Why did police switch to 40 S&W

This is a discussion on Why did police switch to 40 S&W within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by razor02097 My point exactly.... The brand, model and caliber isn't determined by the individual LEO or soldier... I'm sure you would want ...

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Thread: Why did police switch to 40 S&W

  1. #61
    Member Array afcarpenter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razor02097 View Post
    My point exactly.... The brand, model and caliber isn't determined by the individual LEO or soldier... I'm sure you would want something else to carry into combat had you had the choice right?

    The US military is using 9mm because it is a NATO cartridge. They use a Beretta 92 series because that is what won the contract. Again it isn't the guy on the ground that chooses his pistol or caliber... that is what is issued and it is up to him/her to use it as efficiently as possible.
    Ask 10 soldiers what they want to be issued for a side arm you could get 10 different answers.
    If I have my choice of calibers to carry over there I want a freaking A-10 (like your photo)! No matter whether it's a close shot or not, they win...always!

    For my first tour there I did use the 92F but then I retrained and on my second tour I used the Sig 229 in 9mm along with an M4 as my primary.

    Honestly, I found the 5.56 very pleasing and the 9mm left me wanting just a bit more. That's my assessment.

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  3. #62
    VIP Member Array cmdrdredd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    You need to produce some evidence then, because the round did just about every thing that could be expected from a round. To claim a round would do better in some past event is speculation, and cannot be proven.

    I'm not aware that the NYPD has any more percentage of 'strays' than any other department. And what does strays have to do with the effectiveness of a round anyway?

    They are content with the performance, that is the response they get when they hit the BG get with the 9mm.
    There is numerous studies around the net that indicate that the winchester silvertip underperformed where a new design would probably not have had the same result. I'm not going to sit here and tell you why they say this either. It's out there. For the second point, the departmental usage of something does not ever indicate top performance and quality. As I said, the Gold Dot is good but I would never ever base my desisions to use this or that on one department finding it's "good enough for us". I never said their officer's track record stood for anything either. You are trying to twist my words. What I am saying is that because they use it doesn't make it awesome by default.
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  4. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdrdredd View Post
    There is numerous studies around the net that indicate that the winchester silvertip underperformed where a new design would probably not have had the same result. I'm not going to sit here and tell you why they say this either. It's out there.
    There are also numerous 'experts' that say the SilverTip did all that could be expected to. It penetrated an arm, a rib cage, and stopped just shy of penetrating the heart. A .40 or .45 may or may not have performed better - something we'll never know. A FMJ bullet would most likely have penetrated the heart and come out the other side and likely dramatically altered the outcome of the event, but that's speculation too.

    And, let's be honest here, we're comparing technology of years and years ago to today's technology. Hence one could equally correct to say that today's 9mm would have performed better than the SilverTip. That'd be more like comparing apples to apples.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmdrdredd View Post
    ....For the second point, the departmental usage of something does not ever indicate top performance and quality. As I said, the Gold Dot is good but I would never ever base my desisions to use this or that on one department finding it's "good enough for us". I never said their officer's track record stood for anything either. You are trying to twist my words. What I am saying is that because they use it doesn't make it awesome by default.
    First, the satisfaction of the Gold Dot is not based on some 'range' results. The satisfaction comes from the effectiveness they see from the round in gunfights. And, no, that doesn't indicate it's the top performer or awesome as you put it. I've never so much as hinted that it's the top performer or awesome. I'd challange you to find any handgun caliber in police duty today that meets those qualifications. It simply means in one of the largest PDs in the nation, they are satisfied with the street performance of the 9mm Gold Dot. It does indicate they are indeed looking at the bullet's performance in street shootings, and they keep statistics on that.

    Ernst Langdon has trained lots of 'agencies' and PD personnel. In one particular county that uses the 9mm, they found it surprisingly effective in stopping determined threats, as Ernst put it there were a lot of DRT (Dead Right There), and a number of those one-shot stops that aren't ever supposed to happen.

    We recently had a loooong thread going about caliber. And in that entire thread, no one could give any statistical data (meaning data extracted from gunfights, not gel tests) that showed any significant edge to caliber.

    If caliber did make a difference, wouldn't everyone be carrying .45 ACPs?
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  5. #64
    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    Nah, if caliber made a difference, everyone would carry 10mm!


  6. #65
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    If caliber did make a difference, wouldn't everyone be carrying .45 ACPs?
    No we would all carry 50AE and 500 magnum.... heh
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  7. #66
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    Alright you guys - you got me! but I meant guns/calibers commonly carried by LE. Still, your point(s) stands.
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  8. #67
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    Up here the BC Provinces Police Act requires police forces to carry .40cal. so all muncipal police carry .40cal, generally Glocks and Sigs. However the RCMP as a federal force carries 9mm SW5946's. The Fish cops and Sheriffs (who guard the courthouse) also use 9mm as they too are equipped with SW 5946's.

