Category name:40 S&W

Stories of the Death of 40S&W are Greatly Exaggerated

40 ounces – wait – what?

To be honest, when the 40S&W came out in in 1990 I was under-whelmed. I felt that the flexibility of the 10mm was close to ideal and that the 40S&W would never catch on. I actually was a fan of Evan Whildin’s of Action Arms Limited (think Uzi) 41 Action Express. Ironically, the 41AE was designed to replicate the 41 Magnum which itself was designed as the “ideal” law enforcement cartridge (according to Bill Jordan et al)

But I was sure wrong about the 40S&W! At the time it seemed to fill in the middle-ground and resolve the great caliber debate: 9mm vs 45ACP, fast vs slow, single-stack vs double-stack mags, light vs heavy. It caught on quickly and like a wild fire among law enforcement and quickly became the dominant round. I can’t help but think that the fact that we were under the 1994 high capacity magazine ban limiting capacity helped fuel its popularity – at least in the civilian market.

Despite this, it would take me about a decade of a proven track record to warm up to it. Let’s face it – the older I got, the heavier that full size 45 felt.

 

What was once old is new again!

Enter 2014 and the FBI has re-adopted the 9mm (more on that in a minute) and it seems that the internet is a buzz with stories of how the 40 is either dead or dying. More recently I have even seen a trend of where very well-known firearms experts seem to go out of their way to discredit the 40S&W. Not that I necessarily disagree with their reasons or evaluations (there is a pro and con to everything), but I find the sudden upswing of anti-endorsements odd.

Just yesterday I saw a thread where a prominent competition shooter said that he (still) preferred the 40 to the shock of many on the internet. There was a bit of criticism and I was surprised to see him defending his choice and even qualifying it. Gosh folks—he can shoot whatever he likes. I will never understand why anyone cares what someone else uses.

Speaking of what is old is new – consider the possibility of another assault weapons ban. It is a common mantra of anti-gunners’ “common sense” legislation. If we were limited to 10 rounds in new pistols again worse (all firearms) would your opinion change? Think that it couldn’t happen? Tell me how it couldn’t happen for the decade that it did. It is only because of the NRA that there was a 10 year sunset. If not for that clause we would STILL be under its limit (end political rant).

 

Internet declares the 40 S&W in its last days

But I digress, why do I think that the stories of the 40’s death are exaggerated?

The biggest reason is that it still holds about 60% of the U.S. Law enforcement market.

That is huge – it means that there are more 40 S&W pistols in service than ALL other calibers COMBINED!

Incidentally, the most popular law enforcement pistol is the Glock 22. Glock civilian sales are completely different and the best seller in the U.S. is the model 19.

 

But the FBI just switched to 9mm so the 40 will die out!

Will it? I was wrong about the switch-over to 40 S&W but this time I am not seeing the massive shift to follow the FBI like we have in the past. Yes, I know that there are some, but not like before.

Seems like the FBI switches standard issue very frequently. From memory I can think of four changes: revolver to 9mm, to 10mm, to 40S&W and now back to the 9mm. I think that most departments would have a hard time justifying the cost of changing calibers so frequently, let alone BACK to one previously used. Today’s political environment is also, unfortunately, much more hostile to law enforcement. I feel that there may be a public backlash to “buying the police new guns.” There would definitely be accusations of funding waste.

 

Abandoned FBI rounds just don’t die

I also question the belief that a round will die out because the FBI no longer uses it. Historically this simply is not true. None of the rounds that the FBI used formerly have died out! The 38, 357 Magnum, 9mm, 10mm, 40S&W are definitely still popular. For literally YEARS people have been saying that the 10mm was dead. At worst, it is a boutique round even though there were new pistols from Glock this year (who already has a pretty good line of 10’s), one from SIG (who has never made one previously) and an expanded line from RIA. Not too bad if you ask me. The 40S&W is even more established than the 10mm ever was.

 

Going down the same road as 41AE and 41Mag?

In fact, of all the rounds discussed I think that the only one that I would say is dead is the 41AE. It was never adopted by any agency and only available from a few providers – in a conversion kit, Tanfoglios and the IMI Jericho. I think ammo only came from UZI/Samson. If you think that the 40 S&W has a bit of kick or is hard on guns the 41AE was worse. I sold my Browning HiPower conversion kit long before it disappeared.

