GlockTalk Forum banner

21 - 37 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,228 Posts
Another resurrected zombie thread on this short-lived LE/Gov .40 load?

I remember when rumors of its potential development were first circulating many years ago. They were thinking about replacing the stout 155gr .40 load being used by some fed agencies - which was hard on weapons and shooters - with a lighter recoiling, lighter bullet weight load.

If I remember right, the bullet weight first being discussed was 125-135gr, but specifically with a lower velocity compared to the hot-rod 135gr commercial .40 loads of the time.

After testing they apparently finally settled on the 135gr bullet weight, and the specified velocity was set at 1200fps, with an allowable +/- of 50fps.

It wasn't very long before the "what was old is new again" demonstrated itself, and the real world practical successes brought attention back around to the original 180gr bullet weight for the .40 S&W.

While the 135-155gr .40 loads were the darlings of the shooting world for some years, the real "sweet spot" for LE, overall, seemed to be with the 165gr-180gr loads. I remember being told by one of the LE/Gov ammo reps, at the height of the .40's popularity, that their contract sales for state & local LE was about an even split between 165gr & 180gr orders.

Now, going on 15 years later, while the 9mm has been enjoying a resurgence of attention in LE circles (especially among trainers of large groups of cops), the 180gr bullet weight in .40 is still arguably the "big dog" when you hear cops talking about duty ammunition. It's been "working" since it was first released for duty back in '90.

I've carried issued .40 loads in both 165gr and 180gr, myself, with more 180gr loads being issued. I do have one compact .40, though, that has exhibited a particular "liking" to the venerable W-W 155gr STHP, so I try to keep a couple of boxes on hand for that gun (4040PD). I still have some remaining 165gr loads from earlier days, but the bulk of my own .40 is comprised of good quality 180gr loads from various major American makers.

I never got around to trying (for carry) any of the short-lived reduced velocity 135gr fed load, myself ... and when I tried an early hot commercial 135gr load on the range I noticed cratered primers in the recovered cases I inspected, and decided to stick with less wild loads.

Different strokes.
I think we discussed this before. We carried the 155 HST's @ 1200 fps and they worked very well. Prior to that we had the 155's @ 1250 fps that were blamed for tearing up guns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,811 Posts
I think we discussed this before. We carried the 155 HST's @ 1200 fps and they worked very well. Prior to that we had the 155's @ 1250 fps that were blamed for tearing up guns.
I remember. Your branch/field office never got around to receiving the short-lived, milder 135gr JHP's, if I recall.

One of our guys, who had a connection to ICE for some task force, brought some of the Rem 155gr duty loads he'd been given by his connection to our range. He wanted to use it for his scheduled qual with a G27 he used as an off-duty weapon, instead of the issued 180gr JHP's. Since it was a personally-owned off-duty weapon, and the ammo was made for LE use, that was within policy and not a problem.

Afterward he said he'd never fired anything that rocked his G27 that hard, or had that much of a muzzle blast, and said he was going to go back to using the available 180gr duty ammo. :) No biggie.

Many years ago I was talking with a friend of mine (in the firearms industry), who had recently acted as a proctor for some fed testing of the original 155's in some Beretta's. He told me that the trigger springs and the extractors just didn't like that hot load's recoil force. The trigger spring was an easy fix (Wolff spring), but he never told me what had eventually been decided about the potential for the increased wear on the extractors. (Using a milder load was apparently a decision made down the road.) Sound familiar? Sometimes what may happen in proctored testing may not be the same thing seen when the rubber eventually meets the road later on in actual service use. ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nanuk

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,435 Posts
I been tootin' my horn about that load for awhile. I really dig it. I have home loads with 135 Sierra HPs over Power Pistol and thay average around 1350+ depending upon barrel length. Have a couple of K loaded up "just in case."
Doesn't seem to be any more recoil than the old Corbon 9mm 124 grain +P loads. It's really just a lighter bullet over almost the same amount of powder. Some on the reloading forum have stated that you can use the same powder data as 155 grain loads but don't quote me on that.
Most of the current 135 Fed loads are down loaded for recoil.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nanuk

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,228 Posts
I remember. Your branch/field office never got around to receiving the short-lived, milder 135gr JHP's, if I recall.

One of our guys, who had a connection to ICE for some task force, brought some of the Rem 155gr duty loads he'd been given by his connection to our range. He wanted to use it for his scheduled qual with a G27 he used as an off-duty weapon, instead of the issued 180gr JHP's. Since it was a personally-owned off-duty weapon, and the ammo was made for LE use, that was within policy and not a problem.

Afterward he said he'd never fired anything that rocked his G27 that hard, or had that much of a muzzle blast, and said he was going to go back to using the available 180gr duty ammo. :) No biggie.

