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docent
12-15-2016, 10:49 AM
Help me out here please. Reading about 40 caliber ammo, 180 & 165 grain, it travels about the same speed. What's the difference between the two for performance?

zapatito92
12-15-2016, 11:00 AM
ammo that weighs less (fewer grains weight) will generally not recoil quite as much as loads with a higher grains weight.

The heavier bullet will probably travel slower, the lighter one will probably travel faster.

Heavy, fast bullets are going to result in quite a bit of kick. Heavy slow bullets, not as much.

Light, slow bullets will recoil very little, but light bullets are also usually launched at very high velocity, so a lot of recoil can result from as a higher charge weight will probably be utilized to drive that light bullet faster.

Catch
12-15-2016, 11:09 AM
You might find more hp options in 165gr.
Perfectas come in 170gr.

stilly
12-15-2016, 11:14 AM
Power and energy also comes into play. Heavier bullets travelling faster tend to have more power with them when they hit.

Lighter ones will not have as much power, but you can increase the velocity of them and kick the power up more...

I got 160gr .45 acp loads that have about as much power as a .357 magnum. when they hit. And of course, they are traveling at around 1200+ fps as well...

emptybottle151
12-15-2016, 11:49 AM
Get whichever is cheaper. If you are lead casting go heavy.

Jason_2111
12-15-2016, 12:12 PM
All depends on what your shooting at.

Paper doesn't care one way or the other. I like heavier bullets when knocking down steels.
As for cost... heavier bullet, less powder... so you spend more for lead, but less for powder. You're not going to see a huge cost difference loading 200, but 10K, it can make a difference.

Rotting
12-15-2016, 3:55 PM
There is *no* inherent advantage or disadvantage to either bullet weight. Heavier bullets do not NECESSARILY perform better against steel or vice versa. Nor does either bullet weight imply more or less power or recoil in the cartridge they are used.

Research "muzzle energy" and "muzzle energy calculator" and you will see that knowing the bullet weight is only half of the equation and, therefore, implies nothing about the performance of the cartridge in which the bullet is used.

Most of the time you will notice that the performance is very, very similar across manufacturers' product lines. Sometimes the 180gr cartridge produces more energy, sometimes the 165gr cartridge does. This is the result of the manufacturer making a design compromise to achieve manufacturing efficiency NOT the result of an attempt to optimize the performance of each cartridge.

lost Bob
12-15-2016, 5:02 PM
Generally lighter weight projectiles in most calibers have higher muzzle velocities. This gives them higher "energy" as the formula for computing energy uses mass times the velocity squared. A relatively small increase in velocity can make a large difference in muzzle energy.

Does the lighter bullet have better terminal ballistics? Depends on all kinds of variables like bullet type (lead, FMJ, self defense hollow point, etc.), nature of the target, range to target, etc.

It's the light/fast versus heavy/slow discussion. The .40 S&W was designed with the 180 grain bullet.

ar15robert
12-15-2016, 5:12 PM
Lighter is faster but will also lose fps as it goes further.

Like said paper it aint gonna matter.I have shot anywhere from 185 to 230 with my .45 and the 200 seems to be right on as far as my sights go.

Rotting
12-15-2016, 5:26 PM
Generally lighter weight projectiles in most calibers have higher muzzle velocities. This gives them higher "energy" as the formula for computing energy uses mass times the velocity squared. A relatively small increase in velocity can make a large difference in muzzle energy.

Does the lighter bullet have better terminal ballistics? Depends on all kinds of variables like bullet type (lead, FMJ, self defense hollow point, etc.), nature of the target, range to target, etc.

It's the light/fast versus heavy/slow discussion. The .40 S&W was designed with the 180 grain bullet.

Sorry, Bob, but your first paragraph is just not factual. Higher muzzle velocity, by itself, does not imply higher energy. Just as lower bullet weight does not imply lower energy. To compute muzzle energy, one must account for BOTH mass and velocity. So, a 180 grain projectile moving at 1025 fps at the muzzle is in a higher energy state (420 ft-lbs) than a 165 grain projective moving at 1050 fps at the muzzle (404 ft-lbs) -- even though the 165 grain bullet is at a higher velocity at the muzzle. But what happens if you crank that 165 grain bullet's velocity up to 1075? You get 424 ft-lbs of energy. You can do the same thing for the 180 grain bullet and flip flop the energy "advantage" over the 165 grain.

