Is 40S&W becoming an obsolete caliber?

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vito

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I only own one pistol in 40S&W, a Ruger sr40c, and it has become a "safe queen". I bought this pistol as a carry gun, but switched years ago to the much smaller and easier to carry concealed lc9s. At a gun shop recently I saw a huge variety of pistols in 9 mm, and 380 ACP, and a lesser number in 45 ACP. And virtually none in 40S&W. It made me wonder if this was a short loved caliber, accepted and then discarded by many police departments, or is it one that will be around for the long haul.
 

gunman42782

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Well, as there are literally millions of guns chambered in .40, I really don't see it fading away anytime soon, at least as far as ammo availability. New guns chambered in it are getting fewer all the time though. The .41 Mag was supposed to die off years ago and it's still with us, with the occasional new gun chambered in it too. I have never been a .40 fan, but there is way too many guns out there for the ammo companies to not load for it. But, it's true cops and Feds are trading them in for 9mm in droves.
 

buckaroo

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Nope. But they want you to belive that so they can stop making it. Whenever you hear rumors in the wild circulating it's usually started by the gun manufactures or the ammo manufactures. Then picked up (by design) by the YouTube gun guru's and spread.

As Mark Twain once said, "a lie can spread around the world before the truth can get it's boots on"
 

Mike J

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When the FBI went back to 9mm due to advancements in bullet technology many people decided 40 S&W was unnecessary. The basic premise is that if 9mm, 40 S&W, etc. are all designed to penetrate the same amount & expand the same amount to meet the FBI's specifications in ballistics gel then it doesn't matter what caliber you choose. I am not saying I agree with this but that is the premise.
I still carry a compact 40 & I still believe it is a good cartridge. Manufacturers aren't making as many new guns in the caliber but there are so many 40 caliber pistols already in the marketplace it will be around for a long time. I do find myself tempted by the double stack 9mm micro pistols available now. The biggest reason is just them being easier to conceal.
 

Cholo

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No, I don't see it going away. I do see more limited defense ammo in the 40 compared to the 9 or 45. I like Speer Gold Dot ammo. They have two 40 S&W, seven 9mm, and five 45 ACP offerings.

Potential new gun owners might go on the net or to their local gun shop to look at defense guns and about all they'll see is 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 and think that's all there is. Of course the ammo and gun manufacturers are going to oblige that massive number. And the fabulous 40 S&W takes a back seat...
 

dgr416

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I really like the 40 sw .I trust it a whole lot more than any 9 mm made. I Also like the 10 mm which is just a super 40 sw .I can shoot my 40 sw very well no problem with any kick at all .It's easy-to-use and load for.
 

hittman

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I didn’t need another caliber when it was introduced. But the gun and ammo makers seemed to make a lot of money with it so …. That works for me.

I know a few LEOs who had G22’s as a duty weapon that was later switched to something in either 9mm or 45ACP. Most of them kept (bought) their G22s and kept them as home defense weapons. They were good guns, a good round and most had plenty of ammo already stockpiled.
 

Bad Barlow

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I didn’t need another caliber when it was introduced. But the gun and ammo makers seemed to make a lot of money with it so …. That works for me.

I know a few LEOs who had G22’s as a duty weapon that was later switched to something in either 9mm or 45ACP. Most of them kept (bought) their G22s and kept them as home defense weapons. They were good guns, a good round and most had plenty of ammo already stockpiled.
I went from .38/.357 to 9mm, skipped .40.
 

the_leper_colony

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For me, the .40 S&W is the ideal auto pistol round. I don't mind buying used firearms, and I can often get a handgun chambered in .40 for less money than the exact same model in 9mm or .45acp, simply because .40 is less popular. That can also be true for gun parts like magazines, for the same reason.

I've found that 40 caliber reloading components usually save me money; once-fired brass is commonly cheaper than 9mm or .45 cases, and I frequently find 40 caliber bullets cheaper than 9mm or 45s also. And because I reload, I can load 'down' for recoil like a 9mm, or load 'up' for energy levels better tham 9mm, .38 Super and .45acp. I can load ammo for full-size service autos, or pocket pustols, and if I ever find a nice .40 revolver I can afford, I'll load for that, too!

Factory .40 S&W ammo tends to be more expensive than comparable 9mm, which is about the only downside I can think of. However, when something happens that causes everyone to panic & start buying ammo, I've always been able to find factory .40 ammo, long after the 9mm is sold out. Plus, I personally like multi-caliber firearms (starting years ago with Blackhawk convertibles ;>), and it's fairly easy & affordable to pick up the parts needed to convert many .40s to 9mm &/or .357 SIG, or vice versa.

