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grain size

This is a discussion on grain size within the SIG Sauer Pistols forums, part of the SIG Sauer Forum category; Please educate me regarding the choice of grain size for 9mm. For self/home defense is bigger better? What are the trade-offs, if any? For target ...


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Old 09-22-2012, 04:30 AM   #1
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grain size

Please educate me regarding the choice of grain size for 9mm. For self/home defense is bigger better? What are the trade-offs, if any? For target shooting, is there a noticeable difference in changing from one grain size to another?

Thanks in advance for the info.

Kent
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:19 AM   #2
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IMO bigger is not necessarily better for SD and there are great choices in either size of premium JHP. Personally I use Speer Gold Dots +P 124 GR for SD mostly because my LGS had a decent deal on them.

http://www.sgammo.com/product/speer/...ow-point-53617

For target/range/practice shooting I use a variety of all with good results with usually low price being a factor in what to buy.

Last edited by Sigarms228; 09-22-2012 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:50 AM   #3
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There are a lot of theories on what grain sizes are best for self-defense. As Sigarms said, bigger is not necessarily better. Heavier, slower bullets tend to penetrate deeper in soft tissues, which has advantages and disadvantages. It's good because your bullet is more likely to get into the bad guy's vital organs, but bad because it's more likely to over penetrate.

Firearmstactical.com gives some useful data on how different size rounds penetrate in FBI ballistic gelatin tests. The FBI believes that bullet penetration of up to 18" of bare gelatin is acceptable, but it must penetrate at least 12" in order to be assured of hitting vital structures (heart, aorta, etc.) in the center mass of target. Other sources differ on how much penetration they recommend based on varying theories.

For target shooting purposes, I'm not as picky about bullet weights, because there's not a whole lot of ballistic differences, but I do try to shoot the same bullet weight and even the same manufacture as the SD rounds I carry just because I like consistency. Personally, I carry 147gr Speer Gold Dots JHPs, so I like to practice with 147gr Speer Lawman TMJs when I can get them for a decent price because Speer ballistically matches the Lawman rounds to the Gold Dots.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:02 AM   #4
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Many people try to get the best (or worst) of both worlds by going with a medium weight bullet...124 or so is a nice, reliable and effective cartridge weight for 9mm...standard velocity, +P or +P+ is your call...

Good luck with your choice...

Bill
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:02 AM   #5
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I agree. When in doubt, just go with the middle-weight 124gr.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:44 AM   #6
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I have found Gold Dot 124jhp +p is the way to go with the 9mm.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:13 AM   #7
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Thanks. This is really helpful and great information. 124 gr makes sense at this point in my shooting career. I appreciate the responses.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:38 AM   #8
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Unless you reload and use cast bullets, your typical weight of a 9mm bullet is going to 115gr, 124gr, and 147gr. 115gr goes the fastest, but the velocity difference between it and the 124gr are essentially negligible. The 147gr are subsonic, and sometimes fail to expand due to low velocity. However, the 147gr has the best penetration of them all. Personally I just use 115's, because Honey Badger don't care.
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