Ammunition > Handgun

The .40 S&W

Sometimes described as a shortened 10 mm, the .40 was developed as a compromise between size and capacity.

Due to the reputation of the agency and its vested interest and research on the subject, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has had a great deal of influence on defensive handgun ammunition. When the FBI speaks, cops and civilians listen. Right or wrong, the FBI’s field experience and testing protocol has set the standard for modern defensive handgun ammunition. The FBI is also the reason we have the .40 S&W.

In April of 1986, two bank robbers donated their lives to further the development of defensive handgun ammunition. During this shootout, which occurred in Miami, two FBI agents were also killed and five others wounded. In the wake of this incident the FBI developed a series of tests using 10 percent ordnance gelatin to evaluate a bullet's ability to penetrate and expand; primarily after passing through various intermediate barriers. Barriers commonly encountered by police when shooting at bad guys.

Afterward the FBI asked Federal Ammunition to develop a 10 mm load using a 180-grain bullet that would not recoil more than common .45 Auto loads. The result was a 180-grain Sierra JHP bullet at 950 fps. When subjected to its established test protocol, this 10 mm load performed very well and the FBI placed an order with Smith & Wesson (S&W) for pistols to shoot it.

S&W also agreed to develop a smaller 10 mm cartridge case that would ballistically match the 10 mm. In 1990, the .40 S&W was unveiled as an effort between S&W and Winchester Ammunition. It could best be described as a shortened 10 mm, loaded to the same pressure as the 9 mm Luger. For those who could not decide between the faster 9 mm and the lumbering .45, there was finally a compromise.

When pistols of the same size are compared a .40 S&W will hold more ammunition than a .45 ACP. It can also handle heavier bullets than a 9 mm. For American law enforcement this combination seemed perfect, and with some savvy marketing help from Glock, the .40 S&W became the first choice of cops nationwide. And, as always, civilian shooters were quick to follow in the footsteps of the police.

There were some stumbling blocks. Case head separations started occurring; particularly in Glock pistols due to the area of the case left unsupported above the feed ramp. Some guns even blew up. The exploding guns were caused by another problem pretty much exclusive to law enforcement; bullet set back.

Many cops unload their duty guns at shift's end and insert the cartridge from the chamber into the top of the magazine. Chambering the same cartridge day after day can cause the bullet to set-back in the case. With the .40 S&W this had the potential of doubling chamber pressures. When an officer reported for qualification and fired his duty ammo, the first shot—which was the cartridge with the bullet set back—could be very exciting. These problems have since been addressed with stronger cases and a more robust bullet crimp. Still, it's not a bad idea to cycle any cartridge you unload from the chamber of your handgun to the bottom of the magazine.

Is the .40 S&W the best defensive or law enforcement handgun cartridge? That's difficult to answer because the definition of "best" seems to be a moving target. I've tested hundreds of defensive handgun loads in 10 percent ordnance gelatin and I remain somewhat unconvinced the .40 S&W is a better mouse trap, and still consider it mostly an option for those who cannot decide between a light, fast-moving bullet or a slow, heavy bullet.

The .40 S&W seems to shine the brightest when paired with 140- to 155-grain projectiles. Consider the 140-grain Barnes TAC-XP bullet loaded by Black Hills and Buffalo Bore or the 155-grain Speer Gold Dot. The .40 caliber, 140-grain TAC-XP bullet will expand to about .70 caliber and penetrate to what many consider an optimal 13 inches. The .40 caliber, 155-grain Gold Dot performs almost identically. Since .40 S&W bullet diameter (0.400) is smack in the middle of the 9 mm (0.355) and the .45 (0.451), it seems logical that something between heavy 9 mm and a light .45 bullets would be optimal in this cartridge.

Anyway you look at it, the .40 S&W is a compromise cartridge offering terminal ballistics similar to the 9 mm and the .45 ACP, but with an ammo capacity right in the middle. Early on, the .40 S&W benefited from the engineering directed at the bullets it fired, but that same technology has been applied to the bullets loaded in almost every defensive handgun cartridge. Though it's likely the 23-year-old .40 S&W will continue to be the police cartridge of choice, civilians still gravitate to the 100-year-old 9 mm and the .45.

