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Is 40 S&W the red-headed step child?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TanklessPro, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. mgmorden

    mgmorden Senior Member

    May 22, 2009
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Rubbish. Unsupported chambers bulge the brass a bit making reloading a bit more of a headache, but they're not kabooming due to it. Reality is that some people screw up reloads. ANY gun - support chamber or no - will blow up if you try to shoot a double-charged case or other goofed load through it.

    You don't want to shoot cast-bullets through a factory Glock barrel (be it reload or factory ammo) unless you know what to expect and follow a strict cleaning regime, but other than that its fine. The vast majority of Glock shooters that I know (including myself) reload for their Glocks.
  2. LightningMan

    LightningMan Participating Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    I have three .40 cal. handguns, also have two 9mm pistols, three .380's & two .45's. I carry a M&Pc in a .40 S&W, with a Kahr P380 as a backup pocket gun. I too like the .40 caliber platform, but like my other calibers too. BTW I reload for them all, and have never had a problem with bullet setback with the .40 S&W. Also have never had problems with 9mm or the .380, but the .45 acp has given me issues, which I have resolved lately. As for available ammo around here, it seems .40 S&W and .45 acp are still found at my LGS. LM
  3. Sauer Grapes

    Sauer Grapes Participating Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    S.E. PA.
    I got news for ya, around here, there's no .40 ammo to be had at Wally World and the LGS are running low.
    I love the .40 for reloading. I have 3 40's and I'm thinking about getting another one.
    I think your right, the .40 S&W isn't something a ''novice'' gun owner considers when buying their first handgun or even the 2nd. I had 6 handguns before I ever bought a .40.
  4. 420Stainless

    420Stainless Participating Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    I'm a .40 fan, both the S&W and 10mm. It seems like most folks want to keep comparing it to the .45 (not as much frontal area) or the 9mm (not as much carry capacity and more expensive to shoot) and they either stake one of those attributes or the other as the holy grail. I happen to think of it as a good combination of those assets, but it seems most see it as a compromise of one thing or another. I'm a bigger fan of the .45, but I like the .40 just fine.
  5. roachcore

    roachcore New Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    Here in KCMO I haven't been able to find 40 s&w since the election.

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk 2
  6. ku4hx

    ku4hx Senior Member

    Nov 8, 2009
    +1 Very well said.
  7. Onkyo

    Onkyo New Member

    Jan 25, 2013
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    I have to add this to the conversation. 40 S&W do have souls. (Had to watch the youtube videos in order to get this )

    Anyways in my area its the samething I cant find anything except 40 and 22. Big box stores and local.
  8. hak

    hak New Member

    Nov 17, 2008
    "Because the glock barrel leaves more of the case unsupported, weak brass and/or an overload can rupture the brass near the back side of the round..


    I know some disagree with all this stuff though."

    It's not about "disagreeing" it's about old data. they changed the chamber design. (old on right)


    you can see the one on the left leaves less uncovered. so maybe if you said "the older Glock 40 cal barrels left more of the case unsuported..."

    but it's more than that. it's people putting too much pressure in handloads (too much powder or setback)

    look how 'unsupported' a glock in 45 is?


    I own two .40 cal pistols, both H&K's and they're fantastic, a great round.
  9. wow6599

    wow6599 Senior Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    Wildwood, MO
    The .40 S&W is only good enough for the FBI because the 10mm was too hard on some of their agents (Miss Nancy?). And some of the early pistols couldn't hold up to the stress.

    So, we shorten the outstanding 10mm cartridge and the .40 S&W is born.....

    It's no longer in my stable, but to each his own.
  10. Tcruse

    Tcruse Member

    Oct 24, 2011
    Are you basing that on some publication or knowledgeable source? I would like to know of such a source, mainly to settle other discussions. Based on range brass pickup activities, it appear that 9mm is 75%, .45 ACP 20% and then all other (40, 357sig, 5.7,10). Of course this is based on one range and not a good sampling from other areas.
  11. greenlion

    greenlion Active Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    I think most of the civilian dislike of the .40S&W comes from the recoil characteristic. The pressure limit for the 40 was set the same as 9mm (35,000psi). I don't think the inventors were thinking about the recoil characteristics of a larger round loaded to the full pressure limit at the time. If you load the round the way it was first envisioned, a 180gr bullet traveling at 980fps it is a pussycat and does not have the snappy characteristic so many complain of.

    Imagine that the .45acp had the same 35,000psi pressure limit, and almost every bullet manufacturer tried to push it near its limit to be able to print a few extra feet per second on the side of their box. No one would shoot .45acp either. It would have recoil approaching a 44 magnum.

