Which Bullet Weight in .40?

This is a discussion on Which Bullet Weight in .40? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; One thing I havn't seen mentioned here is recoil difference between the two weights. I know everyone nashes their teeth and wrings their hands about ...

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Thread: Which Bullet Weight in .40?

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    One thing I havn't seen mentioned here is recoil difference between the two weights. I know everyone nashes their teeth and wrings their hands about how nasty the recoil in from a 40 caliber. I havn't really done a real study on the difference between the recoils. I think I have shot one of two boxes of 165 grain target ammo through my glock 27 when I first got it. Then I purchased 180 grain Hornady's in self defense ammo and I always buy practice ammo in the same weight as my SD ammo so thats all I shoot through it now.
    I think I have seen several people say that the 165 grain bullets have a snappier recoil than the 180 grains. Maybe thats another reason to use the 180 grains, they migth allow slightly faster follow up shots.
    For me, I am taking the 180 grains for better penetration and I have confidence that they will expand. I do plan on switching over to the short barrel 180 grain gold dots next time I purchase SD ammo. I just have better confidence in the gold dots.
    On a side note, I sent an email to Buffalo Bore asking if they had any plans to make a "standard pressure" 40 caliber load. They sent back a reply that that is something they are planning on doing in the next year or so.
    Hopefully they make a 180 grain using the gold dot bullets, especially formulated for short (3.5) barrels. I'll be one of their first customers for that!

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  3. #17
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    so go to 3 respected gun stores--the kind that have knowledgeable people behind the counters vs WM style

    go and ask them along their wall of ammo--which bullet weight sells best

    and the answers will come back--all of them. or we would not stock them (fool).
    -----------------

    what feeds in your gun or use a different bullet or get a gun that eats what you want to feed it.

    but please don't take away our discussing bullet weights and calibers.
    that would reduce us to talking about the weather and politics
    and politics is (rightly) forbidden here and while everyone talks about the
    weather, no one actually does anything about it.
    Be aware, be deliberate in your actions and be accurate.
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  4. #18
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    FWIW, I opt for the heaviest round I can in any caliber, with the exception of the snubs and shorter barrels.. There I'll opt for a lighter grain bullet to bring the speed back up and aid with expansion...

    After saying that... I have my LCR on me right now loaded with the Buffalo Bore 158gr Soft Lead SWC-HC as it seems to do a pretty good job outa the snub-nose achieving on average 14" of depth in ballistic gelatin. I don't really get using the really light grain rounds for defense. I like to let Inertia do its part as well, especially when sending a projectile on its path...YMMV
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  5. #19
    Member Array ZTF Hitman's Avatar
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    So...Are the PDX1's in 180 good rounds? I see alot of approval for the Gold Dots, so that's an option as well. HST's will be on my shopping list as well.

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Personally, I like the HST's and the Gold dots for defense... Provided it's bonded and feeds well, I feel 100% confident in it...
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array Ragin Cajun's Avatar
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    There is no magic bullet, bullet weight, or brand. Don't get caught up in the marketing hype. Try several different weights from the top brands that are known to be reliabile and pick the one that YOU can shoot best out of your gun. For my G23 I stuff it with 180gr. Gold Dots and recently did some testing with 165 gr. PDX1's that are even more accurate then the GD's. I tried HST's and really hoped they would shoot accurate out of my Glocks but they are not the most acccurate rounds for me so I chose not to carry them. They are another outstanding round.

    JMO but all things considered, I don't believe that your bullet weight is going decide the outcome of a self defense shooting if you survive it or not. Before 20 people quote me to tell me I'm wrong, I did say that is just my opinion. If I have to pick a side, I will lean towards the heavier bullet for the reasons already mentioned in this thread. I like heavier bullets for hunting big game as well.

  8. #22
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    Senior Member Array cmb's Avatar
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    The diference in weight is from .41 to .38 of an ounce (.03)... perhaps it may be significant... I will leave that for the experts... it not like 115 to 230 which is half the size, I would use the one which I shoot better, accuracy, follow up etc...
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  9. #23
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Carry whatever you and your chosen weapon perform the best with. I typically prefer the heaviest available, but I'm not married to that. I have a few guns that I choose to carry slightly lighter weight rounds because me and my weapon can perform better with them.
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  10. #24
    Senior Member Array RebelRabbi's Avatar
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    My personal choice is Winchester Ranger 180 "T" loads.

  11. #25
    Member Array ZTF Hitman's Avatar
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    I think I'll wean in some 180's...Is the recoil really less than the 165's?

  12. #26
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  13. #27
    Member Array CountShotula's Avatar
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    Heavy is hefty. Digs in deep.
    Light is fast. Hits em' hard as quick as can be.
    I like something in the middle, but more towards the heavier side. Get the best of both worlds.

  14. #28
    Member Array Gladius's Avatar
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    A lot will also depend on your firearm. I carry a CZ 2075 RAMI in .40 and it prefers the lighter weight rounds of about 165 grains. Anything larger and it starts to stovepipe while trying to chamber a round. I haven't got a clue as to why and I've tried rounds with every conceivable profile (ogive).

    To each his/her own.

  15. #29
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    180 grain JHP. Better penetration than the lighter bullets. Definitely stay away from the 135 grainers as they have very poor penetration.
    Kimbers are the guns you show your friends....Glocks are the ones you show your enemies.

  16. #30
    Member Array MikeNice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZTF Hitman View Post
    It's commonly said that, in .40 S&W, 155-165 gr weights are optimum. Others say go heavier with the 180 grains. On paper, the 155 and 165's have better ballistics. What are your thoughts? FWIW, I carry with 165 gr PDX1's .
    Since you already carry Winchester PDX I would say go with the 180gr. Everybody says they are almost exactly like the Ranger Bonded. In Ranger Bonded the 180gr has the advantage in penetration and expansion through both bare gel and heavy cloth. The 165gr has a .04 inch advantage in expansion through four layers of denim. However it gives up nearly two inches in penetration.

    So, based on Winchester's published data for the Ranger Bonded I would go with the 180gr.

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