I'm no different. I carried an issued Glock in .40 S&W for 13 years when I worked the street, but since I no longer have to compromise, nines and forty-fives are all you'll find me carrying. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned.

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50 Responses to The .40 S&W

Ralph Cramden wrote:
September 16, 2014

The reason the excellent 10mm was not considered good by the FBI was primarily recoil. Not to say they were candyasses about it, but...

Sheriff Mac wrote:
May 06, 2014

I'm a retired Sheriff in Alberta Canada. Approximately 4800 sworn peace and police officers carry the Glock 22 in .40 cal. Here's some math for you to consider. If all officers qualify only once a year, using an average of 100 rounds to complete the course of fire, the number of rounds fired will be 480000 rds per year at minimum. The G22 has been in service within Alberta for at least ten years. That amounts to a MINIMUM of 4 million, eight hundred thousand rounds fired. Not one agency in the province of Alberta has had a single,catastrophic failure. I'm a big fan of selecting a solid firearm,in a caliber that you shoot well and practicing constantly. The 9mm / .40 / .45 debate is largely subjective as all three calibers will do the job if you do yours.

Captain Bob wrote:
April 06, 2014

To the genius who wrote; I have seen more glocks blow up next to me than I care to remember. You are obviously delusional .

Gary Kerr wrote:
June 02, 2013

I'm new to this site, but not to firearms. I have the S&W M&P 40 with 15 rnd clip. I've shot it many many times and it is by far my favorite. I'm accurate with it anywhere from 5 yards to 12 yards at rapid fire. It is light weight, and dependable. I'm now searching for the M&P Compact 40.

May 28, 2013

I have this SW .40 cal. chief's special, maybe my age, 84 has something to do with my problem, but i can't pull/push the slide back. any suggestions? I have only fired 14 rounds in this firearm....thanks for any help. gene

Al Yoder wrote:
May 25, 2013

Richard Mann has my utmost respect and gratitude for his many years of service. Here he joins an ever increasing number of 'gun writers' that seem to spend their time splitting hairs. I bet if Richard polled two groups, Medical Examiners and convicted felons who have found themselves on the business end of a cop or citizen's gun, they would answer one question the same: 'Upon examination/recollection of when you were shot, which was it, a .45 Auto 185 gr. +P, a .40 S&W 155 gr. or a 9mm 115 gr. +P+ bullet?' With identical entry wound placement the answer is ' I don't know, what difference does it make?'. Very Respectfully.

franco wrote:
May 17, 2013

I never really wanted the 40 but the 10mm instead. I got a deal on a g27 and figured I'd put a 9mm barrel on it. Picked up a box of 40 ammo just out of curiosity and shot it. I never ordered that 9mm barrel. Why? The darn thing shot so good that I never looked back. It hits hard and is plenty accurate. Since then I got a 10mm conversion barrel for my g30 and now I'm hooked on .40 diameter round. The 9 is OK as well as the 45 but neither comes close in standard pressure rounds.

ryan wrote:
May 14, 2013

my $.02 I do not trust the 9mm JHP to properly expand. However; the 9mm FMJ is still an excellent choice as either a secondary weapons (as a back up for thier primary weapons system) or primary sidearm; especially when the environment calls for shooting through cover. Police shouldnt be concerned with over penetration, since they miss <60% of the time anyway. Every could on and on about mathmatical equations that prove the .40/.45 or whatever has better foot pounds of energy, knock down power, or whatever new nonsense term is popular nowadays. But let me tell you what, My Conceal Carry .357 magnum is more powerful than either them anyway.

C.K. wrote:
May 13, 2013

My otyher 2000 character response somehow did not appear on-line. . .HMMMM. . . . I said, among other things that the S&W .40 155-165 gr. hits with 496 to 501 foot pounds of energy. This apparently upset the author and the magazine. I wonder why. . . .?

