Quantcast

Is 40 S&W dead or not?

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Bill460

    Bill460 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2019
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    With the FBI returning back to the 9 MM, there has been a slew of other law enforcement agencies across the nation following along, and dumping the .40 S&W. Even without the FBI, this cartridge will still have legs for years to come. If for no other reason than police trade in's of Glock 22s, along with various other semi .40's are FLOODING the market right now. And they are selling cheap. And let's face it, this is America, and people love a good buy.

    The problem with buying cheap .40's is whatever you save in buying the gun, you're going to give right back in ammunition cost if you shoot it with any regularity. 9 MM Ball ammo can now be had for under $9.00 @ box if you take the time to shop for it. Sales on pistol ammunition, (especially bulk Ball ammo), are everywhere today. Both on the Internet, as well as the big box stores. .40 ammo is priced higher across the board.

    For the average Joe who shoots just a few boxes a year, it's not going to matter. But for someone who puts several thousand rounds a year downrange, it adds up fast.

    The military never showed any real interest in the .40 S&W, so there was never any support there. Since it only came to be because of the FBI, and now they have basically dumped it, other law enforcement agencies across the country have more or less engaged in the game of, "monkey see, monkey do".

    Police departments nationwide are following the FBI and dumping their .40's, and are going back to the 9 MM as well. Again, it's not because the .40 is "bad". It isn't. It just after analyzing hundreds of law enforcement / perpetrator shootings over the last several decades, it doesn't show a record of any measurable ballistic improvement over the 9 MM. Especially with the current crop of improved self defense ammunition that is now available for both cartridges. And most cops certainly can't shoot it any better.

    The 9 MM / .45 ACP debate still rages today with no real clear winner. Improved ammo and all. So it's rather doubtful the .40 S&W will do any better when the whole, "Tastes great... Less filling" bantering plays out.
     
    Hartkopf and Trey Veston like this.
  2. saiga308

    saiga308 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2018
    Messages:
    1,540
    Location:
    trucker long hauling everywhere LOL
    you only have to shoot half the rounds out on a 40 cal to leave a mark in the desert or forest soil verses a wimpy 9mm mark
     
  3. Bill460

    Bill460 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2019
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    That's great if you buy your pistols to shoot them into dirt.
     
    P5 Guy likes this.
  4. saiga308

    saiga308 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2018
    Messages:
    1,540
    Location:
    trucker long hauling everywhere LOL
    beats punching hole in :barf:paper all day and why would you use a 40 or 45 cal for that:scrutiny:
     
  5. HPCadm17

    HPCadm17 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    241
    Handling the greater recoil makes me feel more manly. Go big or go home! :p
     
  6. lionking

    lionking Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,724
    What a thread lol. No it's not dead, I only have one .40 so far a Glock 23 gen 2 it is my home defense gun. I admit price of ammo being that .40 typically costs twice as much as 9mm makes .40 less appealing, but just having discovered the EAA Witness match pro, available in 9mm , .40, 10mm and .45 I wouldn't mind a target handgun with adjustable sights in .40. I might get one of these down the road, then again the other calibers are appealing also.

    I just watched a nice condition HK V1 USP .40 end bidding at $400, I was tempted but I want my next .40 for bulls eye shooting with adjustable sights.
    pix284435095.jpg
     
  7. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,975
    Location:
    Phoenix Az
    It's not dead. It will still live on as a decent choice for self defense and competition shooting. With the LE community going back to 9mm I think its popularity will decline somewhat though.

    My department recently went back to 9mm but we still have probably 2000+ officers shooting 40. What we have noticed is officers shoot better with the 9mm and it causes less wear and tear on the guns. Plus the cheaper ammo makes a big difference.
     
    boom boom likes this.
  8. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    1,193
    I handload the .40 S&W so cost isn't much of a factor, and I don't shoot nearly as much as I should.

    But, I KNOW that the 9mm is more than adequate for self-defense, and I KNOW that it costs less and has more capacity and recoils less, and more selection in defensive pistols in 9mm, but...

    I just like the .40 S&W and feel better prepared with it, dammit! LOL. Maybe someday I can get over it.
     
  9. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,975
    Location:
    Phoenix Az
    Confidence in your weapon is very important. If you feel better carrying the 40 then carry the 40.
     
    Hartkopf likes this.
  10. HPCadm17

    HPCadm17 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    241
    9mm offers greater capacity. So .380 would be about equal, but 22LR would trounce them all.

    Folks can shoot better with 9mm. They can probably shoot better than that with .380, and better yet with .22LR.

