View Full Version : Should .40 S&W be Banned?

September 8, 2002, 01:27 PM
We had an STI Limited Class gun glock at our local USPSA match today. (To glock; verb; the sudden violent rupture of the case head, most commonly associated with Glock brand pistols firing the .40 S&W cartridge, sending raipidly expanding gasses out of the chamber and back into the mechanism of the gun.)

The magazine was vigrously expelled from the gun, and the shooters hands were slightly burned where they contacted openings in the frame. The gun had to be beaten open, but no damage was observed to the gun. The barrel has a fully supported chamber, so that rules out the unsupported chamber theory. Round was loaded in a will known brand of progressive press, so we have ruled out multiple charge (Like you COULD get a double charge in a .40 case!) We are left with the conclusion that the round suffered bullet setback.

My question is this: Is the .40 S&W round so subject to problems, and I have seen NEW factory rounds glock, to be allowed to remain in use in competition?

September 8, 2002, 02:52 PM
Just as a guess, I'd suspect that there was insufficient case neck tension [edited for accuracy/semantics] to prevent bullet setback. This is not uncommon in factory ammo, either.

I don't believe that the cartridge should be banned, but with high-pressure ammo, small problems can be magnified due to the reduced margin for error. -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- happens, and when it does, the consequences can be higher, so more care is required.


September 8, 2002, 04:50 PM
You can double load a 40 case rather easily with certain powders. It sounds like a case of a squib round and then firing again. The 40 is a good round but it just has to be loaded carefully. I hate seeing that stuff happen.

September 8, 2002, 05:44 PM
I'd rather ban stupid or inept reloaders first.

Almost every case rupture I've ever seen was the result of mechanical reloader error, either by double charge or insufficient crimp resulting in setback like gk1 mentions or worse, people using inappropriate powders for the bullet weight they're using and velocities they are trying to attain.

Clays is notorious for blowing cases with heavy bullets yet people persist in using it with 180s and 200s and tyring to make major,, and there are other fast powders that will do the same thing.

Before questioning the caliber, question the reloader.

September 9, 2002, 05:53 PM
There is NO SUCH THING as "sufficient crimp to prevent setback"; you can break the head off the bullet with a heavy crimp and still get setback.

Case neck tension............

Not always reloader, because some KB's have occurred in not-Glocks using premium L.E. ammo.

Let's not ban anything. Let's be careful.
"When in doubt throw it out"

September 9, 2002, 07:37 PM
ot always reloader, because some KB's have occurred in not-Glocks using premium L.E. ammo.True.

That's why Glocks feed everything, they have the ramp cut halfway up the chamber -- which is why they blow up so often (not limited to 40s either).

September 9, 2002, 07:48 PM
Case neck tension............ You know, that just made me think of something. When I first started loading Super on my Dillon 550, I wasn't able to use .355 bullets because the overall length was varying by +.005 to +.015 with powder in the case; .356 bullets were fine. Dillon's much acclaimed tech support was no help at all, but it finally turned out that the powder funnel was a bit oversized and was undoing what my EGW undersized sizing die was doing. George at EGW turned the powder funnel down a few thousandths and the OAL variation ceased so yes, case neck tension can absolutely bullet setback.

Now in my Super loads, the problem was the powder pushing the bullet out. Absent the full load, they easily could have been pushed back in, especially with a standard SAAMI sized die.

I don't think the problem would apply to the .40 though I'm pretty sure the 650 uses the same powder funnel. .40 bullets are all the same size where as many people use 9mm bullets (.355) for .38 Super.

Dillon 1050s sure has heck can be double charged if the up stroke isn't completed.

September 9, 2002, 10:17 PM
First off , Know your load! .40 S&W, like 38 super are high pressure loads with warnings in all my loading books. As for the chance for a Dbl. or triple charge, It can be done. Take the powder you used in suspect ammo and dump a Dbl/triple charge in a fired case.DO NOT PRESS BULLET!!!
(one with a used primer) Just to see what it looks like.Then dump it back in the powder measuer!!! When I set up a new powder or a diff. bullet weight. I do this to see what a Dbl. load looks like. Some powders barely cover the bottom of the case.
Stay safe.

September 10, 2002, 10:11 AM
No, I think stupidity should be banned. But it's a commodity we seem to have no shortage of so I'm sure my hope will not be realized.

