115 vs. 124 grain 9mm characteristics?

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  1. #1
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    115 vs. 124 grain 9mm characteristics?

    I'm bouncing back and forth on whether to stay with 124 grain or go to 115 grain. Both standard pressure; nothing +P. The vast majority of my shooting will be target/fun with self-defense (hopefully never needed) coming next in the order.
    Q. Is there any difference in the point of impact between the two?
    Q. Is there any difference in recoil between the two?


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    Senior Member WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN BADGES High Pockets's Avatar
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    Yes there will be a difference in both the point of impact & the recoil factor. That will be because both rounds will probably be loaded to similar velocities.

    If the manufacturers have tried to maintain the same velocities, you will probably notice more recoil with the 124gr round.

    I reload my own and use the 115gr bullets from Berry's, because they are a little cheaper. My carry ammo, however is 124gr or 127gr because it expands better.

    While the recoil is difference is noticeable, I feel it is not appreciable, so I don't think the recoil factor should be an issue. The point of impact will vary depending on the distance and velocity of your round, so it will just take a little experimenting.

    hope this helps.
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    Senior Member djv38's Avatar
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    I have 500 rounds of 124 gr FMJ ammo. I typically shoot 115 gr FMJ, so I'll see how it varies if at all (different brand than too, so that will probably affect it a bit).
    -Dan

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    Senior Member Bullseye Shooter Capt. Insano's Avatar
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    115 grain and 124 thats only a 9 grain difference.. think a 177 cal pellet difference in any practicality thats pretty much no difference. but where the difference can be something is the 115 grain gives a little more powder capacity because of the 9mm's serious lacking in powder capacity a few tenths of a grain worth of capacity can make all the difference. depending on brand of ammunition with 115 grain loads you might notice as much as a 100 fps increase of velocity over most 124 grain ammo when terminal performance is concerned ie self defense ammo that 100 fps might give the advantage over the slightly heavier 124 grain load. However if you are shooting ball ammo for self defense than the heavier 124 grain will give you an advantage over the 115 grain. In a nutshell if you shoot a hollowpoint for SD go 115 if you shoot ball for SD go with the 124 grain or heavier. From my experience with terminal ballistics testing the 124 hp's give nicer more uniform mushrooms. the 115's tend to expand more violently and leave a wider and more pronounce wound channel than the 124's. Nice mushrooms dont stop bad guys.. trauma and blood loss stop bad guys.

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    I've shot a lot of both 115 and 124 grains (reload the latter). Personally I don't think you will notice the difference. The determining factor will be the powder charged use, which is normally less for the heavier bullets. If you reload you totally control this variable, although gun choice will also play a factor. I also like to use 147 grain bullets just in case someone decides to "adjust" the reactive steel targets for "power factor". Strange how that happens.

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    I'm pretty sure most of the people above are wrong.

    From the data I'm reading, almost all loads of 115 grain have higher energy than their heavier counterparts. That being said, it's time for a little physics lesson:

    When comparing two rounds of similar hollow point design, and same energy
    The heavier and slower round will penetrate more, expand less, and make a smaller temporary cavity.
    The lighter faster round will penetrate less, expand more, and make a wider temporary cavity. If the round is super sonic, there will also be more hydrostatic shock in the faster round.

    At the end, I recommend using cheap 115 grain rounds for practice, and Hornady FTX (which also happen to be 115 grain) for defense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jathtech
    I'm pretty sure most of the people above are wrong.

    From the data I'm reading...
    Don't believe everything you read. I offer the following test:


    Throw a BB at your picture window as hard and fast as you can.

    then...


    Throw a bowling ball at the same picture window as hard and fast as you can.

    I assure you that you will not get the bowling ball up to the same velocity as the BB.


    I can also assure you that you'll have some clean up after the bowling ball phase of the test.




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  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    your test is absurd. You cannot impart the same energy into a bb as you can into a bowling ball.

    Your restricted by your own muscular skeletal structure. You may get the bb up to 2 or 3 foot pounds, the bowling ball will probably get up to 1000 foot pounds.

    Another BLARING difference is the sheer difference in size. even if the two had the same energy, the smaller diameter of the BB would reduce it's resistance in the medium it is traveling through causing it to effect it less.
    I did say calibers and energies the same. The only difference I changed was the bullet weight.

    Your talking apples and oranges, or should I say grapes and watermelons.

    Take a physics class, learn something.

    Also note that rifle rounds are almost all much lighter than a comparable pistol round, yet they do MUCH more damage. This is also comparing apples and oranges, but you started it.

    Also, what I "read" was simple raw data of the rounds' energies. I didn't read about the other stuff, I learned that in college.

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