For .40S&W Is there an Up or Downside Going Lighter?

This is a discussion on For .40S&W Is there an Up or Downside Going Lighter? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I carry Hornady Critical Duty (175 Grain) and for range i usually use Winchester WB @180 Gr. What basically happens if you Choose a lighter ...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17
Like Tree14Likes

Thread: For .40S&W Is there an Up or Downside Going Lighter?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Kennydale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Richmond/Rosenberg, TX
    Posts
    3,250

    For .40S&W Is there an Up or Downside Going Lighter?

    I carry Hornady Critical Duty (175 Grain) and for range i usually use Winchester WB @180 Gr.

    What basically happens if you Choose a lighter weighted bullet IE Critical Defense @ 165 Gr or even one rated 155gr .
    I was told to use the heaviest weight available.
    G-d, Make me fast and accurate. Let my aim be true and my hand faster than those who would seek to destroy me. And G-d if today is truly the day you call me home, then let me die in a pile of empty brass.

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    9,944
    I always default to the heavier bullets for any given handgun cartridge. Just personal preference. Some swear by the increased velocities offered by lightweight bullets with perhaps more potential to more dramatic expansion.
    Aceoky and Bigsteve113 like this.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  4. #3
    Member Array yaonttwo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    44
    Pretty much a personal choice as long as it is a brand name and a hollow point. I carry 165gr Gold Dots.

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    5,666
    I carry 165 gr jhp for SD. It wouldnt bother me to go 155gr or even lighter with a 40 but here mostly what is available is 165 hp and `180 grain fmj target stuff.

    Given the choice Id still go with 165 jhp vs heavier. Either will get the job done but on the off chance I would need a distance shot the lighter faster bullet gives a flatter trajectory.
    " It is sad governments are chief'ed by the double tongues." quote Ten Bears Movie Outlaw Josie Wales

  6. #5
    Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    10,142
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I always default to the heavier bullets for any given handgun cartridge. Just personal preference.
    Ditto.

    FWIW, the 180s seem to recoil less (less muzzle flip) than the 165s in both my .40s - Glock 23 and Kahr K40.
    GhostMaker and Aceoky like this.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

  7. #6
    Member Array MacReady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    142
    Eh, I've been shooting the .40 S&W for 15 years now. The lighter weight bullet loadings (at least from the factory) tend to generate more muzzle blast and give at the least the subjective sense of more perceived recoil. As far as actual "effectiveness" on target?... that's an open question. The lighter weight bullets move faster and generate more energy, and in many cases, quite impressive energy, but they "might" expand too quickly and not penetrate deep enough to hit vital structures. Back in the day I used to be all about the "fast and light" when it came to .40 but this had a lot to do with the heavier JHP bullets not expanding all that well in both gel tests and actual defensive shootings. These days, it seems like the ammo manufacturers have addressed that and the 180 grain and 165 grain loads are not only penetrating deep but also fully expanding. Given the lower recoil that seems to be generated by these loadings, I've gravitated in the last few years more towards 180 grain for "service" length pistols and 165 grain for "compact" guns.

  8. #7
    Member Array poetdante's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    228
    I carry a heavier bullet, just liked how it felt compared to the 165gr. Good choice on the Critical Duty.

    My question to you all is about 9mm, why do most of Hornady's rounds 115gr (CritDuty 135) and that 115 seems to be what a lot of ammo is? I've seen some Remmington get up to 147gr but for 9mm, an already light and fast round, does the weight matter?

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,598
    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Ditto.

    FWIW, the 180s seem to recoil less (less muzzle flip) than the 165s in both my .40s - Glock 23 and Kahr K40.
    I agree completely. The 180's are better in the recoil department than the lighter weights in my opinion. I do like heavier bullets in general, and one must also remember that when the .40 came to be it was designed around the 180 grain weight. This also means that barrels for .40 cals' are rifled around that grain weight, so most guns will shoot their most accurate groups using that weight.
    Aceoky and Ianthin like this.
    U.S. Army Desert Storm Veteran
    Certified Police Firearms Instructor
    Former US Customs Blue Lighting Strike Force Commissioned Officer
    Advanced Highway Drug Interdiction Specialist
    Graduate Regional Counter Drug Training Academy
    Graduate of Bullet Proof Mind Course - (Dave Grossman Course)

  10. #9
    Member Array Voice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    320
    You actually tend to get the most muzzle energy out of a ~165 grain load. That has to do with having very little 'extra' space in the cartridge when using the longer, heavier bullets.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Kennydale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Richmond/Rosenberg, TX
    Posts
    3,250
    Thanks for the info. .. Now I know the Upside and downside. I think I will stick with Critical Duty (or similar brand in the 175-180 grain weight) .

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Kennydale; May 20th, 2014 at 05:45 PM.
    G-d, Make me fast and accurate. Let my aim be true and my hand faster than those who would seek to destroy me. And G-d if today is truly the day you call me home, then let me die in a pile of empty brass.

  12. #11
    Senior Member
    Array Hatrix's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    579
    See if Double Tap still makes their 200gr 40 cal. I've wanted to get some and try it but just never got around to it.

    I prefer a heavy for caliber round, but if I had 165gr I wouldn't rely on it any less.
    I suffer from CDO

    It's exactly like OCD but in Alphabetical order

    The way it should be!

  13. #12
    Senior Member
    Array Ianthin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    897
    Quote Originally Posted by poetdante View Post
    I carry a heavier bullet, just liked how it felt compared to the 165gr. Good choice on the Critical Duty.

    My question to you all is about 9mm, why do most of Hornady's rounds 115gr (CritDuty 135) and that 115 seems to be what a lot of ammo is? I've seen some Remmington get up to 147gr but for 9mm, an already light and fast round, does the weight matter?
    I use the 135 +p Duty in my Beretta 92FS, and used the 115 Defense in my Sig P250 SC. I liked the feel of both in their respective gun. The 92 soaks up a ton of recoil, but the Sig seemed more sensitive to it. Not sure why 115 is the default weight in that caliber. After shooting .45 for a while, I'm a fan of go heavy or go home.

    ETA: I'm still too new to .40, and shooting in general, to say what the characteristics of different rounds. FWIW I shot about 50 each of WWB in 165 and 180, and Hornady Defense in 165 last weekend and didn't notice much of a difference.
    Last edited by Ianthin; May 20th, 2014 at 02:57 PM.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Ky Backwoods
    Posts
    4,284
    In the famously mis-attributed quote by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest - "Get there fastest with the mostest". I've decided on a compromise of nothing lighter than 160 gr. ,nor heavier than 180 gr.
    Kennydale likes this.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array hardluk1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    nc mountains
    Posts
    1,286
    I use underwoods 155gr speer bonded hp that averages 1302fps from my tp40 's 4" barrel. If you want to shot slow and heavy get a 45auto , not a slow and sort of heavy 40.
    Aceoky, 40Bob and Wolf357 like this.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array hayzor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    720
    Quote Originally Posted by Kennydale View Post
    What basically happens if you Choose a lighter weighted bullet IE Critical Defense @ 165 Gr or even one rated 155gr .
    Pretty much nothing changes, aside from folks going on and on about increased penetration, stopping power , etc.

    What's actually going to happen is that if you get a marginal hit(s) on a BG with either bullet, it won't stop him. If you get a good hit(s) on a BG, with either bullet, it will stop him.

    Good hits stop BGs, marginal/bad hits don't. Its pretty simple.

    Time is better spent training to get good hits than researching which bullet to use.
    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."

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •