Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Tell me why the .40 is not the best all around defensive round?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Waxed Canvas, Mar 27, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Waxed Canvas

    Waxed Canvas Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    104
    Aside from poorly designed handguns that fire out of battery( and they know who they are ), why would the .40 not be the most effective round ever devised for applications inside of 15 yards?

    'Small enough to be in a compact weapon yet large enough to have the power to put someone on their arse end. What is not to like?

    PS: I do not own a .40 right now and I am thinking " out loud ".
     
  2. mete

    mete Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    3,579
    Location:
    NY
    I do have a 40 and with woodchucks and feral dogs I find no difference in performance between the 40 and 45. Both are better than the 9mm. The 40 also comes in the same size package as the 9mm. It hasn't been around very long but has been very widely accepted by law enforcement.It's a winner and you won't regret getting one.
     
  3. ducktapehero

    ducktapehero Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Missouri Ozarks
    Because it's not a 45. LOL Just kidding, I think it's a great round. I don't think there is one "best" round. I like the 45acp but I sure as hell wouldn't stand in front of someone shooting at me with even a 25. Go with what you can shoot well and practise.
     
  4. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Messages:
    3,507
    Location:
    Kansas City, KS
    Downsides? Slower follow-ups and slightly lower capacity than a 9mm. Smaller and lighter round than a .45 ACP but with about equal recoil (feel can be quite differant). Bad rap for Ka-Booms caused by hot-rodding an already maxed-out cartridge. Not a 10mm ;)

    I'm a bigger is better kinda guy and the .40 is the biggest you can get in a "little" gun. It's the largest round in a little gun that I can shoot rapidly while retaining some sembalance of accuracy. Over-all it's pretty good all right, as it's popularity would suggest.

    If I have the room and weight I'd go with a rifle as my primary defensive weapon. But for CCW or folks who don't want to hump too much weight the .40 makes for a good size and potent gun.

    The 1st centerfire pistol I shot was a Super Blackhawk in .44 Mag so when I was shopping for my own handgun I was leaning tward an automatic but the 9mm guns were so diminutive in comparison I couldn't take them seriously. 9mm is a good round but after lighting off a long string of .44 Mag it just doesn't inspire confidence ;)

    At the time none of the guns I tried in .45 ACP fit me well and they were all single stacks. I just didn't want to have to buy and stuff so many magazines at the range. Plus .40 was the latest craze at the time and everyone was doing it ;) On paper the .40 S&W just seemed plain better than the .45 ACP. Nearly as big a bullet, about the same energy, but I could pack almost twice as many into a magazine.

    I'm going to get some flavor of CZ 75 in .40 S&W for a carry gun. Right now I'm leaning tward an SA. I have a Glock 24P in it which I used in informal competitions for years, like local bowling pin shoots, and it has served me well but if I'm going to be saddled with single action style handling I want a single action trigger pull. For a BUG and pocket gun for when there won't be room to carry a holster I'll be getting a CZ RAMI in .40 S&W. For open carry I'll tote my Delta Elite, because it's bigger, badder, and prettier ;)

    Both guns will be loaded with home grown 135 gr Noslers loaded fairly hot as these are the cheapest 135 grain JHPs I've found and I'll be using the same recipie for my practice loads as for my defensive loads. They also happen to be very accurate from all the .40s I've tried them in so far.
     
  5. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    4,922
    -The .45 makes a bigger hole and has less recoil.
    -The 10mm is more powerful and versatile.
    -9x19 has less recoil and matches .40 S&W power levels with hotter +P/+P+ loads anyway.
    -.357 Sig is somewhat more powerful.
    -All of the above seem more accurate, on average, from most guns.

    The .40 S&W advantages can be summed up pretty easily:

    -Bigger bullet than 9x19
    -More power than most (if not all) 9x19 loads
    -Fits in a frame designed for 9x19
    -Ammunition is pretty cheap

    Personally, I would prefer .45 ACP or 10mm for a bigger gun, and 9x19 for a smaller gun.
     
  6. Gary H

    Gary H Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,257
    Location:
    California
    There is no "best." The best is a person that knows when to shoot and can quickly hit exactly what they are aiming at.

    I have a P7M10 and G35 in .40. I don't shoot them much because I prefer to reload a low pressure load, the .45ACP. More shooting.. better shooting. At least that is my operational theory. Of course, if you don't reload that makes the 9mm queen. Too puny to be king.
     
  7. WheelMan

    WheelMan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    Location:
    Now proud to say the Mighty MO!
    I'd think it's misleading to list "disadvantages" like:

    slower than .9
    smaller than .45

    as those aren't really two seperate things but symptoms of the size of the round. If you want to work like that things can get pretty ridiculous. A list of greater than, less than statements isn't a good place to look for cartridge comparisons. It's about finding that "sweet spot" on all those sliding scales, personally I think .40 does it pretty well. But not signifigantly better than any other major cartridge.
     
  8. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    4,933
    With modern bullet technology and quality factory ammunition there really isn't a whole lot of difference in the 9mm +P/+P+, 40 and 45 to the target. It is going to be a REALLY bad day for anything shot with any of them, I doubt Mr. Badguy is going to be much if any better or worse from one compared to the other. They are all going to work very well with good placement, but opinions abound and choices exist for all of us.

    Personally I am a 40 and 45 guy. I like light fast bullets in the 40 and heavy slow bullets in the 45. Each has merits, and detractors. Find what suits you and go with it.

    I, like a lot of people here, tried very hard to not like the 40 but objective thinking brought me around. It won't work for everyone, but it did for me:rolleyes: .

    I think that the 40 is right out there with the very best defensive rounds ever devised. The only downside I have seen is recoil is stout and sharp in most guns, and it is more than most people can handle. It is my opinion that the majority of people would be best equipped with a service pistol sized 9mm or a K-frame sized 38 with +P ammunition.
     
  9. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    12,037
    Location:
    California
    I have owned several 40's and just did not find a platform I enjoyed shooting well enough to keep. I just prefer shooting 9mm & 45 acp more...for me it's purely a subjective decision.
     
  10. Majic

    Majic Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    5,370
    Location:
    Virginia
    I've never found any .40S&W to match the accuracy of a comparable 9mm or .45acp. It truly is a compromise between the 2 cartridges and handguns.
     
  11. strambo

    strambo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    Oregon
    I've got nothing against the .40, I just don't see a need for it my collection. Personally, in a small gun, Kahr K series size and smaller, I'd rather have a 9, more rounds, better follow up shots, slightly smaller and lighter weapon. In a mid size and full size gun, make mine a .45. Recoil in LW commander size guns is no problem for me. Oh, and I like to keep my number of different calibers to a minimum. Those Dillon SDB caliber conversions are expensive! I don't like .40 recoil either, a little too "snappy" for my tastes.

    P.S. My thinking that I only like small 9mms went out the window when I saw that like new BHP Mk III for $450 w/ 2 standard cap mags awhile back! Old school "Wonder 9"

    :p
     
  12. SnWnMe

    SnWnMe Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,099
    Location:
    Inland Empire
    Because nobody argues with a 12 gauge
     
  13. Redhat

    Redhat Member.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    678
    Depends on the ammo. I flimited to ball, I like the .45. If HP ammo then I like the .45 and the .40.

    The 40 SW seems to have amassed a pretty good record of performance in the LE community...if that ain't so let me know. As for the stout recoil, well different folks have different tolerance levels. I say shoot the biggest you can shoot accurately and quickly. I have fired the Glock 23, and HKUSP in .40 and the Glock definately had more recoil than the HK. I now favor the CZ 75B .40. All steel and deals with the .40 recoil well, plus in the beginning the .40 guns were known to be less than stellar in the accuracy department...not so with the CZ. I have been pleasantly surprised with it's capabilities.
     
  14. Waxed Canvas

    Waxed Canvas Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    104
    Yes the .40 is not super accurate in many weapons although in a Sig 239 it is very much so for the record. The thing I see is in a weapon like the SA XD 40 sub compact or a SW99 sub compact, the .40 looks like the logical choice to me.

    I am leaning towards a SW99 compact in .40.
     
  15. Marshall

    Marshall Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,569
    Location:
    Oklahoma, Green Country
    I like it, in the right gun. It's faster than a 9mm, has more energy than a 9mm, blasts a bigger hole than a 9mm all in a heavier bullet than a 9mm.

    Some reasons not to get:

    Heavier recoil
    Heavier gun in many identical models
    Heavier loaded magazine, ie, 10 on 10
    Heavier on the wallet in ammo
     
  16. Jerry the Geek

    Jerry the Geek Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Oregon
    << Tell me why the .40 is not the best all around defensive round?
    Aside from poorly designed handguns that fire out of battery( and they know who they are ), why would the .40 not be the most effective round ever devised for applications inside of 15 yards? >>

    It depends.

    If you're going for hi-cap in a small pistol, the 9x19 is hard to beat. Anything smaller is going to give you dubiously inconsistant results in a defensive situation.

    The .40 is typically built on a 9x19 frame, but with performance characteristics of the 45acp.


    The .45acp is usually a better performer ... depending on bullet choice ... but you have a smaller magazine capacity.

    Think about the 10mm. Big Ten is built on the .4acp frame, while the 40 is built on the 9mm frame. The 40 gives you less magazine capacity than the 9mm, and the performance is dubious. If you load your own ammo, it's too easy to push the envelope too far and end up with a KaBOOM! because you loaded the round too short or used too fast a powder.

    The 10m is a more robust cartridge, can handle heavy loads better Usually has a fully supported chamber, unlike the 9x19 or .40.

    Better, the 10mm has the magazine capacity of the .40, the ability to handle powerful loads of the .45acp.

    Downsides: few defensive handguns are built for the 10mm, the frame is heavier, you have to go to double-stack to find an advantage for either 10mm or .40 S&W over the .45acp.

    Bottom line: if you can only shoot 1 to 7 rounds, go for the .45. If you need h-cap, the 9x19. If you don't know how may shots you'll need, the 10mm is a superior cartridge and allows hi-cap magazines. The .40 may KaBOOM! on the first round, if you load it wrong, but may combine the advantages of the smaller frame, similar mag capacity, higher power, and ease of finding a pistol built for that round.

    I don't know. Why go for the 40 if you don't need the extra shots for the magazine? Go for the .45, you have 7 or 8 or 10 rounds to solve the problem. And they almost never blow up, if you don't doublecharge the handload. (Which is nearlyl impossible to do in the 10mm.)
     
  17. Hal

    Hal Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    971
    Location:
    N.E. Ohio
    I am too, so I'm not going to be much help talking you out of one. ( and this from someone that really doesn't like the .40S&W round-at all)

    I've decided prettty much that the "perfect" *9mm +P* and/or *38spl/.357mag* - defensive round is the 165 gr .40S&W.
    The performance - on paper - of the 165 gr .40S&W is,, so close,, to the better 9mm and even some of the .357 loads. There's exceptions of course, but there isn't all that much difference across the board.
    Bear in mind, I'm talking about not only the round itself - but also the platforms they all come in and regarding those platforms, how well I shoot them.
    Here's the poop on the Remington Golden Saber:
    Golden Saberâ„¢ 165 BJHP 1150 1040 964 (muzzle - 50 yards - 100 yards)
    That's based on a 4" barrel - From the 3 1/2 in compact, it should still deliver my own personal "reqirement" of an at or above .40 cal, at or above 1000 fps

    Just to add fuel to the fire -
    I'm looking at the S&W99 because:
    - I can get exactly the same gun in 9mm in the compact, If - big IF, I so desire. That way I can shoot cheaper 9mm on the same platform.(even though I reload - I've decided for the time being not to reload for the .40S&W round)
    - 9mm -part II - The Walther P99 "drives" the same as the S&W 99. From everything I've heard, the Walther is the better 9mm and the Smith is the better .40S&W. ( Make fun of me if you want, but I really like the looks of the Walther P99 w/Ti slide - I'm decided that I'm going to buy one simply beacuse I like the looks of it)
    - I already bought a Walther P22, which "drives" very close to the S&W 99.Can't get much cheaper than a .22lr for trigger time
    Except:
    - The Walther CP99 a CO2 air pistol. :what: Yep. a *BB gun*. Now THAT'S affordable trigger time I can do in my basement, with something that again "drives" very much the same.
    - The S&W99 also comes in a .45acp. To be fair though, reports on the S&W 99 .45acp are fairly hard to find. <-- right now,silly as it may seem, this lack of meaningful first hand reports is the only thing holding me back.(That and the job situation right now.)
     
  18. PCRCCW

    PCRCCW Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,860
    Location:
    The Ice Cream Capitol of the World!
    OH GOD......here I go. I think alot of "opining" is going on in this thread.

    The most proven reason for KB's is bullet setback with 180 gr bullets creating higher pressures in unsupported chambers. From what Ive seen and read anyway.

    I think the 40 is a great defensive round. Is it better than the 45/9mm?

    Heres my answer.....If you have a 40 and you can shoot the damn thing like you need to be able to, should you need it.......hell yes it is.

    If the BG is stopped or running for his life......the gun did its job and so did the caliber.

    Shoot well.
     
  19. Waxed Canvas

    Waxed Canvas Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    104
    Hal the only thing not to like on the SW99 are those dogone plastic sights. The front one was already coming off on the demo I fondled at Galyan's yesterday in the Stonebriar Mall in Frisco, TX. I love the idea of buying a handgun in one of America's premier shopping malls----------Y---E----S!!!!!!:D

    The thing just carries so well. I am also looking at the 10 + 1 .40 cal. Springfield Armory XD that is $70.00 cheaper but will require an $80.00 plus freight trip to Mack's shooting iron for a dull grey rust proof coating.

    Yep the .40 inspires no passion in me but it appears to be a logical choice for something small, shootable and compact with good power. The other thing is having to use a round in 9mm to get the same power level that will brutalize the weapon and lead to a reduced service life.
     
  20. gunfan

    gunfan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    678
    Location:
    Western U.S.A
    Get a 10mm auto.