C. Kiselius wrote:
May 11, 2013

I am amazed at the blog statements as well as many of the comments. Lets look at some hard facts. First, the author is yet another a) glassy-eyed, lock-step Glock minion--because we taxpayers provided him with one--and b) another shooter tied to the romantic history of the 1911, which has fairly well served this nation for a century. I have seen more Glock .40s BLOW up next to me at the range than I care to remember. The reason they blow up is the hard fact that Glock built all other of their calibers around the G-17, which DOES have a fully supported chamber, whereas nearly all other calibers DO NOT. When Glock added calibers that needed more ramp space, they simply (and insanely) just ran the ramp up into the (now unsupported)chamber. THAT is the reason for blown Glocks, not setback. I carry a Steyr M-40 or shoot IDPA with a Witness .40. Not even a badly set back cartrige has ever blown up--even with cast lead bullets, which are known for higher chamber pressures. Regarding stopping power, the ever popular .45, 230 gr. bullet has the SAME energy as the referenced 9mm: about 383 fp. The 155 gr. .40 Gold Dot or CRT is 501 fp. at the muzzle and is still close at 25 yds. with a MUCH flatter trajectory. Read your reloading manuals guys--please! My cast-lead IDPA hand loads are going at about 1000 fps and have nearly the same energy as the carry loads. Before choosing the .40, I did my homework and read every police and Govt. test I could find. For fast follow-up shots and pure power, the .40 is, according to my research, one of the best small arms advancements of the 20th century. I also have a Steyr M and S-9 as well. Both have a fully supported chamber, as does my M-40, Witness and my Israeli BUL, which is also a CZ variant, as is the Witness. Guys, go with the stats, as well as a FULLY supported chamber and a positive external safety, something Glock "forgot" to add.

Art wrote:
May 10, 2013

Remember everyone, "It's the penmanship not the pen that counts." Use whatever caliber/gun combination you find most comfortable with, then practice, practice and practice more.

Marc Russell wrote:
May 09, 2013

I am an old holdback and shoot the DoubleTap 10mm 135gr nosler. At 1600fps and 767ft/lb, I think it is pretty formidable. I use the Glock 20 and 29 both with Chrimson Trace. Shooting it is most like a .44 mag. I don't see why to compromise.

May 04, 2013


kelly harbeson wrote:
May 01, 2013

Long story short: modern bullets in 9mm are pretty darn effective. I'd rather have the 2 or 3 extra rounds of 9mm than the (questionable) extra performance of the .40 s&w.

Rob wrote:
April 29, 2013

Are people really still referencing "One Shot Stop" statistics? ROFLOL

Mike A. wrote:
April 28, 2013

I have been shooting and testing different calibers for almost 20 years. Any of the 3 calibers discussed in this article will perform just fine in most any self-defense situation. The one advantage I have discovered with .45 ACP is that almost any ammunition you can get your hands on will serve as a good man-stopper. Even ball ammo exhibits good cavitation and energy deposit. Other things being equal, I would rather have a .45 ACP if I had to rely solely upon a handgun for defense.

egumpher wrote:
April 25, 2013

I have to agree that the 40S&W is a compromise and that any modern 9mm, 40S&W or 45ACP is more than enough. I own all three but keep a 9mm in my night stand only because its so easy to shoot and shoot well. Shot placement is king.

Jon wrote:
April 24, 2013

When your life depends on what you carry for protection, I tried a lot, but it came down the tried and true .45ACP. The best cal. to save your life and put the perp down.

