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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wonder what is your recommendation for self defense ammunition for the 9mm p99/sw99? The list I picked from an article has the following items recommended for modern semi-autos. (In order of preference.)

1) Cor-Bon 9mm 115 grain +P JHP.
2) German GECO "Blitz Action Trauma" or BAT 9mm.
3) Federal 115 grain JHP (9BP).
4) Winchester super-x Silvertip 115 grain (X9MMSHP).
5) Federal 124 grain Hydra-shok (P9HS1).
6) Federal Nyclad 124 grain (P9BP) JHP.
7) Remington express 115 grain +P JHP (R9MM6).
8) Remington express 115 gr. JHP (R9MM1).
 

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Sheeesh how old was that list?

The most popular "new generation" HP's seem to be:
Speer Gold Dot 124gr. +P
Federal Hydra-Shok 124gr.
Winchester Ranger SXT 127gr.
I usually carry the Speer or the Federal, whichever I happen to find for the lowest price.
Beware the Federal Ny-Clad (if you can even find it since it was discontinued a while back) the nylon coating tends to shave off in the P99's tight chamber and builds up causing a falure to go into battery after just a few rounds. I've seen this happen to several different P99's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The article was published on Jan 2004.  It stated that it is better to use 115 grain ammo with 124 grain as an upper limit.  The factors that leads the recommendation are stopping power, penetration, reliablilty and reduced recoil. The list, of course, is made to the personal preferences of the writer and is not obligatory.
 

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I personally use Winchester Ranger T 147gr.

I don't buy into the light weight high velocity theories where handguns are concerned. Heavier bullets penetrate better...period. Light weight high velocity projectiles will do amazing damage when fired from a rifle, where penetration is virtually assured, but handguns need all the help they can get in that department so I believe heavier is better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Higher the bullet energy (momentum to be accurate) more damaging it is.  This is assuming similar structure (HP).  I have sorted the ammo from the list and the additional types mentioned in your replies in one table according to energy, velocity and load group.  The Cor-Bon 115gr. is still heading the list while the 147gr. ammo is in the bottom.  Material for thought?
Please note that the GECO is FMJ and not HP.
Table:
Cor-Bon 9mm 115 grain +P JHP.               | 1350fps | 466fp |+p
Speer Gold Dot 124gr. +P (GDHP)            | 1220fps | 410fp |+p
Rem. express 115gr +P JHP (R9MM6).       | 1250fps | 399fp |+p
Win. Silvertip 115gr (X9MMSHP).              | 1225fps | 383fp |+p
Fed. Hyd.Sho. 124gr. +P+ (P9HS3G1).     | 1170fps | 375fp |+p+
Fed. 115gr JHP (9BP).                            | 1160fps | 345fp |Std
Fed. 124gr Hydra-shok (P9HS1).              | 1120fps | 345fp |Std
Fed. Nyclad 124gr (P9BP) JHP.                | 1120fps | 346fp |Std
Rem. express 115gr. JHP (R9MM1).          | 1155fps | 341fp |Std
Dynamit-Nobel GECO (FMJ) 124gr.            | 1120fps | 341fp |Std
Win. 147gr silvertip (x9mmst147)             | 1010fps | 333fp |Std
Win. Supreme SXT (Ranger) 147gr           |  990fps | 320fp |Std
Sorry for the table not coming out so nice.  Limitation of the forum writing tools.
 

