View Full Version : .40S&W Target/Defense Ammo?Your choices?

July 7, 1999, 10:03 AM
I need some input from all of you that own or have had experience with .40S&W ammo. Which brand/grain do you recommend? I have heard from some that 165gr is the ideal grain for the .40 caliber. Don't know if it's true or not.

Brands that have been suggested to me with good overall reviews:

Brands that have been suggested but have received mixed or poor reviews:

Your input would be greatly appreciated.
Take care.

July 7, 1999, 12:14 PM
"greent" of CALIBERS website recommends the 165gr because the casing leaves no margins for error. By scaling the grain of the bullet from 180 to 165, you leave for room for error, and avoid any potential ammo problems.

Beyond that, actual grain load will vary depending on the size of the barrel. For example, I've used the 165gr on my pistols with 3.5in barrels without any problems. And guns with 3.5in barrels generally aren't meant for beyond 50 yards anyway, so I don't see any reason why I should use any other type of grains. Furthermore, this alleviates any kind of muscle memory problems (if any) since the felt recoil of different grained ammo are not the same.

Other than that, the brands, IMHO, is a matter of preference. I can't perceive any definitive advantage of one company's ammo from the other. So long as they well-known brands, it doesn't really matter. But I do recommend stick only with ones that have proven to perform with your gun and staying with them.

July 7, 1999, 04:29 PM
I use CCI Blazer in 155 gr but it comes in 165 gr version also. Inexpensive and I have had no malfunctions in my Glock 40 S&W pistols.


July 7, 1999, 04:34 PM
I see I overlooked defense loads. I use Winchester Silvertips 155 gr in my carry G23 and have never had a malfunction but my G23 has never malfunctioned with any load.



[This message has been edited by OJ (edited July 10, 1999).]

July 7, 1999, 05:39 PM
For defense, I did some very subjective and informal testing of several different brands and weights of .40 ammo. The deepest penetrators and the only ones to expand every time were the Rem. Golden Sabers, both in 165 and 180 gr.. Though most recommend the 165 gr. over the 180's, the 180's were slightly better for me. The only other load I tested which expanded most of the time was the Silvertip, which I like also. This was in a Glock 27.

They don't get much support on the bulletin boards I've visited, but I've been very impressed with Golden Sabers in .38 Spl., .40 S&W, and .45 ACP (230 gr., haven't tried the lighter ones).

July 7, 1999, 06:29 PM
I'm another Remington Golden Sabre fan. They seem to expand very reliably and well, penetrate well, and they're accurate out of my pistols. I prefer the 165gr, but I'd take 180gr any day.

After the GS duo I'd go for Winchester Silvertip 155gr.

I've yet to try Federal HS, or Speer/CCI Gold Dot, though I've been meaning to. I've heard great things about Pro-Load as well (Gold Dot bullets, I recall). For now, though, I'll stick with the Remingtons. Best prices I've found are from <a href="http://www.midwayusa.com/">Midway USA</a>.

July 7, 1999, 06:33 PM
For self defense, I like the Corbon 135gr...
The only problem with it is, it's hard to find practice loads that light.

Mixed reviews on Corbon? That's just weird.

July 8, 1999, 12:28 AM
I looked into ProLoad (www.proload.com) and will try to order some for testing in the near future. The price for their defense load is about par with the Federal Hydra-Shok's. However, their target ammo is a bit more expensive than most ammo out there (Federal American Eagle, CCI Blazer, Winchester, etc.) If there bullet is as good they claim it to be, then perhaps it would be worth forking over a bit more (only for defense loads). For now, I'll stick to Winchester, Federal's and the like for target ammo.

Has anyone ever shot with "Laser-Cast" bullets (the so-called Silver Bullet)? www.laser-cast.com (http://www.laser-cast.com)

I thought these were factory ammo. I called the number listed in the website, and when they told me they sold 100 rds for $8.00, I knew they were re-loads. That's where I ended the conversation.

July 8, 1999, 12:36 AM

I put that Laser-Cast sold 100rds. for $8.00. I believe that is what I heard. I will check with them tomorrow, and re-verify the price.

Take care.