The 41 Magnum has fared a little better – It was adopted limitedly and revolvers are still made. Ammo is still available but far from common place. This is truthfully probably what a lot of people think of (hope?) for the future of the 40 S&W. But, the fact that a very powerful REVOLVER round (significantly more powerful than the 10mm) intended for law enforcement but only adopted by a few agencies (2 or 3?) still exists today is pretty remarkable. Besides Rick (Walking Dead) how many agencies even issue any revolver as a duty sidearm? Maybe some Corrections and Reserves? I think the 40 and 41 Mag comparison is not 1-to-1, but it is noteworthy.

 

Which is better: 9, 40, 45, 50AE? Google!

The 9mm vs 40S&W vs 45ACP vs whatever debates have been hashed to death on the internet. Way too much time and bandwidth is wasted on justifying what the “best” round is. I am not going to engage in each caliber’s pros/cons – and every cartridge has BOTH. Google’g will result in a ridiculous amount of material.

 

Some arguments are just not worth participating/Google first!

I do feel that I have to point out a weird caliber argument that I saw yesterday. Someone called the 40S&W “Short & Weak” when compared to the 9mm. Now, when the 40S&W was introduced there were people who called it “Short & Weak” in comparison to its big brother 10mm but using the phrase in a justification of the 9mm over 40S&W is just wacky – check your cartridge dimensions first! I wish I had kept the link to that particular thread. On second thought, I am glad I didn’t.

 

My conclusion? Somebody buy me a Wilson (in any caliber)

Carry what you want. They all work…mostly (well, they are all still just pistol rounds). As for the experts – they are not wrong and I respect their opinions (heck, I just bought a Glock 43 as a backup/deep conceal!). I am unsure of the seeming animosity towards the 40 S&W and why there feels like an anti-40 campaign. They are people too and are entitled to their opinion and to buy what they like.

But, like most police departments, I am heavily invested in 40 equipment and ammo. So, my main carry will continue to be 40S&W. Not that I don’t think that there are plenty of other reasons to stick with the 40 (it works and I like the boom), but economics alone are a big reason that the 40 S&W won’t be going away any time soon.


Some reading material if your bored/interested:

History of FBI hand guns – http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2011/8/22/a-history-of-fbi-handguns/

The Forgotten M&P (41Magnum) – http://modernserviceweapons.com/?p=3176

Wikipedia entry for 41AE – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.41_Action_Express
(I wish I had kept some of the AAL promo material on it)

FBI Handgun Wounding Factor Effectiveness – http://gundata.org/images/fbi-handgun-ballistics.pdf
(I know it is a bit dated now, but it is worth reading)

Army opens up possibility of adopting non-9mm – http://kitup.military.com/2014/07/army-40-caliber-fbi-returns-9mm.html
(Not likely, but wouldn’t that be funny?)

 

Glock 27 vs 23 chrony results

These compilations are a work in progress and I will add to them, but here are some Glock 27 vs 23 results. The 40S&W loses very little from a 4″:

Federal 180gr JHP ——————– 913 vs 962
Rem 180gr Golden Saber ————— 934 vs 961
Speer 180gr Lawman ——————- 914 vs 967
Fed 155gr HydraShok —————— 1077 vs 1107
Speer 155gr GoldDot —————— 1148 vs 1210
Win 155gr SilverTip —————— 1082 vs 1131 (another sample only 1080)
CorBon 135gr ————————- 1210 vs 1258
Win 180gr SXT ———————— ???? vs 911
Rem 165gr Golden Saber ————— ???? vs 1040

Here is a good resource for some Glock 23 results: http://stevespages.com/page8f40sw.html

Got my GSSF coupon, which Glock to get? Leaning towards Gen4 23

The Glock 23 continues to haunt me. As much as I try to hate it and prefer M&P’s, 1911’s, S&W 3rd Gens, I keep coming back to it.

Why? Because it is almost the perfect ALL AROUND size. Note: there are better range pistols, there are better CCW pistols but OVERALL the 23 can do it all.

Also, having dabbled in 9mm during the ammo crisis last year I have to admit that I prefer 40S&W (and, of course, the 10mm). Not that I don’t feel safe with a good 9mm load – and there are lot’s! And not platform — in fact I am a HUGE fan of the M&P 9c, but I just prefer a 180gr and its thump.

But, why the Gen4? Well, I already have a Gen3 and I find the new grip texture to be really comfortable. And the SeeCamp-inspired dual recoil spring? Well, quite frankly it does work in my 27 and countless other implementations (Colt Defender, etc).

