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.40 S&W Bullet weight

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by o Unforgiven o, Dec 23, 2014.

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What bullet weight do you prefer in .40 S&W?

Poll closed Dec 30, 2014.
  1. 180gr

    49 vote(s)
    60.5%
  2. 165gr

    27 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. More than 180gr

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Less than 165gr

    5 vote(s)
    6.2%
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  1. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    Just wondering what bullet weights you prefer for defensive ammo.
     
  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I've always believed that the 180gr bullet, which was the "design weight", is too heavy to maximized the effectiveness of the .40.

    S&W kept the 180gr bullet from the original FBI 10mm loading. The original intent was to closely approximate the 185gr .45ACP's performance without actually going to a .45ACP.

    I've found that the 165gr bullet is more manageable for followup shots and is usually a bit more accurate than either the 180gr or 135gr bullets. I also liked the feel f the last batch of 155gr loadings I shot
     
  3. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    Used to prefer 165gr.

    Now I prefer 180gr Speer or Winchester. No so much due to terminal ballistics, but because of recoil control.
     
  4. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    May be it's the particular brand you shot?

    Speer 165gr GDHP felt lot harsher than Winchester Ranger 180gr.
     
  5. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    I prefer to buy up the contract overruns you see on sgammo every now and then. They are usually 180gr HST or 180gr Winchester bonded (ranger?). The 180s tend to have less perceived "snap" than 165's for me, and you can't beat $19 for 50 RDS of good defensive ammo.
     
  6. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I've always liked liked the 180gr.
     
  7. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Member

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    They all work great, I use 180gr most of the time followed by 165gr with the occasional 155gr. I find 180gr to recoil the least of factory loads, unless one is shooting a lighter bullet that is deliberately loaded down for recoil sensitive shooters.

    I wish 200gr was more popular with the .40, I use Power Pistol to shoot 200gr Nosler JHP's to an average of 1,050 fps from the 4" G23, so it's got plenty of power for relatively small pistol.
     
  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    180's shoot better in my G-23 and fill the role I have for the gun. If I were using lighter bullets I'll carry the G-19. That is not to say the lighter bullets are bad, they just don't accomplish what I want.

    I've been meaning to try some Double Tap 200's advertised at 1100 fps.
     
  9. Lycidas Janwor

    Lycidas Janwor Member

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    I'm fine with the 180g JHP off-the-shelf ammo I have. Yes, it's a snappy round in my G23 but it's got a nice punch. If you can practice with a 180g then that is the round you want. Also, I really can't notice an appreciable difference in recoil from the 165g ammo...
     
  10. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Member

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    I prefer any well designed bullet from 155 to 180 grains loaded at appropriate velocity that I can get for the best price. Lots of choices out there for the price checking shopper. Bullet design is more important that weight within reasonable limits, as in nothing under 155 grains and nothing over 180 grains. I think 135s are too low in SD and 200s too slow in velocity.
     
  11. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    I voted 180 grain because I prefer the recoil characteristics with that bullet weight but my pistol is loaded with 165 grain right now because that was what was available the last time I bought jhp ammunition.
     
  12. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    General uses....

    Id say a well made, factory .40S&W JHP in 155-165gr should be fine.
    I also like the Corbon DPX & Hornady Critical Duty.
    If I still used or CCWed a .40S&W Id buy either of these brands first.
    Ranger T/T Series & HSTs are well engineered too.

    I think the 165gr offers the best speed, KE level and recoil/blast.
     
  13. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Untrue. 180gr .40 caliber has the same sectional density as 230gr .45 caliber. In the FBI's tests 230gr outperformed 185gr in penetration. FBI simply chose 180gr and propelled it about 100 fps faster than 230gr .45 ACP - which produced better penetration performance.
     
  14. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I felt that 165 gr. ammo was the best overall choice when I use to shoot .40 S&W.
     
  15. Highcaliber

    Highcaliber Member

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  16. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    I shot significantly larger number of 155/165 gr FMJ/JHP for matches than 180 gr loads but as many others posted, 180 gr loads and factory rounds seemed to produce less "felt" recoil than 155/165 gr loads. As to accuracy, IMHO 180 gr bullet is capable of slightly greater accuracy than shorter 155/165 gr bullets due to longer bullet base/bearing surface that engages and rides the rifling. Of course, final accuracy of loads would depend on variables such as powder used and charge, etc. etc.

    I have always preferred 165 gr JHP rounds for SD/HD purpose due to higher muzzle energy, especially for short barreled G27.

    Remington Golden Saber:
    165 gr JHP - 1150 fps / 485 ft lbs
    180 gr JHP - 1015 fps / 412 ft lbs
     
  17. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    I prefer 180. 165 seems to slow down my follow up shots. A bit snappier.
     
  18. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    I find it interesting to look at the performance of the 180 gr Winchester Ranger T and the 165gr Winchester T - these are as close a bullet design as you can get.

    The 180gr Ranger T penetrates about an inch deeper in the tests and expansion is about the same.

    Based on that, it looks to me that the 180gr has better terminal performance.

    http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/flash-SWFs/law_bullit.swf
     
  19. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Depends on which bullet and medium you are shooting through. Below is Winchester Ranger "T" shot through heavy clothing - http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/flash-SWFs/law_bullit.swf

    180 gr: 990 fps Penetration: 13.4"
    165 gr: 1140 fps Penetration: 14.3"

    And Winchester Bonded through wall board:

    180 gr: 1070 fps Penetration: 16.7"
    165 gr: 1140 fps Penetration: 19.0"
     
  20. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    Hmm, its odd that link shows a MV of 1070 in RA40B, while the LE site shows 1025.

    http://winchesterle.com/Products/handgun-ammunition/ranger/bonded/Pages/RA40B.aspx

    The penetration values don't match either.

    http://winchesterle.com/ammotesting/Pages/testingtool.aspx
     
  21. guzzi

    guzzi Member

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    My vote is for 143 gr.

    A local caster “Doctor Bullet”, keeps me supplied with 143 gr. truncated cone bullets. Using 5 gr. Of HP-38 and a CCI #550 primer I get a velocity of 946 fps.

    This has been the best combination for accuracy and fast follow-ups for me after a long time looking. As you can imagine, the recoil is greatly reduced. But the bullet weight and velocity make it legal for IDPA competition.

    As a side note, leading is very, very slight.
     
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