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Some thoughts on the .40 S&W

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MagnumDweeb, Sep 16, 2009.

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  1. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Member

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    This isn't a .40 S&W bashing thread, just some thoughts I had. I had not too long ago acquired a Glock 23, and my first thoughts originally were 'great get a 9mm conversion barrel and work on getting a .22lr conversion'. Well at Wally World I can get Federal .40 for less than $14 a box of fifty and the local ranges are charging $15 per 50 rd box of 9mm. So safe to say I shot a few boxes of .40. It was considerably pleasant in comparison to 9mm.

    Most .40 seem to utilize a 185 grain round. More and more .45 ACP ammunition uses the 185 grain load. Most of us who are fans of the .357 magnum commonly use 158 grain loads. And us 9mm fans commonly use loads that are between 115grain and 130 grain(there are some 140 grain for SD).

    There are those who say the 9mm is more powerful than .38 special because of its higher velocity, but commonly utilizing a lighter grain round, that is up for argument.

    It is commonly asked what does the .40 do that the .45 ACP or 9mm doesn't. It seems to be a good compromise between high capacity and diameter and bullet weight. I like to shoot for penetration of my rounds not diameter expansion. I do prefer hollow points because of the lesser chance for richochet, but if I ever have to shoot in self-defense I want the round to be able to travel from the chest to the spine(breaking the spine). If I could find .40 with JSP or SWCHP I think the little round would be an excellent round for personal carry. As a target shooter it groups nicely at twenty yards out of the Glock 23 I own.
     
  2. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    I shoot a 9mm or 38 . Don't want the weight of a heavier caliber gun and can place quick followup shots with these two. Have bought two new and lighter guns this year after 26years of carry'n. I have a full sized witness in 40 and 9mm conversion kit. Use it in matches and as a play gun and house/travel gun . Great shooter in either caliber with no preference to caliber but to big to carry. I will not own a 45 or 10mm as i allready have 357mag and 44mag and these do more than either of the pistol rounds can do. These 2 only go hunting and are loaded heavy and hot. I do like 115gr Cd ammo for the 9mm and 38, 165gr gd's or dpx for the 40. My witness does not seem to care what it shoots in either caliber, all the ammo i have tried shoots better than i can shoot it. Good gun.
     
  3. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    I really like my Beretta Mod.96 in .40 S&W especially for ease of shooting and accuracy.
    It's a bit large for a daily carry but it's a good "nightstand" piece.
    Just recently, I bought a good supply of .40 cal ammo from Wally World and as you said, the price is right.
     
  4. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    I like both of my .40 caliber pisols XD-40 & Ruger P-944. The cool thing is all through this ammo shortage I can only think of once I went to Wally World & couldn't find .40. I actually regretted buying a P-11 in April because I couldn't find ammo anywhere. Well I did find some but had to pay twice what WalMart would have charged for range ammo.
     
  5. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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  6. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    I, for one, I am happy I have a Glock 35.

    Ammo is available and plenyful on a weekly basis.

    Now ... when will I have time to shoot the danged thing?
     
  7. cookekdjr

    cookekdjr Member

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    I can tell you that the .40 is a man-stopper. I have investigated a lot of shootings. It is roughly equal to .357 and .45 when it comes to social work. Any common loading from 155gr-180gr, hp or fmj, is a good load for this weapon.
     
  8. hogshead

    hogshead Member

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    Reaper you clipped the 10 mm and girly wrist thing.
     
  9. Thekid90

    Thekid90 Member

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    love my xd40. perfect sd round in my opinion, with gold dots of course.
     
  10. c919

    c919 Member

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    Well your OP pretty much says the most basic point: It's a compromise of power and capacity.

    I personally love the .40 S&W. I think that many people who bash it have yet to find the right .40 caliber gun for them. It's all about finding your platform IMO.

    It's a great round for it's intended purposes, no matter what anybody says. It does the job, period.

    I can always find the rounds I'm looking for when it comes to .40 S&W, and I sure can't say that for .45, .357, 9mm, .38sp, or .380 right now. Things are getting better, but just today I went out to buy some TAP's and the only caliber available, that I needed at the store I was at, was .40.
     
  11. LoneStarWings

    LoneStarWings Member

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    10mm-1.jpg

    Jokes aside, I carry a .40 and like it.
     
  12. 1911 Operator

    1911 Operator member

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    40 cal is a nice effective round. it's a good compromise of weight and power. many of it's jhp offering deliver more enegry than some 45acp's.

    i prefer the lightweight jhp's in this caliber, as i like the most energy delivered.

    some folks say they prefer the extra penetration of the 180grn jhps, but for me, the 165 grn penetration is more than adequate form me. :D

    i have the federal hst's 165grn jhps in my mp 40c. the energy is something like 465 ftlbs. :cool:
     
  13. Just One Shot

    Just One Shot Member

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    There's nothing wrong with a .40 when it comes to self defense. In fact, I'm comfortable with calibers from .380 thru the .45 for CCing.

    I have a tendency to think some of the .45 owners bashing of smaller calibers is due to the fact they are compensating for a shortage in some other area of their life.

