Is 40S&W becoming an obsolete caliber?

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sharpblade7777

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
434
Location
north carolina
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.
 

RevolverDen

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
11
Location
New York State
My most carried semi-auto handgun is my Springfield-Armory XD-S .45 and my ammo cabinet has more .45ACP ammo than any other caliber in my ammo cabinet. .38 Special & .357 is a close second for my carry revolvers. 9mm is my 3rd most stocked ammo. But .45ACP is my caliber of choice for my XD-S and my 1911's.

I have to make the observation during the ammo shortages of the peak pandemic period, .45 and .40SW were the 2 calibers I was able to find & purchase without interruption of being out of stock or having big price markups. I absolutely couldn't get 9mm anywhere unless I wanted to pay 2 to 3 times regular retail pricing. A reason 9mm isn't my top pick unless I planned to hoard large supplies.

Other calibers I own:
10mm (Glock29SF);
.44mag (Model 629);
.357 (S&W Model 686 Plus, Ruger 77/357);
.38 Special (S&W 442 x2);
.410/45LC/45ACP (S&W Governor);
9mm (Glock 26 Gen 4, XD/S, Glock 43, S&W Shield);
.40S&W (Glock 27 Gen4);
.380 (S&W Bodyguard);
.22LR (Ruger 10/22 Takedown; Ruger SR22; S&W Model 617);
.410 (Mossberg 590 shotgun)
12ga. (Winchester SXP Defender)
 

Mike J

Hunter
Joined
Aug 5, 2007
Messages
3,703
Location
GA
One advantage of 40 S&W is that if you can't get the boutique ammo that a 9mm needs to perform well. It works well with older JHP designs. I've been carrying Remington Gold Saber 165 grain Bonded JHP's in mine.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
5,603
Location
China Spring TX
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.

That was what we found when the pandemic struck and more so after the riots/protests whatever you called them began. You could still for a good while find .40 and relatively cheap. We have the following in .40:

Beretta PX4
FNH FNS40
Ruger SR40
H&K USP
S&W M&P
Steyr M40

All are great pistols and one year for my husband's birthday and Christmas presents since his birthday is in December I picked up a 9mm and a .357 SIG conversion barrels for the M&P, along with some 9mm magazines.
 

the_leper_colony

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
454
Location
the Great State of Wide-open (WY)
That was what we found when the pandemic struck and more so after the riots/protests whatever you called them began. You could still for a good while find .40 and relatively cheap. We have the following in .40:

Beretta PX4
FNH FNS40
Ruger SR40
H&K USP
S&W M&P
Steyr M40

All are great pistols and one year for my husband's birthday and Christmas presents since his birthday is in December I picked up a 9mm and a .357 SIG conversion barrels for the M&P, along with some 9mm magazines.

I really like the PX4 (& earlier aluminum-framed Cougar) in 40 caliber! My personal favorite, maybe for sentimental reasons, is a Taurus PT-99 (Beretta 92 clone with adjustable sights) that was listed on GunBroker as a disassembled pile of parts - don't know why, but I won the auction for $27, plus shipping & transfer fee. Cleaned everything up and put it back together, using the top half and slide release from a PT-100 (Beretta 96 clone) parts kit, so now it can handle either 9mm with the original slide & barrel, or .40 S&W. But it's the most fun in 40!
:)
 

NC FNS

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 25, 2015
Messages
76
Location
Western NC
My first pistol was a .40 S&W, and is a real tack-driver. Except for the time I accidentally topped off a mag with 3 rounds of 9mm. Luckily it was only the poor accuracy and reduced recoil that caught my attention. No harm done otherwise. And I never have more than one caliber of ammo on the table since then.
 

Mike J

Hunter
Joined
Aug 5, 2007
Messages
3,703
Location
GA
My first pistol was a .40 S&W, and is a real tack-driver. Except for the time I accidentally topped off a mag with 3 rounds of 9mm. Luckily it was only the poor accuracy and reduced recoil that caught my attention. No harm done otherwise. And I never have more than one caliber of ammo on the table since then.

I can relate. I once fired a round of 9mm through my old Ruger P944. It didn't hurt a thing but it also wasn't very accurate.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
9,327
Location
Greenville, SC: USA
There was a .40 cal Sig P239 for sale on another forum I'm on and no one jumped on it... I was amazed, still can't figure it out. 2 months and no bights. Guy was asking a decent price for it... I'm not a forty shooter but bought it because I had a spare .357 slide, spring and barrel... but I only needed the barrel to convert.
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
5,861
Location
On the beach and in the hills
I hear all this stuff about new auto loader calibers and wonder why folks are so gullible. Since pretty much the first decade of the last century we’ve had the 10 mm, 40 S&W, 45 Glock, 357 Sig and a few too obscure to mention.

Folks jumped right on the bandwagon and spent a fortune on calibers that offer no significant advantages over the 9 mm or .45 acp. Fact is, there is no magic bullet. You still have to but the bullet where it will work. You do that and all the new and improved bullets don’t work one bit better. Miss and nothing you can carry in a holster will work.
 

