.40 S&W 165 vs 180 grain

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

  1. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Yep. The manufacture of Speer GDHP bullets uses a "special star-stab operation" (their description), combined with designing the laying out the "internal bullet flutes to create predesignated
    weak points that allow the bullet to easily expand" (their words again) for the bullets used in their different loads. The star stab cut and the internal flutes allow them to refine their GDHP bullets to meet the specific engineering specs for how they want each caliber/load's bullet to perform under the envisioned conditions. That's if everything goes perfectly according to plan in how the manufacturing occurs.

    I know I've been told by reps from a couple of other ammo makers, and have read/learned of what's been said by at least one other major maker, that they constantly revise and refine their designs, materials and manufacturing methods.
     
  2. Railsplitter

    Railsplitter

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    Good advice I rarely chamber a round more than once no matter the caliber.
     

  3. PEC-Memphis

    PEC-Memphis Scottish Member

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    Doh ?
    So do you have any actual data on the subject, or are you just speculating?

    I know manufacturing defects occur, hence recall notices, but that is not the same as intentional design changes.

    As someone who wrote specifications for and approved technical materials, I (company, based on my specifications) required notification of (obviously) intentional changes in manufacturing. Sometimes changes were approved (or not) without testing/field trials - and at other times they required testing/field trials.

    I would expect no less from LE agencies who have a contract for a specified material, and would require approval before changes - particularly during the contract period. Because of the large number of agencies (and their approvals) with staggered contract periods, I'd expect changes to be very measured.
     
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  4. 4949shooter

    4949shooter

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    I have issued LE ammo from over the years. When I pull out some of the old boxes I have stashed away and compare them to the new batches of ammo often times I can visually see the differences in the ammo.

    You probably won't find anything in writing on this but it is a fact.
     
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  5. fredj338

    fredj338

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    If you have older ammo/bullets just look at it. They rarely announce changes in design. I have older xtp, hydrashok, gdhp, rgs, wsthp, all have changed more thsn once along the years.
     
  6. PEC-Memphis

    PEC-Memphis Scottish Member

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    Most of mine are Remington GS and Federal HST. Unless they have a listed change (the GS'es) they all look the same to me.
     
  7. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Yeah, aside from being told by some different ammo company folks that changes often occur, here's a pic of the same load over a period of just 7 years ('95-'02). It's the 127gr +P+, covering the RA9SXTP through the first revision of it being the RA9TA. I apologize for the pic's lack of clarity, but it was done with an old digital camera. I really ought to take a newer pic.

    Nonetheless, you can still see some changes inside the nose cavity and the way the jacket notching cuts were done (to form expanded petals when opened and expanded). I have some '05 RA9TA (not in the pic), but I don't have any of the latest version of the RA9TA.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. CrashFF00

    CrashFF00

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    Depending on the brand (and pistol size), 180gr tends to have a noticeable increase in recoil than 165. I target shoot almost exclusively 180gr, but my carry ammo is 165gr. The recoil impulse into your hands and wrists adds up over time as well. (I go through anywhere from 2-500rds a weekend, and sometimes I absolutely hurt by the end of the day shooting an XDS-40 3.3")

    One of the very few exceptions I've found to this is the new Winchester Train and Defend training ammo. I dont know if it's a lighter powder load or what, but the recoil vs Blazer, Ruger UMC, S&B, Magtech, and Federal is considerably less.

    I was taught to train with the heaviest load I could stand, so when I have to shoot a lighter carry ammo, the recoil becomes a non-issue.
     
  9. GicleeOne

    GicleeOne

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    I found the exact opposite, noticing slightly less felt recoil shooting 180 vs 165.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  10. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    One of the commonly claimed advantages of the original 180gr load is that it does have less felt recoil force compared to the "original" 165gr loads, unless the 165gr load being discussed is one of the reduced power 165gr loads.

    Felt recoil is always a subjective subject and experience, though. The nature of the pistol being used (size, weight, frame material, etc) and how any particular shooter perceives recoil effects and recoil management varies. I've often listened to any number of shooters using the same make/model of .40 pistol and the same ammunition express differences of opinion about how they each perceive "recoil" when shooting for training and quals.
     
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  11. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Totally depends on the vel for either. Yes, as a rule I find 180gr stuff softer, but just depends. In 40 minor loads, yes, 180gr certainly can be soft, like 9mm.
     
  12. CrashFF00

    CrashFF00

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    Perceived recoil, what the shooter feels, will always be highly subjective.
    Lighter bullet weights tend to have a faster recoil impulse because the rate of acceleration is higher. Unless the powder loads are adjusted significantly to counteract the bullet mass, heavier bullets should mathematically have more recoil. Lyman published a recoil formula that is used industry wide for calculations. Remington's ballistics calculation software also matches the numbers I got by hand using the formula and info off the side of retail boxes of ammo.

    40 S&W (165 at 1080)
    PistolWt: 1.5lbs
    Recoil (ft-lbs)9.3
    Recoil (fps)19.9

    .40 S&W (180 at 1027)
    PistolWt: 1.5lbs
    Recoil (ft-lbs)10.4
    Recoil (fps)21.2
     
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  13. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Whos ammo are you basing the numbers on? Most 180gr stuff isn't doing over 1000fps.
    It also isn't as simple as plugging in some numbers. The amount of powder & the type of powder matters in felt recoil. Why some powders will feel softer vs other with identical vel.
     
