rambling thoughts on the 40 S&W

Discussion in 'Caliber Zone' started by greg_r, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    The 40 S&W is not my favorite handgun cartridge, that distinction goes to the 45acp and the 38 special. It's not my favorite compact pistol round, that is the 380 for me.

    It does, however, want me to like it, and to be honest, I do want to like it. It is the preferred round of my brother and nephew. It was available in the past drought when nothing else was. It is also a very good performing round.

    My issue with it is first, is its snappy recoil. To be fair, I have never shot it out of a full size handgun, just compacts. But a few hundred rounds through it and my wrist would hurt for days.

    My second issue is I just really could not quit worrying about KB's. It's a cartridge loaded on the edge. It's intended configuration with a 180 grain bullet just takes up too much cartridge space. Maybe a little bullet set back from contact with the feed ramp, and a safe cartridge becomes an overload. While I have seen the after effects of several KB's, I have only actually been present when a KB happened once. It was a 40 (not a Glock).

    I'm thinking about getting another 40S&W. If for no other reason than just to have one. A full size. Taurus PT840, Bersa Thunder 40 HC (all metal) or the HI Point JCP. One of these might not torque so much. I am also thinking about lighter bullets, 155 or 165 grain. I know, they recoil more than the 180's, but this is due to factory 180's being downloaded a bit due to safety concerns (my opinion). But the bullet does take up less room in the case and thus will give a little better margin of error.

    I'm not sure yet if I will get one, and if I do it will still not be my favorite cartridge. Two of the three handguns I mentioned are also chambered in 45 (the Bersa Thunder only chambers the 45 in the UC model) and nobody can have too many 45's! But it would be nice to have another option just in case.
  2. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    I prefer my .40's. I load with 180gr exclusively. I've worked up some nice toasty loads too. I also have the 10mm. I like my 4095 as well. Some folks like to run the 165gr projectiles. Get your hands on a full size pistol and see if it doesn't change you're mind on the round.

  3. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I'm thinking it might. I have only shot it through compacts.
  4. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    I shouldn't even say it could change your mind. More like, give you something else you like to shoot.
  5. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    I had the JCP and the C9. Honestly, I preferred shooting the JCP. Probably because it was full size?

    I have never shot a compact 40 or 45, but I can only imagine the felt recoil.

    Funny you brought up availability, it's one of the mail reasons I bought the JCP.

    Currently working on a deal to get an old Iberia model :D
  6. A Glock 30 is a nice gun. .45ACP. It doesn't snap like a .40 G27 in the same size. A 4095 is a beautiful thing.

    Last on my HP want list is a JCP. I was in a gun store yesterday $226.....pass.
  7. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member

    If it falls through I'll sell you one.
  8. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member

    Considering your concerns, go with the JCP. Recoil is minimum and if it does KB the only thing you'll injure is your underwear.

    Personally, I'd get the Bersa. Also I carry a Star Firestar M-40 (40S&W). All metal and fairly compact. My Bersa Thunder 380 is snappier.
  9. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I have shot lots of compact 45's. They are not bad. Not snappy at all like the 40S&W is.
  10. I am not a fan of it. I have only shot it out of a shield though. And it was not fun.
    I don't like having extra calibers though, hard enough to keep up on 9mm and .380.
    I will probably never buy one for a couple of reasons. I honestly expect it to die out slowly. The internet now HATES it, and i have been seeing so many discounts on 40 models only lately. I won't be surprised if manufactures start making them in smaller amounts.
    I just don't see the point of the .40. If you want more power, go .45acp or .357. If you want more rounds or a smaller form factor go 9mm.

    A carbine is a different story all together though.
  11. Really, I think I am seeing the JCP posts going up here. Anyone else? I just bought a G19 which is a 9. I converted my G23 back to .40 In my old age I may not like it. Until then? Rock and Roll baby cakes! :stir:
  12. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I think it's on its way out too, but it will still be here longer than I will be. :( .I have long thought it was a stop gap solution to a perceived problem that the 10 mm could have handled. (I know, the 9mm sized gun thing, but really, how's that working out for you!). Still, it's a viable option for aan alternate cartridge.
  13. Moestooge

