Author Topic: Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40  (Read 500 times)

Offline David in MN

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1343
  • Karma: 107
Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40
« on: August 16, 2018, 08:28:28 AM »
I've long held the belief that the .40 S&W was a solution in search of a problem. If you wand capacity get a 9mm and if you want a big bullet get a .45 ACP. And if I'm being brutally honest if I only had one shot  to defend myself with a handgun it would be a 125 grain .357magnum hollow point.

But there's another data point to consider... Pressure. The .40 S&W is a higher pressure round than the 9mm. The .45 ACP is a very low pressure low speed round. So the .40 has the highest pressure of the lot. Why do we care? Well, the pistol functions on recoil. SO the theory is that the .40 will cycle and function better even if you have a poor grip or are injured or whatever else. The .40 bullet might not have a ballistic advantage but the round itself makes the pistol run better. It will cycle where a 9mm or .45 might not.

This is at least the story as it was related to me. It might even be true. I'm curious to hear what others think.

Offline donaldj

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1384
  • Karma: 87
    • Keep and Bear, LLC
Re: Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2018, 09:35:58 AM »
Recoil spring strength varies in firearms designed to shoot a certain caliber. The 9mm will typically have a spring with a bit less strength than a 40.

Guns are engineered with this in mind. Buying a 40 over a 9mm is not increasing reliability (assuming all else is equal).

The 40 is in decline due to improvements in bullet design. As 9mm continues to approach the 40's effectiveness, the disadvantages the 40 has over it (sharper recoil, typically lower capacity, expense) will continue to obsolete the cartridge.


D

Offline armymars

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 768
  • Karma: 22
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2018, 10:56:04 AM »
I don't know if it will ever become totally obsolete. I like my 40 XL. I like the bigger bullet and the way it shoots cast bullets. Remember the new bullet designs work in 40 S&W to. Check out Lucky Gunner.

Online Chemsoldier

  • Pot Stirrer
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 5698
  • Karma: 543
Re: Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2018, 03:34:15 PM »
I don't know if it will ever become totally obsolete. I like my 40 XL. I like the bigger bullet and the way it shoots cast bullets. Remember the new bullet designs work in 40 S&W to. Check out Lucky Gunner.

Oh, it can totally become obsolete.  However, as you indicate...it may never die out completely.  I still have  a soft spot for 10mm, the .38 S&W is still out there, some crazy buggers are out there shooting the older .32 cartridges.

Offline bartsdad

  • Scrooge McDuck
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • ******
  • Posts: 4012
  • Karma: 237
  • We're Vikings, we have stubbornness issues.
    • SPAMMY Link
Re: Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2018, 04:33:18 PM »
I guess it is time to put 10,000 rounds more of 40 S&W away. I have 2 guns that run this. While I do like commonality among consumables, if I put enough ammo away while it is still relatively cheap, I'll be fine for my lifetime.

Offline David in MN

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1343
  • Karma: 107
Re: Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 05:18:06 PM »
I'm not trying to poopoo one caliber or another. God only knows I have enough problems keeping inventory of 9mm, .357, and .45 ACP. But if the .40 has some advantage in action I might be swayed.

Recoil spring strength varies in firearms designed to shoot a certain caliber. The 9mm will typically have a spring with a bit less strength than a 40.

Guns are engineered with this in mind. Buying a 40 over a 9mm is not increasing reliability (assuming all else is equal).

That's what I've always assumed. And I tend to be biased that you buy the engine made for the chassis. Which, if you buy a modern gun, is almost always the 9mm, especially if it's a Euro type. For what its worth the Glock, M&P, Sig, H&K, XD, and so many others were designed from the ground up to be 9mm that were then fit to other calibers. It's the same reason I don't like 9mm 1911s. It was purpose built to be a .45.

If I wanted a .45 that wasn't a 1911 I would buy a H&K MK 23. It was purpose built in .45. I don't know of a gun purpose built in .40 S&W. That's my big complaint. When I see gun companies do line extensions I can't help but think that they're giving me a framing hammer that can also be a tack hammer and an engineering hammer. Sometimes you get lucky like the XDM and sometimes you create a shitshow like the G21. But you're still buying a pistol/caliber mismatch. My father in law shoots a Coonan and it's goofy as all get out.

That's the bias I have that keeps me in 9mm.

Offline iam4liberty

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2462
  • Karma: 187
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 05:25:18 PM »
There is a pretty common sentiment in military and law enforcement armorer circles that 40 S&W causes more wear and tear than 9mm.  Not sure if it has been quantified in terms of failures.  But long-term reliability may be another condideration.

Offline donaldj

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1384
  • Karma: 87
    • Keep and Bear, LLC
Re: Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 06:22:20 PM »
David, I get that having a purposefully built pistol, from the ground up, for the caliber you are expecting can be considered a desirable scenario. But to your example, there are chassis made for several different engines. The designers have a range of things to consider when designing, and different engines with HP and torque may be one of them.

In the end, it boils down to design input requirements. What must that pistol frame support? What loads must it accommodate? What mean time between failures must be achieved, and what total round count must it endure? Truth is, there's engineers who get paid full time to think of these things in design. There's then a whole bunch of engineers and technicians that do hands-on design verification to test. There are probably over a thousand design requirements that get considered when designed, and then these are tested.

The best companies (especially the ones going for lucrative military contracts) will try to do as much actual testing as possible to uncover design issues. Decent companies will more likely take limited data and extrapolate to the extremes of their requirements. And craptastic companies will likely just perform a paperwork analysis only that says "we checked our facts against our facts and found our facts were facts".

Bottom line, you have every right to your preference. My recommendation is that you go beyond preference, determine what your design and usability requirements are, and ensure the firearms considered actually meet those. 'Converted' designs (from 9mm to 40) are not necessarily bad, and may meet all requirements imposed on them.

D

Offline iam4liberty

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2462
  • Karma: 187
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 06:32:27 PM »
Background on wear, speed, and accuracy: http://concealednation.org/2014/10/fbi-decides-on-9mm-as-their-1-choice-and-have-tons-of-science-behind-their-decision/

FBI Decides On 9mm As Their #1 Choice And Have Tons Of Science Behind Their Decision

Earlier this year is when the FBI announced their return to the 9mm after finding that 40S&W rounds were causing too much excessive wear to their firearms.
...
 The majority of FBI shooters are both FASTER in shot strings fired and more ACCURATE with shooting a 9mm Luger vs shooting a .40 S&W (similar sized weapons)

Online Chemsoldier

  • Pot Stirrer
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 5698
  • Karma: 543
Re: Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 06:53:09 PM »
Does pressure increase reliability?  I mean the gun is recoil operated, not gas operated. They are sorta correlated but....357 sig recoil suggests that you can get very high pressure with somewhat less recoil.

Isn't it a threshold thing, not a graduated thing? It needs enough recoil to cycle, period. After you reach that, more recoil is just a PITA unless you want terminal ballistics or range profile or some such.


Offline JollyGreen

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 15
  • Karma: 2
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Maybe I Was Wrong About the .40
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2018, 09:42:41 PM »
Seriously,  buy a gun that you shoot well, in a caliber that you like and rock on.  I, for one, find .40 uncomfortable and relatively slow to shoot in most handguns.  I wouldn't fault anyone for using a larger caliber, but with modern hollow point ammunition I have absolutely no use for .40 for a civilian. 

My 9mm blasters function just fine, even when I use sloppy form.  (So I got that going for me, which is nice)  YMMV, and all of that.



Invest in real training, buy a good quality gun, gear and ammo. Practice with it.  Sally forth and do good things.