David wrote:
April 24, 2013

You allude to one of the major shortcomings of the .40S&W. The 9mm and .40 have the same SAAMI pressure specs, but the larger case does not have the material support in the web area the 9mm does. This is the root cause of the damage we call "Glocked cases", that's smiley face bulge you see on the unsupported area of the case. It is also the source of many ruptured cases with even factory loads. You can find many, many, many images of ruptured .40 S&W cases, you won't many with .45ACP or 9mm factory rounds. Several if not all of the ammunition manufacturers have "quietly" strengthened the .40 S&W case in this area, but it still isn't enough. The second major problem is bullet shape, they share the short ogive of 10mm. Dornaus and Dixon in their quest to get endorsement from Col. Cooper let him dictate the requirements and basically designed a "magnum" auto pistol cartridge. They kept the overall length identical with the .45 ACP, then sacrificed bullet length beyond the case mouth for powder capacity. Today they would have the advantage of the powders developed since the '70s and it could have had a better balance in caliber to case length. The .40 G&A and the Centimeter cartridge fell between the 9mm and .45 in case length. In 2003 Col. Cooper in his commentaries accepted the blame for the 10mm cartridge design and admitted it offered no practical advantage over the .45ACP at normal combat distances. The short ogive relegates us to short truncated cone designs which don't feed as well as the longer ogives of the 9mm and .45ACP. This requires feed ramps to be longer than would be required with a better diameter to bullet ogive taper ratio. There is nothing wrong with a truncated cone design as long as the angle works correctly with the feed ramp and the top of the inside of the chamber as it enters. I like you find the 9mm with the proper bullets or the .45ACP with almost any bullet meets all of my needs.

Phil wrote:
April 24, 2013

In the late 70s I was a part of a study on pistol cartridges in an effort to chose one for our P.D. We found over penitration with 9mm ball and unreliable expansion with jhp and jsp ammo. The same could be said for 45acp but add in larger pistols. With .357 we found excessive recoil and muzzle flash. We ended up with a 38 special 125 gr. jhp. It was a compromise really. I'll bet ammo is much better today and there is not a lot of difference whatever you use. Until we have scientific studies the cartridge debat will continue.

Don Hagner wrote:
April 24, 2013

Caliber debates are endless. Any choice is a compromise. If you have to defend yourself in court after a shooting your best (court) defensive choice is whatever your local law enforcement uses. Then you don't have to explain your choice of that "hyper-sonic, super-mag-a-num, hollow point, buzz saw, blaster". Yes, there may be better individual choices at home or on the street, but simplify your "second defense" in the courts.

Jim O'Donnell wrote:
April 23, 2013

The 135 grain JHP by Cor-Bon .40 S&W produces one shot stops 96% of the time. This is based on actual street results. This cartidge equals the street results of the 125 gr. JHP .357 Magnum. Bill Jordan believed the .41 Magnum to be the best police cartridge and now we have it in the .40 S&W.Your opinion is interesting but irrelevant.

Bruce wrote:
April 23, 2013

Wish I could give it a cite, but don't remember exactly where I read it (Chuck Hawks maybe), have seen similar results several times rating calibers for 1 shot stops. The winner was the .357, followed by the.40 and .45 in nearly a dead heat, and then the 9mm. And honestly, they were separated by a small margin. I love the .357, accurate and I KNOW a good hit is taking them out of the battle. And it is such a MANLY cartridge! But I find it brutal from less than a heavy framed 4 inch. And is slower to reacquire a good sight picture for followup shots. Love the .45. Feels good in the hand. Confident in the calibur. Love the new smaller form factors. Hated the 9mm when it was widely reintroduced to the American market in the late 70s with the S & W 39 and 59 wasn't it? Burned neat, clean little holes right through, not a great stopper. Only recent bullet development has finally won my confidence from those bad old days. I guess a .40 is compromise cartridge for me. Similar stopping power to the .45, but more magazine capacity in a smaller package. More manageable recoil than the .357 or .45 and more punch than the 9mm. For me it is the perfect 'tweener cartridge and in my CZ75b, it is the most ergonomic pistol I've ever fired. And ain't it nice that we have so many great options? I think in spite of our varied preferences, most of us would agree that any of the 4 would be a "reasonable" choice for duty or personal defense. Nice to have so many many great cartridges and cool pistolas to shoot them from.

