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Old 08-05-2011, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default Subsonic Ammo for IDPA?

Shooting IDPA is something that I am considering, so I starting thinking about potential ammo choices and was considering subsonic ammo.

Currently, I have on hand: Sellier & Bellot 9mm 115 gr FMJ, but have an opportunity to buy S&B 9mm Subsonic 140 gr FMJ at a good price.

The Subsonic is almost 50% more than the supersonic 115 gr ammo. That alone makes me feel like it's not worth it.

However, I am curious as to whether or not heavy subsonic ammo is really the way to go.

In either case, I wouldn't likely go this route until I've improved my game enough to justify "overspending" for ammo.

FYI, the 115 is $10/box of 50, the 140Sub is $14.75/box of 50.

Thanks!

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Old 08-09-2011, 06:49 PM   #2
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You will want to shoot the 147 grain stuff for matches. The heavier bullet has a slower velocity and therefore a reduced recoil effect. 115 grain is much snappier and not as good for competition shooting. Its OK for practice.

Depending on the club you shoot at, a match will consist of 5 to 8 stages, averaging 10-12 rounds per stage.

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Old 08-09-2011, 07:10 PM   #3
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You'll get more recoil from a 140-147gr bullet @ 950-1000fps than you will from a 115gr bullet at the standard 1150fps.


In any case, whether or not it is subsonic is irrelevant. I would shoot what is cheapest so you can practice with it.

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Old 08-09-2011, 09:31 PM   #4
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.45 ACP is subsonic and still makes power factor.

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Old 08-09-2011, 10:10 PM   #5
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IIRC, one of the purposes of subsonic ammo is that it is more easily "silenced" in a suppressor than the lighter/faster ammo.

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Old 08-09-2011, 10:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindenwood View Post
You'll get more recoil from a 140-147gr bullet @ 950-1000fps than you will from a 115gr bullet at the standard 1150fps.


In any case, whether or not it is subsonic is irrelevant. I would shoot what is cheapest so you can practice with it.
I respectfully disagree. The top competitive shooters (Sevigeny, Abatte to name a couple) shoot 147's for slower speed and reduced felt recoil. The energy generated by the faster round out of the front requires an equal and opposite reaction coming back.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glockanista View Post
I respectfully disagree. The top competitive shooters (Sevigeny, Abatte to name a couple) shoot 147's for slower speed and reduced felt recoil. The energy generated by the faster round out of the front requires an equal and opposite reaction coming back.
Reloading has a lot to do with this.
Factory 115 versus factory 147 argument, I use the 115 in my older 9mms. The recoil I feel seems to be less than the 147.
One can reload a 147 to a lower speed and retain minimum power factor.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:49 AM   #8
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Momentum--the concept driving the overall recoil impulse--is equally dependent on both velocity and mass. So, just because something is moving more slowly does not mean it will have less recoil. For example, 50% the weight but only dropping 20% of the velocity will make for about 20% more recoil. In the case of common 9mm loads, going from 115gr to 147gr is an increase of about 28%, but velocity goes from about 1150 to 980 for a decrease of about 15%. The resulting load ends up having roughly 10% more recoil than the 115gr load.


Recoil Calculator

Both mathematics and my personal experience support that typical 147gr loads will have slightly (but noticably) more recoil than typical 115gr loads. Now, with handloading you can load either up or down to some extent and then it won't really matter from a recoil perspective, but for standard target loads designed to cycle standard actions, loads with heavier bullets usually have greater recoil energy than loads with lighter bullets for a given caliber (which is almost universal for firearms).

*edit*

Looking again, however, the listed 147gr ammo will have significantly less recoil than the listed 115gr ammo. If that listing is correct, the "light" loads are coming out at nearly 1300fps. Find some cheap target ammo (look for 115gr@1150fps) and you will have lower recoil than either of the above loads, and will still be paying bottom dollar!
Something like this would be perfect for simple target shooting. Lowest recoil that will reliably cycle most decent actions, and still about the cheapest factory stuff you can buy (You'll pay about $100 for 500 rounds after shipper, or about $10 even per box).
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/AMM4700-1.html

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Old 08-10-2011, 04:07 AM   #9
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Forget the bullet weight, why are you shooting Sellier & Bellot?

That Czech ammo is the dirtiest factory loaded ammo I've shot!

There's a reason its so cheap, its filthy. You may need to clean instead of reload.

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Old 08-11-2011, 03:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canebrake View Post
Forget the bullet weight, why are you shooting Sellier & Bellot?

That Czech ammo is the dirtiest factory loaded ammo I've shot!

There's a reason its so cheap, its filthy. You may need to clean instead of reload.
I have shot the heck out of S&B over the years. I scored a 1,000 round case of 9mm for $80. From the same guy I also got a case of 230gr fmj in 45 for $90.

A little smoky? Yep. Ultra reliable? You betcha. Will I shoot S&B when I find it for a good deal so I don't have to sit at the Dillon? In a hot second.

S&B brass is boxer primed...I have reloaded cases 6 or 7 times for steel matches with no problems. S&B is good ammo.
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