gr

9 mm Fed 147 gr HST at 998 fps (accuracy 96-4x):
BG: Pen = 12.5”, RD = 0.63”, RL = 0.42”, RW = 147.4 gr
4LD: Pen = 12.5”, RD = 0.56”, RL = 0.48”, RW = 147.5 gr
AG: Pen = 12.5”, RD = 0.63”, RL = 0.48”, RW = 146.6 gr


Bare Gel: Far left is Fed 147 gr HST control; top row is Speer 147 gr G2 PT, bottom row is Winchester 147 gr RA9B JHP


4LD: Far left is Fed 147 gr HST control; top row is Speer 147 gr G2 PT, bottom row is Winchester 147 gr RA9B JHP

While the bare gel results were as expected, this lot of Speer G2 did not fare well in the 4LD testing. Keep in mind that early batches of HST had similar issues. ATK is sending out a new lot for us to re-test.

As usual, Fed 147 gr HST demonstrated outstanding performance--very consistent and highly recommended for LE agency use.

Original Post

Good stuff as always Doc!

I'm very interested in this, since my agency issues RA9B, and it's been involved in a couple incidents.  

 

Could you breakdown the abbreviations for me? Specifically, RD, RL, and AG?

Thanks.

"Absorb what is useful.  Discard what is useless.  Add what is specifically your own." -Bruce Lee

The RA9B worked well in this test.  Use it without worry.

 

PEN= Deepest Penetration Depth of Recovered Projectile Ave

RD = Bullet Recovered Diameter Ave

RL = Bullet Recovered Length Ave
RW = Bullet Recovered Weight Ave

BG = Bare Gel

4LD = 4 Layer Denim Covering Gel

AG = Laminated Automobile Glass Windshield in Front of Gel Block

 

When I look at these numbers, my first thought is that the Federal HST almost acts as if it were a bonded round. Especially when looking at the AG numbers. 

 

 

 

Joined: 4-23-04                                          Location: SW Ohio

Doc,

Much obliged to you for posting this data. Any thoughts between the HST 147gr and 147gr +P?

 

Many thanks,

Ek

Personally, I'm interested in keeping other people from building Utopia, because the more you believe you can create heaven on earth the more likely you are to set up guillotines in the public square to hasten the process. -- James Lileks

"Be the lack of Bullshit you wish to see in the world around you."

Joined: 8/12/05 6:56 PM                        Location: Oklahoma (not by choice)

We issue the RA9B. I was involved in the process of selecting it (with much guidance from DocGKR). I wanted the HST but we had trouble sourcing it due to state contracts etc.  We have been satisfied with the RA9B, but there has been recent talk of going to the Speer G2. I'm certainly interested how this will pan out.

We switched to the Winchester RA9T in 2011. I've been trying to push the concept of having a secondary approved duty round in case of supply issues. The 147 gr HST is what I've been pushing as the secondary approved duty round. 

 

 

 

Joined: 4-23-04                                          Location: SW Ohio

All agencies should have an alternative approved back-up round from a different vendor, much like the FBI has done with their 5.56 mm procurement.

 

For example approve Gold Dot and Win Bonded; HST and Ranger Talon; G2 and Critical Duty.

Originally Posted by DocGKR:

All agencies should have an alternative approved back-up round from a different vendor, much like the FBI has done with their 5.56 mm procurement.

 

For example approve Gold Dot and Win Bonded; HST and Ranger Talon; G2 and Critical Duty.

This is a good idea. I'm going to work on implementing something like this.  

Can anyone confirm/deny if there are any issues in running 147 gr rounds in handguns in terms of reliability, wear, etc.? I recall reading something a while back to the effect that 147 was designed for sub-guns and 124 is optimal in 9mm.

 

Nooooooooo!!!

 

9 mm 147 gr standard pressure is LESS stressful to pistols than typical duty 9 mm 124 gr +P and 124 NATO loads.  Look at the recent test we ran here showing much higher velocities (along with pressures), as well as perceived recoil with 124 gr:  https://www.lightfighter.net/to...o-boxes-of-m882-ball

 

------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Now the original 9mm 147 gr sub-sonic loads back in the late 1980's were indeed designed for suppressed SMG's.  As a result, they tended to have too LOW a velocity when fired from handguns--the exact opposite of the issue you are describing.  On the other hand, some 9 mm 124 gr FMJ loads built for SMG use tend to be VERY hot and high pressure and can cause premature wear in handguns.

