40 S&W gel test: Black Hills 140gr TAC-XP solid copper hollow point

Black Hills loaded .40 S&W 140 gr Barnes TAC-XP solid copper hollow point fired from 4″ Glock 23 into bare ballistic gel and heavy clothing.

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Guns in this video:
Glock model 23

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Transcript ….

[coming soon]


Andrew is a combat veteran of OEF and has performed hundreds of ballistic tests for his YouTube channel, The Chopping Block (https://www.youtube.com/user/chopinbloc). He is an avid firearm collector and competitor and lives with his family in Arizona. If you have any questions, you may email him at choppingblocktests@gmail.com


  • 22winmag

    I thought .40S&W was pronounced dead.

    The unquestioning disciples of the FBI penetration and expansion tests will protest the 12 inch average penetration as not good enough for those Hollywood through-the-windshield and through-the-car-door self defense shots.

    • No one

      No, they’ll just continue to call you a sh ill for Liberty Ammunition and their overpriced mall ninja rounds, at least you stopped mentioning them every 2 seconds though so you’ll stop being a mockery for it. (maybe).

    • Wow!

      40S&W is good and alive in law enforcement where it was designed for.

  • USMC03Vet

    How dare you shoot anything but wonder 9mm!

    You have angered the tactical Gods. Prepare for dynamic entry!

    • Cal S.

      The Great and Powerful​ James Yeager has spoken! So let it be written, so let it be done!

      • maodeedee

        James Yeager says he hates the 40 because it’s a high pressure round. And yet it’s loaded to the same exact SAAMI pressure level as the 9mm which he says is not a high pressure round.

        He made that statement in the first and last James Yeager video I ever watched and that told me all I needed to know about his “Expertise”.

    • neckbone

      40 is awesome. People that scream the 40 is to snappy need to be slapped.

  • Major Tom

    Ahh .40 S&W, the heretical stepchild of handguns everywhere. Wants the stopping power of .45 ACP while retaining the low recoil and capacity of 9mm while attaining neither.

    • JSmath

      >Yet generic box of 40 JHP outperforms almost all generic box 9mm and 45acp.


      • USMC03Vet

        Whenever I read people complaining about snappy recoil of .40 S&W the butler from scary movie 2 pops up in my head with his strong hand.

        • CommonSense23

          The guys who I have seen complain about .40cal recoil the most have all been either instructors or people who average between 500 to a 1000 rounds a day as part of a shooting block. Its not that they can’t control it. But when you start talking about 40 to 50,000 rounds a year easy with a pistol. You can definitely notice it compared to a 9mm.

  • JSmath

    Since you have already committed the sin of testing a .40SW gun/round, could you give a box of the Black Hills 40 S&W 180gr JHP (Steel Case) a run through? Maybe multiple guns, too, to get a better feel for barrel length:specific load performance?

  • Gary Kirk

    HIIIISSSS, 40 cal, AAACCKKK!!!

    There ya go, no need to go any further or bother reading.. There’s the entire comment stream..

  • BBMW

    Please stop using the Clear Ballistics product. As far as I know, it is completely rejected by the wound ballistics community.

    I know it makes for good video, since the viewer can easily see the impact through the block, and it’s more convenient than proper ballistics gelatin to set up. But it doesn’t have the same characteristics as ballistics gelatin. From the standpoint of determining a bullet’s effectiveness, as defined by either IWBA / FBI standards, it’s pretty much useless. Generally, a round will penetrate better in Clear Ballistics than proper gel, so when you get a marginal (right around the 12″ mark) result with Clear, you can count on the round underpenetrating in a real defensive situation. As a rule of thumb I subtract 2-3″ from Clear results to approximate what the results from proper ballistics gelatin would be.

    Second, I would think that with a 140 grain bullet in .40, they would get better velocity. I was expecting 1150-1200 FPS. They rounds must really be loaded light, which is why they had such poor penetration.

    • Gary Kirk

      Then again, all 40 is just underloaded 10mm anyway.. But on the same token, pistol ammo relies more on just poking holes than dramatic tissue disruption.. So, if they’re just lower powered (therefore lower recoil) 40s.. Perhaps they’re thinking about faster follow up shots??

    • 22winmag

      Can we reject the “wound ballistics community” itself?

      I’ve seen enough perfectly good, purpose-designed, moderate penetration DEFENSE AMMO “fail” or “underperform” the FBI’s Miami-shootout-based, car-windshield/car-door penetration-based standards to last me a lifetime.

      • No one

        Hey, just because you don’t know literally anything on the subject and think garbage like Civil Defense and Guard Dog are “the future!” doesn’t mean you get a pass to not be mocked for constantly sh illing for them.

        Maybe you should hide in your safe space if you can’t handle people who know better then you do saying your round you constantly hawk for is awful. (which it is)

    • neckbone

      They will stop using it when you volunteer to stand in place of it.

  • BattleshipGrey

    I was surprised there wasn’t more velocity given the low weight projectiles.

    • Gary Kirk

      Could be meant to “poke more holes faster”..

    • No one

      Solid Copper bullets are longer due to the fact Copper is less dense then Lead, this means there’s less room in the case for powder.

      • Nunya Bidniz

        So you use faster powder. Something ain’t right here, esp. for something that costs 4x as much per round as regular grade .40S&W. Thanks, I’ll pass…

  • Stan Darsh

    Black Hills 140gr TAC-XP 4″bbl ~1040 fps 400 ft-lbs $1.30/rnd.
    DT Hunter 200gr Control Expansion 4″bbl ~1050 fps 500 ft-lbs $1.00/rnd.
    That is pretty disappointing performance, especially for a Black Hills produced round.

  • Raptor Fred
  • Spock

    These gel tests and the radar gun really help to figure out what the ammo is doing out there. Thanks Andrew!

  • Zebra Dun

    I once shot a jug of water in a milk jug with a .44 magnum, my friend said, “well now you know what will happen if you get attacked by a water filled milk jug.”
    Generally this shows only what each bullet does in the test medium.
    I have a new Compact .380 acp a Taurus TCP 738 which I am breaking in to the theoretical/mythological 200 rounds. Since I’m aware of where it hits and it is accurate 2 to 3 inch circle at 30 feet I have been shooting different makes of ammo into a variety of test material. Last test was Speer Hollow points at 925 fps vs a Winchester Flat nose metal case hitting a plastic five gal paint bucket full of wet clothes.
    I used this for several bullets types, all penetrated into the first wall and halfway through the wet clothes with one the FPMC going through and sticking out the other side, none expanded.
    What does this prove?
    Well I can stop a bucket of wet clothes probably, but none expanded nor penetrated.
    The most accurate test s to hang a full size pig dead, but un cooked and shoot it, then autopsy, expensive and bloody it is the only way short of having a willing test subject, who are hard to find.

    My only question is, How do they make that copper weigh 140 grains?

  • maodeedee

    The principle advantage of the 40 caliber over the 9mm is that a 40 caliber can launch 165 and 180 grain bullets that a 9mm cannot, and going to a 140 grain bullet gives up a rather substantial amount of mass to gain not a minimal amount of velocity.

    147 grain Plus P+ loads both produce similar velocities Federal as do HST and Speer Gold Dot 180 grain loads but with more muzzle energy and more projectile mass.

  • QED

    Going from previously used 10% ordnance gel in your tests to the Clear Ballistics funny stuff now is truly retarded; seems you have joined the crowd of “backyard terminal testers” who are, at best, suitable for entertainment only!