Magtech 9mm 147 gr Bonded JHP (Ammo & Gel Test Review)

Introduced in 2016, the Magtech 9mm 147 gr Bonded JHP has a chemically bonded jacket which prevents fragmentation. In TFBTV’s first ammunition review, Andrew discusses the round, its construction and performance in ballistic gel and though water.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • RetroG

    How about two gel blocks back to back instead of backing one up with plastic water jugs? That way we can see exactly how far the bullets penetrated and how they tracked.

    “Not ideal” is giving this round too much credit, I feel. Inconsistent into bare gel, behaving like an FMJ through denim (despite expanding – nice trick BTW) just doesn’t make the grade when there are so many good carry round options.

    Also, if we are talking self defense rounds, full sized barrel lengths don’t match up with what a lot of us buy these rounds for. I only have one full size 9mm, but a couple of carry guns that are shorter barrels. Maybe add a shorter barrel to the test as well.

    • Big Daddy

      He didn’t follow the FBI protocol but it still should have performed better. No BB calibration for instance as far as I could see.

      The strange part was that it opened up well. I’m thinking it opened up late hence the over penetration. The whole idea is controlled expansion. So it might do better with less velocity in a shorter barrel. You are correct to have them test it in a G19 and a G26 or even a G43 or similar type guns.

      • JSmath

        In my experience, higher velocity results in earlier expansion of hollowpoints – which is why longer barrels and higher velocity versions of the same hollowpoints tend to end up with the same and sometimes shorter penetration in a gel block, with ever slightly larger initial blooms of ‘temporary stretch cavity’ towards the front.

        • Big Daddy

          Yes usually too high a velocity and the expansion is too soon, penetration suffers. These bullets seems to work strangely though, you’re seeing good expansion and too much penetration with a higher velocity. 1000fps with a 147 is a little high and almost +P velocity. That lead me to believe this opened up later. I also did not see much of a stretch cavity at all, again it opened up late. For me this is range ammo and nothing else. The secret is controlled expansion which this bullet seems to lack.

  • Laserbait

    It’s a gimmick bullet.

    • Big Daddy

      Why do you say that? It looks very similar to the federal HST. The difference is that it didn’t work and the HST does.

      • R H

        Exactly, it’s not a gimmick, it just sucks! At least it expands and penetrates. Could be worse.

        • Big Daddy

          A failure is not a gimmick. Although a gimmick can be a failure.

          Gimmick – a trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or business.

          Failure – the omission of expected or required action/lack of success.

          • Laserbait

            Does not a hollow point bullet mean to draw attention to itself as being effective for expansion, thereby attracting people to buy?

      • Laserbait

        Well, your last 2 sentences sum up “gimmick bullet” quite well.

  • Big Daddy

    Total fail.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Great addition to TFB TV. Looking forward to more ammo reviews.

  • Ed Ward

    Looking forward to more ballistic tests–it’s a realm of the vast world of shooting of which I find particularly interesting. I want to like the ‘heavy’ loads but find very few work well in 9mm (personally I have settled on Hornady’s Flexlock Critical Duty in 135gr).
    Going forward maybe you could do a test concerning ballistic penetration/expansion differences between one’s pistol/carbine combo like, for example, a Glock 26 and Kel-Tec Sub2000–we always hear about the PCC being a great HD choice but does the 5-6 times longer barrel render it unsafe as opposed to same in the pistol? Cheers

  • Fulch

    .300 AAC Blackout subsonic. Please find something that’s cost effective and expands.

  • Swarf

    Good. May as well completely take over what TTAG used to shine at, since they appear bound and determined to become a right wing politics blog with an emphasis on gun issues.

    And links to advertiser sites that disguise themselves as lifestyle blogs, such as Everyday Carry.

    • Kjk

      Yep, that’s why I rarely end up there anymore. Glad I’m not the only one that noticed their shift a few years ago.

      • iksnilol

        You forgot that their community is practically cancer.

  • Wang Chung Tonight

    It would be interesting to see these pushed faster at say 1200fps.

  • gunsandrockets

    The magtech bonded .40 S&W 180 grain hollow points seems to perform much better than the 9mm 147 grain. Inconceivable!

  • Very glad to see Andrew join TFBTV!

  • BBMW

    If you’re going to do ballistic testing, it should be done correctly. This would mean sticking to IWBA protocols. Please use real calibrated ballistic gelatin (the Clear Ballistics stuff is NOT equivalent and achieves different results) shooting through four layers of four ounce denim. This is the only way to know that the results are valid, and are comparable to tests done by others to the same protocol. Anything else is really a waste of time.

  • Judging from the cutaway profile, it looks like Magtech has cribbed from the design of the original Winchester Black Talon. However, the bonded core prevents the extension of the jacket’s talons.