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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. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I would wager that a lot of people who claim the .40 has sharper/snappier recoil than full-power .45 ACP haven't shot a lot of .45 ACPs. Equal weight pistols with equal recoil systems. Shoot both and get back to me.
     
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  2. ScrapMetalSlug

    ScrapMetalSlug Member

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    I’ve never considered the 40 snappy, and I shoot a m&p40c. My xd 45 ACP tactical seems much snappier to me than the 40, it doesn’t feel like a push that everyone talks about. Although, it isn’t a heavy all steel gun and I mostly shoot +p ammo.

    I like the 40, and like others have said you can get great deals on pistols in 40 s&w because it isn’t cool anymore. I did just recently buy a 9mm factory barrel for it just for practice, just because the 9mm ammo is so much cheaper.

    Although the 9mm bullet technology has improved, if you look at the 40 s&w tests on lucky gunner there is some phenomenal performance for a lot of really good factory loads.
     
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  3. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I recently shot some full power 357 magnum out of a S&W model 13 revolver. It made me realize I had forgotten just how gentle the recoil of a 9mm or 40 auto is compared to what we used to consider the standard.
     
  4. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Hmm, I wonder how many LEO's put 55,000 rounds through their guns? I've passed that mark this summer with my M&P40 and it looks pretty darn good and still shoots great. Fortunately it's never seen an expensive factory load in its life. Yes, it costs more, 40 loads cost me 6.5 cents a round compared to 5 cents for 9mm and 7.3 cents for 45ACP so a typical session costs me an extra $3-$4.5 more for shooting 40 vs 9. For a bean counting law enforcement agency, it's a metric that can be persuasive, especially if they can turn in their M&P40's for G**** 17's for little or no cost as an "incentive" .

    I do own an XD9, M&P9, Shield 9 and 92fs, but will never give up my 40's or 45's. I'm glad we have variety and a choice and are not hamstrung by a bean counter dictating what guns we can or cannot shoot (unless that authority is a spouse) :oops:
     
  5. harrygunner

    harrygunner Member

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    I always remember someone posting something to the effect of "I don't have to read the words on the box to know if I like the cereal."

    Objectively, the .40S&W round is effective and has merit regardless of the ever changing words from the FBI.
     
  6. Danoobie

    Danoobie Member

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    JMHO, but the 40 S&W is a harder recoiling cartridge, the National Agencies treated it like the
    best thing since sliced bread, got everybody else drinking the cool-aid, then suddenly bailed out
    on it. Objectively speaking, these would be the two main reasons.
     
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  7. WVsig

    WVsig Member

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    I believe that is a completely incorrect assertion. The two rounds have a different recoil impulse. Yes the gun you are shooting it out of makes a difference but it does not change the foundational difference of the 2 rounds.
     
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  8. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    I would wager that a lot of people who claim the .40 has sharper/snappier recoil than full-power .45 ACP haven't shot a lot of .45 ACPs. Equal weight pistols with equal recoil systems. Shoot both and get back to me.

    I have shot a number of different pistol calibers over several decades. In shooting Center Axis Relock, where the pistol is shot closer to the face and body, the 40 is noticeably snappier and the blast is more pronounced.

    The .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), or .45 Auto (11.43×23mm) is a handgun cartridge .... The SAAMI pressure limit for the .45 ACP is set at 21,000 psi (144.79 MPa) piezo pressure, while the SAAMI pressure limit for the .45 ACP +P is set at ...
    Bullet diameter‎: ‎451 in (11.5 mm)
    Maximum pressure (C.I.P.)‎: ‎19,000 psi (130 MPa)
    Maximum pressure (SAAMI)‎: ‎21,000 psi (140 ...
    Case length‎: ‎898 in (22.8 mm)

    The .40 S&W is a rimless pistol cartridge developed jointly by major American firearms .... According to the official C.I.P. guidelines, the .40 S&Wcase can handle up to 225 megapascals (32,600 psi) piezo pressure. In C.I.P.-regulated countries ...
    Bullet diameter‎: ‎400 in (10.2 mm)
    Case length‎: ‎850 in (21.6 mm)
    Maximum pressure‎: ‎35,000 psi (240 MPa)
    Rim diameter‎: ‎424 in (10.8 mm)

     
  9. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    It should not be a surprise that the 40 recoils more than the 9mm if you consider the mass and velocity of the two rounds. Were all the people shooting 40s unaware of this until now? I don't think anyone has ever claimed otherwise. Maybe people just were not paying attention.

