What's up with all the .40S&W ragging?


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beatledog7
October 16, 2012, 12:39 PM
OK, this gets covered peripherally in many threads but maybe it's a good idea to bring it out into the open. It's not intended to be cartridge war, but a rational discussion focused on why the .40 cal is so maligned. Of course, some comparison to the 9mmx19 is inevitable.

Many shooters rag on the .40S&W cartridge, saying it's a cartridge looking for a purpose. But the same can be said for a number of rifle rounds whose ballistic curves are so close that the differences probably aren't worth the ink they get (that discussion belongs in another thread). Some argue that it's more kaboom prone than other cartridges. Others say it's too snappy in recoil and not enough stouter than a full-house 9x19 to make that recoil worthwhile. Still others simply argue that it costs more than 9mm and has no advantages as long as you get hits.

But some of us like it. It can easily push a 180gr bullet as fast as a 9mm struggles to push a 147gr bullet (somebody will launch into a +P lecture to prove otherwise), and it's very economical if one reloads. It allows for nearly the same capacity as 9mmx19 yet packs more punch, and its recoil characteristics are easily mitigated by training. Scads of LE agencies use it, so it can't accurately be labelled "useless."

So, what's your take? Why do so many label the .40S&W an unnecessary duplication of existing capability, a round looking for a purpose? And is it a fair assessment?

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allaroundhunter
October 16, 2012, 12:48 PM
To me, it is a cartridge looking for a purpose.

I have my 9mms, and as you said, with +P loads, it near duplicates .40 S&W performance. If I want something heavier, I will step up to a .45 ACP.

I do not reload, so cost is another factor that pushes me away from the .40 S&W.

Now, a place that the .40 S&W is great is in USPSA style competition. The .40 gives you major power factor points, with higher capacity than the .45 ACP.

CoRoMo
October 16, 2012, 12:50 PM
Why do so many label the .40S&W an unnecessary duplication of existing capability...
Same reason that so many label the .40S&W an ultimate perfection which fulfills the shortcomings of existing designs.

Because everyone's got an opinion.

Kyle M.
October 16, 2012, 12:59 PM
I really like the .40S&W I can shoot my g35 better than any 9mm I've ever shot, and it's cheaper to load than .45, holds more rounds, and the gun fits my hand. Unlike a double stack .45. I was always a .45 man then I tried 9mm and didn't like it, I fell in love all over again with the .40 and it's now my favorite. Of course the .38 super is a close second.

Sam1911
October 16, 2012, 01:01 PM
Just another thing to argue about. You know all there is to know about it, I'm sure. You can get a few more .40s in the gun than you can .45s. You can get more energy and momentum out of .40 than you can 9mm. The .40 isn't all it's big daddy cartridge (10mm) could have been, but it's now about 10,000 times more popular/common.

(Imagine some sports guy like a baseball player or race car driver who's dad was a legend but is out of the game now -- and that young "Junior" fellow gets tons more press and fan attention than his pop ever did. The die-hards would hate him just because.)

Throw in a bit of kerfuffle about how the .40 runs at higher pressure and plays closer to the edge than the old standbys -- and maybe a gun came apart every once in a while back in the day -- and now there's a kernel of truth for the hate to cling to. Sort of like air bourn dust collecting moisture and eventually forming hail.

Gun guys tend to be conservative-minded and many (MANY) are not terribly good at objective reasoning. A new whatever that comes on the scene has to be either AWESOME or WORTHLESS. Just being "fine" or "acceptable" and "a reasonable compromise" doesn't get the blood pumping.

beatledog7
October 16, 2012, 01:05 PM
Gun guys tend to be conservative-minded and many (MANY) are not terribly good at objective reasoning. A new whatever that comes on the scene has to be either AWESOME or WORTHLESS. Just being "fine" or "acceptable" and "a reasonable compromise" doesn't get the blood pumping.

Well said, Sam. I guess that's why I like the .40 cal -- it isn't the best for any niche purpose, but it has no vices and can be called upon for just about any role. It's the Honda Accord of handgun rounds.

Skribs
October 16, 2012, 01:07 PM
I think, from what I've read (because I wasn't even born yet when the shootout that is credited for starting the whole kerfluffle towards the 10mm and then the .40 S&W), that the .40 fixed a problem that existed at the time, but modern technology has brought the 9mm round back up to par. So 20 years ago, the .40 had a bigger purpose.

As it stands, the .40 is a mid-range between two cartridges that work, and so one can assume it works. What works best is open to interpretation, but I personally believe the 9 doesn't give up much in "stopping power" and has a lot of other advantages. I started on a .40, but I'm making the switch to 9.

holdencm9
October 16, 2012, 01:09 PM
I agree with Skrib the .40 was probably more relevent 20 years ago. Now, I agree it is kind of a cartridge looking for a purpose. So it can push a 180gr bullet as fast as a 9mm can push a 147gr....so? Both have adequate penetration for civilian needs (IMO). With one you just get less capacity (usually only one or two rounds though) and snappier recoil which results in slower follow-up shots.

I would love to get a .40 though, just to complete my service-caliber trifecta. It is a fine cartridge.

I don't see people "ragging" on the .40 S&W so much as I see newbies saying something like "Looking to get my first gun, don't know anything, but I think I want a .40 S&W" and then people come into the thread and explain the benefits of 9mm over .40, especially for a new shooter (usually cost, since a new shooter won't likely be interested in reloading at first, and practice ammo will be important starting out, and the snappier recoil, etc.)

Just the other day at Gander Mtn I hear some guy telling the clerk he wants a .40 but had no reasons why, he just thought it was "better than 9mm and cheaper than .45" but luckily this particular store employee knew a thing or two and pointed out that most modern 9mm SD offerings are just as capable, and it will be way cheaper to shoot, and less snappy...if that is "ragging" then I guess I hear a lot of it. I don't consider it ragging.

beatledog7
October 16, 2012, 01:23 PM
I would define "ragging" as expressing a dislike for the round without offering any rationale. It's saying something like, "You couldn't pay me to own anything in .40cal" or "the .40S&W is an abomination" and leaving it at that.

Bovice
October 16, 2012, 01:35 PM
It is not 9mm nor .45 acp, so it has a purpose. It's the same argument people make about 357 SIG, or anything other than 9mm.

I am sick of people claiming the 9mm can be pushed to +++p+++ and smoke the .357 magnum on the cheap.

It doesn't do that, and if you try, you'll be scrapping that gun for cosmetics before long.

Skribs
October 16, 2012, 01:41 PM
It's the same argument people make about 357 SIG, or anything other than 9mm.

Actually I make an entirely different argument for the .357 SIG. My argument there is that you get a similar wound tract with SD loadings, except maybe a tad deeper, but you lose on capacity and gain recoil. The .40 at least makes a bigger hole, but I don't think the hole is big enough to make much of a difference in a SD situation.

I'm not saying it doesn't have a purpose, I just think its losing in the tradeoff with the 9.

trickyasafox
October 16, 2012, 01:44 PM
I'm a fan of the 40- especially in ban states. if I am only getting 10 rounds, than the extra oomph the 40 has over the 9 in a small package is nice.

R.W.Dale
October 16, 2012, 01:53 PM
The 40 is a cartridge that HAD a purpose but lost it with the most recent generations of defense projectiles and folks are starting to realize this.