Many years ago I was talking with a friend of mine (in the firearms industry), who had recently acted as a proctor for some fed testing of the original 155's in some Beretta's. He told me that the trigger springs and the extractors just didn't like that hot load's recoil force. The trigger spring was an easy fix (Wolff spring), but he never told me what had eventually been decided about the potential for the increased wear on the extractors. (Using a milder load was apparently a decision made down the road.) Sound familiar? Sometimes what may happen in proctored testing may not be the same thing seen when the rubber eventually meets the road later on in actual service use. ;)
Most of the frames on the Beretta's broke before we had extractor issues. The problem with the recoils springs was two fold, they used the same spring for the 9mm and the national firearms unit stored them all with the slides locked back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,811 Posts
Most of the frames on the Beretta's broke before we had extractor issues. The problem with the recoils springs was two fold, they used the same spring for the 9mm and the national firearms unit stored them all with the slides locked back.
Well, damn. Sigh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
I bought some DT 135gr @1375fps many years ago. Haven't shot anyone with it. What's in my G22? HST 180gr @1010fps. It's all about penetration and expansion.
 

·
JABRONI AUTIST
Joined
·
7,481 Posts
The 135's get overlooked in the .40 but I wish that weren't the case. I'd like to see a 135gr Gold Dot loaded to about 1400 fps available for the .40 S&W, to give a good light and fast option. I like the 155gr and have nothing against it, but I think the 135gr (and 200gr) need more factory representation in the .40 S&W, it's a great caliber that gets overlooked when it can do pretty much anything you need out of a handgun.

I've had every caliber Glock offers and the .40 S&W is still my favorite because it can do it all, providing you're a handloader, and it does so on a 9mm sized frame. It's about as ideal as I can imagine.
 

·
...
Joined
·
17,595 Posts
Trading mass and sectional density for velocity is a trade-off that doesn't result in much overall gain. !65 and 180 grain controlled expansion projectiles might not do as well as higher velocity light bullet loads in ballistics gel tests but have worked well for law enforcement in actual street shootings in the years when the 40 was in common use. The Federal HST ammo in those weight are excellent as are the Speer Gold dots in those weights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,811 Posts
The early 135gr JHP at a higher velocity (1325fps) was available from a large ammo maker for sufficient time to have seen some use.

If the 135gr bullet weight at the 1325fps velocity didn't attract all that much attention, but a major gov agency subsequently requested a lower 1200 (+/- 50fps spec) version ... and even that has faded from major market demand ... we're probably not going to see some version that's even more hot-rodded appearing on shelves (or LE/Gov orders) anytime soon.

I won't be surprised to see the major .40 load continue to be 180gr, with a respectable 2nd place showing by some 165gr loads, and a not-so-distant 3rd place position of some 155gr loads.

It's not like the .40 S&W hasn't had enough time for a lot of service use, experimentation and observation to have been done, you know. ;) It entered LE service in '90, after all.
 

·
Gunslinger
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
I see the hot 135 grain .40 S&W loads as being very similar in performance to the .357 SIG but with a slightly heavier bullet than the redundant 125 SIG offering, and a larger diameter projectile.

The 155 and 165 grain loads work great, as do the 180 grain loads. Hardcast loads running hot will penetrate just about anything you want to shoot with them, and there is everything from powder puff to nuclear available in the cartridge.

After all these years, I’d be hard pressed to say that the .40 S&W isn’t my favorite auto pistol cartridge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Ammo shortage not withstanding.... I've only seen 165gr and 180gr. Do they make 135 or 155gr in FMJ? I'd like to try it out looking for something similar in velocity to 357sig.

For me it's kind of strange that I can feel a difference between 165 and 180gr ammo. I wouldn't think it would be that much different.
 

·
Venor ergo sum
Gun control is about CONTROL.
Joined
·
3,548 Posts
I think we discussed this before. We carried the 155 HST's @ 1200 fps and they worked very well. Prior to that we had the 155's @ 1250 fps that were blamed for tearing up guns.
I’m pretty sure that old hot 155 grain Remington messed up the slide lock on my G27. The slide started detaching every time I dry fired it. I couldn’t figure it out at the time. I took it to an Armorer. He couldn’t figure it out either, but replaced the slide lock and that did the trick. That stuff was wicked in that little gun.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nanuk

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,596 Posts
I bought some DT 135gr Noslers for carry on the property, mostly for coyotes; 165gr/180gr JHPs for personal protection when in civilization. I anticipate may blow up lungs/heart on the 'yotes, that's the plans. My personal favorite .40 carry is a Steyr M40-A1 and it's easier to carry than a 22.250...just a bit slower. :)

FWIW, there is no such thing as an energy dump in soft tissue, laws of thermodynamics apply for wounding incapacitation. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: CanyonMan

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,228 Posts
FWIW, there is no such thing as an energy dump in soft tissue, laws of thermodynamics apply for wounding incapacitation. :)
I think that term is over used. I don't care what you call it, lite fast bullets destroy a lot of tissue, provided there is enough penetration. Again, match the bullet to the task.
 
21 - 37 of 37 Posts
Top