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Top 5 40 S&W Self Defense Ammo

If you own a 40 S&W you likely know how great of a self defense round it is. It was designed in 1990 after the FBI realized they needed a round to be similar to the 10mm auto but with lower recoil. Most 40 S&W ammo will be 180 grains but you can find it anywhere from 120 to 210 grains. With a velocity between 900 to 1,400 FPS you can expect muzzle energy between 400-500 foot pounds. We've put together our list of top 5 self defense 40 S&W ammo, you can check out all 40 S&W ammo here.
1

Federal Premium Personal Defense Ammunition 40 S&W 165 Grain Hydra-Shok Deep Jacketed Hollow Point Box of 20

Federal Premium Hydra-Shok has proven itself for self-defense since 1989. Hydra-Shok Deep builds off the time-tested platform with design improvements that better meet modern performance measurements. The bullet features a more robust center post and a core design that provides as much as 50 percent deeper penetration than original Hydra-Shok and competitor loads. This ammunition is new production, non-corrosive, in boxer primed, reloadable nickel plated brass cases.

 

Features

  • Penetrates 15 inches in bare ballistics gel—the optimal depth according to FBI standards
  • 50 percent deeper penetration than original Hydra-Shok
  • 70 percent improvement in FBI protocol score
  • Iconic center post design has been improved for better, more consistent expansion through standard barriers.
  • Consistent, specially formulated propellant
  • Extremely reliable Federal primer

 

About Federal Premium

Technology is the lifeblood of Federal Ammunition, and it’s been pumping through our veins since 1922. That’s when our founding president, Charles L. Horn, started a culture of innovation that has guided everything we’ve done for nearly a century, turning a company that began humbly in Anoka, Minnesota, into one of the world's largest producers of sporting ammunition. It’s led to the development of thousands of specialized, high-quality shotshell, centerfire and rimfire loads for hunters and shooters. It’s instilled manufacturing and quality control processes that have made our ammunition the most trusted in the industry. Every day we manufacture products to enhance our customers' shooting experiences and provide an ideal choice for any pursuit. It's what makes us the most complete ammunition company in the business. Today, we carry on Horn's vision for quality products and service with the next generation of shooters. With our CEO Chris Metz at the helm, we maintain our position as

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2

Speer Gold Dot Ammunition 40 S&W 180 Grain Jacketed Hollow Point Box of 20

Speer Gold Dot Ammunition is loaded with bonded core bullets and designed for home defense and personal protection. All Gold Dot bullets are built using Speer’s exclusive Uni-Cor method. The jacket is bonded to the core one molecule at a time, virtually eliminating core-jacket separation and creating a precision hollow point that is accurate, tough and unbelievably consistent through all common barriers. Gold Dot has earned the respect of police officers world-wide. No other ammunition combines such a consistent level of high performance. These loads deliver in all situations, which is why you can trust them for home and personal defense. Gold Dot hollow-point bullets are very accurate, tough and unbelievably consistent.

This ammunition is new production, non-corrosive, in boxer primed, reloadable, Nickel-Plated brass cases.

 

Features

  • Consistent penetration and expansion through common barriers
  • Extremely uniform jacket maximizes accuracy
  • Gold Dot technology virtually eliminates core-jacket separation
  • Nickel-plated brass
  • Reliable, sensitive CCI primer

 

What Customers Are Saying

Reliable, Accurate and Powerful

Impressive self-defense ammunition. Very good accuracy from my Glock 22 using an Alpha Wolf barrel. Here are my chronograph readings. Bullet: Speer 180 gr. Gold Dot (Factory) LOAL: 1.120 Average Velocity: 1020 fps ES: 37 SD: 12
- JD, 10/23/2022

About Speer

Speer’s reputation for making the world's finest component bullets and loaded ammunition goes all the way back to 1943. That’s when Vernon Speer started building bullets because reloaders couldn't get the components they needed from ammo companies during World War II. Although he initially focused on hunting rifle bullets, he also built the first mass-produced jacketed handgun bullets for hunting and law enforcement. In the 1960s, he put some of those bullets into loaded ammunition in the now-famous Lawman® line. And today, Speer Gold Dot® is the most trusted duty ammunition for law enforcement. We offer the same loads to civilians for personal protection that’s simply beyond compare. We still manufacture our products in the small city of Lewiston, Idaho. The original product lines have been expanded and new ones added. But through the changes, our formula for success has been constant: Determination, self-reliance and independence that show in all of our ammunition and components.

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3

Hornady Critical Duty Ammunition 40 S&W 175 Grain FlexLock Box of 20

"The most consistent and reliable barrier ammo on the market"

Hornady Critical Duty Ammunition offers Law Enforcement, Tactical Professionals and those looking for a great personal protection round ammunition that wont let them down. This ammunition incorporates two new revolutionary Hornady Features: Flex Tip bullets that initiate consistent expansion while preventing clogging, and the InterLock band which locks the jacket and core together preventing separation and ensuring maximum weight retention. This bullet has proven terminal performance through ALL  test barriers every single time. The core on this revolutionary bullet is made of high-antimony lead alloy making it tough, delivering controlled expansion and loaded in nickel plated cases to help prevent corrosion.

