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Discussion Starter #1
I plan to shoot Speer GoldDot out of my S&W M+P .40 compact. After a fair bit of reading I've seen some justification for using any of the standard weights (155,165,180). Is there a general consensus on the most potent weight from this relatively short barreled pistol? Being more accustomed to the .45 I tend to lean towards slow and heavy but I want to make sure I get good expansion/penetration from the .40 JHP. To add to the confusion, what about this Speer GD short-barrel ammo? It comes in a variety of weights and seems to be made for compact pistols. Is this just a marketing ploy? I've not found any testing data for the short-barrel ammo yet. Any feedback on this would be great.

Thanks

Giggsy
 

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The Speer short barrel ammo is not a marketing ploy. They are actually different bullets, designed to expand and penetrate reliably at lower velocities that result from short barrels.

Although I wouldn't worry at all about the standard load, if you are going to order it you might as well get the short barrel variety.
 

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The short barrel load would be a good match for the compact model, and BTW...



 

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Considering .40 loads are designed around 4" barrels, you're not giving up very much with the 3.5 compact barrel. Doc recommends the following .40 loads:



Barnes XPB 140 & 155 gr JHP (copper bullet)

Speer Gold Dot 155 gr JHP (53961)

Federal Tactical 165 gr JHP (LE40T3)

Winchester Ranger-T 165 gr JHP (RA40TA)

Winchester Partition Gold 165 gr JHP (RA401P)

Federal HST 180 gr JHP (P40HST1)

Federal Tactical 180 gr JHP (LE40T1)

Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)

Speer Gold Dot 180 gr JHP (53966)

Winchester Ranger-T 180 gr JHP (RA40T)



I use RA40T in my .40 carry guns.



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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the welcome and feedback guys. It looks like any of the top ammo makers would be ok to go with. Any thoughts on why the Speer GoldDot 165 didn't make doc's list?

Thanks

giggsy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the welcome and feedback guys. It looks like any of the top ammo makers would be ok to go with. Any thoughts on why the Speer GoldDot 165 didn't make doc's list?

Thanks

giggsy
 

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It believe it's because they didn't expand reliably.

I know other testers have found the GD 165 to not expand reliably.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again for the feedback. I think I'll avoid the Speer GD 165 and just go with something else on Doc's list. It will probably be whatever I can find at one of my local gun shops. I'm not against ordering online, I just like any excuse to visit a gun shop. Sorry about the double post earlier, I have an itchy mouse finger :wink:

giggsy
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Went out to do some ammo shopping today. A local gunshop owner worked very hard to convince me that a 180 grain JHP would not have enough velocity out of the M+P compact to penetrate and expand properly. He then went on to tell me that the 135 grain (I think ?) Fed Hydrashock was the best thing to shoot out of a .40 compact due to its excellent velocity. Sounds crazy to me. What do you guys think?

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Giggsy
 

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Your gunshop owner is either an ignorant moron or he is an unscrupulous hack--either way he has given you bad advice. As I previously wrote here:



The Hydra-Shok was state of the art 15 years ago. Modern ammunition which has been designed for robust expansion against clothing and intermediate barriers is significantly superior to older designs. In particular, the 135 gr Hydrashok offers horrible terminal performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the response Doc. Your thoughts are along the same lines as mine. I did notice that this guy had tons of Federal HS on hand and I think he was just trying to unload it. I take everything from gun dealers with a big grain of salt. He saw that I had the list of your recommended loads and he was quick to dismiss anything from forums such as this. I did end up buying a box of Speer GD 155 for $13. I would have bought more but it was his only box (bought from another dealer going out of business).

giggsy
 

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The internet is generally NOT a good place to get information on wound ballistics...this forum, much like Glocktalk and other brand specific web sites, seems to have a high ratio of ignorance and misinformation about this subject. On the other hand, given the high correlation with real world OIS incident forensic results, properly conducted wound ballistic testing done by the FBI BRF, CHP, or other facilities using IWBA type methadology should not be discounted lightly. If anyone tries to sell you B.S., you can always ask them to prove their assertions by providing valid test data...
 

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this forum, much like Glocktalk and other brand specific web sites, seems to have a high ratio of ignorance and misinformation about this subject.


Ouch...we're workin' on it, okay! Thats why we're glad to have you here Doc...train us up and we'll start policing our own once we've learned whats what and why.
 

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DocGKR said:
If anyone tries to sell you B.S., you can always ask them to prove their assertions by providing valid test data...
Doc, speaking of providing valid test data, I'm looking for some regarding short barrel .45 (3"). I accept your findings and recommendations about short barreled .45s (and other matters), and I value your input, so I don't think for a minute that you're trying to "sell me B.S." but I would like to see some numbers, pictures, etc about any short barrel .45 tests you've conducted. I'd like to actually present some data when discussions of short barreled .45s come up...which seems to be a frequent occurrence. Thanks.



