135 grain .40 Federal brand any good?


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TheProf
May 21, 2010, 11:39 PM
Saw lots of this at my local Wally World. 135 grain .40 Federal brand...

Any comments on the quality of this round?

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REAPER4206969
May 22, 2010, 12:07 AM
135gr. is way too light for serious use.

TheProf
May 22, 2010, 12:35 AM
But would not a 135 grain HP .40 still outperform a 130 grain .38+P defense load?

(I'm new with the .40 so please enlighten me. This is a learning process for me...)

Marshall
May 22, 2010, 12:42 AM
What does "outperform" mean to you?

Each to their own but I prefer a 155gr, minimally, in .40 S&W.

pacerdude
May 22, 2010, 12:58 AM
I have two boxes of it that I have been meaning to take to the range, mine are the frangible rounds in a white box.

I guess sooner or later I will find out how they shoot.

19-3Ben
May 22, 2010, 01:12 AM
I'm with Reaper and Marshal. I like 155gr and up in .40. Preferably 165 or 180gr.
But would not a 135 grain HP .40 still outperform a 130 grain .38+P defense load?

130gr .38spl would have a lot better sectional density than a 135gr .40cal. Therefore, all else being equal, the .38 would penetrate more.
Of course, in the real world, all else isn't always equal, so YMMV.

REAPER4206969
May 22, 2010, 02:29 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HALCn1czp4s&playnext_from=TL&videos=1Lspf4IUVxk

The Lone Haranguer
May 22, 2010, 06:46 AM
If you're seeing any ammo, period, in your Wal-Marts, you should probably jump on it. ;) There are more effective loads for defense in this caliber out there, though. A 135-grain is very light for this caliber unless also pushed to extra velocity to compensate, which I doubt this is.

EShell
May 22, 2010, 08:12 AM
The lighter bullets in the .40 S&W can be pretty snappy. The Federal load (#PD40HS4H) drives a 135 to 1,200 FPS.

Generally speaking, bullets that are light for the caliber lose velocity quickly and do not penetrate as well as heavier, albeit slower, slugs. IOW, a 135 .40 S&W bullet is likely NOT to perform as well as a 130 from a .38/357, due to very poor sectional density.

I shoot all 180s in my .40. I find the heavier bullets MUCH more pleasant to shoot, and believe them to be much more effective than lighter bullets in the same caliber.

cwbjaxfl
May 22, 2010, 10:30 AM
i shot some of my 135gr federal ammo from wally world yesterday and my uspc loved it. i will be buying more!

TheProf
May 22, 2010, 03:15 PM
Reaper.... you said that the "135 grain is too light for any serious work... and then you provided a video link that essentially said that the recommended buying the 135 grain .40. So.....I'm a little confused?????????

Is the 135 grain .40 HP (Federal brand) an effective round for SD?

dpeticca
May 22, 2010, 03:58 PM
If they're using the Copper bullets similar to what I carry (140 Grain Corbon DPX), then I'd say it's great. In fact, the 140 Grain DPX is going about 1200 fps, and the lighter weight (for the caliber) makes it shoot real sweet. The round expands and penetrates just as well as any other manufacturers 155 to 180 Grain JHP's.

Federal utilizes the Barnes XPB in some of their other calibers, so it's possible they're doing the same here as Corbon.

I'd want to know more about the bullet and the velocity to be sure though.

19-3Ben
May 22, 2010, 04:01 PM
You can clearly see the lead core of the expanded bullets in the video Reaper linked to. They are not using the copper bullets.

Shadow 7D
May 22, 2010, 07:20 PM
Look at the job you want them to do, fast light bullet, expands well, and doesn't??? overpenetrate.

It depends on what you like/want to shoot
I've been looking for lighter and semi mild .40 loading to see if I can get to the point where I can shoot a P40 consistently, because, while a faster 180grn is great out my XD, it aint out of the little KT

Full Metal Jacket
May 22, 2010, 07:59 PM
cabela's has had this one in stock for some time now. it's loaded to pretty weak velocities. i got the 180 & 165grn hst's instead. there's a reason the cabela's near my house has a buttload of it, and is only asking $22/box for it.....

REAPER4206969
May 22, 2010, 08:34 PM
Reaper.... you said that the "135 grain is too light for any serious work... and then you provided a video link that essentially said that the recommended buying the 135 grain .40. So.....I'm a little confused?????????
I don't agree with his opinion, but it is a good video. 11" of penetration in water jugs is way too little. The light .40's also generate excessive slide velocity causing reliability/durability problems in some pistols.

TheProf
May 22, 2010, 09:50 PM
Thanks for the clarification. Since my Wally World also have Winchester Bonded 165 grain (PDX1), I'll give those a more thorough look.

REAPER4206969
May 22, 2010, 09:58 PM
Since my Wally World also have Winchester Bonded 165 grain (PDX1)
That's what you want.

Full Metal Jacket
May 22, 2010, 10:21 PM
Since my Wally World also have Winchester Bonded 165 grain (PDX1)


HST & PDX1 are the best jhp's on the market right now.

Rexster
May 23, 2010, 12:03 AM
If your pistol has fixed sights, it may well be regulated to place the standard 180-grain loads at point-of-aim. Lighter-bullet loads may have a different point of impact. Any reasonable bullet weight can be driven at a velocity that will cause significant damage to a living target, but shot placement can be important, as not all armed encounters are at arm's length. I use 180-grain Gold Dots in my SIGs. I wear a badge, and am more likely to defend another person, and/or be dispatched to trouble, which will mean I may seek cover at some distance from an adversary upon arrival. 165-grain ammo impacts notably lower than 180, but is still close enough to be an OK substitute. (I must buy my own duty ammo, within guidelines.) 155 is starting to get really low at 15 yards, and is noticeable at shorter distance.

If one uses 135-to140-grain ammo, it might be a good idea to see where it impacts at something like across-a-parking-lot distance.

TheProf
May 23, 2010, 07:27 AM
Rexter... ...that a lighter bullet will lose its trajectory quicker than a heavier bullet when fired across a long distance? That seems counterintuitive. I would think that a heavier bullet will start dropping faster than a lighter one.

I understand that a heavier bullet will penetrate more due to momentum...but as you factor longer distances, I would think that the heavier bullet will start dropping first.

