Old Sub-Standard Ammo? [Archive] - Glock Talk


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08-06-2010, 20:01
Long story short. Winchester 9mm Luger Subsonic 147gr Jacketed-Controlled Expansion (FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY NOT FOR RETAIL SALE) Q4217. From what I've read on the net this is old stuff. This guy Chuck Hawk is even saying it's dangerous. Since buying this stuff I've learned more about guns and ammo and now carry Golden Sabers 124gr +P in my G19, they were sold out of Gold Dot. Is this ammo really as crappy and as dangerous as good ole Chuck says?

Now it is time to impart some crucial information: NEVER use 147 grain ammo in a 9mm pistol! There was a stupid fad for 147 grain hollowpoints a few years ago, and many were suckered into buying these weak, worthless and malfunction-prone rounds. I don't care what you've heard: never use any 9mm hollowpoint heavier than 125 grains. 147 grain hollowpoints often jam in many popular 9mm guns like the Browning Hi-Power, SIG, Beretta 92, S&W and Glock. Ignore the gun magazine hype and stick to what works. If you want to gamble, go to Reno. Don't gamble with your life. 147 grain ammo sucks.


08-06-2010, 20:10
Yes and no.

Old 147 grain ammo was pathetic. I was poorly designed and reliability was terrible. The very best thing it did was make small, deep holes.

I've seen this guy's advice applied far too many time to current ammo, even though that paragraph was written probably 10-15 years ago. Current, 4th generation hollowpoints in general are far more reliable than those old offerings. The 147 grain HST, Ranger T, and Gold Dot bullets are designed to perform within their velocity envelope, something that was missing a decade or more ago.

The HST 147 (what I carry) has no more velocity in it's standard pressure loading than the old Winchester load did, but it's performance is considered to be top of the line for a 9mm. Rounds expand reliably to nearly the size of a nickel, and the heavyweight round penetrates deeper than lighter expanding rounds, generally.

Edit: It appears some aprts of the article have been updated, while others have been left by the wayside. Mr. Taylor's endorsement of the Hydra Shok tells me one of two things: either the article was written when Hydra Shoks were the cool thing to carry, or he's simply doesn't know any better, and shouldn't receive any attention anyway.

Edit2: Here a link to another article, written by somebody who actually studies ballistics. Not to mention this article has been updated within the past 5 years. http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm

08-07-2010, 00:23
Thanks for you input vanilla_gorilla. What has me troubled is the way he's saying it's dangerous, like it's gonna jam an make the gun explode or something. I've read that Glocks can handle most any kind of store bought ammo. I haven't fired this ammo yet, I've only put 45 rounds through my Glock so far and that was the Winchester 124 gr NATO stuff from Academy. I think I'm just gonna use this stuff as when SHTF ammo, only when I'm out of everything else. I'm glad I only bought 1 box of it (50 rounds).

08-07-2010, 00:52
I'm fairly certain that Hawks wrote that article back in the days when the FBI fooled people into thinking that the 147JHP subsonic was the best 9mm service load to use after the '86 Miami incident. That was back when the Big 3 (Win, Rem & Fed) were making the 147JHP subsonics. You'd be lucky to get 960fps with these subsonics out of pistols. At such low velocities and with heavy bullets, some pistols were having slide cycling problems.

On top of that, the earily 147 subsonics were very erratic performers in actual shootings (and NOT in calibrated homogenous ballistic gel).

Such examples are probably what Hawks was referring to when he advised against using 147JHP subsonic loads.

BTW, there's nothing wrong with this ammo. It should be just fine to shoot. I'd advise against using this ammo for SD purposes.

08-07-2010, 12:51
Thanks for you advise Merkavaboy :cool:

08-09-2010, 08:27
It would be nice if the internet intelligentsia would post dates on their published wisdom and update or delete it when it is obsolete.

08-12-2010, 07:07
It would be nice if the internet intelligentsia would post dates on their published wisdom and update or delete it when it is obsolete.

Even just putting a date on it would help.

20 years ago Chuck was right, the 147 gr JHP's were poor performers.

But a lot has changed in 20 years and the modern 147 gr JHP's seem to work just fine.

I normally prefer a lighter weight bullet for caliber, but if someone handed me a case or 2 of 147 gr HST and they functioned flawlessly in my carry guns I'd have a new carry load.

If someone gave me a couple of cases of the old Winchester sub sonic 147's I'd have fun plinking with it, but I wouldn't carry it for a defensive load unless I had no other choice.

08-14-2010, 04:15
Ok you do realise that those "sub standard' rounds are identical to WWB 147gn JHP's? - now as for wether there effective or not on living things - ive shot dead a few animals with the subsonic load and the WWB load i can say its a pretty decent load - by the way ive seen super fast 115gn Gold Dots fail on animals but seen the above mentioned load penetrate exceptionally well, the 115gn GD at 1350fps stopped within 4 inches of meat and bone where as the 147gn Win ploughed on through and hit the vitals so hey im all for them, but i will admit a fast 124gn does some horrific damage.
Id feel fine using them for defence if i needed to.

08-16-2010, 15:45
Thanks for your responses, maybe "sub-standard" wasn't a good term it's just that I didn't know how old the ammo was and didn't find much info about doing searches on the net, until now. :thumbsup:

08-17-2010, 03:17
It is an ok load - sure theres better but itll work, penetrates good, expands fairly well, id call it middle of the range.
Hey if i want good defence ammo i go to my press.