RC44Mag

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 18, 2022
Messages
588
Location
Long Island
Guess it really depends on what the absolute definition of obsolete is? It will always be around but certainly isn’t the new fangled wonder pill it was once. It’s taken a huge hit and is and will be a shadow of its former self. It might become collectible in the distant future but that’s anybody’s guess. IMO
 

KIR

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
631
That was what we found when the pandemic struck and more so after the riots/protests whatever you called them began. You could still for a good while find .40 and relatively cheap. We have the following in .40:

Beretta PX4
FNH FNS40
Ruger SR40
H&K USP
S&W M&P
Steyr M40

All are great pistols and one year for my husband's birthday and Christmas presents since his birthday is in December I picked up a 9mm and a .357 SIG conversion barrels for the M&P, along with some 9mm magazines.
I won't ask how many firearms you have, but can you tell me how many SAFE's you have to store all your firearms? :oops::rolleyes::eek::ROFLMAO:
 

ncvikingfan

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
233
Location
NW North Carolina
I don’t ever see it going obsolete. Lower volume sales, yes; but obsolete, no. There are just far too many modern models of .40 caliber pistols already in homes and vehicles across the country. Probably very, very, very few will ever break down from overuse and become inoperable. .40 caliber ammunition should be readily available even if another pistol in .40 is never made.
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,660
Location
Alaska, Idaho USA
I don’t see it becoming obsolete anytime in the near future. Too many people have at least one, and I think everyone should have at least one. As long as the guns are out there, the ammo will be manufactured. I especially like the 40 with the 180 gr bullet.

Over a lot of years people have expected the 10 to become obsolete, but it’s made a comeback. I hope things don’t breakdown here in America, but there’s every indication it could. If that’s the case it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a gun in most every caliber, just for expediency. You might find some ammo somewhere, you need to have a gun that will shoot pretty much whatever you find.
 

elmo123

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 20, 2016
Messages
43
When I started in police work we were issued 686's in 357 magnum and some officers still carried 38 spl's in theirs due to the increased recoil and noise.
I shot on the pistol team and in late 89 I was shooting at a match in Shelby County Tennessee when I picked up a spent 40 S&W casing along with my empty 38 casings. This was shortly before the round came out so I put it in my pocket and forgot about it.

About a year later we were issued Glock 19's in 9mm and they were crap as far as a duty weapon goes. Less than a year after that we we traded in the 9mm's for the Glock 22 and it was still a Glock. The original WW 180 JHP's were slow and after you fired a couple hundred rounds your hands looked like bee pollen, flash suppressant. The 155 Silvertips were the complete opposite they were potent. I killed several large vicious dogs with this round and shot through an 18 wheeler trying to hit the driver, he was struck in the left arm.

I put close to 40k through my first Glock 22 pistol and the only original part when we were issued new models was the barrel. The frame cracked first followed by the slide which broke at the ring for the recoil spring. Even the tip of the striker broke off.

After all of the money spent by the FBI after the 1986 butt waxing they received in Miami they ended back where they started from, 9mm. The moral to that story was don't take a pistol to a rifle fight.

I qualified all of our officers and noticed that the sharp recoil of the 40 was difficult to handle by the cops that didn't shoot that often. I could only fire about 250 rounds at a time without my wrist swelling up. I have all of the large handgun rounds from the 44 magnum down and the 40 was not pleasant to shoot out of a Glock. I still own a few 4006's, M&P and a Ruger 40/10mm Blackhawk along with an 1892 in 38-40 so I doubt I will get rid of mine. It's a good round in the correct platform.
 

MalteseHoss

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
82
Not to drag this out or hijack the thread( is that still a thing?) but the video buckaroo linked was very interesting. If someone I needed to shoot was behind 3 layers of aluminum, I know what caliber I’d prefer. But behind a t shirt, or a Carhart, or a puffy coat, my very uneducated guess would be I’d prefer the 40 or 45, especially based on that video. It’s my understanding that you want to dump energy on your intended target to cause blunt force trauma. I can’t imagine clothing and flesh have the same tensile strength as aluminum. And in justifying a shooting, self defense would be difficult to prove if you needed to shoot through a solid medium to hit your target. To bring the op question back into it, I’m a fan of the 40 so hopefully it’s not going anywhere.
 

rbmac52

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 25, 2022
Messages
12
Location
Texas Panhandle
I like the .40S&W cartridge. I have two semi-autos chambered for it. The cost of 40S&W ammo is pretty reasonable these days, just a bit more expensive than 9mm. I've always been a proponent of "bigger is better" so I'm glad the round is not going anywhere soon.
 

hittman

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
11,807
Location
Illinois
This caliber and guns using it are good entry level for beginners or folks on a budget.
rbmac52 is right, the ammo is pretty reasonable. You can still find excellent condition Glock 22s in the $350 range too.
Many LEOs use or used the G22 for a long long time so there’s a glut of trade-ins on the market. I think even CDNN still has them.
 

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