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Old July 14, 2014, 09:07 PM   #51
browningguy
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It was just invented to give people something to gripe about. The 9mm fans can complain that the recoil is too much, and the .45 fans can complain it isn't a .45.
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Old July 14, 2014, 10:05 PM   #52
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I have been qualified on the XD9, XD40, and XD45 by my agency. In uniform I carried the 40, now in plain clothes I carry the subcompact 9mm. My qualification scores are always higher with the 9mm. That could all change later this month when I qualify with my new FNX-40. Our duty ammo is Gold Dot. I do not feel at all undergunned with a good 9mm, but my agency will only issue 40SW and 45ACP. My BUG and off duty guns are both .38 snubbies. One's a J-Frame and the other an LCR.
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Old July 14, 2014, 10:53 PM   #53
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Ken, just what part of your post answers OP's question?

You know, I thought this was the "High Road" forum.

When the OP asked, "Why was the 40s&w invented?", could we have the decency to just answer the OP?

Talking about why 9mm is adequate or why you shot better with it has NOTHING to do with the OP's question.

Personally, I agree that 9mm+P is a round that I would be comfortable with and I have shot many more accurate 45ACP loads, but this thread is about 40S&W and why it was invented.
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Old July 14, 2014, 11:22 PM   #54
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Well one thing the 10mm and it's offspring the .40 S&W had going for them is they weren't a military round.


Police agencies were transitioning from revolvers in the old cop calibers like .38spl and .357 magnum to pistols and 9mm Luger and .45acp are both military ammo.

.40 S&W gave them a "civilian" or police caliber rather than using the same calibers as the military was using.
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Old July 14, 2014, 11:58 PM   #55
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It seems I was not clear in me response. I am not an ammunition or firearm designer. So I do not have the real answer. I am a simple user, like many if not all those who posted a response. It seems many of the posts in this thread have listed opinions. So I added mine. I was not disrespectful of anyone or any post. That is The High Road, threating everyone with decency and respect.

As I mentioned earlier, I may become one who likes the 40 more once I qualify with my FNX.

If I am out of line; Mods, go ahead and suspend me. Just be certain to read all these posts. I'm sure many also failed to completely answer the OP's question.
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Old July 15, 2014, 01:42 AM   #56
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Ken, many come to THR forum as it is a public forum for us enthusiasts to share our excitement, passion and information with others.

The OP just bought a 40S&W M&P Shield and is concerned whether it will work effectively to stop real threats, including being able to stop the threat when shot through barriers.

These are OP's questions and perhaps you can answer some of them more directly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Praxidike
After the 1986 FBI Miami shootout, why was there a need for the creation of the 40s&w?

If ... as everyone says, the 9mm and 45 are almost identical or better than the 40s&w recoil and performance wise, then why did the FBI need to ask Smith & Wesson to create the 40s&w?

Anyone have any links to what the performance of the 9mm ammo that the FBI carried back in the late 80s early 90s, so I can compare the stats to todays 9mm ammo?

The 9mm was developed ages ago. Other than the shape of the bullet head, what else could have possible changed that much? I keep hearing people say that the 9mm of today is so much more potent than the 9mm of 20 years ago. Is it that they did not have p+ 9mm at the time that the 40s&w was created? Can someone point to supporting documentation?

Also logically, if a change in the bullet head design made the 9mm of today preform better than the the 9mm of yesterday, couldn't that same design be applied to the 40s&w bullet thus keeping the performance gap between the 9mm and 40s&w that existed 20-25 years ago the same even though they BOTH were improved?

I can understand the higher complicity, lower cost, and less recoil argument for the 9mm and against the 40s&w, but the performance argument doesn't make any sense and it seems like it's just a claim is being loosely regurgitated and thrown around without much thought, logic, or data to back it up.

Were was he shot? In the Miami shooting, it was later found that one of the shooters was hit in the chest early on in the gun fight, but the bullet failed to penetrate.

