40 S&W Ammo -- Searching Out Effective, Less Expensive, Lower Grain Rounds

Reviews and discussion of handgun ammo.

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40 S&W Ammo -- Searching Out Effective, Less Expensive, Lower Grain Rounds

Post by zagone »

I am in the process of procuring a semi-auto which takes .40 S&W ammo.

I do not pretend to know what I am doing in this caliber -- but I thought I'd pass along the data from my recent ammo search in case it is useful to anyone here. I'd also like to get your opinions on good ammo.

I set out looking for unicorns that might fulfill most of the following:

a. Performed well in Lucky Gunner ballistics testing: They wanted ammo that penetrated 12"-18" into the ballistics gel, and expanded well. Underpowered bullets might not go that far into the gel. Bullets failing to expand might go further. (So mostly self-defense rounds, JHP and the like.)

See: https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/self-d ... ests/#40SW

b. Are "inexpensive" -- 50 cents per bullet or less. (Yes -- I may end up buying $1+ per bullet to have something worth using to save my life. But I think I should practice with what I use for self-defense, so trying cheaper first.)

c. Are lower in grain count. I wish to minimize recoil. So I am starting with 120gr to 165gr and we'll see. (It could be that with the heavy steel gun I bought this won't be an issue - skipping on 180 and 200gr for the moment).

d. Are in-stock somewhere I trust buying from.

So -- for what its worth -- here's what I ordered for round one of "new" used gun testing for possible self-defense purposes:

These are from ammunitionstore.com -- my first order from them, hope they are good:

1. 40 S&W Ammo 135gr Expanding FMJ Federal Guard Dog (PD40GRD) 20 Round Box. Item number 029465062675a. $13.99 each. Bought 5 boxes. (These stopped at about 10" in ballistics gel, but expanded well.)

2. 40 S&W Ammo 155gr JHP Hydra-Shok Federal Personal Defense (P40HS2) 20 Round Box. Item number 029465089146a. $9.25 each. Bought 5 boxes.

No coupons that I could find. $12 S&H.

As you can tell -- Lucky Gunner tended to like the ballistics of Federal ammo. Most other brands performing well are out-of-stock everywhere, 180gr+, or about $1 per bullet.

I also bought some rounds just for range practice (until I am good enough to practice with my more expensive self-defense bullets).

These all came from cheaperthandirt.com -- I have purchased from them many times:

3. Federal Range Target Practice .40 S&W Ammunition 50 Rounds 165 Grain Full Metal Jacket 1130fps. $17.54 for 50 rounds. Item 104337

4. Winchester .40 S&W Ammunition 400 Rounds FMJ-TC 165 Grains. $113.89 for 400 rounds. Item number AMM-1027-638-400

5. Winchester Super Clean .40 S&W Ammunition 50 Rounds, Lead Free FMJ, 120 Grain. $18.89 for 50 rounds. Item number AMM-1027-123-50

The above order qualifies for free shipping over $99 and there is currently a $10 off coupon available if you Google it.


I did quite a bit of price-checking - so if you want these ammos, you might want to buy now.

As I said above -- I am interested in what more experienced people use.

Most definitely NOT in the bullseye league... yet!

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