.40 S&W Ammo performance

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.40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Stercutus » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:41 pm

I looked in the ammo vault for inventory the other day and realize that I have been uneven in my .40 selection and for the life of me can not recall why it is this way. Any thoughts on which JHP would like provide the best penetration and terminal performance?

135gr JHP Gold Dot

165gr JHP Fiocchi

180gr JHP Federal

I am kind of leaning towards the 135 gr myself based upon this:

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/40sw.html

I plan on selling/trading the rest of them so I don't want to shoot a few rounds out of a box and spoil the box.

ETA It is coming back to me I think I bought the big pills for the little Glock 27 and the little pills for the big Glock 22. I still have no idea what I am doing with the 165s....
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by KGBrick » Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:40 pm

IIRC when I was figuring out what to shoot, 180 grain gold dots had better terminal performance out of short barrels than the 165 grain bullets. The "short barrel" specific .40 s&w Gold Dots are all 180 grains.

As the recoil difference at my skill level is only noticeable when I shoot them back-to-back (and even then, it just feels like a different kind of recoil, not more or less) I shoot what works best out of my pistol's barrel length.

I don't know what the 135 grain cartridges are for, though. I don't think I've ever seen them on local store shelves. Do you have a pistol caliber carbine or something?

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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by raptor » Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:06 pm

Brass Fetcher(& others) on Youtube have some good gel test videos on various ammo weights and brands which can help in your selection process.

Remington 165 gr golden sabre
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EATsNiio-c

Federal 165 gr
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUx1aIb2cWs

Hornady 180 gr TAP
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhzYHxpVAIs

Hornady CD 175 Gr
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRFClmdXatU

Federal 135 gr
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re15K_lWoxQ

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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Towanda » Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:41 pm

I carry 165 grain Gold Dots in my XD 40 Subcompact. At my skill level, I am more accurate with them than with 180 grain bullets, and at the distances I plan on using my pistol for I don't think there's a lot of difference.
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by AS556 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:33 pm

I think the best choice is the 180gr Federal, don't think I've ever seen 135gr Gold Dots. The Fiocchi is nothing special, it's definitely a budget hollowpoint. I shot a couple hundred rounds of it through a G23. Fed and fired fine but ballistically its more suited to stash or back up.

Im not a fan of 135gr .40 at all, overexpands and under penetrates. This is a trait common of all lightweight bullets.

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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Stercutus » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:22 am

AS556 wrote:I think the best choice is the 180gr Federal, don't think I've ever seen 135gr Gold Dots. The Fiocchi is nothing special, it's definitely a budget hollowpoint. I shot a couple hundred rounds of it through a G23. Fed and fired fine but ballistically its more suited to stash or back up.

Im not a fan of 135gr .40 at all, overexpands and under penetrates. This is a trait common of all lightweight bullets.
Based on the video Raptor posted it seems to penetrate about as well as .22rf. This is not very good at all. I think I'll clear it out and use the 165s for the 22s and the 180s for the 27s.

The .40 is a backup caliber for us now so strictly for stash. We have gravitated away from here into two camps of 9mm/.45.
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Mikeyboy » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:52 am

TNoutdoors9 on youtube does some really good gel penetration test with a G23. The link is a play list of all the .40 test.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gee4lYnx ... 2529FB5C51

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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by tedbeau » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:17 pm

I seem to recall reading on one of the glock forums that the recoil of the 165 grain is more noticeable than the 180 grain due to the faster lighter bullet causing more of the 40 caliber "Slap" as it's been called. Taking that into account and the fact that I tend to gravitate to penetration over energy numbers, and the fact that Speer makes the short barrel 40 caliber in 180 grain only, that's what I carry in my Glock 27.

Edited for clarity

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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Waywatcher » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:31 pm

I've tried 165 Golden Saber, 180HST, and 180 Ranger Bonded from my Glock 23s.

I honestly couldn't tell the difference in recoil.

.40 is a very forgiving round as long as a police load is chosen; pretty much all of them work well enough. Even Remington UMC 180 JHP is a good performer; available cheaply at big box stores.

I tend to load 180s because they seem to get good expansion and good penetration, and they seem to be the most common and easy to get.

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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by DarkScythe » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:18 am

180gr on all brands.

HST
HST TACTICAL
Golddots
Ranger T

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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by ShooterMike » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:16 am

I have a slight preference for the terminal performance of the 155 grainers from Remington and Winchester (@ 1,250 fps) because they produce significantly more energy. BUT, I now only buy 180 grain JHP factory loads because they shoot to the same point of aim as my 180 grain FMJ practice ammo, the recoil is noticeably softer than the 155s, and the terminal performance isn't that much different.

With all the good quality .40 defensive ammo available being pretty close in performance, I choose to select a load that shoots into the same group as my "much more commonly shot" practice ammo. Right now, that's 180 HST.

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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Alpha-17 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:21 pm

I'm a fan of heavy bullets, regardless of caliber. In .40S&W, that's 180gr. HSTs are my carry ammo of choice, with Gold Dots as a number 2 choice.
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by ADDICTED2TONE » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:01 pm

I bounce between 165 and 180 grainers. Honestly in a 4" barrel at defensive ranges I think you're splittin hairs.
I was a staunch 45acp guy for years and I was all about 230gr hollow points. Heavier is better, then I got into 40s&w and that's all I'll carry now. One of my LEO buddies was shot twice by his own sig 229 at point blank in a struggle for his weapon and the second round was 5 ft away center mass and it was 180 grain Federal duty ammo and it didn't go thru.
The bullet was stuck under the skin in his back. He got lucky, it missed everything. The first shot thru his hand where he was fighting for control of his weapon did more damage.
He said the hand shot got him mad and the center mass shot put him down instantly.
My point is, you hit someone center mass with a 40 s&w they're probably going down unless they're cracked out on something and then you keep shooting center mass until the threat stops.
I've witnessed several shootings and watched a few men take their last breaths of life and all guns 9mm and above will kill effectively when you do your job.
I've tried the 155 grainers and they shoot ok but I prefer heavier bullets.

