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I know the .40 has lost its marketing footing and many manufacturers are stopping production in favor of the 9mm. With most buyers it's the higher cost to feed the .40 over the 9mm but the .40 offers a lot of performance over the 9mm - for those of us who care.

I have a batch of .40 ammo collecting dust so I thought about a new pistol and found the options are pretty darn slim. Sig dropped the .40 long ago so looks like S&W Performance Center M&P 2.0 is about the best option available.

The ammo folks say they will keep making the .40 but for how long and at what cost?

Anyone else a hold out fan of the .40?


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Always thought the .40 was a solution to a non-existent problem. In 9mm sized guns, it has more recoil than a .45 and those guns will wear out WAY faster than a 9mm. .40 S&W is a notorious gun killer. That said, it's a very capable cartridge should you be inclined, and it will get the job done just fine. I just don't think the trade off's are really attractive for that cartridge (and others). Handguns are rather unimpressive when it comes to "stopping"...they all kill just fine, but they don't stop well. So I think most have determined that more bullets is more beneficial than bigger bullets. Of course this is an argument that goes back a century or more, and they'll be debating this crap long after I'm gone. I have always favored hi-cap 9mm's...but that doesn't mean the other cartridges won't get it done just fine..

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Like any in between cartridges there are trade offs on both ends. And GG says it well.

But I am/was a big fan of the 40 as I know it's a good cartridge. Have shot thousands of them in competition & carried them confidently. I have only gravitated toward the 9 the last few years due to age & arthritis. Otherwise, the 40 has served well, & factory ammo is likely be around a long time.

The Smith should be nice, & there are about a dozen models of Glocks still made. Used Police trades in those are the best handgun deal out there right now IMO.

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A good, strong .40 can still be found, if “new” is not a strict requirement:

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It turns out that the 40 was just another FBI hoax.
I gave it the attention it deserved.


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Why no love for the 40? It's another awkward child of the 90's who is uncomfortable in social situations. and so spends its time in the basement looking at online pics of compact 9's.


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When the .40 was introduced, I was working at an indoor range. We had an S&W Range day there, and Tom Campbell flew in to show off some of their wares. He happened to have his 4006 IPSC pistol with him, all built up by the Performance Center with a compensator, etc. He let me shoot a 20 round box of Winchester Ranger ammo thru it, and it was amazingly soft-shooting, and probably more accurate than I could shoot back then, when I was "pretty good". It was a nice pistol, but not nice enough to sway me away from my 1911s in .45.

However, the production guns never flipped any switches for me, in any way, not the 4006, or the Glock 22, or any other .40 I ever shot. I still feel the same way.


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The problem with it is that handguns for it tend to be made in the same size as handguns in 9mm. The result is that they are quite snappy in recoil, which (though not painful) can be disconcerting to all but the most high volume shooters.

One problem that arises with a snappy recoiling gun is that, unless you are really focused on a tight squeeze throughout your string of fire, the gun will shift a little in your grip, which will, after a few rounds, make you want to reacquire your grip. Most people would rather (1) not need to be focused to that degree on the squeeze of their grip, and (2) would rather not have to readjust their grip within a string of fire.

The solution would be to build a whole new size category of handgun for the .40 S&W, halfway (for example) between the size/weight of the Model 19 Glock and the Model 21 Glock, but that would defeat the original purpose of the .40 S&W, which was to have a power increase over 9mm in the same size/weight handgun.

You may now begin your flaming. grin


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I like it for what it is, a defensive cartridge.

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The Glock G23.4 Compact:


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Purely anecdotal, but I’ve noticed something:

Negative experience with 40 S&W = Glock 22/23

Negative experience with Glock = 40 S&W

It is true, adapting a 9 into a 40 creates problems. But, some guns were later designed around the 40. The 40 S&W M&Ps are easy to shoot well.

I don’t know why this comes up in the SD/Tactical conversations. Why must there only be one? 9mm or 45 or 40 or 5.56 or 7.62, etc. There are at least 10 viable factory 30 caliber hunting cartridges that all work.

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Originally Posted by FreeMe
It turns out that the 40 was just another FBI hoax.
I gave it the attention it deserved.

The FBI didn't invent the .40 S&W. I don't recall the FBI issuing the .40 until the late 90's. I don't think the FBI was even the first LE agency to issue the .40 S&W.

Perhaps it is true that the .40 S&W was created as a result of the FBI adopting a downloaded 10mm but to call it "Just another FBI hoax" is inaccurate - sorta like how lots of people shoot the .40 S&W.

Yeah, at full power it is a handful. Same pressures as a 9mm but heavier bullets? No wonder it kicks more.

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Originally Posted by STRSWilson
I know the .40 has lost its marketing footing and many manufacturers are stopping production in favor of the 9mm. With most buyers it's the higher cost to feed the .40 over the 9mm but the .40 offers a lot of performance over the 9mm - for those of us who care.

I have a batch of .40 ammo collecting dust so I thought about a new pistol and found the options are pretty darn slim. Sig dropped the .40 long ago so looks like S&W Performance Center M&P 2.0 is about the best option available.

The ammo folks say they will keep making the .40 but for how long and at what cost?

Anyone else a hold out fan of the .40?

Stupid question posed by a stupid person.


