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Best penetrating round in .40sw

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Tinker, Feb 23, 2012.

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  1. Tinker

    Tinker Member

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    Bought a Glock 23...idea was this....good compromise in power/size for several uses.....those being: CC, home defence and a firearm for protection while hiking.

    For CC and home defence I'll eventually try and settle on some hollow points.......some sort of round designed for defence against humans. That is a no brainer.

    Now, to the real reason for this thread.....hiking. I hike in places that have several possible (though unlikely) threats while on the trail. Those being: Bad people, black bears, hogs and maybe even feral dogs. I would think the threat order in this situation would be hogs, bears, humans then dogs.

    I got to thinking that a "man stopper" round might not be such a good choice in the event of a wild hog or bear event. I would think that in this situation something that would penetrate skull and bone would be a better choice. Less expandable hydroshock....more like something that can get in and damage nervous system or the heart of a critter. Hogs have thick skulls and ribcages...so do bears.

    I am well aware that .40sw is not really considered a good bear or hog round. Our first line of defence will be a large can of bear spray. I hear that this is actually more effective, statistically, any way. If the need and chance arise to use a pistol then I want the best round handy for this gun. Something that has a chance to get into a brain case or heavy duty ribcage. Any suggestions?
     
  2. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    I am sure you would get the most penetration, with no other factors considered, from any of the common FMJ loads (typically flat-pointed).
     
  3. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I agree with the FMJ recommendation for penetration. I'd expect the 180 gr FMJ (in common loadings) round to be the deepest penetrator.

    Here is an interesting rifle hunting round article on bullet shapes that should also apply to pistol bullets. As mentioned the typical FMJ .40 S&W bullet has a flat point.

    http://www.gsgroup.co.za/articlepvdw.html
     
  4. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    .357 sig conversion barrel.
     
  5. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    If you want to carry an expanding bullet that penetrates deep, go with the Hornady XTP, either 180 or 200 grain. They are mediocre expanders at best, but they are known for great accuracy and they are a tough, deep-penetrating bullet.

    Personally I wouldn't bother trying to find something different from my carry load, and I'd revise your threat priority list to humans, hogs, dogs, bears. If you'll be carrying bear spray anyway, then don't bother compromising on the best carry load to try and meet bear-defense priorities as well. Hogs, well whatever you shoot them with, if it's not a rifle I'd expect to shoot it as many times as needed, without waiting to see effect.

    Dogs are whatever, load is almost irrelevant for them, even a toughly built dog doesn't require much penetration to ventilate thoroughly, and people are everywhere, and by far the most dangerous and commonly encountered creature in North America.
     
  6. Tinker

    Tinker Member

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    Lone Haranguer and JTQ,

    The FMJ's are what first came to mind. I'm no bullet expert. I'm guessing that cartridges (standard factory stuff) that have
    180 grain projectiles are all close in velocity? Or, for instance, a standard Winchester brand might have a more powerful load than
    another manufacturer?

    Also, thanks for the link, JTQ.

    Fatcat,

    Already have a Lone Wolf 40 to 9 conversion...it is nice and works better than I would have thought.
    As soon as more "gun money" comes up I'll also have one in .357. :)

    NG VI,

    Hadn't heard of the XTP....will investigate.

    As to your listing of threat priorities on the trail....sounds logical. Bad folks on the trail probably would be
    the most common threat, but....

    You said this: "Dogs are whatever, load is almost irrelevant for them, even a toughly built dog doesn't
    require much penetration to ventilate thoroughly, and people are everywhere, and by far the most dangerous
    and commonly encountered creature in North America."

    I was thinking that if I'm loaded for bear (and would have to be very skillful and lucky to kill one in an attack) then a harmful
    human would be a piece of cake. :)
     
  7. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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  8. 918v

    918v Member

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    You are not going to stop a bear with a FMJ to the chest. You will be shooting the head. As such, it doesn't matter if you use a JHP or FMJ.
     
  9. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  10. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    Dammit, I wrote a really great long response to you and the internet crapped out as I hit post.

    Well anyway, bear and human are different. A bear is very heavily muscled, seasonally will have thick layers of fat, big, sturdy bone structures, much 'deeper' torso setup than a human, and their skulls are thick and sloped like the turret of an M1 Abrams tank. they are basically the ideal body type to resist bullet wounds, especially from a handgun.

    A service pistol with good expanding bullets is basically as ideal as you're going to get for easily carried defense from other people, but it isn't good for larger animals. Humans can be heavy, but we're long and not particularly deep creatures, so a bullet that expands very well and penetrates 12-14" is about the best you can hope for. Dogs are easy, they're no challenge, hogs can be pretty tough though.

    The bear spray is best. It works better on bears than bullets from most easily carried weapons.

    Basically your choices are to compromise on what's best for people defense to make a weapon that will never be a decent bear gun marginally more capable, or you can choose the best load for the people that are the biggest and most common threat and do what you can to avoid run-ins with bear. If you're loud and confusing they will leave you alone almost every time. Hogs probably don't want much to do with a noisy man either.
     
