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Objectively speaking, why the 40 S&W hate / decline?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Ballistics, Nov 18, 2017.

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  1. Ballistics

    Ballistics Member

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    I’ve seen a couple YouTube personalities in recent years totally trash the 40... calling it “short and weak” — talking about how the FBI ditched it, saying it offers no advantage over 9mm nor 45, snappy recoil makes follow up shots more difficult. After you watch enough of those videos, one starts to think that 40 has no place.

    I recently watched a couple Paul Harrell videos (really like him) on YT and in a 40 vs 45 video, during ballistics testing, he reminded me that the 40 has basically the same energy as a 45, but with higher capacity like a 9mm... best of both worlds. Also he demonstrates follow up shots are just as fast and accurate with a 40.

    Sure, the 10mm is clearly the energy leader above them all, but with more recoil and higher ammo cost. His videos have me warming back up to the 40 as offering energy benefits compared to 9 and capacity to the 45, giving it an edge to both. Thoughts?
     
  2. Charliefrank

    Charliefrank Member

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    I resisted the striker fired pistols for may years after the craze began. Being a 1911 fan I just turned up my nose at those trigger pulls. I finally gave in , and in 2005 bought a Springfield Armory xd40. I've put a respectable amount of rounds through it. Nice gun and all, but the cartridge didn't really do anything for me that my 10mm or 45acp didn't already do. Granted back in the day my impressions of factory 9mm ammo was crap, or I would have went in that direction. That's all changed now what with current 9mm ammo being so much better. So I figured 40 S&W was a reasonable choice.
    There's absolutely nothing wrong with the 40 S&W cartridge, it just really not my particular cup of tea.
     
  3. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    Subjectively speaking, I have an M&P 40 and M&P 40 Shield, both of which I enjoy shooting, both of which I have confidence will provide effective self-defense.

    Hatred of 40 S&W is likely just as subjective.
     
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  4. 420Stainless

    420Stainless Member

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    Modern 9mm ammo has convinced people that there is no longer a need to go larger. I don't see it that way having bought a SIG 229 shortly after they were introduced and still using it often. Nothing wrong with .40, some just like other things more. Everything is a compromise to something else so is it just a matter of what is important to you. If it is capacity or recoil you will go smaller, if it is momentum and penetration you will go larger. For some people, cost of ammo or availability has more to do with it. I happen to think .40 is a good mix of everything for me.
     
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  5. JONWILL

    JONWILL Member

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    I like the 40. I have a couple of CZ's and they are tackdrivers.

    During the last panic I could normally find 40 before anything else
     
  6. WVsig

    WVsig Member

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    I think 9mm bullet technology has come a long way. There are tons of 147gr hollow points on the market now that perform well. The 40 recoil is snappier than 9mm or 45 ACP. 9mm is a pop. 45 is a push 40 is a snap.

    Lots of people don't like the snap of the 40 and the muzzle rise associated with it. They simply don't shoot it as well as other calibers. I am sort of in that camp. It is not that I can't shoot it I just don't shoot it as well as 9mm and 45 ACP.

    If I can get similar terminal ballistics from 147gr 9mm it makes sense for me to shoot the cheaper more controllable 9mm.

    There is a huge flood of LEO trade ins in 40 S&W right now. Reminds me of the late 90's early 2000's when there was a flood of 9mm LEO trade in. If you like to shoot 40 S&W it is a great time to pick up nice LEO trade ins on the cheap. I see Sig P229s all the time these days for just under $400 which is a good deal. Glocks are in the $300-$325 range.
     
  7. bnolsen

    bnolsen Member

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    If cost of ammo were no issue I see no reason not to go 40 S&W for a service pistol. Plenty of power and more power to spare and recoil isn't an issue, capacity is still really good, frame size matches the 9mm.

    If you watch Paul Harrell's videos it sure doesn't seem like the bullet technology has really come that far, manufacturers massively inflate their claims in order to sell much more profitable designer ammo. Watch his 40 vs 9mm video.

    It also seems the FBI mostly decided to drop their standards for people who in the end can't handle 9mm loads properly either.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  8. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    I am a fan of the 10mm Auto. A lot of fans of the 10mm don't appreciate the .40 because the feeling is that it stole the commercial support from underneath the 10mm. The 10mm has been relegated to niche status despite its increased performance and versatility ever since. When I want something smaller and more concealable than the Glock 20, or want something with cheaper and more available ammo, I'll use a 9mm. Mostly, the 10mm does everything I need from an autoloading pistol, and certainly does everything I need from a .40 caliber autoloading pistol.
     