  14. CrashFF00

    CrashFF00

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    The FPS numbers came off Winchester retail boxes I had stashed.
    I think the numbers on their current batches of whitebox are just slightly lower, but still over 1000fps. I haven't bought any new stuff in over a year.

    Take the max load data from Hodgdon for HP-38, 165 and 180gr BERB FP
    5.4gr. 165gr is 1049fps, 33,400psi = 8.46ft-lb of recoil energy
    5.1gr. 180gr is 984fps, 33,500psi = 8.68ft-lb of recoil energy
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  15. 4949shooter

    4949shooter

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    Absolutely. Same thing with our Speer Gold Dots.
     
  16. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Various factory 180gr .40 loads are published at 980-1025fps. Change the numbers and change the math results. (Plug in the Speer 165gr @ 1150fps, versus their 165gr @ 1050fps load ... Or, one of the major 180gr loads at 980-990fps versus the slower 165gr @ 1050-1080fps ... into your equation and consider the numbers. ;) )

    Measuring recoil force is one thing if the pistol is held in a fixture that can measure force as a simple linear function. "Pure" physical/linear force numbers measured outside the context of a shooter's physical experience and perception of that experience.

    On the other hand, once you put that same pistol in someone's hand ...

    Sometimes the "dwell" time of the recoil impulse might be slower, and may be perceived more as a push against someone's palm, while another one that's "faster" might produce what's experienced as a quicker (and therefore perceived as "lighter") felt recoil.

    Then, there's the "torque" effect. More noticeable with revolvers for most shooters (no recoil springs and slide run to mitigate felt force), but it can still come into play when shooting pistols.

    One pistol shooter may not so much feel (be sensitive to) the heavier "push" against a palm, but may notice that a pistol may experience more muzzle whip (lift/snap) with one load than another.

    One shooter's hand may suffer the rearward impulse, while another shooter's wrist/fingers may suffer due to having to resist muzzle whip.

    Some shooters might notice both recoil management effects ... and another shooter may be oblivious to both.

    Some might become confused and not realize they're complicating matters by thinking muzzle blast is necessarily indicative of (and involved with) "recoil", too. ;)

    Line up a dozen (or 3 dozen) shooters using the same guns/ammo and ask for perceptions from all of them. Don't be surprised you start to wonder if some of them were shooting some other gun and/or ammo. ;) Welcome to the world of being an instructor tasked with teaching/training folks ranging from those interested shooters to people who only show up for training and qualification upon threat of being subjected to disciplinary action if they don't show up. :)

    And these things just kinda scratch the surface of what may be involved day in and day out.

    Now, start changing powders and guns (plastic/metal-framed, RSA & recoil spring rates, size & weight of guns, etc), as well as how shooters may be affected by environment conditions (wet/dry, hot/cold) ... various individual physical conditions, stature, age, fatigue, etc, etc ... and things can really start to become "interesting".
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
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  17. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Yep. It's not like any of the usual ongoing revisions, refinements or other changes in manufacturing are anything they may decide to tell us about, huh?

    It's also not like the ammo company engineers may think they ought to always inform the LE sales reps peddling the products, either. :p

    Sometimes we just don't realize when we're essentially being treated as mushrooms. :animlol:

    Well, sometimes ignorance can be bliss. :bunny:
     
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  18. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    I really dislike seeing typos in my posts which I missed the first time around ... Sigh.
     
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  19. Railsplitter

    Railsplitter

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    A 180gr round at 1000 fps velocity has a PF of 180, a 165gr round at a velocity of 1150 fps has a PF of 190.

    A 180gr at 1000 fps has 400 ft/lbs of energy, the 165gr at 1150 fps has 485 ft/lbs of energy.

    By the numbers the 165gr should have the greater recoil with same size guns.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
  20. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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    "Now, start changing powders and guns (plastic/metal-framed, RSA & recoil spring rates, size & weight of guns, etc), as well as how shooters may be affected by environment conditions (wet/dry, hot/cold) ... various individual physical conditions, stature, age, fatigue, etc, etc ... and things can really start to become "interesting"

    What's interesting to me is that I used to think it was an absolute law of nature that heavier bullets recoiled more than lighter ones. when reloading fo my Charter arms Bulldog, 180 grain bullets recoiled much less than 240 bullets and I settled on a 200 grain bullet for my carry ammo.

    Then I started reloading for 9mm and was surprised to find that 158 grain cast bullet loads that I swas experimenting with seemed to have less recoil than 115 and 124 grain loads though at the time i didn't know if my loads were full pressure but with factory ammo. I47 grain seems to recoil less than 115 and 124 grain. This was with a S&W model 39 but the same seemed to be true in a smaller Lighter Keltec PF9.

    And in 40 caliber 180 grain seems to recoil less than 165 grain but as you say, that may be the difference between a faster recoil impulse and a slower recoil impulse and not a lesser impulse or a greater impulse.