Ralph Newman wrote:
April 22, 2013

Is this the same author that tested only one 10MM round that penetrated 6.5 inches with no explanation in the "Handgun Stopping Power" article last year (no sweeping that one under the rug)? I suppose he thinks the 10mm is useless too. Loved shooting 9 and 45 for years, but still daily carrying 40. No problems with reloading or firing the 40 either. The best handgun round is the one you enjoy shooting well and carry with you. Oh, and by the way Mr. Mann, my Glock 20 has taken game and is my carry gun here in bear country. Never seen wild jello attacking in these parts...

Eddie wrote:
April 22, 2013

I own guns in all 3 calibers, but only a single gun in .40 cal. I too was all exicted about the new .40 when it came out and actually owned 3 of them at one time. Like many, for me it simply comes down to personal preference. I believe I could adequately defend myself with any of them.

Doug wrote:
April 22, 2013

My duty gun is a Glock M22, my personal carry gun is a Glock M17. I shoot both guns just fine but carry the 9mm because the recoil is less allowing for quicker follow up shots if needed. It's good to hear debate about the .40 because now the gun writers have something else to write about than the worn out, used up mass vs velocity argument they used to go to fill the pages of their magazine.

Don wrote:
April 22, 2013

I have actual street experience using the Ranger SXT 40 S$W 180 grain bullet. The projectile was recovered postmortem, with a diameter of more than 1 inch. This cartridge might be a compromise to some. But then again, I wasn't attacked by jello, but by a human being with murderous intent. Maybe I'll load differently when jello starts attacking. Until then, I'll stick with what worked and saved my life........

Al/S wrote:
April 22, 2013

I think the 40S&W is a copy of the .41AE, S&W saw a good thing and ran with it in a new foremat. Clever.

R. Reagan wrote:
April 22, 2013

Now I know why my S&W 4053 has a very thick barrel.

Rick wrote:
April 21, 2013

I would question the assumption that the FBI is the end all when it comes to drawing conclusions from ballistic data. I'm sure the 40 is adequate, but is it the best possible thing out there? I think not.

Stephen Amann wrote:
April 21, 2013

Very good article and excellent comments. I like how everyone compares guns and ballistics. You can compare .40 with 45, or 40's with 9mm but in the long run, lets see if the 40 is around 100 years from now like the 9 and 45's. I will stick with the tried and true.

Tom wrote:
April 20, 2013

Some of this chatter seems a bit uninformed . The FBI report on the development of what everyone is calling the '10 mm lite', was the result of penetration and performance tests. In ballistic testing, they discovered they could not get the desired penetration with the high velocity ammo for the 10 mm. The discovery after testing was that the bullets were expanding to rapidly and as a result, not penetrating. If I remember correctly, one of the people involved in the project, hand loaded ammo to lower velocities and got the best penetration at 975 or 985 fps. S&W saw the opportunity to get the same result with a shorter cartridge that would fit the frame of the 9 mm. They called it the 40 S&W. With that said[;] I would like to say my two bits about concealed carry guns, calibers and holsters. I have a Glock 22, a Kahr CW 9 and a Ruger LCP 380. My Glock is my house and car gun. I also carry it open in the right situations. My Kahr is my concealed carry gun. The LCP is for when nothing but my pocket is practical. Holsters. My Karh is carried in a Galco IWB with some modification. As purchased, it had 1/4' of leather around the front for, I assume, easy re-holstering. Why would you worry about re-holstering a ccw. You want to get it out, not in. I also removed the 1/8' of leather that held the belt clip and riveted the clip directly to the holster. I can wear shorts and a t-shirt and you can't tell it's there. Calibers aside, it all boils down to how your dressed and what it is possible to carry. I would love to carry a concealed coach gun!

Mike Bloedel wrote:
April 20, 2013

I retired from law enforcement after 33 years and was a firearms instructor. I found that the only gun or ammo some officers wanted was the one they weren't allowed to carry. when we had .38's, they wanted 9 mm's. When we got 9mm's, had to get 40's. We got 40's and they wanted .45's. When we had revolvers they wanted S&W 5906's. Then we had to get Glocks, then the Glocks gave way to S&W MP's. Now a couple complain they want SIG's or Beretta's. Truth is anyone of those calibers and weapons are adequate for police or defense.

