Best Defense Ammo for .40 S&W


RockGIV

New member
I have a S&W M&P .40 and I am looking for a round that is reliable. I was looking at hornady critical defense ammo but i heard the rubbery tip can often cause malfunctions with some guns.

So now I am kinda stuck on what to get and have been looking at Hornady TAP and DoubleTap's 135 Gr. round that has 567 lbs of energy. just looking for more insight. Thank you:biggrin:
 

GregAllen

New member
I've been carrying a custom handload for years in .40S&W. It's a Nosler 135 gr JHP with 12.5 gr of AA#7 powder and CCI primers. Basically, it's Corbon's 135gr .40 load. I chose this load about the same time that Corbon began marketing theirs in the early 1990s. I've had excellent accuracy with this load and the penetration is typically about 13 inches in soft media, which is desirable. With all that said, I came upon some information not long ago that has given me cause to re-evaluate my choices in ammo.

Scroll about 1/4th of the way down and you'll see an interesting comparison of wound cavities in ballistic gelatin.
Link Removed S&W

You won't see this said outright, but you might as well find a reasonably priced quality ammo that performs well. For the money and performance, Remington Golden Saber might just be the best deal out there.
 

tactical85

New member
I used to carry Hornady TAP 155 gr in my Glock 23, until I shot through a wall, a cabinet and halfway through an oven and after digging the bullet out it had zero expansion but still had part of a doughnut in the tip! (I wasn't meaning to test the round by the way) I then went to Speer Gold Dot 180 grain, I highly recommend it, and most every LEO I've talked to says its the best round and has excellent penetration and expansion.
 

G50AE

Well-known member
I use the 155gr. Speer Gold Dot as one of my ammo options. I am also partial to the Remington Golden Saber, Triton Quik-Shok, PMC Starfire, and Glasser Pow-R-Ball rounds.
 

Crazy bird

New member
Pdx1

I use Winchester PDX1 like it said the Feds know and it shoots pretty good out of me M&P PRO 40 . 180 gr. hope I never have to use them ever !!!!
 

tbone1964

New member
I use wnchester 155 gr silvertip JHP good penetration and expansion light recoil, the experts say 94% one stop shots.. cant confirm this cause I aint shot noone yet , but if I do I'll let ya know the outcome :)
 

Treo

Bullet Proof
I used to carry Hornady TAP 155 gr in my Glock 23, until I shot through a wall, a cabinet and halfway through an oven and after digging the bullet out it had zero expansion but still had part of a doughnut in the tip! (I wasn't meaning to test the round by the way) I then went to Speer Gold Dot 180 grain, I highly recommend it, and most every LEO I've talked to says its the best round and has excellent penetration and expansion.

:biggrin: Come on man we gotta here this one :biggrin:
 

tpd223

New member
There is no JHP handgun ammo that will expand through building materials, unless you start shooting concrete blocks.

Basing carry ammo choice on an ND through building material is ridiculous.


The Ranger-T, Gold Dot, HST and Golden Saber lines are all top notch. Pick the cheapest one in 165gr or 180gr that is reliable in your gun and you'll have nothing to worry about.
 

aj's 40 cal

New member
i shoot a M&P as well and along with my xd-40 subcompact, they are loaded with winchester t series, federal hst, winchester pdx1, or speer gold dots. i like 155 grain or 165 grain. i have other ammo as well, but 99% of the time its the loads above that get carried. all have great stopping power and all preform well imo.
 
J

JSDinTexas

Guest
I would look at the ammo mfg website and get ballistic info there to make your decision. Almost all mfg offers a good bit of info on their respective ammo. Then buy a small box of a few and give them a try.
Case in point: Looking at Federal Hydra-Shok, .40 180 grain bullet is faster with more ft lbs of energy than the 165 grain (most of the time lighter slugs go faster w/ more punch). I figured this was a typo on their site so I called them and they said the manufacture 165g as a reduced load for FBI use, and that their ballistics on the site are correct. Who would have guessed?
To answer the question, I find Speer GD seems to have a little more bang but not better expansion than others necessarily; Win SXT is a good expander as is their Silvertip (which I use in 10mm for hunting); and of course Hydra-Shok which I use in 180 grain as well as in my .45 at 230 grain because it goes through windshields and car doors a little better and the post also helps with thick clothing (however the Hydra-Shok is being replaced with Federal HST by some depts and is becoming popular). The ones I don't buy are the high dollar Hornady, Car-Bon, and that group - too much money for not much more stoppage.
The objective is to go into the organs with the largest hole available for maximum damage - that's why at the house I have a .72 caliber by the bed :biggrin:
 

tpd223

New member
The reduced or "mid-range" loads were made due to folks having issues with recoil, or many Glock 22s having issues with fails-to-feed with full power ammo, especially when a tac light is mounted on the G22.

