.40 S&W 165 vs 180 grain

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Staffordshire, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. cadillacguns

    cadillacguns Millennium Member

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    Just shoot them both, I have and enjoy shooting the 180 gr in .40.
    You might also, or prefer the 165 gr .40.
    To each their own.
     
  2. Railsplitter

    Railsplitter

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    A .40 loaded with 165gr Gold Dots is as good as a .40 gets for SD purposes.
     

  3. GicleeOne

    GicleeOne

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    I doubt if it’s any better than a .40 loaded with 180gr HST’s.


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  4. JDL47

    JDL47

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    I've shot close to 9,000 165 gr. bullets circa 900 fps with WST powder and I have a supply of factory Speer 165 GDs. We were issued 180 Winchester Ranger for duty and 180 WWB for practice. I cannot tell much difference in recoil in any of them in my 22, 23, or 35 but, when I run them through my 27 the 180 seems to be a touch more harsh.
     
  5. PEC-Memphis

    PEC-Memphis Scottish Member

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    From Lucky Gunner testing (see LG for complete protocol/caveats).....

    Glock 27


    [​IMG]
    ^^ Federal 180 Gr HST, 960 fps, 18.4" penetration, 0.72" / 80% expansion


    [​IMG]
    ^^ Speer 165 Gr Gold Dot, 942 fps, 26.9" penetration, 0.40" / 0% expansion



    [​IMG]
    ^^ Speer 180 Gr Gold Dot, 956 fps, 14.3" penetration, 0.65" / 63% expansion



    [​IMG]
    ^^ Remington 180 Gr Golden Saber, 928 fps, 13.9" penetration, 0.81" / 102% expansion


    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/self-defense-ammo-ballistic-tests/#40SW

    ETA: The most common criticism of the LG testing is the use of clear/synthetic gel (as opposed to organic (piggy) ballistic gelatin). "Shooting the Bull" has a good article comparing the two, as well as "store bought" gelatin, water jugs, wet "lap" paper, etc. His penetration/expansion/deformation "numbers" are consistent with some of the other research** I've read on the topic. (ie. **round pellets at low powered BB gun to heavy shotgun loads are pretty consistent between the two, pistol bullets at "pistol" velocities are +/- 5% or so, and the differences rifle bullets (at "rifle" velocities) are so great that synthetic gel really isn't a viable comparison.


    https://shootingthebull.net/blog/tag/ballistic-gel/
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
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  6. Deputydave

    Deputydave Millennium Member

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    I would be okay with 165 but I prefer 180. Depending on the bullet type in question.
     
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  7. G26-Has-my-6

    G26-Has-my-6

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    what doesn't make sense with this is that the 165gr gold dot is slower than the 180gr. At least from the box, the 165gr should run more than 10% faster than 180gr.
     
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  8. PEC-Memphis

    PEC-Memphis Scottish Member

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    The LG tests were done in a subcompact G27.

    What were the barrel lengths for the "box" data?

    Some manufacturers are selling "micro" and "short barrel" loads with powders specifically for shorter barrels.

    ETA: Check BBI for the Federal Hydrashock 180 vs 165 loads.

    http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/40sw.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
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  9. G26-Has-my-6

    G26-Has-my-6

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    Tnoutdoors9 made a presentation for this round in a 4" barrel (G32 with a G23 barrel). It provided good penetration and excellent expansion.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8dezgRVqs0
     
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  10. PEC-Memphis

    PEC-Memphis Scottish Member

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    Just some observations .....

    In the LG testing, fabric "clogging" was most likely the problem with the non-expansion of the 165 gr GD. (As best as I can tell) LG used the FBI protocol for fabric layers, TNOutdoors didn't.

    ======

    ETA:
    Also in the LG testing, the 147 gr GD also had a similar (fabric, non-expansion) problem.

    [​IMG]
    ^^ Speer 147 gr Gold Dot

    =======


    Also, TNOutdoors (apparently) evaluated one (1) shot. LG evaluated five (5), all with similar results.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
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  11. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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    The optimum bullet weight for the 40 is between 165 and 180 grains. any lighteer and it;s a trade-off between projectile mass and velocity and any heavier and you're approaching the point of diminishing returns for the case capacity of the cartridge.

    Hornady settled on 175 grains for both the 40 and the 10mm and 135 grains in the 9mm in their Critical Duty line of ammo and I've found the 175 grain critical duty ammo to be most accurate in my G23 and I'm confident that it will preform well.

    The 40 S&W duplicate's the velocity of the old 38-40 Winchester with a 180 grain bullet which is what Winchester thought was the optimum weight for that cartridge back in the day. The 38-40 was actually a 40 caliber but they called it a 38 so it wouldn't be confused with the 44-40 which was the parent case for the 38-40.
     
  12. Teecher45

    Teecher45

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    I can tell a difference. But I’m usually shooting a G-27.
    Hate shooting that thing in an extended session.
    Love carrying that thing on an extended session.