Please explain....

Full Metal Jacket
May 23, 2010, 07:48 AM
that a lighter bullet will lose its trajectory quicker than a heavier bullet when fired across a long distance? That seems counterintuitive. I would think that a heavier bullet will start dropping faster than a lighter one.

a lighter bullet is likelier to be deflected off course by air current, or contact with an object such as a leaf.

moot point at the usual range of handgun defense distances of less than 7 yards.

CDW4ME
May 23, 2010, 09:15 AM
I saw the Federal 135 gr. ammo in Wal-Mart too, I was leery of the weight and unsure if if was a standard "full power" load or a weakened load.
I ended up getting a couple boxes of the Winchester 180 JHP. Although it might not be a "premium" bullet, it is a standard 40 bullet weight offering the traditional 40 ballistics.

bobehud
May 23, 2010, 09:34 AM
Just a footnote here.Mike from DoubleTap ammo loads a 10mm round (my fav) in a 135grain load and it screams.I think at ranges and condition's a citizen will run up against these would be very effective.
No im not going to quote any studies.BUT the most effective .357 magnum load is a 125 grain.
Also Wally world have these for 23.97 a box..

just my .02 cents.

Full Metal Jacket
May 23, 2010, 09:46 AM
I saw the Federal 135 gr. ammo in Wal-Mart too, I was leery of the weight and unsure if if was a standard "full power" load or a weakened load.
I ended up getting a couple boxes of the Winchester 180 JHP. Although it might not be a "premium" bullet, it is a standard 40 bullet weight offering the traditional 40 ballistics.

not a bad choice at all. :)

Rexster
May 23, 2010, 10:09 AM
Guys, point-of-impact is NOT due to the bullet dropping quicker!!! (Well, at least not at typical handgun defensive distance, anyway.)

All else being equal, the bullet that leaves the barrel sooner, has a LOWER point of impact, because the muzzle has not yet risen as far. Lighter bullets generally leave the barrel sooner, for several internal ballistic reasons. Simple as that.

180-grain Gold Dots shoot to point of aim in my SIG P229 pistols. Everything lighter shoots lower. Much as I like the apparent power of some of the hotter 155/165-grain loads, I have to allow for their lower P.O.I.

The same dynamic is at work in .357 Magnum. I like hot 125-grain loads in my adjustable-sighted GP100s, but tend to use heavier-bullet loads in my fixed-sight revolvers. Only the adjustable-sight guns can be adjusted to the P.O.I. of the lighter bullets.

Full Metal Jacket
May 23, 2010, 11:28 AM
Guys, point-of-impact is NOT due to the bullet dropping quicker!!!

nobody said that.


(Well, at least not at typical handgun defensive distance, anyway.)

i already said this.



:confused:

bobehud
May 23, 2010, 12:56 PM
But if you practice with what you shoot..in my case this 135 grn stuff,has anybody ever hear of adjusting,you know giving it a little English.If at POA it's at 11 oclock high you hold it a little low at 4...or am i just too old for this stuff..lol
No offense to anyone meant as i shot with a lot of Feds and most have told me to practice at 7 and 15 yards...7 yards..21 feet that's bigger than across most rooms..i can put them where they are needed..Im sure if i backed up to 25 yards my way would have issues but unless every cop i know is lying to me,most citizen involved shootings occur under 10ft..not yards..

once again just my .02 cents

gearhead
May 23, 2010, 01:48 PM
The weight of the bullet has NO effect on how fast it drops. As Galileo taught us hundreds of years ago, weight has no effect on drop velocity. The ONLY factors affecting how much a bullet drops is aero and the time it takes for a bullet to go from the muzzle to the target. A lighter bullet has less momentum so it slows down faster. This loss of velocity causes it to drop more at longer ranges.

DasFriek
May 23, 2010, 02:18 PM
I just picked up a box at Wally World since the price whas cheap and i could fill my spare ccw mag with HP's instead of FMJ after i shot a mag of the Hornady Tap 180gr i carry in the gun.
While i always prefer a higher weight bullet, You are gaining almost 200+ fps over 180gr ammo. Penetration will be down in a torso with 135gr, But you also gain some hydrostatic shock effect if you believe in that.
While its not my first choice in carry ammo, It will do the job just fine especially since its a proven expansion round which imo is more important than its weight.

jon_in_wv
May 23, 2010, 04:01 PM
I'm not sure I buy into the argument that a 130gr 38 special load at around 200 ft/lbs of energy is somehow a better choice or a better "performer" than a 135gr 40 S&W with around 500 ft/lbs. The small amount of difference in sectional density doesn't somehow drive that bullet deeper if it doesn't have the velocity or energy to do the work. While other factors being equal the higher SD will generally have more penetration that doesn't always work that way when you are comparing rounds of widely divergent velocities.

bobehud
May 25, 2010, 08:47 AM
On the Wally Work federal 135 grn. stuff One point id like to clear up is that these are using a prem. bullet the HST and out of my XD they are just a tick over 1200 fps..no not super ninja rounds but well into the range that HP rounds work.

Rexster
May 25, 2010, 06:29 PM
Full Metal Jacket, regarding your "confused" smiley, ( :confused: ) somebody did indeed post something that indicated a lack of understanding of what I said in my first reply. I did not want to pick on anyone, therefore the plural, collective "guys" terminology in my second post. :) The post in question is still there as I type this.

Plus, in previous threads in several forums about the lower POI of lighter-bullet loads at close range, others have stated things indicated belief that such bullets are actually dropping faster. It is a very common myth.

The reason I emphasized close range is because I was specifically not addressing that which occurs at longer range, where such things as ballistic coefficient, wind, etc., come into play.

jon_in_wv
May 25, 2010, 08:27 PM
That is a strange myth as all bullets drop at exactly the same speed. The only difference is how far it travels before it hits the ground.

Lonestar49
May 25, 2010, 08:33 PM
That is a strange myth as all bullets drop at exactly the same speed.

*The only difference is how far it travels before it hits the ground.


...

And here I always thought *it was how far it travels before the BG hits the ground.. ;)


Ls

jon_in_wv
May 25, 2010, 08:44 PM
That too. Ha ha.

andre73
May 31, 2010, 11:50 PM
We did a jug test on this ammo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQyPZbHmOmE

I plan on doing a more thorough testing in about 3 weeks.