July 8, 1999, 12:48 AM
As far as I'm concerned, ProLoad is the best self-defense ammo on the market. I don't trust Corbon's .40S&W loads, as they label them +P, a designation that does not exist in the SAAMI specifications for this caliber. The .40 Glocks are not the guns to use when messing around with over-pressure ammo.

July 8, 1999, 10:17 PM
I use 165 Golden Saber for defense. For practice I use PMC 165 FMJ. The PMC ammo is about $170.00 per thousand.

July 9, 1999, 01:31 PM
Laser-Cast/Oregon Trail sells bullets only. They're very hard and very good, IME.

You'll get much better pricing going for 500. My .357s totaled 4.4 cents each, including shipping to my door.

July 9, 1999, 03:39 PM
I've heard that most companies (if not all) don't recommend using re-loads due to quality/reliability reasons. Company's such as Laser-Cast/Oregon trail sell re-loads. They claim to be of high quality. In your opinion, would you recommend using this type of ammo, or should I stick with Factory FMJ ammo such as Winchester, Federal, etc?


July 9, 1999, 04:29 PM
In my Kahr K-40 I like to tote the Winchester 155-grain Silvertip. It's rather inexpensive at $18 for a big box of 50, flashes very little, excellent results in tests I've seen, it's loaded very hot at 1205 fps, and the gapping cavity in the end of the hollowpoint engenders a great deal of confidence. You've got to see it to believe it. I'd like to get some of them loaded onto a 10mm Auto case. OUCH!

Practice ammo comes from Georgia Arms. The 155-grain FMJs have been excellent practice rounds.

- Anthony

July 9, 1999, 06:37 PM



Every man Dies.
Not Every Man Truely Lives...


July 14, 1999, 04:21 PM
I use the Remington 165gr GS too. A second choice for me is the Federal 155gr Hi-Shok. I've always gotten good velocities from this load, while the WW Silvertips actually don't go as fast in my BHP .40.


Don't Tread on Me

Why 10mm beats .45 ACP . . .
www.greent.com/40Page/ammo/10/10mm-advoc.htm (http://www.greent.com/40Page/ammo/10/10mm-advoc.htm)

July 16, 1999, 08:00 PM
If its accurate and reliable in your gun in your hands, we are splitting hairs when it comes to terminal performance (penetration/expansion/stretch) of the 155/165/180 loads from Fed, Rem, Win, Speer, Hornady, ProLoad IMO.

Most are from 13-20 and .55-.70 in gelatin after clothing in the FBI T&E, and there seems to be as much variation from lot to lot within loads as there is from load to load between brands IMO. The Speer GD does seem to be very good through glass.

Look at the June 99 issue of Handguns for the results of the ISP (Indiana State Police) ammo T&E. They actually shot hogs with heavy clothing over them! :)

The only real difference from the above seems to be the 135s from CorBon, Triton, and Feds PDA, and they are pretty much peas in a pod too. Great exp with shallow pen with a gelatin profile that looks a lot like the 125 357 mag. The 150/165 40 loads from Triton/CB that use the Sierra JHC bullet expand really well too.

I've had some probs w Rem 40 165 GS and 124 +P 9mm GS; dented/split cases, extreme extreme spreads. Local sheriffs dept blew up a Glock w Rem UMC 165 FMJ. OTOH, fed had some probs w the 155 HS, and that's what I prefer in my USP (I would feel OK w any 155/165/180 load from Fed, Rem, Win, Speer).


July 17, 1999, 01:08 PM
I shoot the Winchester 180gr FMJ for target, and carry the Federal 165gr JHP (Am going to give Pro-Load a try). Both shoot just fine. I've read that shooting 180gr should be just fine, but 165gr is recommended to give room for margin of error, even when using factory ammo (correct me if I heard it wrong). Unfortunately, everytime I purchase Winchester target ammo, the only available grain is 180 FMJ (probably because it sells more than most other grains). I've seen Federal 155gr target ammo on sale from vendors on the net. What are your recommendations?


July 17, 1999, 06:21 PM
For IPSC I use Black Hills (reloaded) 180 gr. FMJ. For GSSF I use Winchester Ranger Frangile. For defense it's Reminton 165 gr. Golden Saber.