.40 S&W

This is a discussion on .40 S&W within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by OldVet The correct reference is the Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III. A common misconception. I stand corrected sir....

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Thread: .40 S&W

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array kylebce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    The correct reference is the Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III.
    A common misconception.
    I stand corrected sir.
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  3. #17
    Member Array reinhold's Avatar
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    The basic SWC design consists of a roughly conical nose, truncated with a flat point, sitting on a cylinder. The base of the cone is slightly smaller in diameter than the cylinder, leaving a sharp shoulder. The flat nose punches a clean hole in the target, rather than tearing it like a round nose bullet would, and the sharp shoulder enlarges the hole neatly, allowing easy and accurate scoring of the target. The SWC design offers better external ballistics than the wadcutter, as its conical nose produces less drag than the flat cylinder.
    I know what you're thinking: "Did he fire six shots or only five?" "Is that a Smith & Wesson 686+ 7 shot or 627 8 shot?" "Does he have a concealed Sig P226 SCT and two spare mags?" You've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?

  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdrdredd View Post
    There's two schools of thought that I've read with this, both sound likely.

    1) The flat nose is to give a similar OAL(overall length) as a 9mm round so that the .40sw can be fired from a firearm that is the same size as a 9mm firearm.

    2) The flat nose is used to give the profile similar to a JHP round and thus any firearm that can load and fire a flat nose round can chamber a JHP just the same.
    I agree with point #2 above.

    I was told that a flat nosed bullet acts and loads into the barrel like a hollow-point bullet does... yet you save money shooting the "target rounds" instead of the hollow-point ammo.

    Bass pro Shops has a "Winchester private lable/Bass Pro only" ammo available and this was marketed as such... "practice with the less expensive flat nosed bullet and use the hollow-point as needed for hunting or self defense.

    It's a "feeding into the barrel" issue for semi-auto's is how I understood it... but I could be wrong??????
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  5. #19
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylebce View Post
    Good points by RamRod
    The 10mm proved to be "too much" recoil for some female agents and small handed guys. So they necked it down- giving birth to the .40S&W. It's nose was flat- just like big brothers for the same reason.
    There is some debate as to the actual reason for the non-adoption of 10mm by the FBI. There are several "versions" going around.

    As for "necking down", this is incorrect. The .40 S&W is a shortened 10mm case. Both cartridges use the same diameter bullets: .400".
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  6. #20
    VIP Member Array cmdrdredd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylebce View Post
    Good points by RamRod.
    Most pistol cartridges have been around a long while. The 9mm, .38 & .45 were all used in WW2. Full metal jacket is the Geneva Convention rule in combat.

    The 10mm was developed in the 1980's to be the ultimate law enforcement caliber. The accepted "best design" by that date was jacketed hollow points. So- the magazine, frame, feed ramp were all designed specifically for HPs. When FMJ was introduced for range use & competition, it had to have the same "shape" or dimensions to fit in the same magazine, frame, feed angle, etc.

    The 10mm proved to be "too much" recoil for some female agents and small handed guys. So they necked it down- giving birth to the .40S&W. It's nose was flat- just like big brothers for the same reason.
    About the JHP that's what i read somewhere else at one point.
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  7. #21
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylebce View Post
    The 10mm proved to be "too much" recoil for some female agents and small handed guys.
    Absolutely false. I've spoken in regards to this myth elsewhere on the site.

    So they necked it down- giving birth to the .40S&W. It's nose was flat- just like big brothers for the same reason.
    Necked it down? 10mm=.3937 inches ie. ,.40 caliber. They shortened the OAL to 1.135" from the 10mm's 1.275" OAL.

    The .40 S&W is the offspring of the 10mm Automatic. Due to the feed ramp geometry required to feed the 10mm, Norma designed the FMJ bullet profile as a truncated cone which also happened to match the ogive profile of the JHP. The .40 S&W used the same bullets as the 10mm, since the diameter is identical and the only other .40 caliber cartridge in that era was the .38-40 which were usually lead alloy and were not used in defensive or target ammunition made by the factories that made 10mm Automatic or .40 S&W ammunition. A truncated cone just happens to put more weight in the rear of the bullet which enhances gyroscopic stability which is also why match type rifle bullets have an open tip or hollow point design; moving weight to the rear enhances gyroscopic stability in flight.

