.40S&W FMJ for wildlife defense?

.40S&W FMJ for wildlife defense?

This is a discussion on .40S&W FMJ for wildlife defense? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; From my searching and questions in the past it seems one of the limiting factors of a defense round from larger wildlife is penetration - ...

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Thread: .40S&W FMJ for wildlife defense?

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    Member Array gun1's Avatar
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    .40S&W FMJ for wildlife defense?

    From my searching and questions in the past it seems one of the limiting factors of a defense round from larger wildlife is penetration - in that some lighter rounds can't make it in to work. So my question is if a FMJ round is used would that not be better than a JHP or BHP in that it will penetrate? The obvious drawback is that it will not expand and transfer energy, but in the balance equation consisting of stopping power (or, my definition here of a higher percentage of energy transfer) and penetration, would the penetration ability not outweigh the expansion in this case? I would think that a 180 grain FMJ would certainly "get in". The question is will that in and of itself have a bigger effect than an expanding load that wont go far?


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    Member Array Honk's Avatar
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    I am certainly NOT an expert on this and I rarely hunt anymore, but it seems to me unless you are shooting at a very large, thick hide animal such as a large bear or something, I don't think I would worry as much about penetration. With the high tech bullets and loads we see today, I beleive I would still opt for a good defensive HP round.

    I may be wrong, but just MHO.
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    In the vast array of brands, types and designs of current bullets; Hornady XTP '(s)....... are now, one of the best for dual purpose loads . I have used them in Handgun Hunting . My .44 MAG. S&W 29 ..... 8 3/8 '' BBL. SHOOTS THEM WELL ,WITH MY HELP. I have 3 kills on 3 different animals, with XTP bullets. Those hollowpoints have the right proportion of penetration & expansion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gun1 View Post
    From my searching and questions in the past it seems one of the limiting factors of a defense round from larger wildlife is penetration - in that some lighter rounds can't make it in to work. So my question is if a FMJ round is used would that not be better than a JHP or BHP in that it will penetrate? The obvious drawback is that it will not expand and transfer energy, but in the balance equation consisting of stopping power (or, my definition here of a higher percentage of energy transfer) and penetration, would the penetration ability not outweigh the expansion in this case? I would think that a 180 grain FMJ would certainly "get in". The question is will that in and of itself have a bigger effect than an expanding load that wont go far?
    I think that you've pretty much answered your own question. After shot placement, it's a balance of velocity, sectional density, expansion, retained weight, and penetration- where that happy medium exists is hard to say.

    On large/heavy wildlife threats, I'd opt for the fastest, heaviest non-expanding design I could control.

    For the .40S&W, that'd be a .40S&W 180 gr FMJFN. According to the Schwartz bullet penetration equation, a factory 180 gr FMJFN @ 950 fps should be good for 29.10" ± 0.40" of soft-tissue penetration unless it strikes bone.
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    Member Array Alarm Guy's Avatar
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    When out night fishing I carry either my 4" 357 or my 45 ACP. I load the 357 with 180 grain hardcast and the 45 with 230 grain fmj. There are no Griz here, so I feel preety well armed against a lion or black bear.
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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    Without knowing what wildlife you are referring to it is hard to say. I would prefer a .41 special or .44 mag with a jacketed soft point for most wildlife, coyotes to bears. For a .40 S&W, i would want the heaviest FMJ I could get ahold of ( 180 gr FTW).
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    Senior Member Array ironmike86's Avatar
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    For the woods I use FMJ. You want the penetration for the bigger animals. HP is to protect the surrounding ppl. FMJ you want to hit the bone. As long as it's not bear I would feel safe with 40SW. If there is Black Bears I would rather have 40sw then nothing.

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    I was out one day with .40 FMJ and this big eastern Nc bear had a look at me,
    I did not feel confident of having enough fire power if it had been needed.

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    Senior Member Array ironmike86's Avatar
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    Yeah Black bear. The noise may scare it. But Leos have stopped Black bears with the Glock 22. Placement. I would rather have something bigger but better then nothing

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    Depends on what wildlife you intend to encounter. I have seen videos of hogs soaking up 10 and 11 rounds of 45acp with no apparent (or immediate) affect. On the other hand, i watched a video of guy shooting a doe with a Kimber 45 and she dropped like a stone from 1 round.

    If I spent any time in lion or bear country methinks I'd swap my Glock for a Ruger Red Hawk Alaskan in 454 casull or maybe a remington 500. Bigger IS sometimes better!
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    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taurahe View Post
    ...I would prefer a .41 special or .44 mag with a jacketed soft point for most wildlife, coyotes to bears. For a .40 S&W, i would want the heaviest FMJ I could get ahold of ( 180 gr FTW).
    .41 Special??? That's a rare bird, indeed! Why would you choose that over a .357 or .41 Mag? And where the heck do you get ammo?
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    The problem with a JHP is that it might over expand and under-penetrate. The problem with a solid bullet is that it will not expand and might over-penetrate. Of the two, I will take the latter every time. Good shot placement with a FMJ can take care of business. For anything more heavily constructed than a deer, I would prefer a flat nose solid bullet in one of the larger calibers instead of a JHP. As always, good shots get much better results than poor ones. Almost any rifle caliber or shotgun slug would probably be a better choice.

    I know there are a lot of varying opinions on this subject. The preceding is only my opinion based on my own observations. It is provided simply for the purpose of sharing in this discussion.

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    Re: .40S&W FMJ for wildlife defense?

    For protection from wildlife, whilst in the wild, penetration is paramount after placement. Overpenetration in these conditions should be the least of one's worries.

    Always bring a rifle to a bear fight. Better yet, let's not go to the bear fight at all.

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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilowatt3 View Post
    .41 Special??? That's a rare bird, indeed! Why would you choose that over a .357 or .41 Mag? And where the heck do you get ammo?
    My grandfather had one that he used to hunt deer with. I watched him take numerous deer with it. I do believe he loaded his own. Didnt know it was an oddball round lol. I have just seen him put it to good use. Im not a revolver guy so I dont know much about the older calibers and such,
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    Member Array CJ_mp40c's Avatar
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    This is a good topic. I'll be carrying my .40S&W while in the woods. I've been wondering if JHP or FMJ were better (no Griz here either).
    It's sounding like a heave FMJ.

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