TJoyce wrote:
April 20, 2013

I saw a report that compared the 9mm,357 and the .45. The study showed that the .40 provided less recoil and allowed the shooter to realign much faster than the .45. It provides more stopping power than the 9mm and like the .45 the 357 also has a big kick. Personally, I like the .40 I shoot very accuratly with it. I also own a Judge (Home Defense)It will destroy anything in it's path but it's not good for concealed carry. Everybody has their preference. I love going to the range.

Jtimme wrote:
April 19, 2013

21 years ago my department went with the Glock 22. During that time we also had a few pistols explode on us but were told that the problem occurred due to officers picking up old rounds at the range and firing them during practice later. Our department also did a daily inspect where we let the round in the chamber drop to the ground, then picked up and put back into the mag.

Ken Zowal wrote:
April 16, 2013

Good discussion, but it says little about the .357 Sig, which duplicates the all-time winner .357 Magnum 125 gr. JHP (Remington & Federal). Also the 'best' gun is highly sensitive to hand size, open or concealed carry, whether you can hit what you aim at one-handed,& amount of time you have to practice regularly. Glock model 22 handles .40 S&W very well, but the grip may be too big for average-size hands. The mini-Glocks are thick & bulky (not good for concealed carry). About the 9mm: with high-quality ammunition & superior bullets, the 9 mm is just as effective as the 45 ACP. Hold a 50-round box of 9 mm 115-grain in one hand, & in the other 50 rounds of 230 gr.45 ACP. You'll see how much more the gun in .45 weighs compared with the 9mm. So, for concealed carry, the 9mm is much smaller and lighter, particularly with polymer frames. My Ruger LC9 weighs 15 ounces with a single-column 7-round magazine; and, importantly, it will handle +P ammo, which adds an additional 200-250 feet/second to velocity. My top rounds are the Hornady Critical Duty (meets all FBI requirements) and the Cor-Bon 115 gr. JHP +P. Don't try the Remington Golden Saber - it won't cycle properly with the LC9. Any ball ammunition cycles well, but is way less effective than expanding JHPs and JHP +P. For home defense,full-size handguns have higher capacity & bigger bullets, e.g., the ParaOrdinance P14-45, with a 14-round magazine in 45 ACP. Fully loaded it weighs a ton, but who cares if your defending yourself at home? The ParaOrdinance comes in single- or double-action trigger, & also in .40 S&W. Great home & range gun, but a poor choice for concealed carry. 9mm ammo costs way less than .40 or .45, so you can practice more. So,if you need to conceal & have time to practice more, 9mm JHP+P looks good (using ball ammo to practice). At home, the .40 & .45 with high-cap magazines are good choices. Find a place that lets you draw from a holster & move around while shooting and practice often.

Ron wrote:
March 15, 2013

Many things have problems when first developed and put on the market, ammo included. Nothing unique about the .40 problems early on. 19 years ago as a uniform police officer, I sold my "wonder 9" and bought a S&W 4006 as a duty gun. One month later I had to use it to defend myself and my partner. Double tap in the 10-X put the perp down immediately. Both bullets severed the spine after going through the sternum and exploding the heart. Those two .40 caliber bullets saved my life. The State Medical Examiner later told me, had I still been carrying a 9mm, the bullets would likely not have severed the spine resulting in instant incapacitation. I'll keep using my .40s, thanks. You can keep your nines.

JS Georgia wrote:
March 15, 2013

Ballistic gel is convenient, but what do studies of actual gunfights show? It's been a while, but last I heard the .45 is still king in actual shootings.

Scott wrote:
March 15, 2013

When the 40 has been around for as long as the 1911 in 45, we'll talk. In the meantime, I'll stick to my 1911...time tested and proven.