Federal has a mid-range 165gr load, and Speer has a mid-range 165gr Gold Dot, both to FBI specs.

There are very few bad .40 loads, wound ballistics wise, you can basically pick any quality brand and load from 155gr to 180gr and be good-to-go as long as it is reliable in your gun.
 
J

JSDinTexas

Guest
The reduced or "mid-range" loads were made due to folks having issues with recoil, or many Glock 22s having issues with fails-to-feed with full power ammo, especially when a tac light is mounted on the G22.

Federal has a mid-range 165gr load, and Speer has a mid-range 165gr Gold Dot, both to FBI specs.

There are very few bad .40 loads, wound ballistics wise, you can basically pick any quality brand and load from 155gr to 180gr and be good-to-go as long as it is reliable in your gun.

Yes, I have heard about reduced loads not working well in Glocks - I don't use them because recoil is a non-issue with me until I get up to the 10mm and there experience a bit of trouble with reacquiring the target. And in the Glock .40, I would not necessarily go below 165 grain.
 

tpd223

New member
You read that wrong sir, those reduced loads were made because the Glock 22 often has problems with full power ammo.

The issue is fails-to-feed due to excessive slide velocity, the reduced loads slow things down enough where the system feeds as it should.
 
J

JSDinTexas

Guest
You read that wrong sir, those reduced loads were made because the Glock 22 often has problems with full power ammo.

The issue is fails-to-feed due to excessive slide velocity, the reduced loads slow things down enough where the system feeds as it should.

Yes, did read it incorrectly - I was thinking of someone scared of the recoil and really responding to an article I read about a million years ago on the light slugs and reduced loads not having enough power to cycle properly. I stand corrected and appreciate your post. That's what I get for being on 2 forums at the same time. :biggrin:
 

Felix

New member
I carry a .40 S&W loaded with the highly-regarded Federal HST from Link Removed. The Federal LE Tactical Bonded is another good choice and some say an even better choice for shorter-barreled pistols. Both are widely used in police and federal government agency defensive and offensive applications.
 

Felix

New member
Since a member just sent me a PM asking which Federal HST loading I use, I'll also put it in this thread.

SIG P229 .40 S&W, winter-months carry when heavy outerwear is the norm, I prefer the extra penetrating power of the 180 grain loading; albeit lower ME. Summer, the 165 grain.

Federal LE ammo specs Link Removed.
 

tpd223

New member
The HST is a superb choice in any caliber for which it is available.

I am not sure why so many folks think they need more penetration in the winter, any kind of normal clothing, including leather coats, etc doesn't even begin to slow down a service caliber handgun bullet.
 

Felix

New member
I am not sure why so many folks think they need more penetration in the winter, any kind of normal clothing, including leather coats, etc doesn't even begin to slow down a service caliber handgun bullet.

Oh, I think you're reading too much into that...no one is insinuating heavy winter outerwear is going to significantly reduce penetration. We're not talking light body armor here!

Someone awhile back posted (but I didn't find it with a quick search) a governmental agency report on the subject...penetration tests into ballistic gel through various layers of clothing to include several versions of winter coats.

One of the tested rounds was my daily carry (.40 S&W) so I paid particular attention to that portion of the report since it documented a penetration reduction of slightly under 10% after passing through a heavy winter coat and winter-weight shirt even though the bullet's expansion diameter wasn't enough larger to be statistically significant versus through light clothing. Is that going to make any practical difference in the big scheme of things? Probably not. Whether the bullet penetrates 12 inches or 13 inches, the results are still similar as long as it doesn't fragment. And as expected, heavier bullets were less affected by heavy layers of clothing.

OTOH, the bigger surprise was that some hollow point bullets (not the Federals) clogged up with heavy outerwear material and functioned more like a FMJ and actually penetrated further due to limited expansion. Largely negated the benefits of using a hollow-point round which typically expands 150% or so with handgun velocities.
 

New Threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
49,592
Messages
626,042
Members
74,593
Latest member
txshooter308
Top