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

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

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

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    5,611
    Location:
    wichita
    Wonder if it'll see a small resurgence once the used/surplus market dries up?
    I'd be real surprised if it moves out of 3rd place in pistol ammo sales.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  2. mcb

    mcb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,329
    Location:
    North Alabama
    It will be interesting. And I agree I think it will be some time before it drops out of 3rd place behind 9mm and 45 ACP but it can be a long way behind those two before fourth place gets close to it.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  3. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    2,643
    What would you consider 4th place? .38 Spl, .380ACP?
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  4. Zendude

    Zendude Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,693
    Location:
    Texas
    One factor that I’m sure contributes to the popularity of any particular cartridge is ammo cost. If 9mm ammo is half the cost (in normal economic times) of an alternative, then that will add to the popularity of the 9mm at the expense of the other choices.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida and Otto like this.
  5. Zendude

    Zendude Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,693
    Location:
    Texas
    I thought 380 is a little ahead of 38 Special from what I remember.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida and WrongHanded like this.
  6. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    5,611
    Location:
    wichita
    They're close enough they trade places depending on the year. Not sure exactly what year probably mid 2000 357 sig was 5 (a buddy/fanboy sent me the stat from federal) and 380 was 4. In 2013 lucky gunner posted their sales numbers and 38 was 4 for handguns.
    Though I bet 38s are reloaded more than 10 to 1 than 380.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida and WrongHanded like this.
  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    13,463
    I do not understand why you keep contending that.

    To my knowledge, I have neither seen, read, or heard any representations of any kind on this subject from anyone who had anything to sell.

    I bought my first 9mm--a Smith and Wesson Model 39--in 1966, on the recommendation of Elmer Keith.

    I bough my next one--an M&P Compact--in 2009, when they were offering a good package deal. I wanted more capacity than that of my my J-Frame.

    I then supplemented it with a .45. I had three reasons:
    1. I was signed up for a defensive pistol shooting class, and a larger handgun was required;
    2. I wanted another chambering, due to the ammunition shortages that were prevalent at the time;
    3. I labored under the impression, gained from years of reading, that the .45 was more effective in terms of "stopping power.
    Three things happened:

    1. I was deluged by postings here and on The Firing Line explaining why the .45 was not much better, if at all--in gel tests, all supported by publicly available data;
    2. I learned, in my first good training course, of the importance of rapid controlled fire;
    3. I realized that most of the participants with .40 pistols out-performed those with .45 handguns, and that those with 9s were, for the most part, better still.
    So--I retired the .45 and started carrying an SR-9c.

    I divested the M&P Compact. It was too small and light for me to shoot well for more than 50 rounds, or to shoot rapidly with control.

    In none of that did anyone "market" anything to me.

    Now, I do see a lot of ads for a lot of different 9mm pistols. I do not remember any that contained claims of their performance vs the .40.

    I have not seen any evidence that anyone has been "marketed to" on the subject of the 9 vs the .40 or the .357 SIG.

    Agree.
     
  8. Leon tP

    Leon tP Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2021
    Messages:
    45
    I like this article from 2019 by Ammo to Go.
    https://www.ammunitiontogo.com/lodge/ammo-sales-info/

    This thread has been entertaining and reminds me of something someone said once.
    :rofl:

    All I know is I'll be dead and buried before either of these cartridges ever will be. Afterwards, some intrepid individual will probably come out with some new cartridge that will be so similar to the legacy 40 or 357 sig that you'll be able to use those cartridges in the same gun and the debate will begin a new. ;)
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  9. mrmike7189

    mrmike7189 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Messages:
    332
    Location:
    MA
    I am almost 50 and hanging onto my 40 guns. The 40 is not dead anytime soon....I can still buy 40 ammo.
    what is dead ? ...cassette tapes. Try buying a cassette today. My vintage 1990's Sony Boombox will not die, but my small collection of cassettes is dwindling!
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Hick Industries

    Hick Industries Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2021
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Eastern Oklahoma
    I moved to my ranch in the Ozarks in 2015. In just the first six months, we had coyotes, feral hogs, bobcats, a black bear, and a black panther in the pasture with our horses and sheep.

    I used to carry a 357 mag revolver as a ranch gun, but after the bear and panther showed up at night, I started carrying a modern pistol chambered in 40 cal, with a weapon light attached.

    We have a number of two legged threats in the area as well, but as long as I have to deal with large predators, I will be carrying a major power carry gun.
     
