Is the .40 dead?

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Grundy1133
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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby Grundy1133 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:42 pm

SQLGeek wrote: I'd rather have the extra capacity and reduced recoil of 9mm.

An encounter will probably be over before you get a few rounds off. I have 1 15 Rd mag in my 40 S&W and carry 2 extra in a mag pouch... I have plenty of ammo. As for recoil imo it's negligible. I've shot a 40 and a 9mm and the 40 only had a little more recoil. The only issue for people I think would be the price of ammo. 1 box of 40 S&W is the same price of 2 boxes of 9mm
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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby Grundy1133 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:46 pm

cmgee67 wrote:I think 40 is a good caliber but I’ve always felt people who shoot 40 can’t make up their mind on if they want a 9 or a 45. I think 40 just came a little late into the game kind of like 357 sig. had these been around a long time ago we might not be having this conversation.

The 40 S&W was developed because the FBI used to use 10mm and some of the female agents weren't able to handle the 10mm so Smith and Wesson developed the 40. (At least that's the way I understand it) and now that everyone is going back 9mm it's the whole monkey see monkey do scenario. Considering the FBI has carried 10mm 40 9mm probably even 45s at some point. To me that says those calibers we're good enough for the FBI at some point which means they're fully capable of stopping a badguy. It just depends on what you like.
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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby Liberty » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:40 pm

.40 Cal is going to be around a long time. Lot's of people have talked about selling their .40 cals, but someone owns them somewhere. There are still a lot of LEOs that still carry them. I assume that people are still shooting them.

If one really wants to understand how ammo goes in and out of favor and the support for such ammo, one just needs to look at rifle ammo. While an argue might be made that 5.56 and 7.52x39 dominate there is no lack of choices for ammo, Most of which aren't commonly used by the military or LEO agencies.

I don't own a 40 cal, and to be honest never tempted, but believe that 50 years from now we will still be able to buy a 40 call ammo and a gun to shoot it even if it isn't as popular as it once was.
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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby Abraham » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:13 pm

.40 - The Edsel of calibers.

I shot a buddies .40 Sig, don't recall the model no.

The muzzle blast was horrible and it kicked like a mule.

I've shot lots of 1911's in .45 with much less of either...

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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby Grundy1133 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:36 pm

Abraham wrote:.40 - The Edsel of calibers.

I shot a buddies .40 Sig, don't recall the model no.

The muzzle blast was horrible and it kicked like a mule.

I've shot lots of 1911's in .45 with much less of either...

I will say that I shot a .45 ruger with less recoil but the recoil on a 40 isnt bad enough to warrant not using one in my opinion unless you're shooting a sub. but full size 40s arent that bad.
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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby The Annoyed Man » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:05 pm

On Paul Harrell’s YouTube channel, he has a couple of good videos, one comparing 9mm to .40 S&W, and another comparing .40 S&W to .45 ACP. The results were instructive.


9mm vs .40 S&W:


.40 S&W vs .45 ACP:


His conclusion regarding 9mm vs .40 S&W is that, even with modern bullet designs, the .40 S&W is more powerful and has better penetration than the 9mm. My personal perception is that, yes this is true, but it’s not enough of a difference in my mind to make me feel undergunned carrying a 9mm, or to make me want to rush out and buy a .40. For instance, the difference between those two is not nearly as significant as would be the difference between 9x19mm and .380 ACP (see below). However, the performance difference between .40 S&W and .45 ACP is negligible; and is much more dependent on things like cartridge/bullet choice than anything else. And speaking for myself, since I already own five pistols chambered in .45 ACP, I still don’t need to rush out and buy a .40 cal.

BTW, Harrell also has a.380 vs 9x19mm comparison using the Ruger LCP (.380) against the Ruger LC9 (9mm) - two very similar pistols from the same manufacturer. In that video, the 9x19 has a very CLEAR advantage over the .380 ACP.


Not meaning to knock anyone’s choices here....including anyone whose primary carry choice is a .380, if that’s what works for you. But it seems very clear to me that 9x19mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP exist on a tier above that of .380 ACP. The .380 is a good choice if that’s what it takes to make you actually carry the gun instead of leaving it at home; but in comparing the 4 cartridges, .45 and .40 are tied for first place with 9x19mm in a fairly close 2nd; but the .380 is a distant third place in terms of personal protection. But as I said, the .380 in your pocket beats the .45 you left at home.

That said, the .357 magnum in my pocket beats your pocket .380 or pocket 9mm hands down, by a large margin:


I hope you guys get as much out of these comparisons as I did. But as always, caliber and platform choice is a very individual preference, and what works for one may not work for another, let alone everyone else.
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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby Rafe » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:44 am

Great points, The Annoyed Man. Given that, I wonder if the .380 won't be a caliber that moves out of favor and starts to see few new guns chambered for it. I mean, wasn't its whole claim to fame when tiny pocket pistols started hitting the market? But now, the size difference for many of those chambered in 9mm isn't a big deal. I guess there will still always be someone who wants a plastic mouse gun like a P3AT but not only is .380 marginally effective, out of like a 2" barrel even less and the little things are actually pretty hard to shoot well. I got one just before I got my CHL and carried it but decided quickly that the size & weight compromise wasn't worth it 'cause at any distance and follow up shots, I simply wasn't any good with it. If you shoot the gun poorly and it's underpowered, not a good combination. I don't like small pistols in .40 either, but I carry a full size XDm and shoot it just fine and the recoil isn't an issue. I think a lot of people new to carrying think smaller is always better but the less there is to hold onto and the lighter weight the gun, the harder it is to get a repeatable grip, the shorter the sight radius, the more felt recoil, and the harder to control quick follow up shots.