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Originally Posted by GunGeek
Always thought the .40 was a solution to a non-existent problem. In 9mm sized guns, it has more recoil than a .45 and those guns will wear out WAY faster than a 9mm. .40 S&W is a notorious gun killer. That said, it's a very capable cartridge should you be inclined, and it will get the job done just fine. I just don't think the trade off's are really attractive for that cartridge (and others). Handguns are rather unimpressive when it comes to "stopping"...they all kill just fine, but they don't stop well. So I think most have determined that more bullets is more beneficial than bigger bullets. Of course this is an argument that goes back a century or more, and they'll be debating this crap long after I'm gone. I have always favored hi-cap 9mm's...but that doesn't mean the other cartridges won't get it done just fine..
^^^That^^^

It doesn’t do anything that a 9x19mm won’t do but at the expense of less bullets in the mag, more recoil and more gun wear. 9x19 and .45 ACP both have a lot of history behind them if that something that matters to you. The .40 doesn’t have the cool history and doesn’t offer anything over a 9mm.

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Acquired one just last week, haven't gotten it to the range yet......... SigPro 2340......

Also picked up a 357Sig Bbl for it.....

So now I have a pistol, I do like the SIGs, in TWO calibers that seem to be 'out of favor'.........


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I have an XD in 40 that is more accurate than it ever should be ,bigger frame though So not as advantageous for concealed carry

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I think the market has spoken on the 10mm short, popularized by the FBI adopting a female friendly version of the real 10mm.
There was never anything wrong with the 9mm's performance that the 40 SW was a cure for.
The 40 SW fugged up my favorite version of the Sig P226's that were made in Germany and were perfectly balanced for the 9mm. When the 40 was introduced to the P226 platform the slide weight was increased and beefed up to accommodate the added recoil energy. A 9mm P226 is now analogous to shooting a 20 ga. shotgun that was built on a 12 ga. frame.


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Originally Posted by TheLastLemming76
Originally Posted by GunGeek
Always thought the .40 was a solution to a non-existent problem. In 9mm sized guns, it has more recoil than a .45 and those guns will wear out WAY faster than a 9mm. .40 S&W is a notorious gun killer. That said, it's a very capable cartridge should you be inclined, and it will get the job done just fine. I just don't think the trade off's are really attractive for that cartridge (and others). Handguns are rather unimpressive when it comes to "stopping"...they all kill just fine, but they don't stop well. So I think most have determined that more bullets is more beneficial than bigger bullets. Of course this is an argument that goes back a century or more, and they'll be debating this crap long after I'm gone. I have always favored hi-cap 9mm's...but that doesn't mean the other cartridges won't get it done just fine..
^^^That^^^

It doesn’t do anything that a 9x19mm won’t do but at the expense of less bullets in the mag, more recoil and more gun wear. 9x19 and .45 ACP both have a lot of history behind them if that something that matters to you. The .40 doesn’t have the cool history and doesn’t offer anything over a 9mm.
Sigh. What a bunch of horseshit.

I've loaded some hot stuff for nines, but never have I been able to get a 200gr bullet close to 1100 fps. About 850 was tops. And I mean tops.

And history? You pick a semi-auto cartridge in a defense handgun for history? Interesting priorities. SMH


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Originally Posted by HuntnShoot
Originally Posted by TheLastLemming76
Originally Posted by GunGeek
Always thought the .40 was a solution to a non-existent problem. In 9mm sized guns, it has more recoil than a .45 and those guns will wear out WAY faster than a 9mm. .40 S&W is a notorious gun killer. That said, it's a very capable cartridge should you be inclined, and it will get the job done just fine. I just don't think the trade off's are really attractive for that cartridge (and others). Handguns are rather unimpressive when it comes to "stopping"...they all kill just fine, but they don't stop well. So I think most have determined that more bullets is more beneficial than bigger bullets. Of course this is an argument that goes back a century or more, and they'll be debating this crap long after I'm gone. I have always favored hi-cap 9mm's...but that doesn't mean the other cartridges won't get it done just fine..
^^^That^^^

It doesn’t do anything that a 9x19mm won’t do but at the expense of less bullets in the mag, more recoil and more gun wear. 9x19 and .45 ACP both have a lot of history behind them if that something that matters to you. The .40 doesn’t have the cool history and doesn’t offer anything over a 9mm.
Sigh. What a bunch of horseshit.

I've loaded some hot stuff for nines, but never have I been able to get a 200gr bullet close to 1100 fps. About 850 was tops. And I mean tops.

And history? You pick a semi-auto cartridge in a defense handgun for history? Interesting priorities. SMH
I’m talking about for a defensive situation. Sure a .40 S&W bullet is bigger and heavier than a 9mm bullet. Duh 🙄. It doesn’t from a defensive standpoint work any better than a 9mm. Hence it doesn’t do anything that a 9mm doesn’t do.

Nope I don’t pick a defensive weapon for it’s history. I own a whole lot more than one defensive pistol and when buying/collecting others as range toys or just something to buy than history of the gun and its chambering come into play.

There’s nothing wrong with a .40. Two general comments to the the OP’s post as to why it isn’t more popular. Do you disagree?

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I've had two .40cal autos, the first was a Glock 27 which was both snappy and chunky, so it went down the road. The second was a full-size XDM, purchased back when so many of the LEO departments were still using the .40cal. I still have it and find it to be a nice balance of power and "shootability". 16+1 doesn't hurt either. As others have said, most auto pistol rounds really aren't that impressive on aggravated/determined humans anyway, so I don't know that 9mm vs. .40cal really makes that much difference if you aren't hitting CNS or breaking down the skeletal structure.


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