    Blue Jays, GeoDudeFlorida and JFrame like this.
  11. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    5,611
    Location:
    wichita
    Permanent wound channel defined by the FBI as what is directly crushed by the bullet. In gel testing this is done by measuring the bullet not the gel and in fact you can't measure the diameter of the hole in the block with any precision.
    The same goes for holes in soft tissue.
    You've been playedo_O

    Maybe apply Occam's razor it seams counter intuitive because it's incorrect.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  12. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,142
    Location:
    FL USA
    357 Sig rating interesting:
    threat_level_page-_Ballistic_armor_levels_website_1.jpg
     
  13. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    5,611
    Location:
    wichita
    There's no bonus for A zone hits surely if a drop from 165-170 PF to 150-155 PF is meaningful in real world a drop to 125 PF would give TGO an edge.
    Especially with Kleanbore's assertion that there's more of a difference shooting real fast and all the practice in the world won't help.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  14. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    13,463
    Okay.
    Really? How so? How does any of that support your layperson's claim that the FBI report is "bogus"?
    What is that about? How does physics become the province of my "assertions". Did not mcb explain it to you clearly enough?
     
  15. gnappi

    gnappi Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    South Florida
    Has the cartridge begun its slide into retail oblivion? Sure, but not finding .357 brass at the range doesn't mean anything as to whether or not it's being shot. If that were any meaningful data then 10mm would be right there with it and we all know the 10 is here to stay.

    The fact is .38 super, 10mm, .357 and 57 are all harder to come by than 9mm and shooters don't leave it on the range, gads, empty brass is worth almost as much as loaded cartridges and certainly not disposable like 9mm. I have maybe 7k rounds of .357 native brass (and also form it from .40) and still scavenge my brass at the range.

    Unfortunately the 40 and 357 suffered from lightweight pistols and sensitive shooters, factors that combined make it no different than alloy framed J frame .357 magnum pistols. I haven't seen an airweight shooting full power .357 mag at the range... ever. The fact is, most shooters are not competitors, they "target" shoot, and lightweight powerful guns are not fun in anyone's hands. Take a powerful cartridge in a snubby heavy gun say a .44 mag... I don't see any of those at the range either.

    Now take a 40 or 357 Sig in a steel framed pistol like a Beretta 96X performance (My 92X was modded with a 96 Brig top end), Sig P226 st, or steel framed 1911 (I do have and shoot all three in both calibers) and recoil as a factor goes away but the penalty is weight and bulk, none are carry guns but I do carry a P229 in .357. Now if Florida were an open carry state, I'd have one of the three on my hip.
     
    Blue Jays and GeoDudeFlorida like this.
  16. mcb

    mcb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,329
    Location:
    North Alabama
    Not sure I am completely following you on this one. Yes alpha hits score 5pt for both power factors but the scoring penalties for non-alpha hits is sever enough that Major is still more competitive than Minor in division that have both, even with the capacity and recoil advantages Minor. The only division where Minor is even remotely competitive to Major is single stack and that has more to do with the rules for stage construction than anything else.

    At the 2020 Single Stack National Match only 21% ran Minor and the highest finishing Minor competitor was 10th place with TGO winning the match with a Major gun.

    In the 2020 Limited Nationals only 12% ran Minor guns with Nils Johnson finish a surprising 4th with a Minor gun but he is a young very athletics shooter the next Minor gun to finish was clear down in 28th. Nils total raw time was only slightly more than 2 seconds slower than first place (less than 1% behind 1st) and yet his score was nearly 5% behind first. (Curiously 2nd place was faster than 1st place but did not get good hits.) Non-alpha hits with a Minor gun are punishing to your score and the only thing keeping the Major guns alive in the sport. And the top finishers shot less than 25% non-alpha hits.

    The problem is the real world results of real world shooting don't seem to support that idea that a "charlie" hit with a 40S&W is that much better at stopping the bad-guy than a "charlie" hit with a 9mm. "alpha" hits are what really count with a handgun and for "charlies" and "delta" hits to be reliably effective we really need to step up to rifle level power.

    You can shoot Major Charlies fast enough to win, the does not appear as true in the real world. You can't shoot down 1's in IDPA fast enough to win though... :D

    I have probably rambled and completely missed your point feel free to clarify if you want. Sorry.
     
  17. gnappi

    gnappi Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    South Florida
    It's likely the .357 mag has heavier bullets used in the equation while the Sig round was designed around 125 grain bullets. There's probably a lot of math and real world testing that goes into that chart and the threat level decisions we're not privy to.
     