Its not 1992 anymore, we don't need that extra 1mm and few grains of bullet mass over 9mm to make up for the unreliable JHP bullets of the day. Today in the same guns wich was 40's selling point once apon a time its all trade offs from 9mm to shoot a 40 in terms of cost, recoil, capacity, durability all for no practical increase in effectiveness.



posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complaints about

Bozwell
October 16, 2012, 02:23 PM
I agree with Skribs and R.W. entirely. While it may have served a purpose when it was created, these days you are largely just giving up capacity and faster follow-up shots when compared to modern 9mm rounds. In my mind, if 9mm isn't up to the job, .40S&W isn't either and you need to move up to a rifle. God forbid I ever live in a state that mandates 10 rounds or less in the magazine, but if I do, I'll look to a .45acp long before I ever consider the .40S&W. Just my $0.02.

silicosys4
October 16, 2012, 02:40 PM
40S&W is cheap to reload. Really cheap. Once fired brass is insanely cheap. Cheaper than 38spcl. Much cheaper than .45acp. It gives .45acp performance with an average of 2-3 more rounds per magazine. I don't get how somebody would prefer the .45acp over the .40s&w. I can definitely see preferring the 9mm over the .40s&w, capacity benefits are obvious...for the same reason, the .40s&w has got an advantage over the .45acp.

David E
October 16, 2012, 02:46 PM
With one you just get less capacity and snappier recoil which results in slower follow-up shots.

Not true with properly executed technique.

Walkalong
October 16, 2012, 02:50 PM
So, what's your take?
It's an excellent caliber.

I don't have one anymore because I like .45 ACP better (For defense or the range), and it costs me pretty much the same to load for either one, so..... I don't have one any longer.

R.W.Dale
October 16, 2012, 02:50 PM
40S&W is cheap to reload. Really cheap. As cheap or cheaper than 38spcl. Much cheaper than .45acp. It gives .45acp performance with an average of 2-3 more rounds per magazine. I don't get how somebody would prefer the .45acp over the .40s&w. I can definitely see preferring the 9mm over the .40s&w, capacity benefits are obvious...for the same reason, the .40s&w has got an advantage over the .45acp.

Here's my take

40 and 45 do not compete directly with each other as they don't share the same platforms and or frame sizes much like ar15-10 comparisons.

40 caliber for better or worse is strictly vs 9mm.

I look for 40's future to somewhere mirror that of 38acp/super. Its popularity will never be greater than it was in the past but it'll always be around as a enthusiasts niche caliber.




posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complaints about

Walkalong
October 16, 2012, 02:55 PM
The .40 is indeed compared to and argued about with the .45 all the time.

David E
October 16, 2012, 02:58 PM
The 40 is a cartridge that HAD a purpose but lost it with the most recent generations of defense projectiles and folks are starting to realize this.

This line of reasoning is interesting. Modern technology is touted to bring up the 9mm to "nearly the same level as the .40!" (prior to the .40, the same was said comparing the 9mm to the .45, specifically during the military handgun trials of the early 80's)

This assumes the .40 stays the same, inexplicably not utilizing the same "modern technology" that improved the 9mm performance enough to make the statement plausible in the first place.

David E
October 16, 2012, 03:05 PM
The .40 is indeed compared to and argued about with the .45 all the time.

It may be, but the inventor of the .40 insisted it was vs the 9mm.

FBI wanted a 10mm load pushing a 180 @ 950 fps. Inventor realized he could achieve that with a shorter case that would fit in 9mm sized guns. (the 10mm would not)

He acknowledged from the start the .45 acp was better, but also that the .40 was better than the 9mm.

The result was a great combination of power, capacity and size.

The popularity of the .40 confirms he was not alone in his thinking.

R.W.Dale
October 16, 2012, 03:08 PM
This assumes the .40 stays the same, inexplicably not utilizing the same "modern technology" that improved the 9mm performance enough to make the statement plausible in the first place.


No it only assumes there is just one grade of stopped or dead.

If 9mm in anti personnel use is getting there what exactly is 40 going to do differently?






posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complaints about

W.E.G.
October 16, 2012, 03:12 PM
The .40 does everything a .45 does, and it does it in a gun the same size as a 9mm, and with more magazine capacity than a .45

A .45 will always be unnecessarily large and heavy.
A 9mm will always be less than a .40

Relevant?

Much more than that. Try SUPERIOR.

Arkansas Paul
October 16, 2012, 03:19 PM
The result was a great combination of power, capacity and size.


This is it for me. I'm a fan of the .40 for sure. IMO it's a good combination of magazine capacity and power.

CoRoMo
October 16, 2012, 03:29 PM
...can be called upon for just about any role. It's the Honda Accord of handgun rounds.
Wouldn't that make it the ''Jeep' of handgun rounds''? Or the 'F150'?

If not, what's the 'Jeep of handgun rounds'? What's the 'F150'?

GLOOB
October 16, 2012, 03:29 PM
9mm started the whole double-column mag thing, and the guns that initially made 9mm popular are relatively enormous and/or heavy - Hi Power and Beretta 92. Eventually it ended up being very popular in lightweight and very small polymer guns, including some intended for pocket carry.

40SW busted onto the scene amidst a trend for smaller guns. It was introduced first on the Glock platform, which is one of the lighter (and it wasn't even optimized for the gun with so much as a spring change). It quickly became chambered in several CCW style guns, as well. It's an exaggeration, but imagine if 357 magnum was introduced on a J frame, only, but with no option to shoot 38 wadcutters for practice. Or in a 9mm/45ACP analog, it's like having only +P ammo available from the factory. There's no step down for the non-reloader. Most people don't shoot piles of +P ammo at the range, but that's essentially what regular 40SW is. 40SW doesn't have a lower pressure standard that's safe for older guns. But in 9mm/45ACP, that lower power ammo is considered the standard, even by people who own modern guns fully capable of shooting a 100% +P diet.

40SW is very tame out of the right platform, even including some very light polymer guns with less grip angle than the Glock. But to this day, people think 45 is a gentle hug, and 40SW is a harsh snap with too much muzzle lift. (Personally, I think these guys spend too much time shooting 700fps plinking bullets out of 3 lb 1911's with crazy long 5" barrels - but of course, this is considered a standard, because that's how 45ACP was introduced to the shooting world). I've even heard people complain that shooting 40SW out of a 10mm handgun is snappy compared to 10mm. "Snappy" is a stigma that will stay with the round, forever, because it was snappy in the platform it was introduced on.

el Godfather
October 16, 2012, 03:31 PM
I DO NOT hate 40SW. I have recently ordered a 229 Elite in 40SW.

That said, I do think it is an over rated caliber. That does not mean it has no purpose. There is a segment of users that like it for its power & capacity combination. Such as people who want out of the box slightly more power than 9mm, but do not want to give up on capacity that much.

I do also believe that 10mm is best caliber there is. You dont lose on relative capacity and power is just amazing; especially when it comes out on top of 357 Magnum. Unfortunately, and it makes me sick, that there arent much decent choices available in 10mm. Thus, I believe that if variety of guns available in 40 were available in 10mm, it would drive 40 up against the wall in market.

Zoogster
October 16, 2012, 03:38 PM
The .40S&W is a fine round and was all the rage when the economy was strong.
After about 2008-2009 there was a jump in people switching who were full of justification along the lines of 9mm being just as good or good enough.
However that shows what is likely the real reason: cost.
As the economy got worse and spending money got lower people opted for a less expensive round, and then justified it as being just as good as what they had previously been content with so they wouldn't lose any piece of mind.


Really I think everyone should have a .40S&W. It is only through the popularity of .40S&W that 10mm projectiles remain inexpensive.

Skribs
October 16, 2012, 03:41 PM
Not true with properly executed technique.

Yes, David, but there are situations where people cannot handle the higher recoil, and shoot less accurately. Regardless, it is easier to control a 9, even with proper technique. I didn't say you can control it better, but it is easier.

As to comparing it to .45...I think its worth it to compare, but RW is right - the platforms are slightly different. The G21 is more different from G22 than G22 is to the G17. The platform itself is bigger, which many people don't like (its why a lot of people consider double-stack 9/40 or single-stack .45). So in that respect, especially if you have a capacity limit, then .40 has an advantage.



