The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 17, 2013, 08:44 PM   #1
Pops1085
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2012
Posts: 212
Thoughts on s&w 40?

Hey all, still trying to figure out what my first serious handgun (already have a 22) anyways I brought up the 40 in a gun shop the other day and got immediately shot down by a cop no less... I'm confused I thought police were gravitating towards the 40 not away. According to those gents the 40 and the 45gap are one their way out the door and in 20 years they'll be gone.

Last edited by Pops1085; February 17, 2013 at 09:01 PM.
Pops1085 is offline  
Old February 17, 2013, 10:42 PM   #2
pilot141
Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2013
Location: Way south Tejas
Posts: 21
My first post in this forum but even I know what you should be hearing.

Anyone telling you to not even look at a certain caliber is doing you a disservice. They cannot know your needs, your budget or your preferences.

The "caliber wars" will wage forever. Bottom line - go shoot what you think might like. Move up and down the range (try shooting 9mm and 45ACP). Move up and down on sizes and weights of guns. Find what YOU are comfortable shooting and can shoot well. Then buy that.

What you should hear - the step up from 22 to 40S&W is a big one. Most people use the 9mm as the next step from a 22. But again, if you grab a 40 and are comfortable with it, great. I personally like the caliber but am not married to it. I have steered friends buying their first gun into 9mm after they shot everything from 22 to 45ACP.

Good luck in your search, and use your own experience to guide you more than what you hear in a store. Or on the internet, for that matter.
pilot141 is offline  
Old February 17, 2013, 10:56 PM   #3
alex0535
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 4, 2012
Location: Georgia
Posts: 781
I think that it is the middle ground cartridge between the 9mm and the .45 ACP. I would consider the .40 over a 9mm if you think that the 9mm does not have the power you want. With the .40 expect a snappier recoil compared to a 9mm. When considering the price of ammo, 9mm is going to be cheaper than .40 or .45 ACP.

I think that the .45 GAP is probably still going to be overshadowed by the .45 ACP. Its basically the same cartridge with a small pistol primer instead of a large pistol primer. I would rather have a .45 ACP than a .45 GAP for the simple fact that it has more than a century of proven effectiveness.

For all intent and purposes, I think that if it comes between 9mm or .40 I would rather have a 9mm. It is cheaper to shoot, less recoil, and with appropriate bullets, plenty of oomph to handle a two legged threat.
alex0535 is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 12:41 AM   #4
mrvco
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 1, 2011
Posts: 214
First "serious" gun and you don't already have a preference.... Go 9MM. I'd stay away from 45GAP and 357SIG until you have a very good reason to go that route (e.g. your employer is supplying your ammo).

I have a few 9MM's, including my CCW. 9MM is the least expensive center-fire range ammo and still has plenty of umph.

.40 S&W isn't going anywhere, but it is slightly more expensive, with a bit more recoil and fewer rounds per mag. That being said, I love shooting my Glock 35, especially on poppers and dueling trees.

.45 ACP is the grand daddy, but it is more expensive with an even lower round count than .40 S&W. I'd save .45 ACP for when you get the 1911 itch.
mrvco is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 12:45 AM   #5
Eric M.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2007
Location: Forest Lake, Minnesota
Posts: 302
I agree with either the 9mm or .45acp over the .40.

9mm as stated is cheaper if you buy factory, and you get higher capacity. For defense, 9mm bullets have come a long way for good stopping power.

Now on to the .40. I reload for all of my guns, and the pressure in the .40 is close to the .45acp while shooting a much lighter bullet.

I have a good example. I own both a Beretta 8040 Cougar and a Beretta 8045 Cougar.
Both guns feel the same for recoil, and the only advantage to the .40 is two extra rounds in the magazine.

