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I just ordered a couple of Sigs in this caliber as a compromise on size of handgun and still keeping a 40+ caliber. I haven't kept up with this caliber much. In fact I only knew of 155 and 180gr bullets. Now I find a bunch of different loads and several velocities of some of the loads. What's the best load for the 40 S&W for self defense. I have always been of the mind set that heavier bullets are better but that isn't always the case. What would you recommend for the 40 and why?
 

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First of all, you only get so much power from a handgun. Period. Stopping threats comes from correct shot placement either to the CNS, (brain or upper spine) or the various blood rich organs as the heart, liver, or thoratic or femoral blood vessels. So the ultimate goal of handgun is really reliability. As close to 100% cycling reliability as possible. After that, bullet designs can be experimented with, to provide better performance, so long as reliability, as close to 100%, is not comprimised. One of my favorite is the Federa Premium Hydra-Shok, in 165 and 180 grain. The have great bullet shape for max reliability and functioning, and readily expand to act on attackers, and somewhat limit penetration on walls etc. Good shooting! :D
 

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Check out ammolab.com they have some pretty good test results for all kind of bullets. Basically the .40 is a mid range caliber and generally works best with mid weight bullets 155-165. Of course if we look at the hole reason for the .40's existance. The FBI after the infamouse Miami shootout spent a bunch of our money and decided that a 180 gr downloaded 10mm at about 950 fps would be ideal as a service pistol. S&W said hey we can do that with a shorter case use small primers and get it to fit in a slew of 9mm platforms that most people can grasp and the rest is history. With all that I carry a .40 daily. A Kahr. P40 summertime and a Browning Hipower winter time. My ammo of choice after alot of research is the Federal Expanding FMJ. I think federal really screwed up marketing this. They basically advertise it for use where you can't use HollowPoint. But I read the history of its development and it is was intended to be a great antipersonal round in any situation. unlike hollowpoints it does not need liquid to expand reliably, wont clog up with clothing and seems to expand the same reguardless of what it hits or how many layers of clothing. Best of all it comes in a box of 50 like bullets are supposed to for the same price as other premium defense loads box of 20 -25.
 
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