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Discussion Starter #1
I want to stock up on some FMJ range ammo, and will eventually order a variety of 50 round boxes to try before ordering a case.
I am fairly new to 9mm, as I have shot mostly .40 and .45 for years.
But I was wondering what weight you guys have found most accurate in your M&P's ?

I like the idea of an intermediate weight 124 grain in my carry ammo, more velocity than 147, a bit more mass than 115 grain. And I'd like my practice ammo to be the same weight as my carry ammo.
But if 115 grain or 147 grain is noticeably more accurate, I wouldn't be opposed to trying some.

For me to order a variety of all 3 weights will end up being a lot of ammo, and a lot of testing. It would be nice to narrow things down by sticking with one weight.
I will be shooting the ammo out of a PC Shield with 3 inch barrel, and a Fullsize with 5 inch barrel.
 

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I've never run the 147 grain but have run both 115 and 124 through both my Shield and 4" barrel Compact. I can't say I've noticed a difference in accuracy. I'd read that the 124 was supposed to be better so I intentionally tried it along with the 115 on the same day in the same guns and honestly didn't see a difference.
 

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I think you'll need to test your particular gun to see what it "likes" best, and if there's any significant difference in felt recoil.
 

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I'm of the opinion that you need to shoot it in your gun too. Just because different manufacturers have the same weight bullet doesn't mean their loads will act the same.

I don't know if this means anything to you, but 147s are inherently subsonic, the others probably won't be. It makes a difference if you intend having a can sometime.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Of course I plan to try what ever I get in my two guns. I just can't see ordering 5 or 6 boxes of different 115 grainers, 5 or 6 boxes of different124 grainers, and 5 or 6 boxes of different 147 grainers. That's a lot of ammo and a lot of testing.
So far I've tried the W-W NATO FMJ, the R-P Golden Saber JHP and the Atomic +P JHP (all 124 grains) and all have grouped around 2 inches at 25 yards, so maybe that's as good as I can expect. I'll get a few boxes each of 115 grain and 147, if they don't do any better then I'll stick with 124 grain.
 

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I just can't see ordering 5 or 6 boxes of different 115 grainers, 5 or 6 boxes of different124 grainers, and 5 or 6 boxes of different 147 grainers. That's a lot of ammo and a lot of testing.

A little perspective... That's just one solid day at the range for some of us.
 
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I prefer 147's. I carry G2's 147s. I load 147s that clock around 1050 FPS out of a 5" and they give me the similar recoil to the G2's. I use those reloads to shoot gun games.

They also run fine and seem to shoot softer than 115's in my PCC.

I also have cans and it makes sense to run subsonic.

For bulk training and guest shooting, I run the cheapest brass case stuff I can buy and that is 115.

That 147 load also proved to be the most accurate out of my primary gamer pistol.
 

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Here is a suggestion. Buy Gold Dot 124 +P "Seconds" for $70 for 350 Rounds ($0.20 a round) and reliability testing is cheap and you could even practice with the same stuff you carry (although prudency suggest "First" quality for carry).

S&B 124 NATO for a little cheaper practice rounds hit near the same point of impact and actually seem a bit snappier than the.+P Gold Dots. We got 1270 fps out of a 4.9" Beretta Barrel so it's warm.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was thinking about the 124 gr. Gold Dot +P for carry, but I've not heard of "seconds" for them. That's cheap enough to shoot the seconds as a practice round. Where do you get them ?
That S&B NATO is pretty warm, I get 1200 out of my 5 inch M&P with Winchester 124 grain NATO. 1270 is like +P+.
The Atomic bonded 124 grain I tested went 1300 fps. average, a bit warmer than I want to shoot in my guns.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A little perspective... That's just one solid day at the range for some of us.
A little perspective, KR. Not all of us has the money (or the time) to shoot $150-$180 worth of ammo at a day's range outing.
Once upon a time maybe, but not now....
 

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I prefer 147's. I carry G2's 147s. I load 147s that clock around 1050 FPS out of a 5" and they give me the similar recoil to the G2's. I use those reloads to shoot gun games.

