The Firearms Forum banner

Why is the .40 S&W thought to be inaccurate?

3924 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  clepidus
agent mango
Posts: 10
(8/31/01 4:42:43 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del All Why is the .40 S&W thought to be inaccurate?
It is similar to both the 9mm and .45 in shape, but it is somewhere in between in terms of size and kick. So what reason is there for it to be inaccurate?
"On the bounce and by the numbers!"

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 624
(8/31/01 5:00:39 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Why is the .40 S&W thought to be inaccurate?
Because people need an excuse. The bad groups (patterns?) COULDN'T be THEM!!!! Has to be the gun/round/sites.
To run from trouble is foolish, to look for it... even more so

V.I.P. Member
Posts: 282
(8/31/01 5:16:17 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Why is the .40 S&W thought to be inaccurate?
It mostly has to do with what ALPHA said but some people have tried to make the switch from a single stack .45 to a double stack .40 and find that the grip is too big for their hand to properly hold the gun.

Guns don't cause crime anymore than flies caues garbage.

agent mango
Posts: 11
(9/1/01 6:13:48 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Why is the .40 S&W thought to be inaccurate?

You would think most .45 enthusiasts must have tried a DC 9mm sometime in their life, and had the same problem. So why balme the .40?

PS: Is the .40 S&W or the 10mm taller? They are almost identical in diameter.
"On the bounce and by the numbers!"

shooter45 us
*Senior Chief Moderator*
Posts: 845
(9/1/01 6:34:08 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Why is the .40 S&W thought to be inaccurate?
Maximum overall length with bullet seated: 40S&W - 1.135"
10mm - 1.260"

Dia. is the same .423.

I have a couple of .40's that shoot very tight groups. Anyone who thinks the .40 S&W round is inaccurate must be shooting a Glock. LOL.

agent mango
Posts: 12
(9/1/01 11:19:56 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Why is the .40 S&W thought to be inaccurate?
I have two more questions, and thanks for the replies.

1) Which of the 10mm and .40SW generally has a heavier bullet, and which has more velocity? I have heard 10mm has more energy so that leads me to think that the .40 is heavier, the 10mm faster.

2) What does minute of angle mean? I have heard the expression all over, but in one fictional book about a character named Bob Lee Swagger, it is described as one inch groups at 100 yards, 2 inch at 200 yards, so on and so forth.
"On the bounce and by the numbers!"

Senior Chief Moderator Staff
Posts: 626
(9/2/01 4:55:30 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Why is the .40 S&W thought to be inaccurate?
1) The 10mm and .40 share all bullet weights with the exeption of the 200gr ( I'm purdy sure its 200) for the 10mm. 10mm is faster in almoat all loading than the .40 is.

2) MOA is roughly 1 inch @ 100yrds

PS, low blow Sam LOL Saw your toy in the 1911 forum, very nice
To run from trouble is foolish, to look for it... even more so

Edited by: Alphamale at: 9/2/01 6:13:14 am

Posts: 2
(12/15/02 3:13:16 am)
Reply | Edit | Del 4

Edited by: majormagnum at: 1/1/03 11:21:37 pm

Posts: 38
(12/16/02 1:09:29 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del 40mm
He who says the 40mm is inaccurate has a bad gun or eyes.

*TFF Staff*
Posts: 1743
(12/16/02 6:00:26 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: 40mm
I don't trust any factory ammo for accuracy. If you reload, the accuracy statement is completely false. I have reloaded for my 40's and have had great results.

Hey, Bin Lauden, our women can kick you butt!

V.I.P. Member
Posts: 416
(1/2/03 3:55:10 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: 40mm
probably got the rep becuase most people's exposure to the 40 is in compact / concealed carry / high-recoil weapons.
Try it in a full-size semi, or locked in a benchrest, you'll very likely find it's accruacy is juuust fine.


V.I.P. Member
Posts: 110
(1/2/03 12:16:21 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del MOA
A minute of angle is a measure of distance based on a circle. Where a degree is 1/360 of a circle, a minute is 1/60 of a degree, like seconds on a clock face. If your clock face is 200 yards in diameter, the space between the seconds is about 1 inch.
If you place yourself at the center of the clock and your target out on the edge, it's 100 yards away. If you draw a line from you to the bullseye and another line from you to your bullet hole that is 1 inch away from the bullseye, the angle between the 2 lines is 1 minute or 60 degrees. If you increase the size of the circle so you're 200 yards away, the angle changes as well - so now if the points are 2 inches away, the angle is one minute.

Conversely, if you get closer, the angle changes in the other direction.

