MP-Pistol Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I consider myself an expert on nothing. I have a couple of S&W pistols. One is a M&P 2.0 .40c w/4" barrel. The other a M&P Bodyguard .380 ACP.

I am comfortable with my ability to place rounds on target with each.

My questions have to do with bullet weight (grains):
What is the most effective; viz., lethal, bullet weight to be used with these pistols when having to fend off bad guys?​
Why?​

Appreciate the input and education on this subject!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
I think you are going to get different opinions on this one. There is an argument for heavy for caliber rounds (180gr) and another for lighter rounds (155gr) going faster and therefore having more energy dump. As for being lethal that's kind of subjective and would apply more to hunting game as in a SD situation I would keep shooting until the threat is stopped. That doesn't mean the person is going to or has to die. That's possible but pretty much the law and legalities of having to shoot someone who is threat to your life is until the threat is stopped. If you keep shooting someone who is no longer a threat it becomes murder.

As for the .380 I think if you watch ShootingTheBull410 380 on YouTube you will get a good idea of what .380 rounds do in gelatin both bare and with denim and as always a good video is to watch is a Paul Harrel video for the 40.

There a couple of people who did some pretty scientific gel tests on different rounds: tnoutdoors9 and ScubaOz.
There are hours of interesting viewing on YouTube so if you believe in gel testing those two are pretty scientific.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I agree with ****.

That being said, I carry 125gr. Barnes TAC-XP Lead Free bullets. Are they the best self-defense round? I don't know. They shave about 3oz off the weight of my gun and I am happy not to carry and handle lead.

I may be stuck in high school physics classes but the kinetic energy (muzzle energy) of a bullet has to be a better determinate of lethality. As long as the bullet doesn't pass through, the receiving body "stops" the bullet by converting its kinetic energy into destruction of bones and tissue. So, for example, the 125 grain 40cal bullets I carry may be featherweight, but they are launched with a 536 ft-lbs of energy out of a 4" barrel according to the manufacturer. The Hornady Critical Defense, .40 S&W, FTX, 165 Grain comes out with 506 Ft-lbs of energy according to one source I checked. (They don't mention the test gun barrel length - so probably a 5 - which would look better than if launched from a 4" test gun.) Statistically, they seem pretty close. Which is better 125 or 165? I'd be surprised if there was much of a difference. That's how I ended up with the lighter easier-t0-carry and less toxic (non-lead) Doubletap bullet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
First you must specify your goal. Generally the goal is not death, it is making an armed attacker unable or unwilling to fire his weapon at you.

Shot placement will generally determine immediate death. If you have the ability to place a round in a deadly area of the body while you are in what is probably the biggest adrenaline rush of your life, immediate death is probable; stopping your attacker from firing back. A 9mm or above should have that ability. A .380 and below may not. I have been in that situation and I do not have that shot placement ability.

Its physics and physiology. Some loose track of that; all they care about is velocity. Velocity is one leg of the triangle. The other two are surface area and mass. Ideally the bullet will transfer all its energy into the body without passing through. The physiology part is where in the body the bullets hit and what organs it stops or disrupts.

My first choice for the job is 15/13 rounds of 40S&W 180 grain Federal HST. (I’m sure 165 grain would do the job. I just have no reason to choose it.) My second choice is that same round in 8 round capacity. My third choice is 5 rounds of .38 Special +P 129 grain Hydra-shok There are bigger, heavier, faster, better, bullets for the job at hand; but I would have to give up weapon capacity and concealability. There are smaller bullets that would make the weapon more concealable; but they may be rendered ineffective by thick clothing or hitting bone.

In handguns I own .22’s, 9mm’s, .38’s, .357’s, 40’s, .45’s. They all have an application. I need them all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First you must specify your goal. Generally the goal is not death, it is making an armed attacker unable or unwilling to fire his weapon at you.
The goal is to stop the bad guy from continuing his bad acts constituting a threat.

I am not looking to, first and foremost kill anyone; threat or otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree with ****.

I may be stuck in high school physics classes but the kinetic energy (muzzle energy) of a bullet has to be a better determinate of lethality. As long as the bullet doesn't pass through, the receiving body "stops" the bullet by converting its kinetic energy into destruction of bones and tissue.
This reasoning makes a lot of sense to me. Appreciate the insight!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As for the .380 I think if you watch ShootingTheBull410 380 on YouTube you will get a good idea of what .380 rounds do in gelatin both bare and with denim and as always a good video is to watch is a Paul Harrel video for the 40. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7y6Ps9L2Is
Thanks for the link. I find it interesting, informative and educational.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
For traditional bullets, 165 grain Speer Gold Dots and HST's. Gold Dots are bonded, and a law enforcement fav. The HST's have a cannelore / band around the bullet to keep the jacket from separating. For me, I recently switched my self defense ammo to Lehigh Defense Extreme Defenders - loaded by Underwood. It's a 115 grain .40 cal bullet traveling at 1350 fps, giving 465 ft lbs of energy. Low recoiling, and it's a barrier blind bullet. The Extreme Defenders in 380 have the performance of 9mm bullets from what I've read and watched. I don't own a 380, but that's what I'd be using if I did.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top