Favorite bullet for self defense .40

Discussion in 'Ammunition and Reloading' started by Nicholai, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Nicholai

    Nicholai Guest

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    Which do you prefer?

    I haven't loaded a whole lot of self defense rounds beyond standard jacketed hollowpoints. So I figured why not ask around.
     
  2. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    Almost any of the name brand stuff in 155-180gr. is going to be good. My personal favorite is the 180gr. Winchester Ranger RA40T. I think the 180's throw off less perceived recoil than the lighter loads and I think they generally be the 155-165's by an ever-so-slight margin in terms of terminal performance. Winchester Rangers, Gold Dots, Remington Golden Sabers, Federal HST (Hi-Shok Tactical, not Hyrda-Shoks) - they are all cutting edge stuff and will do the job if you do yours...
     

  3. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    ranger t's. but in my s40, the 180's never group.
     
  4. ThaiBoxer

    ThaiBoxer Active Member

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  5. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    Interesting that you perceive less felt recoil with 180 grain than lighter ones. Maybe it's just my imagination, but I've perceived less felt recoil with lighter grains vs. heavier ones, particularly in 9mm. I've also perceived the same with .45 ACP, 10mm and 357 Sig but not as much. Maybe I've got my head screwed on backward, but that's been my theory.

    As grain weight goes down, velocity goes up, so I guess it is intuitive that felt recoil might increase also. But heavier grain weights produce more foot pounds of energy, so on the other hand, should push back just as hard as on the business end of the round. And on the other hand, there are five fingers. What do I know? Not much. Now I've confused myself. :mrgreen:
     
  6. ThaiBoxer

    ThaiBoxer Active Member

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    I believe that the foot/pounds of energy is the best objective measure of recoil, and foot/pounds are most influenced by velocity. SD loads of different bullet weights generally have lower ft/lbs for the heavier bullets.

    Contrast that with the "power factor" in IPSC and IDPA, which is highly influenced by bullet weight and not velocity.

    Caliber specific foot/pound minimums would be more useful in the gun games.
     
  7. keroppl

    keroppl New Member

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    Seems like Ranger/Supreme SXTs, Speer Gold Dots, and Double Tap's Gold Dots are all excellent choices. In terms of bullet weight from what I've seen there seems to be an optimum weight for each caliber. 40s&w seems to perform the highest around 155-165gr, 9mm 115-127, and 45 around 185gr. Also, these lighter bullets tend to have more uniform expansion.

    40s&w from Double Tap:

    155gr. @ 1275fps / 560 ft/lbs- Glock 23 (4.0"bbl)
    165gr. @ 1200fps / 528 ft/lbs- Glock 23 (4.0"bbl)
    180gr. @ 1100fps / 484 ft/lbs- Glock 23 (4.0"bbl)
    200gr. @ 1050fps / 490 ft/lbs- Glock 23 (4.0"bbl)
     
  8. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    I'm curious how you arrived at this conclusion? The 147gr. for 9mm, 155-180gr. for .40S&W, and 230gr. for .45ACP are usually considered the "optimum weights" for each caliber. If you look here, here, or here, you will generally see the trend. The lighter loads tend to open more quickly and therefore penetrate less, are more apt to losing their jacket or coming apart, and penetrate barriers with less success (seats, wood, auto glass, bone). If energy is your criteria for ranking ammunition performance, I highly suggest you invest some more time into reading about terminal ballistics...
     
  9. MrApathy

    MrApathy Active Member

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    Golden Sabers first,second Remington JHP's and third Gold Dots then Hornady XTP's.

    Golden Sabers are great but a pain to crimp though feed like nothing else when done right.
    Gold Dots being plated can damage on seating.

    varies some between 9mm and 40sw.
     
  10. pilotbenjamin

    pilotbenjamin New Member

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    I found this a while back and remember how strong the author opposed 147 grain.
    I thought it was a decent source.
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm

    Everyone thinks there are experts on the internet it's hard to keep up.
    someone should send it to mythbusters, find out the best of 9mm, 40sw, .45acp, then which grain and bullet. but I bet they will say "with the right shot placement all these bullets are capable of killing/injuring humans"

    9mm Parabellum (9mm Luger,9x19mm, 9mm NATO, or simply "9mm")

    This is unquestionably the world's most popular pistol round. For this reason it has been the subject of a lot of experimentation, because 9mm ball - used by every army in the Western world - is a mediocre manstopper. Jacketed hollowpoints are a must if one wishes to rely on the 9mm as a defense round. Use ball ammo for practice only.

    9mm ammunition is available in two pressure levels: standard and "+P." The latter should only be used in newer guns (made since 1985 or so), and is best used sparingly. I will deal here with only commercially available ammunition: there are specialized loads available only to law enforcement personnel. Civilians should not worry, as there are commercial loads as good or better than anything restricted to law enforcement usage.

    I will now tell you the best 9mm Luger load for self-defense: it is the Cor-Bon 9mm 115 grain +P Jacketed Hollowpoint. This is the most powerful and street-proven manstopper available in this caliber. It is a high velocity (1340 fps) and high pressure round, and more effective than any load restricted to law enforcement use (such as the Federal 9BPLE).

    Unfortunately, it is also likely to jam many older guns. For this reason I add a table at the end of the 9mm section discussing round suitability for different guns. Modern hollowpoints may either (a) jam, or (b) be too powerful for some older guns. This load is suitable only for First Class pistols (see table).

