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.40 carry... 155 vs 180 HST

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Dups, Apr 15, 2011.

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  1. Dups

    Dups Member

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    OK... so here's my dillemma... a few months back, i picked up 150 rounds of the federal Tactical HST 155 grain .40 S&W ammo... well a few days ago i found a local supply of 180 grain HST. 180 grain HST at 1050 fps is quite nasty. Now i'l be carrying these in a Glock 23 4" barrel, and both shoot about the same... i know its really a toss up and there's always the Light for cal vs Heavy for cal... am i wrong in going from 155 in summer, to 180 in winter? or should i just keep to one vs the other? I will never ever feel undergunned even carrying ball ammo in a .40 but.... its what i do...think about stupid *****. the 180's model number is XM40HC and the 155's model number is P40HST2. To add more to the issue i also have Federal Tactical Bonded 155 grain TACTICAL JHP LE40T2 and 180 grain HI-SHOK jhp 40SWA. .... decisions decisions. WITHOUT starting the caliber war, or glock vs 1911 war.. what would you guys carry given my circumstances?

    Edward
     
  2. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Speer Gold Dots Tested

    From my limited experience with .40 caliber semi-auto's, I found that the 155
    grain JHP shoot flatter, over a longer range than the same brand 180 grain JHP's.
    Expansion is better, terminal ballistics are good enough for most law
    enforcement agencies, and proper feeding is not a problem. One fella I know
    tried to "gum up" his Glock model 22 with all kinds of .40 caliber ammo; many
    times firing it with a filthy chamber. The Speer 155 grain GDJHP's never once
    failed. The 180 grain Speer GDJHP will penetrate deeper, and cause a more
    severe wound cavity; but if I were carrying a .40 caliber*, I would "hang my
    hat" on the Speer 155 grain GDJHP~!

    *FootNote- which I don't, I carry a .45 ACP; cuz they don't make a .46~! ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  3. 2wheels

    2wheels Member

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    I've always preferred heavier loads in my handguns because penetration is my number 1 concern, though I'll be the first to admit that I'm no ballistics expert. I carried 180 grain PDX1s in my XD40, I carry 230 grain Golden Sabers in my 1911s, and once I prove my brand new EMP 9 works I'll probably be looking into a 147 grain round.

    Having said that, I wouldn't feel undergunned carrying "midweight" bullets like 155 or 165 grains in .40S&W, 200 grains in .45ACP, or 124 in 9mm. I WOULD stay away from very light for caliber loads.

    Again, totally not any kind of ballistics expert. And if you've already got a decent stockpile of 155 grain ammo, I might stick with that until you slowly cycle through it.
     
  4. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    It really, really doesn't matter.

    I would carry whichever one is cheaper, and if the same price, I would carry whichever one from my inventory was older, and if I didn't have any inventory, I'd flip a coin, or just buy the 155.
     
  5. iblong

    iblong Member

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    I have both 155's and 180's either will work fine but I prefer the recoil impluse of the 180's better.
     
  6. Thlax

    Thlax Member

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    I prefer 180gr as well.
     
  7. bcp280z

    bcp280z Member

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    Haven't stumbled across 155 yet only 165 and 180, can't tell much of a difference, yet 165 I tend to shoot better.
     
  8. Dups

    Dups Member

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    well, today spent an hour at the range... i put at 10 yards.... a full magazine of 180's, and a full magazine of 155 grain HST's... into a 4" circle... slow controlled fire... i wish i were more accurate with my pistol, but its the name of the beast i suppose... i'm no pistol trick shooter but 4" circle at 10 yds... is good for me defensively i'm sure. i have never been able to shoot pistols as good as a rifle... but i think i'm fine enough. i decided on the 180's for now... mabey i'l rotate out the 155's... or shoot them... or sell them...
     
  9. mingo

    mingo Member

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    It's really up to your personal choice. The S&W 40 cal was designed with the 180 grain in mind. I prefer the 180's. If you want to switch for the season...go for it. Just don't be carrying those light ones up north in the winter...LOL!

    mingo
     
  10. golden

    golden Member

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    155 for me

    About 13 years ago, me agency helped to develop the 155 grain jhp load for the .40S&W. We wanted a round that hit like a .357 magnum using the 125 grain jhp bullet. After a dozen years and lots of gunfights, no one is complaining and we have a lot more fights in the we win than we lose column.