Andre'

MYREDTAIL
June 1, 2010, 06:40 AM
Lighter bullet's are ok for SD but not as critical as shot placement I think ?

easyg
June 1, 2010, 11:29 AM
Considering that the 125g .357 Magnum round was (and still is) considered to be one of the best self defense rounds ever,
and considering that the 125g .357Sig round is getting very good results from all accounts that I have heard and read about,
I simple don't buy the notion that 135g in .40S&W is too light-weight to be effective for self defense.

Shawn Dodson
June 1, 2010, 01:01 PM
Considering that the 125g .357 Magnum round was (and still is) considered to be one of the best self defense rounds ever... I simple don't buy the notion that 135g in .40S&W is too light-weight to be effective for self defense. the .357 Magnum 125gr bullet has a sectional density of .140, virtually the same as the sectional density of .40 S&W 155gr (.138) and the identical to .45 ACP 200gr (.140).

By comparison .40 S&W 135gr has a sectional density of .121, which is less than .357 Magnum 110gr (.123) and 9mm 115gr (.130).

In predicting a bullet's potential for effectiveness against a human target, sectional density is of greater relevance than weight. Bullets of similar sectional density, when propelled at similar velocities and achieving similar percentages of expansion/fragmentation, such as .40 S&W 135gr and .357 Magnum 110gr, are going to produce similar terminal performance/wound trauma.

For mor information, see - Sectional Density: Rule-of-thumb Guide for Estimating Terminal Performance (http://www.firearmstactical.com/tacticalbriefs/volume4/number1/toc.htm)

Cheers!

Skylerbone
June 1, 2010, 01:35 PM
Hornady has some good information in their HITS Calculator in comparing their particular offerings. In the chart format, each caliber and it's corresponding bullet weights are scored (in this case to determine which size game animals are appropriate) and velocities are charted along with bullet drop.

Keep in mind too that bullet material makes a big difference when penetration and expansion are concerns. Each manufacturer chooses components for any number of reasons be it price, weight retention, expandability, etc. Checking their web site for the particulars can save alot of this is better than that

By decree of design there are "superior" rounds to the 135gr in .40 but again it depends on your purpose. Then you can decide whether or not you belong with the expansionists, penetration rules or size matters crowd.

PS If you spent the money on a .40 for self-defense, cost for ammo should never be a factor. Buy what you should have rather than what leaves you with Twinkie money left over. (Hey, we're at Walmart right?)

tipoc
June 2, 2010, 04:09 AM
Sectional density is likely a more important factor in rifle rounds than in handgun rounds. And tends to be of more importance in the selection of a hunting round than a self defense round. For the latter bullet construction and type, caliber, weight etc. are likely greater factors than sectional density.

The 135 gr. loads for the .40 S&W have been around for quite a number of years, well over a decade. They are part of what makes the 40 an interesting and versatile round. Cor-Bon has produced one that they claim delivers 1325 fps from a 4" barrel and 526 ft.lbs of energy at the muzzle.

Modern JHP bullets are built to produce similar penetration and expansion in 10% ballistic gelatin whether a 9mm or a 45, etc. The 135 gr. 40 S&W load should do quite well. Likely better than a 130 gr. 38 Spl.

P.S. a small point...there has never been any solid info. that the 125 gr. JHP from a .357 is or was the #1 "manstopper" of all time, etc. A good round yes but the rep of the .357 was made with a 158 gr. pill some years before the 125 gr. JHP was developed.

tipoc

CDW4ME
June 2, 2010, 07:50 AM
I saw the Federal 135 gr. ammo in Wal-Mart too, I was leery of the weight and unsure if if was a standard "full power" load or a weakened load.
I ended up getting a couple boxes of the Winchester 180 JHP. Although it might not be a "premium" bullet, it is a standard 40 bullet weight offering the traditional 40 ballistics.
The Winchester 180 JHP white box didn't work so well in my Kahr PM40, something like at least one malfunction in a 5 round magazine.
Maybe I should have gotten the 135 Federal after all.

Shawn Dodson
June 2, 2010, 12:29 PM
Sectional density is likely a more important factor in rifle rounds than in handgun rounds. And tends to be of more importance in the selection of a hunting round than a self defense round. For the latter bullet construction and type, caliber, weight etc. are likely greater factors than sectional density.

Modern JHP bullets are built to produce similar penetration and expansion in 10% ballistic gelatin whether a 9mm or a 45, etc. The 135 gr. 40 S&W load should do quite well.
Except for the solid copper Barnes XPB bullets, the lead core handgun bullets listed in the following link possess an unfired sectional density of .138 or greater and reliably achieve adequate penetration. Service Pistol Duty and Self-Defense Loads (http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887)

.40 S&W 135gr is not listed because it does not achieve similar penetration, due to low sectional density.

Ben86
June 2, 2010, 01:23 PM
It's a light bullet for that caliber, but will get the job done, not considering any substantial intermediate barriers. Maybe it would make a good HD load for that reason.

Skylerbone
June 2, 2010, 01:53 PM
Shawn, your link provided a great chart, thank you. The op continued however below that chart to say the following: 'The bullets in the Federal Classic and Hydrashok line are outperformed by other ATK products such as the Federal Tactical and HST...'

He concluded with: 'Basically all the standard service calibers work when using good quality ammunition.'

Missing from that chart are a number of premium choices such as Double Tap and Hornady. I feel that while helpful as a reference it is far from complete.

golden
June 2, 2010, 03:58 PM
My agency recently went from the 155 jhp to the 135 grain. The main reason seems to be recoil. The H&K P2000 we carry are much lighter than the BERETTA 96 D models we used to use.
Now that we are transitioning the last of our 9m.m. shooters to the .40 S&W, recoil has become an issue for some.

The 155 grain jhp was probably the most effective .40 S&W ammo. It is what I keep in my home gun and my winter carry gun. The 165 was nearly interchangable and I use WINCHESTER'S 165 grain fmj for practice.

I would avoid the 180 ammo. It offers deeper penetration and little else. It has not come close to establishing a street proven record like the 155 grain jhp has. My agency switched from the .357 magnum directly to the .40 S&W and did not notice any change in stopping power.

