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Big Solid .40 Ammo?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ColdDeadHand, Sep 19, 2010.

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  1. ColdDeadHand

    ColdDeadHand Member

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    I carry an M&Pc40 every day in an urban area and I'm happy with the good JHPs available commonly.

    My Dad just bought the same pistol and he lives in Colorado. He will be carrying this pistol as an EDC around town. Out of town he'll be carrying a full size .357 wheel gun.

    The thing is, sometimes in town you can still encounter a fairly large black bear. Local logic has it that the best way to load for bear is JHP and heavy solids, alternating. The JHP is for pain and trauma, the heavy solid is in the hope you can actually penetrate enough to kill the bear.

    So my questions:
    1) What's the heaviest bullet you've seen in a .40 S&W and where can I get them.

    2) Does anyone make a .40 with the solid Barnes Bullets, and where can I get them?

    Just to clarify, no one is trying to advocate the .40 as a bear gun. It is just something you should plan for if you live in his little town.
     
  2. draxxusx

    draxxusx Member

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  3. ColdDeadHand

    ColdDeadHand Member

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    THANKS DRAXX!!! That's perfect. I have passed along to Dad.
     
  4. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    i think buffalo bore makes 200gr rounds for 40cal.
     
  5. DasFriek

    DasFriek Member

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    Check this place out, And their other .40 loads.
    This is what id call the hardest hitting .40 fmj available.
    I wouldn't shoot these all the time in any gun unless its built like a tank.
    These .40 loads come close many 10mm full power loads.
    Ive never dealt with them or shot their ammo, But ive heard a few good words here about them.


     
  6. Manco

    Manco Member

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    I couldn't find any on their website. I'm kind of surprised because they offer a 200 grain 10mm Auto load, and a .40 S&W load would use the same bullet.

    In addition to the FMJ load mentioned earlier, DoubleTap also offers the following 200 grain hard-cast load (8mm meplat with a relatively sharp edge):

    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_26&products_id=210

    I haven't shot many of these, but I've seen a bunch of them shot without failure, and they seem to feed reliably in M&Ps. Teddy here uses them for self-defense:

    [​IMG] ;)
     
  7. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Manco, did you drop that bear with that pistol or did you use a rifle? It looks ferocious!

    I had a similar question myself a few months ago as I hike with a Steyr M40. I might just go ahead and buy some loading dies for the .40 S&W and load some heavier hard cast. I think the M40 can hold up to some stout loads and the barrel uses traditional rifling (good for lead).
     
  8. Manco

    Manco Member

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    Well, I shot him with the pistol, but it was really my cold, hard stare that dropped him. :scrutiny: Note the blank, mesmerized expression and the dopey smile--that bear was dead before the bullet reached him. ;)
     
  9. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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  10. fmcdave

    fmcdave Member

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    For me:
    The ballistics of a .40 SW with a 135 grain bullet is about the same as a .357 mag. That said, there are issues. Both are not good calibers for a bear greater that 250 lbs (IMO, although there are several anecdotal stories where this was true). A bear's heart beats slower and a hit to the blood supply will not disable them as quickly as it would for a similarly sized human. Their central nervous system is protected by more bone mass..so it is harder to short their nervous system out. The bigger the bear, the bigger the problem.

    Many years ago, I visited Alaska with my wife (who lived there) and went fishing with the husband of one of her friends. We were in the bush, late at night (it was summer) and were walking back. I has carrying my .45 Colt Commander and this guy asked me what I would do if a Brown Bear approached (think 1500-2000 lbs.). He asked me if I would shoot to kill it or shoot to scare it. I told him neither, I'd shoot him...a bear can only eat one person at a time. He made me walk in front of him all of the way back to the motor home.

    Go figure.
     
