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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. Danoobie

    Danoobie Member

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    Now that the fed is getting back to 9mm, the 40 can be had cheap at the pawn shops and LGS.
    This is a great time to be looking for a 40 S&W.
     
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  2. Gun Master

    Gun Master Member

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    Good point !
    Kinda' like when people were drooling over semi's, and and you could get a good deal on wheelguns.
    Man, I picked up some (at least 3) very good (one almost perfect) Colt's and S&W's for $150 each.
    "Those Were The Days My Friends".
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Did that with my XD, but of all the guns my nephew shot of mine he shot and liked the fourty the best, so I gave it to him. I did like the XD and eventually replaced it with an XDm in 9MM. Still have that.
     

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  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Amen to that. Long gone though. :)
     
  5. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Harder to shoot
    More wear on most platforms
    Cheaper ammo especially in bulk
    All pistol caliber suck about equally with pros and cons vs each other that can be lost in the statistical noise.

    9mm is the most efficient martial caliber out there.

    .......said the guy carrying a .40 P2000.
     
  6. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    The second sentence is an understatement. Saying the 40 has more acceptance than the 41 Action Express is like saying sandwiches have much greater acceptance as a food in America than haggis.
     
  7. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Have to agree with second and third statement. The first is theoretically true, but if you find an LEO used 40, you'll likely find far more holster wear on the outside than wear and tear on the inside of the gun.

    Yes, all pistol calibers suck compared to a rifle or shotgun, but it a life threatening situation, a pistol is far better than bare hands or harsh language. ;)
     
  8. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    I am approaching 500,000 pistol round count (factory and reloads) and there were many comments made back 25 years ago when I switched from 9mm/45ACP to 40S&W as my USPSA match caliber that are still being made today.

    • "40S&W is a passing fad that will not last" - Unless you have not been to a range for the past 25 years, I have seen just as many 40S&W spent brass at various ranges compared to 9mm and 45ACP spent brass on the floor. If 40S&W is a passing "fad" then we should not see any 40S&W spent brass especially since 40S&W ammunition costs more than 9mm.
    • "40S&W is not a popular caliber" - Talk is cheap and action speaks louder than words. Despite what people post on the forums, if we continue to see 40S&W spent brass on range floors, it means people are continuing to shoot 40S&W. We can talk all we want and post our opinions but if people are continuing to shoot 40S&W as evidenced by spent brass on the range floor, should we not accept this fact as 40S&W remaining a popular caliber?
    • "40S&W recoil is hard and will break plastic frames made for 9mm" - I have way over 100,000 round count on two Glock 22s I used for USPSA matches and neither of them suffered breakage. Yes, no broken extractor, no cracked frame, etc. etc.
    • "40S&W recoil is snappy" - When I hear this, I ask them if they replaced the recoil spring assembly as recoil spring is a consumable item like recoil springs in 1911. If they are shooting Glocks, I hand them spare recoil spring assembly I have in my range bag and magically snappy recoil is much better. :eek:;) I believe some people posting 40S&W recoil is snappy have never replaced recoil spring assembly in their pistols. My experience has been similar with 1911 shooters - Yes, there are people who never replaced recoil spring in their 1911s and complain about hard recoil and muzzle flip. I pop in a new 16 lb or 18.5 lb Wilson Combat/Wolff recoil spring and magically hard recoil is much better with less muzzle flip. :D
    • "40S&W is inherently not as accurate as 9mm" - Having shot 40S&W as USPSA match caliber and countless other 40S&W shooters will confirm that 40S&W can be just as accurate as 9mm. Holes on target speak louder than words. I have done quite a bit of accuracy comparison testing for the Handloading and Reloading category with 380Auto, 9mm, 40S&W and 45ACP using various bullets and powders and here are my "holes on target" at 25 yards using Glock 22 with KKM 40-9 conversion barrel and Sig 1911 (I have Just Right carbine with 9/40/45 barrels/bolts so comparison testing will continue with carbine loads in the future) - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...ts-and-discussions.778197/page-6#post-9924922
    45ACP
    [​IMG]

    9mm
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    40S&W
    [​IMG]

    25 yard 40S&W testing verified in person by another THR member. This was smallest 5 shot group and shows accuracy potential of 40S&W with stock Gen3 Glock 22 and unmodified trigger. (Pistol buying tip: I try to buy pistols that won't move/jump the front sight when I dry fire) - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...ick-plated-bullets.761471/page-4#post-9646469
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  9. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    Long live the meat target!

