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Thread: 9mm Luger: hot or slop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default 9mm Luger: hot or slop

    Pertaining to the 9mm Luger cartridge, I have been digging around and testing loads myself. When it comes to accuracy at a longer distance, it turns out that the 9mm Luger favors higher loads (i.e. with higher pressure). In the mid-1980's, this has been consistently shown by the US Army Marksmanship Units testings and their use of these heavy loads for national bullseye competition. Some of these can be found here (Article: The 9mm can be Accurate). Most of their loads made their bullets fly at 1200+ fps and they are getting 2" groups and better at 50 yards. I believe this is contrary to the 45ACP cartridge, which is considered a low pressure cartridge. Obviously, higher pressure in the 9mm would entail larger recoil and slower follow-ups, which the bullseye competitors (and, perhaps, hunters) don't really care. Fast shooting games (like IDPA, IPSC, etc), however, may need to compromise and balance between good splits and accuracy.

    Is this your experience and assessment as well?

  2. #2


    My test for various handgun calibers has been to shoot deer with them. Haven't found a single 9mm load that performs any better than 38 Specials at standard velocity. And in fact 38's with a hard cast 158 grain SWC at 750 fps kills deer faster and cleaner than any 9mm load I've cut deer hair with. I rate the 9mm overall right in there with 380 auto in performance on deer. Make your own guesses on how that translates into defensive performance. I've made my guess, and the 9mm is near the bottom of my choices for carry.

  3. #3
    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    If you want hot 9mm loads - buy a 40 S&W. Heavy ++P 9mm loading is really made for submachine guns/pistols, not regular semi-auto handguns.

  4. #4


    When it comes to pistol calibers for defense its bullet design...the 9mm Hornady 135 gr Critical Duty would be hard to beat...


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