    1) If you want a .45 ACP, go ahead. The .45 is an excellent choice. Of that there is no doubt.

    2) The .40 S&W is the "cop's compromise." Frankly, It beats the hell out of the 9mm Parabelleum and provides the same-sized pistol frame with a long service life. It is NOT, however, a .45 ACP.

    3) Enter the 10mm Automatic. The 10 does take the .45 ACP-size frame, but it picks up where both the.45 and .40 leave off. It beats the .40 S&W in both power and accuracy, it beats the.45 ACP in power, accuracy and penetration, (when needed. When it comes to magazine capacity, it matches the .40 in every way, save for fore and aft dimensions. (Again, it takes a .45 ACP frame :p .)

    Why settle for anything short of the.45 ACP or the 10mm Auto? Let's face it. When my life, and those of my loved ones are on the line, I never, ever compromise. To the devil with THAT! I'm in this fight to live!

    I'll take a 10mm Auto please! May I have another? Oops... wait... I already have four of them! :D

    Scott
     
  21. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Messages:
    3,507
    Location:
    Kansas City, KS
    That's right Scott, I'd like to not compromise either. I'd prefer a 2 round burst .50 Beowolf Shorty AR with a collapsing stock and a supressor. Potent enough to penetrate body armor and short enough to manuver through the house, quiet enough not to make me go deaf, and enough mass and energy to let someone know they've been hit and hit hard. Unfortunately I can't afford that. I settled on an M17S for my home defense gun because it fit in my budget much better.

    By using a pistol you're compromising to begin with and if I have to compromise the .40 is a pretty good one. I, personally, can get faster follow-ups with the .40 than I can a .45 or a 10mm in full power loads and I think the .40 is "enough" to do the job. 9mm can make for a really compact gun and fast and accurate follow-up shots. I have more confidence in the .40 than I do a 9mm to perform a "stop" but if I'm using a pistol for defence I'm already compromising that ability signifigantly.

    When CCW becomes an option for me I'll reach 1st for a CZ 75B SA in .40, then a CZ Compact in 9mm for better concealment, or if I'm limited to pocket carry a CZ RAMI 2075 in .40 S&W which would also double as a BUG for my 75B SA.

    Hopefully I'll never need any of them. If I do hopefully the pistol I choose will be "enough". The real trick is doing my job to:
    1) Be prepared.
    2) Avoid threats to begin with.
    3) Evade threats I can't avoid.
    4) Stop threats I can't evade.

    If it comes to #4 I'm sure I'll be happy to have a gun of any sort over being armed with just my knives, which is currently what I'm limited to legally outside my house.

    That being said, I have a Delta Elite I'd love to use if open carry were an option but it's a bit large and heavy for comfortable concealment for me. I love the 10mm too but I wouldn't want to shoot it in any smaller of a gun than what I have. My follow-ups suffer a noticable delay with the 10mm over the 40s I've shot. If the AWB sunsets I'm seriously considering adding a Glock 20 to the collection and 3-4 normal capacity magazines. That's some serious mojo :D
     
  22. caz223

    caz223 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,739
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    Only four, gunfan?
    Really....
    Just kiddin'.
    .40 shall forever be called the compromise round.
    Compact 9mm weapons have faster follow-up shots and the same capacity in a smaller package.
    .45s are available in the bobtail commander configuration, and guns similar to the USP compact size and are the right size for the job, if you don't mind the weight. (20-25 oz. empty.) You only need capacity if you're going to miss, or if your carry load fails to perform. You gotta carry a spare mag, anyway, right?
    In a full-size gun, like the G20, or 1911, you might as well carry a 10mm, because the 10 is a superior round.
    Where does that leave the .40?
    Well, with a full size duty weapon that you can open carry, they are great. (See above about full size weapons.)
    Compact lightweight .40 weapons just don't appeal to me at all, too much bang, not enough thud. I haven't found one that I wanted to practice with at the range.
    I guess I'd rather carry a 357 mag wheelgun or a 9mm that weighs the same as the compact .40, the wheels and nines just seem to be the best in that size and weight class (15-20 oz. empty.).

    My two drachmas.
     
  23. kidcoltoutlaw

    kidcoltoutlaw Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    VA
    the big plus

    is you can shoot 357 SIG .love the 40 have 4 getting ready to get a 5th smith and wesson 610 in the not to far of future,thanks,keith
     
  24. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,755
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Because there is no such thing as a "best all around defensive round".

    (that said, my house gun and my CCW gun are both .40s so what do I know :neener: )
     
  25. Marshall

    Marshall Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,569
    Location:
    Oklahoma, Green Country
    Other terms and phases for the .40 "compromise round".

    The best of both rounds
    The perfect round
    The go to round....(so many are going to it).
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page