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Winchester Ranger ammo .40 cal, 135 grain ?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by C J, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. C J

    C J

    Aug 12, 2011
    I recently bought a box of Winchester Ranger .40 cal, 135 grain. I thought it was kind of light for .40 cal ammo. I carry 147 grain 9mm in the same brand. I prefer a heavier 9 mm. Not sure about this ammo being so light. I know. 'Why did you buy it then?' Also tried looking up the velocity on Winchester's site. I only found 135 grain frangible. Didn't know that when I bought it. I guess it's good in the house, but what about for carry on the street? It's also a brass case. I prefer nickel-plated. What do you guys think? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. Stay safe.
  2. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    I've read it's around 1180 fps from 4" barrel, but I've seen higher figures as well (1200+). Recoil is supposedly harsh.

    I prefer nickel cases as well, brass darkens quicker with touching.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011

  3. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    If it's from that overrun of that lightweight .40 S&W load one of the fed depts was using, that's why the reduced weight. I think Federal Cartridge just dumped a bunch of their overrun of it on the commercial market, too.

    As I recall, the specs to which it was produced required something like 1,200fps, with a reasonable +/- allowance (20fps? 40fps? Can't remember offhand.) It was only around for 5, or so, years, I think.

    Apparently, the feds have rediscovered that the 180gr .40 loads work well enough for their intended purpose.
  4. Brucev


    Jul 19, 2009
    Don't sweat it. Center of mass... it'll be very effective.
  5. NIB


    Jul 26, 2002
    Lost Angeles
    I'm not sure why everyone nowadays poo poos the .40 S&W 135 gr when it was pretty much the standard through much of the 90's.
  6. voyager4520

    voyager4520 -----

    Apr 25, 2009
    SE Colorado
    I don't think the Ranger 135gr is frangible, it looks like the WWB JHP bullet design.
  7. Ike Arumba

    Ike Arumba

    Sep 22, 2009
    I got some of that 40S&W 135gr Ranger, and found that it didn't track straight through a wet pack like other loads, but curved off. It also shot lower.
  8. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    Not sure anyone is "poo pooing" it.

    As far as it being the standard through much of the 90's? Well, that probably depends on where and who you're considering to have accepted it as a "standard".

    Sure, the hot-rodded lightweight version sold decently well, from all accounts, but I can't ever recall seeing or hearing of it being used in duty guns out here on the West Coast among the major LE users. (Probably because of the cost.) I tried it once and stopped using it when I saw noticeable signs of over pressure on the fired primers, and the head armorer of the time decided it wasn't going to be used in his guns, like ever again. :rofl: (A couple of cratered primers and he goes sideways ... :whistling: )

    The version tried by the fed dept for a while wasn't loaded to that high of velocity, but was made to specs they felt would offer better controllability and still offer some level of performance as determined acceptable within their own standards. I don't really keep up on why any of the feds like to do what they do (and they don't always march to the same drum beat), but it seems they've been moving more toward standardizing on the 180gr bullet weight. What was old is new again ...

    I think that the overrun's released to the commercial market are probably decent deals for some folks.

    I don't get all that excited about bullet weight in the .40 S&W. It was designed to produce the ballistic performance it delivers with the 180gr bullet, and it's done that since the beginning.

    I remember voting to try the lighter weight 165gr loads for duty rounds (RA40T), and while some folks could notice the increased felt recoil, comparing them against the 180gr loads, most were still getting used to how the .40's were recoiling more than the previous 9's. We eventually settled back on using the 180gr loads (of various make). Either is fine for me, especially if someone else is footing the bill. ;)

    I also remember when the 155gr loads were first being reported as being rougher on both guns and shooters. It was something discussed in a few armorer classes when the .40 was still establishing itself in LE. It did have some noticeably stiffer felt recoil and muzzle blast than the 180gr & 165gr loads, too.

    But hey, there's always going to be those folks who feel they aren't getting their money's worth unless they see a lot of muzzle blast/flash, hear a lot of noise and feel a lot of recoil. :supergrin:

    When it comes to duty/defensive ammunition, though, if you're one of the folks involved in helping select the ammunition chosen to be used by a wide and disparate group of people, you pay attention to things like how quickly the average user can engage threat targets (meaning multiples, at times), shoot & move as well as shoot-on-the-move, shoot 1 & 2-handed and with the non-dominant hand. While you can mitigate a certain amount of perceived recoil/controllability issues with training, there's no reason to make it any harder than it has to be for the average shooter, though.

    If the lighter velocity 135gr loads had been the bee's knees in .40 S&W achievement in the way of overall ballistic performance, the manufacturers would have been turning them out day & night and we'd all be using them right now. They seem to have been more of another phase, so to speak.

    As far as the difference between brass & nickel? There are some advantages & disadvantages to each, depending on your perspective. A couple of them have to do with cost (brass is less costly) and what sort of case mouth sealant (if any, for water-proofing) is being specified in the contract. Nickel does look nice, longer (which probably hasn't really been an issue since we did away with belt loops :whistling: ), and can aid in extraction. Just depends.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  9. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    One version is

    135 gr. hollowpoint, 1180 fps @ 15 ft, 417 fpe, 2.0 in accuracy at 50 yds from 4 in. SAAMI test barrel.

    Another version is

    Bullet Weight: 135 Grain

    Muzzle Velocity: 1230 fps.

    Muzzle Energy: 448 ft. lbs

    Bullet Type: Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP)
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  10. JRWnTN


    May 12, 2004
    Standard? In law enforcement, it's always been the 180 or 165 grain bullets.