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Is 40 S&W dead or not?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by StationOps, Aug 8, 2019.

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  1. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Like the .40, this thread will never die :evil:
     
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  2. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    This is a silly assumption. It neglects the enormous civilian market volume the 40 carries, and ignores THOUSANDS of non-LEO cartridges which are produced

    Frankly, the FBI and LEO agencies don’t pull as much influence on civilian purchases as many guys assume. Yes, there are a lot of folks out there who follow contracts with a bottle of lotion in the other hand, whether they are 1) mil-spec monkeys, 2) wannabe officer/operators, or 3) simply comforted by the “_____ issues it, it must be good”. But the civilian market is an open field. There are a lot of competitors who use 40 over 9 to make Major power factor. There are folks out there who really believe “a proper handgun cartridge starts with 4”. I personally know a handful of concealed carry instructors who recommend 40mm sub-compacts over micro 9mm’s to women students, because the improved sight radius and slower, less snappy recoil impulse has proven to them to be easier to manage. Hell, there are even some hunters which would prefer a G35 over a G34 for the slightly improved stopping power.

    Cartridges aren’t PC’s. We aren’t talking about a rapid and constant evolution of technology where old hardware/software literally can’t serve in the application any longer, and can’t be made to work. I remember browsing the internet a decade ago on 5-10yr old computers, they simply didn’t have the memory to run the heavy image and video dense bandwidth of evolving websites, even with as much expansion as we could throw at them. New software isn’t backwards compatible with all OS’s, and frankly, the user appetite for old interfaces pushes out old software and hardware. A 10 year old machine might hang ok, a 20 year old machine has no chance - and it’s going to stay that way. Handguns, or firearms in general, really aren’t like that. Shooting people, targets, and animals really hasn’t changed so much in a hundred years of centerfire cartridge and handgun development. We’ve figured out a few things which work BETTER than 100 year old tech in recent decades, but really, what once worked will still work.

    Firearms and cartridges are much more like modes of transportation: what once worked, still works, and new technology, the commonly accepted technology, may only work slightly better, or simply work differently. I’ve driven over 2 million miles in my life, over a million of them in F-150’s - of which I have owned 7. I’ve ran and hiked thousands of miles; ridden mountain, road, and triathlon bikes thousands of miles. I’m a Delta Airlines Million Miler. I’ve owned and trained over a hundred horses, even broke a longhorn steer to ride. Visiting my neighbor, I have the choice to walk, jog, roller blade, skateboard, ride a bike, a horse, or a motorcycle, or I can drive. My 2016 F-150 has far better creature comforts and safety features, more horsepower, and greater towing capacity than my 1991 F-150 - But they both met my needs. My rebuilt 1950 Dodge pick-up made it town town to see a movie just as easy as my 1973 GMC flatbed made it to pick up parts. Cruise control, power steering and brakes, automatic transmissions, fuel injection - motor vehicles instead of biological power, machines or animals instead of walking, wings instead of wheels - these are evolutions of transportation evolution which happened over thousands of years. But all of the old means of transportation still work for their purpose - transportation.

    Similarly, for the 40 S&W:

    What once worked, still works.
     
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  3. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    If it wasn’t for law enforcement I bet the 40 would be less popular
     
  4. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Insert any of the following: 30-06, 9mm, 45acp, 308win, 223/5.56, 7.62x39, 7x57, 6.5x55, 303, 7.62x54R, 5.45x39....

    Yawn...
     
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  5. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    My pocket gun is a Kahr PM9. I also have a PM40 but I made the decision to carry the 9mm for two reasons. First, the difference in 5+1 vs 6+1 is significant to me in a gun I often don’t carry a reload for. Second, its a two finger grip gun and 40 it a bit harder to recover quickly.

    My under a sweatshirt winter carry gun is a CZ P-07 in 40. I also have the same gun in 9mm but I choose to carry the 40 because the difference between 12 and 15 rounds doesn’t seem to matter as much to me. I can see the possibility 5+1 rounds might not be enough, but if I’ve fired 13 rounds and am still shooting then it seems like three extra rounds are only going to endanger more bystanders or cause more property damage.

    First shot times are exactly the same for each cartridge but the 40 delivers more energy and makes a bigger hole. Thanks to YouTube I’ve seen a ton of shootings and in the majority of them it’s the first shot on target that ends the fight. Making that first shot have a little extra oomph seems like a good idea.
     
  6. GONRA

    GONRA Member

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    Loong ago - GONRA gotta 40 S&W caliber Steyr M-40, 2 extra 10 rd. mags. 2 extra 12 rd. mags. for my Reference Collection. Shoots great!
     
  7. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Well, dog my cats. Is 10mm Kurz or Short dead?

    As far as I'm concerned, it was still-borne in the first place.:)

    A pox upon the shooting world just like .357 Sig and .45 GAP..... May the answerers of unasked questions be boiled in ballistol!:cuss:


    Too
     
  8. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    The GLOCK 23.4, and the subsonic .40/180 gr. JHP.

    The Epicenter - of HD/SD pistols.


    770f71de6830cbb3e9223b40246b07b9.jpg



    GR
     
  9. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    Not dead to me.
    IN6uIZQrA664t6hxR0eo3JQdSL5KyoUQaFmrwh8cq9-uyPE3wj_Kq0uWulMCGViLjU_rflRNyUa-ps_Z7A=w1065-h599-no.jpg

    Bought this years ago. Loved it, shot and carried the heck out of it, but I must admit, since the Sig 365 arrived, I don't take the Shield out much anymore. :(
     
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  10. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    I love my Shield 9 but the P365 is where it's at for me these days. I pocket carry it 24/7 and it's so unobtrusive sometimes I have to remind myself I have it.
     
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  11. Bill460

    Bill460 Member

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    The .40 S&W is not "dead". That said, it's popularity has been going downhill for a while now. The reason is because it was a solution to a non existent problem. But in the 90's it was Smith & Wesson's biggest money maker. A Cliff Notes version of the rise and fall of the .40 S&W is as follows:

    1.) The FBI Miami shootout occurred on April 11, 1986. Resulting in 2 FBI Agents killed, and 5 others wounded.

    2.) In order to improve it's weaponry, the FBI quickly made the change to the then new 10 MM Auto cartridge. Along with the large framed, heavy S&W Model 1006 auto pistols that fired it.

    3.) They quickly discovered that several agents, (in particular women agents), could not handle the gun well, and several were having difficulty qualifying with it because of it's size, weight, and recoil.

    4.) The FBI then went to Federal, and asked them to produce a reduced power load to help cut recoil, and in the process increase control. Federal then introduced the lower powered, "FBI 10 MM Load". By doing so the FBI along with Federal, managed to create the worst of everything. An underpowered load in too big and heavy of a pistol.

    5.) While all of this was going on, Smith & Wesson was sitting on the sidelines watching all of it, and came up with a brilliant, $$$"solution"$$$. They discovered they could shorten the 10 MM case by .100, and call it the .40 S&W. This round gave better paper ballistics then a 9 MM at the time, and could be built on existing 9 MM frame pistols. It was also very easy for police and law enforcement agents to control.

    6.) Everyone and their brother started producing and selling .40 S&W pistols. And many in law enforcement and the civilian market thought it was the best thing to come along since Monday Night Football, and 3 men in the booth. Sales took off.

    7.) While all of this was taking place in the 90's and well into the new millennium, modern self defense pistol ammunition was improving drastically across the board. With better, more positively expanding bullets, that improved the 9 MM's performance to much higher levels. With less recoil and wear than what the .40 S&W offered. Any minor "advantage" the .40 S&W may have had, was quickly negated by vastly improved 9 MM ammunition

    8.) The result of all of this was the .40 S&W slowly fell from grace, while the 9 MM once again began to rise back as the premier caliber for law enforcement.

    9.) The final nail in the .40 S&W coffin was when the FBI made the decision to change back to the 9 MM in 2015. Pretty much admitting in the process the .40 S&W did not produce the results they had originally hoped for.

    It's not that the .40 S&W was a "bad" cartridge. It's not. Or that there was anything "wrong" with it per say. There isn't. It is just as I said, a solution to a non existent problem. Or perhaps more accurately, a solution to a problem the FBI managed to create for themselves. But that Smith & Wesson was able to brilliantly capitalize on from a financial standpoint.
     
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  12. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    B23EA0A5-B372-4081-B8FE-B85786DBF93B.jpeg Bill460 very well put! It’s dying a slow death. At least ken hackathorn and bill wilson thinks so. This is how I view the 40 s&w....
     
