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125 or 147gr. for USPSA


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Currently I'm in my first year in USPSA, and the feel of shooting 147's is less snappy, but don't notice a difference between 125 or 147 grain bullets using the same powder (N320).  I have been told stay with 147's because there flatter shooting.  I tend to see the dot better with the heavier bullet in practice, but not so at a local match.. so do I shoot both in practice and then decide?

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Others may have a different experience and I shoot irons but I notice little difference between 124, 135 and 147 gr bullets. At least nothing appreciable that's going to outweigh other factors in choosing a bullet, such as price, availability, quality and accuracy.

Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

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Load both to the same power factor (not powder charge) . And as stated above run some drills.

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5 minutes ago, AHI said:

Load both to the same power factor (not powder charge) . And as stated above run some drills.

That sounds like a good plan to take up. Thanks!

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For me, 147gr produce a push on the gun and it gets back on target faster.  124gr are more of a flip.  But That's just me with my load and guns.  You may or may not experience the same results.

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For starters, you have to tune your gun to your load.  As far as bullets of different weights at the same PF, it is preference.  A lighter bullet will hit your hand harder, but cycling will be quicker and your sights won't rise as much.  As you go up the weight scale the hit gets softer, cycling is slower and the muzzle rises more.  I prefer the feel of 124s.  A shooting buddy loves 135s.  A couple of shooters use 147s.  To me, shooting 147s feels like I could take a nap before the slide goes back into battery.

 

It is just the opposite in Limited.  Most prefer 180s, because the recoil is softer for major loads.  I eventually gravitated to 165s because I was back on target faster.  135s and 155s didn't work for me in Limited.

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I couldn't really decide if I wanted to go with 147's or 124's when loaded to the same 130-135pf...  I preferred the slightly softer "push" recoil-impulse of the 147's, but the 124's seemed faster back on target and were a little more accurate out of my CZ... Turns out 135's are the "Goldilocks" for me, somewhere in-between/best of both.

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9 hours ago, stick said:

For me, 147gr produce a push on the gun and it gets back on target faster.  124gr are more of a flip.  But That's just me with my load and guns.  You may or may not experience the same results.

 

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Glad I came across this. I was about to post a similar question.

 

Related question: Is there any advantage in heavier or lighter bullets in knocking down steel targets? I have some 115gr ammo that runs ~130PF, and it sometimes fails to knock down steel.

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24 minutes ago, GearHead36 said:

Related question: Is there any advantage in heavier or lighter bullets in knocking down steel targets? I have some 115gr ammo that runs ~130PF, and it sometimes fails to knock down steel.

 

Depends:

 

Minor PF probably doesn't make much difference. 

Calibrating steel, especial the full size poppers, to fall is an on-going conversation in USPSA ranks.

 

For the OP, either 125 or 147 will be fine. Pick the one you like the feel of. I prefer 147 for pistol and load 125 for PCC.

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I used to shoot a lot of 147s and preferred the feel, but the bottom line was that the timer couldn't tell, and at full speed, I couldn't really either. So back to 125s I went as they were more cost efficient. 

 

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 I have some 115gr ammo that runs ~130PF, and it sometimes fails to knock down steel.
 

 

The power factor is power factor regardless of bullet weight.
115 grain at 130 power factor will knock down steel just as good as a 147 grain with the same power factor.  
 

  

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22 minutes ago, Nc1911 said:

115 grain at 130 power factor will knock down steel just as good as a 147 grain with the same power factor.  

 

That is not true.  A heavier projectile at a lower speed transfers energy more efficiently than a faster, lighter projectile.  Try it yourself if you like.  We have, dozens of times and NO ONE who has tried both thinks the 115 is better.  I'll also say that softer lead is better than harder lead.  BTW, if shooting an outlaw match with uncalibrated steel, do definitely want 147s.  At my home club (not affiliated) the calibration is so bad I use 180 in 40sw or if 10-round limit in mag, 200 in 45.

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1 hour ago, Nc1911 said:

I agree that the hardness will effect how much energy is transferred into the steel, but mass x velocity produces the same amount of energy.

Energy = K x mass x velocity^2. K is a constant. At the same PF, the lighter bullet will have more muzzle energy.

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Muzzle energy is not part of the equation at the same PF.  Transfer of energy is.  You can argue this until you are blue in the face.  Until you have actually tested this, you are guessing.

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Weight of the bullet came down to accuracy for me.  The lighter the bullet the more accurate my guns are for the most part.  I did some pretty extensive testing in regards groups from the bench with 124/5, 135, and 147 gr bullets.  147 gr were horrible, 135 gr we acceptable, but 124/5 gr were noticeably more accurate.  As for impulse, getting back on target etc, those things do not matter in my eyes.  Like what was said up above.  Tune the gun for the load you land on and just shoot that load.  In my eyes the body will learn to deal with all that other stuff with enough training.  I imagine for most people when put on the clock they would notice zero difference in regards to impulse feel or flip and your times would be similar for a given course of fire.

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6 hours ago, GearHead36 said:

Energy = K x mass x velocity^2. K is a constant. At the same PF, the lighter bullet will have more muzzle energy.

 

Conservation of momentum is the property zzt is talking about.  That is different than energy.

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I run 147 in PCC and C/O and Production - I stocked up on a tone of them. Have some 124's to try but I've shot other 124's and tend to like the heavier bullet better. YMMV. Its a personal preference for sure. Load some up to the equal PF and do some drills. See what you like better. 

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I started with 147s, they shot fine and initially preferred the recoil characteristics. After some time in uspsa, however, I started to prefer a snappier, quicker recoil so I ultimately switched to 124s. Round noses also seem to generally feed much better in 10 round 1911 magazines and had a noticeable reduction in malfunctions.

 

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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On 7/25/2020 at 4:46 PM, stick said:

For me, 147gr produce a push on the gun and it gets back on target faster.  124gr are more of a flip.  But That's just me with my load and guns.  You may or may not experience the same results.

Exactly what he said for me. I've stayed with the 147s after trying 124s. The cost difference was nominal and the gun stayed flatter for me allowing a faster follow-up shot. Definitely load up some of each and do some drills. You may find you like one over the regardless what others say or use. Good luck!

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On 7/25/2020 at 4:54 PM, zzt said:

For starters, you have to tune your gun to your load. 

Another strategy is to tune your load to your gun. :) More specifically, different guns may feel better with different loads. For example, I have a G34 where 147's feel real good but in a G17 it feels so sluggish I start to get bored whereas 135're are great. I could probably have done some spring swapping but I like just using a stock recoil spring. Like others have said, at the end if the day you just need to try them out and see how you feel about them in your gun.

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