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Old November 22, 2012, 09:41 AM   #1
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Best (or at least really good) .40

I have recently decided that I should try to get on board the .40 bandwagon. I'd like a dedicated nightstand gun anyway, so it seems like I could kill 2 birds with one stone.

I have 2 in mind right now.
First, a Glock 23 because I very much like the 19 (the very close runner up when I bought my PPQ), but having basically no experience with the .40 myself I'm not sure if that would be my best choice. I know the .40 has a fair bit of recoil, and I wasn't sure if the lower ore axis on the Glock would make up for it's light weight.
Second, the Sig P229 - which if memory serves was designed around the .40 - seems like it would be a good option as well. My Dad - before he retired - used a p229 in the USCG and liked it quite a lot. However, he did say it had a lot of FTEs (he also said that he thought the blame for that was the lead free ammo they had to use for practice not creating enough back pressure).

As it's only been very recently I've decided to show an interest in the caliber, I haven't payed a whole lot of attention to what people have said about various guns. I attempted a search - as I think this exact topic has come up - but there were too many hits on all the search strings I tried for me to try to wade through them.

So those are my thoughts, but I'm certainly open to suggestion. I probably won't be actually buying anything until this spring (There are too many potentially expensive things that can come up in the winter for me to deplete my savings), so I have plenty of time to research.
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Old November 22, 2012, 09:58 AM   #2
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An XD40 is a nice option which should be considered. I like the trigger better than the Glock. The grip safety is also peace of mind.

Also, the Kahr P40 is a superb CCW if that is why you are leaning 40.
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Old November 22, 2012, 10:19 AM   #3
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Why not a second PPQ? There won't be any learning curve.

If you're concerned about recoil, I find that the high bore axis and stiff metal frame of P22x-series SIGs gives them stronger felt recoil than a Glock, XD, or M&P. However, felt recoil is a highly subjective thing, so YMMV.

If you want to save some money, you could also consider a used (out of production) 3rd-gen 40xx-series S&W. It's like a SIG but with lower resale value. However, these pistols also tend to have high felt recoil for the same reasons as the SIG, and mag capacity is somewhat limited at only 11rds.
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Old November 22, 2012, 10:42 AM   #4
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Beretta 96. I think that's the .40 version of the 92. If you have big hands this is a very good platform.
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Old November 22, 2012, 11:06 AM   #5
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The S&W 4006 was designed aound the cartridge. Recoil is a non issue with this heavier, solid gun. Mine has been 100% reliable and is more accurate than I am able to take advantage of. They are getting harder to find. Decent ones can be had in the 350-450 range.
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Old November 22, 2012, 11:08 AM   #6
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How about a satin nickle CZ75? If you put an order in now, you might get one by spring if you're lucky. You won't be disappointed.
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Old November 22, 2012, 11:27 AM   #7
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An XD40 is a nice option which should be considered. I like the trigger better than the Glock. The grip safety is also peace of mind.

TheXD Service is big enough and heavy enough that it should take care of the "snappy recoil" that people on the Internetz complain about.
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Old November 22, 2012, 12:02 PM   #8
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I think what you need to do is first step back and figure out what action type is going to work for you (striker or hammer fired).

You want to get whichever one is the most intuitive for you. I don't like strikers without safeties (ie glock) and prefer the DA/SA as they are very revolver like and you don't have to consider a safety.

You have quite a spread of them. The 1911 is closes to the Sig and the PPQ is closes to the Glock.

I bought a Sig SP2022 for that purpose (9mm). Previous guns were all big bore so it was a research driven decision that convinced me both on the gun and the caliber.

The SP2022 is very high quality at a very good price. My nephew just picked one up for $400 with night sights. Its a decent enough range gun as well. Its not as high capacity as some guns but its 2.5 x what a revolver holds.

The SP2022 was also designed to handle .40.

Mine has had zero malfunctions and I have 1000 rounds through it by now.

Any gun that has malfunctions that are not explained by poor ammo needs to be fixed or gotten rid of for a HD gun. Easily enough found out with shooting a name brand SD ammo and see how it does.
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Old November 22, 2012, 12:45 PM   #9
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Both the Sig and the Glock are fine guns. You can buy 2 Glocks for the price of the Sig. I have had Sigs and H&K's and now have Glocks, I just shoot them better.