    The problem with Paul Harrell videos is that Paul Harrell is not your average shooter. His follow up shots with a .40 may be just as fast an accurate but that doesn't mean the average person is going to achieve that.

    That said the .40 V. .45 was very well done and very objective.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  10. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Ditto on that bds,
    I recall at the range seeing a fair amount of 45GAP and 357 Sig brass cases at the range a few years ago. Now I might see a solitary 357 Sig case laying by its lonesome self in a month's time of range trips and almost never see a 45 GAP spent case on the ground. 9mm is the overwhelming majority of remaining FC pistol brass followed by 40 and 380 then 45ACP (mostly because the folks at this range love shooting this caliber and many of them reload).
     
  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    You, sir, rule. :D
     
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  12. Gun Master

    Gun Master Member

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    "Tactical-Life" shows seven reasons police chose 9mm over the .40 :
    1. Shootability
    2. More Guns
    3. Longevity
    4. Increased Capacity
    5. Reliability
    6. Ammo Choices
    7. Cost

    I think they have pretty much answered the OP's question.
     
  13. Gordon
    • Contributing Member

    Gordon Contributing Member

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    I shoot .40s this last 10 years as it was sold in small formats like Glock 27 and Shields and has more power and a bigger hole than 9mm. It certainly is on my upper limit of combat control , and in slightly larger pistols with 3.5-4" barrels and up I still prefer .45 ACP which I can control better than most .40s. The exception is a Witness Elite steel frame full size .40 which to me feels like a Gold Cup .45 . I like .40 S&W and ammo is cheaper than .45 acp.
     
  14. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    I've shot many Sig P320s back to back in .40 and .45. .40 is noticeably more snappy than .45.
     
  15. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    I liked the .40 S&W until I had to shoot it out of a plastic gun.

    The first .40 I ever shot was a CZ75B. It was a great big heavy steel gun that just soaked up the recoil. My second .40 was a S&W model 4006. Again a relatively heavy steel gun that mitigates recoil.

    When I worked as an armed guard my employer issued the S&W M&P40. It was a good gun and I generally shot 290(ish)out of 300 possible every time I qualified with it but by the end of the training session I was feeling the recoil and I developed a flinch. It wasn't a fun gun to shoot like my M&P9 is.

    About 4 years ago I decided to consolidate down to one handgun caliber. The decision was between 9mm and .40S&W and there really was no decision to make. My wife is arthritic an can't shoot a .40. We sold off all the .40S&W guns (except the 4006 in case 9mm becomes hard to find again) and went with 9mm.
     
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  16. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    It's all about efficiency. .40 offers slightly higher muzzle energy over 9mm, but at a big cost. 9mm already has more than enough power to get the job done, as evidenced by the fact that its penetration must be limited by expanding bullets to be deemed safe enough to use in a domestic setting. So when the rubber meets the road, .40 offers very, very little, if any, advantage, and comes with a whole host of disadvantages, including increased recoil, reduced capacity, reduced lifespan of parts and guns, lower range scores, increased cost, increased weight, etc.

    Compared to .45, .40 makes a little more sense, but .45 has lost a lot of relevance. Don't get me wrong, it works, but it's just not efficient. It overpenetrates in tissue, yet it's a notoriously poor performer when it comes to light barriers. With that, it has most of the disadvantages listed above.

    Long story short, get yourself a G19 and a 50 round box of Federal 124gr. HSTs, and life will be good. No agonizing over split hairs, no having to train around harsh recoil, and you'll have a lot more money for training ammo.
     
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  17. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    It will be interesting to see what the thought on all this is in 10 years after the improved 9mm bullets like the HST have actually been in real world use for a while. Personally, I would not get too wrapped up in the 9mm/40/45 debate. All three will work well. At the end of the day though, a bigger bullet doesnt have to rely on perfect expansion to work, but this comes as a trade off of recoil and capacity. Also, it is reasonable to assume that improvement in 9mm hollow points are going to also be improvements in 40 and 45 hollowpoints. So to say that 9mm HST performs as well as a previous generation 40 or 45 hollowpoint isn’t necessarily a valid comparison, since 40 and 45 HSTs probably perform better still.
     