One last thing to consider - expanding bullets don't always perform as intended. If Murphy's Law kicks in and your expanding bullet doesn't, you might be better off with bigger, heavier bullets than smaller, lighter slugs.

As always, IMHO, FWIW, YMMV, etc., etc.
:)
 

buckaroo

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I went from .38/.357 to 9mm, skipped .40.
.40 S&W is the only major carry caliber I never shot, I did own a Beretta Storm chambered in it but sold it off before I ever shot it because I didn't like the cumbersome breakdown for filed strip. Sure wish I would have though. It's a good round ballistically, however I doubt I would have been able to shoot it one handed like I can my 9mm without a limp-wrist malfunction.






p.s. that's 357 SIG (note we don't use a period for designation)
 
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JohnW

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I agree that there are too many out there for .40 S&W to become obsolete. I only have one myself, a KP944, which is the first Ruger semi-auto centerfire I ever owned. Bought in 1997, IIRC. Good grief, it just hit me that I've owned it 25 years now! I think I need a moment... I know that some folks have no love for the original Ruger P-series, but I get along well with mine, and am reasonably proficient with it.

I brought a new Max-9 home this past weekend, and ran 50 rounds through it Sunday afternoon. Really liking it so far, but if Ruger offered a "Max-40", I would have bought that instead. Have considered an SR-40C (which do not seem difficult to find at reasonable prices), but would like something a bit slimmer as a CCW.
 

XP100

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I have an HK USP full size in 40 cal. I carried in my gun shop when I was open. I retired and was going to sell it but still have it. If it was more compact I would still carry it. Got about 1500 reloads for it left. Love the gun. I may sell it when all the ammo is gone maybe.
 

noahmercy

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I have been reading the reports of its demise for at least a decade. At one time or another the 45 Colt, 45-70, 32 Auto, and several other cartridges were also declared moribund. Have any of those become obsolete?

I jumped on the 40 bandwagon very early on. Bought a Ruger P91DC the first day they were available in the local gun store, and it was the first cartridge I handloaded for. At the time, bullet technology wasn't as good as it is today, and the 9mm was only a mediocre fight-stopper with even the best ammo on the market, and truly abysmal with everything else. The 40 was a game changer, with velocities high enough to reliably expand the existing bullet designs while fitting in a 9mm-size frame (so it was comfortable for the widest variety of hand sizes). While the projectiles today are far superior and have made the 9mm a viable defense cartridge, that same bullet technology has made the 40 that much better, so it is still a great choice. My experience handgunning varmints has convinced me that performance of the 40 S&W at long range is decidedly superior to other common personal protection cartridges (the 357 Magnum excepted), and the claims that it's an inherently inaccurate cartridge are just not true.

That being said, while my nightstand gun is a 40, my carry piece is either a 9mm or a 45 ACP, mainly due to not finding a compact pistol in 40 that meets my requirements.
 

ncvikingfan

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If the .40 caliber dies out, I will have several glorified paper weights and door stops. I do like the caliber myself. Ruger, S&W, Beretta, Sig, Glock in my small collection.
 

KIR

Blackhawk
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Mar 2, 2022
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During another shortage or a SHTF scenario, the .40 cal. guns/ammo will be the last on the shelves unlike the more popular "nines" which will be all gone first. So, one should have at least one .40 cal. Mine is a H&K P30L v.1 and I was just out at the range last Friday. While I usually shoot low and to the left, after an adjustment (me, not the gun), everything was just fine. In either case, everything was still hit at center mass. The targets were at 21 yards.
 

BuckRimfire

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Nov 7, 2012
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Now that Washington has magazine restrictions, I think any future purchases of auto pistols that I make will be either quite tiny, like an LCP or Glock 42/43, or chambered in .45 ACP (I "need" a good 1911 and maybe a Glock 36). In this environment, a .40 makes no sense to me. I don't see the point in buying a mid to large size gun that carries less total bullet weight when limited artificially to 10 rounds, unless it's a 9 mm to minimize ammo cost.

The only "40 caliber" I ever owned were a pair of EAA 10 mms, a base model steel DA/SA and a Hunter. I sold them because I liked to load them heavy (what else is the point of 10 mm? Most 10 mm factory ammo is just .40 S&W in a longer case) and in addition to the frustration of chasing brass 10 yards and losing 30% of it every time, the muzzle blast was aggravating my flinch. Had someone sat me down and convinced me that magazine restrictions would be coming to my state soon enough, I'd have kept the DA/SA as the best possible hiking gun short of a Glock 40. I only got $150 for it, so it was hardly worth selling.

10 mm is a cartridge that's been declared dead at least once and is still poking along, so I doubt the far more abundant .40 will ever really be dead, until auto pistols are banned outright (which will probably happen shortly after the SCOTUS returns to a majority of Democratic appointees, so a decade or two...)
 

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