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. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Hmm, given that all sorts of "out of favor" loadings are still being made, it's probably far too early to declare an age of ammo to be "over."

    Ok, the pinfires are long gone, but there's still demand out there for arcane stuff--.32-20, all kinds of "short" loadings, even the .41mag . . .
     
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  2. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Yeah yeah I know larger holes are only relevant when you choose
     
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  3. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Did I imply that they are not relevant?

    The medical consensus seems to be that larger holes are more effective than smaller holes; that the impact has not been quantified; and that the significance of that effect falls far behind that of placement and penetration.

    Look: I am the source of absolutely none of the scientific information relevant to this subject. You may imagine yourself disagreeing with me, but you are not.
     
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  4. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    So why even use an expanding bullet, you can get adequate penetration a lighter recoil with FMJ?
     
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  5. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    That is what I found.

    I've compared using a Glock 19, 23 and 32 using carry ammo (+P in the Glock 19)
    I speculate that most who compare 9mm to 40 do so with target ammo (FMJ)
    115 FMJ does not have the same recoil as 124/147 HST +P but 180 FMJ 40 S&W recoils like 180 JHP.
    Someone comparing 9mm vs 40 S&W using regular FMJ but then loading the 9mm with +P for carry didn't compare fairly.
    The only way to compare fairly is to use carry ammo to obtain split times.
    Using carry ammo (+P in the 19) my split times were .03-.04 slower with the 23/32 than the 19 - and...
    That was with an accuracy component, shots had to hit a 6 inch circle at 6-7 yards to count. (Not just anywhere inside a whole silhouette)
    I know that by carrying my Glock 32 instead of the 19 I'm about .03-.04 slower (insignificant IMO) on follow up shots with equal accuracy.
    I sacrifice two rounds capacity, which is tangible, but in return the bullets have better ASAP incapacitation potential.
    If fractions of a second matter in follow up shot times, we can't discount benefit of stopping an attacker potential seconds quicker. ;)
    Averages from my pistols:
    Glock 19 - Federal HST 147 gr +P @ 1,044 fps / 356# KE
    Glock 19 - Federal HST 124 gr. +P @ 1,210 fps / 403# KE
    Glock 23 - Federal HST 180 gr. @ 1,003 fps / 402# KE
    Glock 32 - Federal HST 125 gr. @ 1,358 fps / 512# KE

    357 Sig has at least 21% more KE than 9mm+P

    Someone might say KE doesn't matter, compare performance in gel, show gel result to be same... okay.
    If one thinks KE doesn't matter, I've got an example for you.
    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/revolver-ballistics-test/
    Near identical performance in gel, looking just at penetration and expanded diameter...
    4'' barrel 38 special Rem 158 LSWCHP+P - 13.4'' / .56
    4'' barrel 357 mag Rem 125 SJHP - 13.6'' / .54
    If one thinks additional KE doesn't matter then those two bullets have equivalent ASAP potential. (I think not.)
    Same performance in gel but ...
    38 special load has 298# KE
    357 Mag load has 602# KE
     
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  6. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    38 special huh? I will start getting concerned about that one after 32SWL dies.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
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  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    "Less significant than____"---not "not beneficial".
     
  8. mcb

    mcb Member

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    You can successfully argue that the 40S&W (or 357 Sig) is better than 9x19mm on several real world metrics and yet that does not change the fact that the 40S&W is declining, loosing market share, and 9mm is maintaining if not increasing its market share.
     
  9. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep!
     
  10. gnappi

    gnappi Member

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    Caliber wars do nothing but add more heat then light to a conversation. The OP asked about two specific calibers, why not keep it on those?

    The .357 sig rarely got the barrel lengths and or gun weight it needed. Most makers were focusing on shorter and lighter launching platforms but in a 5" or better still a 6" barrel that little cartridge is remarkable and the issues (recoil muzzle blast) some had with the puny (I have one) almost 4" barreled P229 go away.