Ammunition manufacturers try to streamline everything they do to make their manufacturing process simple and efficient. So, you will likely find among an entire line of ammunition for a caliber, the same seating depth, the same casing, primer, powder, etc. All with the goal of keeping the cartridge's internal pressure below their target threshold. Sometimes, depending on the variables above, this results in the 180gr product to produce higher energy numbers, sometimes the reverse. The same thing applies to 115gr, 124gr and 147gr in 9mm. You will find that with different manufacturers, each of those bullet weights "wins" within certain product lines. Why is this possible? Because there is no INHERENT quality of the differently weighted projectiles which implies any energy advantage or disadvantage.

So, there is an interplay between mass and velocity that must be taken into account. Another way of thinking of this is that for any given energy, mass and velocity are inversely related. That is, they are on a see-saw, as mass increases, velocity decreases and vice versa.

lost Bob
12-15-2016, 7:07 PM
.40 S&W factory load specs from Speer 2010 catalog;


155 grain Gold Dot 1200 fps 496 ft. lbs. at muzzle
165 grain Gold Dot 1150 fps 484 ft. lbs. at muzzle
180 grain Gold Dot 1025 fps 420 ft. lbs. at muzzle

Similar differences in 9mm, .45 ACP, .357 Mag, etc. As bullet weights go up velocity goes down and therefore energy decrease follows. I've seen similar differences in loads by Federal, Hornady, Remington, etc.


Energy is computed by squaring the velocity so it makes a larger difference than increase in mass (weight). If you compare energy for same weight .38 special and .357 mag bullets this will be very clear-velocity makes a BIG difference.

AandO
12-15-2016, 7:46 PM
.40 S&W factory load specs from Speer 2010 catalog;


155 grain Gold Dot 1200 fps 496 ft. lbs. at muzzle
165 grain Gold Dot 1150 fps 484 ft. lbs. at muzzle
180 grain Gold Dot 1025 fps 420 ft. lbs. at muzzle

Similar differences in 9mm, .45 ACP, .357 Mag, etc. As bullet weights go up velocity goes down and therefore energy decrease follows. I've seen similar differences in loads by Federal, Hornady, Remington, etc.


Energy is computed by squaring the velocity so it makes a larger difference than increase in mass (weight). If you compare energy for same weight .38 special and .357 mag bullets this will be very clear-velocity makes a BIG difference.


Thanks Lost Bob. Glad I found you. LOL

I bought a Boatload (about 20k total) of Speer .40 LE Ammo Gold Dots in 155, 165 and 180gr for my wife's Berretta 96 and Springfield XD.

We found the 165 better in the Berretta and the 155 better in the XD.

By better I men more manageable and thereby more accurate. The 180gr bullet seemed harder to place proper in either platform. But man oh man is the 155grn'r spot on perfect in the XD.

As always it is subjective and your mileage will most likely be different.

But man what a hoot to find the proper ammo for your gun.................

Briancnelson
12-15-2016, 8:06 PM
Because of compression in 180 loads there is pretty significant evidence 155-165 is the sweet spot for effective .40 loads. I wouldn't load 180s

Rotting
12-15-2016, 9:31 PM
.40 S&W factory load specs from Speer 2010 catalog;


155 grain Gold Dot 1200 fps 496 ft. lbs. at muzzle
165 grain Gold Dot 1150 fps 484 ft. lbs. at muzzle
180 grain Gold Dot 1025 fps 420 ft. lbs. at muzzle

Similar differences in 9mm, .45 ACP, .357 Mag, etc. As bullet weights go up velocity goes down and therefore energy decrease follows. I've seen similar differences in loads by Federal, Hornady, Remington, etc.


Energy is computed by squaring the velocity so it makes a larger difference than increase in mass (weight). If you compare energy for same weight .38 special and .357 mag bullets this will be very clear-velocity makes a BIG difference.

First, you are cherry picking one product line among one manufacturer's offerings to make a point. I don't have to tell you how meaningless that one set of data is in trying to draw a conclusion. What do you find when you look at Winchester WB's data? Or Vihtavuori's data for N350 for the Hornady 155s vs 180s?

