.40 cal Bullet for Personal Defense

This is a discussion on .40 cal Bullet for Personal Defense within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just looking at the specs - the 165gr speer GD looks like a pretty good compromise of weight and speed, delivering pretty good energy out ...

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  1. #46
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    Just looking at the specs - the 165gr speer GD looks like a pretty good compromise of weight and speed, delivering pretty good energy out quite a few yards. That's why i chose it. I'm sure any of them will put a hurting on the average bg.
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  3. #47
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrwonderful View Post
    No, I think you were pretty well on the mark. You have to remember, bullets shot into water expand violently. And gelatin, well gelatin ain't people. These mediums only give you a way to compare performance in that medium. They are several experts and agencies that follow how these rounds actually perform when shot into people. I value that data more than lab tests. The history of how well a round has done over the years carries weight with me.
    Yes, a bullet shot into water expands violently. Yes, "gelatin ain't people."

    However, the human body is ~60% water. If a bullet strikes a person and does not hit bone, that bullet will travel through matter which is anywhere from 75% to 90% water at any given time. Also, the reason ballistic gelatin is chosen for testing is that it closely simulates human and animal tissue.

    My point... If a bullet fails in 100% water, what's to stop it from failing in 80% or 85% or 90% water? If a bullet fails in a substance which closely simulates human tissue, what's to stop it from failing in actual human tissue?

    This is why we have testing standards... Thanks to the tests, we know how a bullet is likely to perform in many different scenarios, and we then know whether or not we should be using or avoiding that bullet.
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  4. #48
    VIP Member Array livewire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Hawk View Post
    My point... If a bullet fails in 100% water, what's to stop it from failing in 80% or 85% or 90% water? If a bullet fails in a substance which closely simulates human tissue, what's to stop it from failing in actual human tissue?
    That's two different points, one is correct in physics, and one is not. I'm not a physicist, but I think I have this one pretty sorted out. It doesn't take much of a solution to make water awfully thick. After all 20% ballistic gel is 80% water, and it certainly doesn't act like what's in your bathtub. So, a bullet will not act the same in ballistic gel as it will in water. But what it does in gel is similar to what will happen in a human body. That's because it's designed to simulate what happens in a human body. Well, as close as you can without a living human body.

    Now, what's the relationship between the availability of living human bodies and 20% ballistic gel for testing ammunition?

  5. #49
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livewire9880 View Post
    That's two different points, one is correct in physics, and one is not. I'm not a physicist, but I think I have this one pretty sorted out. It doesn't take much of a solution to make water awfully thick. After all 20% ballistic gel is 80% water, and it certainly doesn't act like what's in your bathtub. So, a bullet will not act the same in ballistic gel as it will in water. But what it does in gel is similar to what will happen in a human body. That's because it's designed to simulate what happens in a human body. Well, as close as you can without a living human body.

    Now, what's the relationship between the availability of living human bodies and 20% ballistic gel for testing ammunition?
    I'm not claiming either of them to be perfectly reliable; I wouldn't claim shooting a person to be perfectly reliable either, as there are far too many variables. I am saying, however, that I like to see these tests done as it gives you an idea of how a bullet is likely to perform.

    The only reason I even bring up water testing is that water is very available in most areas (lol) and ballistic gel just isn't! If you look closely at bullets fired through denim into water jugs and at bullets fired through denim into gel, you'll notice that the final bullet expansion and penetration results are usually very similar.

    Although denim/water doesn't show what is likely to happen to human tissue in terms of a wound cavity as ballistic gel would, it does show how a bullet will react if it is stressed violently or if it plugs when shot through denim and/or heavy clothing. I, for one, believe that bullets should be tested at a higher level than they are likely to be used at, similar to how the torture tests are used to test the reliability of a duty firearm in situations much worse than it will likely ever see.
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

  6. #50
    Distinguished Member Array Jason Storm's Avatar
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    For my H&K USP, I have used:
    1. Remington Golden Saber (currently)
    2. Federal Hydrashock

    Both of which are known to have been street-proven loads.

  7. #51
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    I got hold of a couple hundred rounds of Remington 155 grain JHP the Border Patrol was using,and I could tell a huge difference in recoil and muzzle flash over my 165 grn Federal HST,I can't remember how many FPS they were doing but it was a lot faster than the HST,I carry the 165 HST right now,
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  8. #52
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    Personally, I am torn between the 165gr and 180gr loadings of Federal's Tactical LE HST. Both show excellent capability in ballistic testing, however the fact the majority of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies opt for 180gr loads in .40 S&W speaks volumes. Combined with the ballistic testing shown on Federal's site, the 180gr HST seems to be an ideal load.

    Due to some recent "unofficial" testing of the Winchester PDX1 180gr, I'd also be very comfortable with it, and the Speer Gold Dot loads.
    "Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands." - Col. Jeff Cooper

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  9. #53
    Senior Member Array hayzor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smolck View Post
    Obviously the law of physics would tend to tell me that heavier is better, even at a slower velocity because of the laws of energy and momentum. It is just plain harder to stop something heavy.
    I don't shoot the 40, but am an engineer and would like to address the Physics of the lighter/faster vs, heavier/slower bullet mentality.
    From a physics point of view, the lighter & faster bullet wins in both the momentum and energy categories.
    Momentum is defined as Mass X Velocity
    Kinetic Energy is defined as 1/2 X Mass X Velocity^2 (squared).
    The calculations below don't have units associated with them, but show the relative difference between the 3 bullets. I got the data from Wikipedia.

