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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't want over penetration, when I have to shoot someone in my condo. People live close together in the community. I think that a light bullet would be safer to use in this situation. It would expand in the target, rather than pass thru it. It probably won't pass thru walls, to hurt someone in the next unit, either.

I usually like heavier bullets for my use, but I do make this exception for summer carry. Am I wrong about this? Seems to make sense to me. ;) Bob
 

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Generally the velocity is higher on lighter weight bullets. Depending on design, higher velocity is more likely to pass through before expanding. I'd be looking at heavier, slower bullets designed to expand at lower velocities, like the Sub-X line.
 

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I'm looking for a happy medium as well, I'm currently using 115 gr. Sig hollowpoints in my AR-9 pistol, and I'm using handloaded Hornady XTP 147 grainers in my Shield, and other regular handguns. I suspect that I'll eventually settle on a good 124 grain hollowpoint when I get the chance to test them, but there is nothing wrong with the 115 grainers, they will do fine from what I can see.
 

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Without testing specific rounds on specific wall/barrier obstructions, I would tend to compare energy rather than velocity. I normally carry Federal Premium 124gr HST. I don't have an issue with condos or close neighbors. I use it both at home and away in the same gun. It's stated energy at 25 yards is 330 ft.lbs. The 147gr version is stated at 311 ft.lbs at 25 yards. So, I think it safe to say that all else being equal, the heavier bullet carries less energy to penetrate barriers.

But, it's an interesting question that deserves more study. The difference between these two examples is not very great. Within the confines of a home or apartment, the difference may be negligible. Nothing better than finding a real world test on wall board with various loads. Best of luck.
 

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Drywall won't arrest much to begin with. Maybe the inter wall insulation will or a stud. Couple years ago I had an AD and it went through the ceiling, the laminate floor in the second story, through the second story drywall ceiling and through the roof sheathing and through the shingles and left an ever increasing diameter hole as it passed. Amy was not happy. Neither was I. Of course it was a 240 grain FMJ handload for my 44. Living in a single family farmhouse, if a perp came in the bed room, if our Aussie didn't get a hold of him (or her), I fully intend on using my 45 Kimber and hell with the drywall...lol You should know me, I'm gonna empty the magazine too. :p
 

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There is no great answer in a wood frame multiunit environment that does not incorporate studs, bricks or full bookcases.
I have often wondered why some railroads, the postal service and a few police agencies stayed loyal to the .38 S&W/New Police for so long. I can only guess their thinking was along these lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I recently changed my summer carry load to 115 Gr. 9mm.. I usually carry 147 gr. in the cooler months, thinking heavier coats are worn, and more penetration is needed. I may be wrong in this idea. Coyotes and BG's might only need the 115 Gr. load all year long.

I bought a five boxes of 147 Gr. just in case a violent scenario breaks out in this country at some point. I've got 5 boxes of 158 Gr. .38 Spl +p, and .357 Mag.. It's always a good idea to prepare before you need it.

Also, 5 boxes of 170 Gr. 30-30 rifle ammo. Just in case. ;) Bob
 

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@BobK, I really like the 170 gr. 30-30 rounds, and the Hornady 168 gr. FTX is a great round for a lever action. Back to the 9mm, I've played with the 147 gr. XTP bullet and I've got a loading that will get about 1,050 fps from a 4-5 inch barrel handgun. For a heavy 9mm bullet, that's smoking. I'd like to load some of these up and try them from my AR-9 pistol, with the 10 inch barrel, it could be a really great loading for it and I'd be interested to see what the fps is coming out of that longer barrel.
 

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A few years ago I talked with the local Police Chief. He said they chose to go with 45acp as there was less risk of over penetration compared to 9mm or 40. I didn't ask how and why he came to that conclusion but being big and slow there is probably some truth to it
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jonsey, There's probably a lot of truth in the Big and Slow argument, but recoil also plays a part, if multiple shots are required. I'll stick with the Ruger LC9s 9mm. for a light carry gun. I have modified it with a grip sleeve to make the grip larger for my hands, and a Fiber Optic front sight, which is a whole lot better than a white dot. ;) Bob
 

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It all depends on bullet design rather than caliber, service JHP ammunition is designed for FBI protocol, basically 12"-18" soft tissue penetration. Winchester Ranger .45auto 230gr bonded JHP, last I checked, had the best penetration/performance through auto glass. (45auto ammunition has also been technologically advanced). Run 147gr XTPs too slow from short barrels, and it won't expand, becoming an FMJ with lots of penetration through just about anything; this goes for any JHP that doesn't achieve minimum impact velocities for expansion...same goes for clogging.

For 9mm, find some 115gr Silvertips, if you can find it...it's not an over penetrator as we all know from past performance, the Winchester 115gr +P+ JHP fragments with <12" of penetration, same for the Nosler 135gr JHP in 10mm.

In general, bullets need +/- 300fps in order to break skin. Keep in mind the shooting angle of miscreants, frontal, oblique or lateral...a lateral angle shot on a large miscreant may need 12" or more of penetration through soft tissue/bone in order to reach one's heart.
Momentum is what determines penetration. From page 7 of Quantitative Ammunition Selection:

”While a projectile in motion possesses both momentum and kinetic energy, the penetration of a transient projectile through a homogenous fluid or hydrocolloidal medium constitutes an inelastic collision mandating that it be treated as a momentum transaction. Therefore, a momentum-based analysis of projectile motion is the most equitable approach in constructing a terminal ballistic performance model.”

Newton’s second law of motion, F = ma, is what applies in the case of bullet penetration of gelatin or soft tissue.
Also consider, it's bullet momentum that determines soft tissue penetration, not energy, and there's no predictive way to determine the time for involuntary incapacitation. In other words, take the headshot if possible. Clear gel is entertaining to watch, but it is a poor choice for gauging the size of crush cavities and penetration, don't use clear gel as a determining factor in choosing personal defense ammunition. :) There's a scientific reason for this, just not my opinion...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I shot a number of these 115 gr. JHP 9mm. , and was surprised by the amount of recoil. These are intense loads, and will probably do some major damage to a BG's chest, and anything else, like wall sheet rock. I ordered these from Georgia Arms for some indoor practice ammo, but they are hot!!! They are also very loud!!!! I also have some Winchester 9 mm. FMJ 115 gr.for outdoors practice, but it didn't seem that hot, and not as loud. Bob
 

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Last week, I watched a youtube video where they did a test with drywall and studs. 9mm round went thru he equivalent of 9 rooms in a house.

If you are really worried about w all penetration, get a Five Seven. Other tests I have seen show that they only penetrate 2 rooms. The round was actually designed to not over penetrate.
 

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Last week, I watched a youtube video where they did a test with drywall and studs. 9mm round went thru he equivalent of 9 rooms in a house.

If you are really worried about w all penetration, get a Five Seven. Other tests I have seen show that they only penetrate 2 rooms. The round was actually designed to not over penetrate.
Or, you use a 12 or 20 gauge with some #4 buck or similar
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Actually, the sound of the 9 mm. JHP Ammo was loud enough. I was wearing ear muffs but it still seemed loud. It's been a while since I shot a .45 APC..........but it seemed about equal, to me. I wouldn't want shoot it without ear protection. That also applies to my 20 Ga. shotgun, and .30-30 rifle! That's probably why I don't hear very well anymore. :rolleyes: Bob
 
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