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Gents,

Stephen just added his 9mm ammo update to the BHP section of High-Powers and Handguns. As always, Stephen's opinions and recommendations are well thought out and based on his experience, testing, and research.
Thanks for the updates and new data Stephen!
Many of us, self included, have sought the Nirvana of ammo for years. Something that will make bad guys topple or disappear in a flash of smoke and flame. All this while penetrating "just enough" and not "over penetrating". As good as ammunition is today there are too many other variables that affect the terminal ballistics of the round.
Then, of course we consider the effect of such ammo on our beloved Hi-Powers.
Frankly, I tend to be a bit ammo "shy" in my 9mm Hi-power. This due to the cost of the weapon and my desire for longevity. In 9mm I'm going to back away from the +P+ ammo and return to standard pressure ammo. Like Stephen, the real difference for us may be in bullet placement and the use of sound tactics.
Should I want to hot rod the 9mm for self-defense obtaining a MK III Hi-Power would be a priority.
Those wishing more "stopping power" might look to the slightly heavier BHP in .40 S&W. Particularly, when used with the Cor-Bon 135 gr. JHP load. This clocked 1,389 FPS FPS from my MK III and 1,376 from my CZ-75. To date I can find no documented shootings with this round. Probably, because it's too expensive for most (all?) agencies to issue it. Still, it manifests all the characteristics we deem necessary for the 9mm AND does it with a slightly heavier bullet with a larger cross section.
What do we do? We are still faced with the dilemma of ammo selection and performance. I would suggest the following and am pretty sure Stephen would agree.
1. Carry the ammo you believe to be best suited to your needs. For most this may be standard pressure loads given the "frontal" nature of non-LE altercations. Again, your choice.
2. Commit to a training regimen of some type. Remember, basics can be taught and practiced without shooting. In fact that may be better, initially, and as a training "place holder".
3. Commit to a survival mind set. Paranoia is not needed, but a "cautious" approach to a daily life is most recommended.

These are only my recommendations. The beauty of this is we have choice. Make sure you make a wise one.

Semper Fi,

Wes
 

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Hello, sir, and thank you for the kind words and your post. Both are appreciated. I've mentioned this a time or two elsewhere, but will again since I cannot recall exactly where I posted it other than in a book I did a while back.

While there definitely are some calibers/loads that "work" better than others, I flat do not trust any handgun caliber that is commonly used for self-protection to instantly deck a determined opponent save the hard-to-get CNS shot.

Here are some examples why:

Several years ago two officers under my command were required to shoot a burglar who was trying the wrestle an 18" bbl shotgun from one. Cutting to the chase, this irritated them severely so the one with the shotgun cranked one off when it lined up with his sternum. As best as we could tell from the firearm examiner's report, he took the load of 12 ga. No. 4 buck from about 18". At about the same time that the shotgun-wielding officer was shredding the BG's heart (literally), Ofc. #2 popped him in the neck with a Remington 125-gr. SJHP (357 mag) from a 4" Model 686. How that shot managed to hit absolutely nothing vital is beyond me, but it did.
Keep in mind that these two hits were pretty near simultaneous.

Mr.-soon-to-be-with-us-no-more-and-costing-taxpayers-too-much Bad Guy, let go of the shotgun bbl, leaned (not staggered) against a utility room wall and then sat down, using the wall as support, but not before he said something to the effect of, "I didn't think you'd shoot me," or something quite similar. A few seconds later, he lowered his felonious head and died.

It sort of made me stop and think about "stopping power" and handgun "power" in hard terms. I do think some rounds are better than others, but I am also convinced that if we want to make a BG "stop" because he physically has to rather than just psychologically wants to, we have got to be able to get the hit or hits quickly.

Pick a caliber/load 9mm up and once that's done, work at getting better. We never arrive at where we want to be, but we keep trying to. I find that I have to practice a bit more often than in times past; I suspect it is diminished eyesight and hand/eye coordination as I grow older.

I've said many times that I do think .40 and .45 ACP with better loads probably do best the 9mm, but I remain convinced that without placement in the proper spots, none of them will deck a determined aggressor.

A close friend of mine was shot twice by a burglar using a 357 magnum. One broke a femur while another traversed his abdomen side to side. On the way to the ground, my friend emptied his 5" 1911 and smacked the guy in the lower abdomen but once. The BG was located approximately a mile from the house.


As the old saying goes, "Ya' pays your money and takes your chance. I see winning a deadly force scenario not only a matter of caliber and load, but in terms of how well we play the game with tactics, marksmanship, and the sheer will to live. Still, there is probably going to be a big element of chance, the proverbial "roll of the dice" from Lady Luck involved...

...and then a dude being chased by a BG with a knife, pops him one single time through the heart with a .25 FMJ and the BG is DRT!

Go figure.

Best.
 

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again, Stephen gives us sage advice (and a really fine picture). This might be a good time to repost links to two excellent articles on the subject...

One-Shot Drops
Surviving the Myth
By ANTHONY J. PINIZZOTTO, Ph.D., HARRY A. KERN, M.Ed., and EDWARD F. DAVIS, M.S.
http://www.fbi.gov/publications/leb/2004/oct2004/oct04leb.htm#page_15
(scroll down about half way to find the report)



The "Patrick Report"
http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf
(this is in Adobe pdf so you need that to read it)

Both good reading.
og
 

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Stephen, your article on 9mm ammo is thorough, thoughtful, and well-reasoned (as usual). An excellent reference for anyone confused at the vast array of 9mm ammo out there. Thanks!
 

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Hello, sir, and thank you. Please do understand that I'm NOT saying that these are the only choices, but of the many I've tried, these have consistently performed nicely.

Best.
 

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Stephen, when I read that excellent article of yours, I was relieved that you considered the standard pressure Gold Dot to be an effective round. I had tried Cor Bon DPX +P in my T-series Hi Power and was disturbed by the "sparking" on ejection. In my opinion, the load was too severe for my old pistol. I knew I could switch to a stronger recoil spring (and buffer) as you recommend, but that would make it harder for my old hands to cycle the slide. I found the standard pressure Gold Dot to cycle properly in my gun. Now that you have confirmed that it is an effective hd/sd cartridge, I will sleep more easily.
Cordially, Jack
 

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Hello. I wouldn't be the least bit worried about using the excellent Speer 124-gr. std pressure Gold Dot for serious purposes. If you do your part, it will do its, I believe. I'm not sure if it is still true or not, but it is my understanding that the NYPD uses the +P version while the NYC Transit Police (or whoever polices the subways, etc) use the standard pressure load.

Best.
 

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Hello Mr. Camp, that photo is excellent.

Thanks for the report,
 

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I did some informal water jug tests with the Federal 115gr 9bp and the Remington 115gr(both non +p) rounds. They expanded well and held together nicely. I would feel very confident carrying either round especially when the reduced recoil will let me shoot more effectively.
 

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Hello. Now and again I hear from Hi Power fans and users from the US and other places. The last report I got was from a fellow in an African nation. "All" he had was 9BP, but had no trouble in permanently putting down two armed aggressors. One was a pinwheel chest hit and that guy dropped within a second or two. The other required two shots. As I understand this "anecdotal" information, both are still dead.

Best.
 
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Stephen: yes, the "anecdotal" reports on 9mm performance I've been getting from friends in The Sandbox are mostly along the same lines. If the bullets go where they should, the 9mm does very well indeed.
 
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