Preferred 9mm bullet weight?

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When it comes down to it every gun is different. What shoots one hole groups in one gun will shoot 8-10" groups in another. Whenever I get a new gun I try to have 8-9 ammo options available. When ascertaining accuracy I only shoot fully rested. Then I have to decide what my priorities are. Is the most accurate also among the most effective. Do I want to give up a few inches of accuracy for a piece of solid brass going 1,800fps? The only way to find out the best ammo for your purpose is to try them and decide what best fits your needs.
 
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If I ever even consider buying or loading a 125 grain .357 round, please step in as I need help.
You never know until you try. Your gun may really like them. Unless you are shooting deer or bears you shouldn't need more and the extra velocity can really make a bullet "perform". Not to mention the reduced recoil along with all that performance. Remember in the Energy equation velocity is squared.
 
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Long ago I bought 1000 rounds of CCI loaded with 124 Gold Dot bullets. Can't fault their performance in full sized pistols.
When I shifted to a smaller size pistol with shorter barrel, I found that 115 did as well with a bit less 'snap' and quicker/easier follow up. Lately, I've sifted again to Norma 108 for similar reasons.
 

LAH

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Kevin you asked is one 9mm bullet weight more accurate than another? I can't answer that for you. I will say the Saeco 928 bullet shot very well in my three 9s. As for the bullet I use, I have switched all my 9s to the Lee 38-125-RF. It works great plus I use it a lot in my 38 Specials.
Saeco 928
DSC05417.jpg
Lee 38-125-RF
20170103_150435.jpg
 
Last edited:

Ordguy

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124 gr ball works best in my Ruger's, Colt, & Tisas. 115gr ball when I can't obtain 124 gr. Tried 147gr with poor results. Some of my pistols are more finicky about manufacturer than bullet weight though.

Handloads / Reloads with cast bullets are another matter, hardness, diameter, gas check, lube, powder, primer, etc. Have a few loads that work well in my pistols, took a lot of tweaking though.
 

contender

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extex,, welcome to the forum & this discussion.

I consider all guns as a machine. I want the machine to perform at it's best. So, I handload. And I work on loads that perform the 2 main functions. Accuracy,, because it has to hit the target, and do the intended job. If paper punching,, then accuracy is THE main thing I consider. If I need the bullet to stop a bear,, then it must also perform in a test medium that gives me confidence in what happens AFTER it hits the target.

If I were to use factory ammo, I'd use the same criteria. But it'd be a lot more expensive for me to test & find what's best.

In handloading,, once I find a good load in one gun, I will often test it in other guns. Often,, it will be just fine in several guns,, while other times,, it may be a load that no other gun accepts in a fashion I need.
Accuracy first, followed by terminal performance.

Sam mentioned when he had .9mm bullets to sell, the most popular was the 115 grn for competitors. He's right. BUT,, as more & more folks got to using the .9mm in competition,, many found they preferred heavier bullets, and currently,, most are shooting a 147 grn bullet. I found a sweet spot in using a 124 grn bullet,, that 2 of my competition guns enjoy. They shoot very accurately,, and they are dependable. Since they are either punching paper or banging steel,, they are performing as I need them to.

I prefer to test the accuracy of my handguns at a STARTING distance of 25 yds. If it can't perform at that distance,, I try other stuff. Why 25 yds? Well, at that distance,, a bullet has had time to stabilize it's flight pattern in general. And while much of my USPSA competition is at distances less than that,, it's just fine. BUT,, I also test stuff to 50 yds for competition because occasionally at bigger matches,, you'll be presented with shots out to 50 yds. Several years ago,, at an Area 6 Level 3 Regional match,, there was a stage that had harder targets at distances out to 40 yds. Over 1/3 of the total competitors had a ZERO score on that stage due to misses. It was the main stage that most talked about being so hard. While my performance there wasn't "my best" it also wasn't my worst. I had several things that I had to change at the last moment prior to the match. I'd planned to shoot revolver category,, yet was told there were only (2) of us signed up for revolver. So, I switched categories,, to Limited 10,, and used my 1911 in .45 acp. I hadn't shot that gun in a match in over 2 years. BUT,, my load had been developed for accuracy, and I knew it was good to those distances. I won my division for Area 6.

