whats the point of .40 S&W

whats the point of .40 S&W

This is a discussion on whats the point of .40 S&W within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have only two 9 mm Glocks and thousands of rounds of 9 mm. If anything were to happen to 9 mm and it became ...

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Thread: whats the point of .40 S&W

  1. #1
    Member Array CCinaG26's Avatar
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    whats the point of .40 S&W

    I have only two 9 mm Glocks and thousands of rounds of 9 mm. If anything were to happen to 9 mm and it became unavailable, i would be in a very bad situation given this is all i have. I would like have a Glock that is chambered in .40 or .45. Given how long each round has been around and the availability of each round and also the fact that I am not concerned about price or mag capacity, is there any reason that i should go with .40 over .45? I would like to split my budget by only two rounds. Remember, it will be a Glock. I feel like .45 is right, but for the same reason I only have a g26 and a g17. If I had a g19, then i would miss out on the best things about the g26 and the g17(ultra concealable g26, high capacity g17) This is how I feel about the .40 S&W. I DO NOT THINK .40 IS POINTLESS, I'm just looking for knowledge.
    Last edited by CCinaG26; April 7th, 2013 at 01:23 PM.


  2. #2
    Member Array Bmoliv66's Avatar
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    Well compared to the .45 you can have a higher capacity and/or a smaller lighter gun on average.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CCinaG26 View Post
    I am not trying to start an argument about the best handgun round. 9mm .40 and .45 are, in my opinion, the three most popular and most available. All the handguns I own are in 9mm, but not because I think it's the best, it's because it is the cheapest to shoot. I have about 2000 rounds of 9mm on hand and shoot very often. (Wal-Mart has way more ammo than people think, you just have to know when the truck is being unloaded, and what the truck has on it prior to its delivery) I only say this so people do not think I am a hoarder, I buy at least 100 rounds a week, if not more, from all three stores in my town.
    Anyway, to get to my point, as i was looking at all my 9mm, I had a thought. What if 9mm went away? Gone forever. I would be without a handgun. Both .40 and .45 are roughly twice as expensive then 9mm. What's the point in getting a .40 when .45 is about the same price. Obviously I do not know very much about this, but I think it would be wise to have more than one caliber on hand, just in case. To me, .45 seems the obvious choice, but only because it is bigger for the same price, roughly. Please convince me otherwise. Whats the point in .40 S&W?
    You missed the Great Caliber Controversy of the past 20 years! The .40 S&W has been maligned as the answer to a question never asked, labelled the .40 Short & Weak, and had a bunch of other insults heaped on it. However, it's survived so it must be doing some things well.

    The early "wondernines" were great pistols but the ammo didn't keep up with advances in the guns for a long time. A decade into the 21st century, that's no longer the case. But in the late 70s and early 80's, before the ammo makers started developing better stuff in earnest, the .40 offered external ballistics close to the .45 ACP with magazine capacity close to that of the 9mm. Call it a design compromise. The LE community who found fault with the 9mm hopped onto the .40 with gusto. Meanwhile, the "rising tide" of ammo improvements lifted all the caliber boats, so now we have rerlatively small differences in the street effectiveness of 9mm, .40, .45 ACP and .357 Sig. Armed with a decent gun in any of those calibers, with current-technology ammo, the differences in effectiveness among them is probably to the right of the decimal place.

    Also, the .40 is a high-pressure round which achieves its performance in a cartridge substantially smaller than the 100+ year-old .45.

    Price-wise, as handloaders will agree, ammo cost is driven by a host of factors, not the least of which are bullet weight and case size. .45 ACP shoots those big, heavy bullets, whereas the 9mm bullets are around half the weight - ergo, lower cost to produce.

    At this point, the .40 S&W has been with us for a human generation and shows no signs of going away. If you want to hedge your bets with a second caliber, .40 will not be a bad choice at all.
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    Distinguished Member Array miller_man's Avatar
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    40 is NOT twice the price of 9mm, and I don't ever buy 45 but I'm pretty sure its not even twice the price of 9mm.

    Why is it that everyone that questions the 40 S&W starts a weekly thread asking about it - instead of reading the hundreds of already debated threads that can easily be found with the search button.
    The stupidity of some people NEVER ceases to amaze me.

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    Member Array CCinaG26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miller_man View Post
    40 is NOT twice the price of 9mm, and I don't ever buy 45 but I'm pretty sure its not even twice the price of 9mm.

    Why is it that everyone that questions the 40 S&W starts a weekly thread asking about it - instead of reading the hundreds of already debated threads that can easily be found with the search button.
    sorry, i thought i said i only buy factory ammo from wal-mart because I get the scoop on when it really comes in. Fed. 100 round box of 9mm- $21.97. Fed. 50 round box of .40- $18.97. I call that roughly twice the price. Other brands are a dollar here or there, but you get the picture. And a box of .45 is just a little more then the .40.

