Opening up a BIG Can of Worms Here

I need some ammo advice. But first I need to lay down some ground rules. Yes, I know it is only 9mm. So snide comments like “Well, the best self defense round in 9mm is to sell your gun and buy a .45″ are not helpful. In short, I don’t want this to turn into Any. Forum. Post. At. All. talking about ammo choices. Forums devolve into name calling and poor character references before any useful information is shared.


I’ve heard it said that you should choose the bullet size one lower than the maximum available. As far as I know, the max is 147g, and the next lowest down is 124g for 9mm. Is there any truth in there?

Then, the guy at the gun store recommended Winchester PDX1 at the 124 grain bullet size. I am inclined toward that, but he has none in stock and doesn’t know when more is coming in. Cabela’s only has the 147g version in stock. I haven’t checked Sportsman’s Warehouse yet. His fallback suggestion was Remington Golden Saber.

The Big Green Book suggested to stuff it full of Cor-Bons and get on with your life. I like the sentiment, as I imagine most of the choices out there perform adequately.

As I am a total noob at this type of stuff, any [constructive] suggestions would be great.


Filed under guns, Me

4 responses to “Opening up a BIG Can of Worms Here

  1. I use what Shorter Half says I should. But that's the way we roll. He tells me what I ought to use in my pistol depending on the application, and I tell him what type of thread and size needle he wants to use for various repairs.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I tend to avoid the 147 grain stuff, given the poor performance of that weight when it first came out. However, that is my prejudice from when it first came out — the current +P and +P+ loads are probably just fine these days. I am still squiffy on 9x19mm 147gr, and prefer to stick with something faster and closer to the original design specs.Keep in mind, the 147 grain 9x19mm load was originally developed for SEALs as a subsonic load for use in their MP5SD SMGs. Terminal performance wasn't even a tertiary performance spec — it was reliability (in an MP5), subsonic, and dead-nuts accurate. . . in about that order. Terminal performance wasn't really an issue, as their CONOPS called for three round bursts to the head — meaning any 9mm slug that reliably enters the skull is big enough to do the job, even if it doesn't expand.I tend to prefer 115 or 124 grain slugs in the 9x19mm, with 124gr being favored. Just about any JHP from a major US producer will do fine if it works well in your gun, with more energy (faster) being better if everything else is equal.Cor-Bon JHP or DPX loads will do fine.Georgia Arms (especially their +P or +P+) loads will do just fine. I picked up their 124gr +P JHPs for Nancy's pistol without hesitation. . . and intend to use it myself if my next 9mm carry gun feeds it well. The price is right (about $0.50/round), and it's nice and hot. Unfortunately, Georgia Arms appears to be out of stock right now.Anything from Federal, Remington, or Winchester will likely do just fine as well — but they tend to be loaded a tad tamer than Georgia Arms (much less Cor-Bon) — and Remington is often the tamest of the bunch. Aim for +P or +P+ whenever possible. Winchester Ranger series is one I am VERY fond of – it’s the old Black Talon load, only without the scary name, and (in some loads) a bullet that doesn’t look like the evil Black Talon, even though the bullet performs EXACTLY the same way. . . Ranger was developed purely as a PR reaction to the bad press of eth Black Talon. Federal Hydroshocks are well thought of, and Remington Golden Sabers generally work well in every other service pistol caliber.Keep in mind my mantra on terminal performance– All handguns suck, some just suck more than others.The difference between Brand A and Brand B JHPs is a LOT less than the difference that will be caused by shooting your groups 75% smaller. So, pick whatever you like, make sure it runs well in your gun, keep in mind that you're starting out with a wimpy energy budget from Go (not because it's a 9mm, but because it's a handgun) so you might as well get hot loads but don't agonize over it, and pick up plenty of ball ammo for practice to make your groups smaller.(Nancy's Shorter Half)

  4. Thanks! I needed more space–made a whole new post to reply.