Jim

tipoc
June 2, 2010, 05:03 PM
.40 S&W 135gr is not listed because it does not achieve similar penetration, due to low sectional density.

I'm no expert in the 135 gr. 40 S&W but I do believe that bullet construction will play a greater role in whether the bullet will penetrate to depth and expand as planned (to the extent that any bullets do this) than will sectional density. Sectional density is one factor to be considered I believe, in the "balance" of a round. In this regard the 135 gr. is less balanced than the 155-165 gr. or so rounds for the 40 S&W.

But ammo manufacturers have worked quite hard at manufacturing rounds that fall within the FBI parameters for defensive ammo. I believe this has been the case with the 135 gr. loads. If so it will penetrate to the desired depths. It has the energy and weight to do so with the proper bullet (lighter bullets as fast or faster do in the 38/9mm range without breaking up as they used to a decade or so back).

I think that sectional density tables can be useful and are a part of the picture. As are energy figures and momentum. But they leave out bullet construction which has proven to be a critical factor in penetration and expansion.

Above Golden has made some good points.

tipoc

REAPER4206969
June 2, 2010, 05:32 PM
I would avoid the 180 ammo. It offers deeper penetration and little else. It has not come close to establishing a street proven record like the 155 grain jhp has.
You need to educate yourself. Have your agency request a ballistics report from the FBI. They send them out to any department that requests them. 180gr. is the only .40 load that consistently passes the FBI tests.

Ben86
June 2, 2010, 06:24 PM
Having a street proven record and the FBI ballistics report are two different things. The lighter (mid light) .40 loads do have better reports of stopping power.

The only reason to have the 180 grain load is better penetration, which may or may not be necessary according to individual needs. It does not expand as well as the lighter loads and it has considerably less FPE, if you believe in that sort of thing.

REAPER4206969
June 2, 2010, 06:57 PM
The lighter (mid light) .40 loads do have better reports of stopping power.
Marshall and Sanow fan?

Shawn Dodson
June 2, 2010, 08:40 PM
Missing from that chart are a number of premium choices such as Double Tap and Hornady. I feel that while helpful as a reference it is far from complete. The cartridges listed are those that have been tested and which reliably achieve a minimum 12” penetration. A cartridge that isn’t listed means it either hasn’t been tested or it has been tested and its performance is inadequate.

My agency recently went from the 155 jhp to the 135 grain. I pity you and the public you're sworn to protect. 135gr .40 S&W JHP is dangerously inadequate. You, your fellow officers, and the citizens of your community are victims of negligent equipment selection.

I would avoid the 180 ammo. It offers deeper penetration and little else. It has not come close to establishing a street proven record like the 155 grain jhp has. My agency switched from the .357 magnum directly to the .40 S&W and did not notice any change in stopping power. Interestingly, sectional density wise, 180gr is to .40 S&W what 230gr is to .45 ACP. Both bullets possess identical sectional density.

California Highway Patrol, the first large agency to adopt .40 S&W, has used 180gr JHP and nothing else. Prior to adopting .40 S&W CHP used 125gr .357 Magnum. According to their firearms training unit the 180gr .40 S&W has demonstrated superior officer involved shooting results than.357 Magnum 125gr. My sister and brother-in-law are both recently retired CHP. My bother-in-law was a CHP firearms trainer. He carried .357 Magnum 125gr, but he had greater confidence in .40 S&W 180gr.

It has not come close to establishing a street proven record like the 155 grain jhp has. I’m unaware of ANY valid and verifiable data to support your claim. How did you arrive at this conclusion?

I'm no expert in the 135 gr. 40 S&W but I do believe that bullet construction will play a greater role in whether the bullet will penetrate to depth and expand as planned (to the extent that any bullets do this) than will sectional density. Show us a lead core 135gr .40 S&W that reliably penetrates a minimum 12 inches.

As for Barnes solid copper bullets, I haven’t tested any and I’ve been unable to study any high quality photos that might allow me to understand their penetration characteristics.

easyg
June 2, 2010, 09:04 PM
Except for the solid copper Barnes XPB bullets, the lead core handgun bullets listed in the following link possess an unfired sectional density of .138 or greater and reliably achieve adequate penetration. Service Pistol Duty and Self-Defense Loads

.40 S&W 135gr is not listed because it does not achieve similar penetration, due to low sectional density.
Where did you read why the 135g .40 was not listed?
I couldn't find a reason listed anywhere on your link.

You also know that the data from the chart you linked is not accurate, right?
The barrel lengths of the test guns was not given....
How much you wanna bet the .45 slug was from a 5" barrel while the others were from a 4" or shorter barrel? ;)

REAPER4206969
June 2, 2010, 09:12 PM
135gr .40 S&W JHP is dangerously inadequate.
It will make your brain bleed. http://www.ar15.com/images/smilies/smiley_freak.gif

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/18/40AITvsBPW.png/400px-40AITvsBPW.png

Shawn Dodson
June 2, 2010, 09:15 PM
Where did you read why the 135g .40 was not listed? I couldn't find a reason listed anywhere on your link. The reason why it's not listed because it's performance is inadequate. The list only shows those loads that reliably penetrate a minimum of 12-inches (acceptable performance). I suggest you post a question there to inquire of DocGKR as why any 135gr .40 S&W is not listed.

You also know that the data from the chart you linked is not accurate, right?
The barrel lengths of the test guns was not given....
How much you wanna bet the .45 slug was from a 5" barrel while the others were from a 4" or shorter barrel? Not accurate? Would you kindly point out the exact discrepancy you've discovered?

A shorter barrel length produces decreased velocity, which inturn, decreases bullet expansion, which in turn, increases penetration.

Skylerbone
June 2, 2010, 10:09 PM
I'd think the Double Tap would make the list but the list of test ammo was not provided. The fact that the list of all brands tested is not available is all that's being noted Shawn. It is a fallacy of thought to conclude no other bullet passed the test, think all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares.

