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Pistol-Caliber Carbines

18 Oct 2019
@ 04:56 am (GMT)

Ryan Nafe


I’m not sure if any of you find this topic interesting, but I’m curious if anyone uses these guns for brush hunting for medium game like the smaller deer species or pigs and the like.

I have a Kel-Tec Sub2000 in .40 S&W, it’s extremely lightweight and compact at 30” overall and about 4.5 pounds in weight, very easy to carry and bring to bear in brushy terrain and it’s also quite fast to aim with its AR-style peep sights, very good for doing deer drives in rough terrain.

I chronographed it this morning with two different loads, a Magtech cup-and-core 155 grain JHP (very very wide and deep hollow point) at 1,485 FPS and a Hornady 180 grain XTP at 1,235 FPS. Energy figures are about 760 foot pounds and 610 foot pounds, respectively, with the heavier XTP retaining its velocity and energy more consistently because of the higher BC.

For ranges of inside 50 yards or so I think it would be adequate for medium game, but what do you guys think of these numbers? Do any of you guys ever use these sorts of guns for this? Would you prefer the higher impact velocity and more immediate and extreme expansion of the 155 grain bullet or the more reliable penetration of the 180 grain XTP?


18 Oct 2019
@ 06:47 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Pistol-Caliber Carbines
Hi Ryan
you might find some useful info from this

something can be said for the little 44mag lever action.
almost brought a tear to my eye friend of mine had to hand in a 44mag deer carbine semiauto to get destroyed the other day which are great little carbines.

i know someone that was using 9mm carbine but was mainly shooting rabbits with it, think the main thing is to not expect same well factor as when using a rifle caliber.

19 Oct 2019
@ 08:47 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Pistol-Caliber Carbines
Hi Ryan, I wrote about the .40 S&W in Small Arms Wound Ballistics.

Just be a bit careful with brass jacket projectiles, they can display limited expansion under some conditions.

That aside, yes, a 155gr can work adequately at these velocities on lighter framed game, the 180gr for stouter animals like pigs.

Utilizing hand loads (Universal powder), you can gain another 100fps or so with either the 155 or 180gr. Lee make a good set of dies for the .40 and reloading for this cartridge is a simple affair.

I would ask that those who have the current book, use this post as an example question to enhance your own learning. Look at the question, then go to the handgun section and check over the basic factors. Then go to the .40 section and see how both of these weights sit (wounding / penetration etc). After this, cross reference this information with the .357 Magnum section which serves as a baseline for increased power / velocity studies. In other words, study the three sections, then form your conclusions and create a set of theoretical expectations for the carbine.
19 Oct 2019
@ 06:33 pm (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: Pistol-Caliber Carbines

I wasn’t aware of that book yet, but you’ll see an email about it. Extremely interesting.

My thoughts on the .40 carbine, let me know what you think about this, are that the 155 grain and 180 grain bullets closely match the sectional density of the .357” diameter’s 125 and 158 grain bullets, so if the .40 S&W carbine is producing velocities that are almost identical to what you’d see out of a 4” or 5” revolver with the .357 Magnum, then the performance should be very similar but the .40 will produce somewhat wider wounding. Is that about right?
21 Oct 2019
@ 08:31 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Pistol-Caliber Carbines
Hi Ryan, that is correct in a very general manner of speaking.


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