  9. #68
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    I can't help but wonder if all too often the switch to a 'more effective' round was because LEO were not getting the stops they needed, because they couldn't shoot well and was missing a lot, which would of course reflect on the round. So the solution to lack of training is to go to a bigger, more powerful round - which of course does little if anything to address the real problem.

    I also wonder if about the time the switch to the 'bigger' .40 was being made, if training quantity and quality wasn't improving as well. If that's the case, then as LEO became better shots, and learned better tactics, they started getting more effective stops which may have had more to do with training than caliber or ballistics.

    I also think that when the FBI dropped the 10mm (too much power) down to the .40, much of LE simply accepted that the FBI had stringently tested and evaluated the .40 and picked it, so they (LE) simply followed the big guy.
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  10. #69
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    I agree that there is likely little difference in the ability of service calibers to achieve stops via physiological means - their performance is very close.

    However, lately I've been wondering if there is some difference in their ability to achieve a psychological stop. Most handgun stops are achieved this way - you pull your gun, and the BG runs away. That is a psychological stop via fear. If you have to shoot, and the BG gets hit and surrenders, that is a psychological stop via fear and/or pain and/or emotional shock.

    The monsters are the ones that do not realize they have been hit, because of adrenaline, or drugs/alcohol, or mental issues. In those cases, perhaps the larger/heavier calibers have a small advantage in being more likely to be "noticed" by the BG. The same holds true for high velocity rounds like the .357, which also produces a loud report and large flash, which may make the BG notice the hit, and can perhaps act as a "flash bang."

    Of course, the real monsters are those that do not care if they get shot. They will only stop if you render them physically incapable of continuing their attack. In those cases, I do not think there is much difference in calibers - you either need to hit the CNS or keep poking holes until they (eventually) bleed out.
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  11. #70
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    I agree that there is likely little difference in the ability of service calibers to achieve stops via physiological means - their performance is very close.

    However, lately I've been wondering if there is some difference in their ability to achieve a psychological stop. Most handgun stops are achieved this way - you pull your gun, and the BG runs away. That is a psychological stop via fear. If you have to shoot, and the BG gets hit and surrenders, that is a psychological stop via fear and/or pain and/or emotional shock.

    The monsters are the ones that do not realize they have been hit, because of adrenaline, or drugs/alcohol, or mental issues. In those cases, perhaps the larger/heavier calibers have a small advantage in being more likely to be "noticed" by the BG. The same holds true for high velocity rounds like the .357, which also produces a loud report and large flash, which may make the BG notice the hit, and can perhaps act as a "flash bang."

    Of course, the real monsters are those that do not care if they get shot. They will only stop if you render them physically incapable of continuing their attack. In those cases, I do not think there is much difference in calibers - you either need to hit the CNS or keep poking holes until they (eventually) bleed out.
    Just get a .44 magnum and be done with it.....
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  12. #71
    Senior Member Array Devone6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    I also wonder if about the time the switch to the 'bigger' .40 was being made, if training quantity and quality wasn't improving as well. If that's the case, then as LEO became better shots, and learned better tactics, they started getting more effective stops which may have had more to do with training than caliber or ballistics.
    I am a fan of the .40, even more so of the 357Sig, not that they are the end all be all, but I like there ballistics, especially the 357Sig (still drinking the cool-aid ). But to be honest, I never really thought of the above theory Tangle. Many can (and do ) all argue till the cows come home about which caliber is best, I have no issue with the .38, 9mm, .40, .45, 357Mag, 357Sig, 10mm, or whatever, as they can all be effective; but I think everyone with LE connections would probably agree LE training has come a long way over the past decade or so. Heck, until about 12 years or so ago, Sheriffs, deputies and PD's did not even have to go through any academy training in my state. Many did, but it was not mandatory.

    Just one piece of the pie so to speak, as technology and therefore ballistics have improved without question, but the more I think about it the bigger the piece I say it may have been. Yep, I'd say you may be on to something here.
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  13. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    I agree that there is likely little difference in the ability of service calibers to achieve stops via physiological means - their performance is very close.

    However, lately I've been wondering if there is some difference in their ability to achieve a psychological stop. Most handgun stops are achieved this way - you pull your gun, and the BG runs away. That is a psychological stop via fear. If you have to shoot, and the BG gets hit and surrenders, that is a psychological stop via fear and/or pain and/or emotional shock.

