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Thinking about a .40 -- opinions?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Mastrogiacomo, Aug 9, 2003.

  1. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Well-Known Member

    I've never thought about this caliber before because I'm so recoil shy. But with the permit upgrade soon, I'm considering all kinds of guns and I don't have anything but 9mm and my .357 686 (I use only .38). The Glocks I want are all 9mm -- 17, 19, 26, but I've noticed the 19 and 23 are the same gun, just a different caliber. Also considering the Brig 96 Beretta but before I was worry about how unpleasant it might be to shoot and the ammo cost. I'm told the .40 is now available in a Winchester white box value pack -- but I've never seen it. Any thoughts on the forty?
  2. jetman

    jetman Well-Known Member

    I really like the .40/.357 Sig round and would HIGHLY recommend trying out a Sig in either a P229 or P239 in that caliber. My son at 12 put several rounds through my Sig with surprising accuracy for a kid. The recoil didn't bother him at all. Of course he liked shooting my old Kimber Ultra carry too. You can't go wrong with a quality gun like a Sig. The Beretta 96 I shot was OK but it just reminded me of my old SS 92F and was just too big and awkward and not as balanced to me as the Sigs.

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    IMO the 40 has a sharp recoil, it seems to have the intensity of the 9mm recoil with about 30% more recoil force than 45 acp. Recoil seems to be about double the 9mm, and certainly higher than 45 acp. The 40 is sharper than other mainstream auto calibers to me, but it should since energy levels are significantly higher than 9mm and 45 in most loadings.

    If you are recoil shy the 40 is not the way to go unless in a BIG heavy STEEL gun, possibly a government length steel framed 1911?. The Glocks and the Berettas are quite light for the caliber, but either should be pretty easy to rent before buying.

    I shoot a G22, Baby Eagle, and a P16 in 40 pretty regularly. I own the G22 and friends own the others. The G22/23 is a great package, but something to work into if recoil shy. A gun that is abusive to the shooter will undo MONTHS and YEARS of training, and each of us has a different level that we consider abusive. If you want a more powerful gun work into it slowly.
  4. longeyes

    longeyes member

    I've avoided .40 so far. I'm trying to keep my calibers to a reasonable number. I have yet to understand what .40 offers that you can't get in a hot 9mm or normal .45acp. A 9mm with Powr'Ball isn't enough?

    Have you tried the Glock 30? If it fits your hand, you'll find a great all-around firearm.
  5. txgolfer45

    txgolfer45 Well-Known Member

    Get the Glock 23! Light enough for carry, accurate, reliable and the recoil really isn't that bad.

  6. tex_n_cal

    tex_n_cal Well-Known Member

    A little mechanical stuff, for interest...

    Books can (and have) been written on the birth of the .40, but in a nutshell, it's a 10mm Auto case that was shortened until it would fit in a 9mm pistol.

    With good loads, they seem to be a little more effective at stopping bad guys than a 9mm. A little more power, a little more recoil. Magazine capacity not much less than a 9mm. Of course, the .45 is a better choice for defense. The 10mm with full tilt loads is an even more better boom - a 10 shot .357 magnum.

    For you I think a 9mm is probably a better choice. Good ammo accurately fired in a 9 is more than adequate for defense, and will kick less.
  7. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    If you've already got the 686, why not just upgrade ammo? 38's in a +P or 357 magnums would surely do the trick & the 686 is a nice gun to shoot hotter loads from.
  8. Peter Gun

    Peter Gun Well-Known Member

    I like .40 cal but it is a lot of recoil. I had a G22 which I thought was a good gun, but i found it too light for .40 and I was developing a flinch. I switched to a sig 229 and shoot much better. The sig is still somewhat light, but the extra weight and metal frame seem to do a better job of taming the recoil.
    BTW, I'm not generally recoil shy, I shoot .357 and .44 all day long, but I feel a heavier gun will help you shoot .40 much better.
  9. Hypnogator

    Hypnogator Well-Known Member

    In a full-sized pistol (like my Daewoo DP-40) the .40 doesn't produce significantly more recoil than the 9mm. In lighter weapons, though, (like my Kel-Tec P-40) the recoil can be punishing. A lot will depend on the weapon you choose. If at all possible, try before you buy.
  10. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    You might try the HK USP. The recoil system is designed reduce recoil and wear and tear on the gun. And they are noted for accuracy too. The best thing is to shoot a number of them and pick the one that is best for you.
  11. Zero

    Zero Well-Known Member

    Recoil Shy?

