You may have been looking for a suitable ammo type and found that the box comes in 115 grains and 124 grains. What does the number actually indicate? Are there any differences between the two categories?

This post will discuss the core differences between 115 gr and 124 gr. Based on the information provided, you can select the most optimal ammo for your needs and preferences.

Which Should You Choose Between 115 Grain Vs. 124 Grain?

What Is Bullet Grain? 

If you haven’t known, the gun ammo comes in many types with unique sizes, gunpowder charges, and characteristics. The amount of gunpowder packed inside the cell is called the gunpowder charge.

“Grain” is also a measuring unit, but it is much smaller than the standard units like a pound or ounce. For example, a pound equals 7000 grains, while an ounce equals 437,5 grains.

The bullet manufacturers use grain as a universal measuring unit for the weight of the bullet. However, it does not solely indicate the weight of gunpowder inside but all the bullet components combined, including the bullet shell.

For example, a box with the label “115 grain” on the side description means that a single bullet weighs 115 grains. The lightest ammo on the market currently weighs only 17 grains, while the heaviest one weighs up to 700 grains.

For the 9 mm ammo, 115, 124, and 147 grains are three of the most common types.

So, if the grains are so tiny, why should the difference in nearly 10 grains make a difference? Continue reading, and I will show you.

Which Should You Choose Between 115 Grain Vs 124 Grain
Don’t Skip The Bullet Grain

Why Should You Select The Right Bullet Grain? 

The new gun owners often skip this value when shopping for ammo as they don’t understand the importance of bullet grain. However, the bullet grain of an ammo box is much more important than its price.

If you think that 115 grain or 124 grain are practically the same, you are making a big mistake. Actually, the bullet grain plays a critical role in deciding your shooting accuracy and efficiency.

Another factor that is heavily affected by the bullet’s weight is recoil. A specific type of ammo grain is ideal for a particular need, such as long-range shooting or short-range shooting.

A specific ammo grain may be ideal for hunting, but it won’t work so great in the shooting competition. You must calculate the distance, wind conditions, and your gun type to figure out which category works best.

Understanding the core differences between 115 gr and 124 gr is crucial. Your shooting accuracy will increase significantly by using the most suitable ammo category.

Now let’s move on to our main topic, the comparison between 115 and 124 grains.

The Differences Between 115 Grain Vs. 124 Grain 

We will compare the two categories regarding the critical factors that affect your shooting performance like weight, motion, recoil, shooting accuracy, etc.

You can consider these factors carefully to figure out which is the most optimal category for your needs and gun type.


The first thing to consider is bullet size. Most 115-grain and 124-grain ammo products come in practically the same size. They also have the same 9mm bullet shape.

As grain only indicates the weight, not the ammo size, we should pay more attention to the weight of the bullets. In this case, the difference lies in the amount of gunpowder packed inside the shell.

Weight Of The Shot

It is evident that the 124-grain ammo is heavier than the 115-grain category. You may think that nearly 10 grains difference in weight is inconsiderable.

However, it makes a huge difference for a small and light item like a 9mm bullet.

The 124-grain ammo is heavier, giving more penetration than the 115-grain category due to the higher mass. Meanwhile, the 115-grain bullets travel much flatter and faster due to their lighter weights.

These two factors are always true when the two categories have identical sizes and shapes. So, if you want more power and penetration, go for the 125 grain. It is an ideal option for hunting at closer distances.

Projectile Motion

The 124-grain is heavier, so it will get affected more by gravity. So the projectile motion of the 124-grain bullets is not as flat and direct as the 115-grain ones.

They will likely curve down and touch the ground faster when you shoot in a direction parallel with the ground. Meanwhile, the 115-grain bullets will travel further and take longer to drop down when they leave the gun barrel.

So, if you want to shoot at far distances, the 124-grain bullets are not an ideal option. The heavier the bullets, the less likely it is to get affected by the winds.

If you shoot at a closer distance (less than 100 yards) in windy weather, the 124-grain ammo is a better choice overall.

Which Should You Choose Between 115 Grain and 124 Grain
The 115-grain Bullet Is Better For Shooting At Long Distances

Momentum Of Bullets And Energy

Heavier bullets have more power due to their higher mass. To imagine this, you can think about dropping a tiny and light rock and a heavy, giant rock simultaneously on the ground.

So which one causes more noise and damage? It is always the bigger rock. The same is true for bullets. In this case, it is the 124 grain that delivers more power, energy, and penetration.

The 124-grain bullets cause more damage because they generate more significant momentum than the 115-grain ammo. However, a 10-grain difference will not bring so much difference in recoil and energy.

Still, if you plan to go hunting, a box of 124-grain ammo is the better choice as it gives slightly more penetration and power.


As the 124-grain ammo drops down faster when it leaves the barrel, you should opt for the 115-grain to get the best shooting accuracy.

The bullets with lighter weights will travel in a flatter trajectory and are more likely to hit the tiny targets.

This category compensates power and penetration for accuracy, especially at long range.


Which Should You Choose Between 115 Grain or 124 Grain
The 115-Grain Ammo Generates Less Recoil

A fundamental principle of shooting is that you must hold the gun tightly to avoid damage from recoil. When you fire, the gun will push slightly backward, which is called recoil.

Therefore, the recoil is slightly bigger when you fire the 124-grain bullets.

However, they feel pretty much the same because a 10-grain gap won’t make so much difference in power generated.

To get more in-depth comparisons, consider watching the video below.


What Grain 9mm Do The Police Use?

A report from the FBI stated that the FBI agents are equipped with the 147-grain to carry and use. This ammo type gives significantly more damage and penetration while increasing the shooting accuracy for the new shooters.

What Grain Bullet Is Best For Self-Defense?

Self-defense involves mainly shooting at short distances (around 27 yards or less). If you carry a gun for self-defense, the 147-grain 9mm bullets will give more shooting precision and power.

Which Grain Bullet Is Best For Hunting?

For hunting the deers, a 130-grain 9mm bullet or more will more likely penetrate their skins. Heavy ammo weight is crucial as it gives you more penetration, powder, and precision at short distances.

Which Should You Choose Between 115 Gr or 124 Gr
The 130 Bullet Grain Is Ideal For Hunting

Final Verdict: Which Is Better For You? 

Overall, 115-grain ammo gives more shooting accuracy at longer distances and a flattened trajectory. Meanwhile, you get more power, penetration, and momentum when using the 124-grain bullets.

You can choose the most optical category depending on your needs and some other conditions like shooting distance and weather conditions. I hope that you are satisfied with the information provided in this post.

Thank you for reading!

Follow Concealed Carry Match to read more firearm, ammunition and gun accessories articles updated daily at:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.