.40 caliber Ballistics


June 19, 2009, 09:13 PM
First, this isn't a debate about .40 caliber ballistics vs. another type.

I just purchased a new Sig P226 (.40). Don't worry, pics will be up as soon as I get it. Paid <$800 out the door with 2 mags, so I'm happy with that.

That being said, my baby needs to be fed. Within the .40 cal range, what should I look for. I'm thinking about buying a case of 180 gr American Eagle to practice with. 1000 rds for $380 to my door. Then I was thinking about the Hydra-Shock 180 gr for SD when I ccw it.

But what's the big difference between the 180, 165, 155 gr bullets. I am looking for a no nonsense explanation please! I don't care how many jugs of water it can shoot though, but how it feels when you shoot it, and why you chose one brand over the other and one weight over another.

Anecdotal evidence is welcome, as is reasonable prices to be paid to buy it. I haven't shot this caliber before, so any advice is welcome as is other suggestions on what to buy (.40 caliber wise)


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June 19, 2009, 09:40 PM
I like doubletaps 165gr gold dot loading in my CZ40b. I also picked up a few boxes of fiocchi 165gr JHP. I have settled on the 165gr ammo as a compromise between velocity and penetration.

EOD Guy in VA
June 19, 2009, 11:49 PM
American Eagle will work great for the range. I've used them in nearly every caliber and in a variety of guns without problems.

Consider Speer Gold Dots for CCW... personally, I think they're the best.

June 20, 2009, 08:13 AM
Any of the premium self-defense ammo will get the job done - what is more important is to make sure your particular gun will reliably feed a given ammo. That said, the Sig P226 will handle most common ammos, to the best of my knowledge.

Good luck with it!

Jim D.

June 20, 2009, 08:29 AM
I have heard that the +P hollow point rounds overpenetrate terribly bad in the .40 cal. and that the 'standard' pressure defense round is recommended for that reason, but only in the .40. I don't know if there is anything to it or not, just something I read somewhere.

Here is some ballistics info on the .40 with various ammo. (http://handloads.com/misc/stoppingpower.asp?Caliber=11&Weight=All)

June 20, 2009, 09:38 AM
Ok, thanks for the good info so far.

What's the difference in grain size going to be? As I move heavier, what am I trading, speed for what?

What are reasonable prices to pay for ammo in the market? or should I starve my baby for a few months and wait?

June 20, 2009, 11:05 AM
The general rule of thumb is that the heavier bullets give up some speed for deeper penetration. Lighter bullets give up some penetration for greater energy. It's up to you which compromise works best, but both the 180 and 165 have an excellent reputation for stopping threats. Personally, I would use 165 in short barrels and 180 in full length barrels.

.357 magnum
June 20, 2009, 11:08 AM
I practice with any quality 180gr FMJ, mostly Blazer Brass from Wal-Mart. American Eagle is also Good Range Ammo. For SD I am 180gr all the way. Two biggest reasons--1]Slower, Heavier Bullet=More Penetration. A lot of people think Penetration is only to get thru Barriers. It is not. Penetration Crushes more Tissue, Bone, and Hopefully and Artery. Also has a longer Wound Channel. Reason 2] Less Recoil. Less Recoil Equals Better Accuracy. My SW-MP .40 has no more Recoil then my .45's.

That being said. I Swear by the Winchester 180gr Bonded [RA40B]They are Accurate, Reliable and Penetration is Excellent. With the current self-inflicted Ammo shortage. They are hard to get. Other Excellent loads are The Federal 180gr HST [P40HST1] Federal 180gr Tactical Bonded [LE40T1] and I
just got some Speer LE Duty Gold Dot 180gr GDHP.

I Hope you enjoy your New Sig! Sig is a Great gun and .40 cal is a Great Defensive Caliber. Ammo is a little easier to get because the Majority of LE uses .40's

The Best to You and Yours!


PS-I forgot to mention I do also Recommend the Speer Gold Dots, I just have not has as much experience with them. Also, Deep South I do not think there are any +P .40 rounds that I am aware of. I believe the.40 is already a Pretty High Pressure Round. Also the Ballistics's chart you have the link too although it is goo info, it is out of date. Those stats are for the Older Tech Ammo, before all the New Tech Ammo I mentioned above was out and being used by LE. Please understand I do not say this as a Personal affront to you, but to keep us all informed on the Newest Data. I also Think your Scripture Quote is Awesome!

June 20, 2009, 11:45 AM
I use 180s for everything as well. My personal favorite defense ammo in 9mm and .40 are Rem Golden Sabers (147 gr in 9mm, 180 gr in .40). Not the bonded ones, which do poorly against heavy clothing.

In general, heavier bullets do not penetrate any deeper (at least not modern ones). Instead, they expand larger. Less energy, more momentum, bigger hole.

June 20, 2009, 07:34 PM
I shot 100 rounds of American Eagle today. I've found this brand to be outstanding in it's 9mm and 40. The 40 I shot today was all nicely manufactured and went boom when asked. Seemed pretty potent. My Glocks
really like it.

EOD Guy in VA
June 20, 2009, 11:20 PM
DeepSouth: Many thanks for the ballistics link... great info.

June 21, 2009, 09:32 AM
DeepSouth: Many thanks for the ballistics link... great info.

Your welcome, if you want another link with some good info check out Shadan7's signature line in post 4.

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