Dale wrote:
March 15, 2013

The .357 magnum is still all the average person will need. Had a Glock 22 .40 blow up in my hand, its a high pressure round. I carry a S&W 640 .357 magnum.

Will Antico wrote:
March 15, 2013

There's one point that wasn't mentioned. Thats that a .40 s7w round will ballistically match that of a .45acp. Also the 40 is a faster round. If you compare the ballistic gelatin samples of the 40 and the 45 the difference is so small , that on a person the job will be done either way. However the 40 does have the round capacity advantage.So that's why the 40 is a better defensive choice than the 45.

March 14, 2013


UncleJoe wrote:
March 14, 2013

I chose the 9mm over the .40 because the ammo was a lot cheaper and I would be able to practice more.

bhp9 wrote:
March 14, 2013

Here is what was not discussed:. The factories found that full power 180 grain bullets blew guns up when the ammo suffered bullet set back. In order to jam a .40 S&W cartridge into a gun designed originally for the 9mm they ended up with no air space in the cartridge when full power 180 grain loads were used. The result was a compressed power charge that resulted with bullet set back and then an explosion. Factory 180 grain loads are now down-loaded to anemic levels to create air space in the cartridge. Also most 9mm designed guns chambered for the 40 S&W have shorter service lives due to the excess recoil on a gun never designed for such recoil which includes galling of some internal parts. The long and the short of it is the 40 S&W is one of the worst pistol cartridge ever designed, it has excessive recoil in 9mm frame guns, less service life, less accuracy and poorer penetration than the 125 and 150 grain 9x19 loads and of course way less ammo capacity in the clip.

Nick wrote:
March 14, 2013

I own this gun, great gun, has never failed me, I plink with pretty cheapo ammo and it never even jams. Have nothing to say but good things about it. I personally really like the .40 ammo too, it is the best of both worlds like stated.

EOSmith wrote:
March 08, 2013

autigerman is right, except its not just "some" but almost all shooters who have trouble with quick followup shots when shooting 10mm. And the fact is that the 40S&W outperforms 9mm by a good margin and performs slightly better than the 45acp (in actual CQB). In any case, shot placement trumps everything. So first, have a gun, second, shoot it well. Next if you can conceal and handle a 40, make it a 40, if not, make it a 9mm or .38 or best you can handle. I leave out the 45 because its larger to conceal, holds fewer rounds, and is just a little less effective on a shot by shot basis (good round but it has outlived its prime, unless you have to use ball ammo like military). Also, if cost isn't an option, 357Sig is also a very good performer in the field (actually slightly better than the 40, but now we're splitting hairs).

Gary wrote:
March 06, 2013

"There were some stumbling blocks. Case head separations started occurring; particularly in Glock pistols due to the area of the case left unsupported above the feed ramp. Some guns even blew up." Wiley Clapp addressed the feed ramp problem in his blog of 6-11-12. Before you buy a .40 Glock, read my comments. When is someone there going to address unsupported chambers?

autigerman wrote:
March 06, 2013

I left a comment yesterday, why didn't it get published?

Pete Bensen wrote:
March 05, 2013

Back in the day, when Glock started with the 40S&W the barrels would on occasion EXPLODE. This was due to the metalurgy. There was one that blew up at our club range and Glock wouldn't honor the new gun's warranty without the return of the barrel. the problem has been fixed, according to our source with more select metalurgical and machining processing.

autigerman wrote:
March 05, 2013

I must take exception with parts of this article. The 10mm round was judged to have too much recoil for some FBI agents. A reduced recoil load was developed. Instead of having a case that was half empty S&W shortened the case but kept the ballistics of the 10mm reduced recoil load round. The smaller round would fit in pistols that were basically the same size as a 9mm. The .40 S&W was designed from the ground up as a self-defense round. Additionally, most people recommend sticking with the 180gr round for the .40 S&W, especially for self-defense. Speer recommends the 180gr Gold Dot for a full-size pistol and the 180gr small barrel round for sub-compacts.