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Old 12-28-2005, 07:36 AM   #1
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124-grain Winchester ball

Part of my daily carry load is Winchester NATO 124-grain ball, which develops about 1,250 fps. In practical terms this is a +P loading; fired cases show no excessive pressure signs, but I only shoot this round in guns with heavy recoil springs to minimize possible battering of internal parts. Stock number of this ammo is Q4318, and the headstamps show the circle and cross NATO emblem, along with sealed and crimped primers.



Recently I ordered more 124 Winchester but accidentally ordered the "commercial" loading. This round is milder (approximately 100 fps slower), but it shoots really well in my guns; during an extended shooting session on Monday, I discovered that my green and black Mark III experienced lots of failures to cycle fully when using 115-grain S&B, though it has worked flawlessly with the 124 S&B. Every 124-127 grain round I've tried has generated enough recoil to cycle through the extra spring weight, so it's nice to find an affordable 124-grainer. Stock number is USA9MM, and it costs about $1.50 less per box than the NATO rounds. There's another case of the commercial stuff that should be here by Friday.



Honestly, I wish I could find a reliable source for the 124 S&B, since the ballistics are nearly identical, but the cost is considerably less than either the commercial or NATO Winchester loadings.



Just rambling after working all night...



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Old 12-28-2005, 11:29 AM   #2
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124-grain Winchester ball

Hi Leland,



Your ramblings sounds pretty good and it makes sense.



Just out of curiousity, I heard/read somewhere that Winchester White Box was made by S&B and imported into the country remarketed under the Winchester Trademark in the 115 grain flavor?



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Old 12-28-2005, 01:36 PM   #3
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124-grain Winchester ball

Anything is possible, but I don't buy that story until I hear it from Winchester, but in the age of outsourcing you just can't know.



I have a case and a half of WWB 115s back there in the ammo locker, 1,000 rounds in 50-round boxes and the rest in 100-round boxes from Wally World. When I break into it I'll take a very close look to see if I find anything S&B-ish about it.



My whole point of the 124-grain ammo has been to gain a bit of an advantage in penetration, both with ball and HP ammo. I've heard half a dozen "experts" tell me that they'd rather rely on a .38 Special with +P ammo than a 9mm loaded with the best high performance ammo available. My question is, why?



My 9mm fires a .355" diameter 124-grain Hydra Shok at >1,100 fps.



My .38 snubnose Smith fires a .357" diameter 125-grain soft hollow point at around 900 - 950 fps.



A simgle grain of bullet weight and .002" in diameter simply doesn't seem like enough extra to make a huge difference, especially when the .38 slug is travelling as much as 200 - 250 fps slower than the 9mm. On paper the 9mm is far and away the more powerful, so is there some other factor that would make the .38 a better choice for defense?
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Old 12-28-2005, 10:06 PM   #4
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124-grain Winchester ball

Traditionally most older European 9x19mm handguns are set up to cycle 124gr rounds. This is because 9mm in 124gr bullet at a velocity of about 1150 to 1200 ft/sec is the original 9x19 parabellum load. The FN/Browning Hi Power was designed around the original European 9mm Parabellum round. This is the reason it will cycle hotter 124gr loads better.



Regarding Winchester/Western ammo. It is made and owned by Olin chemical corp, an American owned company located in Ill. They have been producing ammo here in this country for many decades and have held US military contracts off and on since WWI.



Just curious, where do you get all that Winchester NATO ammo from? Is it real M882 NATO Ball or just commercial 124gr loaded with NATO surplus brass? Winchester lost it's DoD contract to produce 9mm M882 NATO Ball in 2002, so they have tons of surplus brass with NATO headstamps that they use throughout 2003 and 2004 for commercial target ammo produced in those years. I bought a white box of Winchester 115gr ammo that was all NATO headstamped because it was loaded with their surplus brass. 115gr is not NATO spec. I figure since we are at war and our forces need all the ammo they can get, that there would not be any quality Winchester 9mm NATO ammo available to the general public.

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Old 12-29-2005, 06:52 AM   #5
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124-grain Winchester ball

I've gotten the NATO marked ball ammo both from Sportsman's Guide and from Natchez Shooter's Supply. It's all been headstamped 2003. Currently SG has some in stock, but Natchez doesn't have it. They do list Federal NATO ball, but it's in regular military style boxes marked as M882; I assume that ammo is production overrun.



