A quaility hollow-point ... I prefer 180gr.
This is a discussion on Best .40 defensive load? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just wanted some opinions on what you folks would considor the most effective .40 defensive load?...
Just wanted some opinions on what you folks would considor the most effective .40 defensive load?
A quaility hollow-point ... I prefer 180gr.
I currently carry the Federal LE HST in 165 gr. I prefer the 155 or 165 grain loads as I don't plan on having to shoot my defensive pistol at a target more than 100 yds. away (the distance where a 180 has more energy than a 165) and the 155 & 165 provide plenty of penetration while producing 15%-20% more muzzle energy than a 180 gr. load.
All that said, if I didn't have a decent supply of the LE HST on hand, right now I'd carry any decent hollow point that I could find available.
Sig 239 SAS 40 S&W / Sig 239 9mm / Kahr PM-9 / Walther PPS .40 / Sig P-245 / Ruger LCP
Beretta Tomcat / Walther PPK / BDA 380 / Taurus 85 / Kel-Tec PF-9 / Am. Derringer 357
NRA Life Member
My Web Site
Not to be a 'smart-aleck', but the best .40 load is the round loaded when you NEED it!
Any quality JHP will do the job. I normally carry a 180 gr. load but I'm making the change to 165 gr.
"Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008
"Sometimes when you're making gumbo, people just show up.", Leah Chase
I use 180 gr. Gold Dot HPs.
"Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot."
180 grn HST, penetration and expansion.
Personal preference is the end result, plenty shoot with 165 versus 180. I personally have no preference.
I load Magsafe Defenders. That is not the most popular load on the site, but go to Mag Safe Ammo - Pre-Fragmented Saftey Ammunition Handcrafted In The USA and check them out. In my XD I load 8 84gr Defenders (1800fps/604fpe) followed by 5 Winchester Ranger 155gr JHP. (magsafes aren't cheap)
"...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
Christianity and Self Defense from a Biblical Perspective
I use speer gold dots. Right now i would say use whatever you can find.
As long as your pistol doesn't choke on it, a premium defensive load from Federal, Winchester, Speer, Double Tap, Hornady, or Corbon will all serve you well. Loads in 135gr, 155gr, 165gr and 180gr will all do. Based on manufacturer tests and FBI lab tests, the 155, 165 and 180 have similar penetration, but the 155gr and 165gr loads have a slight edge in terms of lighter felt recoil and more consistent expansion.
If it were me, and I had the option, I'd go with either the Speer or Double Tap 165gr Gold Dot JHP, or the Winchester Ranger 165gr JHP (RA40TA). I've currently got 165gr Speer Gold Dots in .40S&W.
You have the power to donate life.
I like 165 gr due to the lil hotter muzzle velocity vs. a 180. I currently carry 165 golden sabers. But I might be switching to some double tap 155gr. they scream..
The 155gr Bonded Defense JHP @ 1275fps from a Glock 23!
1200fps 495 ft/lbs from a 3.5"bbl.
1310fps 590 ft/lbs from a 4.5"bbl.
i really like the 165gr. HST.
all the weights are good. i think the key is pick the loads @ the high end of the FPS spectrum.
Oh boy! Are we opening the lighter/faster vs heavier/slower can of worms? No? Awww... jk
Personally though, I prefer the 180gr in any good round. I just like the felt recoil better. Reminds me more of the .45. IMHO I started with the Hydra-Shok, I now have the Gold Dots, and will check out reliability (not worried) of the Federal HST as soon as I can get a couple hundred rounds.
I like the reports on the HST best but any proven .40S&W brand/round in any weight will do it's part if you do yours.
Kimber Ultra Carry II, Glock G23 & G36, Kahr PM9, Winchester 1300 Defender 12gauge pump (my favorite but hard to hide)
I've taken a couple of tactical pistol courses and from my experience, I like the Winchester Ranger 165gr. It can handle anything I need it to do out to 100 yds...not that I plan on engaging ANYTHING at that distance with a pistol. Ballistically, the 165 gr holds its own with 185 gr out to about 100 yds.
Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But, I repeat myself. ...Mark Twain: Manuscript note, c.1882.
NRA Life Member & JPFO Member.
Sig & CZ-aholic, a Ruger SP101 3" & Wiley Clapp GP100
Based on my research gathered from this forum, I wound up chosing Speer Gold Dot 165gr JHP. Someone on this forum provided the balistics tests and it just made sense.