I'm more concerned about if I have to shoot through barriers, will there be enough energy left to penetrate through flesh, tendons, and bone to the point to stop the attacker from shooting or advancing?
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Old July 15, 2014, 04:16 AM   #57
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10 or 15 years ago this argument would have been different. With the AWB in '94, all the hi-cap 9mms were obsolete, as their capacities were cut by 1/3. With the advent of the .40, they were viable options again. The big wonder-nines could be had in .40 with almost full capacity magazines. Since the .40 had higher pressures and needed larger guns then, the 9mm variants were perfect conversion candidates. I think the popularity of it started with civilians and wandered over to police departments. When I started in police work, it was a major PITA to get a hi-cap 9mm. I ended up at my first police job with a Beretta 96 with 10 round magazines. Until you got a job, you were under the same rules as the rest of the populace, and working for a big agency and trying to get a letter from the top dog at the department was impractical. When I bought my Beretta 92 during the ban, I remember what a huge headache it was to get the 15 rounders that came with the 92FS police special. .40 seemed like the perfect compromise.

I have a friend who was involved in a shooting with a Beretta 96. His bullets were fragmenting hitting walls inside the house he was in, and failed to hit the bad guy. Here's an example of a guy getting lit up with 13 rounds of .45 rounds. He only stopped after THREE shots to the head.

http://www.policeone.com/patrol-issu...mo-on-the-job/

That whole hocus pocus about 'dropping' someone is relegated to the imagination of Hollywood directors.
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Old July 15, 2014, 07:33 AM   #58
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Quote:
Ken, just what part of your post answers OP's question?

You know, I thought this was the "High Road" forum.

When the OP asked, "Why was the 40s&w invented?", could we have the decency to just answer the OP?
You are trying to shovel the beach into the ocean...good luck...next up are the Taurus/Glock/Bersa bashers.
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Old July 15, 2014, 09:46 AM   #59
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.40 Short & Wimpy ain't going to die out, as some poster seems to think...
if anything, its highly probable to be the next US military caliber...

the 1986 Miami shootout is far from the last to show the downside of the 9mm/.38spl loading.
Why do I lump those two together? That's what the 9mm was intended to be,
a simple replacement for the .38special...ballistically similar, but with semi-auto/hi-cap use.
Almost any idiot can use a 9mm, its the perfect training weapon,
and a great way to start inexperienced gun handlers/tiny officers off.
Once one becomes a more experienced pistoleer, can always move to a different caliber.
10mm is way too much to give a new shooter, all they'll do is blow holes in everything but the perp
.40S&W strikes the balance of leaving a bigger wound hole to bleed from, lighter recoil than a 10mm,
and being small enough to allow a decent capacity.
The Newer .40S&W are NOT on 9mm frames, as most MFR's figured out they'd not last,
and lawsuits from busted slide stops are Expensive

When I was getting my 1st Criminal Justice Management degree in the early 90's,
one of the dashcam vids shown in a class was of a shootout on a front porch
of a large (300+ pounds) B/M who had a 9mm...he & the police traded shots,
19 of the officer's 9mm rounds struck him, including TWO head shots.
when his weapon ran out, he threw it at police and charged them with a machete...
he was finally brought down by two shotgun blasts...
Moral of the story, sometimes you need a lot more than 9mm to drop a crackhead.

9mm, .40S&W, .45ACP & 10mm all have a solid place in my arsenal.
The smartest departments have at least those four, so they can give their officers Options...
IMHO, The Best departments let their officers choose their own weapons & reimburse.
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Old July 15, 2014, 10:14 AM   #60
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Re: post #57: Sergeant Gramins fired 33 shots (45ACP) with 14 hits, the final three shots hitting accurately, (the head) thus saving his life. He was up against a very tough dude. Some bad guys take more lead before they drop, that's why the FBI wanted a more effective stopper, and the 10mm and 40 S&W cartridges came to be.

