.40 S&W, Like or Dislike, Why?

Help Support Ruger Forum:

Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
3,759
Location
Lemont, PA, USA 16851
Reading the thread about the taper crimp for .45's and .40 S&W. Do you like the .40 S&W round or not? Why?

I have several handguns for that caliber (SIG P239, Glock 22 Gen 2 and Gen 3) and am not unhappy with the round, in fact the SIG is my home defense gun (I have a TRL-1S mounted on it). I shoot them fine. I haven't reloaded for them yet (I do have everything I need when it is time) as I just got a 650 round box (UMC 180 gr MC) from a guy for $150 so I have a few on hand.
 

Cholo

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
6,228
Location
Georgia
I have 2 of them and like them both. My main carry gun a is a Kahr PM40. I like the small size in a potent package. It's snappy to shoot, but not nearly as bad as a lightweight .38 shooting +P's. My all steel electroless nickel K40 is a dream to shoot! The chambers in mine seen to be tight, but everything runs like clockwork if I get the proper taper crimp; factory rounds are perfect. I don't understand the hate but don't really care.

I don't own any 9's anymore and probably never will. The upside to the 9 is much cheaper ammo and the Kahr PM9 holds one more round. The 9's have great ammo now, that wasn't always the case. I sold my Browning Hi Power in '81 and all my reloading stuff for it. If I hadn't, I'd buy the PM9 now for faster recovery shots and the price of factory ammo.

Let the haters hate :mrgreen:

PS: Do you realize that you just started another "bear" thread? :)
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,775
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Well, this is surely to be a can of worms discussion.
I own a lot of other calibers,,, yet was very slow to get a 40 cal. I never "needed" it,,, as I hady 9mm's for teaching & whatever,, as well as several 45 acps for my personal choices.
But,,, I shoot USPSA,,, and the 40 cal is about the most common caliber used there. So,,, I had a 40 S&W but on a 1911 single stack frame. Unfortunately,,, the "gunsmith" did not do the work right, (farmed it out to an employee just out of school, issues etc followed.) I've had it worked on since & it's finally getting more reliable. Then,,, I found a deal on a S&W revolver in 40 S&W & it prompted me to decide to get into the revolver category in USPSA. It's a sweetheart to shoot & puts me in "major" category.
Brass is plentiful & cheap,,, and it costs less than my 45 acp's to reload.
So,,, I'm finally in a couple of 40's myself. But ,,, I prefer my 45's or other bigger calibers for SD.
 

tookalisten

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
651
Location
NC
I really like the .40 S&W. Glock 23 is currently my bedside gun. Bought a Gen 3 from a friend at a great price and it came with about 10 mags. He was getting out of .40 to switch to 9mm. Don't really understand why personally. It shoots great.
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
6,736
Location
+4020
Never got a .40, because by that time I was already all .45ed, 9mmed, and .357ed up. Just didn't see the need.
 

Rei40c

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
976
My first pistol was a .40, later I got more into shooting 9mm. There is no avoiding the fact that I shoot the 9mm better. Both in terms of accuracy and follow up shots. Like Snake45 said if you already own other calibers there is probably little reason to get the .40.

But I've found from talking to others my story is not unique. So many start with a .40 and for one reason or another end up with 9mm or .45 acp years down the road.
 

Enigma

Hunter
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
2,148
Location
Houston metro area, TX
I've owned two .40s - a Springfield 1911, and a Glock 22, with several years between the two. The .40 S&W 1911 just left me unimpressed; I guess it's because I've shot 1911s in .45 ACP since the mid-70s. Anyway, I shot less than half a box of ammo through it, then sold it. I liked the G22 a bit better, but I ultimately decided the gun was just too big for what it was. I shot it for about 6-8 months, and then traded it off. I decided that, for me, a 9mm will do anything the .40 will do.
 

tinman

Buckeye
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
1,811
Location
Texas
Several years back we had the chance to transition from the issued Glock 9mm to .40. Our Range Master pulled every shooting report that we had and could find no justification for making that switch. Plainly put, the 9mm has to this day never failed to get the job done. I have lost track of the students that would arrive from other PD's carrying that dept's issued sidearm in 40 S&W only to find they could not handle the recoil and in some cases the physical size of the gun. In every case, when given a 9mm they had no further issues and went on to successfully complete the course of instruction. :idea:
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
3,645
Location
Texas
The only two things that I know for sure 'n certain about the .40 S&W cartridge is that it'll cleanly kill a hog at butchering time if ya put the shot right behind it's ear, and that it'll take out a steel KD target easier than a 9MM will.
On the other hand, I could say the same about other cartridges too...some of which I already have guns for.....so nope, I don't see any need to add a .40 to the mix.

But hey, if a .40 floats your boat, go for it.
From what I've seen, you could do a lot worse....and like Contender said, it might turn out to be the cat's meyow for some uses.