Everybody likes something different, but I'll take a 9mm or .45acp any day to a .40

Eric
__________________
NRA Chief Range Safety Officer
NRA Pistol Instructor
NRA Life Member
DNR Certified Firearms Safety Instructor 37 yrs
Eric M. is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 10:48 AM   #6
carguychris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 5,501
Quote:
...I brought up the 40 in a gun shop the other day and got immediately shot down by a cop no less... I'm confused I thought police were gravitating towards the 40 not away. According to those gents the 40 and the 45gap are one their way out the door and in 20 years they'll be gone.
It's true that many police forces are gravitating away from .40S&W and towards 9mm. Many newer premium 9mm defensive loads have proven themselves to be more effective than older 9mm ammo, thereby eroding the longstanding notion that 9mm is relatively ineffective. This has caused many departments to adopt 9mm for the same reasons that it's popular with civilian shooters: more rounds fit in the same size gun, and the ammo is cheaper.

That said, rumors of the impending death of .40S&W have been greatly exaggerated. It's far too popular to simply vanish. It's erroneous to compare it to a cartridge like .45GAP, which is only usable in a handful of guns that have been adopted by very few police forces. Even if one disregards every .40S&W handgun that has been sold on the commercial market, that still leaves literally millions of .40S&W pistols that have been sold to American LE agencies, and many of these pistols will one day hit the surplus market.

Look at .38 Special. It shares some of .40S&W's disadvantages compared to 9mm; the guns are lower capacity, and the cartridge is physically larger and costs more. .38Spl used to be the de facto American police standard, but most departments retired their .38 revolvers 25-30 years ago, and the cartridge has all but disappeared from law enforcement except for the odd backup gun in an ankle holster. However, you can still buy it at EVERY gun shop and big-box sporting goods discounter, and handloading supplies are plentiful.

If you like .40, buy it. Don't worry that it will disappear. It won't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric M.
Now on to the .40. I reload for all of my guns, and the pressure in the .40 is close to the .45acp while shooting a much lighter bullet.
I assume you're talking about felt recoil, not operating pressure.

9mm and .40S&W operate at very similar internal pressures, both of which are well in excess of .45ACP.
__________________
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
carguychris is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 11:05 AM   #7
Noreaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2011
Location: New England
Posts: 1,325
In my area the 40 S&W is being replaced by the 45 acp. There are still a few departments using the 357 sig, plus a couple of federal agencies. I only know of one agency using 9mm. I don't see the 40S&W going anywhere. Right now 40S&W is the easiest ammo to buy and it's middle ground pricing between the 45 acp and 9mm. The 40S&W is still issued to more LEO then any other round.
Noreaster is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 11:28 AM   #8
Constantine
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2010
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 5,178
Next to "edit:"

Twas en route to be issued me a long long time ago (few years lol) I shot it a lot. Got really good with it. Took me a little bit. Awesome, all I wanted and had.

Then I moved to .45 and 9mm and I don't have to even try to be adequate with those two.

So I only have 2 .40's left. Sold the rest. I still have my blue labeled buddies. The Hk USP 40 and Glock 22

Bought my friends blue label Glock 17 a little while ago.

So...40's? YMMV depends how much you want it.



edit: the muzzle rise of the .40 and the string of bullets I get from it in a group isn't as tight as with 9mm or .45

It WAS as good with a lot of practice. A quarter of that practice, I did the same and better with the 9mm and .45
__________________
Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen
Constantine is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 11:31 AM   #9
shootniron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2011
Posts: 1,147
Quote:
Twas en route to be issued me a long long time ago (few years lol) I shot it a lot. Got really good with it. Took me a little bit. Awesome, all I wanted and had.

Then I moved to .45 and 9mm and I don't have to even try to be adequate with those two.
This is a contributing factor to the .40 beginning to loose favor in the market place.
shootniron is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 11:34 AM   #10
1-DAB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 5, 2010
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 152
i have all three calibers, 9mm, 40SW, 45acp, and shot all of them yesterday.