As for the 40 S&W cartridge, if I get tagged by a 180 gr fmjfp in the eye, or the spine, I will drop like a stone... every time.

And yes I have two 40 cal guns that make it into the carry rotation: a Sig 229, and a moon-clip Taurus 405, both soft shooters.

A good cartridge, but given the choice in a showdown, I'll take a 44. Bigger bullet.

If the opponent won't drop, you need a bigger weapon.*


*Sign over ancient Roman gladiator school.
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Old July 15, 2014, 10:46 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Shrek View Post
.40 Short & Wimpy ain't going to die out, as some poster seems to think...
"There's a big difference between 'mostly dead' and 'all dead'" -Miracle Max

Quote:
That's what the 9mm was intended to be, a simple replacement for the .38special...ballistically similar, but with semi-auto/hi-cap use.
The 9mm was developed for the Luger pistol which has an 8 round magazine- hardly "high capacity". The 9mm didn't find it's way into a staggered column magazine until the advent of the HiPower
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Old July 15, 2014, 11:13 AM   #62
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Quote:
"There's a big difference between 'mostly dead' and 'all dead'" -Miracle Max
In the civilian world, 40S&W is probably the number one USPSA, IDPA, IPSC, and 3 gun round. Literally millions of rounds fired every weekend across our nation and worldwide.
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Old July 15, 2014, 11:39 AM   #63
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Agreed, tarosean. And when I go to an indoor range, I see more .40 brass on the ground than anything else. Only 9mm is close, but there's usually more .40. .45 ACP, .38spl, .223/5.56 and .380 are next most common. Anything else is a comparative rarity. There used to be lots of .22lr, but not so much these days.
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Old July 15, 2014, 12:27 PM   #64
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I would have thought that after the Miami shootout, the cops would have gone to some type of fully automatic long gun like the Uzi as a main duty weapon. All these pistols and revolvers are really just so many handheld pop guns better left to guys like Jack Bauer and Dirty Harry. It's questionable if the development of the 10mm and .40 caliber rounds and handguns wasn't in the end simply a colossal waste of time and government money.
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Old July 15, 2014, 01:06 PM   #65
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Quote:
In the civilian world, 40S&W is probably the number one USPSA, IDPA, IPSC, and 3 gun round.
I seriously doubt that since only uspsa "limited" is really dominated by the .40. IPSC/USPSA open and production classes are dominated by the various .355 caliber rounds and IDPA ESP and SSP are both 9mm dominated, For IDPA CDP 40 is illegal
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Old July 15, 2014, 01:35 PM   #66
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You all have me really regretting the fact that I purchased a 40mm instead of the 9mm lol. Lots of helpful information in this thread regardless.
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Old July 15, 2014, 01:35 PM   #67
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.40S&W....

Id hardly call the R&D or issue of a .40S&W round a waste.
The US Border Patrol which is the largest federal LE agency gets in the most documented gunfights(lethal force) every FY. They've used .40 Beretta 96Ds & later the HK P2000s for many years with good results. To my knowledge the USBP let special agents buy & carry DA only SIG P229Rs as a alternative.
The Pittsburgh PA Bureau of Police had a incident where the .40S&W duty loads were questioned but many LE insiders & tactics trainers said it was a issue of shot placement or marksmanship not the .40S&W duty round.

The VA state troopers & Richmond VA police converted to the .357sig pistol in the late 1990s. They felt it worked better than the .40 for their needs.
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Old July 15, 2014, 02:00 PM   #68
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357 magnum is looking better to me after reading that article about the 45 rounds he shot that guy with. I have seen people shot with multiple 45's who survived, but have no idea of what kind of ammo it was other than ball.
We need a bullet that explodes on impact, like they tried with the Super Vels 30+ years ago. for special circumstances. Or one that opens up at a certain speed or distance from the muzzle to a much larger diameter.
I can't believe that cop shot that perp that many time with clean hit's and the guy was still alive, even with 3 in the face.
I may pick up a 10 just after that article.
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Old July 15, 2014, 02:09 PM   #69
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It confounds me that the Border Patrol does not gun up with the 357 SIG, which closely approximates the terminal ballistics of the agency's former revolver caliber held so near and dear, the 357 MAG.

