Barrel length and the .40 S&W


March 25, 2007, 09:25 PM
Hello everyone!

As my name implies, I am a big fan of the 1911 and am very familiar with .45 ACP ballistics, etc. However I am now considering looking into an area I am not familiar with, plastics and .40s :)

I really like the Springfield XD Sub-Compact with the stainless slide, but was wondering if the velocity is greatly impacted with the 3" barrel vs. say the 4". I know in .45 ACP it makes a good difference, but I am not familiar with higher pressure rounds. From what I've seen it seems the high pressure rounds are a bit more tolerant of barrel length. Is this true?

If you'd like to throw in any suggestions for grain weight for defensive rounds in .40 S&W feel free as well. In the mean time I will be combing the search and the net.

Any XD subcompact owners out there? :evil:

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March 25, 2007, 09:56 PM
hello! I like the .40 - good all around mix of performance. I have an m&P .40 loaded with DoubleTap ammo's 155 grain (at a blistering 1320 fps! - lucky order :neener: ) JHP that I use as a home defense gun, and I love it.

It seems that heavier bullet weights lose less velocity in a shorter barrel than lighter bullets. Overall, expect to lose about 90-110 fps or so per inch of barrel lost. for example, double tap's 165gr. load rates at 1200 fps with a 4" barrel. they don't list velocity in a 3", but it loses about 60fps in a 3.5" and gains 40 fps in a 4.5" barrel. it looks like more velocity would be lost dropping from 4" to 3" than dropping from say, 5" to 4".

honestly, I would prefer a 4". that's one reason I picked out a full size M&P as opposed to the compact version. although in the grand scheme of things, it probably makes little difference - it's still a fairly effective round. as for bullet weight, I hear that 155 and 165 grain weights have been most effective on the street - but I've lost the source to this information.

March 25, 2007, 09:59 PM
i own both the xd service and sc's in .40 and i think i might can help you out. though i have only shot the sc out to 20yds i can tell you that the accuracy is very good using the cheapest of ammo. i am very impressed with the little xd. i have shot the 4" out to 100yds and wouldn't do that with the sc but the sc is more than accuarte enough for it's purpose which is a carry gun. it is well balanced and gets on target extremely fast. they are great shooters, and they don't beat you up like you would think since it is such a small gun. i highly recommend the sc xd's and i think that anyone who wants a carry or sc handgun would be very pleased in owning one.

i like to use 165gr hornaday xtp's in my 4" and i use the federal 135gr hydra's in the subcompact. the accuracy is great in both of the handguns with the respective loads, and i think they would be more than sufficent to take on the task of personal protection.

here are some targets i shot with my xd sc from the standing off hand at an indoor range. these groups were shot with blaser aluminum cased ammo which i have found to be the least accurate from the xd sc, and i wish i would have had some wwb or umc and the groups would have been much tighter. but enough excuses!
here are three targets from 10yds.
here are some from 15yds
and now from 20yds.

March 26, 2007, 09:32 AM
Interesting, thanks guys! Your input is greatly appreciated.

The XD will be a carry/defense gun so I do not really need pinpoint accuracy; I was more concerned about velocity loss to the point of unreliable expansion. However I guess when it's moving along at 1100 fps :what: that's not a huge concern. I guess I'm just too used to bullets moving along at about 875 fps. :D

March 26, 2007, 10:33 AM
that is the exact reason that i chose the 135gr rds from federal to up the velocity a little. you could also check out speer's new line of short barreld goldots. i read a good review about them but i seem to have misplaced it, that might be the ticket for you. but even if you don't go with that you will be good!

March 26, 2007, 03:34 PM
the lighter bullet makes a difference in the total weight of the pistol you are carrying. I have shot a couple feral pigs with that round out of my Glock 27 and I am impressed with the performance. I have a Glock 22 and a 27. The 27 is the most accurate. My carry gun is a Steyr S40, which is more accurate than both Glocks.......chris3

March 26, 2007, 04:00 PM
Heres a link to a review of the Kahr PM40 CZ Rami 2075 and the SA XD40 Subcompact . At the bottom they list various rounds shot through the guns, and it shows that with both corbon 135grain JHPs and Winchester 155 grain silvertip HP's you get about 400 footpounds of energy at the muzzle. They only seemed to test three types of ammo, but in any case with both of those loads you should have sufficient energy to stop an attacker at self-defense distances. That being said if you get another inch of barrel length it noticeably produces more energy and is probably easier to control shooting wise. To see what i mean check out this link that mostly showcases the glock 23, which has a four inch barrel (as i'm sure you know springfield also makes a 4incher) (If you compare them side to side, you get about a hundred more FPS out of the silvertips).

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