New P239: Looking for .40 defensive ammo.

This is a discussion on New P239: Looking for .40 defensive ammo. within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My test rounds were MagTech 1000fps 180gr, which I found very managable in the gun. So I am thinking I would like to keep to ...

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Thread: New P239: Looking for .40 defensive ammo.

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    New P239: Looking for .40 defensive ammo.

    My test rounds were MagTech 1000fps 180gr, which I found very managable in the gun. So I am thinking I would like to keep to 180gr for defensive ammo. My two choices so far would be
    • Federal HST
    • Speer Gold Dot

    Any comments or suggestions?

    Also, the one issue I had with the gun so far was the slide not locking back consistently on an empty mag. Every mag locks fine when I hand cycle the slide. Is this perhaps related to using the 180gr?

    Thanks!
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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  3. #2
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    Array Hopyard's Avatar
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    If the 180 is manageable, and you are happy with it, stick with it.

    I don't care for it, but that is because I am rather weak in my arms; my wife can easily beat me in arm wrestling. So, I prefer 165 or actually, I carry the MagSafe (very expensive) frangible which weighs next to nothing but develops very high velocity.

    Different strokes for different folks.

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    New Member Array dkd83's Avatar
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    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...ics-40s-w.html

    Check out this thread .... may help
    'It ain't over 'til the fat barrel sings.'

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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    I carried 180 gr. Gold Dot in my full size HK USP40 for many years. Never had any problems out of them.
    Glock 27
    BENELLI NOVA

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    Gold Dot or Golden Sabre.

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    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Not looking to start a "weight war" so everything I say is just my opinion. With that disclaimer out of the way, here 'tis.

    I'm not a big fan of the 180 in the 40 S&W. My criteria in the order of importance for me in selecting a handgun round are:

    1. Bullet Design / Performance
    2. Energy
    3. Accuracy (this would be first in a rifle round)
    4. Bullet Weight

    I believe that the 180 grain bullet is a hold-over from the 10mm which is a higher powered round than the 40 S&W and can handle the extra weight better. In almost all manufacturer's published ballistics, the 155 & 165 grain bullets in the 40 have a higher muzzle energy than the 180s. In a rifle round where retained energy at 200 or more yards may be a factor, muzzle energy may be less of a consideration than downrange energy (where the heavier bullets are at an advantage) but in a defensive handgun, energy past 25 yards will seldom be an issue. Here's a little chart showing a few comparisons:



    The only round that I don't recommend the 165 over the 180 in is the Federal Hydra-Shok. Don't know why they cripple that round so bad, but it's basically at 9mm energy. In the past, I've always carried the Remington Golden Saber ammo but recently switched to the Winchester Ranger 155 gr. JHP at 502 ft. pds. of energy.

    Hoss
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    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    Federal HST's would be my preference followed closely by Winchester Ranger T-Series, which I know are not on the list. Those are the two I keep for SD. The accuracy, expansion and penetration of those two rounds are just amazing.

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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    For the .40, I like the Golden Saber in 165 grain. It seems like a good compremise.
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    Ex Member Array F350's Avatar
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    After doing some internet searching and reading numerous test results; I am converting to the Cor-Bon DPX in everything I and my wife carry, this is the load using the 100% copper Barns X hunting bullet.

    A buddy and I did extensive backyard ballistic testing in the 70s 7 80s, we fired into every media you can think of, our favorite was duct seal heated to 150 degrees and we would then make plaster molds of the wound cavity. With every media we found that the middle weight bullet in any caliber made the best wound cavity/mushroom. The lightest bullet didn’t seem to have enough bullet to really mushroom, the heaviest bullet didn’t have the speed to develop the mechanical pressures to make the bullet open up.

    Later on I would fire down into a 35 gal barrel of oil dry/kitty litter, there was no wound cavity to explore but there was the bullet to examine. For you hunters out there, the next time you gut a deer, once you open it up, thrust your hand into the intestines, does it feel like a plastic jug of water? A bundle of wet newspaper? Or anything else you use for ballistic tests? Probably not. If you can find a bullet that mushrooms in oil dry/kitty litter you have a bullet that is likely to open while traveling through the intestines/lungs of a BG.

    Just from this past experience I would extrapolate that since the 100% copper bullet is as long, or longer than the 125gr 9mm, but traveling at 110gr speeds so the likelihood of above average performance in the innards of a BG is pretty good.

    The reports I have read, due to being solid copper, there is NO jacket-core separation when penetrating barriers like auto glass or sheet metal so penetration is better and there are some test that show good expansion in ballistic gelatin after penetration of sheet metal.

    Another test used 4 layers of denim under a leather motor cycle jacket covering ballistic gelatin and the 9mm still penetrated 12.5 inches of gelatin and expanded every time, while other popular bullets failed to reach 12 inches with multiple failures to expand.

    Everything I have is or soon will be loaded with Cor-Bon DPX.

  11. #10
    Member Array drh2687's Avatar
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    I carry 165 HST's in my P239. Never used them on anything but paper, but they function reliably and from my research on here seem like they'ed be mighty deadly.

    Now, more importantly, I'll offer my thought on your slide-lock problem. I had the same issue with mine (after going to Blackwater for a week and learning a new, more effective grip) where it would not lock open consistently on an empty mag. Same as you, it was only during firing, never hand cycle. Turns out, my thumb was covering the slide release due to the new grip and I didn't realize it. My thumb would apply very slight pressure on the lever every so often, just enough to let the slide close on an empty mag. Might be your issue, might not, but since we both experienced the same issue on the same model weapon I thought I'd throw it out there.

    Good luck with the ammo hunt.
    --Dave


    "Mr. Bobby, there's no smoking in here."
    "It's alright darlin, I'm a volunteer fireman."

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drh2687 View Post
    Now, more importantly, I'll offer my thought on your slide-lock problem. I had the same issue [...] only during firing, never hand cycle. Turns out, my thumb was covering the slide release due to the new grip and I didn't realize it.
    I don't think I am ham-handing the slide release, but I need to go back to the range and test this out. My other guns are SIGs (P220 and P226) and, if anything, I think the P239 release is even tighter to the frame than the other guns, where I haven't had this issue. Granted, the P239 is smaller and so my grip will be different; I really need to test this out... I also had the same problem with some 165gr FMJs, so that kind of dispelled any notion of it being ammo related. Thus it's either me or it's the recoil spring, I guess. Given SIG's quality, I suppose the smart money is on operator error.

    Thanks to everybody for the input so far. I am getting some 180gr HSTs to run through the gun, and I will probably try some 165gr also, to see if I find a noticeable different in felt recoil between them. Maybe I am being too swayed by the visuals, but the pictures in that HST vs. HydraShok thread are pretty impressive. If I go down to 165gr, I will also try out some Federal EFMJ, which are what I put in my .45 and 9mm.

    I will say I just shot the IDPA postal match this Saturday for the third time, this time using my new P239. I posted my best score yet by a couple seconds, and this little bad-boy helped me shoot 12 points down for the entire match! Accurate headshots at 7 yards with a 3.6" barrel is pretty nice.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

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