For what it's worth, my Mark IIIs both shoot to point of aim with the NATO marked ammunition. With the heavier (18.5#) springs, both guns have some issues with certain 115 standard velocity loads, but not a single 124 or 125-grain load has failed to cycle the guns properly. (I'm going to act as if the distasteful Olympic ammo incident never took place.)



I checked the Winchester website yesterday, and it states that the NATO loading is not always available. I checked the ballistics of the commercial 124s, and at 1140 fps it's nothing to sneeze at. It's also available on a regular basis, which makes it a good choice for me. I have several hundred rounds of the NATO stuff on hand, though, so I won't be running out of anything real soon.
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:54 AM   #6
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124-grain Winchester ball

Hi Leland,



Yes, it makes sense to carry the 9mm round over the .38 special round to gain advantage of velocity, bullet weight and penetration.



Knowing all this, I wonder why more "snubby" makers haven't clamored to offer more snubs in 9 mm. It seems they will introduce only one model every so often?



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Old 12-29-2005, 02:10 PM   #7
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124-grain Winchester ball

Hiya Chris,



S&W made one for a while, the 940. Fans of the 940 think its the best snub S&W ever made.



I just wish they'd bring out an Airweight version, though I have mixed feelings about that. Recoil would be an issue.



There were a few design issues with the chamber dimensions that needed to be resolved but I think the current owners would do it right. Basically, Federal brass gives sticky extraction in some guns. Remchester does fine.



For some reason, every 940 I've handled has the smoothest and lightest trigger of any J frame I've felt.



Ballistics are outstanding. 1050fps with a rather slow lot of Silvertips (only did 1120 in a 4" Grock 19), 1080 with 124gr Nyclads (1140 in the G19) and over 1100fps with +P Golden Sabres (1190 in the G19). As you can see it gives up maybe 60-80 FPS versus a 4" Grock. Fellow I knew in Ohio had a 3" 940 that consistantly clocked faster than 4" autopistols with every load he tried.



Hiya Leland,



I have had a couple of cases of 115gr Whitebox that had the NATO headstamp, 01 date and crimped primers. I prolly ought to pull one and weigh the bullet just out of curiousity.



The commercial NATO stuff I've had were in boxes marked RA9124N. WCC91 and WCC93. It did 1160 from the 4" G19.



Regards,



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Old 12-29-2005, 04:13 PM   #8
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124-grain Winchester ball

I have some WWB 115s a friend ordered with one of his bigger orders, and I don't think I've looked at the headstamp. He said it was "military spec," but I didn't care because it was only about five dollars a box.



Pat, the velocity you got from the Glock with the 124 NATO ammo is only 20 or 30 fps less than what Winchester claims on their website, and I'll bet a slightly longer barrel would bring it up to that mark.
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Old 12-29-2005, 05:49 PM   #9
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124-grain Winchester ball

Have used only 124gr rounds in both my Browning HP MkII and MkIII without one hiccup. Have used 115gr in other 9mm pistols but prefer 124gr or 125gr loads in 9mm with a muzz velocity of 1150 to 1250 ft/sec.



Intersesting - when many GIs returned home from Europe after WWII with trophy Luger P-08, Walther P-38, and Nazi made P-35' HP's they had many failures in these guns while trying to fire the scaled down American version of the 9mm Parabellum loads. The load being offered by most American makers of those days was usually a 115gr bullet loaded with less powder to throw it at about 1000 to 1050 ft/sec. The guns themselves were usually never the problem, it was the scaled down version of the ammo. The main springs and recoil springs in these older guns were set up to cycle the hotter loads with a heavier bullet that was the original pre-war/wartime Parabellum load.
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:27 PM   #10
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124-grain Winchester ball

One other data point:



One reason they can sell Whitebox cheap is that the control limits are wider, so to keep the upper control limit within specs they lower the average pressure. Less rejects that way.



The old 115gr Super-X ball was consistantly hotter (and with less Standard Deviation) than Whitebox 115gr. Burns cleaner also.





Regards,



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