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  1. #1
    XD40Colorado's Avatar
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    Cool .40 s&w: 165GR vs 180GR

    Hey guys,

    How's everyone doing? Good I hope? I'm just here in Colorado/NM trying to avoid wildfires myself!

    Anyways, I have a question about .40 cal ammo. I received a Springfield XD 40 with a 3" barrel as a birthday gift not too long ago. Went out, and never having shot before, bought a case of 250 Federal HST 180gr JHP rounds. They shoot fine, nice and clean, no feed problems, but it seems like they might be too much for my little 3-inch barrel to handle. There just seems to be a LOT of kick. Not sure if that's from .40 cal round, short barrel of the gun, light weight of gun, or just me being new, but it seems hard to group my shots accurately.

    The local gunstore also sells Ranger-T and Golden Saber rounds at a very nice price, which are 155GR and 165GR, respectively. Would I notice a difference in kick/recoil using a lighter bullet?

    Thanks guys! Be safe out there.

  2. #2
    XD40Colorado's Avatar
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    In follow up, has anyone used MBI ammo?
    Thinking of getting this for practice ammo, long as it's not total shit ammo.


    1000 Rounds of .40 S&W Ammo by MBI - 165gr FMJ http://www.bulkammo.com/bulk-40-s-w-...165fmjmbi-1000

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    C1
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    A .40 S&W has a fairly snappy recoil. I believe the problem is your form. Look at taking the NRA Basic Pistol course. This course will cover the proper form and techniques for firing revolvers and semi-autos. I suggest people get a .22 Long Rifle as a first handgun.

  4. #4
    cooper623 is offline Junior Member
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    well first of all, there is no reason to buy expensive ammo when shooting for practice. you might as well spend the same amount of money on more bullets and then just keep a box of high quality ammo around/ in a magazine for personal defense if you choose. As far as ammo for practice is concered as long as its FMJ or JHP and feeds and ejects from your gun itll work. Other than checking for those things and comparing prices, i wouldnt put too much thought into what i used for practice. This will get you a lot more practice time and help you become a better shooter. However, to answer your question, the lighter bullet will not reduce the recoil. The recoil is produced by the force of the explosion of the powder pushing the bullet. While a lighter bullet may have slightly less powder, this may not always be the case. two loads with the same amount of powder but different weight bullets will have the same recoil, the bullet will just be traveling faster or slower.If you have never shot before/ received instruction on how to shoot, then i would highly suggest taking some beginner courses. but some easy things to do without instruction are to make sure that your arms are pushed out in a locked or almost locked position, and to hold your wrists firmly when firing. Also, dont be afraid of the gun. that will only lead to anticipating the recoil and jerking your trigger pull, and a whole list of negative things that can happen to your shooting form. Good luck, and congratulations on being a new handgun owner

  5. #5
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    I have a XD40SC. The Federal & Speer 180gr stuff kicks pretty hard. But the so did the Winchester 165gr JHPs. If there is a difference in perceived recoil, I was unable to detect it. My practice ammo is 180gr cast reloads that are toward the hot end. Practice, practice, practice. Small guns chambered in .40 kick pretty hard, there is very little that can be done about it. I try to take mine out monthly as a minimum. Shoot it first on range trips, then 1911's or .357s seem quite mild in comparison. The XD SC is a great little gun once you get comfortable with it. The gun won't have any problems with ammo that is loaded within specs, the shooter on the other hand...

  6. #6
    C1
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooper623 View Post
    some easy things to do without instruction are to make sure that your arms are pushed out in a locked or almost locked position, and to hold your wrists firmly when firing.
    You do NOT want to lock your arms. This can be very hard on the elbows and shoulders. It also puts more of the recoil through your body and affects your speed and accuracy. Have a slight flex in the arms so they can be shock absorbers. The same is true for the legs.

    Start out with the NRA Basic Pistol. People who think they are knowledgeable and take this course are surprised how much they did not know.

  7. #7
    ozzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C1 View Post
    You do NOT want to lock your arms. This can be very hard on the elbows and shoulders. It also puts more of the recoil through your body and affects your speed and accuracy. Have a slight flex in the arms so they can be shock absorbers. The same is true for the legs.

    Start out with the NRA Basic Pistol. People who think they are knowledgeable and take this course are surprised how much they did not know.
    Exactly.

  8. #8
    Ala Tom is offline Junior Member
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    I have 15 rounds of 180 JHP ready for bad guys and 15 rounds of 165 JHP also ready for bad guys. I chose to use 180 first so I shoot 180 ball at the range. After I shoot 15 Bad Guys, I'll switch to the 165 and shoot 165 ball at the range. After I shoot those 15 I'll let you know if the extra weight is good or the extra energy is good.

