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Old 06-29-2017, 05:52 PM
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Which weight is better for a subcompact handgun: 165 or 180?
I currently carry 180 Speer Gold Dots in my Glock 27, but I was thinking of switching to the 165 since it has the higher muzzle foot pounds of energy, but then I noticed that Speer only sells the "short barrel" ammo in .40. I can run physics through my head all day and come up with arguments for both round.

165 Personal Protection:
Velocity- Muzzle: 1150 50 yards: 1042 100 yards: 967
Energy- Muzzle: 484 50 yards: 398 100 yards: 342

180 Personal Protection:
Velocity- Muzzle: 1025 50 yards: 956 100 yards: 902
Energy- Muzzle: 420 50 yards: 365 100 yards: 325

180 Short Barrel:
Velocity- Muzzle: 950 50 yards: 898 100 yards: 854
Energy- Muzzle: 361 50 yards: 322 100 yards: 291
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Last edited by snm8510; 06-29-2017 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:13 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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The most important consideration is where YOU can put the bullet. Assuming sufficient penetration to reach & damage vital systems and/or structures of the body, energy, velocity, diameter or other ammunition parameters are meaningless.

FWIW, the 165 gr bullet was developed to eliminate what some felt was a excessively steep pressure/time peak with the 180 gr bullet. Try both for shot placement under time pressure and see which you do better which or if there is any significant difference at all.

Last edited by WR Moore; 06-29-2017 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:19 PM
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So technically, the 165 should have better ballistics and yield lower recoil?

I was just wondering performance from a short barrel
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by snm8510 View Post
So technically, the 165 should have better ballistics and yield lower recoil?

I was just wondering performance from a short barrel

Not really. You aren't getting those MV from your own short barrel, which will not match published test barrel data. This is why I have a chronograph and measure what I get from MY guns, not some test barrel.
ME is mass x MV x MV, so drops very rapidly in short barrels.
My first choice would be the short barrel ammo in a short barrel for controllability.
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:02 PM
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Just my opinion, but any of those loads will serve well as self defense ammo. Pick the one that you can get more easily and that you can shoot well. Any differences between them will likely be insignificant.

Having said that, I probably wouldn't go for the short-barrel load as they're only available in 20-round boxes, while the other two are available in 50-round boxes at a better value.

FWIW, when I had a Glock 23 I used the 165gr GDHP but I would be just as well served by the 180gr GDHP.
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:07 PM
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Not really. You aren't getting those MV from your own short barrel, which will not match published test barrel data. This is why I have a chronograph and measure what I get from MY guns, not some test barrel.
ME is mass x MV x MV, so drops very rapidly in short barrels.
My first choice would be the short barrel ammo in a short barrel for controllability.
I knew that, that's the main reason why I posted this thread as I know that the barrel length will make these rounds perform differently. I was wondering if Speer chose the 180 as the short barrel weight due to more ballistic gain due to short barrels or what. For all I know, the short barrel ammo could be the same as the original 180 with the rough velocity from a shorter barreled handgun.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:57 PM
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As ContinentalOp said... either one is more than sufficient for a self defense load.
Shoot both and determine which one shoots to point of aim best in your gun.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:06 PM
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If they're all the same...here's an idea: Figure out which one shoots closest to the sights and which grain weight is more available in FMJ practice ammo. That the two things I made my decisions on...before I started handloading. Now I find the carry load and buy components in that weight.
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:05 PM
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I use Winchester Train and Defend ammo 180 grain .. I find when I shoot my S&W Compact in 40 it shoots POA with 180 grain .. And my full size Sig Legion P229 also seems to like the 180 grain ammo .. seems like the shorter barrel in the compact would like the 165 grain better but not the case in my instance ...

A good reference I found some time ago is Ballistics By The Inch (BBTI)
BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .40 S&W Results

So could it really depend much more on the shooter and his method of sighting and aiming each weapon ?? or just his like for one grain over the other for no obvious reasons !!
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:22 PM
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I guess I need to just bite the bullet and get a box of both to test out :/ The 170gr Perfecta that I generally shoot with is pretty spot on and I feel like that's a pretty middle of the road weight (of course closer to 165gr, but being +5 -10 isn't too bad), but then I have no idea about the amount of powder behind the bullet as different brands use different types and amounts and the fact that those are FMJs vs HPs and what not.

Thank y'all for the information though. Thread is still open for debates and discussions
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:25 PM
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Just more food for thought. "Short barrel" specific ammunition is typically made to expand reliably at the lower velocities you'll get from the shorter barrel. It's also ldesigned to have less muzzle flash as well.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:46 PM
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Curious as to why they went with the 180 though
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
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Curious as to why they went with the 180 though
If I'm not mistaken, it goes back to the 1986 FBI Miami Shootout. The FBI decided that a .40-caliber, 180gr JHP at ~950fps was the optimum duty load. .40S&W hadn't been invented, or at least released, at the time so the FBI went with a reduced-power 10mm load. When the .40S&W first came out, they wanted to match the FBI's 10mm "lite" load, so Winchester, who invented the load with S&W, originally came out with a 180gr bullet at ~950fps.

Of course, since then ammo manufacturers warmed up the 180gr loadings to 1000fps+, as well as other bullet weights. The Speer SB-GDHP in .40S&W went back to those original specs. My guess is they did that to reduce felt recoil in compact guns compared with the typical offerings available, and just redesigned the bullet to get better expansion at the lower velocity. Again, just a guess on my part.

Hopefully someone will come along and correct me if I'm mistaken.
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