    The monsters are the ones that do not realize they have been hit, because of adrenaline, or drugs/alcohol, or mental issues. In those cases, perhaps the larger/heavier calibers have a small advantage in being more likely to be "noticed" by the BG. The same holds true for high velocity rounds like the .357, which also produces a loud report and large flash, which may make the BG notice the hit, and can perhaps act as a "flash bang."

    Of course, the real monsters are those that do not care if they get shot. They will only stop if you render them physically incapable of continuing their attack. In those cases, I do not think there is much difference in calibers - you either need to hit the CNS or keep poking holes until they (eventually) bleed out.
    This is why accuracy wins every time with any firearm. I'd rather hit my attacker 1 time in the face, with a .22cal, than 2 times in the arm with a .45acp
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  14. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    A little more history. When the 10mm was under devlopement, the only ammo manufacturer that was interested was Norma in Sweden. The FBI adopted the 10mm for about 5 years and during that period the recoil complaints started. The FBI asked Norma for a weaker load which became known as FBI lite AKA "The FBI load"...
    Not at all factual and definitely not "a little more history". That story is nothing but internet forklore. The FBI never issued full power 10mm ammo nor intended to issue full power 10mm ammo therefore the old internet story of it being "too powerful for small agents" could in no way be true.
    I personally talked to John Hall in 1995 about the FBI and the 10 mm. After Miami the FBI during their testing set their performance standards. The 10mm bullet at 950 fps met their requirements. A full power 10mm did nothing to improve on what the FBI set as their penetration limits. Therefore they went with the 10mm loaded to 950 fps. The .45 also met their standards. Both rounds were given to Louie Freeh for him to decide which rd to go with. It was decided the .45 had been around for nealry 80 yrs and it had been developed as far as it could be developed. The 10mm was relatively a new rd and they felt there was a wider range of development available for the 10mm. Therefore the 10mm at 950 was selected for issue.


    Originally Posted by cmdrdredd
    It's a well known fact that the ammo selection during the Miami incident was to blame, no doubt about it. I'm sure a design similar to something we carry today would have fared better. Second, I do not believe the NYPD is a good indicator of anything. They have an unusually high number of stray rounds hitting various structures and people. Just because it's deemed "good enough" for the NYPD doesn't in any way indicate top performance. The Gold Dot itself is a good round, but I do not think this based on how the NYPD deploys it
    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    You need to produce some evidence then, because the round did just about every thing that could be expected from a round. To claim a round would do better in some past event is speculation, and cannot be proven.
    Here is a part of history...
    My agency started issuing the 9mm in S&W 39 in 1968 and we'd had alot more shootings and actual street experience with the 9mm the the FBI ever did. In 1980 we issued the W-W 115 Silvertip, the same rd later used in the FBI's Miami shooting. In a shooting with a DC Eagle MC member near Joliet we learned that the Silvertip was rapid expansion which limited penetration. We immediately pulled the Silvertip from our issued ammo.
    Now move to 1985. At that time the FBI preached RII and their computerman. At that time the FBI's push was rapid expansion/limited penetration. When the FBI decided they were going to the 9mm and autos they selected the 115 Silvertip as their duty ammo. Why? Because RII and their computerman told them rapid expansion/limited penetration was the best on the street. A couple of our main range guys packed up our shooting case files and headed to Quantico to show the FBI that RII and their computer theory didn't hold water on actual street shootings. The FBI sent our guys packing. They were told the FBI knew better and they had a computer program to back up their theory. They didn't want to hear about actual street performance. So in 1985 the FBI learned what we learned in 1980. The only difference was in 1980 we didn't lose any of our Troops. At Miami (and Joliet) the Silvertip performed exactly as it was designed. Remember, at the time it was all about RII formula and the FBI's computerman model.
    As with many things involving the FBI the pendulum then swung to the opposite side. They went from rapid expansion/limited penetration to deep penetration/expansion secondary. That brought about the development of the 10mm at 950 fps and ultimately the .40 at 950 fps. Since then the FBI pendulum has mellowed a bit.

    My dept issued the 9mm for 32 yrs. We had a very good track record with it. So why did we change to .40? Because the director at the time was a die-hard worshiper of everything FBI (his son was an FBI agent) and to him if the FBI did it then it had to be right. So when the FBI went .40 he did the lemming thing and followed along.
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    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    Please go rewrite the Wikipedia page since the info there is incorrect.

    And let Chuck Hawks know as well.

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/s-w_1076_pistol.htm

  16. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    Please go rewrite the Wikipedia page since the info there is incorrect.
    You don't actually consider Wikipedia to be a serious reference, do you? Do you understand how Wikipedia works?
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