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The .40 S&W is rimless pistol ammunition developed through a collaboration of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and firearms manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Winchester. The .40 S&W ammo was created to be used as a standard weapon for law enforcement after the 1986 FBI Miami shootout, during which two FBI agents were killed and five were wounded. The FBI began testing 9mm and .45 ACP cartridges to develop ammunition that could be retrofitted into 9mm semi-automatic handguns. The goal was to create a medium ground between the .45 and 9mm to replace the agents’ standard issue revolver with a semi-automatic to enable them to carry a larger cartridge and offer a faster reloading speed. The FBI took into consideration the types of firefights the agents were most likely to encounter. In the end, .40 cal S&W ammo was created with the same basic parameters as the 10mm with the same accuracy of a 9mm yet keeping within the FBI’s medium velocity range.

The .40 S&W has been touted as the best ammo for law enforcement agencies in the U.S., Australia, and Canada.


40 S&W Revolver

Best .40 Cal Self-Defense Ammo

In a self-defense situation, accuracy and stopping power are the most important aspects of obtaining the best .40 cal ammo. Buyers should also consider weight and recoil, especially if the use if for concealed carry. The .40 Smith and Wesson has light recoil, making it easier to handle for novice shooters.

Winchester Ammunition: 180 Grain Ranger FMJ

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the best .40 self-defense ammo comes from Winchester.  The 180 grain Winchester Ranger cartridge is a good middle ground for self-defense as it carries less recoil than a 9mm cartridge making it easier to handle. The fact that it is a full metal jacket (FMJ) ammunition ensures that the target will be stopped despite the lower velocity rate. The cartridge is also reloadable.

Specs:

  • 1000 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

PMC Ammunition: Starfire 40 S&W 180 Grain JHP

In the marketplace since the late ’60s, Precision Made Cartridges uses a rigid quality control system that ensures consistency and accuracy. This jacketed hollow point offers broad, reliable expansion and is considered to be an excellent choice in .40 ammo for self-defense. PMC’s Starfire line uses a patented rib-and-flute design to give maximum expansion in soft tissue. The expansion results in superior stopping power for personal defense.

Specs:

  • 985 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Reloadable
  • Boxer Primer

Remington Ammunition: Ultimate Defense 180 Grain BJHP

The name Remington says it all. Remington Ultimate Defense .40 S&W Ammo was designed for concealed carry and smaller frame handguns. This powerful round gives the ultimate power of a big gun to short barrel revolvers and pistols. It gives shooters superior expansion and deep penetration through tough barriers, making it perfect for personal or home defense.

Specs:

  • 1015 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point (BJHP) Bullet
  • Nickel-Plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Winchester Ammunition: 165 Grain PDX-1 JHP

The FBI tested Winchester’s 165 Grain PDX-1 JHP to see if it could stand up against real-life threats in the home and on the street. Winchester’s patented bonding process stood up to tough barriers at various ranges and proved that it was up to the task. Bonding the core to the copper jacket helps to maintain weight retention. The round expands up to 1½ times upon impact; the notching creates six equal parts for controlled, maximum expansion.

Specs:

  • 1140 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 165 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) Bullet
  • Nickel-Plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Winchester Ammunition: 180 Grain Train & Defend JHP

Winchester’s Train & Defend JHP ammo is an excellent choice for self-defense. The round mirrors Winchester’s FMJ ammo, which is a good choice for training. The pair makes it possible for novice shooters to get the best of both worlds and become proficient in any situation. Train & Defend (D) cartridges are technologically advanced to have less felt recoil. This ballistically matched Defend (D) and Train (T) rounds perform the same with the only difference being the style of bullet. Use Train & Defend at the range or for personal defense.

Specs:

  • 925 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) Bullet
  • Nickel-Plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Hornady: Critical Defense FTX 180 Grain FMJ

Hornady designed its Critical Defense® ammunition as a high-performance round to be used for home protection or self-defense. A low muzzle flash preserves night vision and low recoil makes it easier to handle your short barrel handgun. Patented FTX technology resists clogging and increases reliability. Hornady also recommends this reloadable FMJ for concealed carry.