I don't pity any citizen being protected by PD carrying 135 gr in .40 cal, I pity the ones still being watched over by .38s and the like. Of course none of it matters when you're being victimized, only cal./bullet/shot placement that will matter is from your gun if you brought it. I'll stick to my 165 gr Hornady Critical Defense for that. (1175@muzzle, 1066@50 yds and special tip to prevent clogging by clothing, helpful if your attacker happens to not be nude)

Guys, we can go on for years arguing about FBI reports and CHP preferences but again, their needs are not our needs. If you are engaging "threats" at 100 yards and you don't carry a badge YOU are a FOOL! (excepting that charging bear). It's nobody's job to play vigilante out there. If you value your life, liberty and firearm rights you will make your escape and call in the pros.

PS FYI none of the cartridges listed in this thread thus far will provide any penetration through a bulletproof vest. You'll need that powerhouse round known as .22 Mag for that one.

Kingofthehill
June 3, 2010, 01:39 AM
I pity you and the public you're sworn to protect. 135gr .40 S&W JHP is dangerously inadequate. You, your fellow officers, and the citizens of your community are victims of negligent equipment selection.

That has to be one of the most condescending comments i have read on this forum and it makes you look STUPID.

Take a look at this. 180gr Speer Gold Dots failed in the real world. I have a feeling the 135's would have been JUST as effective if not better.

http://www.ignatius-piazza-front-sight.com/wp-content/uploads/officer.pdf

golden
June 3, 2010, 04:39 AM
REAPER,

Please save your pity for the CHP. They need it.

My agency is adopting the 135 grain after testing it. My own preference is for the 155 grain load which strikes an excellent balance and has proven a reliable fight stopper on the street or in the field.
With the wholesale adoption of the lighter H&K pistols, recoil has become more of an issue than with the BERETTA'S.
The 155 grain is also hard on guns. When I turned in my last issue BERETTA, it would have required a new slide to keep it in service. The wear factor is the only negative I know of with the 155 grain load.

My agency was behind the development of the 155 grain jhp. We know more about gunfights than the FBI will ever know because we shoot people more often.
Because we already KNEW that the FBI data was not conclusive. WE DID OUR OWN TESTS. AFTER THAT, WE FIELD TESTED IT IN A WAY THE FBI AND CHP HAVE A LOT LESS EXPERIENCE WITH. GUNFIGHTS.

Please note, due to our testing, the BERETTA 96D Brigadier pistols we were issued, worked very well in harsh environment's like the southern U.S. border, sub-tropical FLORIDA and in MONTANA winters from the first day.

THE FBI 10 m.m. S&W pistols had to be withdrawn from service.

It was in gunfights that we determined the 125 grain jhp was the best load for the .357 magnum revolver. When you may have to use a handgun against an opponent carrying a shotgun, rifle or AK-47, you quickly learn what works.

We also permitted personally owned 9m.m. and .45ACP pistols, prior to standardizing on the BERETTA. We were issued 115 grain jhp +P+ till it was replaced by the 124 grain HYDRO-SHOK +P+. Both worked very well, but the .357 was better. The 155 grain .40 S&W proved to be just as good as the .357 load.
I never carried a .45 on duty, but if I remember right, the issue ammo was WINCHESTER 185 grain SILVER TIPS.

In the last 13 years, I have not known a single officer to complain about the .40 S&W l55 grain load. It works great and the lack of failure to stop reports from the southern border support that.

Jim

Shawn Dodson
June 3, 2010, 10:47 AM
Take a look at this. 180gr Speer Gold Dots failed in the real world. I have a feeling the 135's would have been JUST as effective if not better. The bullets didn’t damage vitals to immediate survival. They didn’t fail. What happened is their wound paths through the body didn’t intersect vital structures and no vital tissues were crushed or cut by the penetrating bullets. I would agree that 135gr JHPs would have demonstrated virtually identical results with the same penetration paths. There’s no reason why 135gr would have stopped the bad guy sooner because they too would have not damaged vitals.

In the last 13 years, I have not known a single officer to complain about the .40 S&W l55 grain load. It works great and the lack of failure to stop reports from the southern border support that. 155gr has almost the same sectional density (.138) as 125gr .357 Magnum (.140) and 124gr 9mm (.141). It’s no coincidence that heavy, medium and light bullets that are common for their respective calibers (e.g., .45 ACP/.40 S&W/9mm - heavy 230/180/147; medium 200/155/124; light 185/115) possess sectional densities that are almost the same.

easyg
June 3, 2010, 11:20 AM
The reason why it's not listed because it's performance is inadequate. The list only shows those loads that reliably penetrate a minimum of 12-inches (acceptable performance).
You don't really believe that do you?

Do you really believe that the chart you linked listed EVERY known .40 load that can reliably penetrate 12 inches???

Surely you're smarter than that.


Not accurate? Would you kindly point out the exact discrepancy you've discovered?
I already did.
You can't have a non-biased testing of bullet performance using weapons with varying barrel lengths.
Surely you understand this.

A shorter barrel length produces decreased velocity, which inturn, decreases bullet expansion, which in turn, increases penetration.
Not necessarily.
Bullet design often is the most determining factor in expansion.
And some bullets are designed to expand at different velocities than other bullets (like Speer's bullets designed for short barrel handguns).
Some bullets don't expand much, yet still don't penetrate much, especially from a short barrel handgun.

Shawn Dodson
June 3, 2010, 12:07 PM
You don't really believe that do you? .40 S&W 135gr does not reliably penetrate a minimum of 12 inches required to ensure it possesses the penetration potential to reach and damage vital structures.

Do you really believe that the chart you linked listed EVERY known .40 load that can reliably penetrate 12 inches??? Post #52: ” The cartridges listed are those that have been tested and which reliably achieve a minimum 12” penetration. A cartridge that isn’t listed means it either hasn’t been tested or it has been tested and its performance is inadequate.”

I already did. You can't have a non-biased testing of bullet performance using weapons with varying barrel lengths. Surely you understand this. You’re speculating.

The cartridges listed in the link represent cartridges that exhibit “outstanding terminal performance” (reliable/consistent expansion and adequate penetration) when fired from service pistol duty handguns with a barrel length of approximately 4-5 inches, and which are usually referred to as full size and compact handguns. (When fired from ultra-compact handguns, which are generally considered to have a barrel length of about 3.5” or less, one can expect decreased expansion and increased penetration as a result of decreased muzzle velocity.)