  18. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    866
    Location:
    Kentucky
    It's on a decline but I think much of that decline is being forced upon it. For a while now the focus of a lot of companies have been very small pistols and then small pistols with high capacity. People do often complain about recoil, so while the .40 could also work in these guns (think P365 and Hellcat), I doubt we'll ever see them. And we don't see them, at least not in the very latest guns, and that's my point. None of the new "exciting" guns are being offered in .40 S&W, they're all 9mm. So if that option isn't there, of course sales are going to decline somewhat.

    That said, it's not going anywhere, I'd say it's pretty close to 45 ACP is sales. I would think the .45 ACP would decline more than the .40 would considering the size of the weapons and that much like the .40, not much "new" is being offered in it. But either way, I do think at some point in time we could see another wave of .40 popularity hit. I know the FBI going back to 9mm and some LEO agencies doing the same, coupled along with everything seemingly only being offered in 9mm has helped the now 120 year old cartridge (it's almost as old as the 38 Special!).

    Listen, when it comes down to real world use, some people claim that there seems to be very little difference between 9mm and .40 but at other times, there definitely does seem to be a difference between the two in favor of the .40. Larger holes work better than smaller ones, that's easy enough to grasp. I've shot enough steel to know that 9mm lags well behind the .40 and .45 in its ability to move or knock over the plates or swinging targets. Does that mean anything? Maybe, maybe not but it sure seems to favor the .40 and .45.

    I get the argument of faster follow up shots with 9mm, but I also think that's not nearly as big of a deal as people make it out to be. I know recoil sensitivity covers a broad range among people, but if you're even remotely proficient with a handgun, the recoil difference between 9mm and .40 isn't that great (especially when using 9mm +P) and certainly wouldn't prevent you from getting quick and accurate follow up shots with the .40. We're not talking about competition shooting here, those few hundredths of a second advantage doesn't make up for ballistic inferiority.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
    Blue Jays, GeoDudeFlorida and Leon tP like this.
  19. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    13,463
    Good point.

    Perhaps you could try to explain what you mean by that.

    The focus of companies is on meeting customer demand. For the civilian CCW market, compactness and light weight are highly prized.

    Do you have any data to support that belief?

    Recoil sensitivity among people is one issue. The movement of the gun, which is to a large extent independent of the shooter, is the other, and it is one factor that has led to the ascendancy of the 9 in agency use.

    The question is one of rapidity.

    Consider that one additional hit could make the difference, and at the man coming at you from around the pump may move five feet in one third of a second.
     
  20. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    5,611
    Location:
    wichita
    That doesn't seam to support your theory
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  21. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,500
    Location:
    NC
    Once the military adopts a cartridge as examples 45ACP and 9X19mm etcetera-etcetera, it almost guarantees an overwhelming acceptance by the general population of firearms enthusiast's. I personally have absolutely zero experience with the 40S&W period. The 40S&W came and went without interest on my part. My time was heavily invested, mainly shooting Bullseye with the 45ACP. I also dabbled with the 9X19mm in different shooting venues.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  22. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    5,611
    Location:
    wichita
    Not sure how many ways I have to say it.
    Because Mr Orwell now you're parroting that in 2021 expansion no longer matters because you cant tell by looking at the gel after the bullet passes thru it how much the bullet expanded.

    The odds of you getting an extra shot off AND having it hit something that makes a difference in 1/3 of a second is equally as astronomical as my larger hole making one.

    That's not true--we have seen it at the range.

    The effect on moving targets can be readily simulated.

    LOL well wrapping your hand around the grip would help.
     
    WrongHanded likes this.
  23. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    13,463
    What's your point?
    I have said no such thing. I have said that the size of the hole is less significant than placement or penetration.

    I have also pointed out that medical personnel have reprted that they often cannot distinguish among wounds made by .38, 9m m, .40, and .45 bullets. That's a fact, though you seem to want to deny it.
     
  24. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    5,611
    Location:
    wichita
    My problem isn't that they can distinguish them I agree that they cant. I disagree with the assumption that they can't because they're the same. I'm saying that they can't distinguish them because they can't measure them.
    Like you said we're not dealing with holes in steel.

    If the gun is recoiling largely independent of your hand you're doing it wrong.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2021
    Hartkopf likes this.
  25. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    13,463
    What are you trying to say. and what bearing does it have here?

    I did not say that it was.

    And it is not at all pertinent to the issue

    What I said was that neither hand strength nor practice will enable a person to fire a .40 pistol as rapidly with equal control as a similar 9mm.

    Golden has also told you that, and so has mcb.
     
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