  11. Tinker

    Tinker Member

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    Thanks JTQ. Will study it.

    918v,

    I would try only for a bears heart IF he was already munchin' on me and I had a useable gun arm and a shooting angle up into his under belly area....I'd empty the mag. At least infection would eventually kill him after he ate me. :D

    Actually, I thought a lot of how to best use a gun (one not really designed for breaking a bear down) in such a scenario. I'd read of an indian girl dropping a world record brown bear that was stalking her with a .22. One lucky shot that hit the brain through an ear channel. That was extreme luck and a broadside shot. I also recall one tale of how the old time bear hunters would "wade in" and kill a dog-bayed bear with a knife. They'd reach over the opposite side and sink the blade. The bear would always turn that way toward the source of the pain....away from the stabber.

    Got to thinking that, if possible, you could take a first shot at it's flank or haunch, then if it turned you could concentrate the rest of the fire on the area between the eye and upper neck. That might afford penetration on upper spine, eye, temple and ear canal. I saw a video of a hiker who was stalked by a black bear. He filmed and walked backward, shouting as he retreated. The bear actually did get sideways several times. This was male bear with dinner on his mind.

    Another video I saw was a grizly charge. Some hunters on a float trip startled some cubs.....mama came in like a tank....full bore, charging the boat. The guide pulled his bear revolver and purposefully shot in the water in front of the charging bear. The noise was enough to stop her. Maybe just the noise would be enough to deter a black bear also.
     
  12. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    They can't see very well and loud noises really confounds them. The best thing about bears is how reliant they are on scent, if they could see as well as humans or dogs they wouldn't be so easy to surprise and scare away.
     
  13. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    Maybe if your shooting your girlfreind's toy poodle, I know a couple of Pit Bulls that would love to sink their teeth into anyone, and they are all muscle no flab. Or try a wolf no flab there either. Not all dogs are made the same, I have a 70 lb shepard (small dog for a shepard) and she will tear your arm off even if shot, better put one in her head, but we are not that fast on the draw or that good a shot under pressure).

    Why are we censuring peoples opinions now??
    Jim
     
  14. 481

    481 Member

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    I doubt that NG VI is looking to censor anyone's opinions, Jim. His signature is merely a double entendre.

    Re-read the quote that he is referring to in his signature line and it becomes apparent (to some but perhaps not all) that NG VI is referring to the unfortunate choice of words that were used to describe just what a Les Baer 1911 feels like.
     
  15. trex1310

    trex1310 Member

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    I sometimes shoot and carry Federal 165gr expanding full metal jacket.
     
  16. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Real back packing threats in order:

    Falling
    Drowning
    Hypothermia
    Poisen, bad water/food
    Idiocy
    People
    People
    People
    People
    Lightning
    Animal attack

    So I'd run your regular defensive HP ammo. Hogs and feral dogs are more likely a problem than bears IME.
     
  17. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    If you handload, put together a 180 grain FMJ at the highest charge you can shoot accurately while staying under or at the maximum charge for the powder/bullet. I haven't tried any 200 grain bullets, but I suspect they'd be a bit too heavy/long for .40 to work as well as 180 and under.
     
  18. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    Jim, what I was saying wasn't that a .177 airgun is perfectly fine for any size canine, I was saying that whatever good defensive JHP load you carry for people will work as well as can be expected for dogs as well. They offer no unique or special challenge to a service caliber handgun compared to a human, that requires you to give up best performing loads in order to have a chance of reaching vitals and causing greater than surface-level damage.

    Unlike a five hundred pound bear with a massive, sloped skull, perfect for allowing bullets to glance off to the side, and heavily muscled shoulders that could actually arrest a service caliber JHP before it reaches the heart. No dog is built heavy enough to present a dramatic challenge for a good defensive JHP.
     
  19. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    And I wasn't censuring him, he can write whatever he wants (whoever it was who said it, I've long since forgotten which user said it), and I can continue to chuckle from time to time when I read it.

    It's funny. The guy was trying to describe the pistol as a very well-made, masculine in it's craftsmanship type of good. It just reads very, well, like there's a parade for that.
     
  20. 481

    481 Member

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    I have to admit that I had to read your signature line a couple times before I got it. Shoulda charged you for the new keyboard, too. :D
     
  21. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I used to frequently carry a 155-grain XTP at decent velocity. It penetrated about 16" of deer.
     
  22. 481

    481 Member

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    Just curious- at what velocity were those 155 XTPs moving and what kind of expansion were you getting in the recovered rounds?
     
  23. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I think they were chrono'd at about 1070 fps from my G23 (reloads from Mullins, and I'd expected a little hotter), and expanded around .65.
     
  24. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    One pit bull that I shot soaked up 5 9mm HPs before he was out of the fight....one bullet even ricocheted off of his skull plate...
     
  25. 481

    481 Member

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    Thanks, J.

    Just wanted to run the numbers through MacPherson's penetration equations and see how it works out.
     
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