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Why is it that 115gr bullets aren’t used in matches?

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Help me out here...what’s the advantage of shooting heavy for caliber bullets in 9mm?

 

it seems most prefer 147gr then 124gr bullets why?

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I'm pretty sure a lot of people shoot 115g bullets in 9mm open guns.  General consensus is slow powder + light bullet for open gun (comp) and fast powder + heavy bullet for limited/production gun (no comp).

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9 minutes ago, Localizer said:

Help me out here...what’s the advantage of shooting heavy for caliber bullets in 9mm?

 

it seems most prefer 147gr then 124gr bullets why?

In 9minor The lighter the bullet the more snappy the recoil for a given load. 115's snap and 147's do more of a push. 124's are a happy medium to many shooters who feel 147's feel sluggish. But in 9MAJOR 115's and 124's rule with 124's being the most popular but many like the feel of 115's better. Faster dot return, more powder so more gas, etc.  

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Localizer said:

Help me out here...what’s the advantage of shooting heavy for caliber bullets in 9mm?

 

it seems most prefer 147gr then 124gr bullets why?

 

Because it works the opposite of the way you think it would.

 

Logically a light bullet with a slow burning powder and a really heavy recoil spring would make your gun shoot softly.

 

In reality that produces a very sharp recoil impulse.

 

To make the recoil softer, you run a light recoil spring, slow heavy bullets, and extremely fast burning powders.

Edited by MemphisMechanic

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31 minutes ago, MemphisMechanic said:

 

Because it works the opposite of the way you think it would.

 

Logically a light bullet with a slow burning powder and a really heavy recoil spring would make your gun shoot softly.

 

In reality that produces a very sharp recoil impulse.

 

To make the recoil softer, you run a light recoil spring, slow heavy bullets, and extremely fast burning powders.

 

Many thanks @MemphisMechanic for breaking it down like that. 

 

I wish i’d asked before buying 16lbs of slow powder and a not insignificant amount of 115gr bullets.

 

i’ll switch to a lighter recoil spring and make the most of it...

 

thanks everyone one for the answers.

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115 bullets sharper bite to your hand but less nuzzle flip, Heavy bullets are softer but feel sluggish with a little more muzzle flip. I could feel the slide movement it was so slow. But to shoot light bullets the barrel needs the proper rifling in the barrel to stabilize the bullets. Schumann barrels did build the barrels rifling for what weight you were going to shoot, Most of my experience is with open guns.

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35 minutes ago, Localizer said:

 

Many thanks @MemphisMechanic for breaking it down like that. 

 

I wish i’d asked before buying 16lbs of slow powder and a not insignificant amount of 115gr bullets.

 

i’ll switch to a lighter recoil spring and make the most of it...

 

thanks everyone one for the answers.

What powder?

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2 hours ago, Localizer said:

I wish i’d asked before buying 16lbs of slow powder and a not insignificant amount of 115gr bullets.

 

i’ll switch to a lighter recoil spring and make the most of it...

 

thanks everyone one for the answers.

Having a stock of the "wrong" weight of bullets shouldn't hurt you, competitively speaking, as long as your gun likes that weight.
I have trouble telling the difference in impulse between 115s and 124s at the same power factor, but every pistol/barrel I've tried those loads shot the 115s more accurately.

(That said, I really like the feel and accuracy of 147s, and the velocities they run at lead my barrels less with coated bullets)
I'd say just find a good load, run those until your components are used up, then try a different weight.

If it shoots accurately enough, the only difference is the recoil impulse, which shouldn't affect your overall time enough to matter if you have good stance and grip.

(Disclaimer - I'm just a C-class nobody, but I've spend more time than I should've trying to find that "magic load", and finally got to the point of realizing that I have many other things to work on before bullet weight influences my match placement at all. I enjoy reloading, but it's easy to get sucked down a rabbit hole trying a couple hundred rounds of this or that to see what's "best")

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another tip,, never buy bult till you are set with your loads.
I havent heard many complaints lately , and lots of folks seem to use 147's, but I have had guns that wouldnt stabalize 147's unless I loaded them to around 140 pf, they would keyhole on target, so try a hundred or so first.

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5 hours ago, Harpo said:

 I have many other things to work on before bullet weight influences my match placement

 

Exactly.

 

Use up your "wrong powder and wrong bullets", and improve your shooting, for now.

 

When you've used up your powder and bullets, try some other weights/powders and see which is

marginally faster for YOU.     :) 

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Thanks for the responses everyone!

 

i don’t think my load is holding me back, my suckiness is.

 

My load is as follows:

 

115gr FMJ

6.6gr HS-6

various cases

CCI/Fed SPP

 

I bought HS-6 as it would work in all my pistol calibers...9mm, .40S&W & 5.7x28 and give great velocities without possibility of a double charge.

 

On another Tangent, do people shooting Tanfoglio pistols have issues with HP bullets feeding reliably?

 

 

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11 hours ago, Localizer said:

it seems most prefer 147gr then 124gr bullets why?

