165 grain vs 180 grain

165 grain vs 180 grain

This is a discussion on 165 grain vs 180 grain within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I currently use .40 s&w 165 grain Speer Gold Dot. I am considering going to the 180 grain Speer Gold Dot. Thought I would ask ...

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Thread: 165 grain vs 180 grain

  1. #1
    Member Array KrewsControl's Avatar
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    165 grain vs 180 grain

    I currently use .40 s&w 165 grain Speer Gold Dot. I am considering going to the 180 grain Speer Gold Dot. Thought I would ask for your guys opions. Would the heavier bullet have better stopping power? More recoil? Thanks.

    KC
    Fighting is not good, someone always get hurt
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Not a 40 fan so i dont know much about the loads but a 180 should hit harder than a 165 bigger is better .. recoil might be a litte more but i dont think it should be much more noticable

  3. #3
    Member Array uudl's Avatar
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    Either one will do the job if placed right. It is just a matter of personal preference. I personally prefer the 165 gr Gold Dot.

  4. #4
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    Not my cal but - while I generally favor heavy over light - the Gold Dot is IMO one of the best and reliable expanders and from some tests I did on 9mm there does seem to be a margin of extra expansion from the higher velocity impact of the lighter bullet.

    That tho is all in some ways semantics as shot placement will still be the priority, plus choosing a round that your platform eats flawlessly.
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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I have neither read nor experienced any phenomenon that seriously suggests one is seriously better than the other. I use 165 grain Golden Sabers and recently I've been testing 165 grain Hydrashoks with no problems. I will get some Gold Dots at some point and see if they're okay too.

    The lighter load seems to have a little more energy, but a bigger slug is a bigger slug.

    15 grains just doesn't make that much of a difference to me in this case. I've decided that a tiny bit more energy makes me feel better and I'm beginning to feel a very slight difference between the two weights and am developing a small preference for the 165 grain but not a very strong preference.

    There's nothing wrong with what you're doing. You're using a good cartridge and so long as it functions well in that particular gun, it's all good.

    Besides, I feel if you want a bigger bullet, get a bigger caliber, you know? The whole "point" of .40 S&W is that it's a barely big bore with a fairly fast bullet instead of a small bore with a very fast bullet or a large bore with a slow bullet.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Zundfolge's Avatar
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    I pack 155 or 165gr in my .40.

    The kB! problems with early .40s was in part because of bullet setback in 180gr. (but that's pretty much a non issue now days).

    Based on all I've read, the best performing ammo (in penetration and expansion) has been the Winchester Ranger 155 gr and Speer Gold Dot in 165gr


    I find I'm most accurate with 155-165gr ymmv

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    No main line US company makes a bad 40S&W HP. 135 to 180 gr, makes no difference IF you hit the person where he lives. IF you miss, the bullet weight still makes no difference.

    A friend is with South Bend PD [Chief Firearms Instructor], and they have used the Cor Bon 135grJHP with great success, as have several other departments.

    We spend waaaaayyy too much time worrying about the projectile that is perhaps 5 to 10 % of the gunfight and waaayy to little time worrying about out training, tactics, mental attitude, etc.

    Just an old farts opinion.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    KC I dig what you're saying, but the fact of the matter is that the ammunition is what actually makes it all possible. The ammunition is what we're counting on. We need to be just as picky about it as we are about our tactics and tools. It doesn't matter how good you are, if you're firing ball ammo out of a typical modern pistol that eats anything you feed it, you're not using all of your advantages.

    I don't agree with everything any guru says but Ayoob once wrote a real good piece on ammunition selection and its importance, if anyone remembers it.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Also if we didnt argue about caliber and bullet weight what could we talk about

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    In my G27 I use the 155gr due to the shorter barrel, but I am issued 180gr Hydrashok for my 4006. I'll probably carry the 155gr GD in the 4013 when I start carrying it just to only have to buy one type of ammo
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    KC I dig what you're saying, but the fact of the matter is that the ammunition is what actually makes it all possible. The ammunition is what we're counting on. We need to be just as picky about it as we are about our tactics and tools. It doesn't matter how good you are, if you're firing ball ammo out of a typical modern pistol that eats anything you feed it, you're not using all of your advantages.

    I don't agree with everything any guru says but Ayoob once wrote a real good piece on ammunition selection and its importance, if anyone remembers it.
    Known Ayoob as a trainer and friend for almost 20 years. Ask him next time you see him, which is more important..bullet placement or the bullet, or ask Jeff Cooper what is more important, the gun or the man behind the gun.

    I would far rather have at my side a man that understands the dynamics of a gunfight with a .22 revolver than someone who has decided to rely on his super master blaster 28 round 45 300gr bulleted gun to save the day.

    Again, the opinion of a veerry old fart.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Point taken KC and not disagreeing with you, just saying it's worth discussing the topic and we shouldn't just wave it off completely under the rallying banner of shot placement, ya know?

    What if we turned your argument around? Would you take that guy with the .22 if you're facing down a stampede of feral hogs? Considering his only viable shot is probably behind the ear, I wouldn't be too excited about the prospect.

    Or we take the absolutely ridiculous approach and say since shot placements is all that matters, all we need are pellet guns or .22s.

    I believe even Colonel Cooper has trashed various calibers on the basis they weren't up to snuff on more than one occassion.

    There's a reason even the most skilled hunters don't hunt buffalo with a .243. The cartridge has got to be up to the job.

    I believe in shot placement too which is why I carry my .40 S&W or my .38 Special and leave the .44 Magnum at home. But the .22 stays home as well for some crazy reason.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Ferel hogs????The man I mentioned has been in many gunfights, and won all. A couple were using the .38 LRN bullet. He understands the dynamics of a gun fight, and the tactics necessary to win.

    That is where tactics come into play!

    Don't know about the .243, but hundreds of tons of elephants went down to the 6.5X55....which is if I remember right, a .264.



    It is unfortunate that too many members here make the gun or the ammo more important than the other 90% of the situation. I wonder how many here have spent the cost of a couple of high priced guns on a couple of weeks of quality training with people like Ayoob, Farnam, Gunsite, Smith, etc?

    Nearly all situations have exits available, choose not to participate, avoidance, etc. this is not as exciting as play acting 'super hero' with the perfect gun and bullet.

    I know I am not going to change anyones priorities here, but at times I enjoy beating my head against a wall. ;) ;)

    Sorry I got way off of the subject. Delete if you want. :)
    Last edited by KC135; October 19th, 2005 at 09:32 PM. Reason: off subject
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    No it's on topic. Let me put it to you this way. I think the software is 95% of the situation, 4% of it is hardware assuming your gun actually functions, and 1% of it is blind stinking luck.

    I'd say ammunition selection is half of that 4%. That's my take on it.

    All I gots are a few small ranges in Central Texas staffed by certified people who've been to the hallowed halls and care enough to pass it on to those of us who can't shell out $6k whenever we feel like it to go to Arizona for a couple of weeks. And even then there's only one place I've found where the handgun training isn't 1911centric.

    We get a few big names through here, but I'm always committed to something serious when they come around.

    This is part of the reason I'm looking into the AR15 as local people train it around here when they train nothing else. Now I'm getting off topic.

  15. #15
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    I have used 180 and 165 grn. in my .40's . Have not noticed any real recoil diffrences between the 2 loads. I feel either bullet weight should work fine .

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