Thoughts on a .40 cal

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Insulation Tim, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. firefighter1635

    firefighter1635 Well-Known Member

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    I sold my Springfield XD-M .40 within a month of purchase, Wish I would have rented one before hand. I'll never own another .40, that's just me though.
  2. Raven18940

    Raven18940 New Member

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    With the cost of ammo these days I'm trying to collect as many like calibers as I can. I've got two 9mm at this point, a Glock 17 and Beretta 92, and I want to get a 1911 in 9mm to save on ammo. I'm even thinking of getting rid of my 7.62 AK for one in 5.56.

    I also have a slight issue with most 40 cal gun designs. Most seem to be 9mm that are scaled up to 40, but they don't change the magazine width. Most 9mm handguns and mags are desgined to perfectly stagger the 9mm round. When you stick a 40 in the same space it doesn't stagger correctly and significantly reduces the round count.

    So yeah, I wouldn't get a 40 just cause you don't have one. If there's a gun you want that just happens to be in 40, go for it.
  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Raven18940:

    Ahhh.......... The whole idea of the 40S&W was a large diameter bullet cartridge in a small 9mm frame. When you do it that way you get what you get. 40 S&W recoils like a 45ACP and worse in light guns (think plastic).

    If you want a full sized big gun then the 10mm is the one and it is in a frame that is big enough for a double column mag. If you think full power 40S&W recoils bad you ought to try a big 10mm. They recoil big and twist, along the centerline of the bore, in the hand as well.

    LDBennett
  4. CJ_56

    CJ_56 New Member

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    Mine doesn't. It isn't even close. I can't even feel the recoil of it and it is a plastic gun as you call them. Only certain parts are plastic as you know. Weight is only a part of recoil.

    I absolutely love my XDm .40. It doesn't have any recoil at all that I can feel. That stuff about the recoil being too hard is pure hogwash. And hurting the gun???? Yeah right. And all those 10mm cannons don't fall apart after being shot 500,000 times. Someone was trying to steer you to a gun they wanted you to buy IMO. There's NOTHING wrong with a .40 caliber gun. Glock, Springfield, Sig, etc., etc. all make decent models. Find one that fits your hand, your wallet and has the features you want. I did and couldn't be happier.

    I'd actually love to have a .45 that holds 16+1 rounds but I haven't found one yet. And one of my .45's kicks hard and the other one I can't even feel the recoil even though it's a much lighter gun. The design of the gun has far more to do with the felt recoil than any other factor. For me the axis height has a lot to do with felt recoil. It is probably different for everyone.

    Be prepared to work through a few guns to find the perfect gun for you. Most guns will work reasonably well. Mine all do. But I like the features of my .40 a lot even though I have a .45 that has great features. It just doesn't hold 17 rounds. But I carry both guns often depending on various things like how hot it is and what kind of clothes I will be wearing which means I am limited to a certain kind of holster sometimes. I have various holsters too but if I'm wearing shorts and a t-shirt I'll be carrying my .45 because I have a great IWB holster to carry it in and it's a smaller gun than my .40. My oldest carry pistol is a single stack .45 and is heavier than my other carry guns. So I rarely carry it now even though I carried it for a decade. Well I do have a .25 I bought when I was in college. I used to carry it when I went into certain bars where I knew everyone else had some kind of a gun. Yes I know it was a .25 but it was accurate and easy to conceal in a back pocket. The LEO's told people not to go to those bars without a gun because everyone else had one BTW. What can I say, I lived in a wild town.

    But forget the myths people conjure up about calibers. That stuff the guy told you can't possibly be true. .40's have the bullet speed to penetrate metal and angled glass (unlike a .45) and they have more knock down power than a 9mm. The choice of ammo means a lot. My SA will shoot very accurately although it isn't as accurate as my Sig P220 or my Taurus PT-145. It definitely isn't as accurate as my S&W 629 but not much is. Out to 30-35 yards it is plenty accurate enough. It's not a 1911 but it weighs a lot less and holds twice as many bullets. Look for the features YOU want. I did.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    i carried a browning 9mm until i had to use it , later was given a .45 , carried that until i could not

    no .45 legal here so i have a .40 loaded hard

    less recoil than .357 mag hits harder, expansions better , loading options include shot

    you dont get that option til you are at .40 or better in handgun ( serious shot not snake shot like .22's)

    i'll put .40 against 9mm any day , cause the one day i needed the 9mm it was NOT enough gun ..

    yes recoil is harder than most 9's ,
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  6. CJ_56

    CJ_56 New Member

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    No .45's in Aussie land? Wow you guys have a lot of rules that stink. I will agree that the recoil of a .40 is harder than a 9mm. But it isn't enough to affect followup shots in a gun that is made well. If the gun recoils straight back into your hand you have nothing to worry about. If you can't deal with recoil you should probably let someone else use the bigger guns and get yourself a .380 or a 9 x 18. Recoil is really a personal issue. The only handgun I have that gives me trouble with recoil is my .44 magnum. And the only reason it's a problem is the trigger guard bangs the knuckle on my middle finger hard. I have big fingers I guess. If I hold the gun just right it doesn't happen but it keeps me from wanting to carry that gun as a SD weapon. I don't want to be distracted by anything in a life or death situation.

