Sunday, September 16, 2012

Terminal Ballistics Testing Remington UMC 40 S&W 180 Grain JHP

Walk into just about any mass retailer that sells ammo, and you will probably find several boxes of these on the shelf.  Sold in bulk packs of 100 rounds per box, I can usually find this available in one of several local locations if I'm looking for some ammo before heading out to the range.  One thing that I've not found is plentiful information about how this JHP round performs in terminal testing.  Perhaps it's the very reasonable price point that keeps people away from doing any serious testing on this load.  I'm more open-minded and since Remington is an Arkansas company, I decided to give the home team and their product a thorough terminal test.
Pistol Specs:
Kahr PM40 with 3" barrel

Testing Protocol:
My testing process is pretty simple.  I take one shot at the end of a SIM-TEST block that is loosely draped with 2 layers of medium weight denim.  I take the shot from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured 2 inches away from the SIM-TEST block.  My SIM-TEST blocks are now closely calibrated to 10% ballistics gel density.  I shoot the blocks at the range and then bring them home and recover the bullets.  Immediately prior to the terminal test, I shoot a five shot velocity test string from 8 feet over a Competition Electronic ProChrono Digital chronograph.

I was very pleased that the test shot velocity was close to the five shot velocity average.  The terminal performance should be representative of what you can expect from this load.  The video below documents the entire test from range testing to bullet recovery.

My Thoughts
This was my second test with 40 S&W so I'm still in the data gathering mode on this caliber.  So far, I really like what I see with the performance of the heavy weight bullets from the short barrel pistols.  Weight retention, penetration, and modest expansion hit all the marks I was looking for from this load.  It may not represent the best possible performance in the caliber class, but I think it performed very well for a modestly priced ammo option.  This is one of those ammo choices that allows you to train with your carry load and not be overly concerned about the ammo cost.

Unfortunately, the aggressively large hollow point will not feed reliably in my PM40 so this load is not a good carry option for me.  Please make sure to test this loading in your specific pistol before relying on it.

Disclaimer....This test should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for the product(s) tested. It is up to each individual to make their own personal decision about which specific ammunition to use for their needs. It's also critically important to test any ammo in YOUR SPECIFIC FIREARM before relying on it for any purpose.  Ammunition labeled as +P should not be used in any firearm unless the firearm manufacturer specifically states you are permitted to do so. 


  1. Just shot through 100 of these at the range today. Accurate, but holy CRAP the muzzle flash is huge. This would BLIND you in a gunfight. OK for SHTF ammo, but definitely not a carry ammo.

    1. You must have good eyes like mine. I said the same thing when shooting these bulk packs at an indoor range and people told me I was nuts. It's nice to be vindicated. The 380 and 40 seem to be the worst of the 4 loads in this family. Shooting outside, you don't even notice the flash.

  2. Yep. Definitely noticeable. I keep them in my truck tool box for emergency ammo.

    1. Thinking aloud. If most "stops" with defensive pistol fire are "psychological" instead of "physiological," I wonder if increased blast and muzzle flash actually increases the likelihood that the shot(s) will be effective? Of course, the flash should be slightly more subdued in my 3.5" barrelled guns, but another factor is that my preferred close-range engagement technique in practice is the Fairbairn-Sykes "3/4 hip" stance, i.e. bent arm, gun below line of sight. Were I to attempt sighted fire, the muzzle flash would have the well-understood negative effects, but point-shooting might change the equation.