40 cal weight

40 cal weight

This is a discussion on 40 cal weight within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm new to Conceal Carry and I own a S&W SD 40. My question is what grain is best for PD when in most situations ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array dangerzone's Avatar
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    Question 40 cal weight

    I'm new to Conceal Carry and I own a S&W SD 40. My question is what grain is best for PD when in most situations the Perp is gonna be close. I want to take down the Perp without worrying about a thru and thru hitting a bystander. Should I go light (155) or heavy (180)


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    You will most likely get more than one opinion on what ammo to use. The following is one person's opinion for .40 S&W.

    180 grain jacketed hollow points or the 135-155 grain jacketed hollow points by Cor-Bon, Winchester, Federal, CCI or Remington. All are good stoppers, but the lighter weight bullets have the best stopping power records on the streets.

    The real-world shooting database clearly favors the lighter 135-155 gr. JHP loads. I personally would carry the potent Cor-Bon 135 or 150 grain jacketed hollow point or the Winchester Silvertip 155 grain jacketed hollow point (X40SWSTHP). The 135-155 grain JHP kicks less and has higher kinetic energy and stopping power than the 180 gr. JHP loads. The 135 gr. JHP appears to be a real stopper.
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    Senior Member Array yz9890's Avatar
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    I really don't think it matters very much. In the attached example comparing Federal HST loads you'll see that the 165gr carries a little more energy at all distances while the 180gr tracks a little straighter due to its mass. (just one manufacturers example, others will of course vary). The length of your barrel will matter a bit. But for the most part, I think it's a wash. There are some low recoil 135gr available from some makers if you're concerned about recoil but range time and training will help with that as well. Trying to figure what will and won't over-penetrate is also not an exact science. Lots of factors. I'd just train to put the bullets where you want them and pick any bullet that cycles well through your gun. don't get too caught up in the choices. there's no magic bullet. I carry 165gr Fed HST, Speer Gold Dot, Win Ranger T, and Win PDX1 in G27, G23, and Sig P229. no problems with any of them. I'll carry lighter or heavier though if I can't find what I normally use.

    http://le.atk.com/general/federalpro...cticalhst.aspx

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    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    I use 180 gr JHP. Not for everyone, but it works for me and in the end that's all that really matters. To me anyway.
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    Member Array Bigpoppa48's Avatar
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    When I carry my M&P40, I also carry the Federal 165grain HST. I believe this load is a good balance between penetration and not too much penetration. In a self defense situation which will likely happen at 3-7yds., I believe this will put a stop to the attack rather quickly provided you get good hits on target. Massad Ayoob also recommends this weight in the 40S&W also but I decided on this weight long before I had even read he recommended it.

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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerzone View Post
    I'm new to Conceal Carry and I own a S&W SD 40. My question is what grain is best for PD when in most situations the Perp is gonna be close. I want to take down the Perp without worrying about a thru and thru hitting a bystander. Should I go light (155) or heavy (180)
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    Member Array jerp's Avatar
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    In my M&P .40 FS & compact, i carry the 165jhp. But it comes down to what you are comfortable with.
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    I run 180 grain Rangers because my local guy sold them for 24 bucks/50.
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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    With a .40 round, don't fret too much with splitting those hairs. A 'broad' opinion is the 180 FMJ round will kill someone just as dead as the 135 bonded JHP.

    The most interesting advice I've gotten on this subject is go with what your local LE's use...... for the sake of a ‘legal defense' standpoint after you had to shoot.

    Having said all that, I've looked into the ballistics a little (here and other various sites) and found that the 165's seem to be the most popular. I'm NO expert...... Penetration and knock-down power (stopping power) are the big variables and stopping power is subjective and relative at best.

    In a matter of penetration, the 180's would be better say, in winter when heavier clothing is the norm and the lighter rounds during the warmer months. Again, at this point you’re splitting hairs. Center-mass hits and solid fundamentals count more than any ballistic research.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crowman View Post
    180 grain jacketed hollow points or the 135-155 grain jacketed hollow points by Cor-Bon, Winchester, Federal, CCI or Remington. All are good stoppers, but the lighter weight bullets have the best stopping power records on the streets.
    Can you quote sources for that?
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    Distinguished Member Array AZJD1968's Avatar
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    When I carry .40 I carry this:

    Winchester Supreme Elite® Bonded PDX1

    At handgun round velocities, for SD I want to shoot the heaviest bullet in that given caliber. Thats just me.
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    Ditto I like a heavy billet myself

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    Senior Member Array yz9890's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldshellback View Post
    The most interesting advice I've gotten on this subject is go with what your local LE's use...... for the sake of a ‘legal defense' standpoint after you had to shoot.
    while that advice certainly can't hurt, it is also without substance. I hear that a lot and I don't know where it comes from but it doesn't stem from any legal precedent that I know of. where does that advice stop? carry the same gun & caliber also? holster? what if you can't buy the same ammo? same mustache?

    defense ammo is made for killing people. all calibers and weights are designed to kill.

    certainly not a rant directed at you. or a rant at all. that is common advice that is often given by knowledgeable people. it just has no practical merit in my opinion. or in the opinions of any LEO or attorney I know.

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yz9890 View Post
    while that advice certainly can't hurt, it is also without substance. ............
    that is common advice that is often given by knowledgeable people. it just has no practical merit in my opinion. or in the opinions of any LEO or attorney I know.
    That's very true. I don't particularly follow that advice, but it is intresting advice. Many moons ago I look farily deeply for something on this and didn't find anything substantial either. It's intresting to hear though. Our local LE's used the Federal and Speer GD 165's which are rounds I use from time to time.

    Again, the basis of my post was not to 'split hairs' or 'nuke it out' too much.

    Any weight manufactured by a known and quality company ought to do justice by the owner.
    Last edited by goldshellback; April 29th, 2012 at 12:22 PM.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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    Senior Member Array Chevyguy85's Avatar
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    You'll get varying opinions with this question no matter what caliber you ask it about. Personally I prefer the heavier bullets so in my SR40 I have 180s.

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