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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Apologies if this has been beaten to death, but I just read this article (link) and wondered if ya'll had any input. Seems like he did his homework, does his argument sound reasonable? Any experience switching from 180gr to 165gr and noticing improved performance (reliability, accuracy, etc)? I know brand of ammo is a completely different discussion, just wondering about the bullet size. Let me know what you think, thanks!
 

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I don't own a .40 of any kind so I can't give you a lot of help. Judging from the range of 185 grain to 230 grain for the .45 acp, generally all being acceptable, it becomes an argument of weight VS speed, penetration VS expansion. I don't see it making any difference in accuracy or point of impact. I'm guessing you will get 33% saying 165, 33% saying it doesn't matter and 33% saying 180 grain. Let's see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I was kind of expecting it to be hit or miss, a lot of personal preference coming in to play. Thanks.
 

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My guess is most of the shooters will shoot whatever weight is most common in target ammo and then 1/2 will opt for the 165 grain for personal defense ammo and the other half will opt for the 180 grain.
 

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I have a tendency to like the lighter loadings with the .40, but try both and check for accuracy and ease of handling.
 

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Presuming they are both reliable in your gun...

Try em both, then carry what "you" shoot the best in "your" particular gun.
 

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I tried both in my 740 and I like the 165 best myself. But as said before, it is whatever you personally like better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, after my first trip to the range with my Slim 40, shooting 180gr, I can say she has a good bit of recoil and muzzle flip. I still want to try the 165gr though, and I will post any differences I notice. I'm still a very new shooter, so my results may very well not be typical! Just thought I'd ask what some more experienced people might have noticed. Thanks for the responses!
 

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He really didn't spend much time warning people that there are "medium-velocity" .40 S&W loads out there. The Prince George's County Police attempted to transition from Beretta Model 92s, loaded with 124 gr. 9mm +P+ ammo, to Beretta Model 96s, loaded with the 165 gr. Federal Hydra-shock medium velocity loads. The 96s wouldn't cycle reliably, for anyone.

The 180 grain loading is a legacy of the FBI protocols of the 1980's. Heavy and deep penetrating, they usually can be characterized "slow & weak". There are a couple of loads that are perkier than the average.

The 165 grain loadings, under the full power guise, tend to work better for police use. However, the idea that a 181.5 Power Factor is virtually identical to the 195.5, or 210.9 Power Factors is specious. If a Power Factor of 14.0 is "almost the same", then what is the 8.7 Power Factor between the full-power 165 gr., and the 180 gr. standard offering? Just doesn't compute.

The 165 grain rounds tend to penetrate less deeply, stopping at the now accepted 12-14" maximum, and expand much more dramatically while doing so. THAT is the reason for advocating them, not comparing them to .45 ACP rounds in Power Factor.
 

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One of the things that kept me away from the .40 S&W for a long time was the FBI continuing to find ways to reduce the recoil so that it was exceptable to that 95 percentile agent (mostly small men and women). As I remember they started with a 200 grain bullet, then went to the 180, and 165 and 155 searching for a load light enough to satisfied the recoil sensitive FBI agents. It just sounds like hair brained logic when looking for a "more powerful" round but with less recoil than the .45 Auto. Fact is felt recoil in a .40 S&W is harsher than in a .45 Auto due to the sharper, quicker recoil pulse of the .40 S&W and its higher pressure round. So a 200 grain .40 S&W loaded to it SAMMI max is going to have more felt recoil than a 200 grain .45 Auto loaded to its SAMMI max and the .45 Auto should have the edge in velocity too. Doesn't sound much like "more powerful, less recoil" to me. But it does have an advantages in working well in 9mm sized auto pistols, offering higher capacities than the .45 Auto and it just better fits in a smaller package than the .45 Auto.

Now that I have a Kahr CW-40, I am warming up to the round. In my CW-40, the 165 grain bullets, in general, have less felt recoil than the 180 grain bullets. And from a personal point of view, I like my bullets traveling faster than the speed of sound, unless I'm using a suppressor. The 155-165 grain bullets in the .40 S&W can be pushed to velocities comparable to the 115-125 grain bullets in a 9mm and more mass and larger diameter are always better. What has surprised me is that .40 S&W recoil in my CW-40 is very controllable and only marginally harsher than a good 9mm+P in the CW-9, but I intend to stick with the 155-165 grain range of bullets and not with the harder recoiling 180 grain bullets in the interest of controlability, not because one has better terminal performance than the other. They both hit hard enough to do the job. For me in a small CC pistol, controlability is at least as important as power of the round. Multiple hits on target are much preferred to multiple misses, or sporadic hits, at least IMO.
 

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Bringing this back to the surface as I would like to know if anyone has seen or shot the Federal 135 gr Hydro-Shock??? OK, I know 135 grain bullets have been around but not like this loading as it is a REDUCED RECOIL load!

JR, It gets a whole lot closer to that magic LE round just like a 9mm! 135 gr. at 1200 FPS!

See Link:

Federal Premium - Handgun Details

This load is in stock at all the local Wal-Marts in this area, so I'm surprised it has not come up!

Any one shot this?? How about in a 740 Slim????
 
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