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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Jeriah » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:42 pm

I don't mean to turn this into a caliber debate, but I want to ask, what is the advantage of .40 caliber? I get that .45 is more lethal than 9mm with military (Hague approved) FMJ ball, and that 9mm is just as good (ish) with modern (LEO/civilian) defensive ammo. I own and shoot both calibers. But a friend carries .40, and at the range the other day, we shot all three calibers, and the .40 seemed to recoil (and muzzle flip) worse than .45. Far from a compromise, it seemed like a "worst of both worlds." What am I missing? And is ammo selection a factor? I don't know what grain she was shooting.
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:51 pm

Jeriah wrote:I don't mean to turn this into a caliber debate, but I want to ask, what is the advantage of .40 caliber? I get that .45 is more lethal than 9mm with military (Hague approved) FMJ ball, and that 9mm is just as good (ish) with modern (LEO/civilian) defensive ammo. I own and shoot both calibers. But a friend carries .40, and at the range the other day, we shot all three calibers, and the .40 seemed to recoil (and muzzle flip) worse than .45. Far from a compromise, it seemed like a "worst of both worlds." What am I missing? And is ammo selection a factor? I don't know what grain she was shooting.
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Jeriah » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:52 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Jeriah wrote:I don't mean to turn this into a caliber debate, but I want to ask, what is the advantage of .40 caliber? I get that .45 is more lethal than 9mm with military (Hague approved) FMJ ball, and that 9mm is just as good (ish) with modern (LEO/civilian) defensive ammo. I own and shoot both calibers. But a friend carries .40, and at the range the other day, we shot all three calibers, and the .40 seemed to recoil (and muzzle flip) worse than .45. Far from a compromise, it seemed like a "worst of both worlds." What am I missing? And is ammo selection a factor? I don't know what grain she was shooting.
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:55 pm

That's why you shoot cheaper .40 most of the time!

Some folksy like the balance of heavier (subsonic) ammo with the near-9mm capacity and ergos over the larger frame required for .45 ACP. I like having the Sig barrel because it makes the flashy-boom-boom.
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by KGBrick » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:04 am

Jeriah wrote:I don't mean to turn this into a caliber debate, but I want to ask, what is the advantage of .40 caliber? I get that .45 is more lethal than 9mm with military (Hague approved) FMJ ball, and that 9mm is just as good (ish) with modern (LEO/civilian) defensive ammo. I own and shoot both calibers. But a friend carries .40, and at the range the other day, we shot all three calibers, and the .40 seemed to recoil (and muzzle flip) worse than .45. Far from a compromise, it seemed like a "worst of both worlds." What am I missing? And is ammo selection a factor? I don't know what grain she was shooting.
IMO, .40 S&W's advantage disappeared when the majority of hollow point bullets began to be designed to meet a standard of penetration depth. With prescientific bullet designs the additional mass or frontal area could be an advantage over 9mm and you only lost a couple of rounds in magazine capacity. Recoil may or may not be better than .45 depending on the firearms you're comparing and the instruments (persons) you're using to compare them.

Despite this, I still shoot .40 S&W, but mostly for squishy reasons; my first pistol, first firearm I bought, etc.

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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Jeriah » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:11 am

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:That's why you shoot cheaper .40 most of the time!

Some folksy like the balance of heavier (subsonic) ammo with the near-9mm capacity and ergos over the larger frame required for .45 ACP. I like having the Sig barrel because it makes the flashy-boom-boom.
My Glock 21 does feel like I'm jacking off a mule.

Are there any advantages of .357 Sig other than loud and flashy?
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Stercutus » Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:48 am

Jeriah wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:That's why you shoot cheaper .40 most of the time!

Some folksy like the balance of heavier (subsonic) ammo with the near-9mm capacity and ergos over the larger frame required for .45 ACP. I like having the Sig barrel because it makes the flashy-boom-boom.
My Glock 21 does feel like I'm jacking off a mule.

Are there any advantages of .357 Sig other than loud and flashy?
It is a .357. I hear you should never go to a gun fight without one of those. Or is it gun whose caliber starts with four? I can't ever remember.

Oh and you can always find it in stock, even during the ammo panics. Cuz nobody else shoots it.
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:49 am

In two identical guns, I find the Sig easier to control.
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Jeriah » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:17 am

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:In two identical guns, I find the Sig easier to control.
Than .40, sure. Does it penetrate deeper than 9mm or something?
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Stercutus » Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:59 pm

Jeriah wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:In two identical guns, I find the Sig easier to control.
Than .40, sure. Does it penetrate deeper than 9mm or something?
It should. It sends near exact the same size bullets 20% faster, at more than twice the price.
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Re: .40 S&W Ammo performance

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:51 pm

Stercutus wrote:
Jeriah wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:In two identical guns, I find the Sig easier to control.
Than .40, sure. Does it penetrate deeper than 9mm or something?
It should. It sends near exact the same size bullets 20% faster, at more than twice the price.
$.19/rd for 115gr reman vs .$34/rd for Sig reman vs $.31/rd for .45 ACP. It's not as ridiculously expensive as people like to pretend. Defensive loads are all between $.60 and $2.00/rd, depending on the load you want.
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