  9. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    The problem with the 40S&W is it jumped in the middle of a perfectly good argument over 9mm vs. 45acp.
    How else could it have wrist breaking recoil while being short and weak?
     
  10. Dragon breath

    Dragon breath Member

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    The only reason that I avoid 40 S&W is that I already shoot both 9mm and 45 acp and I don’t want to have to stock another caliber of ammunition.
     
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  11. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I think the reasons a lot of police departments have moved away from it are twofold. For one, the lower recoiling 9mm is easier for people who only occasionally shoot to handle. The other reason is ammo cost. A case of 9mm is cheaper than a case of 40, both for duty and practice ammo.

    Oddly enough, I’m just now starting to move toward it for my winter carry gun.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    For me? The recoil is "torquey". Twists in the hand a little. I can shoot 9MM cheaper. 9MM is easier to find accurate loads with. I can shoot .45 ACP for about the same price. .45 ACP is much easier to find accurate loads with.
    lol. :)
     
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  13. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    Any improvements in hollow points that make the 9mm more effective also carry over to make 40 more effective.
     
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  14. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    Various agencies need to select cartridges based on their least capable people who need to qualify. A small number who can't qualify with the .40 push agencies toward the 9mm, especially if people who represent "diversity" are among those who struggle with the .40.

    Sometime in the past few years, the .40 fell below some critical mass, and ammo costs rose considerably compared with the 9mm. The combination of cheaper practice ammo and lower recoil make the 9mm attractive. With a given amount of $ spent on practice ammo, folks can get twice the practice with the 9mm.

    Twice the practice and lower recoil bring the practical accuracy to a point where it likely compensates for the better terminal performance of the .40.
     
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  15. bluecollar

    bluecollar Member

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    After carrying a glock 22 or 23 every day for 25 years, it just seemed natural to stick with .40 after retirement. Have probably shot more .40 than 9mm and .45 acp combined. And you have to admit that there's a bonanza of pretty nice examples of .40 cal pistols that can be had quite reasonably nowadays. Those that were unfortunate enough to end up on the wrong side of one of my brethren in a lethal confrontation during my tenure as a professional usually were not around to argue the efficacy or lack there of as pertains to the .40 s&w.
     
  16. JohnhenrySTL

    JohnhenrySTL Member

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    I don’t know why, but I tend to shoot .40s better than I do other guns. I quit being surprised by it a while ago. They just work for me.
     
  17. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    I have some 9mm guns and a couple of 45s too. Also .389, 38 special and 357. Gotta draw the line somewhere so .40 is out. Nothing wrong with it but no interest
     
  18. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    40 definitely makes sense in mag restricted states. It also makes sense with the H&K USP compact or P2000 where the 9mm version only holds 13 as opposed to 12 rounds in the 40.
     
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  19. rskent

    rskent Member

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    No hate. Just no interest. I just never saw the need for a .40.
     
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  20. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    The "strikes" against the .40 are increased ammo cost, decreased pistol service life and decreased on board ammunition capacity. At least that's the way I see it at the current moment in time.

    What I find odd is it seems the way some people interpret the improvements in 9mm JHP ammo, implies that the manufacturers haven't applied these improvements to the .45 and .40 caliber rounds. Which is simply not true; manufacturers are out to make money, and there's money to be made marketing the latest and greatest designs, no matter the caliber. At the end of the day, a bullet that starts at .40 or .45 caliber is still going to expand to be bigger than one that starts at .35-caliber (provided both expand properly).

    Wait a few years and the pendulum may swing back to favoring the .40 S&W again. For now, enjoy the bargains on great service pistols in .40 caliber. ;)

    <- w-w, who agrees that "9 is fine" but is a big-bore handgun shooter at heart.
     
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  21. Charliefrank

    Charliefrank Member

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    I agree, love my big bores. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy shooting my 357, but my heart belongs to the big ones.
     
  22. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    This is the rationale I use with my P2000, except I swapped out the .40 barrel for a 357SIG. Loosing 1 round and increasing the horse power by that much was a no-brainer. I find that the 357SIG recoils less than the .40.

    I think the .40 in a serviced sized pistol is pretty good, if you reload for it, it's a very versatile cartridge. In a light sub-compact pistol it can be a handful especially if you don't practice with it.

    Chuck
     
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  23. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I don't care for it but I have a Glock 23. So that is a truck gun. I don't like it for the snappy recoil and the fact that when I buy ammo in bulk I can always get a better deal on 9mm.
     
  24. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Keep in mind decision to switch from 40S&W to 9mm for many police departments could be a financial decision as 9mm ammunition costs less than 40S&W. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
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  25. Charliefrank

    Charliefrank Member

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    Is reloading for the 357 sig smooth? Where do they headspace?
     
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