This line of reasoning is interesting. Modern technology is touted to bring up the 9mm to "nearly the same level as the .40!" (prior to the .40, the same was said comparing the 9mm to the .45, specifically during the military handgun trials of the early 80's)

This assumes the .40 stays the same, inexplicably not utilizing the same "modern technology" that improved the 9mm performance enough to make the statement plausible in the first place.

I used to think like this, until I started looking at what it meant when people say the 9mm was brought up. The issue with the 9mm JHP rounds during the FBI study was a lack of penetration. Now, you take 9mm or .45, and you're going to have a hole within 0.1-0.15" diameter expanded, and within about 1" of penetration (assuming similar loads, i.e. 147-gr 9mm and 230-gr .45 with similar style of bullets). So they really do bring the 9 almost on par with the .45, and the miniscule differences are not really going to make-or-break stopping the attacker.
I compare 9 to .45, because .40 is going to be a smaller difference compared to each of them.

Like I said, I started off on .40, but only because I wasn't sure whether I wanted 9 or .45. At this point, I'll take a 9.

beeb173
October 16, 2012, 03:42 PM
i would think many people had the same experience i had with it. i found it much more difficult to shoot well than a 9mm. i believe that i could get better with practice but it cost (especially 15 years ago) considerably more to practice w/ a .40 than a 9mm. i came to the conclusion that accuracy and more practice are more important than 1mm.

as far as "the ragging" it's the internet, man!

sargents1
October 16, 2012, 04:06 PM
OK, this gets covered peripherally in many threads but maybe it's a good idea to bring it out into the open. It's not intended to be cartridge war, but a rational discussion focused on why the .40 cal is so maligned. Of course, some comparison to the 9mmx19 is inevitable.
....

So, what's your take? Why do so many label the .40S&W an unnecessary duplication of existing capability, a round looking for a purpose? And is it a fair assessment?

I think most people rag on the .40 for the same reason some baseball fans hate the Yankees. Because they're pretty much the best team in baseball. When you are on top, everyone wants to bring you down. Likewise, the .40 is the perfect balance of power, mag capacity and handling dynamics. In many ways, it is the ideal pistol cartridge for a combat handgun.

That said, I dont think I will ever own a dedicated .40S&W pistol. If I want a soft shooting gun for plinking, my 9mm will serve. If I want something more serious (in terms of power) I will use my 10mm. I might be convinced to get a .40 barrel for my 10mm for the convenience of being able to get ammo anywhere.

Hunter125
October 16, 2012, 04:07 PM
I look for 40's future to somewhere mirror that of 38acp/super. Its popularity will never be greater than it was in the past but it'll always be around as a enthusiasts niche caliber.

I'm no psychic, but regardless of what you think of it I hardly doubt the .40 S&W is going to go the way of .38 acp / Super. Enough LE agencies have been using .40 for so long it is pretty well ingrained in the gun culture.

I have no stats, but my guess is that there are way more guns in .40 out there than there ever were in .38 acp/super.

Skribs
October 16, 2012, 04:44 PM
I'm no psychic, but regardless of what you think of it I hardly doubt the .40 S&W is going to go the way of .38 acp / Super. Enough LE agencies have been using .40 for so long it is pretty well ingrained in the gun culture.

I have no stats, but my guess is that there are way more guns in .40 out there than there ever were in .38 acp/super.

No, but I think a good chunk of .40 users are going back to the 9.

glenns
October 16, 2012, 04:48 PM
I love the sound and feel of a 40S&W leaving the barrel. It gets the wrath of being a 'middle child.'

HOOfan_1
October 16, 2012, 04:50 PM
I'm no psychic, but regardless of what you think of it I hardly doubt the .40 S&W is going to go the way of .38 acp / Super. Enough LE agencies have been using .40 for so long it is pretty well ingrained in the gun culture.

.

I pick up more .40 S&W brass at my range than I pick up .45 ACP. I pick up about as much .40 S&W as I pick up 9mm actually. Unless .40 users are less likely to reload than .45ACP and 9mm users, then that pretty much tells me the .40 is pretty darn popular

Skribs
October 16, 2012, 04:52 PM
I'm not saying it's not popular HOO, but I think it's going to go down in popularity over the next few years, at least based on the trend I'm seeing on this forum.

Then again, they try to stamp out fanboi-ism on this forum, and the .40 probably has the die-hardest fanbois around (followed by .45, then 9, IMO).

Sam1911
October 16, 2012, 05:04 PM
I'm not saying it's not popular HOO, but I think it's going to go down in popularity over the next few years, at least based on the trend I'm seeing on this forum.


I'd take a BIG chunk of that action. Lots of talk about how so and so is "going back to the 9mm" but .40 S&W ammo is often as cheap or cheaper than 9mm, and certainly can be loaded for practically the same price, and there are BILLIONS of free .40 cases lying around almost every range in the country and millions of guns chambered to shoot them.

It takes a special genius to figure the economics of buying a new 9mm to save the ammo costs of shooting a .40 you've already got.

.40 will die off just like the plastic guns did. ;)

GLOOB
October 16, 2012, 05:11 PM
40 S&W ammo is often as cheap or cheaper than 9mm, and certainly can be loaded for practically the same price
I disagree a bit. And this is the weird thing about 40. Top end defensive ammo can usually be found for the same or cheaper. Regular plinking ammo is significantly more expensive. And reloading jacketed or plated bullets is also significantly more expensive. (Even cast bullets are noticeably more expensive, but at least they're both cheap, making the cost of the bullet a smaller fraction of the total cost!) So the cost I'm seeing is only similar when you look at the cheapest cast reloads or the more pricey top end SD factory ammo.

I suppose if you have to pay a lot more for 9mm brass than this plentiful, free 40 brass I keep hearing about, then that might make up the difference. I get a lot more 9mm pickups where I shoot (10-1), and I've never been offered O.F.'d 40 brass for less than 9mm.

All this said, my main gripe with 40 is that you can't blindly throw it in the tumbler with 223. I have solved that problem by buying a 308. :) When I shoot the 223, I bring the 9mm or 357. When I shoot the 308, I can bring along any of my pistols.

JDGray
October 16, 2012, 05:17 PM
I love the 40S&W, I got back into the caliber because I had to. I bought a CZ40B, and found it to be the best shooting gun I own. I now added a G35 into the mix:)

For all out performance, you still cant beat a 357 Magnum... It out performs every caliber, and only is equaled by the 10mm, but only when shooting very heavy bullets. It really puts to shame the 357Sig, which is really a cartridge looking for some love;)

checkmyswag
October 16, 2012, 05:20 PM
40 is great. Enjoy.

SharpsDressedMan
October 16, 2012, 05:35 PM
If you have a .45, a 10mm, and a 9mm, do you really NEED a .40? That is my simple explanation. I think the .40 is just fine. I just don't NEED one.

mooner
October 16, 2012, 05:52 PM
If I have a 9mm, a 45, a 38 spec, and a 44 mag, do I need a 40??? I think I might...

I have been going back an forth on this for awhile. I think the next handgun that I may buy will be a M&P compact - still not sure on caliber. One benefit to some 40 S&W guns is that you can buy a 9mm conversion barrel and have both.

The Lone Haranguer
October 16, 2012, 05:59 PM
I must have missed all those ".40 S&W sucks" threads. :scrutiny:

I dislike its bark and bite in small guns, but I hardly "rag" on it.

GLOOB
October 16, 2012, 06:09 PM
^Yup. I dislike the bark and bite of 357 magnum in a tiny revolver, too. Doesn't make 357 a bad round. 357 and 40SW momentum/speed/power are actually fairly similar out of a service size handgun (4" auto, 2 1/2 - 3" revolver) or smaller using 130-165ish bullet weights. Which reminds me, I have a weird fascination with the Charter Arms Pitbull. I like the idea of shooting a more efficiently sized cartridge without moon clips. Something about having a pocketful of stubby semiauto rounds vs overlong 357s, and just having fun. I just wish it were a full sized 6 shot range gun, rather than a lightweight SD gun!

beatledog7
October 16, 2012, 06:20 PM
Great points from all. Looks like I'm going to have to launch a similar thread in rifle country dealing with cartridges that once had a purpose but have been "superseded" or "made redundant" by newer ones.