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  18. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Before we turn this thread into 9mm vs 40S&W, let's review what the OP posted.
    OP started the thread with 40S&W vs 45ACP videos with consideration of going back to 40S&W.

    So if you compare 40S&W to 45ACP:
    • Ammunition costs less
    • 15 round capacity vs 8 round single stack 1911
    • Less pistol+bullet weight for same capacity double stack 1911 (or higher capacity with double stack 1911 chambered for 40S&W)
    • With Glocks, similar smaller dimensions as 9mm models for carry (actually uses same holsters)
    • Cheaper to meet USPSA major power factor than 45ACP
    • 9mm like minor power factor load option
    • With 40-9 conversion barrels, option of shooting 9mm
    • As "modern" HP technology improved for 9mm performance on par with 40S&W, also for 40S&W performance on par with 45ACP
    When comparing 40S&W to 45ACP, benefits are many and that's what this thread is about.

    And my reply on post #83 spoke to OP thread title "Objectively speaking, why the 40S&W hate / decline?"- https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...-s-w-hate-decline.828775/page-4#post-10689128
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  19. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    No. There is no place in the OP where the OP states that he is comparing .45 to .40 or considering a caliber change. He references a video comparing .40 to .45 but his over all question is "Why don't people like .40?"
     
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  20. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    No.

    OP titled the thread "Objectively speaking, why the 40S&W hate / decline?" then mentioned 40 vs 45 videos followed by "His videos have me warming back up to the 40".

    For you, I changed "OP started the thread comparing 40S&W to 45ACP with consideration of going back to 40S&W." to "OP started the thread with 40S&W vs 45ACP videos with consideration of going back to 40S&W" on my previous post.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  21. DHart

    DHart Member

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    .40S&W remains a VERY widely used caliber and is in no danger of disappearing. .40S&W will be with us, as a mainstream defense caliber, for the long-haul.

    .40S&W is easily my favorite defense caliber with an semi-auto pistol. I came to this conclusion after years of having and shooting many pistols chambered in .45auto, .40S&W, 9mm, and 10mm.

    In my view .40S&W is ideal, as it combines street-proven potency, proven bone-busting/penetrative capability, high-capacity, and easy shoot ability (given a suitable platform). This last qualifier (suitable platform) is because while I have and enjoy many Glocks, I find that .40S&W Glocks feel harsher (more 'snappy' as many say) than platforms which are specifically designed for the caliber. Pistols such as the venerable Browning HiPower .40, M&P40, HK VP40, SIG P320 40, Walther PPQ 40, and STI Edge .40 are all very easy to shoot and very comfortable/enjoyable to shoot in .40S&W caliber - more so, in my experience, than Glock forties.

    I think the majority of people who tried .40S&W and decided that it was too 'snappy' or that they didn't like the caliber did so after shooting only a Glock forty. Not that Glock forties are a bad choice, in my view, just that I find these other platforms to handle the caliber with greater ease and comfort.

    I still have and occasionally shoot some Glock forties, but they are, for the most part, safe queens at this point. My preferred carry guns are the M&P40 and M&P40C, the former carrying 16-rounds of 180 gr HST and the latter carrying 11-rounds of the same.

    If I had to choose a defense pistol to face a very dark day, my choice would be the M&P40 or the SIG P320 .40 Full size. Both of these pistols launch forty with great ease, quick return to target, flawless reliability, and with high-capacity. Loaded with rounds such as Federal's 180 gr. HST, one has a highly capable defense pistol.

    Yes, I still love .45auto. And I enjoy shooting 9mm on occasion. All of these calibers can good choices, in different ways. Each has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Choose whatever you like. For me, the .40S&W is the sweet spot!
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
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  22. Nordeste

    Nordeste Member

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    Definitely. Over here, and talking factory ammo, .40 can be as much as an 80% more expensive than 9 mm. I think it would be difficult to find a LE agency in the whole of Europe that uses other caliber that is not the 9, in fact. And the very few carry permit holders that you may find, usually opt for the .38 Special, .380 ACP or 9 mm.
     
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  23. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Prior to the 1970's, wasn't .380 ACP the most common LE round in Europe?
     
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  24. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    Yea, I'd say all bullets rely on expansion to "work," at least as designed. Otherwise they're just quasi FMJ and will overpenetrate.
     
  25. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    Yep, point being a 40 or 45 hollowpoint dont have to expand as much or as reliably as 9mm to achieve the same final diameter.
     
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