An in-depth look at the military M1152 ammunition – what is it and how it is different from a traditional 9mm Luger load?
In 2016, Winchester was selected by the U.S. military to supply rounds for the Army’s Modular Handgun System, or “MHS.” The round used, in this case, is M1152 ammunition, a 115-grain 9mm Luger flat-nose full-metal jacket cartridge. While it was originally built for military purposes, Winchester has made this round available to the general public.
This 9mm round has many unique features that distinguish it from other products. First of all, it has a flat-nose bullet. Winchester says that this flat-nose FMJ projectile will create “reliable feeding” and accuracy. It also uses a military-grade primer, which is intended for “shot-to-shot consistency.”
Most notable, the round is loaded to higher pressures, helping the cartridge achieve more power and enhanced cycling.
Essentially, this is a military-grade round that is now available to the general public. It delivers higher speeds and energies (as we will show), and should fit in handguns that take 9mm Luger rounds.
However, just because the round fits does not automatically mean it should be used in your handgun. Most 9mm Luger handguns can fire these rounds, but because the cartridge delivers higher internal pressures, you need to make sure your weapon can withstand the added stress.
Military’s Use of M1152 Ammo
How does the military use it? Well, they describe why M1152 is necessary for just about all types of shooting you’d do with a 9mm pistol.
“The Ball cartridge is intended for use against enemy personnel, for training, and for force protection.”
For us, as civilians, we see it as mostly a range training round.
Can My 9mm Luger Handgun Fire M1152 Ammo?
The M1152 is a 9mm Luger round, so any handgun that loads these cartridges should be able to load the M1152. Your 9mm Glock or SIG, as examples, should be capable of loading and firing these rounds.
But you need to make sure your weapon is capable of handling the higher internal pressures created by the M1152 rounds.
Different rounds create varying levels of pressure inside a gun’s chamber. All ammunition comes with a pressure rating. This is simply the internal pressure (pounds per square inch) created by the cartridge inside the firing chamber. The higher the psi, the more speed and energy you’ll get from a bullet. Most 9mm Luger rounds have a pressure rating somewhere around 35,000 psi. 9mm Luger +P ammunition usually achieves roughly 38,500 psi.
The M1152 cartridge has a pressure rating of 39,700 psi.
Your 9mm Luger handgun, therefore, needs to be capable of handling these pressures. If not, the weapon could malfunction, break, and (although rare) create a dangerous explosion.
Winchester gives a warning right on the ammo box. (Albeit small print on the back.) They write: “USE ONLY in modern 9mm firearms in good condition. These cartridges are loaded to military velocity and pressure; average pressure is 10% to 15% higher than the industry standard pressure for 9mm Luger.”
If your weapon is incapable of handling these cartridges, you could see bending in the pin or damage to other small parts. So check your weapon before loading these rounds.
M1152 Ammo Compared to Other 9mm Rounds
The M1152 rounds can be used for a variety of purposes, but Winchester advertises the products for personal defense, despite the fact that it loads a full-metal jacket, which is typically for target shooting and practice.
We could compare and contrast the round to hundreds of others, but since it’s marketed for self-defense purposes, we’ll stick to a select group of other personal-defense 9mm rounds, especially cartridges packing 115-grain projectiles.
Manufacturer Reported Velocity
|Muzzle Velocity (fps)||25-Yard Velocity||Muzzle Energy (ft-lbs)||25-Yard Energy|
|Winchester M1152 (115 gr.)||1,320||1,232||445||387|
|Winchester Silvertip (115 gr.)||1,225||1,154||383||340|
|Remington HTP (115 gr.)||1,145||1,092||335||305|
|Hornady FTX Critical Defense (115 gr.)||1,135||N/A||332||N/A|
|Federal Train + Protect (115 gr.)||1,180||1,106||356||312|
|Federal HST +P (124 gr.)||1,200||1,136||396||355|
It should come as no surprise that this cartridge has higher velocities than most other 9mm Luger rounds. Because of the higher internal pressures, predictably, the bullet comes flying out of the barrel at a much faster speed.
What might be surprising is how much faster the M1152 actually is. With a muzzle velocity of 1,320 fps, the M1152 is almost 100 fps faster than the second-fastest in our comparison. Most 9mm Luger rounds are in the range of 1,150 to 1,250, making the M1152 one of the speediest options available for 9mm users.
Independently Tested Velocity
You know us, we’re always looking for an excuse to get to the range. So, we took some of the M1152 ammo along with Winchester’s famous original “White Box” ammo out with a Glock 43X (3.41″ barrel) and chronograph.
Here are our results:
|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Average|
As you can see from our results, the M1152 is about 9% faster from the 3.41″ barrel than what most of us would consider a “standard” 9mm load.
If using the round for self-defense, energy is critical. Once again, we see the M1152 excelling in this category, overpowering the five other products we looked at. The only one that really came close is the Federal HST +P 9×19 ammo, which is loaded to higher pressures than typical 9mm rounds.
For both muzzle velocity and 25-yard velocity, it’s clear that the M1152 has the performance and power self-defense users desire.
Why Purchase M1152 9mm Ammo?
Let’s be clear: this is a capable self-defense round with obvious stopping power. There is, however, a concern about over-penetration. Since the round does not expand, and because the velocities are much higher, there is an increased chance of over-penetration with this round. Therefore, users will want to be cautious when using this round for home protection.
The round, for many users, is probably most useful and enjoyable at the range. With increased speed, 9mm users can test their handgun skills at distances of 60, 80, or even 100 yards. While some may hesitate to load the FMJ round for personal protection, there’s no doubt that the M1152 is a wonderful cartridge at the range.
The M1152 Ammunition You Need Is Waiting!
If you need ammunition for your 9mm Luger, contact our team today. Find Winchester M1152 ammo in boxes of 150 rounds here and our 500 round bulk pack for sale here. You’ll see a wide inventory of high-quality rounds, all at a price that fits your budget. Place your order today!