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 Post subject: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911?
New postPosted: September 1st, 2017, 1:01 pm 
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Found a NIB STI Lawman 3.0 in 9mm for a very favorable price at Shooters Vault, Surprise location. It is a steel slide on a forged, single stack aluminum frame. I really like it and it ran for 170 rounds nonstop before it showed signs of needing a cleaning. I used 124 gr. FMJ from Magtech for the break-in. It did not like my usual go to HP ammo, the Remington Golden Saber 124 gr. nose dived every few rounds. It hand cycles fine so was surprised that this very round ogive HP was a problem. I have an EGW HD magazine catch coming today to install. I called Virgil Tripp yesterday to pick his brain about the HP loading problem (he was one of the STI founders). What a great guy, very generous with his time and knowledge. His very first suggestion was the EGW part which I noted he does not even sell. He told me it simply works, lifts the magazine enough for the round to be more effectively grasped. I also learned a lot about magazine lip and follower designs from Virgil.

Now for my question up for discussion - I have read a lot about using heavy for caliber ammunition in the so called "micro" semiautomatic pistols. I see Federal is now marketing a 150 gr. HST (for twice the price of the 147 gr.) with claims of great expansion, penetration within FBI protocol and minimal recoil. Recoil is not really a concern for me with 9mm. I do intend to run standard pressure rounds as suggested by STI in deference to the alloy frame.
Do you believe heavy bullets from short barrels make sense?

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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: September 1st, 2017, 1:25 pm 
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If they run, and shoot to point of aim, go for it.

If they don't run, that settles that.

Despite my preference for heavy bullets, I find in my LC9 that the recoil before the bullet gets out of the barrel causes me to shoot 3 or 4 inches high at 7 yards, which is unacceptable for a gun that I might need to use to make head shots. I went back to 115 JHP.

Buy a box, shoot slow-fire groups for accuracy with 115 and 147 (or 150) and see if there is a significant difference in POI. Reliability and POA/POI trump "stopping power," which is always marginal no matter what you use.

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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: September 2nd, 2017, 1:57 pm 
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^ Agree that reliability is the crucial piece. It is a pussy cat with 124 gr. standard pressure ammo. These stubby 1911's in 9mm have a reputation for poor feed reliability with nose diving the primary complaint. My Checkmate and Metalform mags work fine. Wilson exhibits nose dive so ordered stiffer magazine spring sets from Wolff. Have some mags coming from Tripp as well to try, I like his follower design. Will be fun trying heavier weight stuff in this gun. I appreciate the response.

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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: September 5th, 2017, 11:09 am 
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I was going to refer you to the Lucky Gunner Ammo Test they did for a bunch of calibers, and I knew the 150gr HST was on there too, I think that part of the website is having problems because I can't load it at the moment, the only thing that shows up is the separate .38spl and .357 magnum tests they did later on.

Just going off of memory I really liked the Barnes TAC-XPD round because of its superior expansion and sweet spot penetration. I don't recall much of how the Federal loads did, but they seemed to be middling, so I don't think you'd be steered wrong by using any of them.

Edit: The Lucky Gunner Ammo Test site is back up, the 150gr HST did very good as well, similar to the Barnes, the only difference being consistency, the last two rounds seemed to want to penetrate beyond the FBI protocol's 12" to 18".


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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: October 7th, 2017, 10:40 pm 
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Always heavier in a short barrel.

The lighter bullets work well at high velocity, but generally fail to function as designed as the velocity falls off. Heavier bullets have deeper/wider HPs and thus work as lower velocity.

Further, heavier bullets lose less velocity, both absolutely, and as a percentage, compared to lighter ones from a shorter barrel.

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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: October 19th, 2017, 6:48 am 
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Article by Bill Wilson about making compact 1911s reliable:

http://www.boomershooter.com/forums/index.php/topic/14921-a-reliable-compact-1911-by-bill-wilson/

Quote:
So we must slow the slide cycle speed down and this is accomplished by a combination of the following:

Heavy hammer spring
Square bottom firing pin stop
Ammunition that generates less recoil impulse
Proper recoil spring weight for the ammunition used

It’s much easier to slow the slide down by making it harder for it to cock the hammer than it is to just add poundage to the recoil spring. What we’re doing here is increasing the force needed to cock the hammer with a heavier spring and reducing the slides ability to cock the hammer by lowering the leverage point on the hammer, thus slowing slide cycle speed.

All the mechanical changes are important, but the biggest factor is ammunition selection because it affects both slide cycle speed and the magazine’s ability to lift the cartridge into position for proper feeding. Ammunition loaded with 230gr bullets generate more recoil impulse (especially +P loads) than 185gr loads and 7 rounds of 185gr ammunition weighs 315gr less than 7 rounds of 230gr ammunition making the column of ammunition easier for the magazine spring to lift. I hope you see where I’m going here? With modern hollow point bullets we have LOTS of bullet choices of 200gr or less that have proven to be VERY effective in regards to terminal performance.