Bullet design often is the most determining factor in expansion. And some bullets are designed to expand at different velocities than other bullets (like Speer's bullets designed for short barrel handguns). Speer SB handgun ammo is specifically designed with a lower expansion velocity threshold. However observe that all of Speer’s Gold Dot Short Barrel ammunition uses bullets that are medium & heavy weight with sectional densities between .141 and .162.

One of the problems with bullets that have lower sectional densities is that the bullet is physically shorter in length. This means the hollowpoint cavity is not as deep and it is more susceptible to becoming clogged with cloth plugs, and fail to expand, after passing through clothing.

Skylerbone
June 3, 2010, 12:33 PM
Thus the Hornady FTX, designed with a special tip to prevent clogging. I would be much more impressed with a demonstration done on say pig carcasses than the standard it shot through jello. Heck, wrap that jello in a leather jacket and flannel shirt THEN tell me about performance.

EVERY gun is potentially lethal. EVERY bullet is potentially lethal. If you want to shoot through your target DocGlock has your solution. Over and over: USE WHAT the LIKELY SITUATION DICTATES! Don't pick out some hyper velocity solid if you have children in the next room. There's no need for 18" of penetration if you're taking the shots you should be.

If you want advice on ammo selection here it is: choose that which minimizes unintended consequences. I don't care if you've "put someone down with xyz round before". It doesn't qualify that round for best in every scenario ever. Killing someone with a pencil does not make it worlds greatest weapon.

Shawn Dodson
June 3, 2010, 12:48 PM
Thus the Hornady FTX, designed with a special tip to prevent clogging. It isn't designed to perform well if one has to shoot through concealment to hit an attacker.

I would be much more impressed with a demonstration done on say pig carcasses than the standard it shot through jello. Heck, wrap that jello in a leather jacket and flannel shirt THEN tell me about performance.
Extract from “Wound Ballistics Misconceptions.” (Duncan MacPherson, Wound Ballistics Review, 2(3): 1996; 42-43):
When a bullet is penetrating any material (tissue, water, air, wood, etc.), the total force the bullet exerts on the material is the same as the total force the material exerts on the bullet (this is Newton’s Third Law of Motion). These forces may be represented as a combination of shear forces and inertial forces (don’t be concerned if these words sound too technical – the concepts are easy). Shear force may be thought of as the force that resists deformation; if you push on a wall you are creating shear forces in the wall material that resist your push. If you push your hand down very slowly on a water surface, you feel no resisting force; this is true because a liquid cannot support a shear force….

You can fan your hand back and forth in air quite rapidly because there seems to be no resistance, but a similar fanning motion cannot be done nearly as rapidly underwater because moving the water can take all the strength you can muster. The forces that resist the movement of your hand in water are inertial forces….

A bullet penetrating a soft solid (tissue or a tissue simulant like gelatin) meets resistance that is a combination of shear forces and inertial forces….

…Anyone who has worked with gelatin knows that a finger can be pushed into gelatin with a force of only a few pounds; this force is similar to the resistance to a finger poked into the stomach, but the tissue does not fracture as easily as gelatin does. A finger poked into water does not meet this kind of resistance, which is due to shear forces. Penetration of a 9mm bullet at 1000 ft/sec is resisted by an inertial force of about 800 pounds; it is obvious that the presence or absence of a 3 to 5 pound shear force makes no practical difference in the penetration at this velocity. This also explains why the fact that gelatin fractures more easily than tissue does is not important.

The extension of these dynamics to soft tissue variation is obvious. Different types of tissue present different resistance to finger probing by a surgeon, but the surgeon is not probing at 1000 ft/sec. Different tissue types do have differences in the amount of shear force they will support, but all of these forces are so small relative to inertial forces that there is no practical difference. The tissue types are closer to one another than they are to water, and bullet expansion in water and tissue are nearly identical at velocities over 600 ft/sec where all bullet expansion takes place (See Bullet Penetration for a detailed explanation of bullet expansion dynamics).

Since inertial forces depend on accelerating mass, it makes sense that these forces should be lower at lower velocities (because the penetrated material cannot be accelerated to a velocity higher than the bullet). Shear forces have little velocity dependence, and as a result, shear forces are a much larger fraction of the total when bullet velocity is below the cavitation threshold. This low velocity effect is the reason that total bullet penetration depth is much different in water and in tissue or a valid tissue simulant.

As a result of the penetration dynamics, most soft solids with a density very near soft tissues (i.e., near the density of water) are satisfactory tissue simulants when shear forces are not important. However, total penetration depth depends significantly on dynamics at velocities below 400 ft/sec, so most materials do not properly simulate penetration depth. The total bullet penetration depth in tissue and a valid tissue simulant should be the same; standard practice is to use calibrated gelatin to insure this. In effect, gelatin calibration is done to ensure that the shear forces in the gelatin are the same as in typical soft tissue (as described in Bullet Penetration, the technical parameter used in the dynamic is viscosity).

Extracts from “The Wound Profile & The Human Body: Damage Pattern Correlation.” (Martin L Fackler, MD, Wound Ballistics Review, 1(4): 1994; 12-19):
The test of the wound profiles’ validity is how accurately they portray the projectile-tissue interaction observed in shots that penetrate the human body. Since most shots in the human body traverse various tissues, we would expect the wound profiles to vary somewhat, depending on the tissues traversed. However, the only radical departure has been found to occur when the projectile strikes bone: this predictably deforms the bullet more than soft tissue, reducing its overall penetration depth, and sometimes altering the angle of the projectile’s course. Shots traversing only soft tissues in humans have shown damage patterns of remarkably close approximation to the wound profiles.

The bullet penetration depth comparison, as well as the similarity in bullet deformation and yaw patterns, between human soft tissue and 10% ordnance gelatin have proven to be consistent and reliable. Every time there appeared to be an inconsistency…a good reason was found and when the exact circumstances were matched, the results matched. The cases reported here comprise but a small fraction of the documented comparisons which have established 10% ordnance gelatin as a valid tissue simulant.

There's no need for 18" of penetration if you're taking the shots you should be. Like when you're knocked down and have to shoot upward at an attacker who's attempting to bludgeon your head open? Or when you're in a physical struggle and your bullet has to pass through several inches of arm muscle and bone, stretch and tear skin to exit the arm, and pass through a rib bone before it reaches vital tissues in the torso?