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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys for the continued feedback. It looks like around my town the only thing from Doc's list that I can find are the Speer Gold Dots in the 180 weight and Golden Sabre 180 weight. If you are still there Doc, I would be interested to know why the Speer GD in 165 didn't make your list. Also, have you tested the 180 weight rounds out of the S&W .40 compact (or similar model)? If so, what were your results?

giggsy (who's sorry for dragging this out)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys for the continued feedback. It looks like around my town the only thing from Doc's list that I can find are the Speer Gold Dots in the 180 weight and Golden Sabre 180 weight. If you are still there Doc, I would be interested to know why the Speer GD in 165 didn't make your list. Also, have you tested the 180 weight rounds out of the S&W .40 compact (or similar model)? If so, what were your results?

giggsy (who's sorry for dragging this out)
 

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I carry 165grain Gold Dots, so I would like to know as well.
 

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The 165 gr Gold Dots we tested demonstrated relatively poor expansion in 4 layer denim testing compared to the 155 gr and 180 gr Gold Dots:



155 gr BG: Vel=1166 f/s, Pen=15.8", RD = 0.64", RL=0.32", RW=155.5gr

155 gr Den: Vel=1066 f/s, Pen=16.0", RD=0.60", RL=0.44", RW=155.3gr



165 gr BG: Vel=1103 f/s, Pen=13.7", RD = 0.64", RL=0.38", RW=165.4gr

165 gr Den: Vel=1083 f/s, Pen=19.1", RD=0.48", RL=0.54", RW=164.8gr



180 gr BG: Vel=1009 f/s, Pen=13.4", RD = 0.66", RL=0.36", RW=179.5gr

180 gr Den: Vel=1015 f/s, Pen=14.9", RD=0.62", RL=0.47", RW=180.2gr



All shots fired with standard CHP 4006 pistol at a distance of 10 feet.



Note that going from a 4" .40 S&W to a 3.5" .40 S&W does not result in any significant shifts in terminal performance.



-------------------------------



On the other hand, shortening .45 ACP barrels is more problematic. For a variety of reasons, we have never tested a 3" .45 ACP--the shortest has been 3.5". Using our old duty RA45T in bare gel, a 5" 1911 had a velocity of 854 f/s and expansion of 0.76”, a 4.25” LWC had a velocity of 825 f/s and expansion of 0.76”, while a 3.5" LWOM had a velocity of 798 f/s and expansion of only 0.48”. Obviously a 3” would be worse…



Also, note my previous comments:



Testing has revealed occasional failures of some lots of the standard pressure Winchester Ranger Talon 230 gr JHP RA45T to fully expand during 4 layer denim testing. According to one of the engineers who designed the Talon bullet, as the tooling which stamps the jacket notches dulls with use, the notches become too shallow and robust expansion is inhibited. With proper jacket notching, we have seen RA45T loads with velocities in the low 800-825 f/s range expand reliably through 4 layer denim testing; with shallow notches, we have seen RA45T loads with velocities in the high 850-875 f/s range fail to expand. When driven above 900-925 f/s, RA45T bullets almost always expand reliably through 4 layer denim testing. For example, the bullets from lot #31TF31, which failed to expand in denim when fired from a pistol, expanded normally during 4 layer denim testing when fired out of a 8.5" barrel M3A1 "Grease Gun".



Interestingly, the 230 gr JHP +P RA45TP has never had a failure to expand during our 4 layer denim testing, but it has occasionally exhibited signs of excess velocity, as shown by the expanded jacket beginning to fold back against the core. We have observed this same behavior when the standard pressure RA45T is fired out of .45 ACP SMG’s with 8.5” barrels, as bullet velocity is increased approximately 100 f/s over that observed from 4” to 5” pistol barrels. The RA45TP also has demonstrated a greater propensity for core-jacket separation when fired through automobile front windshield intermediate barriers compared to RA45T.



According to the folks at Winchester, the RA45T and RA45TP use the same bullet. The RA45TP is only slightly +P--only running 2000 psi higher pressure than the RA45T, which translates to approximately 50 f/s faster muzzle velocity and marginally greater perceived recoil; this slight velocity increase helps bullets with shallow jacket notching expand more reliably. I think all of our 1911 pistols are running with 18.5 lbs recoil springs. So far, we have actually had better functioning and reliability with the +P load, especially with dirty pistols.



Bottom line: the .45 ACP +P RA45TP offers more reliable expansion during 4 layer denim testing that the standard pressure RA45T, although it has slightly greater tendency to exhibit core-jacket separation when fired through automobile windows.




 
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