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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings from a new member! I have a question for the world. I'm new to autoloading pistols, so I don't have much experience with these calibers. I want to pick up a new gun this summer, and I am having trouble deciding.

It's going to be between a beretta 92fs, a Steyr M40, or a Charles Daly 1911. I see a lot of posts about how people don't like the .40 caliber. Why is that?
 

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Hello I do not dislike the 40 ( have a CZ75 SA in 40 because I could not find a 9 ) but feel like it is neither fish nor fowl. It fills a need that for myself does not exsist, it lacks the hi-cap that most 9mm's have and it offers no improvement in knock down over a 45. It may offer an advantage(reliablity) in smaller packages over the 45 but I am unsure to what degree if any that would be. This is just my opinion, if you find a 40 you like go for it.
Thanks
Gerald
 
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Ronin,
Nothing is wrong with the .40 per say and with good bullet selection it can be as effective as any of the "top" calibers.
It is just that the .40 does not offer any significant improvements in normal pistol needs like capacity, effectiveness, trajectory, reliability, or accuracy.
The truth is that most 1st - 2nd generation .40 guns are not as reliable as their 9mm siblings. If you need a quote "big bore" handgun you probably need at least a .45acp and probably a 10mm ,if we are talking auto pistols. I do own a few dozen .40 caliber handguns and they are good compromise guns. I will admit that given a choice between a .357 magnum or a .40 I will pick the .40 every time and given the choice in Glocks between a G34 or 35 I picked the 35. I would not recomend a .40 caliber 1911, a 10mm yes but not a .40. It is your choice, pick what YOU like and train with it.
 

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with the .40. It's a great round. It fills the gap between the 9mm and .45 quite nicely. The others are right that the .40 doesn't offer a capacity advantage over the 9mm, and it doesn't make the big hole that the .45 does.

However, the 9 just seems dinky to me :smile:. And there aren't too many 11-round .45s that are small enough to carry regularly (without major sciatic nerve damage).

That's one of the big advantages of the .40 -- near .45 "stopping power" (for want of a better term) in a much smaller 9mm-size package. Eleven rounds of .40 in the BHP and 14 rounds of .40 in the Glock 23 are sufficient for all social occassions :smile:.

So, higher capacity and easier carry with nearly the power of the .45 makes the .40 just about perfect. At least for me.

It is a high-pressure, hard-kicking round, though. It takes some getting used to. Practice, practice, practice.

Chad
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks!

I had red a few posts on other boards talking about how people don't trust the .40 for some reason. That may have been in a thread about exploding glocks. I'm very new to handguns in general, so I might ask a few questions that seem pretty odd to you all.

I appreciate your input! I think the .40 will be the way to go when it is time for a new pistol. Thanks for all the great information you all provide at this site.

Thanks again!
Ronin21
 

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Ronin,

"it is a high-pressure, hard-kicking round, though. It takes some getting used to. Practice, practice, practice."

While there is nothing "wrong" with the .40, it does offer some advantages and some disadvantages.

Chad perfectly described one of the disadvantages above. It does kick harder than the 9mm. As a trainer, it would not be the first caliber I would put into a new shooters hand. We see a lot of students with a .40 who might have been better served perfecting their shooting technique with a 9mm first then moving up to the .40 for carry purposes.

The .40 also could be the source of more reported KB's because of it's higher pressures especially if the bullet gets pressed inwards from repeated loadings and unloadings or from some misguided reloaders trying to push the envelope.

It is a great flat shooting, hard hitting round though.

Good shooting,

Dean
 

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What's wrong with the .40S&W?

Nothing really. If you were looking for a larger bore pistol caliber for a medium frame pistol, it is the choice to go with.

Personally, gimme a 10mm. Better ballistics, better accuracy (at least in my hands when comparing like sized 10s to .40s) and a MAN'S caliber! :wink:

Derek
 

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For guns designed around the 9mm cartridge the .40S&W is a good solution if your problem is an inability to trust the 9mm cartridge. It gives you more power and a bigger bullet in the same-sized platform as a 9mm.

If you are going with a bigger platform anyway (e.g. 1911), you might as well go with the .45 ACP, 10mm or even 9x23 over the stubbier cartridges out there.
 

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For myself, I can't shoot a .40 well. I could probably practice until I'd learned it, but I could also just stick with the other calibers that I prefer. I think the .45 is more enjoyable.