Perhaps the OP should not pine his purchase of a .40 Short and Weak in lieu of a 9mm, but should loose sleep instead over not having bought a +9mm+, aka, 357 SIG.

Geo Burns: We may not have an exploding bullet in the arsenal, but the Gold Dot bullet in various calibers has been extolled as the next best thing, being able to grab onto and cut through things like bone and windshield glass.

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Old July 15, 2014, 02:23 PM   #70
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Quote:
You all have me really regretting the fact that I purchased a 40mm instead of the 9mm lol.
Don't worry the 40 S&W is a fine compramise, as far as one being the best compramise thats an oxymoron.
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Old July 15, 2014, 02:33 PM   #71
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Well the bottom line is since s&w created the 40s&w there have been countless guns made chambered in that round which means more 40s&w sales,also countless American LE agencies issued 40s which mean more sales. So I would say a big part of it is was also $$$$$$$$. Genius
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Old July 15, 2014, 02:35 PM   #72
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I can't help but think of this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Quie...pQJV34N99ZbhzQ

In all fairness he has similar videos for both 9mm and .45....
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Old July 15, 2014, 04:37 PM   #73
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I got a 40 and I like it. It reminds me of the 357 Magnums I have owned and shot over the years. Strong but not overpowering recoil. I got 15 rounds vs 6. So I'm a happy man.
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Old July 16, 2014, 03:36 PM   #74
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On the original question and I'll try to stick to the facts: Why was the 40 S&W invented?

Miami shootout. The FBI were armed with S&W revolvers and firing 38 Spl+P LSWCHP and the S&W model 459 in 9mm JHP with 20 round mags available to it.

At the same time the U.S. Army had just adopted the M9 in 9mm as the standard service sidearm. It replaced the 1911 in 45acp. This was a controversial move.

Law enforcement across the U.S. the transition from wheelguns to pistols and 9mm was in full swing. Overwhelmingly the go to round was the 9mm. It was viewed as an effective round in higher capacity pistols. This was the era of the "Wonder nines". 13, 14, 16 round 9mm handguns were the "smart thing" to have.

The FBI concluded after Miami that they needed a more powerful round and that the 9mm did not cut it for them as it lacked penetration. This sent shockwaves throughout the firearms industry and in law enforcement. Seminars were held, labs went to work, field tests conducted. Over the next couple of years things rolled out.

At first the FBI recommend law enforcement switch to the 147 gr. bullet for the 9mm. Many agencies did that. A problem quickly developed. the 147 gr. bullets and loads had been developed for sub guns and did not always cycle reliably in guns that had been built for the standard velocity 9mm guns with 115 gr. and 124 gr. bullets. The springs and slide weight of the guns were set for the lighter bullets. The hot 147 gr. loads also accelerated wear. Across the country law enforcement agencies were experiencing problems.

The FBI concluded that 12-16" of penetration with expansion, after penetrating some barriers (4 layers of denim, sheetrock, autoglass, etc. each in their turn) was needed for their jhp bullets to be reliable.

This launched a search for the round that could do this.

It also set ammo manufacturers internationally into a unprecedented rush to upgrade the 9mm bullet, the most popular defensive handgun round on earth. Other rounds also benefited but the 9mm got the most attention. They were tasked with developing jhp bullets that met the new FBI criteria. This took some time.

The FBI settled on the 10mm round. This sent a 200 gr. bullet down range at about 1200 fps. A 180 gr. could do more.

The FBI announced they wanted a gun for it in 1987-88 and in 1989 S&W gave them the 1006 with a 5" barrel. Empty the gun weighed 39 oz. It carried 9+1 rounds.