But back to the .40 cal. A concept of particular interest to me is:

...I think a good chunk of .40 users are going back to the 9.

That would mean they are either selling those .40 cal guns, or the guns are languishing in the backs of a lot of safes. If they're selling, somebody has to be buying. Which do you think it is?

And allow me (it started out as my thread, after all) to toss in another concept. If ammo and/or component supplies are bound to periodically grow thin, or if certain cartridges at times become hard to find, wouldn't it make sense to diversify into the .40 even if you're not a real fan? If you reload, this would seem especially fruitful, since a couple of posters have noted the glut of .40 brass that can be had for the cost of bending over. (It's gotta be coming from somewhere.)

Sure, people stock up, but even our mountainous supplies can't last forever. I like being able to shoot any of the most popular and therefore most readily available handgun rounds at any time. That's why I diversified into .44 Mag, .45ACP, and .380 (my first semi-auto was a .40S&W) when a lot of folks are getting away from them. For me, buying the first 9mm was diversifying!

If you have nothing in your safe that can shoot .40S&W, and all you can get hold of anywhere is .40S&W, you're kind of caught short, right? The same concept would apply to many other rounds, of course, but it's doubtful we'll get to a time when all we can find are .38 Super and .41 Mag. Of the most available cartridges, .40S&W seems to be the one that gets the least love.

GLOOB
October 16, 2012, 06:23 PM
Sure, people stock up, but even our mountainous supplies can't last forever. I like being able to shoot any of the most popular and therefore most readily available handgun rounds at any time.
You might want to look into reloading and casting! It's quite liberating. I am now thinking about ditching some of my calibers.

Hangingrock
October 16, 2012, 06:27 PM
I have absolutely no experience what so ever with the 40S&W. Most likely thatís the way itís going to be. Most of my shooting experience over the last four plus decades is with the 45ACP & 9mm Luger. Iíll allow if I were younger Iíd be inclined to investigate the 40S&W. At this point if it canít be done with the 45ACP or 9mm Luger Iím not interested in doing it.

beatledog7
October 16, 2012, 06:31 PM
Gloob, I do reload, more .40S&W than anything else.

David E
October 16, 2012, 06:49 PM
If you have a .45, a 10mm, and a 9mm, do you really NEED a .40?

Yes, actually, I do!

Detritus
October 16, 2012, 06:55 PM
This line of reasoning is interesting. Modern technology is touted to bring up the 9mm to "nearly the same level as the .40!"

This assumes the .40 stays the same, inexplicably not utilizing the same "modern technology" that improved the 9mm performance enough to make the statement plausible in the first place

that's because most of the folks making the "9mm is now (almost) equal to .40" statements only care that 9mm has finally reached or exceeded the performance plateau that caused the creation of the .40S&W

Back in the "bad old days" when .40 was first released and touted as the best chambering on the market for SD, 9mm even in it's best loadings could not reliably meet the performance criteria set forth by the FBI (discussion of those criteria, and their applicability to civilian SD belongs elsewhere). Now factory 9mm loads are on the market that meet or exceed part or all of the FBI criteria. So 9mm fans and those looking for seemingly objective reasons not to get .40, have latched on to the idea of "See you don't need a .40 anymore, 9mm will do it.."

In other words those making the "9mm is as good as.." argument either are unaware that they're latching on to the round finally passing a minimal benchmark, or they see is as a case of a pass/fail criteria, and anything beyond what's called for to get a "pass" is overkill.

as for my take on the .40, I have nothing against it but i'm not very likely to ever own one. .40 is perfectly viable and If it works for you, it works for you. that said I do think that the next 10-15 years are going to see a decline in the popularity of the .40. I feel that due to technology bringing the 9mm up to and somewhat past the FBI criteria, as time goes on fewer and fewer LE agencies are going to issue/mandate .40 in duty weapons. as the LE use of .40 declines there will be a similar if not steeper decline in new shooters/owners buying .40. let's face it many folks view "what the cops carry" as the be all end all of SD guns and calibers.

I'm a .45 guy, but that's mainly because I'm most comfortable with 1911s, nothing else i've had my hands on felt as good in my hands or shot as well for me. and if you're going to carry/shoot a 1911 .45acp is a good choice.

jim goose
October 16, 2012, 06:58 PM
There is a place for every caliber. To me, 40 SW is a good one gun caliber. So is the .357 sig.

If I'm going to have two guns, well then, a 9mm and a .45 acp are better options.

On the flipside, most gun pro's ive dealt with have told me the 40SW has a spin on it that make follow ups harder.

Walkalong
October 16, 2012, 07:10 PM
The .40 does everything a .45 does, and it does it in a gun the same size as a 9mm, and with more magazine capacity than a .45

A .45 will always be unnecessarily large and heavy. This doesn't fly. There are 9MMs that are larger than the 1911. Put the .40 in a Beretta 92 and it is a .40 in a gun bigger than a 1911. There are compact guns in all calibers these days.

But all that said, the 9MM vs .40 vs .45 is a dumb debate. :)

The OP asked about why folks hate on the fourty, not what caliber is best.

David E
October 16, 2012, 07:13 PM
9mm started the whole double-column mag thing,

The first handgun that used a detachable staggered magazine was the Savage Model 1907, chambered in .32 and .380

40SW busted onto the scene amidst a trend for smaller guns. It was introduced first on the Glock platform

Negative. The caliber was introduced simultaneously with the Smith and Wesson Model 4006 at the 1990 SHOT show. Hence the full caliber designation ".40 Smith & Wesson.". Gaston WISHES he had dibs on the .40!

"Snappy" is a stigma that will stay with the round, forever, because it was snappy in the platform it was introduced on.

The 4006 was all stainless steel. Nothing at all "snappy" from that gun.

walker944
October 16, 2012, 07:19 PM
I won't buy anything in .40 S&W. Never have, and have not plans to do so in the future. The caliber has lasted longer than I ever thought it would.

Bozwell
October 16, 2012, 07:40 PM
In other words those making the "9mm is as good as.." argument either are unaware that they're latching on to the round finally passing a minimal benchmark, or they see is as a case of a pass/fail criteria, and anything beyond what's called for to get a "pass" is overkill.

I think it's more the latter, and there's really some truth to that school of thought. A given bullet can only expand so much. You'll never see a 9mm or .40S&W expand to 5" or something like that. As such, so long as a bullet achieves reliable expansion and holds together, you're set for the expansion prong of the analysis. Likewise, when it comes to penetration, the human body is only so thick, even when you account for arms being in the way, heavy clothing, big muscles, etc. Once you reach a certain level of penetration, you're not really gaining much with additional penetration.

So, when you have 9mm rounds that will penetrate in the range of 12-18" and expand reliably, you've satisfied the basic criteria for a SD round. Higher capacity and less "snappiness" from the same platform, relative to the .40S&W, are just icing on the cake. At that point, if you need something larger to stop whatever is threatening you, the correct answer is probably a rifle, and not a larger pistol round.

That said, caliber debates are largely a fruitless exercise. If you feel more comfortable with .40S&W as opposed to a 9mm or .45acp, by all means carry one. At some point, the actual performance differences are pretty trivial and it comes down to what is more reassuring to you.

mooner
October 16, 2012, 07:43 PM
Negative. The caliber was introduced simultaneously with the Smith and Wesson Model 4006 at the 1990 SHOT show. Hence the full caliber designation ".40 Smith & Wesson.". Gaston WISHES he had dibs on the .40!