The tiny 9mm/.40 cals are nice enough, but I think the recoil is too harsh in that size gun, and would get a 9mm anyway. I carry a Colt Defender, and there are few .40's that will be smaller, and still be as comfortable.
 
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I am in the "fish or fowl camp." If I were looking for a 40 I will tell you that I liked the look of the CZ40 that is a Colt/CZ design. If i didn't have have other fish in the frying pan I would have bought one yesterday. The asking price was $390 and for a 1911 lover it felt great in my hand. The CZ also had nice trigger pulls. Regards, Richard
 

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I think the .40 S&W is a good candidate for all the high capacity guns that cannot now be sold with 15-17 round magazines. 10 rounds of .40 S&W is better than 10 rounds of 9mm using the same ammo type. My one and only .40 was a Star Firestar with a six round mag. I traded it off because it was too damn heavy for a compact pistol......Mike
 
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First let me say that the issue of “Popular Truths” really bothers me.
This like the JFK shooting, the OJ trial, Pam Anderson’s marriage, J Edgar Hoovers sexual preferences, the fact that we have forgotten most of history that was inconvenient or not politically correct and the myths that are perceived as truth all really bother me.
What history you ask? Besides the Hoover myths, how about the fact that somehow we “forgot” that Christopher Columbus did not sail to America, nor did he sail for the purpose of exploration, he was collecting slaves, Columbus was a slave trader.
Believe me I can go on and on and on, I found no less than 136 errors in my daughter’s 4th grade math book and 31 errors (out and out fabrications) referring to the constitution and it’s founding in my second daughters history books.

Ok, to return to the topic at hand.

First let me say that there is nothing "wrong" with the .40, but there is nothing wrong with the 9mm when loaded with equal loadings.
If we put aside the last few thousand articles/marketing promotions you have read and ask yourself this question:

If you take the two metal projectiles, both optimized for the velocity they will be driven to and one weighs 127grains and the other weighs 155grains. We will start with projectile A, projectile A is 9mm and travels @ a velocity of 1,220fps from your barrel/gun combo. With a barrel swap in your pistol, you can use projectile B, projectile B is .40 S&W and it travels @ 1,200fps from said caliber/pistol combo.
Pistol B achieves this with an increase in recoil momentum measured at 6lbs for example. You will need 5 rounds to defend yourself all on target in a 4" group in less than two seconds. You can achieve a reduction in felt recoil of 30lbs in 2 seconds and you remember that your pistol was in fact first designed and offered for the Austrian army pistol trials in 9mm, then when the market “exploded” in the USA, your pistol was quickly bored out, given an extractor tweak and shipped as a .40. When it was designed for the 9mm round, it met the minimum service accuracy requirement that it achieves 1.5" groups @ 25 yards with your chosen ammo. As noted, after some early frame breakages the retrofit was reexamined and a an extra locking pin was inserted into the frame of pistol B, given that pistol B was a redesign from the factory, it achieves 2.2" groups from the factory.
One other factor is that the .40ammo costs you $1.50 more per box for FMJ practice ammo.
Change the environment now, you live in a rural area and you are in fact a patrol officer, just you and a 90 mile stretch of road. The last two shootings your agency had were at ranges of 26 and 120 yards when your officer came under fire from drug smugglers crossing through the desert lanes of your county. You are restricted to a Glock pistol in 9mm or .40 with either 15 or 17 rd magazines; you are issued a Winchester .12 gauge model 1300 defender with reduced recoil 00 buckshot only. You are deciding between pistols your choices are pistol A the 9mm that fires the above round with a ballistic coefficient of 0.143, you know that it delivers 341 ft-lb of energy @ 100 yards and it shoots to 3.6" of point of aim @ that distance. You will be issued two spare magazines with one fully loaded and you may "top off" your pistol for a total of 52rds.
You have pistol B that fires the above round with a ballistic of 0.165, you know it shoots to 4.0" of point of aim @ 100 yards and it delivers 357 ft-lb of energy. You will be issued two spare magazines with one fully loaded and you may "top off" your pistol for a total of 46rds.
You are expressly prohibited from carrying a second gun and you know that the last shooting was in fact 120 yards and backup is 15-20 minutes away.
Which pistol are you going to choose? What pistol really offers you a true ballistic and tactical advantage? What pistol offers you a true mathematical advantage?
 
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