    9mm costs less. I don't know about where y'all live, but around here .380 is a little cheaper than 9mm, and 22LR is cheaper than them all.

    But nobody recommends 22LR or .380 for duty or self defense. Too small, too weak. So from here, it looks like 9mm is the minimum recommended duty/self defense caliber.

    I would say 9mm is "better" in that it's the cheapest and easiest to shoot of the major duty/self defense rounds, not "better" in that its terminal ballistics are superior to the others. When we say "better" we should qualify that statement with what criteria we are using to determine what "better" is, for us.

    Fans of any caliber are naturally going to justify their choice. Everyone places greater weight on different criteria, whether it's price, capacity, recoil, energy, etc. There's a difference between what I carry to protect myself, and what I "enjoy" shooting. I enjoy shooting .357, .45, and .40 more than I enjoy shooting 9mm, but I carry 9mm for the reasons mentioned above.

    And, no, .40 isn't "dead." ;)
     
    Hartkopf likes this.
  11. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2019
    Messages:
    427
    Location:
    Texas
    I've read dozens of times how surgeons can not tell the difference in wounding of basically all handgun calibers.

    A surgeons job is to save the patients life, not to methodically measure wound tracts. Just sayin

    Even if 9mm is = to 40cal is = to 45acp, I like the idea of practicing with a big caliber and carry the 9. Like a sprinter running with a mini parachute in training.
     
    Bill460 and HPCadm17 like this.
  12. Up North

    Up North Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    I tried a couple different 40s for cc. Didn't work out. A Beretta 9000 fs. Double stack ambi safety. Too wide and hard to rack the slide. A Taurus 840c not bad but magazine rattles when you walk so figured single stack 9mm or snubnose revolver is better for cc. I bought a baby desert eagle 40 for a range gun and decided I like full sized 40s
     
  13. Bill460

    Bill460 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2019
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    This is yet another myth that constantly gets legs from the Internet. When in reality means little to nothing. The ballistic difference between the 9 MM and the .40 S&W with modern, open nosed defensive ammunition is all but immeasurable from a stopping standpoint. Yet the whole, "bigger is better" argument rages on without any real proof or results. If there were, these agencies would have never changed back to the 9 MM in the first place.

    What is far more important, and provable is shot placement..... Or the lack thereof. Here is where the 9 MM excels in law enforcement work. While I unconditionally support our men in blue, who risk their lives on a daily basis to keep us, and our streets safe, we have to face the hard reality they are not the greatest marksmen when it comes to shot placement.

    Many smaller law enforcement agencies simply do not have the ammunition budget, to allow their officers sufficient range time to practice. And many police officers are simply not interested in taking the trigger time to learn. Not all cops are, "gun people". Anymore than all mechanics love tools.

    And while all of this is happening, firearm qualification standards have been lowered across the board. In order to allow for more "physically challenged", (read women), officers the ability to qualify. (If we go back, this is exactly what started the whole problem in the first place, with the FBI going to the 10 MM Auto after the Miami Shootout).

    We've seen this degradation in physical standards in fire departments and the military as well. It all adds to the problem of shot placement in law enforcement, regardless of how much one chooses to argue otherwise. Another is the politically correct change to, "less than lethal" tools and tactics. It all takes away from putting rounds downrange.

    We've all seen the endless stories of how many of these officers empty their guns in shootouts, only to score zero hits. Or dozens of cops firing 50 or 60 rounds hitting everything in sight...... But the perpetrator. A .40 does not improve these issues over a 9 MM. You can't stop what you don't, or can't hit.

    All of this seemingly never ending talk about wound channels, and "delivering more stopping power", is totally useless, if the stopping power can't be effectively delivered. And that has proven to be far more of a problem than the gun creating a big enough wound channel.
     
  14. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,331
    40 never was a good compromise round IMO. The line between "best of both worlds" and "tweener" is a thin one, and while the 40 had the right idea to maintain the 9mm's high capacity, it won't do anything ballisticaly that a 9mm can't except have a snappier kick and shoot more expensive ammo. I've never found a pistol in 40 that I didn't like more in 9 - you can keep them all for what I care.

    But going back to the OP, is 40 dead? You're going to have to define "dead". I expect to be able to find 40 S&W ammo in big-box stores for as long as pistol ammo can be sold there - even 32 ACP ammo isn't that hard to find, and .32 vest pistols have been out of fashion for pry a solid 60 years. But you're not going to see many newly-manufactured pistols chambered in 40, so the cartridge is "dead" in the sense that it will soon become a relic of the 90s and 2000s, unsupported for any time beyond that.