My point is,, try different ammo to find how it performs in YOUR machine, (gun) and then you will be much happier.
 

Bad Barlow

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Norcal
Kevin you asked is one 9mm bullet weight more accurate than another? I can't answer that for you. I will say the Saeco 928 bullet shot very well in my three 9s. As for the bullet I use, I have switched all my 9s to the Lee 38-125-RF. It works great plus I use it a lot in my 38 Specials.
Saeco 928
DSC05417.jpg
Lee 38-125-RF
20170103_150435.jpg
Not to be critical, but the Lee flat nose bullet looks like something one would use in a lever gun. I've gone to the Saeco style nose in semi's for feed reliability,and in my moon clip guns for smooth reloads.
 

GunnyGene

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Monroe County, MS
Kevin, you should put at least as much weight on terminal ballistics as you do on accuracy, unless you're shooting bullseye competition. In other words what do you expect that bullet to do when it enters flesh? Penetration, wound channel, etc. are just as important in a carry gun as reasonable accuracy and precision, maybe even more important. Choose the ammo for the task you have in mind for it. A +P 155grn HCFN might be better than the other bullets mentioned so far. I've shot all of those ( and the 155grn) in every 9mm handgun I have, including a P365, without any issues.
 

Bad Barlow

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
645
Location
Norcal
extex,, welcome to the forum & this discussion.

I consider all guns as a machine. I want the machine to perform at it's best. So, I handload. And I work on loads that perform the 2 main functions. Accuracy,, because it has to hit the target, and do the intended job. If paper punching,, then accuracy is THE main thing I consider. If I need the bullet to stop a bear,, then it must also perform in a test medium that gives me confidence in what happens AFTER it hits the target.

If I were to use factory ammo, I'd use the same criteria. But it'd be a lot more expensive for me to test & find what's best.

In handloading,, once I find a good load in one gun, I will often test it in other guns. Often,, it will be just fine in several guns,, while other times,, it may be a load that no other gun accepts in a fashion I need.
Accuracy first, followed by terminal performance.

Sam mentioned when he had .9mm bullets to sell, the most popular was the 115 grn for competitors. He's right. BUT,, as more & more folks got to using the .9mm in competition,, many found they preferred heavier bullets, and currently,, most are shooting a 147 grn bullet. I found a sweet spot in using a 124 grn bullet,, that 2 of my competition guns enjoy. They shoot very accurately,, and they are dependable. Since they are either punching paper or banging steel,, they are performing as I need them to.

I prefer to test the accuracy of my handguns at a STARTING distance of 25 yds. If it can't perform at that distance,, I try other stuff. Why 25 yds? Well, at that distance,, a bullet has had time to stabilize it's flight pattern in general. And while much of my USPSA competition is at distances less than that,, it's just fine. BUT,, I also test stuff to 50 yds for competition because occasionally at bigger matches,, you'll be presented with shots out to 50 yds. Several years ago,, at an Area 6 Level 3 Regional match,, there was a stage that had harder targets at distances out to 40 yds. Over 1/3 of the total competitors had a ZERO score on that stage due to misses. It was the main stage that most talked about being so hard. While my performance there wasn't "my best" it also wasn't my worst. I had several things that I had to change at the last moment prior to the match. I'd planned to shoot revolver category,, yet was told there were only (2) of us signed up for revolver. So, I switched categories,, to Limited 10,, and used my 1911 in .45 acp. I hadn't shot that gun in a match in over 2 years. BUT,, my load had been developed for accuracy, and I knew it was good to those distances. I won my division for Area 6.

My point is,, try different ammo to find how it performs in YOUR machine, (gun) and then you will be much happier.
"Accuracy first " Yep.
 

LAH

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
Messages
1,468
Location
WV
Not to be critical, but the Lee flat nose bullet looks like something one would use in a lever gun. I've gone to the Saeco style nose in semi's for feed reliability,and in my moon clip guns for smooth reloads.
Critical is good. I wondered if it would feed without issue myself. Both my S&W MPs & the CZ75 feed it without issue. I wanted something with a meplat for varmints & coyote/bobcat when a shot was presented. There is also no shoulder on the Lee bullet so they work pretty good in speedloads/strips. You are correct, they have the profile of what works in the levergun.
 

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