Another 45/40 can of worms - Page 2

Another 45/40 can of worms

This is a discussion on Another 45/40 can of worms within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by TBob Don't know why civilian law enforcement carries .40S&W to a large extent It is a compromise cartridge. Let's look at it ...

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  1. #16
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBob

    Don't know why civilian law enforcement carries .40S&W to a large extent
    It is a compromise cartridge. Let's look at it in terms of Glock pistols, since they hold most of the US's LE marketshare.

    Glock 17 9mm
    17+1
    147gr

    Glock 22 40S&W
    15+1
    180gr

    Glock 21 45acp
    13+1
    230gr

    So the 40S&W is only two less rounds than the 9mm, but two more than the 45acp. The chosen bullet weight of the 40S&W is about halfway between the 9mm and the 40S&W. The 40S&W will fit into frames made for the 9mm so the gun isn't large like a 45acp or 10mm (the 45/10mm and 9mm/40 OALs are very similar in those pairs). So basically the 40 gives an increase in performance over the 9mm, in the same size gun, with a slight decrease in capacity, but not to the extent that the 45acp does. All about compromise.

    If we throw the 10mm Auto into the mix, it has the same exact capacity as the 40S&W since the 40S&W is a 10mm shortened by about 1/8th inch, splits the difference between the 9mm and the 45acp by the same margin as the 40S&W does (ie, about middle of the road between the two). Using the full spec 10mm loads, the muzzle energy of the 10mm is about double the 9mm and 45acp, a huge increase in ballistic performance.

    With this increase in ballistic performance, comes costs that the general officer isn't willing to take. Namely recoil which in turn relates to more time between follow up shots on people trying to kill you. Scaled back a bit (a lot if you ask me) to Fed lite of 180gr@950fps you arrive at the 40S&W again as the best compromise. (Yes practice helps to overcome recoil and follow-up shot speed, but not every cop trains 4 hours a week like they should.)

    This equates to a compromise between capacity, performance, shootability. Remember LE agencies have to pick service weapons and cartridges that ALL officers can shoot well.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006


  2. #17
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    I think either one will prove to be adequate, and I wouldn't lose sleep over chosing one over the other. That said, I'm old and set in my ways and I like the .45 over the .40. If you shoot one more accurately or more comfortably than the other, choose that one.

    Good luck, and good shooting!

  3. #18
    Member Array TBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freakshow10mm
    It is a compromise cartridge. Let's look at it in terms of Glock pistols, since they hold most of the US's LE marketshare.
    Nice analysis, thanks!
    "To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them"
    - George Mason, American Statesman (1725-92)

  4. #19
    Member Array NaturalSelection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimmak
    there is a reason that so many agencies use that caliber
    unisex standardization. apparently female officers have trouble with the .45/10mm grip size. while unquestionably effective, the .40 was and is a compromise .

  5. #20
    Member Array NaturalSelection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002
    I have heard that the big bullets may not expand reliably
    although a bigger bullet doesnt require as much expansion for effectiveness, your source gave you bad information.

    ive read and have grown to believe that 950 fps is the "magic" number for reliable expansion (assuming a hollow cavity that isnt plugged with heavy clothing). a 230 grain +p .45 acp has no trouble reaching 950 fps + out of a 5" barrel, but will fall just short of 950 fps out of a 4" or shorter barrel. as such, i carry the heaviest bullet i can find that will still reach at least 950 fps in whatever weapon im carrying. in all of my 5" .45 acps (1911s) i carry 230 grain +P loads. in my 4" .45 acps (combat commander, hk usp, etc.) i carry 200 grain +p loads (although im experimenting with the 165gr. powrballs from corbon, but not carrying them). if i owned a 3" .45, i would carry either 185 grain +P loads, or powrballs (if my testing proves positive).

    i wouldnt hesitate to carry a .40 either, but not if a comparable .45 were available.

  6. #21
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    I think the biggest thing a lot of people are forgetting is that all government agencies have buyers who create the contracts and approve the purchases. The #1 rule in government purchasing is:

    "Lowest bid, meets specifications."

    It does not mean that one caliber or gun is better than the other, it just means that a very generalized request for proposals (RFP) was made and the one that costs the least and meets the minimum requirements is the one that wins the contract. ;O)

    Just my $0.02 but I think there's a little too much reading into this.

    Cheers.

  7. #22
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    For what it's worth..the main reason I stick with .45 caliber is that I really don't see any appreciable advantages of adding another caliber to the self defense firearms that I already own.

    I don't want to start having to buy bulk lots of 40 ammo in addition to .45 & don't want to go shopping for yet more pistol magazines.

    I feel confident with the hotter SD loadings that are available in .45acp & I would need to see a real decided advantage in performance before I start adding more calibers to my existing conglomeration of carry pistols.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  8. #23
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NaturalSelection
    (although im experimenting with the 165gr. powrballs from corbon, but not carrying them). if i owned a 3" .45, i would carry either 185 grain +P loads, or powrballs (if my testing proves positive).
    Would be very interested in hearing about your impressions on the Powerball loads. Had considered them for my Commander but can't find them locally. I like the idea of feeding more of a round nose in mine as once every great while it will choke on hollow points. For carry loads I've been sticking with FMJ for now.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  9. #24
    Member Array TBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundwave
    I think the biggest thing a lot of people are forgetting is that all government agencies have buyers who create the contracts and approve the purchases. The #1 rule in government purchasing is:

    "Lowest bid, meets specifications."

    It does not mean that one caliber or gun is better than the other, it just means that a very generalized request for proposals (RFP) was made and the one that costs the least and meets the minimum requirements is the one that wins the contract. ;O)

    Just my $0.02 but I think there's a little too much reading into this.

    Cheers.
    Actually, the government current rule in procurement is "best value". That may or may not mean lowest price. It is usually a combination of technical performance/capability against the RFP and price.

    When an RFP or RFQ is released, it will specify the requirements to be met by the bidders. For personal protection weapons (pistols) in the 20th century, that has usually been based on a caliber's effectiveness. In the 1906 solicitation for the replacement Army pistol, a .38 semi-auto was submitted but the .45ACP was selected due to the Colt pistol's reliability and the cartridge's effectiveness. This followed the miserable failure of the .38 revolvers in the Phillipine campaign (1899-1913). The 9mm mistake was made for political purposes, based on NATO compatibility. The solicitation for the MCSOCOM Det 1 ICQB pistol won by Kimber specified .45ACP, again based on the cartridge's effectiveness. The standard MEU(SOC) ICQB pistol are hand-built M1911s assembled at Quantico.
    "To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them"
    - George Mason, American Statesman (1725-92)

  10. #25
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leadslinger
    I think folks worry too much about the "perfect" bullet in self-defense weapons. Let me put it to you like this........ I carry a .45 acp , if all I have to load in it is 230 gr FMJ ammo . I ain't gonna lose sleep over it. A double tap Center Mass is gonna ruin the BG's plans, thats for sure.

    But hey thats (JMHO)
    I agree to that 100% and no matter what even if you are using a JHP and the bullet don't expand you are all ready ahead of the game starting with a 45

  11. #26
    Member Array NaturalSelection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr
    Would be very interested in hearing about your impressions on the Powerball loads.
    will certainly update once i have something with merit. at this point i can only tell you that they expand quite impressively in coyote. i plan to punch a few holes in salvage car doors soon.

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