  11. Manco

    Manco Member

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    Note that I'm not into mixed loads in general, although I try to stay open-minded and adaptable, depending on the circumstances. I think in this case it's more like splitting the difference between effectiveness against bears and humans (or other predators). The penetration of most JHPs against even relatively small bears is already rather questionable, and I think they'd be next to useless against large bears unless you hit their skulls just right or the bullets cause enough pain to deter them, which is hard to say, as I've never been a large bear that got shot with underpenetrating JHPs. Basically, only every other shot will have a chance of punching deep enough to cause some real damage, which is a major disadvantage, in my view (although I'm no expert on this topic).

    It may be better overall to stick with only solid (i.e. non-hollow-point) bullets if bears are a real concern in town, as they are in some areas. I'm sure that hard-cast WFNGC load from DoubleTap would do a pretty good number on humans as well (they sure knock the stuffing out of teddy bears ;)). It's a compromise, to be sure, but i think that it may be a better one than using a mixed load.

    In my area, mountain lions are more common, and while I seriously doubt that there would ever be an occasion for me to have to shoot one (although there have been two in-town sightings in recent years within a couple of miles of my place :eek: ), I'm sure that my 180 grain PDX1 JHPs could do the job. My 200 grain WFNGC rounds are for the black bears that I have yet to see even in the wild, but do live in the area and have occasionally been spotted in a nearby town. I never expect to have to shoot one, either, but I like to be prepared anyway.

    200 grains is the heaviest weight that I've seen so far in this caliber.

    It's better than nothing, especially if you use the right loads. Even far more powerful handgun calibers can really only poke holes against large bears, in my opinion--they're more effective, but only by so much.

    That's more or less true in terms of external ballistics for typical factory loads, but .40 S&W has relatively poor sectional density at 135 grains. 200 grains for .40 S&W and 158 grains (or even 180 grains or more) for .357 Magnum are more to my liking for use against large creatures. They may still be less than optimum, sort of like using .22 LR against humans, but with the right loads they can penetrate and kill.

    Sure, but there isn't much that can stop the really big ones quickly. I've read stories about brown bears that died from gunshot wounds from service-caliber pistols before they could kill the shooters, but unfortunately the shooters got mauled some. :uhoh: I'm not convinced that even a .454 Casull packs enough of a punch to stop a large bear quickly, short of a direct CNS hit--it may not even do that with humans, for that matter. From my perspective, bigger is always better to some degree, but if a bullet can penetrate deeply enough, then it can kill.
     
  12. Manco

    Manco Member

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    Here is a fairly exhaustive list of factory loads that use Barnes bullets (search for "40 S&W"):

    http://www.barnesbullets.com/products/loaded-ammunition/

    There may be a few missing items, such as DoubleTap's exclusive 125 grain TAC-XP load, but that's pretty much it. While there are all-copper hollow-points for .40 S&W, there are no Barnes Banded Solid bullets, if that's what you had in mind. However, DoubleTap's WFNGC bullets are similar in form and function.
     
  13. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    i wouldn't bother with DT's ammo, as there's numerous reports of it falling WAY short of advertised velocities. i would use swampfox. he chornies all his ammo through glocks, and shows it on youtube videos.
     
  14. ColdDeadHand

    ColdDeadHand Member

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    WOW!!! Thanks for all the replies, folks.

    Just goes to show you what a resource this is...it's educating me about the very caliber I carry every day.

    Thanks again.
     
  15. gofastman

    gofastman Member

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    I like DoubleTap BUT
    Swampfox > DoubleTap or Buffalo Bore (BB just costs too much)
     
  16. 147 Grain

    147 Grain Member

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    I second the 200-gr. flat nose from Double Tap.

    Double Tap:
    200-gr. WFNGC (Wide Flat Nose Gas Checked) @ 990 fps in 3 ½” or 1,100 fps in 4 ½” barrel. For barrier penetration & protection in the mountains.
    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_26&products_id=210


    As for the Barnes copper jacket bullets with less penetration than the above load, the 155-gr. bullet from Black Hills is preferred over the popular 140-gr. from Corbon and Double Tap.

    Black Hills:
    ** 155-gr. Barnes Tac-XP Copper Jacketed HP: http://www.black-hills.com/handgun_calibers.php
     
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