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Old December 13, 2005, 12:48 AM   #1
Patton21
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Advantage of the 40S&W over 9mm?

I was thinking of getting a glock 19 until I shot the glock 23. The recoil on a 40S&W is not bad at all and it is fun to shoot. What are the advantages of this round over the 9mm. It does not penetrate more, in fact it penetrates less. It just puts more energy into the target. Anyone have any experience or insight to add? Thanks.
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Old December 13, 2005, 01:11 AM   #2
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It is a larger diameter bullet.

It is normally used with heavier bullets than 9mm.

It is also THE round for LEO's and there is a LOT of great factory ammuntion out there for it. If you use a premium bullet in it (like a Gold Dot) then you won't have any problem getting FBI level penetration.

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Old December 13, 2005, 04:04 AM   #3
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.40

i understand that the original 40S&W load put out more power (FT. LBs)than most .45 ACP rounds
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Old December 13, 2005, 06:19 AM   #4
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crappola

The 40 S&W makes a bigger hole; its bullets have more momentum; the Border Patrol has proven the cartridge works; R-P has a conventional-bullet 155g JHP load that has also proven itself in real life.

I prefer the 9x19, but I'm odd that way.
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Old December 13, 2005, 06:25 AM   #5
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All things considered, it's pretty much wash when you compare the best loads in each calibre. The 9x19 is a little easier to shoot well (quickly) and offers greater capacity. Training/practice ammo is less expensive for the 9x19. The .40 S&W makes a slightly bigger permanent cavity. Certain models of the .40 S&W (reworked 9x19 models converted to .40 S&W) have been plagued with kB! issues even with factory ammo (less a comment on the .40 S&W than certain weapons chambered for it).
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Old December 13, 2005, 09:41 AM   #6
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Certain models of the .40 S&W (reworked 9x19 models converted to .40 S&W) have been plagued with kB! issues even with factory ammo
"Certain models have been PLAGUED....!!!"

Talk about a massive overstatement. It has happened and it will happen again. But it is an extremely rare event. We only hear about one every now and then because of the HUGE numbers of .40 caliber Glocks in police service. All those guns firing all that practice ammo, you are going to have one go tits up every now and then. Just the same as if all those same police departments were using 1911's.

It's something worth knowing about so that you can avoid the behavior that usually seems to be the root cause. But I sure don't think it should be a significant factor in a purchasing decision.

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Old December 13, 2005, 11:09 AM   #7
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Well, my Glock 35, 27, and USP.40 have never malfunctioned.
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Old December 13, 2005, 11:34 AM   #8
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Kindof funny, but the "Plagues" of Kb's that people talk about with .40 (and Glock .40 pistols in particular) aren't as often as people think. You hear alot of people talking about it, but almost all of them are 'heard it from a friend of a friend' or 'my cousin's sister's uncle's brother who has this friend that knew this guy' sort of thing.

Almost all of the Glock .40 Kb's are related to poor reloaded rounds. I'm sure there are some with factory ammo (given the sheer numbers of Glock 22 and 23's being used in LEO, not to mention out there in general!), but I haven't heard too much about those situations (that can be confirmed at least).

Patton, to answer your original question, I have a Glock 19 (9mm) and a Glock 23 (.40S&W). They are the exact same size pistol, other than the barrel diameter obviously! I carry the 23 as my daily carry, and my wife carries the 19 as hers. The main difference you are going to look at is cost, as both rounds are extremely effective.
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Old December 13, 2005, 11:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
It is also THE round for LEO's and there is a LOT of great factory ammuntion out there for it.
That is the biggest advantage right there.

The 40S&W came out when ammunition development was starting to peak. As such, there are few bad loads for the .40 and a LOT of good ones.

Don't get me wrong 9MM(of which I am a fan) has some good loads too, but you have more choices in .40 S&W.