Here are my personal ammunition choices for compact 1911s:
200gr Lead Semi-Wadcutter (H&G #68 mold) loaded to 850fps
200gr Hornady HAP loaded to 850fps
160gr Barnes TAC TX loaded to 1050fps
185gr Barnes TAC TX loaded to 950fps
185gr Winchester Silvertip
185gr Remington Golden Sabre
200gr Hornady XTP

The ammunition you DO NOT want to shoot in compact 1911s is 230gr +P loads!

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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: October 21st, 2017, 12:39 pm 
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Bill is talking about reliability, not terminal performance.

The same advice normally is given for 1911s in 10mm, namely, squared bottom firing pin retainer and heavier mainspring.

Never had reliability problems with ANY 1911, ever. But if you are having issues then the advice is sound.

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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: October 25th, 2017, 1:58 pm 
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I like the mid weight defensive carry ammo over the heavier duty ammo. I try to avoid the heaviest weight bullets in 9mm because they are near the maximum overall length along with the weight. In shorter barrel weapons and smaller guns I have seen a tendency to nose dive or get stuck on the ramp because the slide is just starting to move forward and no momentum is built up before there is resistance from the mag or ramp.

Basically like when you slowly hand cycle the action and it hangs up on starting to strip the round from the tension in the mag or the round against the ramp. I can't prove it's caused by the weight and over all length but it only happens with those rounds. Going down to 115 to 124 or lighter it doesn't happen.

Add to this the fact that some of the rounds designed as defense ammo or carry ammo and not duty ammo seem to have a more feed friendly profile and that's what I stick to. I've shot thru most of the 147 grn stuff at the range and while the issues discussed are rare they still happen.

I now buy corbon +p, federal HST and winchester pdx1 in the +9 124 grn variety. The first 2 are really duty ammo but the winchester is defense ammo. As long as it's not the 147 grn stuff the duty stuff doesn't seem to cause an issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: October 25th, 2017, 4:49 pm 
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Here's Bill Wilson again, this time specifically addressing 9mm 1911s (but not short ones):

https://www.wilsoncombat.com/faqs/

Scroll down the page for self-defense ammo recommendations.

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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: October 26th, 2017, 8:26 am 
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There is a 9mm 147Gr Gold Dot specifically made for "Short Barrel"
It is pretty much the same as the regular 147gr Gold Dot 9mm, but with a faster burning powder.
You may want to try that if you want a known brand.


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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: November 18th, 2017, 5:29 pm 
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electrohawk wrote:
There is a 9mm 147Gr Gold Dot specifically made for "Short Barrel"
It is pretty much the same as the regular 147gr Gold Dot 9mm, but with a faster burning powder.
.


No actually it is not.

Same powder.

The difference is the shape of the hollow point. The bottom the the HP is wider and more squared off, this allows the HP to open at a lower velocity.

On the 9mm it may not be that noticeable, but on the .45 short barrel the shape difference is really apparent, the bottom of the HP cavity is completely flat instead of cupped. The 9 is the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: November 20th, 2017, 6:01 pm 
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milquetoast wrote:
Here's Bill Wilson again, this time specifically addressing 9mm 1911s (but not short ones):

https://www.wilsoncombat.com/faqs/

Scroll down the page for self-defense ammo recommendations.


That's a good read right there, I recently picked up a Star BM so I'm in the same boat now as well, I haven't dared shoot any +p from it (though I figure if I don't have a steady diet of it or only use +p as carry then I'll be ok). I take I'd be fine with any of the non +p variants of the defensive rounds from any of the big names.


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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: December 10th, 2017, 7:09 am 
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Following up re: STI 3.0 Lawman 9 MM and ammunition choice. It is working reliably now after a 400 round break in period. I have settled on the new (overpriced)150 grain HST for SD carry and the 147 grain FMJ for practice, as both feed reliably and hit to my point of aim. Sincerely appreciated all the thoughts, experiences and the links reference this caliber in the 1911 platform.

EDIT to add - the Tripp 9mm mags are fantastic and the Metalform ones sold by Dawson Precision also work just fine. I had no consistent luck with the Wilson even after I added a Tripp follower and even after changing out to a heavier magazine spring so it is relegated to the junk pile.

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 Post subject: Re: Heavy for caliber ammunition for a 3 inch 9mm Model 1911
New postPosted: December 10th, 2017, 7:44 am 
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Thanks for the follow-up. Always nice to hear "the rest of the story."

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