Disclaimer: this discussion is only limited in scope to the .40 S&W round compared against 9mm and .45ACP for defensive use, and store bought, manufactured ammo.A-R wrote:Requesting expanded explanation in separate thread (honestly curious your thoughts/reasons).gigag04 wrote:Thats because the .40 is the worst round ever.
The .40 has more perceived recoil, less capacity, and only a marginal improvement of ballistics vs 9mm. 45 has less felt recoil IMO, than a .40 and is thus easier to shoot, and makes a bigger hole in the target. The litmus test for this opinion was when my 130+ ish department switched from the Gen 3 G22 to the Gen 3 G21SF (.40 to .45). Qualification scores improved for those who struggled with qualifying with the G22. Even one of my partners who is 5-00 100lbs shot the 21SF better, and she said it was "easier and more comfortable" to shoot. I, like many others, find the .40 to be quite snappy, leading to slower follow up shots.
9mm is the cheapest of these three, and allows an average shooter to practice more frequently, which is more important that the slight increase in "ballistics" (all those fancy numbers that we have discussed in other threads), in my opinion. I find the recoil of the 9mm, the wound ballistics it can cause (w/ good defensive ammo), and the price of training ammo, to be a great combination for a newer, or smaller shooter.
The widespread usage of the .40 in the LE world was as much of a financial decision as it was a tactical one. Where the 9mm used to dominate, the .40 took over, but now we are seeing trends of more and more departments returning to .45acps, though as striker fired polymers instead of 1911s (which...I can understand, but I love me some 1911).
I've owned and shot numerous .40S&W pistols, and have since liquidated them all for something that is either more preferable to me in a fight (a .45acp), or more shootable (since 9mm is cheaper). I feel like the .40 is a compromise in cost/ballistics which is great, but the step up in recoil, I find silly, and off putting to smaller, and even newer shooters.