    And no they are not going away. If comrade potus gets wind of a CALIBER ban like those in Italy or other countries where you cannot buy a military cartridge, we'll see :)
     
  11. 1942bull
    • Contributing Member

    1942bull Contributing Member

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    The age of the 40 and 357 calibers is not over, but I think we are witnessing the beginning of the end of their popularity and adoption. The reason is the amazing changes in the effectiveness of 9mm cartridge. Modern bullet design and powerful gun powder have hade 9mm very lethal, easier to shoot accurately, and with increased and practical capacity, that is why the US Military adopted 9mm in 1985. It is why the FBI changed to 9mm. More and more law enforcement agencies and departments are changing to. 9mm. The reason is improved lethality that comes from improved ballistics accompanied by the ability to be more accurate. We often hear that what counts most is shot placement. Better shot placement, very good ballistics, and higher capacity make 9mm a great choice.
     
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  12. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    I have owned and shot a Glock 17 for quite a few years, and like the 9mm just fine.
    But the cheap police surplus ,40's were hard to resist. I ended up with a like new Gen4 G22 with night sights for less than $300.
    For two nearly identical pistols, I don't notice much difference between shooting .40 180gn HST and the +P or +P+ 9mm I load for self defense.
    In fact, the G22 has become my HD pistol.
     
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  13. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    And that should indicate that the cartridge does have a lot of life left in it.
     
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  14. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Doesn't answer the question.
    If you're willing to give up hole size to lessen recoil why concern yourself with expansion, what is the need for +p 9mm?
     
  15. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    The huge .40 S&W wave, and the lesser .357 wave, that passed through US law enforcement duty pistol programs, have passed, and are unlikely to rise again, in that context, but neither is obsolete, as long as enough folks are willing to buy the ammo, magazines, parts, and weapons. I cannot say that I am a fan of either, though I did like .40, in the early Nineties, and owned three pistols so chambered. Then, in 2002, I reluctantly let my “grandfathered” 1911 duty pistols lapse*, and started carrying a G22 duty pistol, as .40 S&W had become our standard duty cartridge, in 1997. I soon switched to the SIG P229R DAK, for duty, as it fit my hands MUCH better than Gen3 Glocks, and thoroughly enjoyed .40, until arthritis in my right thumb, hand, and wrist starting catching up with me. I abandoned the .40 as soon as my chief authorized 9mm to be an alternative duty cartridge, in September 2015.

    *The then-mandated duty rig was really a poor match, for the 1911 design.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  16. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    How do you propose to discuss the decline of market share and leave out the reason for said decline?
     
  17. gnappi

    gnappi Member

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    Question... "Is .40 S&W and 35 SIG slowly becoming very marginalized?" Can be answered reasonably without a caliber war.

    Maybe simply... The herd went else where... yet again.
     
  18. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't see the relationship.
     
  19. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that sums it up quite well indeed.
     
  20. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    If the size of the hole isn't as important as the quantity and penetration, adequate penetration could be achieved using a lighter load and forgoing expansion.
     
  21. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay.
     
  22. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Still doesn't answer my original question.
     
  23. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    "Okay" meant that I understood your meaning.

    The people who arrived at the specifications decided that an expanded diameter of about one and one half times an unexpanded diameter of about .356 inch was acceptable, provided that the round's penetration falls between their min and max amounts after penetrating certain barriers.

    They reached that conclusion based on forensic analysis. If you would like to know their reasoning, ask them--but do realize that their assumptions have been borne out in the real world.
     
  24. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Appeal to authority fallacy
    Description: Insisting that a claim is true simply because a valid authority or expert on the issue said it was true, without any other supporting evidence offered.

    Many authorities say to shoot the largest caliber you can control.
    And I assure you my conclusion is based on real world observations
     
  25. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Not in this case. It is the study of scientific research results, albeit performed by others. The data are publicly available.

    I would agree with that, depending upon what balance of speed and precision envelope is defined as "control".

    Really!

    How many physical stops? It would take an awful lot to serve as a basis for conclusions,
     
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