The finish worries me, but as long as the slide is Tenifer steel hardened, I am ok with it. Break in (as reputed on the internet) is not a big deal to me. You should put 300-500rds through a pistol before you deem it worthy to stake you life on any way. Besides, I have a Gen3 23 to rely on anyway.

I see a Gen4 Glock 23 in my near future.

What happened to Sig’s QC and customer service?

Sig P-series used to be world renown for quality, function/reliability, fit and finish. They are also far from cheap often called the Cadillac or BMW (use whatever car analogy you like) of firearms. How would you like it if your brand new P-series looked like the pics in this thread?

LINK: SigForum thread with pics – Should my Sig look like this after 400 rds?

Click on pic to enlarge:

Yes, it is cosmetic and the pistol functional, but so what? You pay a premium for a Sig. Sig saw pictures and called this “normal” wear. When asked why previous generations don’t “break in” like they responded that they couldn’t comment.

I own several Sigs, and many pistols tighter than a Sig without looking like that. “Normal”? If that it is “normal” it will not be normal for me to plunk down my $ on one. Too bad, because a P229 was on the short list.

ETA:
Here are some shots from a brand new P220 SS ELITE (i.e. NOT cheap):
LINK – SigForum Thread

No more Browning HiPower in 40S&W — all steel 40’s scarce

Well,
Did anybody notice that the HiPower chambered for 40S&W is no longer on the Browning.com website?
I was looking at current production ALL STEEL 40S&W’s and was disappointed to see that it is gone.

So, what does that leave?
1. CZ75 based pistols (compact discontinued although RAMI still made)
2. Tanfoglio EAA Witness (CZ copies)
3. Surely, somebody makes a 1911 chambered in 40. Perhaps STI
4. Springfield EMP (shrunken 1911)
5. Sig P229 Elite (I think this is still in production)

Used market!
1. S&W 4006 <---- leaning towards 2. Colt Defender 3. Browning/FN HiPower 4. Sig P229 stainless 5. HK P7M10 6. CZ75 Compact I am sure there are more, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind...

Kudos to CDNN/MTM (MetalForm) 40 S&W magazine review Part 2

So,
Kudos to CDNN Investments!
CDNN agreed to exchange the magazine for another one. All I had to do (after contacting them) was send it back with a copy of the invoice and note. I had a replacement mag (at no charge) in a few days!

This one locked back 2 out of 3 1911’s I tried it in. Unfortunately, the one it didn’t lock back (ever) was the Colt in 40 which I need it to.

I switched out the Greider 10mm slide stop from my Dan Wesson and viola it locks back in the Colt. Hmm..
Looks pretty good on the Delta too. Actually the Colt #4 slide stop looks pretty good on the DW CBOB.

So, some thoughts.
-Try to find some full follower 40 mags. Maybe Colt, Mec-Gar, Kimber, Wilson?
-Replace the Colt #4 with a Greider or other 9/38Super/40/10mm stop
-Tweak the MTM and try to gets it to work (they were only $12.99)
-Just use 10mm mags.

MTM (MetalForm) 40 S&W magazine review

If you haven’t read it, I had a 40 barrel fit to my Colt Delta Elite: http://reg7.site90.net/?p=129
I have been using my 10mm mags in the 40 conversion with excellent results. However, the difference of in the COAL of 10mm vs 40S&W made me think that getting 40 mags would be better and allow me to keep the ammo separate. No problems yet, but safety first.

I got three at CDNN for $12.99. They are blued 8shot. I figured they were a good deal even if I just used them at the range. I have a mixed review.

Here are a couple of pics. Again, sorry for the low quality, they are from a camera phone:

MTM follower. Surprised at this design. It is not super stable, allowing a lot of tilt/pivot. One of the three mags didn’t lock the slide back when empty. The mags are only a 8 shot. It is almost as if they should be 9 but couldn’t get it to work.

MTM feed lips. While the short feed lips seem to work well with the 10mm, adding the spacer for 40 means that the round is pushed further forward. Simply inserting and removing the mag causes it to shift forward/back. The lips are also not very tight, the round pops up slightly–can’t be good for the mag (stretching the lips) and making mag ejection hard.

MTM baseplate we are used to.

This is kind of a mixed review. One mag didn’t lock back the slide manually in 3 1911’s I tried. Strangely, 2 of the 3 mags did not eject clean out of my Delta Elite (they drag in the well), although the eject fine when empty so it is not actually a problem.

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