If you've been on our 9mm page, you've seen that there are a lot of options. If you don't shoot a lot or are new to the caliber, choosing a round can be almost overwhelming. This guide will help you get an idea of which to choose depending on the type of shooting you're doing. Of course, the very best way to tell which will shoot best in your firearm will be by running a few different profiles through your firearm to see which produces the best results.
Generally speaking, the heavier the projectile, the less felt recoil you'll experience when you pull the trigger. Other manufacturers may load their ammunition differently, but for the sake of shopping with us, the heavier bullet will shoot softer. The disadvantage to a slower, heavier bullet is that your longer shots will suffer.
Gun part tinkerers that are constantly changing out parts on their firearms are more likely to experience problems cycling the heavier projectiles because the pressure to move the slide is reduced in those loads.
Why you might choose it?
This projectile is made of compressed metals and explodes into fragments on impact. It is a 100% lead-free projectile and would be a good choice for close quarters training, steel plate shooting or shoot house training. Based on it's performance in ballistic gel, some choose this for a home-defense round.
115g Round Nose
Hands down this is the most commonly shot 9mm projectile. With an agreeable velocity and recoil combination, this round's profile is very forgiving on the shorter feed ramps in sub-compact pistols. This is the recommended projectile for novice shooters just getting used to a brand-new firearm.
124g Round Nose
The hollow base on this projectile is designed to lengthen the bullet while maintaining the 124g weight. The longer bullet makes more contact with the rifling in your barrel, stabilizing it as it travels down range. The result is slightly tighter groups if shooting groups is your goal.
124g Flat Nose
The rounded shoulder allows for a little more feed ramp forgiveness in some firearms while maintaining the flat nose for easier target scoring.
124g Flat Nose Competition Series
The profile on this bullet is unique. The projectile is slightly longer than that of the regular 124g. Again, longer bullet means more stable as it travels down the barrel. The flat nose is preferred for IDPA and USPSA shooters because it punches a much cleaner hole in the target, which is easier to identify and score. The downside to the flat nose is that shorter feed ramps with rough transitions to the chamber may experience feed issues.
124g Target Hollow Point
The hollow point on this bullet is more designed for flight than for defense. Similar to the hollow based projectile, the material in the bullet is removed to lengthen the bullet for more barrel contact. The difference between the material being removed in the front vs. the base? Personal preference.
147g Round Nose
A favorite among competitive shooters, this 147g round nose is a very reliable feeder and a lower felt recoil round.
147g Round Nose (Power Factor/PCC)
This features the same round nose profile as the regular stuff, but is loaded to an ultra low velocity. This round is not intended for amateur shooters, as a weak grip will undoubtedly cause functionality issues. This is ideal for those shooting Pistol Caliber Carbine or longer-barreled (4.5"+) handguns.
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