    The best standard pressure 9mm load is the Federal 115 grain JHP (9BP). Its effectiveness and accuracy make it the world standard. Buy several boxes. Other excellent standard pressure 9mm loads are the Winchester Silvertip 115 grain (X9MMSHP), and Federal 124 grain Hydra-shok (P9HS1).

    For guns that may jam with the Cor-Bon or Federal 115 grain hollow-points, the Remington 115 grain +P JHP is a good choice (R9MM6). For older guns I would use the Remington standard pressure 115 gr. JHP (R9MM1).

    Now it is time to impart some crucial information: NEVER use 147 grain ammo in a 9mm pistol! There was a stupid fad for 147 grain hollowpoints a few years ago, and many were suckered into buying these weak, worthless and malfunction-prone rounds. I don't care what you've heard: never use any 9mm hollowpoint heavier than 125 grains. 147 grain hollowpoints often jam in many popular 9mm guns like the Browning Hi-Power, SIG, Beretta 92, S&W and Glock. Ignore the gun magazine hype and stick to what works. If you want to gamble, go to Reno. Don't gamble with your life. 147 grain ammo sucks.

    Bad 9mm Loads to avoid (and certainly NEVER carry). Numbers given:

    Federal Gold Medal 9mm 147 grain JHP (9MS)
    Federal Hydra-Shok 9mm 147 grain JHP (P9HS2)
    Winchester 147 grain 9mm Silvertip Subsonic JHP (X9MMST147)
    Winchester 147 grain 9mm Super-X Subsonic (XSUB9MM)
    Remington 147 grain 9mm JHP (R9MM8)
    Remington 147 grain 9mm Golden Saber JHP (GS9MMC)
    Remington 140 grain 9mm JHP (R9MM7)
    Remington 88 grain 9mm JHP (R9MM5) This bullet is far too light.
    CCI Lawman 147 grain 9mm PHP "Plated Hollow Point" (3619)
     
  11. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    That's some seriously dated information, pilotbenjamin... The 147's were pretty much junk when they first hit the scene - they very rarely expanded at all. This created a new fad to drool over anything light and fast... The 115's were decent until the Federal 124's came out. Then the +P's were introduced, followed by the +P+. In the past 3 or 4 years the manufacturers have revisited the 147's, particularly interested in new bonded designs. You can do the research yourself if you like - check all the latest and greatest designs from Federal, Golden Saber, Speer, Winchester Ranger... Most of their 115-124 standard pressure and +P stuff is on par with every other good 9mm load on the market. Their 147gr. stuff will prefer neck and neck with their .40S&W offerings or better (with the 9mm in some cases having a larger expanded diameter than the .40 and penetrating just a bit deeper). The 147's are the loads to beat these days...
     
  12. mr. ford

    mr. ford Guest

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    i put federal hydrashok 180gr in my .40
     
  13. MACHINgunIST

    MACHINgunIST Guest

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    The improvement in the 147s is dramatic. Overall, the benefits of bullet R&D are such that the shooter who prefers a certain cartridge can rely on it for SD.....bullet designs in the SD calibers can be specifically tweaked to meet SD criteria.........this is a great time, in terms of technology, for persons who CCW. And........let's not forget about the new propellants.....which have also contributed to better SD ammo.
     
  14. Vauxurellius

    Vauxurellius Guest

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    I like the Barnes XPB bullets. I use the 155gr for .40 S&W. I perfer the larger gr bullets but this is the largest I can find from Barnes directly(already loaded)

    Very good for PD.
     
  15. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    if you're going to a 147gr. +p, why not just shoot a 155-165 gr. .40?

    ammo capacity? c'mon, practice your reloads!!
     
  16. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    Because I'm not shooting 147gr. +P - we're talking standard pressure (or at least I am). And if I was stepping up to .40S&W, I'm going to personally carry 180gr. Winchester Rangers... As far as reloads go, sometimes I do not carry an extra magazine (though I usually do), and I just plain would rather not have to worry about it for 3-6 more rounds if I have the option - practicing reloads is one thing, but actually doing it while someone is trying to shove a knife in your ribcage (or shooting back) is something else entirely :shock:.
     
  17. loudone

    loudone Guest

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    I just bought some 88 grain 9mm rounds, Jacket HP. Does anyone know much about that load?
     
  18. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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  19. dtask

    dtask Member

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    I always figure that if I have to use my carry gun, it'll be a high stress situation and my issue will be dealing with the tunnel vision associated with fight or flight. Capacity, in my opinion, comes into play vitally here. I wouldn't want to have worry about reloading a mag when I'm worrying about shooting straight enough to incapacitate my aggressor. I'm currently trying to determine which of all my Steyr pistols I'm going to keep for this reason specifically.

    That said, I'm leaning towards my carry 9mm with +P+ Winchester Ranger ammo in a hi-cap mag - because it is like carrying a .40 S&W but without the recoil or loss of capacity. I train with ammo from the same lot occasionally to make sure I'm proficient and that the ammo is too - but normally I shoot something else that isn't +P when just shootiing for the sake of my barrel.
     
  20. jimbequik

    jimbequik New Member

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    My perception of recoil is totally different depending on brand of factory ammo, but mostly goes up with speed.

    Oddly the Fiocchi 180gr I've used seemed to have more recoil than 165gr Golden saber, while 140gr DPX has more than that and 155gr Black Hills about the same as the DPX. Winchester Ranger Bonded 180gr has less than all.

    For me I think it comes down to muzzle flip equaling more perceived recoil. The Fiocchi I've used was particularly hot and so produces more muzzle flip than the Winchester load while having more push than the lighter loads.

    I also perceive less recoil from a 147gr 9mm than a 115gr+p