9mm 147gr Subsonic “Magic Load”, Hard to Believe!

Now that I have suppressors, I’m very interested in subsonic loads for pistols and rifles that I shoot frequently. I shoot a lot of 9mm, so I recently purchased a Bear Creek Arsenal threaded Glock 17 barrel that has performed really well! Therefore, the development of a reliable 9mm subsonic load was “top of list” for me recently. And I found the “load that can do it all” with some unexpected surprises too… And that’s the subject of this article!

Berry’s 147 Grain 9mm Subsonic Load

I worked up this load for my recent story showcasing the LEE Loadmaster:

Lee Loadmaster Unboxing/Setup, Loading 9mm

Here’s the components used for the load featured in that article/story:

Use load data at your own risk. Ultimate Reloader is not responsible for errors in load data on this website. Always cross-reference load data with manufacturer’s published data.

Ransom Rest Accuracy Testing

The Ransom Rest is an invaluable tool for testing handgun accuracy. It literally takes the “human factor” out of the equation. For the testing of this 147 grain 9mm load, I shot 5-shot groups through my Glock 17 (with and without Osprey 45 Suppressor), and my Canik TP9SFX (see this article for full review of that pistol). I shot 5-shot groups for each pistol (multiple sets) until things settled down and “round groups” were observed. The following is a summary of this testing.

Glock 17, with Osprey 45

This setup  (Glock 17 and Osprey 45 suppressor) is the result I cared about most for this load since it’s the setup I plan to use to shoot subsonic 9mm most frequently (at least, until I get a threaded barrel for the Canik TP9SFX!). And this load performed really well!

Glock 17, Unsuppressed

The Glock 17 (with same Bear Creek Arsenal threaded barrel) shot *slightly* better without the suppressor, but not enough to make a difference for what I have planned. Here’s the roll-up data:

Canik TP9SFX

The Canik TP9SFX has proven to be an accurate pistol, and this load worked well with it for sure! The accuracy for the Canik TP9SFX and the Glock 17 (without suppressor) were very comparable.

Chronograph Data: Glock 17 and Canik TP9SFX

Accuracy for this 147 grain subsonic load was awesome, but it was the chronograph data where things were even more impressive, with a twist! Here’s a roll-up of the Glock 17 and Canik TP9SFX data: (click/tap to enlarge)

**Note that two shots for the Canik TP9SFX data were not recorded due to a shot alignment issue (human error)

Shocker: Kel-Tec PF9 Chronograph Data

My Kel-Tec PF9 is my everyday city carry gun (and ranch carry outside of bear season). It’s about 15 years old, and has literally shot just about every type of 9mm ammunition I could throw at it with near 100% reliability. For the testing conducted in this article, I withdrew the Kel-Tec from my IWB holster, unloaded the magazine and chamber, blew away the pocket lint, and started shooting. I haven’t lubricated this pistol in years- and it functioned 100% during during this testing! Hard to believe. What was harder to believe was the results. 4/5 shots on 10″ steel at 24.1 yards (I was SHOCKED) and the following chronograph data: (click/tap to enlarge)

Here’s the data in table form:

WOW. Great shot placement, 95% of the velocity attained in the G17 (unsuppressed), 100% functioning, and a Standard Deviation in velocity of 2.7 FPS for 5 shots. Seriously? I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it, do it, and catch it on film!

I call this an “Adventure in Economy”. This ammunition was loaded on an inexpensive press (LEE Loadmaster), loaded with economical bullets (Berry’s 147 grain Plated 9mm Round Nose), and was shot through a low-cost micro pistol with outstanding results. Yes, that was a great range day.

Get Your Own!

If you liked the load shown in this article (I sure do), you’ll want to stock up on Starline Brass and Berry’s 147 grain bullets!

Bullets used in this article: (click below)

Brass used in this article: (click below)

Barrel used in this article: (click below)

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Thanks,
Gavin

3 thoughts on “9mm 147gr Subsonic “Magic Load”, Hard to Believe!”

  1. Love this story! I’ve been experimenting w/ 147gr subsonic loads as well, but with Blue Bullets. Would love for you to do the same thing except with standard primers (Winchester or CCI), just to see if the magnum primers were a difference maker. I’ve been watching your vids for years now and have greatly expanded my reloading knowledge thanks to you. I started with a Hornady Classic single stage press and am now running a Dillon XL-750!

  2. I have to ask. Why 24.1 yards? Why not 24 yards? Does it have to do with the math? lol

    Oh yea, and excellent results out of what’s basically a snubby in semi-auto.

  3. CFE Pistol is one of my favorite powders for 9, but I’m curious – how did you decide to use magnum primers?

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