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Smith released the 40 S&W cartridge, but didn't have a gun for it yet. Glock snagged a round at one of the big shows (Shot?) and released his gun (mabe the 22?) chambered in 40 S&W before Smith did - serious embarrassment.

allaroundhunter
October 16, 2012, 07:49 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Smith released the 40 S&W cartridge, but didn't have a gun for it yet. Glock snagged a round at one of the big shows (Shot?) and released his gun (mabe the 22?) chambered in 40 S&W before Smith did - serious embarrassment.

This is correct, Glock introduced the Model 22 before S&W introduced a handgun capable of firing a cartridge of their own design. An embarrassment indeed.

That is, introduced and made available a handgun chambered in .40 S&W.

David E
October 16, 2012, 07:57 PM
Smith introduced the 4006 WITH the .40 S&W at the January 17th. 1990 SHOT show. Maybe they only had one prototype completed, but it was there.

The problem was they had none ready to sell. Glock got their Model 22 on dealer shelves one week before S&W

But the fact remains, the FIRST gun that was chambered for and debuted with the .40 S&W cartridge was the Smith & Wesson Model 4006.

JohnBT
October 16, 2012, 09:08 PM
"The .40 does everything a .45 does"

Where are the factory loaded 230's?

Kiln
October 16, 2012, 09:14 PM
I'm with the crowd that thinks the .40S&W is a good balance between 9mm and .45acp.

I do think it has been a little overhyped by law enforcement agencies but for personal defense you can do alot worse.

RUT
October 17, 2012, 08:17 AM
>>But all that said, the 9MM vs .40 vs .45 is a dumb debate<<

Agreed! Oh, and add the great gun oil/lube debate to the list. ;)

Kachok
October 17, 2012, 10:42 AM
I shoot all of the above, 9s, 40s, and 45s. All are potent thug thumpers in the right hands. while my daily carry is a 9mm I like loading for the 40 the best, brass FL resizes easier and you don't get random 380 brass mixed like you do with range pickup 9mm, and I can get quite a bit more umph out of the 40 then I can the 9mm or 45. Right now I am pushing 180gr XTPs to 1200fps using Longshot and Winchester primers, feels like a low end 44 magnum in that lightweight Sig.

WinThePennant
October 17, 2012, 10:50 AM
I'd get a .357 Sig before I'd get a .40.

And, I'd get a .45 before I'd get a .357 Sig.

And, I'd get a 9mm before I'd get a .45.

:)

Pilot
October 17, 2012, 11:01 AM
I don't hate the .40. I just find it unpleasant to shoot, and prefer my 9mm, and .45's. A buddy of mine loves the cartridge though, but downloads them for practice so they aren't as snappy. Might as well just shoot 9MM.

The .40 was/is all about marketing and selling more guns.

Thompsoncustom
October 17, 2012, 11:05 AM
I just find the .40 S&W to be a pointless round when you already have the 10mm. It's like .22 short vs .22 long rifle. But to each his own and if the .40 flows your boat more power to you.

Sam1911
October 17, 2012, 11:18 AM
I just find the .40 S&W to be a pointless round when you already have the 10mm. It's like .22 short vs .22 long rifle. But to each his own and if the .40 flows your boat more power to you. Hmmm... fits in smaller guns (not really very many 10mm guns in production, comparatively) ammo available cheap and by the pallet load at almost any outlet. The .40 is now a far more predominate cartridge than the 10mm ever was or ever will be. Probably at a rate of 1,000 to 1 in guns made and 10,000 to 1 in ammo produced.

Kind of like saying, "What's the point of a Camry when we already have the Nissan 280Z?

Now I could see someone asking why we still bother to have the 10mm when the .40 does most of what the 10mm was intended to do, except for those top-end loads that some officers couldn't handle well. But I think the shooting public already DID ask that question after a fashion, and that's why so few of them are sold

ku4hx
October 17, 2012, 11:26 AM
The honeymoon may be over for the 40 cal (may have been for a long time), but that doesn't mean it's not a good, effective cartridge. If all we shooters ever demanded was absolute bare essential utilitarian cartridges, 99.99% of us would have a .22LR pistol and rifle, a single moderate power handgun, one big game rifle and one shotgun. But being the adventuresome bunch we are, we all seem to want to try new and different things and try and find a use for them.

Every now and then I ask my wife why she needs so many sewing machines and she asks me why I need so many guns. It is what it is and we all have our fetishes and frankly one of mine is guns of all type. I also covet chocolate, good Central American coffee and a lot of other things too many to mention.

Being a handloader that has scrounged for brass for over half a century, even before I actually started loading my own, I can tell you that the 40 cal is a handloader's dream based on sheer abundance of once fired brass (my gun club is always littered with the stuff), bullets and bullet molds. The same is true for many other cartridges and I tend to base a cartridge's current success (read that as how many rounds seem to be fired yearly) on how easily I can obtain components. In that respect, the 40 cal has been a rousing success. Lately I've been trying to find once fired 30-06. They have proven to be very scarce. But 40 cal cases are everywhere and there's a reason for that. You have the once fired brass in such numbers because a whole lot of the stuff is being fired.

Buy what you want; shoot what you want and don't worry about what moves into and out of favor or fad. You have nobody to satisfy but yourself.

Skribs
October 17, 2012, 11:44 AM
This doesn't fly. There are 9MMs that are larger than the 1911. Put the .40 in a Beretta 92 and it is a .40 in a gun bigger than a 1911. There are compact guns in all calibers these days.

Yes, but the .45 single stack gets a significantly reduced capacity compared to a .40 or 9 double-stack. So you either have a couple of weapons with roughly similar size, with a slightly larger .45 platform and moderately less capacity (i.e. G22 to G21), or a moderately smaller .45 platform with significantly less capacity (i.e. G22 to 1911).


The OP asked about why folks hate on the fourty, not what caliber is best.

He brought up the .40 and especially the comparison to the 9. People are explaining why they prefer the 9 to the .40. I don't see the issue, personally.

I'd take a BIG chunk of that action. Lots of talk about how so and so is "going back to the 9mm" but .40 S&W ammo is often as cheap or cheaper than 9mm, and certainly can be loaded for practically the same price, and there are BILLIONS of free .40 cases lying around almost every range in the country and millions of guns chambered to shoot them.

Locally, SD ammo is a bit cheaper for 9 (not much), range ammo is $10/box for 9 instead of $15/box, and the reloading components I've found online are all cheaper for 9.

I also didn't say it's going away. I just think it will be less prevalent than it is now.

David E
October 17, 2012, 12:05 PM
If all we shooters ever demanded was bare essential utilitarian cartridges, 99.99% of us would have a .22LR pistol and rifle, a single moderate power handgun, one big game rifle and one shotgun.

I can't buy this at all, unless the person hunts once in a blue moon, if at all. Reminds me of the guy that points to the 1/2 box of 30-30 cartridges on the shelf bragging about how he's bagged 10 deer the past decade from that box and has another decade and 10 more deer before he'll need to buy another box.

I don't buy a gun or caliber unless I've already identified a need for it. Sometimes I'm disappointed in the gun, but never the caliber thus far.

If all you wanted to do was hammer nails, then the only tool you need is a hammer. But even then, what size nail? Nail size affects hammer selection.

But some of us want to cut wood, drill holes, drive screws, etc. Each task requires a different tool.

So it is with guns.

checkmyswag
October 17, 2012, 12:27 PM
I need my life to be simple. So I go w 9mm. 40 and 45 are great too. But it I went with one of them it would just be one of them. For those of you w the time/money/space/mental energy to collect all three, as it were...good on you.

Pick what you like. Shoot it. Don't worry about defending your choice to your buddies.

Also my phone tried to autocorrect buddies to Buddhas which is just awesome.

