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.40 S&W Max Potential

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by thegriz18, Oct 14, 2010.

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  1. thegriz18

    thegriz18 Paper Killer

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    I am curious as to what the maximum potential the .40 has in terms of velocity. I've seen some ammo makers and reloaders load 180 .40 rounds to +/-1100 fps. How much performance are the ammo companies keeping out of .40, or 9x19 for that matter?
     
  2. Daryl in Az

    Daryl in Az Enjoying life!

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    What the "max potential" of any cartridge may be is largely dependant on the individual firearm that it's chambered in. Not all firearmis are created equal in this respect, and even two identical firearms, of the same make, model, and chambering may have different "max" levels they can be loaded to.

    Ammunition manufacturers load their ammo to be within SAAMI spec's, and firearms manufacturers make their firearms to handle SAMMI spec loads. The level that any particular cartridge can be loaded to is irrelevant.

    Seriously, if you need more power than is offered by the .40 S&W, then look into a 10mm. If you want to increase the power of a 9mm, then look into a .357 Sig.
     

  3. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    Factory loads are quite a bit south of what the .40 can muster. It's really no different than 10mm guys who say factory ammo is watered down, it is, it's just that it's watered down for practically everything, including the .40.

    It's no issue at all to manage better than 1150 fps from a 4" G23 using a 180gr bullet, and around 1300fps in a 6" barrel. In addition, with powders such as 800x and VV 3n38 can produce 155's near 1400fps (G23, 1500+ from 6"), 165's near 1350fps (G23) and 135's at over 1,550fps (G23, 1700+ from 6"). To add, all of these were shot in a bone stock G23 and the brass looked like any other piece of .40 factory brass. Recoil was more brisk as you would imagine.

    The .40 does pretty well with 200gr too. I've not even toyed around much with them and using a 6" barrel and some 800x you can get around 1200fps. Using a G23 you can get close to 1100 fps with a 200gr bullet.

    It's not the equal of the 10mm, but it's not far behind either. Even though it's not rated as high, I've heard that .40 brass is actually stronger than 10mm brass. I'm sure some will say that it's unsafe to push a .40 that much, but the thing is, with the right powder, it's not really pushing it as much as they think. I wouldn't call any of these "max potential", but they showcase that the .40 isn't even remotely short and weak.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  4. thegriz18

    thegriz18 Paper Killer

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    I'd like to see how a 180 @ 1150 or a 165 @ 1350 performs with a well constructed bullet. A 200 @ 1075 would put the .45 on watch since the SD is so much better than a 200 gr .451 bullet.

    A 200 gr HST/Ranger T @ 1075fps.... That would be a warm load. I wonder what the Pen/Exp would be. I imagine BG penetration would be in the 18-22 inch range.

    A 165 @ 1250-1350fps is very hot.

    A bonded 155 @ 1400fps is darn near .223 like. Honestly, maybe better. About 1000fps +/- slower than a 55-62 gr from a 16inch, but 2x heavier. With the right kind of bullet that would probably be a great load. Now launch that same load from a 16 inch carbine. ~1700fps... :whistling:

    I can see some fun, but expensive experiments. Hmm... maybe I need to start loading some 40 and get a chrono....
     
  5. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    I know we all have wondered what the ultimate SD load would be, and I think it would be a .40 cal 200gr Federal HST or Winchester Ranger T 200gr, loaded to at least 925-950 from a 4" barrel. Penetration would be incredible and expansion would be awesome!
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  6. thegriz18

    thegriz18 Paper Killer

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    I think if it could do 975 to 1000 that would be optimum.
     
  7. pimuk

    pimuk

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    I pass. For me with G 23 the 180/975-990 projectile gives me harsh enough recoil.
    Win Silvertip 155/1140 is worse.
     
  8. thegriz18

    thegriz18 Paper Killer

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    Really? I don't find the 180/990 that bad at all.
     
  9. PghJim

    PghJim

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    I have found that it is hard to get more velocity from rifle rounds than the factory gives you. However, for handgun ammo the trend is to reduce pressure and thereby velocity. I mostly reload, except for the SD rounds I carry and I generally get those from a smaller shop that loads it hotter. I have been shooting 357 mag. 44 mag and 10mm for a long time. I was shocked when I even looked at new reloading manuals in how much most of the bullet manuacturers have lowered their maximum loads. Maybe there are good reasons for this reduction in factory loads and load data, like guns blowing up. However, I think we would have heard of some. A lot of the change started when they started measuring pressure with PSI instead of CUP. I would bet that some of the loads that seemed OK with CUP, maxed out the PSI limits. But I have had no issues with 155gr 40 going over 1,300fps from a G23, but it is hard to read over pressure with a handgun, so I do not go any further.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  10. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    I've worked with light bullets in the .40 more often. 135gr Nosler to 1450fps is easy.

    Most pucker factor I've had in the 9mm is a 115gr Sierra FMJ to 1500fps.
     
  11. MSgt Dotson

    MSgt Dotson

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    "no issue"...meaning simply, no blown cases yet, or, one load manages it from Hodgdon's data with one powder....(Longshot or Lil Gun?)

    Perhaps one out of 20 powders manages the ballistics with published data...

    Not quite the same as achieving 800 fps with 230 gr bullets in the .45 ACP....
     
  12. pimuk

    pimuk

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    I am of small stature and the 180/990 noticeably affects my ability to shoot quickly and accurately, compared to G 19 with 124/1180.

    Otherwise slow firing 180/990 is fun.

    In fact, I imagine an 180 gr slug going at 1,150 fps would make a good stopper.
     
  13. Ak.Hiker

    Ak.Hiker

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    The 40 S&W is loaded plenty hot enough by the factories. If I want more than a 180 at 1000 or so I would go with a 357 Magnum or 10mm. Besides a good 180 grain JHP like the Gold Dot or Hydra Shok has been working on bad guys for years. .
     
  14. pimuk

    pimuk

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    Several friends of mine prefer the 165/1050 police load Gold Dot. They said that's the right recoil impulse in G 22 and 23 (clocked at 1,006 only fps in my G 23). They have a few boxes and will run out forever.

    I live in a place where premium loads are literally as valuable as gold.
     
  15. pimuk

    pimuk

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    Actually I've read a few reloading online manuals, most of the AVERAGE maximun PSIs are quoted between 33,000-34,000, already close to the SAMMI limit.

    I don't see any powders, besides IMR 800x, that would push the bullet faster than factory load without breeching the mark.