It is the actual weight in grains of the lead and copper slug. Powder is waaaay lower number. Like 4-6 grainsloneranger said:maybe I am wrong for asking this but I have been shooting a very long time... The 180 g is Grams of powder behind the bullet.. Not the actual weight of the lead coming out... So upwards from 180 will propel faster but still pull apart more during travel. A .40 or upwards will weigh more and pull apart faster than a .45 because of lead weight vs that of a .40??? If my math is on par??? I don't know for sure...
From what I understand in my readings, that may be correct. With the larger 180gr bullet some say it leaves less room for the powder (guess there needs to be a slight air space between powder & bullet?). So manufacturers in order to allow for the slight manufacturing differences load the 180gr lighter than the recommended charge, where with smaller grain bullets this is not a issue. Maybe their's a person who reloads .40 here that can verify this?If it was any other caliber I would say go with the larger bullet, but in .40 S&W, you get more energy out of the 155 or 165 gr. bullets than the 180.
There is no +p in .40 S&W because of the already high pressures. AS someone mentioned in a previous comment, in 180 gr. .40 cartridges, they load the powder lighter in order to not create too large of a pressure effectively making a weaker round. If it were 9mm or any other caliber we were talking about I would agree about the heavy bullet.I and most of the officers I work around prefer Golden Sabres +p in as heavy a weight as you can find, the heavier weight is marginally slower but with the higher pressure of the +p 's it translates into more foot pounds of energy into your target, and it will mushroom out to the size the manufacturer's demintions. As in a cars engine horsepower sounds great but it is the torque that does all the work. So bullet velosity is horsepower and torque is ft lbs of energy, so the more mass you have the better knock down power you have. Cause till any bullet reaches the magic 2000 fps, smaller bullets don't have enough velosity to make up for less mass. Go Bigger.
Hope this helps.