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40 S&W ?

40 S&W ?
« on: July 13, 2012, 08:59:23 AM »
Guys I dont know alot about handgun calibers, curious about the 40 S&W. How is it for messing around with, target shooting, recoil, for home defense ? Im considering a 9mm but looked at a 40 S&W today. As far as home defense it would be more potent than a 9mm, just want to hear what you guys think about this caliber.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 09:01:09 AM by ballistic »
Troy

dubyam

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Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2012, 09:57:11 AM »
I bought a Glock 23 in 40S&W back in 1992.  Terrific handgun, terrific chambering.  I've shot everything from 155gr to 180gr in mine, handloads and factory.  So far, all I can say is, it's the best carry/personal defense package I could imagine.  The Glock won't win any awards for beauty, but it is the right tool for the job and it works the same no matter what.

If I were thinking 9mm or 40S&W, with personal defense in mind, I'd go 40 every time.  Recoil is not much more, and if you handload can be tamed easily, with safe, published loads.  Ultimately get the handgun that fits your hand, and choose chambering based on what options you have at that point, in that frame size, that make sense.  At least, that's how I'd do it.  Usually the 40 and the 9 are available in the same frame/format, so if it fits, you're all set.  And, if you check around, you might (depending on the gun) be able to swap back and forth with just a new slide and barrel (though that will cost nearly what a new pistol will, in some circumstances).
I believe this is a practical world, and in it I can count only on what I can earn.  Therefore I believe in work, hard work. - The Auburn Creed
The older I get, the less stock I place in what men say, and the more I place in what men do. - Andrew Carnegie

Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 10:27:02 AM »
HMMM.. Dubyam your helping me make up my mind, I'm liking the sounds of the 40. I have my mind made up on make and model, a Sig P226. It feels great to me, looks sweet, and I like the trigger.
Troy

Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 10:37:18 AM »
Troy, I'm not really a handgun guy either, but I have shot the 40 S&W and it's more than manageable. Unless it was strictly a target/competition gun, I wouldn't get the 9mm. The 40 does have a little more snap to it, but as far as recoil and blast go, it's not intimidating at all and still packs that extra thump. I think the 40 SW is the most widely used cartridge in law enforcement??? and that's a testament unto itself. What guns are you looking at? For the 40, I'd look at the Glock as Duby mentioned, the Springfield XD/XDm, and the Ruger SR40. Obviously there are other good options out there, but that's my short list. Like I said, I'm not really a handgun guy, but if I was in the market for a 40 S&W that's what I'd look at.
Just about to post this and saw you are going for the SIG, nice.
Isaac

Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 11:20:44 AM »
I`m a .40 S&W fan also! Mine is a H&K.

Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 11:26:35 AM »
The .40 S&W is a great handgun round!  It was designed by S&W for use by the FBI as an intermediate round between the 9mm and .45ACP.  The story I heard was that female agents had trouble controlling large frame handguns that used the .45ACP.  The only drawback in a .40 S&W compared to a 9mm that I can think of is the price of ammo, and possibly magazine capacity.  However most handguns chambered in 9mm that have a 15rd capacity have a 13rd capacity in the .40 S&W version, so you don't really lose that much.

Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2012, 12:58:36 PM »
Guys the 40 S&W is sounding pretty good.

Isaac, I have my mind made up on the Sig Sauer P226, love that gun, feels great. Ive been wanting a P226 for awile now, wasnt sure what caliber to get it in though, believe it will be the 40 S&W.
I dont know if I'll get into reloading for it or not, time will tell, see how much I shoot it. Whats a good plinking round for it, and a good defense round ?
Troy

lamric

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Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 12:58:59 PM »
The 40 is a great round derived from a shortened 10 mm cartridge.  The recoil is definitely sharper than that of a 45 but still very manageable.  For home defense, it's very good though you'd be giving up a couple rounds of capacity to a 9 mm.  If you want slightly cheaper ammo, go with a 9 mm.

Overall the 40 is a good compromise between the ammo capacity of a 9 and the punch of a 45.

Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 02:03:23 PM »
I have a sig p229 in 357 sig,have had it for 15 years and I hope I have it for another 15,basically a smaller carry version of the p226,alloy frame and stainless slide,fits perfect for concealed carry,and you have 357 magnum performance in an automatic pistol,the 357 sig is a 40 s&w necked down to accept a 9mm bulllet,it packs a wallop,most of the state troopers i know here in tx carry a law enforcement version of the p226 in 357 sig,they say its not pretty when they have to use it,recoil imo is right with the 40,same case,smaller bullet,one other plus is a bottleneck cartridge,no feed jam,least for me,not that i can remember,good luck,you will never regret buy the sig sauer !

Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2012, 02:41:46 PM »
Southtx, that .357sig looks pretty cool also, Im liking it  ;D
Troy

dubyam

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Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2012, 02:44:32 PM »
If you like the 357Sig, just buy the .40 (unless you can get a better price on a 357 somebody has in stock) and buy an aftermarket barrel in the other chambering.  That's all you need to swap out from one to the other.  Same slide, magazine, just swap the barrel.  Easy.  And not expensive.  Right up until you start buying ammo for the 357.  You'll want to save your brass and start handloading it.
I believe this is a practical world, and in it I can count only on what I can earn.  Therefore I believe in work, hard work. - The Auburn Creed
The older I get, the less stock I place in what men say, and the more I place in what men do. - Andrew Carnegie

Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2012, 03:01:15 PM »
Check the available ammo on any web site. I see that as a good reason for 40 S&W.

Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2012, 03:05:48 PM »
I checked out prices on the 357sig ammo, WOW you aint kidding, its spendy. Would definitely have to reload for one of these.

What equipment does it take for reloading handgun cartridges ? Will my rifle presses work ?
Troy

dubyam

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Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2012, 03:44:14 PM »
As long as you don't want to crank out a ton of volume, you can load with your current equipment - you'll just need a set of dies.  I'd go ahead and get both chamberings if you're doing the switch-barrel thing, too.

Loading handgun is different than rifle, but not by much.  I loaded 38Spl, 357Mag, and 40S&W on my RCBS Reloader Special-5 for a couple of years before I really got into rifle shooting.  Main difference is, you want to be aware that deep seating pistol bullets eats up case volume quickly, and can have a dramatic effect on pressure.  Always pay attention to the listed COL and keep your brass trimmed - especially in straight-walled cases where the case headspaces on the case mouth (like the 40S&W).  Beyond that, use a good manual (or three) and start low and work up.  No problem.

When I was really in the swing of loading for handgun, using a manual powder measure (Hornady powder measure, in fact) I could crank out between 110-135rds per hour, depending on the powder I was using.  Ball powders are easier, as they meter better through the measure, and you can just set it to be about half a grain below max (or at your desired charge if it's not close to max) and charge like lightning.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 03:46:24 PM by dubyam »
I believe this is a practical world, and in it I can count only on what I can earn.  Therefore I believe in work, hard work. - The Auburn Creed
The older I get, the less stock I place in what men say, and the more I place in what men do. - Andrew Carnegie

Re: 40 S&W ?
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2012, 06:19:58 PM »
Troy, I am a police officer since 1998 and during my career I have become a firearms instructor and have been trained in death investigations including homicide.  My point of view is different than others mentioned and based on my training and experiences.  When I started out in my career I carried a Beretta 92FS in 9mm, back then I had to supply my own gun and chose this because of the reliability and magazine capacity.  As the years progressed I carried a Beretta 96D and Beretta Brigadier both of which were chambered in .40 S&W and now I carry a .45 GAP.  At times I carry a 10mm Colt Delta Elite off duty.

