Heavy Bullets Shoot Softer
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  1. #1
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    Heavy Bullets Shoot Softer

    As a new first time shooter I put 200 rounds of 9mm through my G17 Gen 4 Version 2 at the range everyone like the FDE color. But what really struck me was how different and snappier more muzzle flash 115gr rounds have over 147gr rounds. I was able to get back on target right away. And Thanks to the improvements of the new Gen 4 Version 2 no brass to the face and less recoil or muzzle rise thanks to the included factory beaver tail earlier versions of the FDE Gen 4 dont have the extra attachment point to affix the beaver tail.

    I ll post pics later.

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...ps7d886cea.jpg
    Last edited by icecold; 07-07-2013 at 09:46 PM.

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    That extra 32 grains of bullet weight is slowing things down, would be my guess. As for being cleaner I would think different powders being used.

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    are you using 115 federals
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    using 115 federal and remington

    when I used 147gr Gold Dot and Lawman WOW. Something about TMJ total metal jacket that prvents the exposed lead base of the bullet from vaporizing ala less smoke. Also Higher quality powder again less smoke and flash. Im not buying 115gr again If I can avoid it.

    And at $15.00 from Cabela's free shipping no tax I can't complain bought 5 boxes of Hornaday 147gr 50 rounds Critical defense and 4 boxes Winchester PDX 147gr don't bother logging on to search Cabela's messed up an order of mine some time again now a glitch in their ordering system keeps me in a constant ordering loop of ANY 147gr 9mm they get in automatically.

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    Heavier bullets generally yield less felt recoil...

    Some people like it... some people prefer lighter snappier rounds...
    "While the anti-gunners seem very concerned about the "one life" that your firearm might take -- they are not very concerned about the lives it will save." Jon H. Gutmacher, Florida Firearms - Law, Use & Ownership

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    Quote Originally Posted by __jb View Post
    Heavier bullets generally yield less felt recoil...
    I remember the first time I experienced that... I bought some Federal HST Tactical 147 +P JHP and I was expecting .40 cal performance, or at least "heavy duty" 9mm recoil. First shot, I thought it was a "squib" it was was so soft shooting.

    It seemed counter-intuitive to me at the time, but since getting into reloading it makes perfect sense.... Heavier bullets are bigger bullets and bigger bullets leave less room for powder. Heavy bullet loads usually have a smaller powder charge due to head space challenges caused by the larger bullets. So, larger bullet and lighter powder load equals less recoil.

    Another counter-intuitive fact with heavier bullets is that they shoot "high" compared to lighter bullets. A 147gr 9mm WWB will shoot @ 6" higher at 15 yards than a 115gr 9mm WWB. That seems backwards to me, but it's true. It must be inertia, but it sure puzzles me...
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    Another reason it does this is that a heavier bullet takes a smaller powder charge.
    Look at a 147 grain and 115 grain reload data from Winchester.
    115 GR. / Hodgdon HS-6 / 6.7 / 1171 / 26,700 CUP / 7.0 / 1234 / 29,400 CUP
    147 GR. / Hodgdon HS-6 / 4.3 / 773 / 20,200 CUP / 5.0 / 885 / 27,900 CUP

    About a 50% increase in powder used at low and high end for the 22% lighter bullet.

    This was hard for me to understand when I started reloading my 45ACP. The heavier 230 bullets take less powder than a 200 grain.
    My initial thought was it would take more to move a heavier object but that's not the case in reloading.
    230 grain shoots softer than the 200.
    Thanks,
    Kevin
    Glock 30 / SA TRP 1911 / Sig P220 EQ / Sig P220 ST / Sig P226 ST / S&W 686 6" SS / Mossberg 590 / RRA AR-15

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    Quote Originally Posted by GT4point6 View Post
    Another reason it does this is that a heavier bullet takes a smaller powder charge.

    Look at a 147 grain and 115 grain reload data from Winchester.
    115 GR. / Hodgdon HS-6 / 6.7 / 1171 / 26,700 CUP / 7.0 / 1234 / 29,400 CUP
    147 GR. / Hodgdon HS-6 / 4.3 / 773 / 20,200 CUP / 5.0 / 885 / 27,900 CUP

    About a 50% increase in powder used at low and high end for the 22% lighter bullet.

    This was hard for me to understand when I started reloading my 45ACP. The heavier 230 bullets take less powder than a 200 grain. My initial thought was it would take more to move a heavier object but that's not the case in reloading.
    230 grain shoots softer than the 200.
    If we ignore the powder charge matter for a minute and just look at the bullet weight and velocity, we can use the USPSA method for determining "Power Factor" (PF).

    ((Bullet weight in grains) * (velocity in feet per second)) / 1,000 = PF

    Comparing PF between two loads gives you a simple basis for comparison of the recoil that the load will produce.

    For your sample loads:

    (115 * 1,171)/1,000 = 134.6 PF
    (115 * 1,234)/1,000 = 141.9 PF

    (147 * 773)/1,000 = 113.6 PF
    (147 * 885)/1,000 = 130.1 PF

    Power Factor is important in USPSA because targets are scored slightly differently, based on the PF of the ammo used by the shooter: below a PF of 160, the load is called "minor", above that is called "major". Because (I guess) it's more difficult to shoot a higher PF, more points are awarded for Major than Minor in B, C, and D zone hits.

    There's one more point I want to raise here, and that is acceleration of the bullet. I wish I was a physicist at times, so that I would really understand and be able to explain my hunch, which is that heavier bullets cannot accelerate as fast as light bullets (given a reasonable range energy values produced by the powder), and the slower acceleration yields less "snap" in the recoil.

    One more thing, GT4point6: I really appreciate your analytical approach to this topic. Well done.

    Chris
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

    Abraham Lincoln



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    Quote Originally Posted by EdF702 View Post
    I remember the first time I experienced that... I bought some Federal HST Tactical 147 +P JHP and I was expecting .40 cal performance, or at least "heavy duty" 9mm recoil. First shot, I thought it was a "squib" it was was so soft shooting.

    It seemed counter-intuitive to me at the time, but since getting into reloading it makes perfect sense.... Heavier bullets are bigger bullets and bigger bullets leave less room for powder. Heavy bullet loads usually have a smaller powder charge due to head space challenges caused by the larger bullets. So, larger bullet and lighter powder load equals less recoil.

    Another counter-intuitive fact with heavier bullets is that they shoot "high" compared to lighter bullets. A 147gr 9mm WWB will shoot @ 6" higher at 15 yards than a 115gr 9mm WWB. That seems backwards to me, but it's true. It must be inertia, but it sure puzzles me...
    I've always heard that heavier bullets have more inertia and stay in the barrel longer... Muzzle rise moves the point of impact higher. I don't know if that's accurate...



    Here's an interesting ultra slow motion close up video of a .45 ACP bullet in a semi-automatic pistol... Looks like the slide and barrel are still moving straight back when the bullet exits the barrel...
    "While the anti-gunners seem very concerned about the "one life" that your firearm might take -- they are not very concerned about the lives it will save." Jon H. Gutmacher, Florida Firearms - Law, Use & Ownership

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by __jb View Post
    I've always heard that heavier bullets have more inertia and stay in the barrel longer... Muzzle rise moves the point of impact higher. I don't know if that's accurate...
    I like that explanation because it fits nicely with my hunch that heavier bullets don't (can't) accelerate as fast as light ones!

    Chris
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

    Abraham Lincoln



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