    The .45 is the popular choice it is because it's about the biggest gun most people can carry and fire repeatedly without having to re-acquire the target after every shot. And if you get barrel flip it will still give you problems. My Taurus recoils straight back into my hands. I just bend my elbows slightly and let them absorb the recoil and I'm ready for followup shots instantly almost. But the time I see what I want to aim at my gun is ready to shoot at it. That's what everyone should look for in a gun. You want the biggest gun that you can still get off followup shots with without waiting to aim again. For most men that's generally a .45. For women it's generally a 9mm. The thing that made 9's so popular was the double stack mag and the fact they shoot fast enough to penetrate steel instead of banging it like a sledge hammer. So they will go through car doors. But so will a .357 magnum and so will a .40. Both are bigger and bigger is always better up to the point where you can't fire followup shots without aiming again.

    So if you're a man look at a .40 at least. If you're a woman or a small man a 9mm might be the best choice. But this stuff about the gun taking abuse is bunk. Modern guns are generally built like tanks anyway especially a good name brand gun. Glocks are known to be tough. Yes they had the issue with the chamber not being supported correctly about 20 years ago. That isn't a problem now that I know of.
  7. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    mine

    EAA Witness .40 S&W

    and i get 0.3 sec double taps in ( IPSC set rule ) on 25 meter 4" targets no worries

    practice practice practice

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  8. CJ_56

    CJ_56 New Member

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    There you go. No worries indeed. If that won't do it you're in big trouble anyway. I've never gotten timed on double tap shooting but I have emptied my 10+1 .45 Taurus PT-145 into an 8" target at 20 yards in 10 seconds. Every shot was a hit on target. I don't really practice that kind of shooting as much as I should. I try to set up different targets so I have to aim at like 3 targets with a mag. I think that's a real world scenario so I practice it pretty often but I should work on just double taps and emptying a mag too. You're right about practice meaning a lot. I've slacked off on practicing since the price of ammo went up so much. I try to practice at least once a month which really isn't enough but it keeps me accurate at least. That reminds me that it's time for another monthly practice run. I actually downloaded an app for my Iphone that was supposed to measure time between shots but if you shoot more than a round a second it won't distinguish individual rounds. Oh well. It was a free app. I guess I got what I paid for. Maybe it cost a dollar. Whatever it wasn't worth the time to download it.
  9. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  10. Archie

    Archie Member

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    What nonsense.

    The .40 S&W round has more bullet weight, more bullet diameter and about the same velocities as the 9x19 (shootabunch) NATO round. I have no doubt the .40 S&W has more momentum and greater usable energy than the 9 in just about any circumstance.

    On paper, the .40 has greater recoil than some 9x19 loadings, but I find shooting them does not seem punishing or intimidating. The H&K USP40(c) - my primary carry pistol - is no more objectionable in recoil than any of my other serious caliber guns.

    My H&K will print five rounds into the head section of an NRA B27 target at 25 yards with regularity. (Ammunition used was Winchester Ranger SXT 165.) It holds 12 rounds of ammunition in each magazine. (I don't plan on shooting or missing a great deal. If that's the plan, perhaps a submachinegun is in order.)

    Malfunctions? What malfunctions? I think I had a hangup once with a lead bullet catching on the feed ramp. It may have been with something else.

    I learned to shoot with the Government Model, the big Colt O frame model. I am also very impressed and pleased with S&W revolvers (of the older style). A four inch .357 Magnum is just dandy for all sorts of purposes.

    But I currently carry a .40 S&W because it works so well. The idea that the recoil is intimidating is just silly. It reminds me of the horror stories about the fearsome recoil of the .45 ACP round from a Government Model. Just plain nonsense. The idea the 9x19 round is 'just as effective' is wishful thinking.
  11. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    i practice seriously 3 times a week nowdays ( good excuse to have it with me otherwise its locked up, thats part of GC too making them hard to get at )

    and 45 gov 1911 aint bad try the coonan .357 auto mag or the colt python in 357mag both are very hard on hands , i can and have shot 1911's all day and only had a light buzz, doing that with .357 mag would hurt !!!
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Recoil perception is in the hands and head of the shooter. Some people have a larger tolerance for it and others a lesser amount.

    I have a friend who competed in silhouette competition in the Los Angeles area for years. He shot both air guns and 22's, both pistol and rifle. He was consistently first or second in competition in the relatively large club of the area. He was a natural shooter. That is not to say he only knew intuitively how to shoot well because he read everything imaginable on shooting. His success was that he new exactly how to apply the knowledge, had a very steady hand, and a good eye. But don't give him a 45acp gun. He bought one off a friend, a gunsmith worked over 1911 that was superb. He anticipated the recoil so bad he flinched unmercifully. He hated that gun. He eventually sold it.