But most importantly, it is clear that you have a very poor understanding of the mathematics or physics concepts involved in this discussion. I do NOT say that to insult you, but rather, to encourage you to stop from disseminating false information.

When you say "energy is computed by squaring the velocity so it makes a larger difference than an increase in the mass (weight)," this shows a misunderstanding at the most basic level of his discussion. Clearly, mass and velocity are not measured in the same units. So, how does one determine how or WHY a certain change of mass corresponds to an associated change in velocity? Furthermore, since the energy of the system is the known quantity in the fundamental that we have both been referencing, your claim makes even LESS sense. By definition, changes in mass and velocity would scale together.

It seems that you are trying to make the point that as far as handgun ballistics go, the lighter the projectile, the higher the energy in any given cartridge. And that is an absolutely illogical and false statement. One that is easily discoverable as such.

stilly
12-15-2016, 9:59 PM
Not bad not bad...

We lasted 10 posts before the cheerios got pissed in and then four more and the fight is on...

:popcorn:

Psychbiker
12-15-2016, 10:54 PM
I load 147gr in 9mm that have less recoil than 115gr factory.

Depends on powder you use and what you're trying to accomplish.

lost Bob
12-15-2016, 11:52 PM
http://www.ballistics101.com/40_caliber_sw.php




Check this link and draw your own conclusions.

If I misled anyone I apologize. I am not a physicist or ballistician and only have about 9 years of reloading experience. Muzzle energy equals muzzle velocity squared, times bullet weight in grains , then divided by 450,400. This equation shows that increases in velocity CAN have more influence than increases in bullet weight in regards to energy at the muzzle since the velocity value is squared.
When we talk about the much higher velocities reached by rifle cartridges the situation may change as the changes in velocity become smaller percentages- a 200 fps increase in a handgun bullet that goes from 1200 fps to 1400 fps is huge compared to a 200 fps change in a rifle load that increases from 2800 fps to 3000 fps.

I assumed the OP was asking about factory ammunition. Some .40 cal factory loads are "40 lite" reduced velocity/recoil loads. I bet most of the mainstream ammo companies do not load any cartridge to max pressure. If we talk about handloads it opens more possibilities like going to a larger charge of a slower powder. But we are still constrained by physics and the pressure limits of the gun/cartridge and good safe loading practices.

In my loading manuals max loads for heavier handgun bullets never reach the velocities of max loads with lighter bullets for the same cartridge. Heavier bullets have more inertia, probably have more bearing area/bore friction and may take up more room inside the case reducing powder capacity without compressing the load. It is *usually* safe to use data from a heavier bullet for a similar type/shape lighter bullet, but NOT the other way around.

Muzzle energy is a computed value and is probably not the most important element in choosing ammunition or selecting load data.

mif_slim
12-16-2016, 7:26 AM
180gr so you can ride the major PF line. :D

Rotting
12-16-2016, 8:47 AM
http://www.ballistics101.com/40_caliber_sw.php




Check this link and draw your own conclusions.

If I misled anyone I apologize. I am not a physicist or ballistician and only have about 9 years of reloading experience. Muzzle energy equals muzzle velocity squared, times bullet weight in grains , then divided by 450,400. This equation shows that increases in velocity CAN have more influence than increases in bullet weight in regards to energy at the muzzle since the velocity value is squared.
When we talk about the much higher velocities reached by rifle cartridges the situation may change as the changes in velocity become smaller percentages- a 200 fps increase in a handgun bullet that goes from 1200 fps to 1400 fps is huge compared to a 200 fps change in a rifle load that increases from 2800 fps to 3000 fps.

I assumed the OP was asking about factory ammunition. Some .40 cal factory loads are "40 lite" reduced velocity/recoil loads. I bet most of the mainstream ammo companies do not load any cartridge to max pressure. If we talk about handloads it opens more possibilities like going to a larger charge of a slower powder. But we are still constrained by physics and the pressure limits of the gun/cartridge and good safe loading practices.

In my loading manuals max loads for heavier handgun bullets never reach the velocities of max loads with lighter bullets for the same cartridge. Heavier bullets have more inertia, probably have more bearing area/bore friction and may take up more room inside the case reducing powder capacity without compressing the load. It is *usually* safe to use data from a heavier bullet for a similar type/shape lighter bullet, but NOT the other way around.