The low bore axis does help, but if you are like me ( I have large meaty hands) I get slide bite so i installed a grip force.
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Old November 22, 2012, 07:32 PM   #10
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Honestly, I'm pretty open as far as actions go - I've not shot enough DA/SA to really develop much of an opinion, but it seems like for a nightstand gun having a long and heavy first pull might be a good thing. I do like my PPQ, and I had an XDm for awhile and liked that too, but I'd kind of like to try something a bit different.
I've never had any particular difficulty switching between platforms. The only system I've found that I really don't like is the SA (1911) for anything other than punching paper. I don't mind mechanical safeties, but I don't like relying on them, and I prefer a little more length of pull on anything ever may wind up pointing at another person. That's not to say I think it's unsafe - and I'm not trying to start a platform debate - it's just not something I've ever been comfortable with.

The Beretta and the CZ are both definitely intriguing. I've wanted both, but never really considered them in .40. The S&W I'll also definitely look at, as with the 2022 (perhaps a more cost effective way to try out the platform/brand than a 229).
I've liked the sounds of Khar also, but I thought they mostly made smaller guns geared towards CCW - then again, I could always get a new carry gun, and switch my PPQ over to nightstand duty.

As always, I feel like I've gotten some great input, and now have even more to think about so thanks.
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Old November 22, 2012, 10:59 PM   #11
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I have a S & W Sigma in .40 and an XDm in .40 as well. I much prefer the XDm over the Sigma. The Sigma has a very long stiff trigger pull and it is a good gun, but I am more accurate and comfortable with the XDm.
Glock makes a fine gun ( in lots of different calibers), but the fit, finish, and overall feel helped me choose the XDm over the others when I was looking for a replacement for the S & W.
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Old November 23, 2012, 12:01 AM   #12
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Have you considered the M&P in 40? It was first designed as a 40 cal and gives you Glock-like reliability in addition to a lower bore axis. My next gun will be another M&P in 40 cal.

After all who better to design a gun around the 40 S&W than Smith and Wesson
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Old November 23, 2012, 12:13 AM   #13
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I have an H&K USP .40 which is really a very sweet shooting gun. The thing is accurate and has low recoil, but best of all is built like a tank. There are also a lot of nice used guns out there since the model has been around for awhile.
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Old November 23, 2012, 12:51 AM   #14
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I have several 9MM pistols including the Walther PPQ that I adore.

But for me in .40 the SIG P229 is tops. My P229 in .40 feels like most other pistols shooting 9MM. The P229 also has a well deserved reputation as being extremely accurate/reliable/durable.

You don't have to pay a lot for a .40 P229 as usually there are CPOs available and that is how I got mine for $500 a few years back.

I put the Hogue G10 grips on mine.

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Old November 23, 2012, 05:00 PM   #15
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For a duty weapon, I carry the XD-40 (Service) and I don't experience the so-called "snappy" recall of the .40 caliber round. As an added, recently I completed my annual state required security re-certification. Of the 15 of us taking the course, there were two of us that where shooting the XD. Through out the day, most of the other shooters experienced a number of malfunctions, and there was an assorted amount of 1911's, M & P's and a couple of Glocks, but neither one of the XD's suffered any type of malfunctions. Both where XD-40's and they both performed flawlessly all day.
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Old November 23, 2012, 05:05 PM   #16
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Sig 226 - is at the top of my list for guns in .40S&W....and if you go with an all stainless version / the extra weight helps as well.

( but if you like the 229 - then go that way )...but the 226 fits my hands better.
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Old November 23, 2012, 06:10 PM   #17
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CZ P06. I love my P01, which is the same thing in 9mm.
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Old November 23, 2012, 06:14 PM   #18
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M&P .40

No doubt about it.
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Old November 23, 2012, 07:33 PM   #19
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Do not own but have quite a bit of time on the M&P 40. I like its features and would surely consider one.

Do own the Beretta 96 and absolutely love it. Too, next to a shotgun, the full size pistol better suits me for HD.
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Old November 23, 2012, 07:35 PM   #20
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I'm a big fan of the 40s&w along with the G27, G23 and G35, but there is a significant difference between the G19 and G23 in terms of recoil.
Its easily manageable, but its not soft. My G27 running 9mm feels neutered compared to it running 40.

