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Thread: Do you prefer slower and heavier, or lighter and faster?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master




    Idaho45guy's Avatar
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    Do you prefer slower and heavier, or lighter and faster?

    Speaking in terms of self-defense ammo.

    I got a deal on some 200 grain Speer Gold Dots for .40 S&W and 10mm and just loaded up a batch in .40 S&W that supposedly go only 857 fps using 231. The same in 10mm goes just over 1000 fps.

    I'm sure both are fine for self-defense.

    Usually I just let the pistol pick the bullet weight it likes and go with that.

    Curious as to what other folks prefer.
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Lighter and faster tend to have less over penetration and quicker stops.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  3. #3
    Boolit Master




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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    Lighter and faster tend to have less over penetration and quicker stops.
    Huh. You would think that would be true with the heavier bullets. But, I tried to review the bullet debates and just gave up. Too much arguing and math for my taste.

    I've heard that lighter bullets in pistols recoil more than heavier bullets, which is the opposite of what I've found to be true with rifles. I'm not recoil sensitive at all with pistols, so I've never noticed either way. With rifles, I can definitely feel a difference with the heavier bullets.
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho45guy View Post
    Huh. You would think that would be true with the heavier bullets. But, I tried to review the bullet debates and just gave up. Too much arguing and math for my taste.

    .
    Do a penetration comparison between 230 grain 45 ball and a 185 hollow point 45 ACP. The lighter fast one expands way more and penetrates less. If neither one expands it not as clear cut.

    Recoil is highly subjective but most people tolerate a heavier slower push verse sharper slap that the higher velocity tends to produce.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    pretty sure this is one of the best user friendly data sets ever.
    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...ic-tests/#40SW
    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/10m...tic-gel-tests/

    the 200gr might be made for 10mm speeds far as expansion goes since there werent any in the 40 test maybe someone knows what there designed for ?
    Last edited by bmortell; 11-25-2020 at 03:26 AM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master




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    Quote Originally Posted by bmortell View Post
    pretty sure this is one of the best user friendly data sets ever.
    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...ic-tests/#40SW
    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/10m...tic-gel-tests/

    the 200gr might be made for 10mm speeds far as expansion goes since there werent any in the 40 test maybe someone knows what there designed for ?
    Great link!

    I only use (can get or have on hand) Speer Gold Dots, Hornady XTPs, and RMR MPRs in .40 S&W and 9mm.

    Looks like the 200gr Gold Dots I just bought are excellent in the 10mm, but untested in .40 S&W at slower speeds.
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    i used that for my 357 ammo. i just sorted page by diameter and picked the black copper bullets since they were the biggest consistently in the right spot in both 2 and 4 inch. maybe dont matter much but it was much easier than the time i spent thinking about brands lol

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have 125 gr. XTP's in my 3" Model 60. Light gun, lighter bullets. 124 gr. in my M&P 9mm. When I carried a 1911 it was 230 gr. XTP's. All plenty good for thin skinned critters.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    Odd never really thought about light or heavy bullets. Always looked for +/- 1000fps minimum from whatever I use. Doesn't matter if it's a snubnosed revolver, short bbl'd pistol, etc. After that bullet style/design/weight would come into play.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master
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    There's no free lunch in physics. Everything is a compromise
    Given a limitation on pressure, a fixed diameter and a length of time to apply that pressure to a projectile; you're going to be down to the weight of that projectile as one of your few remaining variables.
    At that point you can trade velocity for weight or weight for velocity.

    There is no magic answer or some way to escape the physics involved.

    So given those inescapable limitations, we seek the best possible compromise that achieves MOST of the traits that we want.
    We can trade mass for velocity or velocity for mass; to a point. Somewhere in there we will have a range of acceptable traits. There are obvious limits to that range.

    So assuming we are only dealing with acceptable pressures for a cartridge; The first criteria should be: Will it be 100% reliable in the gun? This is an absolute deal breaker and anything that isn't 100% reliable is immediately rejected.

    The next criteria is: What do I want to achieve ?
    Do I want a certain level of penetration in a known substance (like say ballistic gelatin?).
    Do I want it to penetrate some known barrier before penetrating a certain amount of gelatin?
    Do I want it to penetrate a certain amount of gelatin but not more than another amount of gelatin (say penetrate 12" but never 18" ?)
    Do I want the best possible accuracy and I don't care about penetration?
    The list goes on and on.