They also run fine and seem to shoot softer than 115's in my PCC.

I also have cans and it makes sense to run subsonic.

For bulk training and guest shooting, I run the cheapest brass case stuff I can buy and that is 115.

That 147 load also proved to be the most accurate out of my primary gamer pistol.
Yup, yup, and yup.

I went so far to the soft shooting side that I load 160s for shooting games. After other folks shot my loads they too started to load them. FWIW, they are specially sized bullets intended for .38/.357. They won't be found listed in the 9mm section. Not all brass is built to handle their length. Oddly enough, one might think that they won't cycle guns. But the energy is the same as any other minor PF load. It just recoils differently (slower) to give that butterfly fart feel.
 

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NATO spec ammo is often loaded above SAAMI standards. I wouldn't shoot it regularly in a pistol I planned to keep for a long time.
 

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NATO Vs. SAAMI

They are just different specs. I tried to find the actual numbers to compare loads between the two but got tired of looking. Plenty of articles say the NATO 124 grain is between the Saami std and +P.

I bought some because that’s what the local store had at the time. I won’t lose any sleep using it.

Good article....
https://www.gunnuts.net/2009/04/03/9mm-nato-vs-9mm-luger/

And from Target Sports USA Q&A for what its worth:
https://www.targetsportsusa.com/winchester-usa-9mm-ammo-nato-124-gr-fmj-q4318-p-697.aspx

Question:What's the difference between Winchester NATO 124 grain 9mm and Winchester 9mm Luger? Are they both flat platen, flat nose like other White Box Winchester? Are all White Box flat platen? - Gary (04/15/2019)

Response:HI Gary, the Winchester NATO 9mm 124 Grain ammo is made to NATO specs which are lot tighter then the SAAMI specs and therefore better quality ammunition in general. Thank you for buying 9mm ammo online at TargetSportsUSA.com

Question:Is this 9mm NATO round hotter-close to +p- compared to other 9mm Luger rounds? Suitable for pistols not rated for +p? - ivan (03/05/2018)

Response:Hi Ivan, this NATO Spec Winchester USA 9mm Luger NATO 124 Grain Full Metal Jacket ammunition is definitely hotter then the regular SAAMI spec, however not as hot as the +P loads. Thank you for visiting Target Sports USA.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Some more range time with the two new guns (well the PC Shield is one I've had for several years, just the 9mm barrel is new) shows grain weight will be dependent on impact with the fixed sights. And of course, the Fullsize and PC Shield hit quite different, so I won't be able to standardize on the same grain weight.
I noticed with my Shield .45 that 230 grain W-W hit 4-5 inches above where I was aiming, but Hornady 200 grain XTP hit dead on. So 200 grain it is for the .45.

The new ported 40 to 9mm conversion barrel in the Shield was hitting 4-5 inches low with 124 grain, so I'll try some 147 grain in the PC Shield.
With the same 124 grain loads ( 3 different brands) the Fullsize 9mm was impacting 2 inches high, so I'll get a few boxes of 115 grain to try in it.

I won't be shooting the PC Shield near as much as the Fullsize, so I won't need to keep much 147 grain on hand. A few boxes of HST or Gold Dots, and a few boxes of 147 grain FMJ to practice with from time to time.

If the 5 inch FS hits closer to the aiming point with 115 grain, I'll buy a metric ton of it.
Easier to vary grain weight to get impact to match sights than to try to talk Tru-Glo or Trijicon into making me shorter or taller front sights.
 

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I have 147gr JHP Fiocchi in my Shield 9mm (2.0). I chose it due to the low amount of flash at night. It was much less than the 124gr JHP Fiocchi which gave me a 3' bright white flash.
 

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It depends on need, for training go with the same bullet weight and the closest velocity to your defensive ammo. For competition, 115 gr is usually the cheapest but the local steel challenge shooters often run 147gr because the different recoil actually helps stage times.
Personally I go cheap with Remington LE brown box for training
 
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