This ammunition is new production, non-corrosive, in boxer primed, reloadable nickel plated brass cases.

What Customers Are Saying

Hornady demonstrated this ...

Hornady demonstrated this round for my department today along with 9mm, 9mm +P, 308, .223 etc. The rounds were fired through wall board, car glass, two layers of sheet metal, and plywood into calibrated ballistic gelatin. In all cases the barriers were defeated and 12-18" of penetration into the gelatin was achieved. All pistol calibers penetrated about the same. This loads works as advertised.
- Andy, 8/22/2012

About Hornady

“Ten bullets through one hole” is the philosophy that brought Hornady® Manufacturing from a two-man operation in 1949, to a world-leading innovator of bullet, ammunition, reloading tool and accessory design and manufacture today. Change is their constant and daily challenge. They outperform their competitors by ensuring the products they make are the ones their customers need right now, and accurately predict what they’ll want in the future. They recognize trends, and respect when to leave well enough alone. Their workforce includes an ample number of hunters and competitive shooters, as well as veterans and former law enforcement officers. At Hornady® Manufacturing, ammunition is more than their livelihood. It’s a major part of their daily life.

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4

Winchester USA Ready Defense Ammunition 40 S&W 170 Grain Hex-Vent Jacketed Hollow Point Box of 20

Winchester USA Ready Defense ammunition is a select grade of ammunition and components, designed for personal defense. Made in the USA, it offers the ideal combination of stopping power, penetration and reliable expansion. The unique Hex-Vent Rigid Insert shields the hollow point from obstruction while channeling material flow for positive bullet expansion. This ammunition is new production, non-corrosive, in reloadable nickel plated brass cases.

About Winchester

A world leader in delivering innovative products, Winchester is The American Legend, a brand built on integrity, hard work, and a deep focus on its loyal customers. Considered one of the world’s leading ammunition manufacturers, Winchester has built its reputation on delivering innovative ammunition products, providing top-shelf customer service and demonstrating industry leadership. Our legacy in servicing hunters and shooters, law enforcement and U.S. warfighters runs deep, with decades of support at the highest levels including delivering technologically advanced products. From our research and development efforts to our manufacturing processes, we understand the value of product quality and performance. With a reputation steeped in tradition, we have earned the moniker, ‘The American Legend’ by delivering on our commitment to excellence in everything we do.

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5

Underwood Xtreme Defender Ammunition 40 S&W 115 Grain Lehigh Xtreme Defense Lead-Free Box of 20

While taking advantage of state of the art testing equipment, this high performance ammunition by Underwood is field tested using popular, real firearms that customers are most likely to own out in the real world with all the elements you would experience. If for some reason Underwood Ammunition fails to meet performance expectations, Underwood stands by their product 100% and will make sure the customer is satisfied with every purchase. This ammunition is new production, non-corrosive, in boxer primed, reloadable nickel plated brass cases.

The Xtreme Defender is based on the popular Xtreme Penetrator product line. The XD ammunition has an optimized nose flute, total weight, and velocity to achieve a penetration depth up to 18 inches with a permanent wound cavity (PWC) that is just simply enormous; no other expanding hollow point comes close to achieving anywhere near this diameter and volume. Not only is the PWC over 100% larger than any other expanding bullet, expansion is achieved despite being shot through barriers. The solid copper body ensures that wallboard, sheet metal, and automotive glass will have no effect on the Permanent Wound Channel. All of Underwood Ammo rounds utilize flash suppressed powder so that your vision will not be compromised if it becomes necessary to use your firearm in low light.

The Underwood nickel plating process provides several key benefits including; improved feeding in all actions of firearms, enhanced corrosion resistance over traditional brass, improved cosmetics, and ease of cleanup during reloading. Nickel plated casings will not tarnish like brass during storage or when in contact with foreign materials such as leather, moisture, and other metals. Until the development of the Ducta-Bright 7a process, nickel plating casings often limited the number of reloads as compared to raw brass. It was claimed that nickel plated brass casings embrittled the brass therefore making it less desirable for reloaders despite the ease of cleanup that nickel plating offers. In addition, ammunition engineers raising concerns of using nickel plating in very hot +P or magnum loads found that traditional nickel plating often cracked deep-drawn cases, or worse, lead to a total failure. This new process eliminates any concern, to the shooter or reloader, of hazard or ability to re-use the brass.

Features

  • Reduced recoil.
  • CNC machined from solid copper to overcome barriers to penetration
  • Radial flutes that force the hydraulic energy inward to build pressure
  • Minimal surface area to increase the force at the point of contact and sharp cutting edges that defeat barriers



What Customers Are Saying

Underwood takes the 40S&W back to life!

Underwood is well known for their great loads, on the 40S&W is a winner! Takes the caliber back to its life, no weak 400Ft/Lb rounds here, plus on the Extreme Defender, recoil is super light for those afraid or complaint about 40 recoil! I extremely recommend and this is the round used on all my self defense firearms, be it 380ACP, 9MM, 357SIG, 40S&W or 10MM... devastating, barrier blind... just google Military Arms Channel on youtube on the 9mm ammo testing...
- msimoni, 1/15/2018 Shop Now