9mm out of a 92F, very mild recoil

40SW out of a SW40VE, snappy recoil due to light weight of gun

45acp out of a 1911, recoil between the two above, due to mass of gun.

all things considered, a 1911 commander is my favorite for carry.
1-DAB is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 12:35 PM   #11
RBid
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 10, 2012
Posts: 1,054
I like .40 S&W as a second choice to 9mm. It's a great round, but as has been stated, 9mm is a different beast than it used to be. Modern 9mm performs brilliantly, and is easy to place on target.
__________________
Currently Own: Beretta PX4 9mm, Glock 23 (Gen 4), Glock 19 (Gen 4) x2
RBid is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 01:37 PM   #12
SauerGrapes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 22, 2009
Location: S.E.PA.
Posts: 671
Quote:
According to those gents the 40 and the 45gap are one their way out the door and in 20 years they'll be gone.
While I might agree the 45gap is on life support, I see no evidence the .40S&W is going anywhere anytime soon.
While the 9mm is perfectly fine for civilian SD, my understanding is the 40 was adopted by LE for it's ability to penatrate car doors and windshields. Cops at times are shooting perps using cars as weapons. The 9mm just wasn't getting it done. Unless you feel you need to shoot thru car doors or your planning on handloading, I would buy a 9mm.

From a handloaders' point of view, I like the .40. I think it's more accurate [IMHO] than the 9mm, but can't really back that up with facts. I just like it more than 9mm. I can load it down to 9mm and pump it up for competition.
That said, I carry a 9mm single stack most of the time. My comp guns are 40 and my target guns 45acp.
Anybody telling you the .40S&W is going away in 20years, is shear speculation on their part.
__________________
NRA member, DCF&S member, PAFOA member, USPSA member, NSCA member

R.I.P.____Murphy
SauerGrapes is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 02:09 PM   #13
bulldozer1
Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2013
Location: central virginia
Posts: 19
I love the 45 but I have gone to the 40sw because of hi capacity and my wife is able to shoot it with control. I sold my 9mms. Just thought it was too small of a round have not kept up with 9 mom ammo improvements
bulldozer1 is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 03:57 PM   #14
rem44m
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 18, 2011
Location: Utah
Posts: 171
Quote:
According to those gents the 40 and the 45gap are one their way out the door and in 20 years they'll be gone.
Na there is a reason millions and millions of 40 cal handguns have been produced and purchased.

The 40 fills the middle between 9 and 45. Those who want a small carry pistol but feel 9mm is to "small" buy a 40.

I believe the 40 fills a specific barrier penetration role for LE as well.
__________________
I'd rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it.

"If gun owners are as violent as anti-gunners said we are, there wouldn't be any anti's left"
rem44m is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 04:25 PM   #15
DATL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 21, 2012
Location: Great State of Georgia
Posts: 105
I was just talking to a SWAT officer around the ATL area Saturday. He was in uniform and carries a Glock .40. He seemed to love it from our conversation.

There are just too many diehard .40 fans for me to believe it's ever going to dry up. I love 9 mm and .40. Dont plan to ever stop buying or shooting either.
DATL is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 07:16 PM   #16
Jay PS
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 1
.40 cal

We've been carrying Glock 23s for 12-13 years and have never had any problems. Literally hundreds of thousands of rounds through our guns and not one single issue. It's amazing really. Great round and I agree with others that it's not going away any time soon.
Jay PS is online now  
Old February 18, 2013, 07:44 PM   #17
ET.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2010
Location: Savannah, Ga.
Posts: 638
Most of my carry guns are 40s&w. First and foremost, the 40s&w round seems to be more available in bad times, like right now. Secondly buying +p or +p+ 9mm ammo to get the higher power is getting very hard to do. Heck regular power 9mm isn't around these days, is it? It isn't on any shelves right now around here anyway.

BUT if you still want to shoot 9mm after buying a 40s&w, then all you need to do is buy a 40-9 Storm Lake conversion barrel for your 40s&w gun along with some 9mm mags. I have 4 SL conversion barrels I'm shooting out of various guns and have zero problems with them. I don't make a habit of carrying a conversion barrel for protection but after thousands of trouble free rounds I know that I could safely rely on them. Then to shoot 357sig all I need to do is change out the barrel to my 357sig barrels if that is the caliber in my safe at the time &/or I need the power of 357sig.