    So to answer your question, the 10mm Automatic used a truncated cone ogive bullet design to feed reliably with the feed ramp geometry in the Bren 10 pistol which said geometry was utilized by other 10mm Automatic firearm manufacturers since then. As the .40 S&W uses the 10mm bullets in a shorter case, they utilized the same bullets for logistical reasons. They then found the external ballistic capabilities of the truncated cone design and it is the best balance of ballistics that will feed and function reliably for those cartridges. The .45 ACP cartridge has recently been utilized with a TC profile FMJ or plated bullet to great results. Given the high velocity with heavy bullets, the Norma 10mm Automatic 200gr FMJ-TC at 1200fps was a milestone ballistically from an auto pistol and the TC profile also prevents deflection due to it's flat point meplat.

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  8. #22
    Member Array Phantoms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tubby45 View Post
    They shortened the OAL to 1.35" from the 10mm's 1.275" OAL.
    That would be lengthening.
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  9. #23
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    The "1" didn't register when I typed it. I'll edit.
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  10. #24
    Senior Member Array kylebce's Avatar
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    Tubby45- You're so cool.
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  11. #25
    Member Array paragon1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylebce View Post
    Good points by RamRod.
    Most pistol cartridges have been around a long while. The 9mm, .38 & .45 were all used in WW2. Full metal jacket is the Geneva Convention rule in combat.

    The 10mm was developed in the 1980's to be the ultimate law enforcement caliber. The accepted "best design" by that date was jacketed hollow points. So- the magazine, frame, feed ramp were all designed specifically for HPs. When FMJ was introduced for range use & competition, it had to have the same "shape" or dimensions to fit in the same magazine, frame, feed angle, etc.

    The 10mm proved to be "too much" recoil for some female agents and small handed guys. So they necked it down- giving birth to the .40S&W. It's nose was flat- just like big brothers for the same reason.
    Yep..
    The .40/10mm is a recent development as far as cartridge design goes. It was developed from the beginning as a hollowpoint so the ogive design baseline would be a flat nose/hollowpoint. 9mm, .45 are old geezers compared to the 10mm design and were developed as LRN.

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    The 9mm Luger was developed as an 8 gram bullet (124 grains) using a jacketed spitzer ogive (actual radius I will have to look up, but I do have a custom bullet mold that is an identical match).

    The .45 ACP was designed as a jacketed bullet for military use. I do recall the 200gr bullet weight being original to the M1905 pistol, but the 230gr bullet winning favor in the infamous (albeit controversial) Thompson-LaGarde (sp?) test and utilized in the adopted M1911 pistol for the US military.

    Neither were developed as a lead round nose bullet. They were both traditional cup and core copper jacket over lead core utilizing the flat base full metal jacket that is common today.
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  13. #27
    Senior Member Array GoBigOrange's Avatar
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    Someone told me the reason they are flat nosed could be to cut down on weight. I don't know much about ballistics though so maybe that's way off.... also, why don't we see .40 +P ammo?

  14. #28
    Senior Member Array ZX9RCAM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrange View Post
    Someone told me the reason they are flat nosed could be to cut down on weight. I don't know much about ballistics though so maybe that's way off.... also, why don't we see .40 +P ammo?
    I always wondered this myself.....maybe because they already hold about as much powder as the shell can hold.
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  15. #29
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrange View Post
    Someone told me the reason they are flat nosed could be to cut down on weight.
    Hogwash. Re-read post number 21.

    also, why don't we see .40 +P ammo?
    Because the operating pressure is already at SAAMI maximums.
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  16. #30
    Member Array Bigpoppa48's Avatar
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    Tubby45, That was a great explanation. Being of a technical background myself, I understand completely where you are coming from. Since I own two 40S&Ws, I kinda like to know as much about what I m shooting as possible.

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