    Moestooge Well-Known Member

    I don't understand why people say the .45 has lots of recoil. It's quite manageable. No .40s here, but picking up a H-P as a low-cost "just in case" option in an ammo-scrounging scenario makes sense. Some future president (or the current one) will be foaming at the mouth to ban guns and ammo.
  14. .38 and .38spl was on it's way out. Now spin guns are making a come back. When I bought my Shield there was a .40 in the case. 1 less round and a light weight gun that will punish my wrist? No thanks. I have yet to fire a G22 which is the full sized 4.5" model. One brother in law wouldn't have a 9. He really likes his G22 duty weapon. He does mostly drug raids etc. all over Oklahoma. Not much patrol work. The other BIL's department switched from the 22, 23, and the 27 to 17's, 19's, and 26's. They got the option of buying their weapons. Most bought them. I was at the wrong place when a few of them came up for sale. A 22 would be sweet!
  15. One thing that is funny is in the right lighting situation you can see the .45 going down range if you are paying attention. :D thats one big shiny copper coated acorn.
  16. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    Generally, the .40 has more energy on target than the .45 does, and carries slightly more bullets in the same size gun. Of course, if you compare the fastest .45 to the slowest .40, the .45 does a little bit better. In a compact, the .45 is easier to shoot...but usually has less energy on target.

    The new 9 mm loads are "good enough", no doubt. But they still aren't "as good" or "better" than the .40 in every way. Despite the rationalization of the various agencies in favor of the 9 mm, the same energy equation is true when the .40 is compared to the 9 mm, the .40 should do more damage on target. But there are other considerations for an agency than just energy.

    The various 9 mm loads DO have some advantages over the .40. They are cheaper, easier to shoot in quantity, and have more capacity in the same size gun, and that's a very good reason for an agency to go that way, in fact, that's EXACTLY why the military went to 5.56, so I agree with the various agencies, with their criteria and missions, the 9 makes sense, on paper, and in most real life situations that an officer might face.

    But those aren't the same as MY situations.

    I have several sub compact .40's, and no, they aren't fun to shoot a lot of rounds out of. Neither is a compact 10 mm. But I don't use them as range guns. They are SD guns, and if I can shoot 20-30 rounds with them, with two reloads, keeping them on target, I'm satisfied.

    In the full size gun, however, the issues simply aren't there. It's not snappy, I can shoot a lot, it's easy to keep on target, and easy to put on target at longer ranges, as there is less holdover than the .45 requires. Capacity doesn't matter, as, unlike an agency, I'm not carrying the full size for SD.

    Of course, the same could be said of a 6 inch barreled .357, but no one complains about them, because they see that gun in a different role. No one thinks they should be required to engage 15 targets in 30 seconds with that revolver, or carry it concealed, but for some reason, everyone thinks the .40 sub compact guns should do both.

    They can't. There is a compromise. You can open carry more bullets with less energy or you can carry fewer bullets with more energy, and conceal it better.

    One thing I haven't done is shoot a small single stack .40. I have shot the 9 mm and .380 single stack compact pocket guns...and they aren't that fun to shoot either. But no one expects them to be. So why should the .40 be expected to be different?
  17. Walkingwolf

    Walkingwolf Well-Known Member

    All of the rare FTF with Glocks are usually the 9mm, straight walled cases feed better. I would rather have a downloaded 40 than a 9mm. 40 can be loaded to the same ballistics as a 9mm, and have the same recoil. Every time I hear of feeding problems no matter the gun, it is usually a 9mm.

    Our vet complained of her problems with her 1400 dollar 9mm Kimber. When I explained paying for premium ammo would probably cure here problems she came back with she bought a 9mm for the economy ammo. She would have been better off buying a 40 Kimber, and then she could probably shoot the economy ammo. Except for my star I am not a big fan of 9mm, I do like my 380's. All of them run like sewing machines.

    Both 9mm, and 40 cases can be bought by the pound, so the 40 is just about as economical to reload. Handloads are where the 40 shines, a tad heavier bullet with not much more recoil than the 9mm. I have one 9mm/Largo, and that is a Star, but they were built loose. I would imagine the reason Glocks are built so loose.
  18. I don't think the Shield is bad in 9 on recoil and muzzle flip. Watching that 46min video of the single stack comparison it had less visual recoil than the others except for the heavier Walther.
  19. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    That simply isn't correct.

    Straight wall works well enough...until you change the bullet to a JHP.;)

    Tapered and bottle necked ammo generally feeds better, because you are putting a smaller object into a larger hole, and the slopes help guide the case into the chamber.

    The AK is famous for reliability...tapered case. Machine guns...other than the Tommy gun, nearly all tapered or bottle necked rounds for more reliability.

    Straight wall is easier to reload, though.