 

I work for the NYS Courts and they mandate a 147gr 9mm Subsonic for the Glock 19 and 26 (our only allowed weapons), but leave it at that. Pretty much they leave the individual Officer to find ammo as they don't issue any or mandate a certain round. It's a pain in the ass to find from any maker around here since no one appears to use it besides us. I scour shows looking for it and was lucky to pick up a few boxes of the Winchester RA9B last year.

The WTC Was My Battleship Row....

Joined: 16 Dec 2004 

Originally Posted by DocGKR:

Can anyone confirm/deny if there are any issues in running 147 gr rounds in handguns in terms of reliability, wear, etc.? I recall reading something a while back to the effect that 147 was designed for sub-guns and 124 is optimal in 9mm.

 

Nooooooooo!!!

 

9 mm 147 gr standard pressure is LESS stressful to pistols than typical duty 9 mm 124 gr +P and 124 NATO loads.  Look at the recent test we ran here showing much higher velocities (along with pressures), as well as perceived recoil with 124 gr:  https://www.lightfighter.net/to...o-boxes-of-m882-ball

 

------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Now the original 9mm 147 gr sub-sonic loads back in the late 1980's were indeed designed for suppressed SMG's.  As a result, they tended to have too LOW a velocity when fired from handguns--the exact opposite of the issue you are describing.  On the other hand, some 9 mm 124 gr FMJ loads built for SMG use tend to be VERY hot and high pressure and can cause premature wear in handguns.

 

Excellent; thanks much.

Originally Posted by shogun187:

Can anyone confirm/deny if there are any issues in running 147 gr rounds in handguns in terms of reliability, wear, etc.? I recall reading something a while back to the effect that 147 was designed for sub-guns and 124 is optimal in 9mm.

I work for an agency who's staffing has hovered around the 1,000 officer mark since the 1970's. We have used the 147 gr 9mm as a training round and a duty round since leaving the 38 special in the late 1980's. We only recently switched to 115 gr FMJ training ammunition within the last two years. This was only done as a result of availability of the 115 gr training rounds vs. the 147 gr TMJ training rounds. 

 

After running about 1,000 guns for 25+ years, I would have to say the answer is, Nope.

 

 

 

Joined: 4-23-04                                          Location: SW Ohio

Without getting into the weeds and taking this off track, am I giving up much by running standard pressure 124 grain HST over the 147 grain?

 

I went that route strictly due to local availability.

 

Thanks,
Wayne

__________________________ Those kids need some fucking mentors. The beating stops when the bleeding stops. How fucking hard is that?-DZ Folk don't like the Bible until its time wipe every bad guy from the face of the Earth, and suddenly, its The Playbook. -Duke

Originally Posted by DocGKR:

All agencies should have an alternative approved back-up round from a different vendor, much like the FBI has done with their 5.56 mm procurement.

 

For example approve Gold Dot and Win Bonded; HST and Ranger Talon; G2 and Critical Duty.

 

Does this include the Defend ammo in the Win. Train & Defend ammo boxes?

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of “loyalty” and “duty.” Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute – get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed.”

- Robert A. Heinlein

 

Joined: 4/22/09          Location: WI

Originally Posted by Joe007:

So if I loaded a number of personal standby mags with 147 hold dot I have a problem? 

No, this was a test of the new Gold Dot G2, the older versions of the Gold Dot 9mm are GTG

______________________________________________________________________

"...because without beer, things do not seem to go as well."

Diary of Brother Epp, Capuchin monastery Munjor, Kansas 1902 ___________________________

если не я тогда, кто?

___________________________

"Suppressive fire is best achieved by ploughing bullets into the dirtbag's skull. That is really suppressive." 'Headhunter' quote from TPI forum.

 

I am the owner of Agile Training and Consulting

Ref the RA9T; recent conversation with an FI for one of the biggest users of that round, a large urban LE agency that has been using that loading for years to good effect, reiterated that they are still seeing excellent results in their OISs, and see no difference in effectiveness between their 9mm shootings and those using .40s or .45s.  They currently have no plans to change ammo for something newer.

______________________________________________________________________

"...because without beer, things do not seem to go as well."

Diary of Brother Epp, Capuchin monastery Munjor, Kansas 1902 ___________________________

если не я тогда, кто?

___________________________

"Suppressive fire is best achieved by ploughing bullets into the dirtbag's skull. That is really suppressive." 'Headhunter' quote from TPI forum.

 

I am the owner of Agile Training and Consulting

I was told by the range last week that 147gr was used for a short time by the FBI, then they discovered it works better in sub machine guns and thats what they use it for. They no longer use it in handguns.

 

I had brought my 147gr to load up after shooting and the range guy told me the above and gave me a box of 124gr.

 

I don't know if its true, just passing it on.

Uh...negative, Ghost Rider. The shitter is full.

 

I've talked to field agents who in turn had 147 grain Gold Dot, then Ranger Bonded, and now apparently Gold Dot G2.

 

Early 147's did have some troubles opening up, but that data is over twenty years old.

(\__/)

(='.'=)

(")_(")

quote:
"I was told by the range last week that 147gr was used for a short time by the FBI, then they discovered it works better in sub machine guns and thats what they use it for. They no longer use it in handguns."

 

That is quite simply one of the most ignorant comments anyone has ever passed on to you--please let that person at the range know they are an imbecilic idiot. And it is not like the information is secret--FBI ammo solicitations are publicly available on the internet.  The FBI currently issues a 147 gr and previously issued 147 gr going back the last quarter century or so, as noted above...

Originally Posted by shogun187:

Can anyone confirm/deny if there are any issues in running 147 gr rounds in handguns in terms of reliability, wear, etc.? I recall reading something a while back to the effect that 147 was designed for sub-guns and 124 is optimal in 9mm.

It has been said, and others have been using is for much longer, but in the FWIW department and for another example, we switched to 9mm last year from .40. 147 grain GDHP is our load and for ball we use Speer 147 TMJ. We also have a metric ton of WWB 147 we had to buy during the ammo drought. So far, we have about a quarter million rounds down range out of M&P FS and the Sheild. Before we got Shields our UC guys were issued Kahr PM9s. We ran 147 in those as well. No problems incurred.    

Location: North Carolina

What works well as far as training ammo that matches this round? I'm assuming that Federal's 147gr fmj would probably work well?

Ek

Personally, I'm interested in keeping other people from building Utopia, because the more you believe you can create heaven on earth the more likely you are to set up guillotines in the public square to hasten the process. -- James Lileks

"Be the lack of Bullshit you wish to see in the world around you."

Joined: 8/12/05 6:56 PM                        Location: Oklahoma (not by choice)

Tnoutdoors9 posted a video this weekend showing similar results. huge penetration and fragmenting bullets.  This isnlt looking good for Speer.  FBI load or not.

“They were two douchebags who met in the normal course of being two douchebags.” - Sully, Third Watch

We went to the RA9B.... from fiochi 115 gr jhp..... yeah well just leave it a that..... Doc was a big help.

 

We haven't had any reliability issues with it and obviously its a huge difference having an actual defense round.


The BIG agency next to us has been 4/4 on OIS's this year with RA9B. With  all of them being fatal for the bad guy.\

   I have been carrying Winchester 147gr T series.  I see that 147 gr has less stress on a pistol vs the 124+p Doc.  Is there anything about the 147gr being a better round than the 124gr?  You recommend both types of rounds, but has one been shown to be better?

It is not so much about a specific bullet weight, but rather what the engineers are capable of getting a specific design to accomplish on target.  While I would be fine carrying a good 124 gr +P if issued one, as loads like the Gold Dot 124 +P have a great track record in service, most of the major LE agencies on the west coast have experienced superb success with the 147 gr loads they have issued over the past 20 years.  Currently I have 147 gr HST in my pistol.

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