Federal HST Ballistic Comparison Charts for 45 and 9mm

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by B81, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    I was procrastinating at work today, and I found myself comparing the ballistics of Federal HST in 45 AUTO 230 gr, 9mm 124 gr, and 9mm 147 gr, over long range (100 yards). I figured that I may as well post this here in the off chance that there are any others who are curious about this.

    I used the Federal Ballistics calculator (https://www.federalpremium.com/ballistics-calculator). I mostly just used the default settings for each ammo selection. The only settings that I tweaked was the zero distance and cross wind. I changed the zero from the default value of 50 yards to 25 yards, and I changed the cross wind from the default value of 10 mph to 0.

    In retrospect, I probably should have adjusted the sight height from the default value of 0.9 inches to something smaller. So, keep that in mind when interpreting the results.

    Here are the results:


    View attachment 229861


    I don't think there is anything too surprising in these results.

    None of these bullets are lifting bodies and there is no cross wind. This means that they all fall at the same nominal rate. However, since 45 AUTO moves the slowest, it's time of flight is the longest, and therefore it drops more than 9mm at any given range past 25 yards. (Okay, there is technically a vertical drag force that would result in different vertical accelerations. But, the differences in the component of drag in that direction is going to be small, as the dominate relative wind direction is in the horizontal direction.)

    Under standard atmospheric conditions, the speed of sound in air is about 1087.59 fps. This means that the 124 grain 9mm bullet goes through transition from supersonic to subsonic somewhere near the 30 yard line. I have always been curious to know how well 9mm luger handles transonic disturbances. I know that for long range shooting, transition can have a strong negative effect on accuracy. The degree to which transition degrades accuracy depends on bullet geometry and mass properties. There have been scientific studies on rifle bullets, but I haven't found anything on common pistol rounds, such as 9mm Luger. Both 45 AUTO and the 147 grain 9mm remain below Mach 0.90. That is, these rounds are subsonic through their entire flight and should be free of any transition effects.

    The 124 grain 9mm loses energy the fastest. This a natural consequence of drag forces being proportional to the square of velocity. All other things being equal, a fast moving bullet will experience higher drag forces than a slow moving bullet. Those drag forces will eat up energy. At around 65 yards, the lighter 124 grain HST bullet becomes less energetic than the heavier 147 grain HST bullet, and it continues to lose energy at a faster rate. I find it interesting that both 45 AUTO and the 147 grain 9mm lose energy at approximately the same "rate" (change in energy per distance traveled).

    Okay, I need to get back to work....
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  2. Addicted2gunz

    Addicted2gunz Undecided on whether or not I'm indecisive... Supporting Addict

    Jul 14, 2018
    Excellent information, thank you for your procrastinating! Now I feel like a lazy pos, while I was procrastinating today all I did was work a trade for my Wilson. .... Lol
    PewPewPtwang likes this.

  3. Sniper 217

    Sniper 217 Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    I carry the HST 147 +P in my carry 9’s.
  4. isialk

    isialk Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 7, 2017
    Jeez pew pew!! You did more mental calisthenics “procrastinating” at work than I did in full bust it mode! Color me ashamed lol! But, they say anyone can fool anyone for 15 minutes. I guess I did it for 39 years! Just retired in January so I’ll never slow them down again! Thanks for the interesting information.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. jimmy james

    jimmy james 1911 Fiend

    Aug 29, 2017
    Too much info for me. I'm retired and fell asleep reading the post. No disrespect to the OP. I just have a really short attention span. And a really high propensity to fall asleep at any given time. What I do know is that the 45HST round is lights out accurate in my Les Baers and is consequently my carry load.
  6. Smokewagon

    Smokewagon Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2016
    Thanks for pulling this together. I'm no expert by any means...but surprised in the drop in velocity in the 9mm vs 45 ACP. I know 9 had higher velocity but it seems to lose that velocity at a much higher rate.

    CENTURIATOR Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2018

    If you are taking shots at a human being beyond 25 yards you better either be running and gunning in the US Military or have an excellent lawyer.

    ZoidMeister likes this.
  8. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    In for results on laser blasters an photon particle accelerators . . . .

    The Venerable 10mm and .38 Superlative . . .
  9. BCD 45

    BCD 45 Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    Beyond 25 yards running & gunning is the name of the game and that POS pistol, whatever it is, is just a tool to fight your way to your rifle.

    Jim D

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