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Old 06-02-2016, 05:34 PM   #1
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 Terry G's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2004

Posts: 5,122
The .40 S&W

I don't see anyone talking up or down this cartridge; does anyone shoot/reload it? I've shot it quite a bit and can say I don't like it. Not as accurate as either the 9MM or the .45ACP and (to me) recoils more.
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:00 PM   #2
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 Garand's Avatar
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From: Canadian Badlands

Posts: 9,440
Never owned one, about 20 years ago I shot a Glock in .40 S&W and really was not impressed with it. I gave me everything I already had in a more expensive package
Old 06-02-2016, 06:36 PM   #3
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From: Central Arkansas

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I'm not a .40 guy, but it's perfectly functional imo. I've pretty much 'settled' on 9mm and .45acp, but ballistically speaking, the .40 certainly doesn't suck. My main issues with the 40 is that they tend to put it in 9mm size guns, and that it doesn't really (imo) do anything that the 9 or 45 don't.

On the gun-size thing, the rush by manufacturers to jam a new 40-caliber cartridge into previously-existing 35-caliber platforms has led to a lot of issues. Spring issues, frame-flex issues, numerous kinds of things. Some have gotten it right, and some haven't.

As far as performance, it's always struck me like a 16-gauge shotgun. From a functional or performance standpoint, there's not a thing wrong with the 16-gauge. But it doesn't really offer any real advantage over the 12 or 20. Same with the 40 imo; it's functionally fine (if your gun is "right"), but I always kind of wondered "why". If LE depts had embraced the 16-gauge, it would be a market powerhouse right now imo. And if LE depts hadn't embraced the .40, imo it would have gone the way of the 16-gauge; just as the .41AE and .356TSW did.

A guy with a .41AE, a .356TSW or a 16-gauge can kill me just as dead as a guy with any gun; they're all functionally fine. But to me they're just examples of things that really served not much purpose. The .40 (again, to me) is pretty much the same thing if we're talking strictly from a functional standpoint - it just has the advantage of good marketing and so has carved out a massive market share for itself.
Old 06-02-2016, 10:28 PM   #4
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 BigEd63's Avatar
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From: Arkansas

Posts: 4,130
I had 2 of them, not at the same time. The first was a .40 MkIII Hi-Power that I quickly changed barrels to .357Sig. And hindsight being 20/20 wish I had kept. The thing grouped like a shotgun with the .40S&W barrel. Bar-sto fixed that for me.

The next was a Glock 23 again not bad but didn't do much for me. So that went also.

Ho hum groups never got around to reloading for it.
Old 06-03-2016, 06:36 AM   #5
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Joined: May 2014
From: USA

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P35s have fragile frames, noted for cracking. Trigger pull sucks hard and is very difficult to fix. The gun needs a beavertail tang in the worst way
Old 06-03-2016, 12:00 PM   #6
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From: Canadian Badlands

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I shot a Browning Hi Power (P35) in IPSC for 6 years, I had 1 barrel lug crack on me and had to replace the barrel. Once the magazine disconnector was removed from the pistol, the trigger pull lightened up over 2 pounds. I had a Base armorer, work on my pistol for me as I represented the Base I was posted to when I shot and they paid half my entry fees and gave me a personal annual ammunition allocation of 10,000 rds of 9mm ball a year. Trigger came out at 3 1/2 pounds and I found that there is no requirement for a beavertail that I needed.

Last edited by Garand; 06-03-2016 at 01:10 PM.
Old 06-03-2016, 01:07 PM   #7
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Joined: Oct 2003
From: nashua nh

Posts: 2,682
Carried .40(Glock 23) at my old job. No real issues with the caliber, as much as being at best " lukewarm " on Glocks.
Old 04-17-2017, 12:33 AM   #8
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Joined: Apr 2017

Posts: 25
Like most the .40 never really caught my fancy until I got BACK on the 10mm train. Let me explain: The 10mm arrived, was instantly neuter-loaded to keep from breaking made-over designs, and at that time became a "yawn" experience, so I traded off my AMT and moved on. The .40 seemed to me to be nothing special, which in it's FBI loading is factual. It's hard for a 9mm thinker to want to give up 3 shots for a round making basically the same kinetic energy, and it's equally hard for a .45 thinker to give up bullet diameter for a few extra shots of "nothing special."

But here is the thing. The .40, when properly loaded is a powerhouse of a round. It's spec'd to operate at 35K psi, and uses a small pistol primer which means ultra-strong case head. In a fully supported chamber the .40 can run at the same pressures as the 4.6mm longer 10mm case, so it can never "be" the Groom, but it can sure be the "Best man!"

I've done a little hand loading for my CZ-75B with fully supported chamber and run some 135 grainers up to just over 1,400 fps for right at 600 lb-ft of kinetic 9mm load will ever come close, and this exceeds all those "mid-range" 10mm loads by a wide margin. I believe Underwood builds a similar load for an amazingly reasonable price. Also, no standard pressure, nor +P .45ACP is going to challenge a top loaded .40.

For comparison, a 135 gr. .40 pushing 600 fpe is the ballistic equal of a .357 Magnum with 125 grain slugs. So in this regard, a .40 caliber stoked with 10-14 shots of REAL performance ammo gives one twice the capability of putting a lethal hurt on someone over a .357 revolver.

This does remind me of that other burning question...what exactly is the 357 SIG good for? In neutered factory loads it brings very little if any "more" to the ballistic table than the 9mm, while suffering the same ammo shortage as carrying a .40. A hot 9mm can tap 500 lb-ft of energy, and only a TOP 357 SIG load will best it.

Anyway, I think the .40 is an interesting little brother to owning a 10mm, yet a brute in its own right when properly loaded.

It must be pointed out that commercially loaded ammo is more about hype than actual performance. A sales scam in no small way helped by the FBI's ballistics misdirection scam of the last 3 decades.
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Old 06-06-2017, 03:52 PM   #9
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I have three .40s. It is an accurate cartridge to reload for, but:
it is the ONLY cartridge where I have had a case failure in over 40 years of reloading.
Now, I will admit that it was most likely MY fault, but here is the story;
I work up loads on my 1050s by raising the ram into a Lee PTE die (with a Lee plastic powder funnel on top) and pouring in the charge from my RCBS ChargeMaster 1500. I then lower the ram and inspect the case to be sure the right amount of powder appears to be in the case, then I place a bullet on the case and seat it.
So, I go to the range midway through one string, there is a BOOM. Magazine ejected and extractor broken.
Not sure where I made a mistake, but it could not have been a double charge.
So, I am left with the feeling that there simply is NO safety margin in the .40 for any loading error.
This, added to the fact that sectioned .40 cases show much less web support than 9mm Luger cases, and I can understand why so many KBs happened with the .40.
So, if you load .40:
1) use powders no faster than AA5
2) don't try to push it at all
3) if you can't live with reloading no higher than mid-range, get a 10mm Auto—a round that had a lot more design and development time than was ever put into the .40.
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Last edited by noylj; 06-15-2017 at 09:56 AM.
Old 06-10-2017, 02:52 PM   #10
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Joined: Jan 2016

Posts: 22
I see no need for the .40. Simply put it is an answer to a question never asked. The versatility of the 10mm mild to wild makes it the better choice Hans down. The only advantage the .40 has is it can be used in a smaller framed gun so those with smallish hands might prefer it. Other than that it is not in the same
league as the 10mm especially if you reload.
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