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Old July 16, 2014, 04:11 PM   #76
Mainsail
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Part of the FBIís rationale for not choosing the 9mm or .45ACP was that both rounds had been around a while and neither was likely to see much improvement. In other words, they were already as good as they were ever going to be. Aside from some minor tweaks, it was and is a true statement. Given the high pressure and lack of room inside the case, the .40S&W is all it will ever be (aside from some minor tweaks here and there) as well.

I donít currently own any .40s at all, nor do I have any desire to. I have a couple 9mms, a few .45s and three 10mm handguns (G20SF, G29SF, and S&W 1076). I will likely get a barrel to shoot .40 from the G29, as I have found itís a good idea to diversify calibers, especially during shortages (I remember when there was zero 9mm or .45 on the shelves, but plenty of .32 auto and .40S&W).
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Old July 16, 2014, 05:44 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoc View Post
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
Y]ou write all thay yourself off the top of your head or copy paste? Either way, was a good read.

Last edited by Praxidike; July 16, 2014 at 05:54 PM.
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Old July 16, 2014, 05:51 PM   #78
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The FBI 86 gunfight birthed it and I love it.
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Old July 16, 2014, 09:35 PM   #79
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Quote:
Y]ou write all thay yourself off the top of your head or copy paste? Either way, was a good read.
Standard Catalog of S&W for the guns weights and birth dates and the account of the FBI contract. Ammo and Ballistics (Forker) for the ammo. A couple of web searches, Glock weight and capacity. the rest i remember. Though I can dig up the sources.

Ammo companies eventually worked out the 147 gr. ammo problems. Part of the initial problem was the oal of the round.

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Old July 16, 2014, 10:32 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Praxidike View Post
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.
Well, if you are going to get a 9mm, get a Calico.
At least then you have enough rounds per mag to throw...
(50 or 100 round mags, btw)
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Old July 17, 2014, 09:34 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Praxidike
You all have me really regretting the fact that I purchased a 40mm instead of the 9mm
Look into using 9mm barrel for your 40S&W Shield with 9mm magazine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ItSsLwKQAk
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Old July 17, 2014, 09:51 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by bds View Post
Look into using 9mm barrel for your 40S&W Shield with 9mm magazine
Thanks but I already have. S&W no longer sells the barrels for the Shield. I was told by S&W customer service that the only way anyone can get a replacement 9mm barrel from them for now on was to send the entire firearm to them just so they can "install" the barrel themselves. They use to sell it, but now they do not.
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Old July 17, 2014, 09:58 AM   #83
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I think the popularity of people using 9mm barrel for 40M&P probably reduced the inventory of 9mm barrel to nothing and they were back-ordered for a while.

Perhaps you can locate a barrel from vendors, online sales, etc.
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Last edited by bds; July 17, 2014 at 10:07 AM.
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Old July 17, 2014, 10:11 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by bds View Post
I think the popularity of people using 9mm barrel for 40M&P probably reduced the inventory of 9mm barrel to nothing and they were back-ordered for a while.

Perhaps you can locate a barrel from vendors, online sales, etc.
They said they weren't selling them by themselves point blank. They have them, but won't sell them unless the entire (9mm) firearm is sent to them. At least that is what they told me. I and others on s&w forum have been unable to locate them anywhere else. Will have to wait until someone manufactures an aftermarket barrel.
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Old July 17, 2014, 10:14 AM   #85
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I think at least one of the aftermarket barrel maker will step in and offer either 9mm replacement or 40-9 conversion barrel. So you may still be able to shoot both 9mm/40S&W with your Shield.

This shooter's range test confirmed tighter shot groups with 9mm barrel over 40S&W barrel out of his Shield

Shield 40-9 review Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flnFIzI6MIw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77sPO1i77D0
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Old July 17, 2014, 01:21 PM   #86
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And the winner is......

This is why I say the .40Super is a winner.
It feeds great(cycles), has a high KE level, is fast(1100-1200 fps), can hold several rounds like a .40S&W or .357sig, and it's very accurate(match grade).