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    Generally speaking, you either love or hate .40 S&W. A lot of LEO's use it... Some because they like it. But most probably don't have any say in the matter.

  7. #7
    Member Array CCinaG26's Avatar
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    anyways...... price is not the issue. i have tons of 9mm, but want to be ready if something happened to 9mm and i can no longer buy it. i cant afford to buy both .40 and .45 handguns and since they are both roughly twice as expensive as 9mm( where i buy it) whats the point of .40, aside from capacity. i am looking for more science and less reminders that i have lots to learn.

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    Senior Member Array DJC7's Avatar
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    I've only shot a .40 a couple times and a .45 once so I don't have enough experience to really verify this, but I always read about the .40 being snappy in its recoil while the .45 pushes back more than up. So, maybe follow up shots can be quicker with the .45?
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    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    .40 S&W is a solution to a problem. 9mm not as good as .45 ACP. 10mm solution. 10mm to powerful to some. 40 S&W solution.

    9mm is a fine round, but there are things that 40 S&W can do that 9mm can't. 9mm + P was an answer to .40 S&W. .357 Sig an answer to overpowering a 9mm.

    Then there was .45 GAP. A great idea and solution that the 10mm and 40 S&W were ment to solve. Way to late to the dance.

    40 S&W has its place, and will be around for a long time. If you want, keep saying 9mm is enough, because most likely it is. Then again a wrench is a solution to a nut, but so is a socket.
    Last edited by Thanis; April 7th, 2013 at 01:09 PM.
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    Member Array muddy's Avatar
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    Well I don't think there will ever be a problem with the 9 going away. If you just want a pistol in a different caliber just in case the 9 disappears I would think you would be better off spending the $500+ you would spend on a pistol and spend it on all that 9mm ammo you seam to be able to find. If on the other hand you really just want a new pistol then a 45 would be a good addition to your 9. I got sucked into the 40 and have no problems with the caliber.

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    Ex Member Array heatherr855's Avatar
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    I have 2 handguns,and both are 9mm.A GS,i go to is starting to get a little 9mm ammo.I've shot a couple of 40's.A friend of mine is a LEO,and he has a Glock 45(Gap).I shot it a couple of weeks ago.It was a smooth shooting gun.I was kinda surprised.It felt a little smoother than the 40,to me.It's not exactly something,i would want to try to conceal.A little to big for me.I would love to have one of each,and maybe,some day,i will.

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    Senior Member Array yz9890's Avatar
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    to put holes in stuff. same as any bullet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CCinaG26 View Post
    sorry, i thought i said i only buy factory ammo from wal-mart because I get the scoop on when it really comes in.
    Wal-Mart has way more ammo than people think, you just have to know when the truck is being unloaded, and what the truck has on it prior to its delivery

    OK, so how does Joe Average Shooter get a line on not only when the truck shows up, but what's on it?

    The comment "Wal-Mart has way more ammo than people think" strikes me as odd. How are normal, everyday consumers supposed to "think" Wal-Mart has ammo if you are not somehow "connected" with inside information? I'm very much a free-market kinda guy, but what you're alluding to is the moral equivalent of insider trading on Wall Street.
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    Senior Member Array nathanjns's Avatar
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    I have guns in both 9mm and 40 S&W. No 45s at the moment. For me the 40 is a little harder to shoot well than the 9mm or 45 because of the snappier recoil. I think it is wise to have guns in more than one caliber ( the current ammo situation is a good example of why ). If I was in your shoes, considering a gun in a different caliber, I would get a 45. My reasons aren't actually scientific. I just think bigger calibers are better, the 45 has a long and proven record, and I like a lot of the guns chambered for it. All that having been said, I feel perfectly well armed with my Glock 40 S&W.

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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    There are several myths being expounded here.

    The 40 is no higher pressure than the standard 9mm.
    The 40 is NOT a compromise between the 9mm and the 45 ACP.

    Depending on the loading you are using is has the energy of the 357 magnum or the energy of the 45 ACP. When the US Border Patrol selected the 40 in 1995 it was after exhaustive testing. The BP wanted the stopping power of the 357 magnum with a higher capacity auto. The 357 Sig was not in the game yet or things may have turned out differently. The 9mm and 45 ACP had been in service for several years and the BP was not happy with the shooting results of those compared to the 357. The original BP load was a 155 JHP @ 1250 fps, and it worked very well for us. I think with the lighter, faster loads the 40 brings a lot to the table and outperforms both the 9mm and 45 ACP.
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