The .40 story

The .40 story

This is a discussion on The .40 story within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A very nice article on how the .40 came to be One of the many quirks of history is the truth is often more complex ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array flh's Avatar
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    The .40 story

    A very nice article on how the .40 came to be

    One of the many quirks of history is the truth is often more complex and nuanced than the commonly-accepted version of events. If history is truly written by the victors, then there’s a strong possibility what you “know” as true may not be true at all — or only part of the full story.

    https://americanhandgunner.com/discover/the-40-story/



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    Ah an ode to a fallen round. How fast the star goes into eclipse. Never jumped on the 40 bandwagon. Started withj 45ACP, switched to 9mm and never felt any inadequacy because some FBI agents couldn't accurately place their rounds on target.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PPS1980 View Post
    Ah an ode to a fallen round. How fast the star goes into eclipse. Never jumped on the 40 bandwagon. Started withj 45ACP, switched to 9mm and never felt any inadequacy because some FBI agents couldn't accurately place their rounds on target.
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    Interesting article. Thanks flh.
    flh likes this.
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    I had read some of that in an article on how the 10mm was born. Of coarse that article was slanted that way. And only mentioned the 40 as a down load of the 10mm. I did know that part of the 40's quick rise was because the gun would fit in a holster the same size as its 9mm counter part, the mags would also fit in the same mag carriers. And came at a time when gun companys had flooded the markets with 9mm. there was nothing wrong with those 9mm guns, but the gun companys could advertise 45 "like " performance from a "New" gun the same size as the 9mm. And mag capasitiy near the 9mm. This gave them something "NEW" to sell. And New sells. It didn't hurt that the FBI had moved to the 40. DR

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    I have read that the .38-40 Winchester cartridge was popular with law enforcement in the late 1800s, derived from the .44-40 Winchester. The .38-40 was a bottleneck cartridge and hard to reload. The 10mm, .40 S&W, and other .40 wildcat cartridges were updates to the .38-40 Winchester.
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    Maybe I'm just odd...but I've witnessed the 40 S&W work on live targets several times. It functioned with great authority and ended the threat forthwith. Sure others could do the same thing, but when you've seen the effectiveness, it makes it easier to use the caliber to defend your home and family.

    The 40 going away? Pfffft...all kinds of folks have proclaimed all kinds of rounds are "going away", as if their prognostications sounded the death knell. In my nearly 7 decades of shooting, I've seen all kinds of rounds rise from the "prognosticators' grave" and thrive. Take a good long look at one of those...the "soon to die" 38 Special.

    Please allow one slight detour. The most useful model of Glock is the 23 - a 40 S&W. With two barrels to swap in, it can serve as a 9mm, a .40 S&W, or a .357 Sig.

    Can you do that with the exact same pistol chambered in 9mm? (the Glock 19?) Nope. Back to our regularly scheduled thread.
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    I've owned a 40 since 1992
    Back in 1992 bullet diameter mattered.
    The stupid AWB of 1994 with 10 round limits*, may as well have 10 bigger bullets. *(Unless you owned pre-ban mags or wanted to pay bigly for one)
    Stupid AWB expires in 2004.
    Subsequently "modern" 9mm was tweaked at the exclusion of other calibers.
    Current emphasis on putting as many shots on target in least time and cheapest ammo, fostered by 15-17 round 9mm mags plentiful & legal in most states.
    Now "they all perform about the same" and "doctors can't tell a difference".
    Still, the residual 1990's "bigger bullet is better" lingers in my brain, so I prefer my Glock 23 over the 19.
    Eventually my wrist may become frail and I'll have to be content with the Glock 19, but that day has not yet arrived.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PPS1980 View Post
    Ah an ode to a fallen round. How fast the star goes into eclipse. Never jumped on the 40 bandwagon. Started withj 45ACP, switched to 9mm and never felt any inadequacy because some FBI agents couldn't accurately place their rounds on target.
    If you think the .40 is dying...

    Look at the offerings for the 7mm08 round. Talk about in danger of extinction, that round may go away. The popularity it had when I chose that chambering back in 2010 waned greatly starting 2-3 years later. The only reason the 7mm08 won't die any time soon is that most big ammo companies have the dies for it, and can easily pump out some of the rounds to sell here and there. It being in the same family as the .243 and .308 rounds helps to stave off the end. One of many great bullets that falls into a range of too many equally good options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockymonster View Post
    Sorry, but the FBI is not made up of marksmen but accountants and lawyers. Now, if the Secret Service had said that even with shot placement the 9 was inadequate....but then I do own & carry 357Sig.
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    The .40 S&W is also quite popular in the action shooting games, and shows no signs of going away anytime soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    The .40 S&W is also quite popular in the action shooting games, and shows no signs of going away anytime soon.
    That's more of a rule thing (power factor) than performance.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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    "the fallen round'? Seriously? I think the demise of the .40SW is vastly over done. Buds Gun Shop still shows 1134 different hand guns for sale in that caliber. Lots of guns for an extinct round.
    Just because you never tried it does not mean there are not a whole bunch of us that still think it is pretty special.
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    I’ll be using the 40 in the deer stand tomorrow.
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    About 15 years ago I selected the Kahr P40 for a daily carry piece while working in a position with lots of public contact and no tolerance for firearms. I liked the Kahr, after experiencing the learning curve of the striker-fired pistols with long and slushy trigger pull, but the 16-oz. pistol produced an abrupt and sometimes painful recoil that prevented me from becoming intimately familiar via regular range use.

    Last year I caught a deal on a Sig P229 .40 S&W. Compact version of the venerable P226, 12-round mag capacity, 29-oz. empty weight for comfortable use of the .40 S&W in serious practical applications. I have been very favorably impressed by the performance of the .40 S&W in a suitable handgun to make use of its full potential. As a life-long hand-loader I have found the .40 to be very easy to deal with on the loading bench, producing both cast lead and jacketed ammo to meet any requirement with no strains at all.

    This comes from a Model 1911 pistol adherent with little tolerance for any of the new and improved plastic fantastic nonsense that rules the market today. I still carry a 1911-style pistol daily, but the Sig P229 (SA-DA Decocker model) is quickly becoming a pistol that I would not hesitate to rely upon for serious defensive use. The .40 S&W with 180-grain bullets at ~1000FPS is more than capable of delivering all the power necessary for such needs.

    With millions of quality .40 S&W pistols in use I doubt that this caliber will go away any time in the foreseeable future. As a strong plus, the current market offers many quality options at very attractive prices, and both ammunition and components are readily available at competitive prices.

    Thanks for a very interesting post!
    OldChap, Pete63 and sigman69 like this.

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