First the idea of stopping power is a lot of crap in my professional opinion.  In the real world when people are shot they are not knocked off their feet, have huge gaping wounds, or die instantly.  The reason I say this is back in the late 80s the FBI was involved in a shoot out in Florida with two bank robbers which several agents were hurt and killed.  Back then most of the agents involved were carrying either 9mm, 38 Specials, or 357 Magnums.  The shoot out was extremely violent (which is expected) and went on for over five minutes, lots of rounds were exchanged during this time.  When they autoposies were done on the bad guys it was determined that the one guy took approximately a dozen (I don't remember the exact number at this time) rounds that were classified as fatal hits.  This sounds unbelievable, and it did to me at the time when I was sitting in the class, until you find out the rest of the story.  Both of these individuals were hopped up on drugs, some of which were Cocaine and Barbitiuates.  These drugs both have a significant affect on the human body seperately and it only increases with the combination of the two along with the other drugs they had in their systems.  In light of the investigation that followed the FBI recognized several areas of concern, one of which was the guns and ammunition they carried.  Out of this the FBI adopted the 10mm but as time went on some agents had trouble shooting and handling this round.  Then Smith and Wesson in conjunction with Winchester developed the .40 S&W, which in very basic terms is the short version of the 10mm.  Once this happened there was a major wave of law enforcement agencies that went with and continue to carry the .40 S&W because it's more managable and easier to get ammuntion opposed to the 10mm.  Sig decided to make the .357 Sig, which as stated earlier is a .40 S&W necked down to 9mm to increase velocity.  It's a good round but really explensive to shoot and hard to find ammuniton opposed to the 9mm and .40S&W.  Lately Glock came up with the .45 GAP which is intended to have the same ballistics as the .45 Auto in a gun that has the frame size of the 9mm and less recoil.  Currently the Pennsylvania, New York, and several other state police agencies adopted the .45 GAP.  One other advantage the .45 GAP has over the .40 S&W is there is noticibily less recoil than the .40 S&W because it generates far less chamber pressure.

All that being said, my first piece of advice is get QUALITY AMMUNITION.  There is a lot of stuff out there that claims to be the super bullet and will never fail.  I have to say in all the ballistic tests I've seen all bullets will fail at some point.  My first choice in ammunition is the Winchester XST series and second would be the Winchester PDX series.  A little secret about the XSTs is it's the politically correct version of the black tallons, pretty much the same bullet minus the black coating. 

The second thing I will say is make sure what ever gun you pick if comfortable in your hand you can shoot accurately, and practice with it a lot.  Three in the morning isn't the time to figure out you can't remember where the safety is nor is it the time to realize you should've been shooting more.  In this situation lives are on the line, your's, your family's, the responding police officers, and even your neighbors'.  Now I'm sure you're thinking what the hell does he mean my neighbors' lives are on the line.  Let me explain, think of how a home is constructed, there are studs in the walls followed by gaps.  Exterior walls are made the same way and there are boards, siding, bricks, or other boards on those walls.  Stastically the odds of hitting a stud are relatively slim which allows the bullet, more than likely, to hit a gap and less material to penetrate to exit your home and potentially hit and even enter your neighbors' homes.  Can it happen sure it can, heck people hit the multimillion dollar lotteries. No matter how remote the chances it is a factor that needs to be considered.  Worse than that and much more likely is a shot misses it's target and penetrates an interior wall and exits the other side.  What's on the other side of that wall, your fireplace, big screen tv, a dresser, or your wife, son, or daughter?  I don't know but it's something you need to be thinking about because that bullet that enters and exits an interior wall has the ability to kill or seriously injure.

As for your question of which is better the 9mm or the .40 S&W that's a tough one.  In favor of the 9mm is higher magazine capactity, cheaper practice ammunition, ammunition is easy to find, and less recoil.  In favor of the .40 S&W you have more energy and heavier bullets, which penetrate deeper than lighter one.  Ammuniton for the .40 S&W is easy to find also but you have more recoil which is more of a hard snap compared to the 9mm's or even the .45 GAP's push.  Ballistics are neet to look at but the real world is where the metal meets the road.  People wear clothes, which can be a tough barrier for a bullet to penetrate especially when it comes to heavy material and winter clothes.  Also people take drugs which have a profound affect on the human body.  We can debate this for the next ten years and be right were we are now, for each pro there's a con for each.  In my professional opinion between the 9mm and .40 S&W I'd pick the .40 S&W.  If I had my choice of any caliber in a handgun for self defense I'd probably go with either  10mm, .45 Auto, or .45 GAP.  The .45 GAP ammo is tough to get at some places and expensive but when it comes to the price of a box of bullets or the price of my loved one's lives and mine price doesn't matter.  As for home defense my number one choice would be a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with number 4 shot.  It's very devistating at close range and if a pellet misses the intended target there is far less potential for it having leathal abilities, generally speaking, if it penetrates and exits a wall.

I know that I've been really long winded but hope this infomation helps you out.  I can't get into what I've seen at work but trust me when I say you'd be amazed what bullets will and won't do.  If you want to know something specific or want to know more feel free to ask.
Nothing is better than a Weatherby, big bore magnum, or a Colt.