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Old 05-21-2011, 08:39 PM
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Default .40 Ammo - which grain for target shooting

Folks, A family member with M&P .40 asked about which grain makes the best sense for pure target shooting...

155, 165 or 180?

I peronally would lean 165 or 180... but I'm not a shooter of the round.

Would greaty appreciate some help on this...

Thanks, BN...
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:40 PM
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The same weight that you will use for self defense.
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:50 PM
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While I do agree with matching against defense, he shoots the .40 for target practice. We both put our trust in SC series .45 for defense
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:35 PM
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Which ever the gun shoots the best with.
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:48 PM
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Trust me, I used the search function of the site before I posted...
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:40 PM
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It makes no sense to me to ask about "best for target shooting" without saying what kind of "target" shooting.
Plinking at cans? NRA Bullseye? PPC? IDPA? Steel challenge? USPSA?

If you have fixed sights, pick the weight that shoots to point of aim and blast away at informal paper targets or tin cans.

For formal sanctioned competition, the rules of the sport often pick the ammo for you, like when making major power for USPSA (IPSC).
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Last edited by OKFC05; 05-22-2011 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:51 PM
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Paper targets, 15-25 yards....

I may not have been clear enough, I'm not a shooter of .40 ammo... I find the round not well supported, including bulk suppliers. This is why I posted the question, this is a forum to discuss?
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brass Nuggets View Post
Paper targets, 15-25 yards.
The M&P is hardly a "target pistol". If it has adjustable sights, dial it in with the cheapest ammo you can find. If it has fixed sights, find the weight bullet that gives you POI converging with POA @ the range you customarily shoot. I doubt you'll be shooting one hole groups with that weapon, but you should be able to keep it on the target and have some fun........
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:26 AM
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Thank you… the family member is a bother who opted for .40 M&P as his target pistol. He’s not new to shooting, but “liked” having a round that was cheaper to shoot then .45 ACP. I understand the ballistics of lower grain, flatter trajectory but was curious about the folks here, there experience with the .40 round. I personally shoot 9mm, use 147 grain for steel plates, switch to 124 grain for paper targets out to 25 yards,,. XS Sights… so my POI is consistent.

Based on the comments, I’ll suggest 180 grain as this is probably closer to his defense shooting needs (lighter grain longer distance for target) relative to <10 yards for close engagements practice.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:42 AM
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Personally I am a 40 caliber shooter. Fact is I like the caliber and have 3 semi's in the 40 and shoot the 40 in my 610 revolver. As for that comment about it not being well supported, the 40 S&W was about the only caliber that was easy to find during the post Obama ammo droubt. It's also available in bullet weights ranging from 135 grain up to 200 grain. IMO it's an exceptionally well supported caliber and may overtake the 9mm at some point in the US.

For practice I am now exclusively using the Federal Champion 180 gn. from Walmart. At 14.97 per box it's hard to beat the price and I've found it to be reliable, accurate, and clean shooting. Granted it is a bit of a powder puff compared to many SD loads but I really don't think it's much of an issue at typical Defense ranges.

My carry choice is the Speer Gold Dot 165 gr. load. In my P239 the difference in both the loudness of the report and the recoil is quite distinct. However I ran 50 rounds of Gold Dots downrange today and the POI only shifted about 1.5 inches down at 15 yards. I was also shooting groups that were nearly the equal of the Federal at the same rate of fire. BTW, followed up with 100 rounds of the Federal and the difference between the two was noticeable.

However, IMO putting in the time and putting rounds downrange is a lot more critical than the specifics of what you carry. While I would prefer to shoot the Speer Lawman companion round to the Gold Dots, that ammo isn't cheap or easy to find. Quite simply, shoot what you can afford to shoot and that you can find. Then spend a bit of time shooting your carry load from time to time so you stay aware of the difference in how it performs.

Final note, my 610 is equipped with a reflex sight and I use it often for long range practice. On a good day I can group the 610 between 2.5 and 3 inches at 35 yards from a rest with that cheap Federal, so I really don't have any complaints about it's accuracy. Fact is that if I were a bit steadier the 610 might shoot under 2 inches, so IMO it's a pretty straight shooting load even if it is cheap.

Last edited by scooter123; 05-22-2011 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Fact is that if I were a bit steadier the 610 might shoot under 2 inches, so IMO it's a pretty straight shooting load even if it is cheap.
You've touched on a key point: Unless there is some horrible mismatch in the combination, typically the ammunition is more accurate than the pistol, which is more accurate than the shooter.

No point fretting about the difference between 2" ammo and 1" ammo when you've got a 3" pistol and a 5" shooter.
And a 610 revolver wil outshoot most any semi-auto service pistol, including an M&P .40 with most any ammo, any day. Something to keep in mind when the old dude with the Model 14 steps up at a bullseye shoot and posts a 96 at timed fire.....
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:33 PM
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I have several .40's, I use 180gr for everything. It shoots at point of aim in my guns. Practice i use fed champions, SD I use Speer Gold Dots 180Grain.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:14 AM
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I know, by now, you are tired about hearing us tell you to find your natural point of aim, first.

That said, I believe the starting point will end up being 165gr. From there, it's simply a matter of finding the brand of defense ammo that performs most similarly or, better, tightens things up.

Just my two cents...
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireDog420 View Post
I have several .40's, I use 180gr for everything. It shoots at point of aim in my guns. Practice i use fed champions, SD I use Speer Gold Dots 180Grain.
Good point. I too have several .40's. Since I use Speer Gold Dot 165gr for SD, I reload practice ammo with 165gr and replicate the powder charge as well.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:47 PM
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YouTube - &#x202a;STI40.MOV&#x202c;&rlm;

As other have said, find the bullet weight and brand of ammo that shoots best for you. It may not be the same ammo for each gun. My S&W 310 likes Mag Tech 180 grain better than any other .40 ammo that I have tried in it. The .40 auto in my YouTube video (ABOVE LINK) shoots .40 Remington or .40 Winchester to point of aim (POI) at 25 yards. It shoots the Mag Tech 1" to the left of my POI.
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