    If you can't handle the recoil of the 40, there is nothing wrong with 9mm. No one will consider you less of a man. Either of these two rounds are fine, assuming the 9mm bullets expand, and you can shoot a 40 without breaking a wrist.
     
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  10. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    Military personnel in combat shoot FMJ bullets, not modern hollow points.
     
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  11. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    I only have one .40SW gun now. A HiPoint Carbine 4095. It's a handy reliable (a bit heavy) carbine. But mainly I shoot 10mm and have no issues with recoil, so I don't see the point of the .40. And if I just want .40SW performance, most factory 10mm ammo, is indeed .40SW performance. Or I can just run middle just off minimum 10mm loads. I forgot I do have a 40SW barrel for my Glock 20, but I never use it. Why did I even buy it? I think I bought it 4-5 years ago - before I learned to re-load.
     
  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    It has more recoil than the 9mm and more blast/flash than the .45ACP. And its rise roughly coincided with the rise of polymer frames as the "default" frame material for entry-level handguns. For lots of shooters, that's a tough/unpleasant combination.

    Put the .40 in a large steel frame pistol and can be very pleasant to shoot. But in a plastic-fantastic, it's too much for a fair number of people.
     
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  13. bnolsen

    bnolsen Member

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    Since bullet mass is the big contributor to recoil there's nothing wrong with firing 155 or 165 out of a 40 instead of 180. Higher velocity is better for hollow point expansion anyways, and the 40 has always had more than enough power to penetrate well with many loadings. From what I understand 147gr 9mm ammo fired out of short barrels is kind of pushing the edge...

    Also "poor wear" on 40's is a far bigger issue for those companies who thought that slapping a 40 barrel in their 9mm designed pistols was a good idea. Don't buy a 40 from a company that does that.

    And yes, a full steel frame can make any round managable. I have a full steel wonder finish tanfoglio witness in 10mm that my wife had absolutely no problems shooting. For a service pistol the 40 shouldn't make much of an appreciable difference.
     
  14. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    I find the recoil of light for caliber bullets much more snappy than heavier ones, that includes 115s in 9mm, 155s in 40 SW and 185s in 45 acp.
     
  15. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I despise .40 s&w, I won't own one and hate going shooting with firends that own them. I shoot and reload a lot of both 9mm and .45acp. Those stupid .40 cases are the perfect size to get a 9mm stuck inside them and are also the perfect size to get stuck inside a .45 case. No matter how villigent I am I invariably miss a .40 case and jam my Dillon press.

    That said I think a .40 is a good self defence round and fits it nitch in the market very well. To me, my friends .40's do seem snappier than my 9mm's and .45. I have a light weight XDS 3.3 in .45 and a .40 still seems snappier. To me the .40's don't seem as fun to shoot as a 9 or 45... if I owned one and shot it frequently I am sure my opinion would change.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  16. Nordeste

    Nordeste Member

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    I don't wanna open a can of worms here, but with due respect, I never saw what's the point of the .40. Other than the guys that shoot IPSC Major, you won't see a firearm chambered in this caliber at this side of the pond. Of course, there is always the matter of personal preference, what every individual shoots better and what makes one feel more confident/confortable with. There is no discussion when you just like it better over other calibers, different strokes for different folks. I have shot the .40 and never liked the snapiness of it, but, I have to admit that I absolutely love the .45 and I find the 9 mm competent enough to carry out what is expected from a handgun round. If you do need more "power", perhaps it's time to just switch to a long gun. There is not that much of energy difference between the 9 and the .40 to justify the price difference, but, again, if you can afford it and like it better, go ahead. It's your gun and your money ;) .
     
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  17. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Many times in America the price differential is pretty modest. The .40 has been supported by gigantic law enforcement purchases over the years, giving it military-round-like levels of mass efficiency. It uses some more materials, so it's a little more expensive than 9mm, but it's often not a gigantic difference.

    Probably different across the pond.
     
