Is the age of the .40 S&W (and maybe .357 SIG) over?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by N9NWO, Jun 7, 2021.

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  1. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I like the 40 round well enough, but my 10mm's do everything better and can shoot 40 S&W ammo if necessary. The decline is going to be gradual, but I wouldn't be surprised to see no new pistols made that are chambered in 40 or 357 Sig as well as 45 GAP within another decade.

    There are enough 40 caliber pistols out there that ammo may well never be in short supply, but 357 Sig and 45 GAP ammo could be a problem in a few years.

    The real data says different. Prior to 1994 our city PD carried Smith 66 revolvers loaded with 38+P+ ammo. The county PD and Sheriff's deputies carried personal guns and could carry anything they could qualify with. In 1994 the city issued Smith 5906's in 9mm, the county PD and Sheriff's office G22's in 40 S&W.

    Since then there have been 14 LE involved shootings. Seven with 9mm, six with 40 S&W and one where both were used. In every case but one the officer fired 2 quick shots and the bad guy was dead in their tracks. There have been no survivors, no more than 2 shots fired and realistically one would have probably been enough.

    The one where more than 2 shots were fired involved a person who took police on a 25 mile chase before being forced to stop. They then refused to get out of the car. When LE broke a window to pull the person out the person pulled a gun and got off 1 shot at officers. Four officers from 3 different agencies returned fire with 3 shots each within just a couple of seconds.

    Three years ago our Sheriff's department moved to 9mm, but before doing so the Sheriff did a lot of research by contacting other agencies who had made the switch from 40 to 9mm. They couldn't find a single LE agency who had seen any difference in effectiveness.
     
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  2. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    :what: That's consistently perfect shot placement!

    Isn't the average survivability of a hand gun wound something like 65%?
     
  3. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    357 Sig was/is the "fad". 40 is going out of favor in many circles, but there are so many of those guns in circulation (most of them being well made) that the round isn't going anywhere. Even the russian ammo companies make it in steel cases.
     
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  4. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    Mirrors my experience except I only use it in my semi-autos not revolvers. I agree that for anything but non LEO use its a dead round. But so is 45, 357 sig, 380, blah blah blah.

    The 45 Gap was a dead round months before there was a 45 GAP. Thats cruel to even put it in a sentence with the others. Lol. The 357 sig had little agency use. Our state Troopers did use it though. There are about 5000x as many .40 as there are 41 mag, 50 AE, 5.7x28, 45 Gap and a few others combined. Yet ammo is still on shelves for all of those. The only way .40 ammo will be unavailable is IF the government makes ammo hard to find. Long after 9mm and 45 is also unavailable.

    Some people and places even want "military use cartridges" out of civilian hands. That would include 45 and 9.
     
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  5. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Realistically, when one considers the number of possible relevant variables (location of entry wounds, angle of entry, posture, load variables, etc.), those few data are insufficient to lead to or support any meaningful conclusions.
     
  6. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    OddBall-NegativeWaves.jpg
     
  7. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Ignoring the fact that 40S&W is on a decline will not change the fact that 40S&W is on a decline.
     
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  8. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Is .38 S&W and 38 Special slowly becoming very marginalized?
    Is .41 Magnum and 10mm Auto slowly becoming very marginalized?
    Is .32 H&R and 32 Long slowly becoming very marginalized?
    Is .45 Colt and 44 Special slowly becoming very marginalized?

    Not ignoring anything, bubba. Just pointing out beating dead horses can get kind of smelly. ;)
     
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  9. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    But, I'm sure that's just a coincidence. :thumbdown:
     
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  10. mcb

    mcb Member

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    But... but... but we are so good at beating dead horses! :D
     
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  11. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    That's my plan. ;)

    But not one of those crappy plastifanstix and pot-metal things, a real gun made of wood and steel. The 4006 is starting to show up at good discounts, used, mechanically excellent, in holster-worn condition, and I intend to get one or a couple when they drop below $3 bills. Lowest I've seen so far for one I'd care to own is $450 and it sat a while until the plandemic took hold of people's heads and the panic-buying started. I hate to think how many first-time gun owners out there bought 4003/4006 LEO turn-in guns and never got any training, cant' find ammo, and are now sitting on a dangerous weapon they know nothing about except how to make it go BANG!. :(
     
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  12. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    The 10mm is about 10x more popular than it ever was. For most of its run there was only 2-3 guns that fired it. Glock has been there the whole time. Kimber too I think. Eaa imported a few the whole time. The bren was around for a day or two. Colt made them most of that time. Smith made limited numbers for a year or two.

    Now there are several in production.

    Otherwise I agree with the rest completely

    But which dead horse is best for bear? Thats the debate.
     
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  13. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    I predict a resurgence. There will be an improvement in .40 S&W ammo performance, that improvement and a REALLY good deal will result in some federal agencies and some large respected police departments making the switch. Then other departments and civilians making the switch will proclaim the improvement as overwhelmingly significant, and deride those who don't make the switch for ignoring data. Rinse and repeat.

    Firearms are durable tools. Manufacturers need to move product, and departments need to justify increasing those budgets. If it's really dying, it'll be resuscitated.
     
  14. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Evidence points to having any dead horse is better than a sharp stick even against Ursidae
     
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  15. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    But what if it's a small black ursidae. Left handed. Not a big brown one.