    .................................................. ....Mass (gr)..........Vel (ft/s)........Momentum..........Energy
    Double Tap............Gold Dot JHP..........155..................1275............ .197625..............125985937
    Remington.............Golden Saber JHP...165..................1150.............189750 ..............109106250
    Winchester.............Ranger SXT...........180..................990............ ..178200...............88209000

    With that said, I don't recommend any round over another, except for make sure it runs flawless in your gun.
    My purpose in this post, is to show that the lighter faster round will always have more momentum and Energy than a corresponding heaver faster round.
    Disclaimer: Obviously, this does not take into account many other factors, ie. bullet expansion, shot placement, clothing on the perp, bone vs flesh, etc, which should be weighed when making a decision as to which SD ammo to carry.

    Personally - My XD9 is loaded w/ 115 grain FMJ target rounds. They go bang every time. I'm sure better ammo will too, but I haven't tested them yet.
    Last edited by hayzor; June 2nd, 2011 at 04:57 PM. Reason: format
    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. Albert Einstein

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  10. #54
    VIP Member Array livewire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hayzor View Post
    I don't shoot the 40, but am an engineer and would like to address the Physics of the lighter/faster vs, heavier/slower bullet mentality.
    From a physics point of view, the lighter & faster bullet wins in both the momentum and energy categories.
    Momentum is defined as Mass X Velocity
    Kinetic Energy is defined as 1/2 X Mass X Velocity^2 (squared).
    The calculations below don't have units associated with them, but show the relative difference between the 3 bullets. I got the data from Wikipedia.

    Mass (gr) Vel (ft/s) Momentum Energy
    Double Tap Gold Dot JHP 155 1275 197625 125985937
    Remington Golden Saber JHP 165 1150 189750 109106250
    Winchester Ranger SXT 180 990 178200 88209000

    With that said, I don't recommend any round over another, except for make sure it runs flawless in your gun.
    My purpose in this post, is to show that the lighter faster round will always have more momentum and Energy than a corresponding heaver faster round.
    Disclaimer: Obviously, this does not take into account many other factors, ie. bullet expansion, shot placement, clothing on the perp, bone vs flesh, etc, which should be weighed when making a decision as to which SD ammo to carry.

    Personally - My XD9 is loaded w/ 115 grain FMJ target rounds. They go bang every time. I'm sure better ammo will too, but I haven't tested them yet.
    What about retaining energy after encountering a change in medium? Won't the heavier projectile maintain velocity longer after encountering a body of . . . essentially thick goo? (that's a technical term, by the way )

  11. #55
    Senior Member Array hayzor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livewire9880 View Post
    What about retaining energy after encountering a change in medium? Won't the heavier projectile maintain velocity longer after encountering a body of . . . essentially thick goo? (that's a technical term, by the way )
    Whatever energy is in the bullet will be transfer to the receiving medium (human body) as blunt force and/or tissue damage. Hollow points are designed to open and produce more tissue damage. If the bullet passes throught the body, then not all of the energy has been transferred to the body. The perfect bullet will be placed perfectly (function of the operator) penetrate deeply, but not pass thru, and create huge tissue damage.

    Good Luck
    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. Albert Einstein

    "People in Arizona carry guns," said a Chandler police spokesman. "You better be careful about who you are picking on."

  12. #56
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    I Like your style Lance:) It is difficult at best to make a professional decision to a loaded and non-informative question or statement. I agree that in order to properly answer one must have the true unedited story revealed in sordid detail. As a former Police Firearms Instructor (Academy Level) I have to admit that police officers are not the best examples of efficient firearm users (or accurate either). To answer the .40 ammo question.................most ANY .40 ammo is effective when the shooter is well practiced, accurate and is experienced in precise shot placement.......................PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

    Lance, have you seen the article "The Federal Performance Rating of Commercially Available Police Handgun Ammunition"? It was by Col. Rex Applegate in September, 1975. At that time .40 was not available. The highest RIC (Relative Impact Capacity) of ammo at that time was the 200 gr. .44MAG JHP SPEER with an RIC of 54.9 and a 96 gr. 9mm Glaser Safety Slug with a RIC of 54.5. I realize that the GSS is teflon coated glass beads and won't penetrate a door, but it will knock someone for a loop. Thought you would find the stats interesting:)

  13. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by LanceORYGUN View Post
    Well, it turns out SIGguy, that are you are absolutely right about this shooting. You have hit the nail squarely on the head here.

    I went and looked up the May American Handgunner issue, to see if a full account of Ayoob's story had been given here. The bottom line: It wasn't. A lot of important information in Ayoob's account was left out of the post that was made here. In fact, so much key information was left out of the re-telling of the story here, that it really dramatically changed the account.