Muzzle energy is a computed value and is probably not the most important element in choosing ammunition or selecting load data.

First, I just want to say, I am not intending to be a jerk or overly officious or even dismissive of what you're saying in this thread. But, I want to do my part to ensure that any discussion that I am a part of doesn't serve to spread misinformation (especially about things like ammunition, handloading, etc.). So, where I am direct or even harsh here, it is only for that purpose and not to "score points" against you or make you feel stupid or anything along those lines.

You post a link that shows a TREND of mass manufactured ammunition loading 40S&W cartridges 165gr bullet cartridges to a higher muzzle energy than the 180gr counterparts. However, on the chart in your link, we also see many cases of 180gr cartridges being loaded to a higher muzzle energy than 165gr within the same manufacturer. Look at the Winchester data in the linked chart, for example. And I could direct you to Vihtavuori's handgun data site, which provides a 40S&W load with 200gr bullet using N105 powder achieving 540 ft-lbs of muzzle energy, higher than anything using 165gr shown in your linked chart. None of this, on either side, answers the question presented from the outset of this thread. All of it is merely anecdotal evidence.

Furthermore, none of what you post implies what you have been stating repeatedly in this thread, which is "the lighter the projectile, the higher velocity, and therefore the higher energy." This remains a false statement.

And you keep circling back to the "increases in velocity have a more drastic effect than changes in mass." But, I don't understand where you think this "increase in velocity" comes from? One doesn't just arbitrarily inject "more velocity" into the system by fiat. The velocity of the bullet as it leaves the muzzle is the RESULT of potential energy being converted into kinetic energy and work being done on the bullet. We, as loaders, can do things that affect what that muzzle velocity will be by affecting the other factors in the equation, but that's the whole point, isn't it? If bullet mass alone implied the muzzle energy of the system, we as loaders wouldn't be able to overcome that quality of the system UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. And we know that's not the case.

It may be that most of the time, hell, I'll even grant you that a vast majority of the time, that in 40 S&W, 165 grain ammunition will be factory loaded to achieve higher muzzle energy than the same line's 180 grain ammunition. But, this still misses the point, which is: one cannot tell ANYTHING about the muzzle energy of a cartridge by knowing the bullet's mass alone. You might make a guess based on trends, but to answer someone's question on "what is the difference between 165gr and 180gr ammo in 40S&W?", with "the lighter the bullet, the higher the energy" is leading that person astray. That is not always the case, even if it is common. The responsible thing to do is to teach the person how bullet weight plays into the calculations that will indicate muzzle energy (among other things).

If this were common practice, perhaps we would stop reading misinformation that is commonly found on gun forums, such as: "heavier bullets are better against steel" or "lighter bullets make a lower power factor" or other nonsense.

AandO
12-16-2016, 10:38 AM
Stilly was RIGHT.

robert101
12-16-2016, 1:46 PM
Energy calculations are fine but not my determining factor. If you really want to know which bullet weight is right for you. Go shoot stuff like wood, reams of paper, car doors, bottles of water, refrigerators, etc. I've found that GENERALLY the heavier bullet moving at its caliber maximum velocity will penetrate further. For ME, I want that bullet with good expansion. I choose the 180 grain in the .40 S&W for this simple purpose. Energy numbers don't tell the entire picture and my rag silly testing doesn't either really. But, we all need some measure of logic to come to a conclusion. I choose to use the general penetration method. I tend to believe the FBI ballistic testing basically does the same thing in a more controlled environment.

TexasJackKin
12-16-2016, 2:06 PM
Stilly was RIGHT.

I've never known him to be wrong, well, not completely wrong anyways.......

lost Bob
12-16-2016, 2:44 PM
Energy calculations are fine but not my determining factor. If you really want to know which bullet weight is right for you. Go shoot stuff like wood, reams of paper, car doors, bottles of water, refrigerators, etc. I've found that GENERALLY the heavier bullet moving at its caliber maximum velocity will penetrate further. For ME, I want that bullet with good expansion. I choose the 180 grain in the .40 S&W for this simple purpose. Energy numbers don't tell the entire picture and my rag silly testing doesn't either really. But, we all need some measure of logic to come to a conclusion. I choose to use the general penetration method. I tend to believe the FBI ballistic testing basically does the same thing in a more controlled environment.

This seems like a good approach!