I have been very slow to come around about the .40, but it has a lot to offer if you can shoot it well.
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Old December 13, 2005, 11:45 AM   #10
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.40 cal.

Its really not all that complicated, in a nut-shell its in between a 9mm and a .45, cops that are smaller & female cops like it. It is enough to stop someone where as a 9mm might not, and a lot more manageable than a .45. Its a good round if you dont feel exactly safe w/a 9er' but dont like the recoil of a .45. but the answer can and im certain will get more complicated than that.
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Old December 13, 2005, 11:55 AM   #11
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That's kindof a weird observation Marky. The .40S&W round typically has a higher recoil than a .45 round. A .45 is heavier, but has a lower velocity. I certainly thought the same way you did until I was out desert shooting with my family, and my aunt let me shoot her Kimber. I assumed it was going to be a higher recoil because it was a bigger round, but was proven wrong! My wife noticed the same thing when we went to the range and I let her fire my (newly bought, after getting hooked on my aunt's) Kimber. Even with my assurances that it didn't kick as much as my Glock 23 (she didn't like the recoil of the .40, and opted for the 9mm instead for her carry weapon), she was hesitant. After shooting the first magazine, she looked at me increduously as the reduced recoil.
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Old December 13, 2005, 12:04 PM   #12
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I have a Glock 22 and 23. Prefer the 23 even though the magazine capacity is a little less. The magazines are interchangable as long as you don't mind one sticking out the bottom of the Model 23. The 40 S&W was developed as the FBI round that would give better stopping power over the 9mm, but without the recoil of the 45 ACP. It makes a bigger diameter hole and there is lots of factory ammunition loadings for it. I was sold because it has slightly more power than the 9mm, but you still have the double stacked magazine availability that you don't have with 45's. Glocks are also very reliable with factory ammo.
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Old December 13, 2005, 12:56 PM   #13
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.40's, 9's & .45's

I like em' all but I dont think the .40 has more recoil, or the same for that matter as a .45, but maybe those Kimbers are Cadillac's like they claim.
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Old December 13, 2005, 01:40 PM   #14
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What kind of data are the LEO collecting on the 40 that makes it a better choice than the 9mm?
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Old December 13, 2005, 02:44 PM   #15
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There is simply no reason to think that the 40S&W is a worse round than the 9mm. It launches heavier and bigger bullets at the same velocity as the 9mm. This does increase recoil but not to the same degree as the 45ACP or 357Magnum. As far as the statement about the 40S&W having more recoil that is an invalid comparison, a 1911 weighs about 39oz. a Glock 22/23 weighs about 20oz. Of course the Glock is going to have more recoil. In a similar weight gun the 45ACP in its 230gr. variety is going to have more recoil. The 40S&W also offers similar ammo capacity as the 9mm. Its an excellent choice if you can shoot it well. Some people just don't like the 40S&W and will make up any excuse for people not to like it. Its innacurate, it blows up guns, guns chambered for it won't last as long as they will for 9mm, yada yada yada. Its an excellent round and should have destroyed the caliber wars. As far as the 40S&W penetrating less than the 9mm I haven't seen that that is the case. It launches bullets with similar SD at the same velocities as 9mm loads. Why is it going to penetrate less?

Last edited by cje1980; December 13, 2005 at 04:21 PM.
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Old December 13, 2005, 03:20 PM   #16
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It penatrates less due to greater cross-section. I see no 40 round that penetrates like the 147gr. 9mm.
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Old December 13, 2005, 03:25 PM   #17
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No data suggest any significant difference between quality loads and competent shooters using 9s, 40s and 45s. I have heard this again and again in presentations by folks really in the business.

