Best .40 S&W defense load...
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Thread: Best .40 S&W defense load...

  1. Best .40 S&W defense load...

    Anyone have an opinion on what's the best .40 S&W ammo for self defense at the best price?

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Somewhere, Texas, United States
    Because I believe as private citizens our need to shoot through dumpters and engine blocks isn't a high priority or all that likely. Ammo like Winchester PDX1(excellent ballistics btw) and similar other types are great for law enforcement. Where you may never know what you might encounter. As a responsable citizen, I feel you have to be aware of appropriate ammo for its intended design. Thats why I choose Hornady Critical Defense as my EDC ammo. Designed with private cititzen carry folks in mind. Not gang shootouts in a cement factory. They are intended and tested to penetrate through heavy clothing and still providing excellent expansion without over penetrateing allowing maximum damage and still reduceing the chances of collateral damage. This is of course only my opinion as according to the research I've come across. In the end you have to decide what you feel comfortable carrying. Because when the stuff hits the fan and you have to account for your actions, you should plan that even your choice of ammo will come into question. Just my 2 cents...

  4. #3
    Another one for Hornady Critical Defense.... Its a great ammo.....and I have the same firearm....

  5. That would be my choice for self defense load. It has got good punch for the buck.

  6. #5
    Almost any hollow point or fragmenting round will be sufficient, .40+aim=dead guy. You're aim will matter far more than ammo

  7. #6
    I like the Winchester Supreme Elite for the 9mm. Don't have a .40 but test show it works pretty darn well for all calibers.
    Friends help you move. Real Friends help you move bodies!

  8. #7
    You can't go wrong with Hornady ammo no matter what load you use. I also use Critical defense in all of my carry pistols. 9mm, 40, and 45.

  9. #8
    My personal choice is Winchester Ranger for use it in my 9mm (+P+) and 45 (+P). This is the same ammunition that is issued to the NHSP. There is a documented shooting in NH of a LEO having an up close and personal with a BG and he had to make his shots through a refrigerator. Now this is something that could definitely happen in a home defense situation. All round passed through the frig and stopped in the BG. These rounds also stop in the BG without having passed through nothing more than clothing. The NHSP tested the 40 and regarded it "not as reliable a man stopper" in the most common bullet weights so they do not issue 40 caliber pistols. Most projectiles are too heavy to get up to the required velocity for proper expansion. At the time there were not many loads in 40+P so they may revisit this caliber in the future. They do get to that velocity when the projectile weights are under 155gr. One NH Trooper I know said that the best ones, of any manufacturer, are in the 135gr range. Anything over 165 will be too heavy in a compact 40 to get up to the needed velocity. Once he told me that, and I trust this individual greatly since he was in on the testing of weapons and ammunition for the NHSP, I switched to the lighter rounds for my K40 since it is such a short barreled pistol. Of course all the above is just my one cent worth.

    IMO bullet placement will go much farther in dealing with a "SHTF" situation, two quick ones, center mass is going to ruin someones day regardless of caliber or whether the projectile expands.
    NRA Life Member, NH CC, Gun Owners of America, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Second Amendment Foundation
    "Remember, incoming fire has the Right of Way"

  10. Which one does you gun shoot the best ('best' defined as 100% reliable for feeding and extracting and the most accurate)?

    That's the one I feel you should use.

    As NRA Lifer pointed out, a jacketed hollowpoint requires a certain minimum velocity to work reliably. Personally, I consider a verified velocity of 1000fps (meaning it is verified by being shot over a chronograph from the gun in question- not what is listed on the side of the box or on the company's website) the bare minimum. A round with marginal velocity like the .40 or .45ACP when combined with heavy bullets and short barrels usually means the bullet isn't going fast enough to work as designed.

    I use this information to narrow down what bullet weights will provide the velocity that is required, THEN I look for a self defense load in that bullet weight range that my gun shoots reliably and accurately.

  11. #10
    Ammunition is a personal choice that has to be made by the shooter. However, from the average situation any of us are subject to run into, any .40 cal round will get a BG's attention and definitely ruin his day. I personally prefer hollow points for the expansion and not shooting through my next three neighbor's houses.

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