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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby OldCurlyWolf » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:49 am

Grundy1133 wrote:
WTR wrote:
aaangel wrote:Yup .40 is gone. Ive carried glock 27 since ‘07. It’s getting harder and harder to find ammonium. I will be switching my 27 to a 26gen5 very soon. Or just get a 40-9 barrel.


There may be a miriade of reasons for the decline of the .40 S & W. However, lack of ammo availability is not one of them. I just bought 1000 rounds. You can go online and buy everything from a 50 round box to 500 and 1000 round cases.

ditto. I don' think 40s are dying... I just think that people try them and decide they don't like them. like you have hardcore 9mm fanboys and .45 fanboys and they buy a 40 S&W to try it out and they decide they dont like it an dsell it... like was mentioned earlier, yes they're on th emarket but people are buying them up... I like the 40 S&W. you can read all day about how x caliber is better than y cailber... or how this caliber is bad for self defense etc etc... but at the end of the day it comes down to what you like and what you're proficient with... also WTR when you go to sell your glock 27 HMU. unless the they release a gen5 glock 27.

I have had a 40 since 1999. I don't shoot it a lot for various reasons. Recoil is not one of those reasons.
My forty is the smallest caliber pistol I own. The others are .44 mag, .44 special and 10mm Auto. I used the 10mm for qualifying for my LTC earlier in the month. Probably should have shot the .44 special with .44 Russians. Might have scored higher.
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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby Flightmare » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:55 am

OldCurlyWolf wrote:Probably should have shot the .44 special with .44 Russians. Might have scored higher.


So you're colluding with Russians? :biggrinjester:
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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby cyphertext » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:46 pm

TAM, those were interesting videos... I wish he would have used the same meat targets though for consistency between the two. But I agree with you... The results he obtained do not make me want to sell off my .40, or change what I carry today.


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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby MaduroBU » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:02 pm

The 10mm, 357 magnum, and 357 Sig are in a tier above all other common pistol rounds*. Their main limitation is that they need 5"-6" barrels for the sig and 10mm and 7.5" for the .357 Mag. Further, factory ammo rarely realizes their potential. I don't load 10mm, but 1330 fps with a 180 grain JHP is my baseline for the magnum and 1400 for a 147 grain JHP from the Sig. I assume that 1150-1200 is doable for the 10mm, but i can't confirm that.

The .45 ACP with 230 grain JHP at 900 FPS can match the above in MOMENTUM, but falls behind in energy. It truly shines in expanded bullet width, with some bullets hitting nearly 1" is width under lab conditions in gel. The .40 with a 200 grain JHP falls in the same category, giving up a little expanded width for 2-3 more rounds in a magazine. The big issue is that the .45 and .40 (as well as the 9mm and .380) all extract most of their velocity potential from a 4" barrel. The energy advantage enjoyed by the 10mm and 357s is not only reduced from a 4" barrel, it is also far less relevant for us.


I have a .40 barrel that ONly serves to get me to major scoring in USPSA, BUT the caliber does have a use.


*Things like the .44 mag and 454 Casull have a purpose more suited to hunting than personal defense, so Ill exclude them for now, but I would definitely consider that were bears my main concern.


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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby rotor » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:36 pm

Wasn't the issue that LEO female officers were having a hard time with the .40? 9mm ammo also is so much cheaper and there is more variety. I don't have any guns in .40 but I might want one now. I actually have some ammo that I bought when I was buying in the shortage.


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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby Soccerdad1995 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:04 pm

I think .40 cal is probably in 4th place for semi-auto handgun calibers by gun sales, behind 9mm, .380, and .45. It would be interesting if someone could dig up some stats on this. I don't see this changing anytime soon.

Is it dead? Define dead. If dead means that you can't find any .40 cal guns or ammo for sale, then definitely not. But that's a pretty low bar. I can find guns and ammo for sale in some pretty obscure calibers. If you instead mean "not a threat to take over the lead for handgun calibers by number of guns sold", then yes. It is dead by that definition. Nails are in the coffin on that one.

Personally, I don't like the .40 because the recoil in the guns I tried was worse than a .45. And the bullets are too easily confused with 9mm for me to keep both in my rotation.
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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby WTR » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:21 pm

I like my .40 because it is dead on. I don't notice an appreciable recoil increase from the 9.

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Re: Is the .40 dead?

Postby Grundy1133 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:23 pm

WTR wrote:I like my .40 because it is dead on. I don't notice an appreciable recoil increase from the 9.

Same. I shoot 180 grain out of my 40 S&W and the recoil isnt much more than a 9mm or a .45 i think people just dont like the 40 S&W cause hes the "new guy" lol. well I like the 40 an di see myself shooting it as long as i can. Image
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