Specs:

  • 1175 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Magtech: 180 Grain JHP Bonded

Formed in 1990, Magtech has become one of the world’s leading brands. As a member of CBC Global Ammunition, it meets strict standards for manufacturing ammunition for the military, law enforcement, and commercial markets. Magtech is a go-to brand for target shooting, range training, self-defense, and tactical applications.

This 180 Grain .40 S&W ammo offers reliability and consistency for self-defense purposes. The bonded JHP delivers excellent weight retention and accuracy in the most difficult situations.

Specs:

  • 990 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Range Training with .40 S&W

Best .40 Cal Range Training Ammo

When it comes to range training, the cost is key. While accuracy is still an important factor at the range, the cost per round can make a significant difference in choosing the best range training ammo. Shooters can easily go through thousands of rounds during range training and would be served well by buying any of these rounds in bulk.

Tula Ammunition: Ammo 180 Grain FMJ

Tula Ammo has a rich history in Russia. Sanctioned by Czar Alexander II in 1880, Tula Ammo was privately funded but inextricably linked to the Russian military for at least the first seven years. In World War I, Tula produced 25% of the ammunition for the Russian military. The relationship continued and during World War II, the company produced 400 million rounds. At that time, Tula switched to steel casing for its bullets.

Today Tula is recognized as being at the top when it comes to .40 ammo. Much like the other companies, the rounds are effective and yet inexpensive.

Specs:

  • 990 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Bullet
  • Steel Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Remington Ammunition: UMC 180 Grain JHP

Remington Arms Company is as American as apple pie and therefore, well trusted. Remington Arms pairs with 140 year-old Union Metallic Cartridge Company (UMC) to produce this 180 grain jacketed hollow point cartridge. The round gives moderate expansion for excellent stopping power without the threat of overpenetration. Remington Arms provides quality ammunition at a low price which makes this a good choice to take to the range.

Specs:

  • 1015 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Federal Ammunition: American Eagle 165 Grain FMJ

Federal is one of our most trusted brands. American Eagle FMJ is made with the same specifications as Federal Premium rounds but sold at a more economical price. Shooters will appreciate the familiar feel when firing since it is similar to Federal Premium’s higher end rounds. It’s perfect for plinking, target shooting, and range training. New brass casings also make it possible to reload spent cartridges.

Specs:

  • 1130 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 165 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Bullet
  • Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Winchester Ammunition: 180 Grain Train & Defend FMJ

Winchester’s Train & Defend FMJ ammo helps novices and seasoned shooters alike to experience a perfectly matched pair on the range or at home. Like the Train & Defend (D) JHP rounds, the training rounds use advanced technology to give less recoil while maintaining accuracy. The FMJ rounds are less expensive, allowing shooters the opportunity to practice extensively without breaking the bank. Reloading is another good option. Those interested in personal defense can easily switch to JHP rounds without experiencing a learning curve.

Specs:

  • 925 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Bullet
  • Nickel-Plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

CCI Ammunition: Blazer Brass 180 Grain FMJ

CCI Blazer Brass has become a top name in ammunition. This 180 grain FMJ is an excellent choice for plinking, target shooting, and range training. CCI uses the same high-end components and equipment it uses to manufacture Federal American Eagle .40 S&W ammunition and Speer Lawman .40 S&W ammo. CCI uses high-quality primers to ensure accuracy and reliability. Virgin brass casing allows shooters to reload the rounds up to five times which ensures availability and even more savings.

Specs:

  • 1050 FPS Muzzle Velocity
  • 180 Grain Bullet Weight
  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Bullet
  • Nickel-Plated Brass Casing
  • Boxer Primer

Conclusion

Choose S&W .40 ammunition if you are looking for solid ammunition for self-defense or training purposes. Unlike larger calibers, S&W .40 ammo will give you superior stopping power without the over-penetration of larger calibers. The lighter weight of the round makes it a good choice for concealed carry. Novices will appreciate the light recoil, finding it easier to fire. JHP rounds work well in self-defense situations with the ability to penetrate tough barriers at various distances. FMJ ammo is perfect for the range – inexpensive and effective.

 


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