Poor marketing & a lack of support in the 1990s kept the .40Super from really going anywhere.
It was lost in the .40 crowd; .400Corbon, .41AE, .40S&W, 10mm, etc.
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Old July 17, 2014, 02:31 PM   #87
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Why was the 40s&w invented?
Everyone knows it was invented by an evil mastermind to:

1. Anger 9mm and 45ACP purists
2. Draw the ire of everyone who remotely likes the 10mm
3. Make Gaston Glock a bajillionaire, and...
4. impregnate as much brass as possible.
5. Sow seeds of discontent between the military and LEO's
6. Make both John Moses Browning and Elmer Keith simultaneously roll over in their graves
7. Bait the unsuspecting into asking, "Which is the best - 9/40/ or 45?"
8. Bait others who overhear the ensuing argument from #7 to yell "SHOT PLACEMENT!"
9. Trick those who see advertisements for police trade-ins to continuously ask if it is going to be extinct in 10 years.
10. Start never-ending arguments on internet forums

Smart mastermind, indeed...
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Old July 17, 2014, 02:34 PM   #88
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10. Start never-ending arguments on internet forums
Like there wasn't enough never ending arguments lol
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Old July 17, 2014, 07:55 PM   #89
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I like calling the round the 10mm Kurz. Messes with peoples minds.
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Old July 17, 2014, 08:01 PM   #90
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Yep, the 10mm AUTO is the only L.E. service round that comes with its own government-mandated warning for end-users:





"Oh, no, not the 10mm again.
Is my WHAAAMMM-bulance here yet?"



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Old July 18, 2014, 12:23 AM   #91
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The .40 is what the 10mm should have been from the start. There, that should ruffle a few feathers
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Old July 18, 2014, 01:41 AM   #92
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US military vs US sworn LE agencies.....

How or when did the R&D of the 10mm/.40S&W create a riff between the US armed forces & US law enforcement?

The USCG(which is a part of the US Department of Homeland Security) uses the SIG Sauer .40S&W DAK P229R. They have great results & even the US Secret Service went to the DAK P229R format in .357sig.

I've heard mixed reports that the tier one/spec ops used Glock 23s & 22s in .40 a few times overseas with + results.
I also heard the US Army pushed the most for .45acp sidearms but no service branch was against any T&E or research. I never heard that. Not in the 1980s, the 90s, the 2000s, or present.
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Old July 19, 2014, 06:21 PM   #93
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Only problem I have with either the 40S&W or 9MM is the short powder column. In 35 years of bullseye target shooting I've never seen a 9mm that can come close to a .45ACP in terms of MOA accuracy , not to be confused with minute of bad guy, Same holds true of 10mm vs. 40S&W and while I've never owned one the same holds true for the .38 super vs. 9mm. In my opinion shot placement trumps 17 rounds any day. Guess thats why I prefer a .45 colt revolver in places where things can chew on ya.
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Old July 19, 2014, 07:51 PM   #94
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"The 9mm is just as good as the 40 S&W and the 45 ACP they say."

It's better when it's loaded as the .357SIG. After all, why not carry an autopistol loaded with 12 or more rounds of the functional equivalent of a .357Mag revolver round?

Speed kills...as even Glock acknowledged when they deigned to load the round [still refusing to give credit to SIG for development] in their high-capacity pistols.

Super fast, super flat shooting, highly accurate = proven street performance.
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Old July 20, 2014, 12:08 AM   #95
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I agree but.....

The .357sig has a lot of +s but it's failed to draw in as many LE agencies and military units in recent years(compared to the 9x19mm).
When major state agencies & PDs switch from .357sig to 9mm in large #s, there's a good reason.
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Old July 20, 2014, 02:34 PM   #96
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"When major state agencies & PDs switch from .357sig to 9mm in large #s, there's a good reason."

Well, the feds don't have to worry about general availability and cost of ammo...they have plenty of .357SIG to use.

And sometimes, it's nothing more than politics. Local city PD recently switched from Glock 22s/23s to SIG P220s.
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Old July 20, 2014, 02:51 PM   #97
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Others have pointed out the origins of the round. I, for one, have been won over by the .40. I like the way it shoots, I like the energy it puts on target, I like how it was easy to find during the shortage.
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Old July 20, 2014, 05:33 PM   #98
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+1 Fiv3r
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Old July 20, 2014, 05:46 PM   #99
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State regulations.....

My state's div of licensing, which has regulatory authority over the security industry recently modified the semi auto pistol approvals. They added the .45acp & the .40 caliber(.40S&W). They had bills in recent years that included the 10mm & .357sig but in the latest security industry request, the 2014 bill only stated the .45acp & .40S&W.
Industry officials & insiders said part of the change was because few gun owners/security officers used 10mm or .357sig. It was also hard to buy ammunition in some locations. The .40S&W and .45 were a lot easier to buy for armed officers or schools/agencies.
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Old July 20, 2014, 06:31 PM   #100
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Its already been said, but it was because some believed 10mm was too much and 9mm was not enough. I don't believe either to be the case, but I still like the .40 S&W just fine. I think it gathers the most important characteristics from both - decent speed in medium weight bullets for use in a reasonably compact frame. The things it loses over those other two cartridges aren't very important to me.
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