Any of the Glock 40's are handy with a aftermarket 9mm barrel for plinking fun, then swap it over to 40 for nightstand duty.
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:19 PM   #21
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.40 S&W

My two .40s are a HK USPc and a S&W M&P full size. Both are great guns in my opinion, which probably isn't worth too much but I'll share it all the same. The USPc is one of the few guns that was designed around the .40 s&w rather than being modified from a different caliber.
I love that I have the DA/SA trigger, and the external safety and decocker. You mentioned it would be a nightstand gun. You probably don't want to consider a compact for that role but keep in mind that the "compact" label the gun carries is very misleading. Put along side my M&P, they are very close in size.

The M&P is also a great shooter. To me it is very comfortable in the hand, and the interchangeable backstraps make it more universal to different shooters. Both guns are more accurate than I am. The one advantage of the M&P is the standard picatinny rail system if you decided to add a flashlight. The USPc requires an adapter to add the picatinny rail.

It seems that all the suggestions you've received so far are good ones. You can hardly go wrong with whatever you choose to buy. Best of luck in your decision.
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:23 PM   #22
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I can recommend two pistols in the .40 platform. The Beretta 96D (5,000 rounds) and the FNH FNP-40 (2,000 rounds). Both are smooth shooting and have great ergonomics. Though not as compact as the other pistols mentioned previously, they are durable and handle the notorious snappiness of the .40 round. I had a Glock 22 (250 rounds) that proved unreliable as the polymer guide rod broke. Just my two cents...
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:36 PM   #23
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Our department has had G-23 for 20 years. On our second set and about to get a third set. Change them out about every 10 years. Some might have 350 rounds a year through them, other 10x that. Our Sert guy 10x that. He broke a barrel. The locking lug cracked. 25 other guys over 20 years, no problems. Most carry G-27 offduty, some have a G-22 at home.
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:55 PM   #24
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I'm one of the more vocal proponents of .40 S&W around here. I've shot a LOT of the round, for about 14 years now. While I'm doubtless missing some excellent platforms, in my opinion this is the best of the best short list:

Beretta PX4 Storm full-size
Est. Cost $425-475

Reasoning: I've owned one for 4+ years and fired over 4,000 flawless rounds. The rotating barrel makes it feel almost like a 9mm

Smith & Wesson M&P 40
Est. Cost $450-500

Reasoning: My friend just got one of these. Out of the box, no cleaning, we put 300 flawless cheap FMJs through it. Recoils very comfortably. Accurate, well-built, and tough. The quality is there and for the 450-500 price it's a steal. Great stock sights. These guns may just be destined to steal Glock's crown.

Sig Sauer P229
Est. Cost $700-900

Reasoning: Designed from the ground up as a .40 gun, like many are these days. If you can swing the cost, it can be argued there still isn't a .40 that does it better.

HK P2000
Est. Cost. 700-900

Reasoning: Like most HKs, incredibly tough. This updated version of the legendary USP will eat the hottest .40 all day long.

Glock G22/G23 Gen 4
Est. Cost $525-600

Reasoning: The .40 versions of the Gen 4 Glocks are the most reliable and trouble free, since a lot of the issues with other calibers were caused by making the .40 versions better. Captive recoil spring handles recoil quite well. These guns are decently affordable and very tough with great capacity. But budget 650, not 550, as you'll need better sights.

Beretta 96A1
Est. Cost $550-600

Reasoning: Mostly nostalgia. The 96G is what I learned to shoot on at 10 years old. That said, the A1 update makes some great changes. Gen 3 locking blocks and an internal frame buffer give it much better long-term toughness than the 96D or 96G, and the weight and size of the pistol make .40 a pussycat. Magazines on the A1 hold one more round than they used to, some metal parts (trigger, safety/decocker, etc.) are polymer costed for anti-corrosion. Full-length Picatinny for lights and lasers. My large hands find the 92/96 a very comfortable platform, easy to shoot well.

Happy shopping! When you pick one, I like the 180-grain and 165-grain weights of Speer Gold Dot, Federal HST, and Winchester Ranger T-Series. I use 180-grain now, but reading about bullet setback issues in that weight have led me to switch over to the 165 next go-around.

Last edited by LockedBreech; November 23, 2012 at 09:04 PM.
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Old November 24, 2012, 06:17 AM   #25
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A CZ P-06 or Glock 23 would be at the top of my list.

I'd recommend you rent a couple and see what fits you best.
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