Guys get started in shooting and buy a hotrod caliber to begin with. Somebody teaches them reloading and they begin to cook up their own loads. 40 S&W is already at the top of its game in the factory version but there is always somebody who thinks he knows more than the engineers down at SAAMI.

Check Darwin Awards for future contestants from the shooting sports reloading .40 S&W.

September 10, 2002, 10:22 AM
When you play with explosives, sometimes things blow up. It ain't rocket science. No reason to start yelling to ban anything.

- Gabe

September 10, 2002, 08:26 PM
Screw SAAMI.

September 12, 2002, 01:31 PM
Glocks are a little wimpy, get a CZ, Steyr, P99, 1911 clone, or Sig they can handle the pressure of .40 much better. The Glock was designed for 9mm, and never has been right for the .40! If you want to shoot a Glock go 9mm, very reliable and safe.

September 12, 2002, 10:34 PM
If it scares you, don't use it.:rolleyes: One guy, using reloads, has a malfunction and you think the whole caliber should be banned? You and Sarah Brady drinking from the same fountain? With that kind of logic it's hard to tell.

September 13, 2002, 07:44 AM
The Glock was designed for 9mm, and never has been right for the .40!

Doesn't have anything to do with that. Glock cuts the feed ramp way into the chamber and the case is not fully supported. Pull the barrel from any Glock and drop in a cartridge. You see plenty of the case body in front of the extractor groove. That's where they blow out.

September 13, 2002, 09:38 AM
I don't have anything for or against the .40 S&W. Its a far far better defence round than the 9 M(ickey) M(ouse). Personally, I believe that the .45 ACP and the 1911 was a marrage made in Heaven by John Moses Browning.

I do believe that the .40 S&W is on the ragged edge already. As such, it is more vunerable to all the errors that can be made when handloading. IS NOT FOR THE NEOPHITE RELOADER! who might want to "bump it up" a little.

USPSA outlawed 9 MM major, and .38 Super Major (Except in USPSA Open Division, this was a Limited Division gun that glocked.) because people couldn't refrain from building hand grenades. If .40 S&W shooters don't want the same thong to happen to them, they'd better mind their own house and be a little more carefull.

As a hint mentioned above, neck tension holds the bullet against set back, NOT crimp! DO NOT overexpand the neck, or better yet, do not expand the neck at all! Overcrimping can easily cause a loose bullet, and make the problem worse. (Been there, done that!)

September 13, 2002, 10:12 AM

I'm a little confused with your posting, was it an Open or Limited gun that Glocked/KB'd?

Pampers States:

"We had an STI Limited Class gun glock at our local USPSA match today"

"remember, this was an Open Division gun that glocked"

September 13, 2002, 10:27 AM
Sorry, it was Limited. Got caught up in .38 Super in Open.

the duck of death
September 13, 2002, 07:50 PM
Don't ban the 40 S&W just ban the Glock barrel.

September 14, 2002, 08:01 AM
This was a fully supported chamber in an STI, not a Glock!

The fully supported chamber is the reason that .38 Super, Major can be made to work in Open Division. It ain't the barrel, it's the round!

the duck of death
September 15, 2002, 11:50 AM
The fully supported chamber is the reason that .38 Super, Major can be made to work in Open Division. It ain't the barrel, it's the round!

Pressure is pressure, whether in 38 Super or 40 S&W, sometimes it gets away from us.

Sometimes our reloads are ,em, irregular.

The lower 165 power factor helps.

September 16, 2002, 09:39 AM
Remember people:

Anytime you see one of those scary Glock barrels, IMMEDIATELY call EOD, then stand clear.

If Alfred Hitchcock were alive today, he'd probably make an 'Attack of the Glocks' movie.

Them things is frightnin'! :rolleyes:

Alex Johnson
September 16, 2002, 11:38 AM
I shoot a G22 in IDPA competition and I like it. Never had any of the problems you talk about after hundreds of reloads fired. The only time I ever had a case head separation was with a Browning Hi-Power in 40 S&W so it can happen to guns other than Glocks too. And I would be more than willing to pit the reliability of the Glock against any other out of the box pistol from any maker.

September 16, 2002, 07:58 PM
Might consider investing in some additional case neck tension..............