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There is more to a bullets effectiveness than just velocity or momentum, or design.
All those must be balanced to offer the greatest expansion with optimal penetration.
The Cor-Bon tends to not penetrate sufficiently, especially under less than optimal conditions.
You must penetrate enough to actually reach vitals, otherwise all that energy is wasted. 466fp of energy against a 180lb human isn't that awe inspiring, a thrown baseball can easily reach those kinds of numbers.
Look less at the numbers and more at actual results and scientific testing.
The majority of major PD's that issue the 9mm, use the 147gr. loadings, and have seen good results from them.
The magazines have always hyped the Cor-Bons, mainly because at one time several popular writers had a financial stake in the company (conflict of interest anyone?).
Here are the criteria you need for optimal ammunition selection, in order of importance:
Relability in your particular firearm.
Accurate in your particular firearm.
Penetrates sufficiently to reach vitals under adverse conditions (heavy clothing, light barriers, glass etc.)
Expands consistantly to a decent size (around .5").
Low recoil.
Low muzzle flash.
In my particular pistols, the Speer GDHP 124gr. seems to work the best in all categories, but you need to test each ammo for yourself to see what works in your pistols.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I do agree with most of what is said in the message, although I have some reservations.  Just to be fair, there was a similar hype for the 147gr a few years ago as well.  It could be that the source for the run after penetration is lead by the mix up with the requirement of LE.  For LE you take attack as a criteria for the spec. of the ammo as well.  I don’t value penetration very highly as I don’t see firing through glass, doors, walls, etc. very important factors.  On the contrary, I don’t want bullets flying uncontrolled through walls as they tend to hit harmless people.  I believe that the FBI ‘addiction’ to penetration is just a result of the need to cover attack requirements as well.
If you will look at the medical findings of shooting wounds, you’ll be surprised to find that the highest damage to body tissues is induced by small caliber and light weight bullets, as they tend to change direction and roll.  This is probably because they are long and narrow.  Heavy bullets such as the .45 just go through leaving clean hole with very little deformation to the tissue.  One of the sources of shock to the tissue is the super sonic ‘boom’ that carries additional energy, also a factor to take into account.
Your choice of the 124gr. is a good one and it is high in my table as well.  From looking on the results of the FBI tests it is quite clear to me that the 147gr. bullets do not have higher penetration or bigger expansion.  124gr for 9mm is probably the upper limit for effectiveness.  From what I saw there the Cor-Bon is expanding to over 0.6” and penetration is good as well.  Actually penetration results with clothing are better.
In any case I think that the most important criteria is that the ammo will reliably work in the firearm.  In many cases just the fact that you shoot back is enough to end an incident as the attacker will run away because of the danger to his life.
 

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The wounding characeristics of the light fast rifle rounds such as .223 are going to be exponentialy greater than what can be achieved by any handgun round.
The velocities attained by the .223 are so much higher than a 9mm, that comparisons cannot be made.
The "temporary stretch cavity" formed by a rifle round is enough to cause some extra damage above and beyond the actual bullet impacted area. But in a handgun the velocity is not great enough with any service round to make the TSC a factor in wounding ability. The human body is elastic enough that the TSC from a handgun round will not stretch most tissue beyond its limits (unless inelastic organs such as the liver are directly hit).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You are definitely right about the superiority of the .223 ammo, but why not go a step further and draw some conclusions from the facts. .223 ammo is half the weight, 3 to 4 times faster and its energy is 3 to 4 times higher and that what makes the difference. By the way, 9mm FMJ behaves very similar to .223 bullet when enters human tissue. Damage is much smaller due to lower speed and energy and the short profile. Thinking about it, makes me wonder why the FN Five Seven was not adopted by LE, maybe they are afraid of making too much damage? <g>
 

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The 5.7 out of the pistol has been a flop in wounding effect. It's only redeeming feature is its armor penetration.
Even the .223 loses much of its effectiveness out of the 10" DOE barrels.
Fact of life......... all handguns suck.
 

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Most departments that have abandoned the 9mm in favor of the .40 or 357 SIG were using 147 grain bullets and this round has always had an abysmal track record. It has historically overpenetrated and understopped. It alone is what gave the 9mm the bad rap in a lot of people's mind. Stick with the 124 or 115 grain bullets for the best the 9mm has to offer. This is documented very well with a little research. The only departments sticking with it are large municipal departments who have to hire a cross-section of society and many of these people qualify better with the mild recoil of the anemic 147 grain loads. It's overpenetration may be considered an asset for law-enforcement, where shooting through light barriers, like windshields, could be required, but for self-defense, I'll never be shooting through barriers. Just my opinion, formed over the last 20 or so years.
 
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