In 1990 S&W produced the 1076 in response to an order from the FBI for 10,000 guns in 10mm. The 1076 weighed empty 39.5 oz. It had a 4 1/4" barrel. It also used 9 round mags with 11 and 15 round mags available to it only to the FBI. The initial order of guns sent to the FBI were rejected and sent back to S&W for rework. The contract stalled. In 1993 about 2400 of the 10,000 guns ordered were delivered. Some were returned for rework. Some sold off. Some went back to S&W or destroyed. The order was cancelled. The 10mm had a short life with the FBI.

There were problems with the guns and the ammo. Many of the guns delivered were not reliable.

Agents were slow to give up the 30oz 459 which held 14 rounds of 9mm or the BHP which some had or their revolvers which they were used to in exchange for a gun that weighed a good deal more and was bigger. The grips were fatter. There were objections to the recoil and slower follow up shots. Accuracy for some dropped off. The FBI tried to develop a load with a 180 gr. bullet at just under 1000 fps to answer some of the problems.

Meanwhile ammo manufacturers were working as was S&W to meet the FBIs penetration requirements.

An IPSC shooter from South Africa, Paul Liebenberg had developed a cartridge based on the 10mm case. He took the idea to S&W. S&W figured that they did not need the case capacity of the 10mm to get a 180 gr. bullet moving at 980 fps. A shorter case could do it and be more efficient. The IPSC shooter's case did the trick. The new case was strong and could withstand high pressures. It could work well with a lighter bullet as well. If a 115 gr. +P or 124 gr. +P 9mm bullet did well than a 135gr., 155gr. or 165gr. pill going faster with a bigger, heavier bullet was even better, they figured. A 135 gr. pill at more than 1300 fps from a 4" barrel was near .357 Magnum territory. A 155 gr bullet at an honest 1200 fps was no slouch. It was 9mm+p velocities without the increased wear on the gun. Without breaking a sweat.

The 40 S&W was introduced to law enforcement in 1990. S&W built the 4003 for it. The gun held 11+1 rounds and weighed 30oz. empty. It held as many rounds as the 10mm but in a gun the same size and weight as a 9mm handgun. Less capacity than a 9mm. More capacity than a 45. With bullets that met the FBIs penetration requirements.

In the history of handgun ammunition no round took off as well and as fast as the 40 S&W. Within a few years it became the dominant police round in the U.S. and remains so today. It was and is the most successful and important handgun round introduced in the last half of the 20th century.

Glock, which had just showed up in the U.S. in the late 1980s, beat S&W to the punch in introducing a gun into the pool. The Glock 22 was essentially the Glock 17 modified for the 40 S&W round. It weighed less than 23 oz. empty. 10, 15 and 17 round mags were available.

Glock did what so many other gunmakers did as well. They just took their 9mms and modified them for the 40S&W. Problems ensured. But after a decade or so were corrected.

The 40S&W remains today the most widely used round in law enforcement in the U.S. and for good reason.

The 357 Sig, based on the 40 was introduced 4 years later in '94, but has not seen the success of the 40 S&W.

Oh the FBI? After swinging back and forth for a bit they ended up with the 40 S&W and the 9mm. Both with much better bullets that met their criteria.

tipoc

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Old July 16, 2014, 04:07 PM   #75
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"...more effective against soft body armour..." Daft marketing nonsense. Most soft vests are rated to stop nearly ever pistol cartridge. A .40 would make no difference.
"...The 9mm was developed ages ago..." So was the .45 ACP.
"...could not handle the weapons or the recoil...." More about the size of the handgun. the 10mm doesn't have any more felt recoil than factory .45 ACP. Even the Norma that was the only available ammo in 1988-89 was reasonable out of a Delta Elite. Mind you, the same issue arises with any DA pistol. Fit to smaller and/or shorter hands isn't there. sniff. I really wanted a CZ75 when they first came here, too.
"...Pistol rounds will never be reliable one shot stops regardless of the caliber..." Exactly. Physics doesn't allow it.
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