  9. #9
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    The XD has a barrel that sits high in the pistol and it will flip more than some others. My Glock barrel sits low and is much more controllable in 40. Just make sure you get your strong hand as high on the grip as possible and get a proper grip with your weak hand.

  10. #10
    Hawk 3/21 is offline Junior Member
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    Wow I'm really surprised how many poor responses on this topic, but there is alot of good info too. A good instructer is probably the best advise.

    Everyone percieves recoil differently. Try out the 155's and 165's, see how they feel for you, find a load you like and practise.

    Do not listen to the b/s about practising with one ammo and using another for defense. You don't have enough experience to consider this option, even then it's probably not good. Would Tom Brady or Tiger Woods use a different weigth ball for practise and only break out the real thing on game day? They're not beginners and even they wouldn't try that. At you're level, you want the gun to perform exactly the same every time you pull the trigger.

    Different manufacturers and weights means different points of impact. Pick one and learn it inside and out. So you either pick a bullet that hits where you aim the gun and posssibly give up some defensive performance or you you pick the best defense bullet, learn where it actually hits and compensate for the difference. No adjustable sights on a small carry gun like your XD.

    Defense bullets like the Ranger T or Federal HST are cheap enough for you to shoot often, if you can buy them. I think 50 a week until you really know your weapon. Maybe 1000rds maybe 2000, different distances, lighting and weather. Only you can know for sure, so don't lie to yourself.

    You picked a good caliber and size weapon. It has good power, makes large holes, holds alot of bullets and is reasonably concealable. Short guns with big bullets are always a handfull, but not unmanageable. Larger, heavier guns, tame the recoil, but are harder to carry comfortably. Now, if you don't have a concealed permit or are not going to get one, sell that gun quick and buy one with a longer barrel or you may want to consider an all steel pistol.

    At least practise, practise and practise some more. Better would be to get a good instructer and........

  11. #11
    XD40Colorado's Avatar
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    I think it's just my form. I know I need some instruction. And I can't sell it, it has too much sentimental value: it was my late father in law's and my wife gave it to me. It'd break her heart to sell it!

  12. #12
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    Don't sell the pistol. It's a good one. Learn to shoot it. Get some snap caps so you can dry fire it and go to you tube and watch Rob Leatham (he shoots one and works for Springfield) and Todd Jarett. They both have training type videos if you cannot afford instruction or have a friend that could get you up to speed. I shoot Federal 180 grain FMJ (at Walmart) for practice (then I reload them) and Winchester 165 grain PDX1 Personal Protection loads and they land in the same place at 20 meters. Dry fire practice is the key to being a good shot. Most of us who shoot competitively dry fire several times a day and practice our draw and mag changes. Here's a good video to start with.
    ‪Todd Jarrett on pistol shooting.‬‏ - YouTube

  13. #13
    XD40Colorado's Avatar
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    Hey Rgrundy,

    THat is a good one, thanks. And I found a local NRA instructor. Signed up for "Basic NRA Pistol" on August 6th xD

  14. #14
    C1
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    Quote Originally Posted by XD40Colorado View Post
    I think it's just my form. I know I need some instruction. And I can't sell it, it has too much sentimental value: it was my late father in law's and my wife gave it to me. It'd break her heart to sell it!
    Don't sell it! I am totally with you there. The Springfield XD is also a great handgun.

    What I would suggest is getting a semi-auto in .22LR (4" to 5" barrel) and taking the NRA Basic Pistol (Ruger Mark II, Ruger Mark III, Ruger 22/45, Browning Buckmark are some good quality options). Also look to see if there is a range or club that allows the general public to shoot. Ask if a range officer or instructor would be available to work with you and ask up front if there is a charge for that assistance. There are certified instructors and range officers who do not charge for their services.

  15. #15
    XD40Colorado's Avatar
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    Thanks, good suggestion. The NRA Basic Pistol I am signed up for on August 6th requires student to use the Ruger MkIII, so that should be good. Second, there are two ranges here in Albuquerque NM: One 25 miles outside the city, and one in the city. The in-city one does not have instructors/officers that do free work, the one outside city limits does, so I might check that out.

    Thanks, guys

  16. #16
    C1
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    Be safe and have fun!!!! Welcome to the handgun family!!!!

  17. #17
    rgrundy's Avatar
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    You may want to try some IDPA with your carry gun. Here's one club in your area. Google IDPA and go to the home page to read about what they do. You'll learn how to gunfight and have adult supervision so that you will develop some good habits.

    Border Sport Shooters - Gun Club located in Clovis, New Mexico - IDPA, USPSA, SASS, and NRA

  18. #18
    C1
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    Shooting sports like IDPA and IPSC can be good tools, but you need to be careful. The course of fire does not usually emphasize seeking cover whenever possible. The emphasis is speed and hitting the target not protecting yourself from a potential threat. A shoot house can provide better training.

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