    Officer Steve Lang of the Murietta, GA police department shot it out with a criminal named Toan Quac Van on Oct 5, 2001. Van was a hardened criminal. A powerfully built man who brutally ran his own street gang that preyed on other Asian immigrants. He had his confrontation with officer Lang when he and other members of his gang went to burglarize the home of a woman, who they knew keep her savings hidden insider her own home. The two men were only six feet from each other during the entire shootout.

    Van fired a .45 caliber Sig P220 nine times at Lang, striking him only a single time, in his right thigh. Lang fired a total of 14 rounds from his Glock 21 at Van. Of these 14 shots, 7 completely missed, and 7 struck Van. Now on first glance, one might then wonder, how could Van have survived 7 shots from a .45? Well, the answer is just what you figured SigGuy229: Shot placement.

    Of the 7 shots that hit Van, two were lower leg hits. Two more were thigh hits. One hit Van in the forearm, and another one nicked his pelvis. Only one single shot was well placed, and struck Van in the chest. That, SIGguy229, is the real story here. Only 1 of the 7 hits was well placed.

    So in light of all of this additional information, which had been conveniently omitted from the earlier account of this Ayoob report, did the Corbon 185 gr +P JHP load really do that bad a job?

    I honestly don't think that one can criticize the ammo here. When Lang saw Van fall to the ground, he noted that Van was "face down in the driveway motionless, Lang stopped shooting at last. He can see RIVERS of blood pouring from beneth the man's body, running switfly down the driveway to the gutter."

    That detail was also left out of the earlier account of Ayoob's report.

    Ayoob went on to report that Van "had bled out from his wounds, but massive transfusions and brilliant surgery had saved his life." Ayoob credits the high quality of the emergency-trauma medicine available in Riverside County California with the fact that Van managed to survive the shooting. And remember, only one single shot had hit a vital area.

    So blame the high velocity Corbon load here for this outcome? No, I don't think so everyone.

    The real bottom line to this story is this: Officer Lang only managed one single good hit on Van out of the 14 rounds that he fired at him from a range of only 6 ft. In my opinion, Lang is very lucky to be alive today. While his Corbon ammo may not have killed Van, it certainly disabled him and ended the threat against Lang's life. And it did enough damage to Van that it prevented him from hitting Lang more than one single time. And the massive wounds caused by the Corbon ammo to Van's limbs came extremely close to bleeding him out.

    Shot placement is the true moral of this story, NOT ammo selection.

    So as the iconic radioman Paul Harvey used to say: "AND NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY".

    .
    I did not "conveniently" leave out or omitt information. I attempted to give a brief synopsis of the event as related in the article by Ayoob. Cutting , pasting , and copying others work is what you do.

    I also have many reasons to go with heavy for caliber bullets, of which I can fully articulate without posting a bunch of meaninglss crap that I copy from somewhere else.
    One of the reasons is consistancy of performance. Out of all the variables that are not controllable during a shooting, adequate penetration is the only one that can. Lighter faster is great when it works. But when it fails, it does so in spectacular fashion. Velocity is necassary to a degree, but I wouldnt bet the farm on it being the main priority in making your selections.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  14. #58
    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I did not "conveniently" leave out or omitt information. I attempted to give a brief synopsis of the event as related in the article by Ayoob. Cutting , pasting , and copying others work is what you do.
    It came across as being most convenient. For the omitted information tended to show that the 185 gr +P ammo had done devasting damage where it struck the criminal on his body, and had come very close to killing him, despite the vast majority of the hits being to his arms and legs. . And when only 1 out of 14 fired rounds is well placed in a vital area, that really dramatically changes the way that one looks at this shooting. 14 rounds fired, 7 of those rounds hit, but only 1 of those 7 hits is to a vital area.

    It is most difficult to put any blame at all on the ammo in this incident, in my opinion. And I believe that is a very reasonable assessment.

    The officer may partially blame the ammo. But that is extremely self-serving on his part.

    .

  15. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by LanceORYGUN View Post
    It came across as being most convenient. For the omitted information tended to show that the 185 gr +P ammo had done devasting damage where it struck the criminal on his body, and had come very close to killing him, despite the vast majority of the hits being to his arms and legs. . And when only 1 out of 14 fired rounds is well placed in a vital area, that really dramatically changes the way that one looks at this shooting. 14 rounds fired, 7 of those rounds hit, but only 1 of those 7 hits is to a vital area.

    It is most difficult to put any blame at all on the ammo in this incident, in my opinion. And I believe that is a very reasonable assessment.

    The officer may partially blame the ammo. But that is extremely self-serving on his part.

    .
    Agreed. I don't see how anyone could blame the ammunition here. People can suck up a lot of wounds to non-vital regions...
    "Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands." - Col. Jeff Cooper

    [EDC: HK P2000 SK .40 S&W]

  16. #60
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    i like my 180 gr hst's
    Glock 23 Gen3-- Mepro Light Tru Glo night sights-Polished Internals-3.5 lb connector-6 lb trigger return spring Extended slide release lever-Stainless steel guide rod-Pierce grip plug
    Glock 26 gen3--
    Pierce +2 mag extension w/ finger groove

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