    How could you be recoil shy when you are shooting a .357 magnum already
  12. JSR

    JSR Well-Known Member

    I'v got an XD40,I don't think the recoil is that bad,kind of sharp but certainly not punishing.A guy makes a guide rod/recoil spring setup that reportably reduces the recoil and muzzle flip. I ran a few hundreds of the white box stuff thru it before I got my dies and was pleasantly surprised to get ESs of around 5-6 fps. Amazed actually.
  13. .45Ruger

    .45Ruger Well-Known Member

    Recoil Shy?
    How could you be recoil shy when you are shooting a .357 magnum already

    Zero, he said he only shoots .38's. I would second the Glock 23 or the Springfield XD 40 both guns are accurate and the felt recoil is not all that bad.
  14. mbott

    mbott Well-Known Member

    The CZ 75B in .40 caliber handles the .40 snap very well. Feels more like a stout 9mm.

  15. Erik

    Erik Well-Known Member

    40s don't recoil half as much as some folks would have you believe.

    I've seen plently of folks new to firearms learn on 40s, and not knowing they were supposed to fear its recoil, did not.
  16. defense2

    defense2 Member

    I've owned a number of HKs (USP .40 Compact, USP Tactical, USC, and USP .45 Commemorative) and I can report excellent things about all of them. Well, maybe not the Commemorative...I don't shoot that one.

    My USP .40 Compact was my carry pistol for some time. I put many, many rounds through it and had only a single jam with some really shoddy surplus ammunition. The recoil is fast and sharp, and for that reason my rapid fire accuracy is better with a .45 (my 1911 and USP Tactical, specifically). Still, the .40's excellent hybrid capabilities make it a solid defensive round, so it may be worth it if you're willing to spend some range time getting a feel for it.

    I still recommend the .45 for defense due to personal preference, but that really what it's all about, anyway. Shoot some pistols and see what works for you.

    Also, the basic USP variant has a safety/decocking lever that will allow you to carry cocked and locked with as much safety as any 1911 -- a major bonus for me.
  17. Marko Kloos

    Marko Kloos Moderator Emeritus

    I favor 9mm over .40S&W.

    The marginal increase in terminal performance of .40 over 9mm Luger is bought at higher ammo cost, reduced capacity, and more wear on the gun.
  18. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. I'm a female shooter by the way...;) I appreciate all the advice about the .40. I'm still building my 9mm collection so I won't be making a purchase right away. Just curious about this caliber because I hear so much about it. I can't get the H&K in my state so it's the Glock and Beretta for me. Appreciate the feedback. :D
  19. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Well-Known Member

    Personally, I would stick with the 9mm. Costs less to shoot than the .40 (10.96/100 versus 14.97/100 at Wal-Mart, value paks), less recoil, higher capacity with standard capacity magazines, and did I mention it costs less to shoot?

    With the right defensive loads (Cor-Bon 115 grain +P or equivalent), the 9mm is just as good a stopper as any of the others, especially with good shot placement. Lots of people tell me that the 9mm is a wimp cartridge, but nobody will volunteer to get shot with one either :). For the best 9mm handgun, read the signature.

    Just my .02,
  20. Berg01

    Berg01 Well-Known Member

    Agree 100% with this statement; my .40 cal 75B fits my hand and balances well, and is very accurate. I think the large steel frame also might help to counteract the recoil of the .40 cal, although I was never really bothered by the recoil in any of the other .40 S&W guns I've tried.

    If you like Berettas, try the 96FS Vertec; with the Langdon Tactical Level 2 Trigger Action, this is an absolutely awesome gun!

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