    I am issued an M&P .40 (1st Gen, or whoever they call it) with 165 gr. HST’s. I get rounds to practice with, 165 grains also.
    One day I shot some of the 165’s against some 180’s I had.
    I swore I could tell a difference. So I had my 16 yo son load both in a mag without me knowing which was what. He noted the location of each.
    I really could tell a difference with the G-27.
    The M&P does a much better job with the .40, but it’s also full size.
    Short answer?
    165 grains in the M&P
    180 grains in the G-27

    OP, me personally, I’d try them side by side to see if there’s a difference, poa vs poi cant be much, I didn’t notice any.
    I try to match my range ammo with my carry ammo in most cases, but if I was buying today I’d buy what was available and not worry about it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006

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    Bear in mind... most ammo manufacturers have 2 different velocities for their 165gr loads.

    A mild one, as seen with some of the above... and another 1130 fps ( ish ) 165gr loading.

    Remington GS has 2 different 165gr loads, Speer GD has 2 different 165gr loads, and Federal has 2 different 165gr HST loads, Winchester has 2 165gr boaded loads.... I haven't bothered to check for more.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
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  14. geo57

    geo57

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  15. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    I've been issued both 165gr & 180gr loads for duty over the years. the 165gr was the Ranger RA40TA (1140fps). The 180gr loads included RA40T (990fps) & the budget Ranger load (1020fps, versus the USA load at 1010fps), the Rem Express and Golden Sabre and finally the budget HST (1010fps).

    The 165gr T-Series had a bit more muzzle whip to it as described by most of out shooters, and most preferred the recoil of the 180gr loads.

    Now, the velocities can vary among the major makers: (use the Compare feature)
    http://winchesterle.com/PRODUCTS/handgun-ammunition/ranger/t-series/Pages/default.aspx
    http://winchesterle.com/Products/handgun-ammunition/usa/jhp/Pages/default.aspx

    Note the USA 165gr & 180gr Flat Point FMJ only differ by 40fps.
    http://winchesterle.com/Products/ha...ull-metal-jacket-flat-nose/Pages/default.aspx

    Wincehster's 155gr loads? The X40SWSTHP is listed @ 1205fps, and the Ranger RA40155HP 155gr (not in the 2019 LE catalog) @ 1210fps.
    http://winchesterle.com/Products/handgun-ammunition/ranger/jhp-ranger/Pages/default.aspx
    https://online.flippingbook.com/view/977082/12/#zoom=z

    Speer still lists 2 different 165gr loads, at 1050 & 1150fps, with the 180gr load at a common 988fps.
    https://le.vistaoutdoor.com/ammunition/speer/handgun/compare.aspx?compare=53949,53962,53970

    Federal's HST? 180gr @ 1010fps and 165gr @ 1130fps.
    https://le.vistaoutdoor.com/ammunition/federal/handgun

    /compare.aspx?compare=566%2C568


    Bottom line?

    Use what you're required to user if you're Public Safety or security.

    If a private owner/shooter?

    Find what you can find.

    Figure out which works best in your .40 pistol, in your hands, and which offers you the felt recoil and recoil management that lets you shoot best. Hopefully it will be something that fits in your training/practice budget.

    Whatever you buy, as you eventually end up with different boxes/cases from different production lots, randomly test-fire some rounds from the different boxes/case of different production lots to confirm normal feeding and functioning in your gun(s) and your mags, in your hands.

    Also, just because you find a product line that satisfies you, don't overlook the practicality of finding a second and third choice that also satisfies you for normal functioning in your gun(s), because what's available one week/month may not be available the next time you look to buy more. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
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  16. 4949shooter

    4949shooter

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    I fired the hotter Speer 165 grain load (53970) out of my G27 and it was HOT. It chipped the inside of the slide where the peening marks are. It is my understanding that this load has put down a lot of bad guys in the LE world. Much better out of a G22...
     
  17. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    The RA40TA has also earned a respectable track record in actual use, too. It's similar to the faster Speer 165gr load, with only 10fps difference. (Remember when a couple of the major ammo makers made attenuated 165gr loads for the FBI?)

    Back in the mid 2000's I asked a Winchester sales rep about sales of the 165gr & 180gr SXT/T-Series .40 loads, based upon agency satisfaction and preference. He said sales of the 2 bullet weighs were virtually split evenly in the LE market, with agencies using both being very satisfied.

    The 165gr version tends to offer a couple inches deeper penetration in the company's lab testing (Heavy Cloth/Gel), but doesn't give up anything in expansion.

    I've watched some of our average shooters shoot both the 165gr RA40TA and 180gr loads, and more often than not the shooters said they felt a noticeable difference in the muzzle ship. The 165gr T-Series is a bit of a healthy load.

    The 180gr loads in general have been getting more the lion's share of the LE markets in the last 10 years, though.
     
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  18. Railsplitter

    Railsplitter

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    It doesn't make sense that the 180gr GD performed perfectly and the 165gr GD failed. Yet another reason why I do not use Unlucky Gunner as a source for ballistic information.
     
  19. Railsplitter

    Railsplitter

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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
  20. ChrisD46

    ChrisD46

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    165gr. .40 S&W will be a bit snappier to shoot than the 180 gr. - I equate it to 9mm 115gr. ammo which I don't like to shoot in that caliber preferring instead I favor the heavier 147gr. ammo.