    Recoil is what is perceived by the shooter and is modulated by that given off by the gun. The physics says bigger bullet, higher velocity, and a few other things results in bigger recoil. The gun itself can absorb some of it but the shooter gets the brunt of the recoil. Plastic guns are said, by those that own them, to absorb a bit more of the recoil than a steel gun so they must deform from the recoil and turn that energy into something else (conservation of energy law of physics). It probably is heat but not so much as to be noticeable so maybe the plastic doesn't really absorb that much energy after all and the "reduced" recoil is a perception and not reality (??).

    I find bigger cartridges when compared to 9mm and 357 mag are less sharp in their recoil and push longer, spreading the recoil force over a longer period of time. That is much easier for ME to take. But there are limits....like the 44mag and the 10mm full power loads. I find the recoil of my reloads for 45acp (mid range), down loaded 10mm, 40 S&W (mid range), 41mag (mid range), and 44 Special loads all very similar with none standing out in my mind. I prefer to shoot these loads over the 9mm and 357mag loads (mid range). I am not bothered at all by their recoil. But that is my perception, again. Yours may differ!

    LDBennett
  13. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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  14. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I am a fan of the 9 mil. Ammo is inexpensive so I can shot more of it. My nephew has a XD 40 and it's a good gun. Nice shooter. I don't see any big deal with the recoil. It's not much more that my Beretta 9 mil.

    In my state we can't carry a gun for self defense so that is not an issue. If I am just punching holes in paper I really don't need the added expense of the 40.
  15. CJ_56

    CJ_56 New Member

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    A 9mm will do pretty well for SD but a bigger caliber is better as long as a person can deal with the recoil and get off those secondary shots on target. It's as simple as that really. If you're just target shooting you might as well use a .22. For SD give me as much gun as I can handle as long as it has the right characteristics. I switched from .45 to .40 because of more ammo per mag and because of better penetration through steel and angled glass i.e. a car door or windshield. 9"s are good for penetration too because they are smaller rounds traveling fast. But the size of the bullet means deeper penetration in tissue. It's a physics thing. Mass, deceleration and all that. Yes speed is a factor but tests tend to indicate that bigger bullets penetrate tissue deeper just as smaller bullets penetrate steel better. Newton just didn't cover all this ground but modern terminal ballistics testing has covered it. IMO a .40 is a good compromise between the good things of a .45 and a 9mm and it has the high capacity (almost) of the 9mm. I don't plan on missing much either but I'd rather not get killed for lack of shooting back as Clyde the one armed deputy in "Unforgiven" said, "I just don't want to get killed for lack of shooting back."
  16. garydude

    garydude Member

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    I've shot and enjoyed several 40 cals and have even reloaded for it. Its a nice caliber but one i can live without. If i didn't have a 9 and 45 i would consider it as a good compromise.

    So Tim, have you made up your mind?
  17. Sig Willy

    Sig Willy Member

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    I like my 9mm as it was easy to shoot and the ammo were priced ok. I owned and shot a 9mm for the first time two years ago. At first it was a PF9 and now a Sigma 9. I felt that a 9mm are adequate for SD but as I read, only in some cases. Ok then, so I looked up the 40sw. Lots of mixed reviews but most says it is indeed a pretty powerful caliber.

    I decided I want one and got my Sig P250c in 40sw last April (Fools Day duh). I had two boxes of ammo in advance, WWB 165 FMJs and Win PDX1 165 BHPs before I picked up the gun at the range. I took my cleaning kit along to prep the gun before shooting because the day I bought the gun I get to shoot for free.

    Now I know what they mean about the recoil. It does kick hard, especially the PDX1s. I still hit the target (at 25 feet) in the green so that wasn't bad. After a few trips to the range, my groups got smaller and more tolerant to the recoil. I love it.

    Funny thing is, my 9mm feels inadequate compared to the 40 but I still shoot it because it shoots tighter groups than the 40. Also it's cheaper to shoot. :)
  18. terryu1

    terryu1 Armed Infidel Supporting Member

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    I love my .40 Taurus 24/7 Pro C. Taurus gets a bad rap in many places due to history with some guns in past however they did their homework when they made the 24/7. They did it with the intent on attracting police etc to use them as a reliable sidearm. I have put at least 600-700 rounds through mine with no issues and have used quite a variety of ammo with again no issues. They are also very reasonable. Mine is in my avatar.
  19. Mr_Shamrock

    Mr_Shamrock New Member

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    I have had a Taurus .40 and a few others and liked them all. However, for some unknown reason, a few years ago when I liquidated a large portion of my collection I ended up selling all the .40 calibers. It wasn't intentional, as far as I didn't consciously decide I was selling all my .40's, I just sold the ones I hadn't shot in a while and for whatever reason all my .40's went bye bye. It might have been because I was trying to eliminate all the different calibers and I had the least amount of them.
  20. JUNKKING

    JUNKKING Active Member

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    I have a 40 XDM about 900 rounds through it. Never noticed a big difference in recoil than any other large gun. I was actually thinking of trading it in on another 45 because that is the direction I want to go when I begin to reload. I may just keep it as I dont know if I could get much on a trade in being it is full sized. Most people want the compacts and sub compacts now days. It hits where I aim it and has never faulted once. I havent shot it over a year. But I do like the 40's High capacity magazines.
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