    You never know though. Maybe it will randomly just show back up in 100 years like the 45-70 did.
     
    mrmike7189 and Bill460 like this.
  15. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    11,328
    Is it dead now? It’s been awhile.
     
  16. lionking

    lionking Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,724
    Next time this happens and the only thing left on the shelf is a few boxes of .40 someone will go "dang should have got a .40 also"

    [​IMG]
     
  17. stchman

    stchman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,537
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    9mm isn't that muc less than .40S&W. Looking at Freedom Munitions the cheapest 9mm is $0.15875 per round while the cheapest .40S&W is $0.205 per round. That is $7.93 a box of 9mm and $10.25 a box for .40S&W. That's only $2.32 a box.

    From what I have been seeing the LEO trade-ins for .40 guns are about $300 and a LEO trade-in Glock 17 is about $390 (AIM Surplus prices).

    With all this being said you can get a LEO Glock 22 and about 9 boxes of ammo for what you can get a LEO Glock 17.
     
  18. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    8,735
    Location:
    Down East in NC
    As a longtime 9mm shooter who only recently got into the .40 world, but has followed the 9mm-vs-.40 debate since the latter was invented, I’ll say that the guns and ammunition available now in .40 S&W are the best they’ve ever been.

    So while .40 is no longer the trendy caliber that it once was, it can also be said that the golden age of .40 is right now.
     
    mrmike7189, Hartkopf and JFrame like this.
  19. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2019
    Messages:
    427
    Location:
    Texas
    SG ammo has some of the best law enforcement .40 ammo ever made (opinion of many) for $22.95 per box of 50. It performs in gel as well as some of the better 45acp, all with a 9mm grip size. Then there is a long list of ammo that is just behind the Ranger T and usually at a good price. Price of practice ammo is the only draw back to the .40 but as previously said, it’s not that bad. If you reload the cost is even closer.

    I think I just talked myself into a .40! :)
     
    Rick in Iowa likes this.
  20. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    5,134
    Location:
    Northern KY
    I just won a Sig P239 with night sights on Gunbroker. It has the DAK trigger (which I like) and is a 40. My winning bid was $265. The 9mm version would have probably been twice as much. I can buy a lot of good factory ammo for the difference, and since I cast and reload I can make practice ammo for essentially no price difference from 9mm.

    I certainly wouldn’t feel undergunned carrying it. 40 may be dead to others but to me it’s beginning to edge out the other calibers.
     
    mrmike7189 likes this.
  21. Antihero

    Antihero Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    Messages:
    732
    There's functionally very little difference in lethality with the service , (9mm,40 ,45, 38 special) no matter how much we talk about it.

    It basically comes down to preference. If it's a full sized gun I will go 9mm almost all the time. If it's a smaller gun.....I go with 9mm almost every time. If it's a range gun..9mm. you get my point.

    It's hard to argue against the 9mm when it's cheaper to shoot, easier to shoot, easier to find ammo for and holds more.

    The 40 is....ok. It's not the 10mm and that's the problem with it imo. It doesn't do anything better than what has been available forever and it's more expensive on top of it
     
  22. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    8,721
    Location:
    Kingsport Tennessee
    Is 40 S&W dead or not?

    Not.

    At least mine still shoots nicely. Besides, it was a gift from a family member.
     
  23. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,144
    Location:
    NC
    I started shooting center fire handguns in 1964 at MCRD Parris Island SC. As this is written I've never fired a handgun in 40S&W but 45ACP & 9X19mm is a different story. Empties from both of the previously mentioned would fill several 55Gal-Drums. I don't have a need for the 40S&W but apparently others do and the 40S&W meets their requirements. Each to their own applies.
     
    tommy.duncan and Anchorite like this.
  24. mrmike7189

    mrmike7189 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Messages:
    264
    Location:
    MA
    My small guns are 380/9mm..................................The 40 in a sub compact is hand punishing.
    All my 40's are full size, where the round shines imo.
     
    Rick in Iowa, Hartkopf and dodo bird like this.
  25. Racinfan83

    Racinfan83 Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Eastern Missouri
    I've had 40's for a long time. XD sub compact, XDM full size, M&P Shield, and yes a Glock 22 police trade in I got for $300 a while ago. They shoot well but are pretty "snappy" on my aging hands. I've been going the 9mm and .45 route lately. Probably won't buy any more 40's, but I will have and use some. It will never be a dead caliber - way too many out there...
     
    mrmike7189 likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice