Best Defense Ammo for .40 S&W - Page 2
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Thread: Best Defense Ammo for .40 S&W

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Posts
    211
    Count me in on any of the 155 gr self defense loads.

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  3. #12
    JSDinTexas Guest
    I would look at the ammo mfg website and get ballistic info there to make your decision. Almost all mfg offers a good bit of info on their respective ammo. Then buy a small box of a few and give them a try.
    Case in point: Looking at Federal Hydra-Shok, .40 180 grain bullet is faster with more ft lbs of energy than the 165 grain (most of the time lighter slugs go faster w/ more punch). I figured this was a typo on their site so I called them and they said the manufacture 165g as a reduced load for FBI use, and that their ballistics on the site are correct. Who would have guessed?
    To answer the question, I find Speer GD seems to have a little more bang but not better expansion than others necessarily; Win SXT is a good expander as is their Silvertip (which I use in 10mm for hunting); and of course Hydra-Shok which I use in 180 grain as well as in my .45 at 230 grain because it goes through windshields and car doors a little better and the post also helps with thick clothing (however the Hydra-Shok is being replaced with Federal HST by some depts and is becoming popular). The ones I don't buy are the high dollar Hornady, Car-Bon, and that group - too much money for not much more stoppage.
    The objective is to go into the organs with the largest hole available for maximum damage - that's why at the house I have a .72 caliber by the bed

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Topeka, Kansas
    Posts
    81
    The reduced or "mid-range" loads were made due to folks having issues with recoil, or many Glock 22s having issues with fails-to-feed with full power ammo, especially when a tac light is mounted on the G22.

    Federal has a mid-range 165gr load, and Speer has a mid-range 165gr Gold Dot, both to FBI specs.

    There are very few bad .40 loads, wound ballistics wise, you can basically pick any quality brand and load from 155gr to 180gr and be good-to-go as long as it is reliable in your gun.

  5. #14
    JSDinTexas Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by tpd223 View Post
    The reduced or "mid-range" loads were made due to folks having issues with recoil, or many Glock 22s having issues with fails-to-feed with full power ammo, especially when a tac light is mounted on the G22.

    Federal has a mid-range 165gr load, and Speer has a mid-range 165gr Gold Dot, both to FBI specs.

    There are very few bad .40 loads, wound ballistics wise, you can basically pick any quality brand and load from 155gr to 180gr and be good-to-go as long as it is reliable in your gun.
    Yes, I have heard about reduced loads not working well in Glocks - I don't use them because recoil is a non-issue with me until I get up to the 10mm and there experience a bit of trouble with reacquiring the target. And in the Glock .40, I would not necessarily go below 165 grain.

  6. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Topeka, Kansas
    Posts
    81
    You read that wrong sir, those reduced loads were made because the Glock 22 often has problems with full power ammo.

    The issue is fails-to-feed due to excessive slide velocity, the reduced loads slow things down enough where the system feeds as it should.

  7. #16
    JSDinTexas Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by tpd223 View Post
    You read that wrong sir, those reduced loads were made because the Glock 22 often has problems with full power ammo.

    The issue is fails-to-feed due to excessive slide velocity, the reduced loads slow things down enough where the system feeds as it should.
    Yes, did read it incorrectly - I was thinking of someone scared of the recoil and really responding to an article I read about a million years ago on the light slugs and reduced loads not having enough power to cycle properly. I stand corrected and appreciate your post. That's what I get for being on 2 forums at the same time.

  8. #17
    I carry a .40 S&W loaded with the highly-regarded Federal HST from Streicher's. The Federal LE Tactical Bonded is another good choice and some say an even better choice for shorter-barreled pistols. Both are widely used in police and federal government agency defensive and offensive applications.


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  9. #18
    Since a member just sent me a PM asking which Federal HST loading I use, I'll also put it in this thread.

    SIG P229 .40 S&W, winter-months carry when heavy outerwear is the norm, I prefer the extra penetrating power of the 180 grain loading; albeit lower ME. Summer, the 165 grain.

    Federal LE ammo specs here.


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  10. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Topeka, Kansas
    Posts
    81
    The HST is a superb choice in any caliber for which it is available.

    I am not sure why so many folks think they need more penetration in the winter, any kind of normal clothing, including leather coats, etc doesn't even begin to slow down a service caliber handgun bullet.

  11. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by tpd223 View Post
    I am not sure why so many folks think they need more penetration in the winter, any kind of normal clothing, including leather coats, etc doesn't even begin to slow down a service caliber handgun bullet.
    Oh, I think you're reading too much into that...no one is insinuating heavy winter outerwear is going to significantly reduce penetration. We're not talking light body armor here!

    Someone awhile back posted (but I didn't find it with a quick search) a governmental agency report on the subject...penetration tests into ballistic gel through various layers of clothing to include several versions of winter coats.

    One of the tested rounds was my daily carry (.40 S&W) so I paid particular attention to that portion of the report since it documented a penetration reduction of slightly under 10% after passing through a heavy winter coat and winter-weight shirt even though the bullet's expansion diameter wasn't enough larger to be statistically significant versus through light clothing. Is that going to make any practical difference in the big scheme of things? Probably not. Whether the bullet penetrates 12 inches or 13 inches, the results are still similar as long as it doesn't fragment. And as expected, heavier bullets were less affected by heavy layers of clothing.

    OTOH, the bigger surprise was that some hollow point bullets (not the Federals) clogged up with heavy outerwear material and functioned more like a FMJ and actually penetrated further due to limited expansion. Largely negated the benefits of using a hollow-point round which typically expands 150% or so with handgun velocities.


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