124 and 147 are subsonic at minor power factor (I shoot Production). I don't like the sharp crack of supersonic bullets. 124 is cheaper, so I shoot 124.

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Posted (edited)

The mortal enemy of 9mm minor at matches is slow falling poppers used as activators or just poppers that are not the most reliable or easy to keep calibrated. More of a problem on windy days or muddy ground sometimes.

 

My belief is that you get more efficient transfer of momentum with a 147 grain bullet at 890 fps than you do with a 115 grain bullet at 1,130 fps. One of the "oughta do that" things in the back of my head is to borrow a good popper and see if the belief holds water, should actually be fun. 

 

Regardless, if you are shooting factory 9mm ammo it might chrono below 125 power factor in your gun, it is a good thing to check if you plan to go to a higher level match. 

Edited by IHAVEGAS

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2 hours ago, Localizer said:

 

115gr FMJ

6.6gr HS-6

 

What velocity are you getting with that load ?

 

(I'm guessing you are getting 145 PF, or thereabouts ? )

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I haven’t chronoed that load...However, quickload says ~1200ft/s out of a 4.75” barrel.

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24 minutes ago, Localizer said:

 quickload says ~1200ft/s out of a 4.75” barrel.

 

Iff they're correct, you have PF 138, which means you could be higher.

 

Not sure you need all that powder.

 

I'd chrono 20 rounds and see where you are - you might be able to cut

that back to 6.0 gr HS6.  

 

Even if it's just right, you're better off knowing what you're shooting.

Good idea to buy your own chrono, if you're going to be shooting.

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1 hour ago, IHAVEGAS said:

The mortal enemy of 9mm minor at matches is slow falling poppers used as activators or just poppers that are not the most reliable or easy to keep calibrated. More of a problem on windy days or muddy ground sometimes.

 

My belief is that you get more efficient transfer of momentum with a 147 grain bullet at 890 fps than you do with a 115 grain bullet at 1,130 fps. One of the "oughta do that" things in the back of my head is to borrow a good popper and see if the belief holds water, should actually be fun. 

 

Regardless, if you are shooting factory 9mm ammo it might chrono below 125 power factor in your gun, it is a good thing to check if you plan to go to a higher level match. 

I used to shoot pins,,, at same power factor,, more mass definitely wops harder.  I also hunt,, heavy slow bullets break bones, penetrate and  kill things dead. Why I think power factor is way more reliable than foot lbs..
Footlbs are a joke and give too much credit to velocity.

Hs6 is a decent powder if you are trying to build high velocity.. For action sports its a good open powder, at lower velocities it gets pretty dirty. Probably wont matter for typical match but if you load 115's at minor over HS6, your gun will probably look like you have been shooting blackpowder.

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Thanks guys.

 

What loads & powders should I look into when I deplete my current resources?

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I like WW231 with 124 - 147 grain bullets.   :) 

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4 hours ago, Localizer said:

Thanks guys.

 

What loads & powders should I look into when I deplete my current resources?

 

You’re basically replicating factory ammo with your load, which isn’t a big deal. To be frank you’re too much of a novice for it to matter much. Just shoot ‘em up.

 

Powders?

 

Sport Pistol

prima V

WST

Titegroup

 

Just to name a few. If it’s suitable for 5.7x28 you 100% don’t want to run it in 9mm minor if you’re looking for a soft shootable load. ;) 

 

In a tanfoglio you’ll likely just have to run the plunk & spin test to see how short you need to load your ammo. Search on it and you’ll find the simple procedure.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Localizer said:

Thanks...what about HP ammo in a TANFO?

 

Factory ammo will be fine.

 

coated, jacketed, or hollowpoint ammo you’re loading yourself? A plunk test is necessary to establish the fact that you’re not loading too long for your chamber with every single projectile you try. Two different hollowpoints will    be shaped differently at the shoulder and require different maximum lengths in a gun like a tanfo.

 

Or have the chamber reamed for about $30 and run any bullet you desire out to 1.150.” I do that to all of my guns - Tanfos and Walthers have such restrictive chambers it got annoying.

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I run 124 gr blue bullets just cause they're accurate. 

Once that buzzer goes off, I don't feel recoil at all. 

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Recoil has a lot to do with practice, correct hand location and tightness of the grip.

All comes together with the right training. The ammo is only a small part of it.

As it has been said, practice with what you already have, and by the time you are done with that 16lb of powder, you would have gained some very valuable experience.

Then you can be picky about your handgun, springs and ammo.

I think the shooter makes up for 80% of the success, the rest is only 20%.

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I personally don’t like 147’s, from the small batch I tried. The sights tracked oddly compared to what I’m used to, and recoil felt different. It’s all in what you like I guess.. I use 125 grain blue bullets in my Stock 2 and I like them.
If I had to change weights, I’d be more likely to try to go with 115’s over 147’s. The important thing is to find a reliable load that comfortably makes PF, and grip the gun hard!

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