If so, is there a reason they mandate a 180gr (or whatever they mandate instead of a 155gr)?
+1 with the 155 gr. Winchester Ranger -- 502 ft.lbs
My department provides 180 Gr. I shoot it well and am of the school that a heavier round is better due to more retained energy for deeper penetration with hollow points. I dont believe that over penetration with hollowpoints is a real problem, unless they fail to expand for some reason - but you have no control over that. My carry ammo for all three of my handguns is GDHP - 125 Gr for my .357 snubby, 180 gr for my Glock 22 and XDm .40.
As an update:
I ordered (5) boxes of Blazer 165gr to compare to the Blazer 180gr I already have. I thought I wouldn't be able to discern a difference, but it was noticeable. The 165gr definitely felt "snappier" than did the 180gr.
I will use up the 165gr I have, but will be ordering 180gr for range and JHPs from now on. :yup:
I live in mountainous, rural Colorado and have had all problems in the last 10 years with black bears, no human problems here although I had plenty in Florida. My pocket carry is a Kahr MK40 and I carry the Double Tap 180 gr Gold Dots. My back-up is a 12 ga with Brenneke slugs followed by 3-inch 00-buck. I carry the Doubletap 180gr in town too since it is too difficult to change loads on a daily basis.
I'm willing to give up a little muzzle energy for accuracy and faster split times, as well as for something that I like to shoot. I'd rather have the "push" of the heavier bullet instead of the "snap" of the lighter one, but that's just me.
I can shoot either one, but do better with the heavier load.
I must say, as a .40 S&W shooter I greatly appreciate this thread! it gives one a hell of a lot to consider! For what it's worth, I carry a S&W SW99, in it I have the Hornady TAP (Tactical Application Police) in 180-gr. I love it and it feeds marvelously! Granted I pay a little more than traditional ammo, it works great! I'm surprised no-one else has mentioned this ammo!!
I am not sure if this information means much to your decision, but I figured every bit of information can help. Also, I pulled this off wikipedia so consider the source of the data. It may not be accurate. I don't have the tools to validate myself so take it at face value.
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
155 gr (10.0 g) Speer Gold Dot JHP 1,175 ft/s (358 m/s) 475 ft·lbf (644 J)
165 gr (10.7 g) Speer Gold Dot JHP 1,150 ft/s (350 m/s) 484 ft·lbf (656 J)
180 gr (12 g) Speer Gold Dot JHP 985 ft/s (300 m/s) 400 ft·lbf (540 J)
I've had 165 gr stuff that was easy to handle; 180s that pounded, and the other way around. Because I am just a little too weak in the wrist and arms for .40 out of such a light gun, I use a light weight frangible hollow point for sd carry. It isn't a popular option, it is expensive, and some have posted here vigorously arguing against this practice. For me, the trade off in control is worth the trade off in penetration, especially as I can't imagine an sd scenario (given my life style) playing out at more than 10-20 feet, or dealing with vests, steel doors, or concrete barricades.
A light weight frangible will be less likely to go through my walls and through my neighbor's walls and makes some sense to me for this reason as well.
Once upon a time Blazer manufactured a 125 grain .40. I wish they would bring it back. That was my favorite. Cheap, low recoil, yet more oomph than an 115 gr 9 mm.
I like the 165 grain weight.
My wife too. We both carry 165 grain Remington Golden Saber in our carry guns.
I've been checking out some links on different .40 rounds and their pentration, and found a great link here: Brass Fetcher Ballistic Testing (you have to go to the "old website" link to see more rounds than just the Gold Dots)
To my point, and because I have come to use only Ranger rounds in my carry guns, I am liking the results of the 180gr .40 Rangers into the ballistic gel: 180gr Winchester Ranger JHP