Kingofthehill
June 3, 2010, 01:38 PM
Blah, Blah Blah...

easyg
June 3, 2010, 02:00 PM
Post #52: ” The cartridges listed are those that have been tested and which reliably achieve a minimum 12” penetration. A cartridge that isn’t listed means it either hasn’t been tested or it has been tested and its performance is inadequate.”
So where is the evidence that the 135g was indeed tested and was found to inadequate in penetration?
Or was it just not tested at all?

Clearly the data you linked only tested a rather limited number of .40 rounds from a few makers.
Claiming that any round not found in the data is inadequate is illogical at best and deceptive at worse.

From what I've seen, the 135g .40 will certainly reliably penetrate plenty deep enough to reach the vital organs of the average human.


You’re speculating.
WHAT?!?! :scrutiny:

There's nothing speculative about it.
Using handguns of varying lengths is unscientific at the very least.
Doing so introduces bias in any such testing and taints the results.
This isn't speculation, this follows the basic scientific method of reducing as many variable as possible outside the actual test medium (in this case, the bullets themselves).
Would the .45acp perform the same from a 4" barrel as opposed to a 5" barrel?
Heck NO!

If you shoot a 155g .40 from a 4" barrel, and a 200g .45 from a 5" barrel, and the .45 penetrates deeper in to the test material....
You cannot declare that "the 200g .45 bullet penetrates more than the 155g .40 bullet".
That is a false result because the science is simply not there to back up such a statement.

However, you can declare that "this 200g .45 bullet from this 5" barrel penetrated more than this 155g .40 from this 4" barrel".
You can say this because that is all the data has shown, nothing more and nothing less.

Anyone who looks at that chart and thinks that they can determine which caliber and bullet weight is best for self defense, regardless of the firearms used, simply doesn't understand the data before his eyes.

CDW4ME
June 3, 2010, 02:11 PM
Nothing wrong with the Winchester "white box" 180 JHP. Problem is my Kahr PM40, not the ammo.

I took the same Winchester 180 JHP and shot it in my Glock 27 and XD40sc (about 25-30 rounds each) without malfunction. I shot each pistol one handed, both strong hand and weak hand, no problem. Primers hard hit, and ejection was positive with both pistols.

I wouldn't have any reservation about carrying my Glock 27 or XD40sc with the Winchester 180 JHP.

The Kahr averaged 965 fps with the Winchester 180, so I know the Glock or XD would produce equivalent or higher velocities. Nothing wrong with a 180 gr. JHP bullet at 965+

Edit: I tried to insert my first reply to this thread, but the "quick reply" with quote didn't turn out.

Skylerbone
June 3, 2010, 02:25 PM
+2 on the last 2 posts. Data being incomplete is in this case much worse than none at all. Read all you want. Spend sleepless nights planning your shot through an assailants arm, bone, chest, ribs, sinew, tissue and finally heart, all while lying on your back being bludgeoned if that's what you think will likely happen.

More likely you'll brandish that gun in a situation you could have left and then when someone calls your bluff you'll be "forced" to shoot. Maybe everyone else who witnesses it all will back you up, even those you accidentally hit while shooting at such a ridiculous angle.

If it all concerns you to that degree buy a box of everything you can find, order 100 gallons of goop and start your own testing. You'll have the complete data to present and prove us all wrong. You're betting you life on this ammo, right?

Better yet, measure the chest cavities of your 10 best friends, make the molds that thick, then cast some in pink to put behind the ones designated as criminals. Then see how much penetration you get beyond your target in more real life situations.

I smell a YouTube challenge!

Shawn Dodson
June 3, 2010, 03:11 PM
So where is the evidence that the 135g was indeed tested and was found to inadequate in penetration? Or was it just not tested at all? It may not have been tested by DocGKR, given what is known about inadequate penetration performance of bullets with a low sectional density or he might be aware of test results of .40 S&W 135gr performed by others. Or he simply hasn’t tested it yet. If you're interested you can request DocGKR to post test data for any 135gr he may have tested.

Clearly the data you linked only tested a rather limited number of .40 rounds from a few makers. Only those cartridges that have been tested AND which demonstrate excellent terminal performance are posted. (As a general observation, bullets that demonstrate excellent terminal performance usually exhibit a penetration range between 12-16” in both bare gelatin and in gelatin covered by four layers of heavy denim cloth, regardless of caliber. Terminal performance observed in actual shootings usually fall within the range of penetration between bare gelatin and in gelatin covered by heavy denim cloth, unless the bullet collides with bone just underneath the skin.)

Claiming that any round not found in the data is inadequate is illogical at best and deceptive at worse. A cartridge doesn’t appear in the list because: 1) it wasn’t tested, or 2) it was tested and found inadequate.

From what I've seen, the 135g .40 will certainly reliably penetrate plenty deep enough to reach the vital organs of the average human. Double Tap lists 11.75" penetration for Nosler’s .40 S&W 135gr JHP, which means some bullets penetrate less and some penetrate more. Duncan MacPherson suggests choosing a cartridge that exhibits a MEAN penetration depth of at least 12.5”.

BARE GELATIN
Most physicians knowledgeable in wound trauma believe that adequate penetration depth is the most important single property in handgun ammunition. The appropriate value for minimum penetration depth has generally been assumed to be 12 inches ever since the first FBI wound ballistics meeting in 1987. Unfortunately, this assumption has often been interpreted very simplistically (i.e., 12.1 Inches of penetration is good, but 11.9 inches of penetration is no good), but the real situation is more complicated. The problem is the possibility that the bullet will require an unusually large penetration to reach vital structures well inside the body. This can occur when the bullet must traverse non-critical tissue; e.g., the extended arm of an assailant aiming his handgun, and/or an unusual bullet path angle in the torso, and/or an unusually fat or beefy individual. The probability of needing this extra penetration is a judgment call, but most people believe it is a significant factor and much more important than the relatively modest increase in expanded diameter achieved by reducing penetration depth (e.g., approximately 30% increase in expanded bullet diameter is achieved by designing to an 8 inch penetration depth rather than 12 inches). This is the reason the professional wound ballistics community specified the 12 inch minimum penetration even though they are well aware that an 8 inch penetration is usually adequate. The suggested specification values for mean penetration depth are greater than 12.5 inches and less than 14.0 inches. Even at the limit of minimum value of this range (12.5 inches) and the limiting value of standard deviation (0.6) in Section 6.1.1, about 80% of the penetration will be greater than 12 inches and essentially all will be greater than 11 inches. This bare gelatin test provides a lower limit on penetration because most shootings will involve at least some clothing; slightly less expansion and slightly deeper penetration can be expected in typical service use.