    This round has been used in MONTANA in the winter and NEW MEXICO in the summer and we have not found any problems with it's performance.
    The negative on the 155 grain is the recoil is stronger. That is about it. We used a full size BERETTA 96 and now use the H&K P-2000.

    As far as I know, the 180 was not considered powerful enough.

    Jim
     
  11. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    I carry 155 gr Gold Dots in my carry .40s. Mainly because I found a good deal on 155s and bought a bunch. I find them to be accurate, reliable, and nice to shoot, and they make a G23 noticeably lighter than carrying 180s.
     
  12. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    180gr. is greatly preferred.
     
  13. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    Expansion across every load might be better on average with the 155s, but only because you are comparing all 155s to all 180s, when he is talking about two different cutting edge bullets of the same design.

    The 180 HST expands the best, and offers the best performance overall, though the 165 is almost exactly the same but with more snap and a hair less expansion.

    you already have some 180 HST, why not keep it? Your barrel length is totally ordinary for a .40, no reason at all to try to tailor your load to the most common barrel length for that caliber. And switching loads for different seasons (I'm assuming because of clothing changes) is a little unneccessary when out of the two loads you have, one will outperform the other in every situation except energy numbers or velocity numbers, which are useless in full-power duty .40 loads. Also, bullets don't really lose penetration inches because of heavy clothing, if anything they will clog and lose penetration. And the two loads you have penetrate almost exactly the same anyway.

    Just go with the better performing 180, it's not 1986, you don't need to have a faster lighter bullet to get any expansion at all, you just have to pick out a bullet known for consistent performance and great expansion, and you already got best in class for that with the HST. Stop thinking so much and rock the 180, hang on to the 155s in case you run low on 180s anytime and can't get more.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Same here.
     
  15. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I prefer the heaviest bullet I can get for both 9mm and .45, I like better penetration from a heavier bullet, so if I carried a .40 I would probably lean towards the 180s.
     
  16. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    I prefer 180's also though there are 165's in mine right now. That is because that was at the gunshop the last time I bought ammunition.
     
  17. Dups

    Dups Member

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    now this is the discussion i was looking for... but i have decided on the 180's for right now. after looking at my groupings from yesterday, i think the 180's did better than the 155's.s so any edge i can get would be great.
     
  18. bushmaster4162

    bushmaster4162 Member

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    155gr gold dot for sure,this load is destructive!! iv had 3 one shot stops with this round,out of my glock 22. three dead men to prove it. if they could.
     
  19. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    I agree....I'll go for weight rather than velocity at close range.
     
  20. Manco

    Manco Member

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    That's the right reason for making your decision :cool:, although in general either weight is fine with Federal HST. Unless there are definite reasons to do otherwise (e.g. maximum hard barrier penetration or deficient performance due to design flaws in the heavier weight loads), I usually stick with relatively heavy bullets, myself, as they just seem to hold together better and deflect less whenever that is a factor. I doubt that winter clothing would make a difference, as it should have similar effects on both loads, namely reducing expansion slightly or not at all, which in turn increases penetration slightly or not at all.

    As for Tactical Bonded, I guess those would be bonded HSTs, which sounds intriguing although I don't know much about them. If they generally penetrate more, then I'd be interested in them, but I need some hard data first. I suspect that you can use them with confidence as well. And as for the Hi-Shok, I'm pretty sure that's an older, outdated design that doesn't quite measure up to Hydra-Shok standards, let alone HST. Even if they're actually better than the impression I have (based on vague memories of old tests), they should still be your last choice for defensive use, in my opinion.
     
  21. Effigy

    Effigy Member

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    I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but in theory the lighter bullet should have less recoil (all else being equal). If terminal performance is similar, the 155gr probably makes more sense.
     
  22. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    155gr. has a very unpleasant felt recoil compared to the 180gr.
     
  23. viper7342

    viper7342 Member

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    Currently A Mixture Of

    135 Grain Cor Bons, 165 Grain Gold Dots and 180 Grain Winchester Rangers Reside in the magazine & chamber of my FS M&P .40, given proper shot placement, I feel confident that any one of those rounds will do the job admirably!
     
  24. LawScholar

    LawScholar Member

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    180 grain HST in my Beretta.
     
  25. george d dennis

    george d dennis Member

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    yesterday i shot some 155 gr .40 t at the range. i will stick with the 180s. seems like
    alot of recoil. it might of been the only box of 155 i had. the rest are 165 and 180.
     
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