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Most popular .40S&W loads

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by speicher, Mar 21, 2010.

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  1. speicher

    speicher

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    In terms of popular weights for the .40 using either a 4" or 4.5" bbl...which weight(s) do you guys think is overall the most widely used/popular...155gr,165gr,180gr??

    Looking to invest in the most effective JHP...I know that a lot is subjective to individual manufacturers, bullet design, etc...which is why I'm using weights as my starting point.
     
  2. The Retired Sarge

    The Retired Sarge "The Sarge"

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    All of the 40cal weights work very well and it comes down to personal choice or confidence in light/fast or heavy/slow. I do think the 135gr 40s are too light for caliber and may not give adequate penetration when needed. The 40S&W chambering, though descending from the 10mm, was originally designed as a 180gr JHP for LE and many pistols are designed around that bullet weight. The 180gr 40 is the most popular weight with LEOs in that caliber. I prefer the 180gr for its penetration yet adequate power and less felt recoil than the faster 40s. As to a specific bullet I go with the Federal HST hands down. Bill.
     

  3. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy

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    I like the 180gr best then 165gr. A good 180gr JHP with some heat will do wonders for gremlins and goblins.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
  4. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

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    My favorite is the 155gr Gold Dot.
     
  5. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Depends on you and your shooting experience, skills and desires to some extent.

    Shooting a box or two of each bullet weight ought to give you an idea of what seems to offer you the best functioning and shooting characteristics in your pistol when you're shooting it.

    Whichever choice allows you to periodically buy enough ammunition to train & practice with it sufficiently, frequently enough to keep your skill set current, and also occasionally spot check loads from different case or production lots to make sure they still feed & function as expected in your pistol, might serve your needs well enough.

    The .40 S&W was developed around a 4" barrel using a 180gr bullet weight, so it's hardly surprising the major ammunition companies place emphasis on that bullet weight and that 180gr loads are commonly seen in many LE weapons.

    The 165gr & 155gr loads have received some attention from a couple of fed agencies over the years, and one large agency has even been requesting some lighter bullet weight loads in recent years, although reduced in power compared to similar light bullet weight loads offered by smaller companies.

    I've tried most of the commonly available bullet weights (180, 165, 155, 140 & 135, just off the top of my head) at one time or another. I've found that either the 180gr or 165gr loads suit my needs and offer me the shooting characteristics I prefer in pistols chambered for the .40 S&W. I've come to mostly use the 180gr weight loads in various offerings from the major makers, although I still have some amount of 165gr loads remaining in my supply.
     
  6. Eagle22

    Eagle22

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  7. Brucev

    Brucev

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    I have shot mostly 180 gr. Fed. Champion FMJ mostly because that is what I can find at a price I can afford. I have also, when it is available, bought and very much enjoyed using the Win. 165 FMJ. I prefer the 165 gr. loads for extended shooting sessions as I just like the way they shoot. Honestly I could be happy with either weight for practice shooting. For SD/HD I use 180 gr. JHP Remington ammo. If I can find some Ranger T in 165 gr. I may try a box to see if I like it.
     
  8. spyderhead

    spyderhead

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    Gold Dot in either 155 or 165
    CorBon DPX in 140
     
  9. khufford

    khufford

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    Here's a list of all the .40S&W ammo that have passed the FBI standard for 12" penetration:


    • Barnes all-copper bullets (140 & 155gr) loaded by: Cor-Bon (DPX40140)
    • Winchester Ranger 180gr JHP (RA40T)
    • Winchester Ranger 165gr JHP (RA40TA)
    • Winchester Partition Gold 165gr JHP (RA401P)
    • Winchester Bonded 180gr JHP (Q4355)
    • Speer Gold Dot 155gr JHP (53961)
    • Speer Gold Dot 180gr JHP (53962)
    • Federal Tactical 165gr JHP (LE40T3)
    • Federal Tactical 180gr JHP (LE40T1)
    • Federal HST 180gr JHP (P40HST1)
    • Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)
    I have 180gr Speer Gold Dot and 180gr Federal HST, and I chose them because they were on this list. Both shoot rather nice, but I am still trying to figure out which one I like better, they are pretty similar in feel/accuracy.
     
  10. khufford

    khufford

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    Also, if you are worried about overpenetration or if you find that the recoil is too heavy in other defense loads, the 135gr Federal Hydra Shok Low Recoil ammo is pretty good. It has the lowest recoil of anything I have ever shot and the velocity at the muzzle is 1200 feet per second. This stuff is good for when you are not sure what is behind your target, or if you live in a densely populated area, such as an apartment complex. It's not going to penetrate 12" like the stuff I mentioned above, but the low recoil allows you to get your sights back on your target more quickly for a second shot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  11. ElectricZombie

    ElectricZombie

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    155 gr Federal HST

    180 gr Gold Dot

    I'm happy with either round, but I'm carry Gold Dots right now. I like being able to choose between light/fast and heavy/slow.
     
  12. TNXB21

    TNXB21

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  13. jlavely

    jlavely

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    155gr Gold Dot

    180gr fmj

    155gr Lawman FMJ if I can get my hands on it
     
  14. JBP55

    JBP55

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    1. 180gr.
    2. 165gr.
     
  15. khufford

    khufford

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    I can get Speer Lawman ammo, PM for info... :)
     
  16. GunFighter45ACP

    GunFighter45ACP

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    I prefer 180gr for both practice and carry. You don't want to be they guy that regularly practices w/one weight, but carries another. Nowadays this can be kinda difficult w/ammo availability being in flux, but when it's competition or a duty/SD scenario that's unfolding, I don't want to be surprised when the round goes where it wants to go instead of where I want it to go.
     
  17. pimuk

    pimuk

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    I'm settled down on 180 grain due to recoil characteristic and POA/POI familiarity. If I could, I would pick Fed HST, Speer Gold Dot and Win Ranger T-Series, alphabetically.

    One good thing about the .40/180 FMJ or JHP is that I believe they, regardless of makes, have least variations so practicing with any FMJs doesn't matter. I shoot plate at distance for fun so I do care about the velocity variation which affects trajectory.

    Look at 9 mm. ammos, they vary a lot in velocity.
     
  18. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    If this is the result of your "research".. I would start by researching further.

    IGF
     
  19. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    :upeyes::upeyes:

    So if a round isn't on the list, does that mean it failed the test? NO. Possibly, but the most likely reason is THEY DIDN'T TRY IT.

    IGF
     
  20. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Actually, if that list is the one which has been posted elsewhere by Dr Gary Roberts, he has done a lot of testing, and continues to do so, using a lot of different loads.

    On the other hand, he does seem to restrict his testing to the various loads which are produced by the makers big enough to be considered interested in, and capable of, meeting the demands for LE/Gov customers, so I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't interested in trying loads from some of the smaller, custom makers who aren't competing for LE/Gov customers.

    Also, he does retest various loads/lines from time to time as his scheduling, and access to LE range facilities, permits.