You want a significant increment in stopping power - you go to rifles.
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Old December 13, 2005, 03:35 PM   #18
Patton21
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That is what I have heard as well. However, some people at my range suggest that 40 due to its increased stopping power. However, we all know there is no stopping power with a handgun. So why do LEO swear by the 40 and not so much by the 9mm?
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Old December 13, 2005, 04:12 PM   #19
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It penatrates less due to greater cross-section. I see no 40 round that penetrates like the 147gr. 9mm.
The 40S&W has a larger surface area but it also has more momentum to push it forward. Both the 147gr. 9mm and 180gr. 40S&W penetrate about 14-17" in bare gelatin. They penetrate the same and have similar velocities. The 40s&w will leave a bigger hole and larger permanenet wound cavity. It sacrifices little ammo capacity to the 9mm in similar size weapons. Sounds pretty good to me.
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Old December 13, 2005, 04:23 PM   #20
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Sounds good to me also. So lets say this: there is no disadvantage to the 40S&W...only in more recoil, but its not bad at all. Has there been real world evidence showing that a 40 is more effective in actual shootings?
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Old December 13, 2005, 05:22 PM   #21
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Has there been real world evidence showing that a 40 is more effective in actual shootings?
Yup, the fact that the 40S&W is doing so well for LE and also that many agencies have abandoned the 9mm and acquired handguns for the 40S&W, including the FBI. LE agencies shoot a lot of BGs, they know first hand what works and what doesn't. The 9mm is a good round and has its pros and cons as well. Every caliber and weapon has its pros and cons. The 40S&W is a good compromise between the 9mm and 45ACP.
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Old December 13, 2005, 06:26 PM   #22
juliet charley
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Time for a reality check here.

1. When you look at current data with modern premium JHPs, there is no difference in effectiveness between the 9x19 and the .40 S&W in actual LE use. If you select your ammo wisely, there's not enough difference in terminal performance to make a difference.

2. While there has been by and large a movement away from the 9x19 (toward both the .40 S&W and .45 ACP), the 9x19 and .40 S&W see roughly equal usage by LE. In other words, there are just about as many 9x19s in LE holsters as .40 S&Ws. They are basically in a dead-heat for first place (with the .45 ACP solidly in third and the 357 SIG in a very distant fourth).
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Old December 13, 2005, 08:35 PM   #23
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1. When you look at current data with modern premium JHPs, there is no difference in effectiveness between the 9x19 and the .40 S&W in actual LE use.
I can agree with that. Generally. The new "wonder bullets" that we got after the FBI came up with new penetration standards have really "brought up" the abilities of handgun cartridges. If your department is issuing some 9mm +P round with a Gold Dot or that "LEO Only" Ranger stuff, you aren't losing anything. They are much more reliable bullets than what we had twenty years ago. But..... I do have to wonder. If the 9mm is essentially "bumped up one caliber" with premium bullets, wouldn't the same thing happen with the larger calibers? So .40 S&W with top Gold Dot loads is equal to the very best older .45 ACP. And .45 ACP with premium bullets is "even better" than before? At the very least, more reliable in a variety of difficult situations.

If I was a cop, I could live with any of the three if we are issued the best ammo. (Or .357 SIG for that matter.) 9mm will still give the best tactical penetration through hard barriers like car doors. .45 ACP (or GAP) will give the poorest performance on something like a car door. So we are back to the .40 S&W as a compromise.

Gregg
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Old December 13, 2005, 08:46 PM   #24
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I think the 40S&W has an advantage over the 9mm. I like mine in a P229, but on the other hand I"ll take a 10mm over either (had to be the guy to throw that in the mix),
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Old December 13, 2005, 08:59 PM   #25
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Advantages may exists, but I think they are more imagined than real.
It is another medium bore round.
The hollowpoint rounds developed for the .40 S&W usually existed first for the 9x19 mm, so this is no advantage at all.

Placement first and foremost. It is a handgun round. In the context of man portable weapons, it is meant to be easily portable, not powerful. If ever you have a choise, grab the shotgun. The shotgun clearly more effective. The differences between handgun rounds is miniscule. Time contemplating the relative effectiveness between various medium and big bore rounds is time wasted.
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