Mike Sr.
October 17, 2012, 12:54 PM
I have printed out a 40 page report on the forensic study of bullet damage to the human body. Compiled and written by a former LEO, but who is now a forensic expert for his department!

After the first 15 pages ....all i can suggest is dump the 9's and lesser, for a sure one-shot-stop!

When I get back home, if I remember this post I will provide a link provided I can find the link:what:

silicosys4
October 17, 2012, 01:09 PM
I reload hand-cast lead, and the biggest differences in cost between loading the 40s&w and 45acp is brass (but .40 is all SPP), followed distantly by lead cost. Per 500 once-fired brass, the 45acp is about $20 more. 155 grain .40 bullets are less lead than 200 grain .45 bullets. The powder charge is the same. The reloading components (dies and sizer) are the same cost. So for the reloader who casts, the .40 is just cheaper to shoot than the .45acp. The 9mm is cheaper than the .40 to shoot, but not by much, brass is exactly the same cost, $20/500 for once fired....but 125gr. 9mm uses less lead than 155 gr. .40s&w.

Bozwell
October 17, 2012, 01:12 PM
I have printed out a 40 page report on the forensic study of bullet damage to the human body. Compiled and written by a former LEO, but who is now a forensic expert for his department!

After the first 15 pages ....all i can suggest is dump the 9's and lesser, for a sure one-shot-stop!

When I get back home, if I remember this post I will provide a link provided I can find the link:what:
Plenty of other reports from very reputable sources disagree. If you really think that the practical difference between modern 9mm and .40S&W rounds is that much, you just need to do more reading. .40S&W and .45acp are great rounds (as is 9mm) but they're all pistol rounds. If you think they provide a "sure one-shot-stop", you're wrong.

Skribs
October 17, 2012, 01:44 PM
Plenty of other reports from very reputable sources disagree. If you really think that the practical difference between modern 9mm and .40S&W rounds is that much, you just need to do more reading. .40S&W and .45acp are great rounds (as is 9mm) but they're all pistol rounds. If you think they provide a "sure one-shot-stop", you're wrong.

This.

I need my life to be simple. So I go w 9mm. 40 and 45 are great too. But it I went with one of them it would just be one of them. For those of you w the time/money/space/mental energy to collect all three, as it were...good on you.

Yep. All my guns are for SD purposes, so unless there's a reason to have a different caliber, I'd rather stick with 1. It's why I'm currently consolidating from .40, .38/.357, and .380 all into 9, and why all of my long guns are 12-gauge shotguns.

checkmyswag
October 17, 2012, 02:43 PM
The honeymoon may be over for the 40 cal (may have been for a long time)

What does this mean? It seems to be increasingly popular.

silicosys4
October 17, 2012, 03:09 PM
"going obsolete are ya, .40? Other cartridges do what you do? well after you then"
said
.32-20
38 spcl
44-40
45 colt
44 magnum
.45acp
30-30
30-06
7mm mag
223 remington
etc...etc....etc....

"oh wait...you are riding the hip of damn near every LE officer in America...never mind"

Each and every one of those cartridges has been well surpassed by more modern calibers. If those cartridges are still around, and popular, .40 isn't going anywhere. You have a whole generation of very popular handguns built around the .40 as an LE cartridge, that are currently FLOODING the used market as trade-ins. Its "tactical", some people say "good enough" and some say "better than"...but in the end its here to stay.

besides, just as "cowboy action shooting" is popular today, "tactical action shooting" is going to be popular in due time.....oh wait, it already is.

Who in their right mind is going to argue that 165 grains of hollow point moving at 1150fps is ineffective?

ritepath
October 17, 2012, 03:23 PM
Best thing about the 40 is you can buy 357 and 9mm conversion barrels for them.

allaroundhunter
October 17, 2012, 04:14 PM
Silicosys,

What has surpassed the .223 in doing what it was designed to do?......

"tactical action shooting" is going to be popular in due time.....oh wait, it already is.

Yes, and because of the .40's additional recoil, the 9mm is the dominant handgun caliber in most of them.

Sam1911
October 17, 2012, 04:24 PM
Yes, and because of the .40's additional recoil, the 9mm is the dominant handgun caliber in most of them.

Oh? Depends a LOT on what sport and what division of that sport you're playing in. Plenty of .40 S&W fans in USPSA & IDPA.

Skribs
October 17, 2012, 04:27 PM
Sam, only reason I shoot .40 in IDPA is what I carry. When I replace that with a 9, I'll be shooting a 9 in IDPA.

Although I still can't decide whether I want a full-size or a compact to replace my primary, but that's a different issue.

allaroundhunter
October 17, 2012, 04:32 PM
Oh? Depends a LOT on what sport and what division of that sport you're playing in. Plenty of .40 S&W fans in USPSA & IDPA.

Yes, in many of them. I see many more 9mms than .40s in IDPA because there is not "power factor". In USPSA competitions, then yes, there are more .40s because of the major/minor power factor scoring system.

Then if you go look at 3-gun, most serious competitors are using 9mms, or are using .45s in heavy metal.

David E
October 17, 2012, 04:47 PM
Yes, in many of them. I see many more 9mms than .40s in IDPA because there is not "power factor".

There is a power factor, but just as a threshold. You don't get extra credit for larger caliber holes. Also, IDPA has their divisions, SSP & ESP, set up so there's little reason to shoot the more expensive .40. (altho the crafty shoot .40 loaded down to minor!)

CDP used to allow 10mm, but decided to make it .45 only.

In USPSA competitions, then yes, there are more .40s because of the major/minor power factor scoring system.

Correct.

Then if you go look at 3-gun, most serious competitors are using 9mms, or are using .45s in heavy metal.

And it again has to do with scoring. More and more matches are utilizing "neutralized or not" scoring to move things along. (critically important at a 3-gun match) This means one "A" zone hit OR two hits anywhere means the target is neutralized. Once again, there is no major/minor scoring advantage, so get your 9mm with the 22 rd magazine and blaze away without a reload.

Heavy Metal ONLY allows .44 or .45 caliber, so no .40's will be found there.

But if you shot all these and wanted the most versatility, the best choice is a .40

Skribs
October 17, 2012, 04:52 PM
There is a power factor, but just as a threshold. You don't get extra credit for larger caliber holes. Also, IDPA has their divisions, SSP & ESP, set up so there's little reason to shoot the more expensive .40. (altho the crafty shoot .40 loaded down to minor!)

I'm pretty sure I read that shots on the line are scored in favor of the shooter, so you get a SLIGHT edge by having a bigger hole.

hammerklavier
October 17, 2012, 04:57 PM
Like most of us, I've shot all three, and I don't get the .40 is too snappy argument. But I have never shot a Glock 22, I shoot a S&W M&P, maybe that's the difference.

If you have any guns that are too snappy for you, please send them to me! :)

David E
October 17, 2012, 05:15 PM
I'm pretty sure I read that shots on the line are scored in favor of the shooter, so you get a SLIGHT edge by having a bigger hole.

The larger hole could also touch the scoring border of a "non-threat" target for a penalty, but that wasn't the point.

In USPSA, hits outside the "A" zone score more points for "major" than they do for "minor."

In IDPA, hits outside the "Down Zero" areas count the same, regardless of caliber or power factor.

Still......the crafty use .40's downloaded to minor.

Ky Larry
October 17, 2012, 05:45 PM
I have a CZ-75B in .40 S&W. It's a great shooter. I don't carry it much because of the large size. I like the round just fine. Why should I care what the internet ninjas and gunshop commandos think of it? Folks should shoot what they like and let others do the same.

ATLDave
October 17, 2012, 06:03 PM
Why do people argue so fiercely about this stuff? Partly because some gun guys get their ego tied up in their gear; in their minds, they are their guns. Those who have chosen something other than .40 when a .40 would have been A (not the) rational choice are often determined to defend their choice as the best because they think that makes them better.

