Opinions on the 40 S&W
I must confess to ignorance of a few more recent calibers, due to many years of inactivity in shooting. I have never fired a 40 caliber pistol. I plan to at some point, but I would be most interested in any comparisons someone could make between the 9mm, .40, and .45.
There is a certain attraction for me towards the .40; bullet size, velocity, magazine capacities. What makes you prefer the .40 to other calibers and pistols, if you please?
I think if you do some searching, you will find a LOT on this topic. My own opinion is that if I wanted a caliber larger than 9mm, then I would go directly to 45ACP. Some disagree, but this is just my feelings. Especially in smaller pistols, I feel there is more of a flip to the .40 whereas the .45 is more of a rearward push. I don't currently feel the need for a larger caliber, but if I do in the future, I will be going straight to 45ACP. :) Also, atleast in my experiences, 45ACP ammo is a little easier to find than 40S&W. The price difference in minimal as well (atleast in my area).
I guess from my log in name you can guess that I am a fan of the .40 S&W. I like the performance and capacity of the handguns chambered for it. I have 10 variants of the caliber from Beretta 96's to an H&K USP40. As a reserve (read old guy) deputy, I have access to LE ammo just by drawing it and qualifying ammo as well. I used to carry a .45 ACP Commander and it was a great pistol. I really like the way the Beretta fits my hand and it's accuracy. I also like the fact that it feeds anything in the caliber without a glitch, in fact the only one I have had issues with is the PMC Starfire in my FNP40 DASA and that is the only issue to date. I am not into caliber wars. The only shooting I was ever involved in as an investigator was when I carried a BHP in 9x19mm. It worked and shot placement is the answer whether it's a .380 or a .50 GI. Go to Federal and Speer's websites and take a look at the performance data, that and the fact it is our issue caliber is why I chose the round. I could have chosen differently but am impressed with the performance. I don't view it as a compromise round in any way. At 6'2" and 253# I have never experienced the "snappiness" of the .40 and have taught several women how to shoot using the caliber for defense at home. The final qualification is that you should shoot the weapon and caliber that fits you and you alone. Good luck in your research.
Prior to the last few months I was able to purchase .40 components or manufactured ammo at a lower cost than .45. The cost gap seems to have narrowed recently removing most of that advantage.
If you review specs for the two you will probably notice that .40 is speced at greater energy levels than standard .45.
.45 +P or +P+ is required to achieve comparable energies to standard .40 loads.
I don't find one any more difficult to handle than the other.
Either .40 or .45 meet Major Power Factor requirements in the competition I am involved in which makes 9MM a secondary caliber to me. I have owned 9MM's and consider them quite adequate for defense against people. I do prefer a bit more when meeting a black bear on my front porch or in the woods.
If large diameter was the only measure of effectiveness I would go with the .45 however the .357 has proven to be certainly as good if not better than the .45 negating that aspect.
Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.
I am a fan of the .40 S&W, it gives me the size and similar capacity of a 9mm with more stopping power.
I know that it doesnt beat the .45 in stopping power but its a good handoff for the size IMO. I own 4 .40 S&Ws and enjoy all of them.
For a small, lightweight handgun, the .40S&W proves to be too snappy for most. I have no trouble managing recoil enough to have 3-4" doubletaps at five yards with a subcompact .45ACP (+P ammo), and I had major issues with a slightly larger .40 handgun (P99c). A lot of that was probably due to an improper grip and first-time shooting, but I imagine I would still have trouble with it compared to a .45. Personally I would always choose a 9mm +P over a .40S&W. Ballistically the differences are there, but aren't significant enough for me to sacrifice manageable recoil. You could always consider the .357 sig, but unless you're trying to shoot people through five walls or put a hole through an engine block, it's a bit of an overkill. I say either 9mm or .45ACP for SD against humans, and a .357 mag for animals, or a 10mm auto if you can afford it and absolutely insist on a semi-auto.
Almost a year ago I purchased my first 40 caliber handgun, a Glock 23. Until, then I was about as anti-40 cal as you might find. However, I shot a reserve officer's 40 Glock, and found that I really like everything about it, so I picked one up for myself.
The 40 cal has more recoil than the 9mm and the ammo cost more to shoot, however, I really like this caliber out of the Glock 23. I have used this pistol in some local competitions and found that I shoot it well, even under match conditions.
I do not recommend a 40 caliber pistol to a new shooter, or an infrequent shooter, because of the ammo price and the recoil, but the round is powerful, compact, and accurate. I am now a fan of the 40 cal.
When I first had to switch to a semi-auto duty weapon and was given a choice of caliber, I chose the Glock model 22 which is chambered for the .40S&W caliber. I liked it a lot and shot it well. It was a nice "middle ground" between the 9mm and .45ACP in my mind at the time.
Once I moved on to a different department where the .40S&W had not yet been approved, and where I had a choice between the 9mm and .45ACP, I went with the 9mm due to having been involved in duty ammo testing and a workshop, which convinced me that there is very little difference between the 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP when premium duty ammo is used.
There is no such thing as stopping power when it comes to handgun calibers, and I have never seen anything in my time as a police officer and firearms instructor to convince me that the .40 or .45 offer much over the 9mm. If I want stopping power, I will go get my Remington 870 and load it with 00 Buck shot or slugs.
I found that I shoot the 9mm a little bit better than the .40 and the 9mm is more pleasant for me to shoot. I have health problems that make me very sensitive to recoil so shooting 9mm and .38 Special is the best choice for me. I find the .40 a little too snappy for my taste these days.
Lots of excellent information. Thanks much. I concur with Ptarmigan regarding the effectiveness of various caliber rounds. I carry that down to the smaller calibers to some considerable degree. Since I no longer handload, I am unlikely to delve into new calibers now, but I would believe that the .40 is as potent and effective as the older rounds that I know. If one comes my way, I will certainly consider it. Thanks again.
I don't like it in any gun smaller then your typical "service" handgun...I found the XD40 service very enjoyable, but the XD40sc a little much in terms of recoil and muzzle flip. I could shoot the 9mm subcompact much more accurately, and with quicker follow ups.
I'll probably buy another .40 in something larger.
I shoot my XD 40 consistently and like it alot.
But then again, I haven't really found a caliber I didn't like for one reason or another......
I own a .40 caliber Glock... the G27 to be exact.
It is very snappy, but also very accurate. Lots of power in a pretty small package. For what it's worth, I like it (.40) a lot.
I own two Glocks in .40S&W. It's a fun round, personally.
It's been issued to most law enforcenment and I'm accurate with it.
I recently traded in my 2nd Gen G22 for a 3rd Gen G23. I like the .40 S&W as a compromise for size and power. I'm used to .357 Magnums so the recoil doesn't bother me that much. When I carry semi-auto I want a step up from my .38 +P J Frames and the .40S&W is a goodly jump. I went to the G23 because I finally went for CCW and it is a lot easier to conceal than the G22.