A gun that has the power that 40s&w offers and the capability of shooting several other calibers (9mm & 357sig), is a gun that even a newbie should at least consider before settling for a 9mm gun.
__________________
Soldiers are dying every day to protect our freedoms. The least we can do is vote.
ET. is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 07:53 PM   #18
lee n. field
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 12, 2002
Location: The same state as Mordor.
Posts: 3,241
Quote:
Hey all, still trying to figure out what my first serious handgun (already have a 22) anyways I brought up the 40 in a gun shop the other day and got immediately shot down by a cop no less... I'm confused I thought police were gravitating towards the 40 not away. According to those gents the 40 and the 45gap are one their way out the door and in 20 years they'll be gone.
Ignore them. (For multiple values of "them".)

I can see 45GAP going away. .40? No. it will be around for a while.

Oh, and it's not "snappy", if you shoot it from an adequately sized gun.

Quote:
The "caliber wars" will wage forever. Bottom line - go shoot what you think might like. Move up and down the range (try shooting 9mm and 45ACP). Move up and down on sizes and weights of guns. Find what YOU are comfortable shooting and can shoot well. Then buy that.
He speaks truth. 9. .40. .45ACP. Pick one. Enjoy.
__________________
"As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. "
lee n. field is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 08:32 PM   #19
Pico
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 5, 2002
Location: Ga
Posts: 473
.40 S&W going away?

Please ask these gentlemen what they predict will replace the .40. I can believe that about the .45GAP, it's like kissing your sister. If you gotta have .45 get THE .45.

In 20 years it is likely there will be another wonder cartridge or two around but I think the short .40 is here to stay and is filling the gap (bad pun) between 9 mm and .45 ACP very nicely.

Pico
Pico is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 09:25 PM   #20
Rogervzv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 5, 2011
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 689
I shoot .45 ACP, 40 S&W and 9mm, along with .357 and .38. Of all of these, 40 S&W is one of my big favs. It may have a snappy recoil, but for some reason I find it easier to control than 9mm. It is a very practical round, and its known "put down" power gives it authority.
__________________
The difference between a citizen and a civilian is that the citizen makes the safety of the body politic his personal responsibility. The civilian does not.
Rogervzv is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 09:53 PM   #21
Hairbag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 22, 2010
Posts: 444
The 40 S&W is a very good round. It has a good comination of projectile weight and velocity. The LEO's are being told the 45acp is "better" because of other influences. There is concern of overpenatration of the 40 S&W. IE lawsuits bad press etc......
__________________
I'm hairbag and I approve this message.

Last edited by Hairbag; February 18, 2013 at 10:37 PM.
Hairbag is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 10:18 PM   #22
Sarge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 4,911
Sounds like you ran into a couple of fanbois with badges... not an uncommon situation, I'm sorry to tell you. There is nothing wrong with the cartridges they mentioned and the .40's powerband can cover anything from light 38. Special to low-end .357 and 45 ACP.

It is one a a very few government programs that actually resulted in something good.

The .40 S&W: Your Tax Dollars at Work!
__________________
I'm inclined to think if a man hasn't gotten his point across in 4912 attempts, 4913 probably isn't going to do it.
Sarge is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 10:56 PM   #23
Hairbag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 22, 2010
Posts: 444
^^^You got that right!^^^ there is a reason why the FBI uses 40 S&W when in rome do like the romans! They did all the homework for you.
__________________
I'm hairbag and I approve this message.
Hairbag is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 02:07 AM   #24
Constantine
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2010
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 5,178
Thoughts on s&w 40?

Rogervzv, you're the first person I ever seen that would say that. Here's my conclusion. The only one that I feel would make that true in any case.

You are comparing a 9mm out of a subcompact polymer. Against a .40 out of a mid sized to full sized pistol.

Last edited by Constantine; February 19, 2013 at 11:16 AM. Reason: typo
Constantine is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 08:19 AM   #25
twice barrel
Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2009
Posts: 98
The 9mm Luger has come in and out of vogue over the years too. The 40 S&W is a wonderful cartridge and like any other you have to find a gun that you like shooting chambered in it. So much of the popularity of one cartridge over another depends upon the platform it is available in.

Right now a good selection of both guns and ammo are available in it and you might want to take advantage of that. If the 9mm and 45acp are so perfect there never would have been a reason for 40 S&W development in the first place.
twice barrel is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14314 seconds with 7 queries