    :what:
    :neener:
    :D
     
  14. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    I love my XD40 and shoot it more often than anything else. There's no doubt in my mind that it's a man-stopper, especially with my Cor-Bon JHP's loaded, but the real reason I prefer shooting it is that it gives great feedback. The 9mm is a bit too poppy and shrill for my liking; nothing wrong with that, but it's not as sweet of a sound as the .40S&W. Afterall, shooting should be fun, and since we all have our different preferences and interests, I wouldn't expect everyone to feel the same about every caliber.
     
  15. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    40 S&W is about the biggest round you can get into a 9mm sized frame. It's all about the most power in the smallest package. It seems to be an effective and popular compromise.
     
  16. possum

    possum Member

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    all of my handguns are .40 for a few reasons.
    1) i reload .40 and i don't want to have to load different calibers, i want as few calibers as possible. i have been reloading it since i was a kid with my dad, so i know the loads by the book from memory.
    2) i was raised on the .40, the first handgun i shot was a .40 and the first handgun i bought was an xd .40 that i still have.
    3) i have so much brass (probably enough for a lifetime of shooting), and reloading components that it would be dumb for me to switch and or not continue to use it.
    4) i can manage a .40 just fine, it is accurate and shootable in the platforms i own.
    5) i like the fact that i can have larger grain bullets moving faster than .45 and the fact that i can have lighter weight bullets moving fast real fast. IE 155gr speer gold dots that i load at 1,220fps.
    6) additionally like Guntech stated. it fits in a 9mm framed gun, which is good for me as i have small hands.
     
  17. HardShell

    HardShell Member

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    I currently own a hundred handguns (more pistols than revolvers by >2:1) and don't own a single .40S&W, by choice. (I have owned them in the past.)

    Nothing wrong with the cartridge's performance in either gel or real-world shootings, of course, and my best friend (a local PD Detective Sgt.) swears by it and wouldn't carry anything else. It just didn't do anything special for me and, in the course of a massive, long-term platform and caliber consolidation process, I kept only 9mm and .45ACP for my full-size pistols (for many reasons) and eliminated .40S&W along with a half-dozen other, even less-common calibers.

    I have zero regrets about that. YMMV, as always.
     
  18. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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  19. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    I like the round after getting used to it. It has some kick to it which, when learning to shoot a pistol, can be a hinderance.

    Now I shoot it more than any other round mostly because its my duty round and I get lots of free ammo from my department.

    I think it has a good compromise of caliber, numbers in a mag and velocity. My PD has had good success with this round in the Federal HST 180 grn loads.
     
  20. 1911 Operator

    1911 Operator member

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    some of my friends don't like the 40cal just because it has snappier recoil in a lot of models. not all though, my cz75b 40cal hardly recoils, but my m&p 40cal is quite snappy. (one of my buddies didn't like it because of that).

    it's just what you prefer.
     
  21. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    I think "snappy" is the gun, not the round. My buddy's wife's PPS in 9mm is "snappy", my 3rd gen Smith alloy (410) and stainless (4006) frame .40s are, well, not "snappy".

    Les
     
  22. chieftain

    chieftain Member

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    Find the most reliable platform that fits you or as in the case of the 1911 can easily and inexpensively made to fit you.

    Then choose that platform in the caliber it was originally designed in and for. The original caliber is usually much more reliable than any derivative.

    As to which caliber? As history and science has proved over and over again, as long as it is one of the fighting calibers, the ability to “stop” the bad guy sucks equally. If you are aware of the fight that is coming, take a shoulder weapon. NO PRACTICAL HANDGUN CALIBER IS VERY GOOD. THEY SUCK EQUALLY. NO MATER WHAT MYTH OR RELIGION YOU PROFESS.

    It doesn't matter how good you are with it either. It is a handgun.

    The professionals about fighting with hand guns, Dr Gary Roberts and the FBI.

    No doubt your opinions and experience is vastly superior to these two learned men.

    Simply amazing.

    Is there anything the professionals said, that is not understandable?

    America were we are free to choose to prove that Darwin was right.

    Go figure.

    Fred
     
  23. Seven For Sure

    Seven For Sure Member

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    The .40 uses 180 not 185. I like the caliber and the heavier the bullet, the more it shoots like a 45ACP. Nice, slow recoil, not snappy at all. The 165 and 155 gr. bullets are more snappy IMO. It's my first choice in a handgun caliber for carry. I like 10mm for the truck and nightstand. The .40 is'nt a compromise IMO, .45 and 9mm are.
     
  24. chieftain

    chieftain Member

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    Over 100 years of compromise?

    I don't think so. There is a reason both 9 and 45 have stood the test of time and combat, military and civilian. They both work.

    Go figure.

    Fred
     
  25. Blank Stare 73

    Blank Stare 73 Member

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    I own an M&P .40 and really like it. It's my first semi auto, I'm typically a revolver guy. I have nothing negative to say about the M&P platform or the 40 round either.

    Of course, I typically am not a negative person and don't see the point in the caliber wars.........though I do enjoy reading them....:evil:.......Most of the old timers like the 45, especially the 1911 paltform.......The younger crowd typically favor the 9mm.........and those of us who are in the middle....:neener:..... like 40!
     
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