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Opinions on the best loads in .40 caliber for home and self defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MikeSp, Mar 24, 2004.

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  1. MikeSp

    MikeSp Member

    Nov 11, 2003
    I would appreciate some opinions about what is the best .40 caliber home and self defense loads--Golden Sabres, Golt Dots, Black Talons (SXT's ?), Corbons, Hydrashocks, or ??? I previously had loaded my pistols with Corbons, but saw some negative comments about them, so am wondering about other people's opinions regarding the best load for a one shot stop in .40 caliber. These loads are too expensive to go shoot 1000 rounds and test them for accuracy and reliability or if they have some other issues--thus my request for opinions. (Yes I know that 1911's and 50 cal. BMG's have superior fire power, but lets please stick to just .40 caliber in this thread;-) TIA
  2. stans

    stans Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    central Virginia
    The best load for the best chance at a one shot stop is going to be the round that is 100% reliable in your gun, reasonably accurate, and controllable. Don't put too much stock in the one shot stop percentages that are frequently published, these numbers have been shown to be little more than random data points.
  3. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Central IN
    Honestly, in my opinion, 40s are the most consistantly good HPs out there right now and I'd trust just about any of them to be pretty consistantly good.

    Right now, on my hip, I have 165 Gr Georgia Arms Gold Dots in my SIG P229. Equally high on my list would be the 165 Gr Rangers with the Golden Sabers just behind. I'm not a huge fan of HydraShoks but I'm sure they are fine as well. The CorBons seem to do a fine job but I've always thought of them as more of a hotter small caliber alternative... not too crazy about them in 40 or 45.

    Some folks prefer the 180s for a bit of increased penetration and once they proved reliable, I wouldn't have a problem with 180s but I've known a couple guns to not go fully into battery with 180s, but would with 165s so as a general suggestion, I'd stick with the Gold Dots in 165 as a first choice and my first suggestion. And honestly, the Winchester Personal Protection White Box stuff doesn't seem to be too bad if they are reliable in your gun.
  4. bradvanhorn

    bradvanhorn Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    Norfolk, VA
    There's a ton of information out there, some good and some not so good. I personally favor the advice offered by David DiFabio of Ammolab.com. You can surf through this link and find a lot of good comments on ammo selection.


    My personal choice in 40S&W is the Winchester 180gr Ranger-T. Winchester Ranger ammo is marketed as "Law Enforcement Only", but it is perfectly legal for anyone to buy and own. Jerry Kirkpatrick sells this ammo by mail for a very reasonable price for those who don't have a local retailer that carries it. See the link below for more info.


    Good Luck!
  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    May 22, 2003
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    Homeland Defense

    Howdy Mike,

    Since you specified home defense, I'll assume that it will be used primarily for that role. Since 95% of home defensive shootings occur in darkness or
    near darkness, I'd say to go with whatever ammo gives the least muzzle flash...and get in the habit of closing one eye at the trigger pull to preserve
    your night vision. Not many things raise the pucker factor quicker than
    bein' blind when an intruder has invaded your home, and you're not sure if
    you got him or if there's more than one.

    I might also suggest an intruder drill with other members of the family
    hitting the deck on a pre-determined voice command. Yellin' "SCOOBY DOO"
    will work, as long as they all understand that it signals that the war is
    about to start, and follow the drill without hesitation.

    I might also suggest a sawed-off shotgun loaded with #4 buck as
    your primary house gun. A double with exposed hammers is an excellent
    choice as it allows keeping the gun loaded without being cocked, and still
    instantly ready to go. In most states, you can obtain a permit for a
    residence-only scattergun that is cut below the 18-inch legal limit...just
    don't get caught with it off your property. Check with your local Sheriff's office.

    Luck! May all your burglars bring a knife to a gunfight.

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