DGW
 

WIL TERRY

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Messages
1,973
Location
Single Chute, SD USA
tinman said:
Several years back we had the chance to transition from the issued Glock 9mm to .40. Our Range Master pulled every shooting report that we had and could find no justification for making that switch. Plainly put, the 9mm has to this day never failed to get the job done. I have lost track of the students that would arrive from other PD's carrying that dept's issued sidearm in 40 S&W only to find they could not handle the recoil and in some cases the physical size of the gun. In every case, when given a 9mm they had no further issues and went on to successfully complete the course of instruction. :idea:
NOW THIS IS AN INTERESTING POST, GUYS !!! The very reason for being of the 40S&W cartridge was to fit a larger cartridge in 9MM sized pistols, NOTHING ELSE !
I have shot the very FIRST 40 pistol built on a M39 steel frame [ M639? ] and it handles like a champ as is. I own one of the very first M4006 S&W 40 pistols and it was a clunk from the gitgo that shot just fine and NEVER malfed a round. BUT it handled like a footer block for chrissakes !!
And all that .40 ammunition I had access to for nine years ? I shot it up in a G20, in the issue 10MM BBl, slick as a whistle with nary a bobble ever and all the brass would land in a Stetson layed on it's crown on the ground. THAT IMNHO is the only real need for 40 ammunition, popgun training/plinking ammuniton for all the 10MM pistols out there.
And so it goes....
PS: you'd not believe the story of how/who/ developed the first 40 pistol overnight after S&W engineers worked for months trying.....YEE gads...
And so it went....
 

gunzo

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
Messages
1,627
Location
Kentucky
I always thought that Paul Liebenburg had a pretty big influence in the development of the cartridge. If so or not, & a first hand story was told about it, I would believe you. I think it also would be a very interesting post.
 

Ka6otm

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 21, 2002
Messages
618
They're a bit too snappy for me, so I use either a 9MM or a .45 ACP.
 

PO2Hammer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
259
Location
Minnesota
I think it makes a fine practice round for 10mm guns.
This was my old Glock 29 with a KKM .40 conversion barrel, worked great. Fresh .40 brass was free for the taking after the police practiced, and small primers were easier to find during the '08 shortage.
G-291.jpg
 

dougader

Hunter
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
3,108
Location
OryGun
I'm in deep with 9 and 45, and saw no need for the 40. But free brass pick-ups at the range have almost pushed me into getting a G23, or maybe the G35... with a conversion barrel so I can shoot both 9mm and 40 SW from the same gun.
 

375supermag

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
499
Hi...

After about 35 years experience with all manner of handguns (1911s, SA and DA revolvers, a Luger and a couple of other semi-autos, in every caliber from .22LR through .44mag and into the Dan Wesson SuperMag realm, I bought my first polymer-framed semi-auto about a year or so ago.

I wanted to try something different and thought that if that were the case, then I should go all in a try a new caliber as well. So, I bought a S&W M&P40 in .40S&W.

This is an accurate pistol and has been completely reliable with 180gr factory lads. Accuracy is a bit less with factory 165gr loads, but the reliability remains flawless.

I am convinced this handgun and caliber would solve any self-defense problem I should be confronted with when loaded with quality self-defense ammunition. It hasn't replaced my 1911s or .357Mag revolvers as my preferred carry weapons but I would not feel handicapped if I had to rely on it in an extreme situation.

After reading about some of the local drug gang shootings in the local newspaper and the number of perpetrators and number of shots fired, it is a bit comforting to realize that my loaded M&P with a couple of spare magazines equals 50 rounds which is a serious upgrade over my 1911s.
 

cyborgt800

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
116
Location
Colorado
I'm a 9 and 45 guy and never saw a reason for the 40. After accidentally buying a 40...(I thought it was a 9 until halfway through the purchase...I really liked the gun so I still bought it), I have come to respect it...it kicks as much as a 45 and ammo cost as much as well, but I could see some benefits to this round if you were just starting out. I still would not have ever gone with the 40 on purpose though. To me it solves a need that didn't exist.
 

noahmercy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
357
Location
Sheridan, WY
I was one of the first to jump on the 40 bandwagon...bought a Ruger KP91DC with a three-digit serial number. It was accurate, reliable, and hard-hitting. I have been a fan of the cartridge ever since.

What some of the younger folks on this forum may fail to realize is that bullet technology at that time wasn't nearly as good as it is now. The 9mm had a reputation for being a poor fight stopper. 45s (and 10mms) required big guns to house them and generally sported low capacities. The 40 was a fantastic compromise, with a fairly heavy bullet of decent diameter, driven fast enough to expand more reliably than many other cartridges, coupled with respectable capacity in a 9mm-size firearm.

With current propellent and bullet technology, the 9mm is a very viable self-defense and law enforcement caliber. Polymer firearm frames have helped make 45s and 10mms that are svelte enough to fit most hands while still housing double stack mags. By the same token, those same advances have made the 40 even better than its initial iteration. It still outperforms the 9mm while fitting in the same envelope. It holds more rounds in a smaller package than the 45s and 10mm Autos. Ammunition is reasonably priced, and it has earned a solid reputation over the last quarter century as a decisive stopping cartridge.

For those reasons, it still has a place in my collection.
 

Rodfac

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
691
Location
Kentucky
Noahmercy....great comments there...well thought out.

Here's another take on it....I can get tons of .40, once fired brass, from my LEO friends for reloading. Not so much with 9mm and a hellofa lot less than .45. For me that's a deal maker.

That said, I've never had a .40 that would shoot groups that are as easy to get with a slightly tuned .45. And that includes a good Colt 1911 with a .40 Wilson match bbl./bushing installed. That is until my #1 son (who's back in the will!) gave me his .40 S&W Browning Hi-Power. That gun'll stay with my semi-tricked out . 45 1911s' till the cows come home...sub-2" at 25 yds is the standard, BTW.

Since then...I've acquired a Sig P226 Mk25 that'll do the same with 9's or with the Sig .40 upper installed, as well as a G23 that'll do nearly as well. Those guns turned me around on .40's...yep, a cpl around the farm are definitely worth having...and think of all that free brass, too!!!

Rod
 

Latest posts

Top