    So getting back to the OP's question on preference of heavy & slow verses fast & light ? The answer is a great, big, "It depends on what I am trying to accomplish" !

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Good post Petrol & Powder !
    And when you add in the all the inconsistencies in a hunting or defense situation you make your best guess

  12. #12
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    I've gone to Inceptor's 60 grain loading for my 380's for SD loads. Will get the 9mm in 65 grain to try along with the 135 grain for my 45's too.





    I'm going for the lighter and faster in my trials. I've shot the heavier and slower in the past, and loaded accordingly, but I'm open to try new things too.

  13. #13
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    I base my principles off myself: slow and heavy.

    In all seriousness, I prefer
    9mm-124gr class
    40S&W 165-180gr class
    45 ACP 230gr class

    Seems to be the best compromise between weight and velocity

    Just remember Clint Smith saying:
    Handguns put holes IN people
    Rifles put holes THROUGH people
    Shotguns with the right load at the right range will physically take a chunk of **** off your opponent and throw that **** on the floor

  14. #14
    Boolit Man


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    Slower and heavier for the easy to handle firearms. Faster and lighter for the more difficult to handle.
    A physicists will tell you that the most common element in the universe is hydrogen. That is not correct; the most common element in the universe is stupidity.

    Will Rogers 1879 - 1935:
    The problem ain't what people know. It's what people know that ain't so that's the problem.
    Everybody is ignorant. Only on different subjects.
    There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    Lighter and faster tend to have less over penetration and quicker stops.
    Over penetration is a myth.

    The primary feature of a handgun bullet needed to make sure it works is to ensure it reliably has ENOUGH penetration.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    For home defence inside the house its 12 ga and 7.5 shot. At inside the living room ranges shot size does not make much difference.

    The difference being a 00 buckshot could in theory go through several rooms and into a neighbors. Where 7.5 shot is unlike to penitrate more than one wall. My walls being plaster and lathe with 5/8ths sheetrock over the top. So I don't have to worry about a stray shot killing my loved ones or a neighbor.

    Outside the house I prefer big and heavy. 230 to 310 grains. Speed is not a big issue. You just need to know the rainbow.

    Small and fast is easy, but IMO not as effective. I used to be a member of the small and fast.
    But time and experience showed me a better way, for me at least.
    Not trying to convert anyone else.

    However I have not completely give up on small and fast. I like shooting small caliber pistols. .32sw long, .22mag, .22lr. All have their place, and tend to be more accurate.
    Not to mention easier on old hands and wrists.
    I truly believe we need to get back to basics.

    Get right with the Lord.
    Get back to the land.
    Get back to thinking like our forefathers thought.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I usually carry lighter and faster, whatever you carry be sure to practice with it.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    Depends on caliber and action type (revolver or auto loader). One solution does not fit all situations. I agree on practice with what you carry. This is why I load my own for carry guns. It's the only way I can afford to practice with what I carry.

    Thanks,
    Stephen

  19. #19
    Boolit Mold

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    I base bullet choice on performance, regardless of what caliber/cartridge I am shooting. I want enough speed to get a bullet to do what I want, whether that is expand, come apart, or penetrate deeply. I want light enough weight to get that speed.
    For me, in a 10mm, I use a cast flat nose gas check 200-ish grain bullet for backcountry carry in bear or cat country, at max speeds (around 12-1300 fps) of air cooled wheel weights. Same gun, in town, I would prefer the same bullet, but in HP trim, again around 12-1300 fps. I would shoot whitetail with the HP version, based on observed performance in gallon jugs of water. Using a 40, I would opt for a lighter bullet if I could. If not, I would use the same bullets, just 300 or so fps slower.
    In a 9, I carry Hornady Critical Defense, because of the proven performance in tests. I wouldn't reach for that 9 load in bear country, but I would take it over water balloons or a stick.
    -Molon Labe-

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Groo's Avatar
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    Groo here
    Depends,, I like 230gr 45 acp [but shoot light weight guns]
    In 9mm,115s,38 spec 90-110 to 125, 357 125 usually, don't like 40, 10mm for sd 150 to 180 ,
    Always trying for 1000 fps [impact] to insure deformation.
    Big bore , 800 to 900 flat nose.
    Light fast HP, heaver and slow flat nose.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check