    Its a marketing problem though. If buyers see one box of 165gr .40S&W with 1000fps printed on the side, and another with 1150fps printed on the side, most of them will buy the box advertising higher velocity.... and then spend the rest of their range visit complaining about how snappy the .40S&W is...

    Oh well... Glad I handload... I love my .40.
  12. leeggen

    leeggen Member.

    Dec 16, 2012
    40S&W comp. to 45auto & 45acp

    as per Hdy. balistics chart:

    40 S&W 155 gr. XTP 1180f/s 479F# at muzzle

    45acp 230gr.HAP 900f/s 369 f# at muzzle

    45 auto 185 gr XTP 970f/s 333 F# at muzzle

    bad guy hit by any of the above = big hole and off his feet
  13. Buck13

    Buck13 Active Member

    May 15, 2012
    Puget Sound Convergence Zone
    People bounce .40 cases off me at the range plenty often. Even if it's the third most popular centerfire semi-auto, that's still pretty popular.

    I had to have a 10 mm auto, because I like not being able to find ammo at the best of times. :) There's your stepchild.
  14. Trad Archer

    Trad Archer Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    40 S&W fan here. Don't know why there is so much hate towards that caliber as well as the 327 Federal Magnum.
  15. Dentite

    Dentite Active Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    15 rounds? What magazine are you using? I have a BHP in .40 and the factory mags are 10 rounds. If you do have a 15 round mag how far does it stick out the bottom of the frame?
  16. willypete

    willypete Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    .40 can be more prone to bullet setback than 9x19 or .45ACP if it's using a redesigned 9mm frame. The feed ramps have to be set at a greater angle than for the same gun in 9mm, resulting in greater force on the bullet while entering the chamber.

    You will note I didn't say is; rather can.

    The easiest way to avoid bullet setback is to only chamber a round once.

    A more practical way to avoid the potential damaging effects of bullet setback is to inspect every round prior to re-chambering it.

    I used to own a Glock 27 and I reloaded cast lead bullets in the stock barrel. Never had a leading problem. I also downloaded the loads a bit. 175 gr truncated cone at 800 fps. Appropriate bullet hardness and velocity for loads used turns out to be a working combination. Not my favorite gun or cartridge, so I sold it.

    The current availability of .40S&W and .357 Sig is making me rethink my choice a little bit, but not much since I reload and cast my own bullets.
  17. Browning

    Browning Participating Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    DFW - TX
    .40 S&W doesn't seem quite as popular as 9mm or .45 ACP and I've noticed that there's still quite a bit of ammo for it.

    In my head I started thinking about who I know that shoots a .40 S&W and I could only think of two guys and in each case they own one apiece. This is out of about 20 shooters. One is a Glock 23 bought be a relatively new shooter and the other is a Taurus 24/7 that my best friend got used. He got it for $175 and it works fine.

    Everyone else I know shoots 9mm, .45 ACP, .357 Mag, .38 Special or even .44 Mag. Most just go to 9mm because of ammo costs out of default and if they're worried about 'stopping power' they go to the .45 ACP.

    .40 S&W was a compromise solution during the 80's before the crop of modern HP's. It was a good solution at the time, but I don't think it occupies an ultra-important niche. Just my opinion though.

    I was actually thinking of getting one just because I notice ammo is always available for it.
  18. Aaron1100us

    Aaron1100us New Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    I love the .40. I'm more accurate with that than 357 SIG. Maybe because I've been shooting .40 for the past 13 years. .40 is no where to be found anywhere around here, even all three walmarts are out.

    Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk 2
  19. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Participating Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    People's Republik
    During the last Great Ammo Drought .45 was hard to come by. I actually started reloading in February of '09. Glad I did.

    There are plenty of people with the $$$ to snap up every box of .45ACP they come across and right now they are doing it.

    I decided not to mess around with the 10mm Kurz for a few reasons.
    It's a very unforgiving round. As has been mentioned, most KB we hear about involve the 10mm Kurz with a good many mentions of Titegroup and Glocks.

    It has a rep as having a snappy, unpleasant recoil. I've watched people shooting it. Looks nasty.

    We are limited to 10 rounds in Kalifornistan.

    I just prefer the .45. ;)

    Was in my lacal Walmart a couple days ago. Only pistol ammo (besides $1/rd defensive stuff) on the shelf was .40.
  20. Voyager

    Voyager member

    Feb 6, 2013
    Duluth MN
    About as poor a choice as one could arrive at, the BHP is a 9mm, its never translated well to the .40 S&W. Too much for the frame, much as the Beretta 96, they feel good, but they wear out well ahead of the competition.

    Beautiful pistols, but not in the .40 caliber variants.

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