GELATIN COVERED BY FOUR LAYERS OF HEAVY DENIM CLOTH
The mean penetration depth in this section can be expected to be somewhat larger than in Section 6.1.2 (bare gelatin), and represents a reasonable upper bound on the mean penetration depth in service. The suggested specification values for mean penetration depth are greater than 13.0 inches and less than 16.0 inches. The realities of JHP bullet performance eliminate any practical concern that penetration depth will be inadequate in this test for any ammunition with adequate penetration in the Section 6.1 test. A one inch increase in maximum penetration depth corresponds to approximately a 0.02 inch reduction in expanded diameter, which is not a significant concern as long as the requirement of Section 6.2.1 is met. The general discussion of penetration depth in Section 6.1.2 also applies here.

See - http://www.firearmstactical.com/iwba.htm#Specification%20Supplement

Would the .45acp perform the same from a 4" barrel as opposed to a 5" barrel? Heck NO! For practical purposes the difference is negligible for most modern handgun cartridges designed to perform well against four layers of heavy denim cloth.

Shawn Dodson
June 3, 2010, 03:56 PM
Comment #17 by “sgalbra76” of this thread (http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=48245) is interesting:

If there is any doubts in your mind on what you should be carrying, I think it is a pretty wise decision to copy agencies like the FBI. More and more Federal agencies are going this route after years of trying to whistle their own tune. For example, Border Patrol had used the 135gr and 155gr .40 for many years. It turned out that most of the field officers and trainers were not happy at all with this load, but supervisors who had been in charge of RM(reference manual) requirements resisted changing to FBI standards. Many BP officers put in 30yrs, so these supervisors were around pre Miami shootout and were brought up on "stopping power" philosophy. In December of 2009, Border Patrol switched to the 180gr .40. I went to a LE refresher in January with 5 BP trainers and they very happy with the transition citing several OISs in which they were very unhappy with the penetration characteristics of the ligher .40 bullet weights.

Skylerbone
June 3, 2010, 04:22 PM
I don't pretend to be an FBI agent here or in real life. I'm not interested in what the FBI uses as I do not apprehend suspects hiding inside fortified positions. If an attacker has time to seek cover from me then I have time to RUN! Self Defense at it's core means self preservation. If you're 40 rounds into a gun fight then you picked the wrong battle plan or self preservation is not an instinct you possess.

As far as penetration, a hollow point that has it's cavity filled is similar to a FMJ and will not expand and will penetrate deeper. We know that. If your test and quotes aim to show us that penetration, AND ONLY penetration is a factor then AGAIN DocGlock has your answer: FMJ. That would in turn lead us all to realize that ANY hollow point selection is inadequate as it may expand thereby reducing penetration.

Alas, one guy's question on a lowly box of discount ammo has lead us all down The Low Road. There is, contrary to the Shooters Never Fail Bible of Ballistics, more than one way to skin a cat. My wife is not a shooter but she did teach me that penetration isn't everything.

Shawn Dodson
June 3, 2010, 05:04 PM
If your test and quotes aim to show us that penetration, AND ONLY penetration is a factor then AGAIN DocGlock has your answer: FMJ. We’re all aware that FMJ does not produce the same quantity of wound trauma that an expanded JHP bullet does. The wound produced by a well-designed, expanded JHP bullet is larger in diameter, which facilitates increased rate and volume of blood loss to produce rapid incapacitation. EXCELLENT TERMINAL PERFORMANCE is a balance between RELIABLE expansion and ADEQUATE penetration to optimize the wounding effects of the bullet.

PLACEMENT - The bullet’s path through the body and what structures it damages is equally as important as PENETRATION. A bullet whose path just misses vital structures is as ineffective as a well-placed bullet that stops just short of vital structures. The end result is the same – a wound that is physiologically incapable of compelling rapid incapacitation.

PLACEMENT and PENETRATION are the key elements of RAPID INCAPACITATION. Whereas EXPANSION is a contributing element that has the potential to hasten rapid incapacitation.

Skylerbone
June 3, 2010, 07:23 PM
Always understood a headshot was the only way to quickly incapacitate. Oh well, I give up. Gotta go throw away all those Hornadys I've been loading and write them a nasty letter about not providing me with adequate protection. Wonder why they never tested what they sell...must have had bad analysis data but rushed to market anyway.

Anybody know the sectional density of a 500 gr S&W 500 Mag? Anybody wanna buy a used .40cal? I "must be flexible enough to adapt".

TheProf
July 1, 2010, 05:35 AM
Wow...72 replies so far... Thanks for all the passionate input. To sum up all of it in my mind, and to put it in practical terms...

I would like to compare the two:
Would I be better armed with the "wimpy" Federal .40 cal 135 grain HP (at 1200 fps) vs. Winchester Bonded PDX11 38 special +P (130 grain traveling at 950 fps).

Would I be correct that the Federal .40 (135 grain) is still better choice than the premium .38 special +P?

Assuming that I only get one shot...

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 1, 2010, 06:01 AM
Wow...72 replies so far... Thanks for all the passionate input. To sum up all of it in my mind, and to put it in practical terms...

I would like to compare the two:
Would I be better armed with the "wimpy" Federal .40 cal 135 grain HP (at 1200 fps) vs. Winchester Bonded PDX11 38 special +P (130 grain traveling at 950 fps).

Would I be correct that the Federal .40 (135 grain) is still better choice than the premium .38 special +P?

Assuming that I only get one shot...
I really think it depends on which way the sun happens to be shining and the way the planets are lined up.

Seriously, you would most likely be hard-pressed finding much difference between the two, and whatever differences you did happen to find I'm sure would/could be offset and outweighed by other factors.

So, in a nutshell, I would consider them to be "six of one and half dozen of the other" as for comparison.

Use whatever works best for any particular day, method of carry, comcealment of weapon, rapid accessibility of the concealed weapon(s), etc.

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