For any 40 S&W Shooters - 165 vs 180 grain

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    Tennessee Jed
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    For any 40 S&W Shooters - 165 vs 180 grain

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:44 pm

    I've been working through a concept lately, converting my Glock 20 to 40 S&W and using it as a primary CCW pistol in 40 S&W.  Wanted to see if there's a performance edge in shooting 40 S&W ammo out of the bigger pistol.

    I have shot the G20 with 40 S&W ammo at IDPA before with a conversion barrel.  At the time I occasionally carried the G20 with 165 grain Gold Dot  DoubleTap 10mm ammo at about 1300 fps, so I shot it at-speed at IDPA with some pretty warm 165 grain ammo (about 1100 - 1150 fps).  

    What I learned shooting it at IDPA was that, with 40 S&W ammo, shooting the G20 was a different experience.  Sort of like shooting high performance 38 special ammo out of a 357 mag.

    I've spent enough time shooting higher powered 10mm ammo at the range at multiple targets to realize it's a difficult task.  It can be done, but I'm not convinced that any extra ammo performance obtained is worth the recoil, report and pseudo-flinch it gives me.  So, I've decided to take that idea a little further, and see what I will learn if I pursue the G20 as a regular carry piece, but instead focus on it as a large 40 S&W instead of a 10mm.

    Took it to the range over the weekend to compare bullet weights.  I had my 165 grain 1100-1150 fps rounds (duplicating high performance 165 grain ammo), and some 180 grain 1000 rounds (duplicating high performance 180 grain ammo).

    Here's the weird part.  There was a remarkable difference in shooting the two types of ammo. The 165 was still snappy, not as much as 10mm 165 grain, but still a lot more snappy than 9mm from my G19.  However, shooting the 180 grain out of the G20 really did feel like I was shooting a larger version of my G19.  Lower recoil led to much faster shooting.  

    Seems like I might have found the match I was looking for.  I'm gonna start handloading a bunch of 180 grain bullets at 1000 fps to continue to experiment and confirm reliable feeding, but so far so good, and zero malfunctions in this weight range, not to mention it is sooooooo much easier to shoot.   The notable difference was VERY surprising.  

    And on the way home I bought a couple of boxes of Winchester Ranger-T 40 S&W ammo in 180 grain.
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    Devereaux
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    Re: For any 40 S&W Shooters - 165 vs 180 grain

    Post by Devereaux on Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:13 pm

    Do the math. It's momentum that you feel, not energy.

    SO:

    165x1150=189,750
    180x1000=180,000

    If you use the 180 for base, then your reduction in momentum is about 5.5%. Not inconsequential.

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