    Seriously though

    The only way I see .40 making a huge comeback and passing up 9mm is if we get a ban like some countries have tried with a "not in common military use" wording.
     
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  16. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Kind of funny. I count no fewer than 15 Glocks available brand new on their site in .40S&W and 5 of those are new releases... S&W lists 8 .40S&W pistols but exactly 0 .44Spl and only 5 .44Magnum revolvers on its site.

    For a dead man walking the .40's pretty lively compared to its much, much older cousins.

    BTW: I own exactly ONE .40S&W pistol, it's also my one-and-only plastifantastik pistol, I don't shoot it a lot but did just start reloading for it so I don't have a dog I got in this fight - maybe a lil' puppy. I'm just amused by the screaming heads who declare anything not currently occupying the front pages of the Zeitgeist "dead." If lack of use killed cartridges, the .44 Special would have been dust long ago.
     
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  17. mcb

    mcb Member

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    How many 9mm handguns does Glock or S&W offer in comparison?

    I would argue that 40S&W is far from dead but is in serious decline from its hay-day of the late 90's and early oughts. This trend might kill it if the trend continues at the current rate. It was too popular to ever disappear completely but if the current trend continues we could see it reach a status like 38 S&W and 455 Webley where no one is making guns in the cartridge and ammo makers are offering only a few inferior ammo offerings if at all.
     
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  18. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    That is entirely possible. And what is to be done about it? :)
     
  19. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Doing something about it sounds suspiciously like not beating a dead horse. :)

    More seriously I am not sure what can be done about this trend. I personally have plenty of brass and thus will continue shooting it at USPSA matches and carrying it on occasion. But as an individual or even small groups of consumes I am not sure there is much we can do. Unfortunately the choices that military, LEO, and those high profile trainers and shooting celebrities have made to moved away from 40S&W and taking much of the "unwashed masses" with them is really hard for the market and manufactures to resist. Not sure the individual 40S&W fanboy can do much to buck that trend short of continuing to use 40S&W and preaching its merits to any of the "unwashed masses" that will listen.
     
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  20. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I do not know what "improvement" you foresee that would be attainable, useable, needed, or economically viable.

    There are already .40 S&W premium defense loads with the latest bullet technology.

    More penetration would not be desirable.

    The .40 will not match the 9 in terms of rapidity of controlled fire to maximize the likelihood of effective hits.
     
  21. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    Some chrono averages from select favorite pistols.
    Glock 35
    Speer Gold Dot 180 @ 1,008 fps / 406# KE
    Federal HST 180 @ 1,019 fps / 415# KE
    Winchester 180 JHP @ 1,028 fps / 422# KE
    Federal Hydra-Shok 180 @ 1,035 fps / 428# KE
    Winchester Ranger T 165 @ 1,204 fps / 531# KE
    Glock 35 with 357 Sig Barrel
    125 Gold Dot @ 1,399 fps / 543# KE
    125 HST @ 1,415 fps / 556# KE
    125 Ranger T @ 1,428 fps / 566# KE
    125 PPU FPJ @ 1,461 fps / 593# KE
     
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  22. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    And there we go, once again. Move with the crowd, do what's popular, always ask yourself first, "...what will people think...?" if you're not using the new cool, the hippest of hip, what the pros and big-time Joe's say to use?

    Dienst am Zeitgeist. Living in service to the spirit of the times. A sure sign of a culture in decay.

    This thread and all of the dead-beat horse threads like it - is DASA passe? who still uses old-fashioned chronographs when radar is the "in thing"? your CC is what caliber? Oh, haha! you uncivilized oaf! - are all sure signs the shooting culture itself is in a state of rot and decay. I think we need to start educating our younger people about the value of being able to hit what you see, not regurgitate stats and quote eMag writers and YouTubers, before we lose the culture war completely. Not sure exactly how else to do that then remind people when they ask, do what works for you, start with the basics - responsible handling, simple maintenance, accuracy and consistency - and don't worry about "power factors," what's popular, what some military combat unit or law enforcement agency, or what the so-called "experts" say. Who made those "celebrities" into celebrities and what about them exactly are we celebrating? o_O:confused:

    I'm not an Airborne Ranger, I don't live a life of danger, I'm not a cop or a special agent, either - and neither are the people regurgitating "It's dead, Jim!" prognostications. If they were those kinds of special operatives, they wouldn't need to ask what to buy, they'd just use what they're issued. :)
     
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  23. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    The post to which you are replying had to so with market trends, which are very relevant to the OP. It had nothing to do with the merits of one load vs. another,

    "Celebrities"?

    We consider the advice of others because of what they have learned, and not because of who they are.
     
  24. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    I have never owned or fired a handgun chambered in 40S&W. If the 40S&W stays or fades away it makes no difference to me.
     
  25. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I freely admit I am a conflicted person in this regards, a walking anachronism even, when it comes to this. When my Shooting Chrony dies I will be replacing it with a MyLabRadar, I have used one and love it. I use an app on my phone that used the camera to measure my shooting groups. And yet my newest gun is a 105 year old revolver chambered in a cartridge that was obsolete almost before SAAMI even existed. Yet have hunted deer the past 6 years with various AR's chambered in cartridges created on or after 2008. I like the old tech and I like the new tech and I am happy to mix the two to achieve what I like/need and don't sweat the clash of eras.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
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