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hdwhit
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Posted: January 11 2018 at 3:14pm | IP Logged Quote hdwhit

I have been reloading for more than 40 years. The first two years with the "classic" Lee Loader and the last 38 with an RCBS Reloader Special press.

Recently, I was given some 9mm brass. And if I had 9mm brass, I had to load for it. And if I loaded for it, I had to be able to test what I made. You get the idea.

Not familiar with the different projectiles, I ordered a mixed lot of pulled plated and jacketed bullets to gain some experience. I ended up with a nice assortment of 115, 124 and 148 grain bullets in round nose and hollow point.

Beginning with some HP-38, the Starting Load was tool light to cycle my pistol, but I eventually laddered my way up to something that was reliable.

My question has to do with the 115 grain bullets versus the 124 grain bullets. Or more properly, why are there two bullets so close together in weight? I know I don't have a lot of experience with the cartridge yet, but there just doesn't seem to be much difference between the two loading. Is there a reason or is it just down to personal preference?
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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: January 11 2018 at 5:01pm | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

The way I understand it is the 115 was the original 9mm round and then others were invented. I could be wrong. Craig

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LAH
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Posted: January 12 2018 at 5:38pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

The difference between the 115 & 124 is 9 grains like
you say. While that seems close look at the 38 special
were the 2 popular weights are 148 & 158 a difference of
10 grains.

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RT58
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Posted: January 13 2018 at 11:14am | IP Logged Quote RT58

hdwhit wrote:
My question has to do with the 115 grain bullets versus the 124 grain bullets. Or more properly, why are there two bullets so close together in weight? I know I don't have a lot of experience with the cartridge yet, but there just doesn't seem to be much difference between the two loading. Is there a reason or is it just down to personal preference?


A lot of it has to do with marketing hype, every manufacturer wants the best selling bullet. But it is not unusual for bullets from different makers to vary in weight, even so, they will often copy others that sell well.

But is always boils down to personal preference. Due to the 9mms actions they don't always work well with a wide variety of bullet styles, so you may be limited there, but look at the data for the various bullets you are interested in see if there is any real difference in ballistics between them.
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mikld
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Posted: January 13 2018 at 11:48am | IP Logged Quote mikld

I have no idea where the 115 grain bullet popularity came
from. I've seen 115 gr ammo for sale advertised as
"military spec." but I'm not sure about that. I read
somewhere the original loading for the 9mm
Parabellum was with a 125 gr. truncated cone. I believe
the military/NATO uses a 124 gr FMJ now. In my 3, 9mm
pistols, I've found 124/125 gr JHP and cast LRNFP to work
best...

Edited by mikld on January 13 2018 at 11:51am


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Paul B.
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Posted: January 13 2018 at 1:19pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

I believe the 115 gr. bullets were a response to those wanting more
velocity.
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hdwhit
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Posted: January 13 2018 at 1:29pm | IP Logged Quote hdwhit

I know that when the British adopted the 9mm (which seems to have been mostly for submachinegun use), they standardized on a 115 grain bullet (S.A. Ball Mk2) and when the Empire dissolved, the arms works in the former colonies continued making the ammunition they already knew how to make. I figure that meant there has been a lot of "inertia" keeping people worldwide hanging on to the 115 grain bullet.

But today, I seem to mostly see 124 and 147 grain bullets in the stores and that got me to wondering if there was a technical reason for the shift that I wasn't aware of.

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 03 2018 at 3:08pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

For a number of years the standard 9mm "military ball" was a 130 gr. bullet.

The 115 gr, bullet seems to be the most popular in the US while in Europe the 124 seems to now be the standard. The Winchester "NATO spec.," is the 124. My 9mm guru, who shoots IDPA in Canada, passed that bit of information on to me.

My favorite load in the 9mm is a hard cast 125 grn. RNFP.

If you elect to shoot cast bullets be sure to slug your barrel, because they are not all .355. My friend in Canada shoots a lot of cast bullets and he sizes everything to .357. My little Ruger 9mm has a .356 barrel, I found a review of that gun by a chap up in Washington, he was not getting very good accuracy with the standard .355 bullets so he slugged the barrel and it was .356, he moved up to the larger diameter and his group size shrunk by 50%.    

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Kosh75287
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Posted: February 06 2018 at 8:20am | IP Logged Quote Kosh75287

I just figured the 2 different bullet weights were the result of different countries (with different military constraints & resources) adopting the same cartridge for their use.

I thought I'd read that original ammo for the P-08 Luger was, of necessity, loaded hot with a 124gr. FMJ at ~1200+ f/s so that the round would more surely operate the Luger action. It was my impression that, as less robust 9mm pistols were adopted, the 115gr. projectile was adopted to maintain the original velocity, without beating up the newer 9mms.

I would EXPECT the 124gr. projectile to work better at longer ranges from SMGs than the 115gr, but I've never tested either at longer ranges. As WWI & WWII progressed and their resources became more scarce, perhaps lightening the projectile 9 grains saved the Germans' lead and gilding metal that was best used in more effective rounds, or merely simplified the manufacturing process.

The last time I looked at specs for "9mm NATO", the U.S. stuff was a 112gr. FMJ(FP?) at 1227 f/s. This round can be closely approximated in most full-size 9mm pistols with 115gr. FMJs, brisk charges of AA#5, a heavier-than stock recoil spring (and buffer), and stout nerves in the reloader.

The above load's hotter than I like to use with any frequency, so I tend to use 5.8/Herco/124 gr. LRNFPs for 95% of my 9mm shooting. I estimate the velocity at 1050 + 50 f/s. If I go to 6.2/Herco/124gr LRNFP, I can break 1100 f/s, with quite a bit to spare.

Since I'm trying to trim down and standardize my powder inventory, I'll probably work up an equivalent load with Unique or BE-86. If I can only find Herco, though, I DO have a good load for it in 9mm (and .357 Mag, and .45 ACP, and .45 Colt, etc.).

Quote:
While that seems close look at the 38 special
were the 2 popular weights are 148 & 158 a difference of
10 grains.


That's a sorta different situation. The 158gr. LRN or SWCs were intended for use in defensive roles. The 148gr. HBWC or BBWC projectiles were intended solely for target purposes (though I expect they'd work okay in a "social" situation), to occupy enough of the .38 Special's case volume that very modest charges of fast-burning powder would develop enough pressure to burn cleanly, and so that their entire length would act as the bearing surface to engage the rifling fully, enhancing flight stability & accuracy. There were lighter wadcutter projectiles made & used, but the 148gr. bullets seemed to work best at winning matches.

The 9mm 115gr. & 124/125gr. projectiles were both designed and used for pretty much the same purposes, though probably with different priorities in mind.

Edited by Kosh75287 on February 06 2018 at 9:36am
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 06 2018 at 8:45am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

For a time it seemed like almost every country in Europe had a 9mm, and they were all a bit different.

As far as a NATO standard there really isn't one, some manufacturers have used that in the advertisements.

There is a real range of ammunition for the 9x19, there are ultra light bullets that break the 2000 fps mark, and some 147 gr. hard cast loads that make pretty good field loads. One such is the Buffalo Bore 147 grn hard cast "Outdoorsman" load. Here is a link to the add, if you read down the pages there is an interesting story by an Alaskan guide.

Not my first choice in big bear country, but it seems to have worked.

Buffalo Bore 9mm+P
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Kosh75287
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Posted: February 09 2018 at 10:12am | IP Logged Quote Kosh75287

Quote:
As far as a NATO standard there really isn't one, some manufacturers have used that in the advertisements.


I guess there's probably a "NATO Standard" level of quality associated with the 9x19mm ammo, but you're probably quite right about there not being a single load used by/issued to the military of all member nations.

I remember reading SEMI-recently that the Danish Army issues 10mm Glocks to its troops stationed on the Faroe Islands and Greenland(?) for defense against bear attack. I'm not sure ANY 10mm would be enough to stop a p.o.'d polar bear, but I'd STILL prolly rather have it over a 9mm, even a 9mm SMG.
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 09 2018 at 4:40pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Kosh75287

I was a trooper in Alaska, and lived there for 22 years, I spoke to a lot of the native folks that lived in polar bear "country". For a lot of years the caliber of choice for those folks was the Remington .222, with good shot placement it worked for their needs and they could carry a lot of extra ammo.

I do not know if you read the article I posted about the Alaskan guide. The 9mm would work with the right bullet, but counting on the 10mm if they are using expanding bullets might not be the best choice. For bear protection using the 10 a good hard cast bullet, could make the difference.

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 09 2018 at 4:45pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Kosh75287

My opinion as well, I think the NATO standard is more of a quality issue.   
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Posted: February 09 2018 at 8:33pm | IP Logged Quote The_Shadow

What was found in the Buffalo Bore loading;
Cartridge is from Ammo Manufacture: Buffalo Bore 147 gr +P Hard Cast
Ballistics Information: 9mm
Muzzle Velocity: 1100 fps
Muzzle Energy: 395 ft. lbs
Brass Make/Headstamp: JAG Brass
Bullet Make/Weight/Construction/Info; Length 0.6345/Dia. 0.3565: Hard Cast 147 gr.
Actual weight 150.4 / 150.0 grains (flat base) Crimp line 0.3555 (red lube)
C.O.A.L.: 1.0730 / 1.0730
Primer: Small Pistol primer Brass color
Case: Diameter 0.3865 Crimp Diameter 0.3780 Length 0.7500
Powder Description/Positive ID/Type/Charge Weight: AutoComp 4.6 / 4.6 grains *


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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 09 2018 at 9:40pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

The_Shadow

Interesting..
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