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  13. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    Maybe out of favor, But it will never be dead. I can buy 257 Robert's, 5.7x28, 45 gap, 5mm and 300 savage at any store. I'd bet that Glock alone produced more 40 handguns than all companies made all 4 of those cartridges combined.
    Kind of like 222. Some of us still use them. They offer absolutely nothing over the 223. Not one advantage. But they aren't exactly dead
    I think the big winners of the entire 40 cycle was glock. And now it's us as end users. We can get great proven guns such as the 226, 229, beretta 96, USP, Glock22 etc for half or less than what any of us ever thought.
     
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  14. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Member

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    The OG .40, the 38-40 Winchester, can still be bought. The .40 ain't dead by a long shot, it'll be here for a long, long time.
     
  15. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm afraid I don't understand the reason for the question.
     
  16. Koroner

    Koroner Member

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    That was a very pithy accounting Bill460.

    I would add an anecdotal point. A friend is a veteran ER doc and has treated many GSWs.
    A teen from a nearby town was shot in the abdomen. He said there was far more tissue disruption with that .40 than any of the 9mm wounds he has treated.

    I have several .40s from a Kahr to the big Para-ordnance P16.
    A good compromise between a 9 and .45
     
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  17. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    The most popular rifle cartridge? 22lr
    The most popular handgun cartridge? 9mm
    The most popular shotgun? 12 ga

    You go in any American home and you’ll most likely find one if not all three of the calibers listed. 40 s&w is a very effective cartridge just not the most popular in 2019
     
  18. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    :thumbup:
    That's certainly true at my house. But just as importantly I just realized I have five 12 gauge shotguns and can't remember the last time I touched one off. Need to get them out more.
     
  19. HPCadm17

    HPCadm17 Member

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    I like .40, but I seldom go out of my way to buy one... That is, unless I find something cool, like this old CHP trade-in 4006TSW:

    4006tsw-4.JPG
     
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  20. Olon

    Olon Member

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    I believe it. The same advancements that made 9mm a viable option also apply to .40

    That said, I think that as a civilian it doesn’t really matter for me. If I can put shots on target that is what matters. I prefer the .40 because I, like you, think it’s a good compromise of bullet size and capacity, and I like the “feel” of it too.
     
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  21. Koroner

    Koroner Member

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    Well, that little Kahr kicks pretty hard so I wouldn't go as far as saying I like the feel.

    I think that the FBI's dropping the round after being behind its inception is what has led to talk of the round "dying", but as many have pointed out .40s abound. I also have a Ruger police carbine in .40 that rocks the steel targets.
     
  22. saiga308

    saiga308 Member

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    trucker long hauling everywhere LOL
    i am selling off my 9 mms and replacing them with 40 cals go figure i know best;) just bought another ruger sr 40 last week as seen on my videos 15 round mags WOW verses 17 capacity with 9mm ill take the 40 sorry
     
  23. Wildbillz

    Wildbillz Member

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    With the current price of used 40 pistols what it is? No reason not to have one. Ammo prices are down to all most 9mm cost and as I am sure someone in the past 8 pages or so has said. You can get a 9mm conversion barrel as well as one for 357Sig that will drop right in allowing you to use those calibers. I saw Glock 22's for as cheap as $269. Spare mags for $10.ea and Police trade in ammo (Gold Dot HP in 165grn) for $18.a box of 50. These things have me thinking of picking up a few of them just due to the price. The brass and bullets for them are going to be around for years to come. Or just stock up deep on the cheap ammo now and shoot till your run out.

    Just my thoughts on it.
    WB
     
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  24. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    155 grain ranger T for 100 dollars/500rd shipped
    180gr ranger bonded for 150/500.
    I've stocked up on good defensive ammo. I'm even using it for practice because it actually cheaper than plinking ammo.
     
  25. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    I don't normally let myself become involved in these debates though I an sure this will eventually be drowned in the pool of responses.

    I had 3 calibers that we were shooting and now just received a 38Spl revolver. Those three we the 380 auto, 9mm and 45acp. Before the revolver came also I was seriously looking a getting either Shield M&P 40 or w Metal Witness Compact 40 with the reason being that not long ago I was given a 5gal bucket full of range brass from a private range and out of this bucket there were guessing 4-500 40S&W cases so why not? At the same time I had also wanted a wheelgun and now I have one again.

    Now I will hold on to all this 40 brass and wait to see if a pistol falls into my lap.
     
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