{ONE PARTICULAR HARBOUR}{Auction45}{Famous Flying Yen Shop}

Posts: 28
(1/4/03 8:30:08 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del cheap ammo
most calibers will shoot well with a quality pistol,and quality need to find the best grain loads for your firearm.I have tried a number of different bullets in my 9mm,and 114 grain is the most accurate,lower and higher grain bullets give more velocity,but they tend to group much worse.same goes for 40,41,44, and 45.I prefer to load my own,so I have control over the componants I'm never know how long the factory stuff has been laying around.the 40 is a very nice caliber to shoot,just stay away from the elcheapo ammo.

Posts: 4
(1/5/03 2:54:55 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: cheap ammo
I just posted about five paragraphs on the .40 S&W and the Spell Checker ate it all. So I may just prove the .40's accuracy by shooting my computer from 100 yards with my SW99.
Here were the highlights:
180gr .40 = BAD
165gr .40 = GOOD
Winchester 165gr BEB WinClean = REALGOOD
Winchester 155gr Silvertip HP = GODLIKE (1200fps 500ftlbs)
Glock .40 pistols = REALBAD (Austrians must have oddshaped hands, cause those grips suck)
Beretta .40 pistols = BAD (Beretta must be Italian for Dogs#*t)
SW99 = GREAT (what a grip!)
S&W Sigma = BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK (great grip too!)
"If a tie is like kissing your sister, losing is like kissing your grandmother with her teeth out." George Brett
See less See more
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
HOLY SH*T... we can dreged the Archives now???? :eek::eek::eek::eek::rolleyes:

GN, you did state a few weeks ago that the forum has been slow.:eek::eek:

...and I agree.
The 10 mm was introduced first in the mid 1980's. It is a magnum pressure level cartridge. The FBI made it their weapon of choice but found smaller men and woman had a hard time shooting it because the recoil was so great. As a magnum level gun the 10mm's were based on a full sized frame, not the smaller frame size of the 9 mm, which added to the carry problem for FBI agents. At first the FBI went for a downloaded version of the the 10mm then S&W invented a shorter version of the 10 mm (the 40S&W) for them, which could be housed in the smaller frame size of the 9 mm guns.

The 40 S&W is a shorter, down loaded version of the 10 mm. So it stands to reason that, in every bullet weight, it has the potential to be more powerful (hence higher velocities for the same bullet weight).

The 40S&W, and the 45ACP have the same level of recoil, for equivalent bullet weights and similar gun weights. That is, less sharp and more of a bigger push compared to the 9 mm. To me the 45ACP is the ideal pistol but if you need a compact gun then the 40S&W can get you similar power in a smaller, lighter gun. The truth be known, for personal defense the magnum level of the 10 mm cartridge is probably too much. But these 10 mm's may make a good hunting gun, or for bear protection in Alaska (but probably nothing less than a 454 Casull should do that task????).

See less See more
To me people either like or hate the 40 SW round and part of it is it's snappy recoil in smaller guns. I have a Sig P226 40 S&W and it's a pleasure to shoot and really accurate. I also have a Sig P239 and it's a much smaller gun and it's very accurate but a real handful to shoot. I think it's a lot of perception to the shooter when they shoot a 40S&W in a small pistol. The P239 for me is very accurate but not a joy to shoot. :)

My 2 cents worth :D
The whole one caliber being better than another caliber is a big joke. I like the 7mm-08. Is it better than the 308? No. I like blue. Is it better than red? No. The whole accuracy question of one caliber vs another is silly too. A 460 weatherby mag is just as accurate as the 22PPC in the hands of the right shooter with the right gun. If you want a 40, go get it.
In my hands its not:D
Slow fire I can put 5 .40 S&W rounds into one jagged hole at 7 yards and 5 rounds into a 4 inch circle at 25 yards.

Where is the inaccuracy?
The Springfield XD in .40 is very accurate.
I love my XD. It is very accurate and reliable as well. I went with the 5" tactical after having a Sig P239 that I could not shoot accurately. The sig was not comfortable to me where as the XD feels like an extension of my hand when I shoot it. I hear the XD-M is even better.

In my opinion the fit and feel of the gun is a big part of accuracy. As commented on earlier people going from a single stack .45 to a double stack .40 may not be comfortable with the change.

I bought my wife a Taurus .357 a while back and she is deadly accurate with it. The grips are way too small for my hand and it is actually painful for me to shoot. I can't hit a can at 25' with 5 shots where she can hit 5 of 5.

So as often as you hear it, it is not the gun it is the shooter and I think that that is the problem with most .40 S&W inaccuracy issues but that is just my simple minded opinion.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.