That's all. Nothing special about .40. 9mm, .45, and all the rest take their share of ego-defending contempt.

FWIW, I have mostly chosen 9mm for various reasons, or 10mm when I want something bigger/faster/louder. I feel comfortable with my choices, but I begrudge no man his different choice.

Robert101
October 17, 2012, 07:03 PM
I agree that a person's choice in gun and cartridge is subjective and hold no objection to other opinions. There is much contradiction in my handgun choices. I will at times carry a .380, don't own a 9MM, prefer the 40 S&W for CCW, and think the 45 automatic is a great stopper. My arguement for the 40 S&W is that it gives better barrier penetration than the 45, more mag capacity than 45, and is very close in size (diameter) to the 45. That's it. Yes, I think the 40 has a great place in the SD handgun arena and so do many law enforcement agencies.

David E
October 17, 2012, 07:41 PM
When someone asks "9mm or .40?" my first question is "what do you want to do with it?"

Their answer guides mine.

Torgy
October 17, 2012, 08:41 PM
9mm
The only advantage the 9mm had over the .45 was its velocity. That velocity, with 1,200 FPS in the 115-grain and some 124-grain bullets, created hydrostatic shock upon impact, which served to create large wound channels and significant indirect damage in surrounding organs and blood vessels. However, to achieve that kind of velocity, sacrifice of bullet weight was necessary. Lighter bullets are incapable of penetrating the necessary 12 inches. Granted, today's engineers have been able to improve the 9mm cartridge so that it consistently penetrates the requisite 12 inches in ballistics gel, with impressive expansion. However, you're still forced to choose between velocity (hydrostatic shock) OR bullet weight (penetration/expansion). Rarely do 147-grain bullets achieve the velocity necessary for impressive hydrostatic shock.

.45
The .45 ACP is, by today's standards, an antiquated round. In short, it's too big and it's too slow. 1,100 FPS is the velocity necessary to create hydrostatic shock in any bullet. You simply cannot achieve that velocity with a .45. And due to its girth, the firearms render its users at a disadvantage in shootouts. But despite these drawbacks, the .45 still penetrates and causes an impressive direct wound channel of the sort you can drive a bus through, sideways. In that regard, the .45 outperforms the 9mm.

.40 S&W
The .40 does what the 9mm can't. It does what the .45 can't. It's the best of both worlds. it delivers a sizable 165- or 180-grain bullet 1,100 to 1,250 FPS. That results in staggering hydrostatic shock, massive indirect wound channels, and 12- to 16-inch penetration with bullet expansion resulting in a .75 to .85-inch hole. This is why today's FBI and most other federal, state, and local LEOs carry the .40.

It has its purpose.

HKGuns
October 17, 2012, 09:06 PM
HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT.....and you want to know why? How much time have you spent pulling 9mm brass out of 40S&W brass that didn't polish in your tumbler? Or, ever have to separate it from range brass because it finds every freaking 40 case in your pile to hide in?

You'd feel the same way were you putting up with what I am...If they want to ban something, ban the .40S&W.

orionengnr
October 17, 2012, 09:30 PM
So, what's your take? Why do so many label the .40S&W an unnecessary duplication of existing capability, a round looking for a purpose? And is it a fair assessment?

Ummmm...because it is?

I can only speak for myself. I have owned easily a half-dozen different .40s, and in the last five years have abandoned the round.

If I want a full-power cartridge, I have 10mm and .45acp for semi-autos and .357 Mag, .41 Mag and .45LC for revolvers.

If I want a small carry pistol cartridge, I have a Kahr PM9 and an LCP.

For me, the .40 offers me nothing.

The .40 does what the 9mm can't. It does what the .45 can't. It's the best of both worlds. YMMV.
This is opinion, unsupported, and presented as fact. Nice try, but utterly without merit.

I just read this, and couldn't help but laugh...

The .45 ACP is, by today's standards, an antiquated round. In short, it's too big and it's too slow. 1,100 FPS is the velocity necessary to create hydrostatic shock in any bullet. You simply cannot achieve that velocity with a .45..
Really? I would like to see your sources. Most everything I have read indicates that hydrostatic shock requires 2500-3000 FPS, which you will not achieve with any handgun.

The .45 ACP is, by today's standards, an antiquated round.
Umm..yeah, as is the 12 guage, the .22LR, .38 Spl, and one of my favorites, the .45 LC. That does not make it a less than viable round.

Fine line between ignorance and ...well, let's just leave it there.

Cactus Jack Arizona
October 17, 2012, 09:33 PM
Many years ago I shot my friend's .40. Snappy, yes. However, a Polish P64 chambered in 9x18 has greater snap and more punishing on the hand. I could take it or leave the .40 cal round. In fact, I have. If I want a round with greater "knock-down" :rolleyes: power than the 9mm, I'll hang out with the 1911 crowd.

sfed
October 17, 2012, 11:19 PM
I reload the 40 S&W and have for a long time, of all the handguns I have the best are the 40S&W. I have two of em and both have been fed a steady diet of reloads. Not "minor loads" but "full loads" of just about every brand of bullet made in 10mm. I have checked with my chronograph and found the 5.2 inch barrel versus the 4 inch barrel yielded an average of 50fps difference in the same ammo. I like the "snappiness" as it was mentioned and enjoy seeing the center of the target turn into shreds after a magazine has been run through it. I have a 9mm also, but it gets lonely sitting in its box only to be taken out to wipe it down and keep it from getting dry. I may start loading for it when these arthritic hands cease to enjoy the "snappiness" of the two 40 S&W`s.

allaroundhunter
October 17, 2012, 11:38 PM
9mm
The only advantage the 9mm had over the .45 was its velocity. That velocity, with 1,200 FPS in the 115-grain and some 124-grain bullets, created hydrostatic shock upon impact, which served to create large wound channels and significant indirect damage in surrounding organs and blood vessels. However, to achieve that kind of velocity, sacrifice of bullet weight was necessary. Lighter bullets are incapable of penetrating the necessary 12 inches. Granted, today's engineers have been able to improve the 9mm cartridge so that it consistently penetrates the requisite 12 inches in ballistics gel, with impressive expansion. However, you're still forced to choose between velocity (hydrostatic shock) OR bullet weight (penetration/expansion). Rarely do 147-grain bullets achieve the velocity necessary for impressive hydrostatic shock.

Hydrostatic shock? Really?

I like my 9mms, but hydrostatic shock (the tearing of tissue due to rapid displacement) does not occur at 1,100 fps. It is much closer to the 2,400 fps mark, especially with lighter bullets.

Hydrostatic shock is most definitely not the high point for using a 9mm, and your whole argument has many more flaws.

Sergei Mosin
October 17, 2012, 11:59 PM
.40S&W offers less capacity than the 9mm and less hitting power than the .45ACP.

OR

.40S&W offers more capacity than the .45ACP and more hitting power than the 9mm.

It all depends on whether your .40S&W glass is half-empty or half-full.

Personally, I don't own a .40, but I prefer to carry a 1911, which means .45ACP, and the rest of my handguns are for fun, which means the cheaper and softer-recoiling 9mm is preferable to the more expensive and snappier .40S&W. While the round doesn't suit my purposes, there are plenty of folks whom it suits just fine, and that's OK by me.

checkmyswag
October 18, 2012, 12:16 AM
Sergei, well said!

mavracer
October 18, 2012, 09:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by holdencm9
With one you just get less capacity and snappier recoil which results in slower follow-up shots.

Not true with properly executed technique.

Still......the crafty use .40's downloaded to minor.
If your crafty and use proper tecnique why would you need to download?

bluecollar
October 18, 2012, 10:03 AM
For me, the .40 S&W strikes a good balance in power, capacity, and controllability and in a handgun that is easy to maneuver. I wear a .40 cal at work every day and when not working I usually have a PM .40 in my pocket. Count me as a fan.