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  18. springer99

    springer99 Member

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    Have to agree with this. Seems to me that many mfg. just tried to stretch their 9mm frame to accommodate the 40, which (I've heard) led to some durability problems. 1911 frames OK, but maybe not some others. You want more performance just go to the 45ACP or 10mm in a 1911frame, or get a 41Mag in a revolver.
     
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  19. JDR

    JDR Member

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    Honestly I don’t foresee myself getting another dedicated .40S&W service pistol. I replaced a .40 S&W CZ 75B with a 9mm version. I replaced a Gen4 Glock 22 with a Gen4 Glock 21. I replaced an HK USP 40 with an HK45. I am happier on all counts as a result! Now a 10mm Glock Model 40 MOS with a Trijicon RMR red-dot and a KKM .40S&W drop in barrel, well that’s a whole different story right there!
     
  20. Hacker15E

    Hacker15E Member

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    I'm still searching for a first-person report (with pics or other actual evidence) of a "worn out" .40 pistol. Not from a kaboom, or other accident or misuse, but a gun with a "short" service life resulting from simply shooting .40.

    Read plenty of "my department's armorer said..." reports, but the internet is suspiciously short of firsthand evidence.

    Just like how the internet should be littered with all of those destroyed extractors and shot-out barrels from shooting steel-case (or aluminum-case) ammo and isn't, given how prevalent the opinion that .40 causes premature wear (to handguns "designed" for 9mm and scaled up to .40), there should be ample firsthand evidence of it out there...and there isn't.
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I had been shooting .45 ACP for about two decades before the fourty came out. It isn't "snappier", it's torques sidewise, just feels weird. My lightweight subcompact XD was unpleasant with full loads, while my 3" aluminum framed 1911 was not with full power .45. Maybe subjective, but that's all that matters. The .40 was a pussycat in my full sized Witness Elite Match. But I still preferred 9MM and .45, and since it cost me nearly the same to load fourty as forty five, I chose .45.

    That doesn't mean the fouty isn't a good caliber, it is, it just isn't for me. IMHO the question from the OP was purely a subjective one, and not a question about is it a good round or not, just why it seemed to lose popularity.
     
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  22. Taroman

    Taroman Member

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    Been shooting 50 years. Mostly 45 Auto, 44 Special and Magnum.
    Competition and hunting.
    Played with 9mm for a number of years but never really warmed to it.
    Have a few for CC and of course plenty of 38 Special.
    When the FBI, accompanied by all their followers, dumped the 40 bargains abounded.
    Grabbed a Glock 22 for $275, followed by a CZ75 and a Kahr K40, all at fire sale prices.
    As I handload, I can make the 40 anything I want, with accuracy never attained by the 9.
    Late adopter, but I've never been one to follow the herd.
     
  23. hannstv

    hannstv Member

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    I own 3 40s, 2 Glock 23s and a S&W M&P. I have conversion barrels for each of them so I can burn 9mms at the range. I often shoot a Glock 23 and a Glock 19 at the range at the same time and often have to look down at the empty gun to see which I just fired, not a significant difference in recoil. A weird twist on ammo cost, right now you can buy Federal HST for the 40 cheaper than the 9mm at TargetSportsUSA. HST for carry and Blazer Brass for the range and I am good to go.
     
  24. blue32

    blue32 Member

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    I love the cartridge but the last pistol I was issued was a gen 4 22. It had an awful trigger and the finish didn't hold up too well. I didn't mind going to the 9 if only to get away from the gen 4. Then gen 3 was tops for me so I bought it back. I never wore out one in 40 and never saw one worn out either. I never understood why it has become so maligned these past few years.
     
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  25. Gun Master

    Gun Master Member

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    No hate or decline regarding the .40, for me.

    I own more than one 9mm's, and same for .45 ACP.
    I didn't see the need of anything in between, and adding another cal/mm to my ammo supply requirements.
    Same can be said for : .44 Sp, .44 Mag, 10mm, etc......

    Guess the .40 will go the way of .41 Mag and .41 Action Express ?
    But, the .40 S&W had a much greater deal of acceptance than the two above.
    It certainly had its "place in the sun", and still regarded highly by many.
    C'est la vie !
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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