David E
October 18, 2012, 10:17 AM
If your crafty and use proper tecnique why would you need to download?

Ah, i see you've never fired .40 minor loads.

Because a .22 kicks less than a 9mm. Shooting .40 minor is pretty close to shooting a .22.

Walkalong
October 18, 2012, 11:30 AM
The .45 ACP is, by today's standards, an antiquated round. That is good to hear. It makes it a nice match for my antiquated 1911. :)

"The .45 ACP in a 1911, still dropping bad guys after all these years."

mavracer
October 18, 2012, 12:14 PM
Ah, i see you've never fired .40 minor loads.

Because a .22 kicks less than a 9mm. Shooting .40 minor is pretty close to shooting a .22.
Ah, I see you missed the day they taught Newton's third law.
and yes I've shot 40 minor out of a G35 and 9mm minor out of a G34 along with about 6 others to settle this exact argument. Your 22 comparison isn't even close unless the only 22 you've shot was a Colt Ace.

Skribs
October 18, 2012, 12:22 PM
Walkalong, they are both antiquated. Just because they work doesn't mean they're the best tool for the job. But, inversely, just because something isn't the best tool for the job doesn't mean it doesn't work.

David, I'm having a hard time following your philosophy. You state that the recoil doesn't matter if you use proper technique, and then you say that people dampen recoil for improved effect. That's what mavracer was pointing out (I think) that those two ideas are contradictory.

RichM
October 18, 2012, 12:27 PM
Aren't choices great.
I have reloading dies for 5 different pistol caliber, I don't want another. So don't think I'll be picking up a 9mm anytime soon.
Shoot the biggest caliber you can comfortably shoot.

Blonde, Brunette or Red head. They are all fun. ;)

David E
October 18, 2012, 12:27 PM
.
I've shot 40 minor out of a G35 and 9mm minor out of a G34 along with about 6 others to settle this exact argument.

Sounds like you didn't use a good .40 minor load.

mavracer
October 18, 2012, 12:37 PM
Sounds like you didn't use a good .40 minor load.
125 power factor is 17 pound feet of momentum no matter what the weight or diameter the bullet is. If you think it recoils less that's great, enjoy your fantasy.

David E
October 18, 2012, 12:51 PM
David, I'm having a hard time following your philosophy. You state that the recoil doesn't matter if you use proper technique,

Using factory loads in full size guns, correct.

and then you say that people dampen recoil for improved effect.

.40 minor (properly loaded) kicks less than factory 9mm. Enough less to make one feel like he's cheating, as kick is extremely minimal. Why put up with kick when you don't have to? Can you tweak 9mm for even less kick? Sure, it'll kick less than factory and it's not a bad idea.

Then why would you want to load .40 minor? Mainly for IDPA and USPSA shooting. Using a .40 allows you to shoot one gun/caliber in several divisions with different power factors and be competitive in each. You can't say the same thing about the 9mm, at least in USPSA.

David E
October 18, 2012, 12:53 PM
125 power factor is 17 pound feet of momentum no matter what the weight or diameter the bullet is. If you think it recoils less that's great, enjoy your fantasy.

If you ever shoot a match near me, I'll let you shoot my gun and loads. After which, I'll gladly accept your apology for your above statement.

Skribs
October 18, 2012, 01:53 PM
Why put up with kick when you don't have to?

I'm not trying to attack you here, but this statement contradicts pretty much everything I've seen you say in caliber wars in the past regarding the lower recoil of the 9. You've pretty much shrugged it off and said the higher recoil of the .45 doesn't matter.

XTrooper
October 18, 2012, 02:45 PM
I shoot .40 S&W almost exclusively and don't give a rat's behind what others shoot or why. This simplifies things for me.

beatledog7
October 18, 2012, 03:00 PM
Then again, this was not supposed to be a cartridge war. I guess you can't have a rational discussion about why a cartridge is maligned by so many without getting into the pros and cons of its competition.

And speaking of that competition, it is interesting to note that we've bled over into calling the .45ACP an antiquated cartridge. Definitions matter, and by some definitions, it is antiquated. By those definitions, so are the 7.62x54R, 45-70, 30-30, 30-06, .38SPL, 45 Colt, etc. Sounds like another thread topic to me.

But back to the .40S&W. For those who are currently in the market for something in .40cal, or may be at some time in the near future, what guns are you considering, and why? What is influencing you to look at the .40cal? Will you be going .40 in a platform that you already have in 9mm?

DNS
October 18, 2012, 03:03 PM
I don't have a dog in this fight since i prefer 9mm. What i do have is a bad wrist and find the .40 is too snappy for me to comfortably shoot more that a couple rounds.

I can shoot a fifty round box of 45 acp before i have to stop, so my experience tells me the. 40 has way too much snap for me to enjoy.

"Antiquated".
Thanks for the chuckle.;)

David E
October 18, 2012, 04:40 PM
I'm not trying to attack you here, but this statement contradicts pretty much everything I've seen you say in caliber wars in the past regarding the lower recoil of the 9. You've pretty much shrugged it off and said the higher recoil of the .45 doesn't matter.

I said "with properly executed technique, you can shoot factory 9mm/.40/.45 equally well in full size guns."

I never said they all kick the same.

mavracer
October 18, 2012, 05:27 PM
I said "with properly executed technique, you can shoot factory 9mm/.40/.45 equally well in full size guns."
So lets see if I have this straight. You shoot 134PF 9mm, 175PF .40 and 205PF .45 equally well. But 125PF 40 so much better than 134PF 9mm it's like your shooting 46PF 22 lr.
Gee I don't know why anybody wouldn't buy that. Anybody want some ocean front property in Oklahoma?
It's not that I hate the 40 it's called apathy. I just don't care for it and I don't believe in magic.

David E
October 18, 2012, 05:59 PM
So lets see if I have this straight. You shoot 134PF 9mm, 175PF .40 and 205PF .45 equally well.

First of all, no need to always be so hostile. :rolleyes: Your Power Factors are high, but basically, yes. (so could YOU if you took the time to learn and practice said technique. I'm not claiming superhuman powers here)

But 125PF 40 so much better than 134PF 9mm it's like your shooting 46PF 22 lr.

No, I said its "pretty close." It's better enough to matter, which was only part of my point.

It's not that I hate the 40 it's called apathy. I just don't care for it and I don't believe in magic.

I don't care if you don't like it, don't understand it or can't handle it. Shoot what you want.

k_dawg
October 18, 2012, 06:56 PM
Aside from those with smaller hands, I fail to see any advantage of the .40S&W over the 10mm in the use of a SD firearm.

A few bucks here or there should not matter when your life depends on it.

mavracer
October 18, 2012, 07:03 PM
First of all, no need to always be so hostile. Your Power Factors are high, but basically, yes.
No need to be defensive, it's not hostility, they're called facts. Those power factors are figured from American Eagle and Winchester factory ammo. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

David E
October 18, 2012, 07:15 PM
No need to be defensive, it's not hostility, they're called facts. Those power factors are figured from American Eagle and Winchester factory ammo. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

Well, the fact is, you can shoot those calibers at those power factors equally well in full size guns using properly executed technique.

That YOU can't do it means your skill level isn't where it could be.

mavracer
October 18, 2012, 07:31 PM
Well, the fact is, you can shoot those calibers at those power factors equally well in full size guns using properly executed technique.
If that were a fact there would be no advantage to shooting minor power factor.
That YOU can't do it means your skill level isn't where it could be.
And I'm hostile. LOL

David E
October 18, 2012, 07:43 PM
Whats hostile about agreeing with your admitted lack of skill?

I'm sure that if I got you to actually to do it yourself (AND YOU COULD) you still wouldn't believe it...

Whatever.

Sam1911
October 18, 2012, 07:50 PM
Ok...looks like we're down to picking nits off the logs in each other's eyes.

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