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Author Topic: So...does everyone hate .40 now?  (Read 37235 times)

Nightcrawler

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So...does everyone hate .40 now?
« on: October 17, 2015, 10:36:13 am »
Last year it was a huge deal on (on the internet, for shooters, so probably not that big a deal in real life) when the FBI announced they were switching to .40 back to 9mm, after twenty something years.



This image was circulated as part of the justification.  There are also plenty of articles about how the .40 is lame or whatever.

http://www.thebangswitch.com/the-fading-40/

http://pistol-training.com/archives/8382

http://weaponsman.com/?p=10058

https://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/5-reasons-hate-40-short-bus/
WARNING: this author's mind has been corrupted by the Glock 20, which he spells in all caps.

They claim the .40S&W is fading away, dying, going the way of .38 Super or .45 GAP, and I think they're full of s___.  (As someone who has shot quite a bit of .357 and .44 Magnum, and even had a .41 years ago, I get a chuckle out of these guys crying about how badly the .40 recoils.)

Every gun store I've been to has no shortage of .40s on the shelf.  The makers keep making them and the distributors keep distributing them, so they must be selling.  I think some of this is gun fanboy circle-jerking, wherein the commenters are in a rush to agree with whichever tactical guru they follow.

So, I've been asking around.  Has anyone here actually switched calibers or guns based on what the FBI does or says?  According to the internet, "science" has "proven" that .40 and .45 offer no advantage whatsoever over 9mm, and they offer the above ballistic gel photo as proof.

This isn't the first time ballistic gel photos have been used to prove such things.  Back in the late 90s, early 2000s, this diagram of a supposed gel test that supposedly happened at some point in time was used as "proof" that 5.56mm is better than everything else, including 7.62 NATO.



Note the "detached muscle", which is interesting, since gel doesn't have muscles.

I think people get a little too wrapped around the axle with ballistic gel.  I think the role of gel is as a common test medium in which to compare bullets to one another.  People tend to think of it as a 1:1 approximation of the human body, and it most assuredly isn't. 

Anyway, here's my theory on why handgun cartridges all perform about the same, and it's not just the mantra of "all handguns suck".  They perform about the same because the manufacturers design them to.  Think about it.  They're designed to function in a handgun that weighs anywhere from twenty to forty ounces.  They can't have too much blast or recoil, otherwise shooters won't like them and it'll batter the guns.  Most the guns, regardless of caliber, are pretty similar to one another.  People want a bullet that will stop within a human body, which generally makes for a poor sandbag, and the rounds are designed to perform to similar specifications in ballistic gel test media.

So, given all that, of course they perform all about the same.  If you downloaded a .30-06 so it could be fired out of a handgun, and gave it those parameters, it'd perform at about that level, too.

Anyway, has anyone here switched because of the recent hooplah with the FBI?

Personally?  I'm considering a .40 one of these days.  Work requires me to live in Colorado now, and in its rush to become California Lite, Colorado has implemented a 15-round magazine capacity limit.  Very few full-sized 9mms have 15-round magazines anymore, but most .40s do.  I'd rather have a 15-shot .40, just for the sake of using the gun as it was designed, than a 9mm with a 10-round magazine because no fifteen rounders are available for it.

I might get a .45, too, but I haven't decided yet.  I think maybe .40 gets a bad rap, though.  It's gotten to the point where it's cool to hate on .40, and people forget that it is a solid performing cartridge with a solid service record.  But, with ammunition being loaded the way it is, one does wonder if there is any advantage to a .40 or a .45 over a 9mm.  Half the internet says "no".  I'm sure most of the gun buying public is oblivious to what internet gun culture thinks and buys whatever they want.
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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #1 on: October 17, 2015, 11:00:58 am »
    I love the 40.  As the resident 10mm douche, all the 40's ensure I have lots of .400 sized bullets to try in my 10mm loads.

    As far as what the FBI has done...

    I think their choice says more about the firearms competence of their agents than anything else.  Many of them aren't "gun" people.  They train enough to pass the qualifier and that is it.  And no doubt, they can shoot an El Presidente better with a 9mm than a comparably sized 40, 10mm or 45.  So, better to get hits with a 9 than misses with something else.

    With regard to the above chart, it really just says two things.  First, bigger bullets make bigger permanent wound cavities.  No surprise there. Second, bullets with higher sectional density tend to penetrate further.  Again, no huge surprise.

    I am currently trying to put all the pieces in place to run a similar test, but with more true cartridge comparison.  9mm, 38 super, 357 sig, all in the 124/125 Speer JHP, 40 S&W/10mm Auto with 155 gr Speer JHP, and 45 ACP with a 200 grain Speer JHP.  All from Underwood ammo who loads right on the ragged edge.  Those bullet weights were chosen for their very near sectional density, and all Speer JHP so they all have the same construction.  Idea being to actually see which cartridge penetrates best and which has the best permanent wound cavity.  Hard part is finding 6 guns in those calibers that are comparable.  I would ideally like 6 full size 1911's or 6 full size glocks.  Problem with Glock is I lose 38 super, but could pick up the 45 GAP.  But, since the GAP duplicates 45 ACP ballistics, not a lot of sense in testing it.  And the 38 super falls nicely between the 9mm and the 357 sig.

    So, anyone in Utah with a full size 1911 in 9mm, 38 super, 357 sig or 40 S&W, shoot me a PM if you wanna help me test.

    Edit...Nukmed, I am coming for you and you 45 when the time arrives :-)
    Utah

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #2 on: October 17, 2015, 11:12:14 am »
    Edit...Nukmed, I am coming for you and you 45 when the time arrives :-)

    Always here.  Always loaded.   ;)
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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #3 on: October 17, 2015, 11:24:24 am »
    As for switching calibers because of the report, no.  I have become more tolerant of rimless calibers that are not .45 ACP, though.

    Keeping in mind the old saw about "all handguns suck," I wanted the advantage of a bullet that would make bigger holes.  The take away message I got from the report was that the advantage of a .45 ACP over a 9mm or 10mm was actually quite small.  Small enough, in fact, as to be difficult to discern when modern hollow point projectiles are used.

    I'm still a ".45 guy," but now I am far more willing to carry other calibers than before.
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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #4 on: October 17, 2015, 11:34:59 am »
    I don't mind .40. It's not my preference, but it's ok. I like 9mm and .45 if I must carry a semi automatic handgun. Given the choice I like .357 magnum and .38 special  :coffee.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #5 on: October 17, 2015, 12:04:49 pm »
    I don't think there is anything wrong with the .40, and it is a good cartridge when used in a gun designed around it.  Not so much in guns designed for 9mm.  If I were to buy a M&P my order of preference would be .45ACP, .40, then 9mm.  In a glock it would be 9mm, .45ACP, then .40.

    The .40 tends to wear out guns designed for the 9mm round much faster.  The times I have fired .40 at the range I didn't think the recoil was a big deal at all.  I think agencies are switching from .40 to 9mm because the slightly larger ammo capacity, less wear on guns, and slightly softer recoil outweigh any slight performance difference.
    Georgia

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #6 on: October 17, 2015, 12:08:49 pm »
    The M&P specifically was designed around .40. It came out in .40 first.

    Glock seems to have worked out their exploding.40 issue.

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #7 on: October 17, 2015, 12:10:57 pm »
    So, I've been asking around.  Has anyone here actually switched calibers or guns based on what the FBI does or says? 
    No.  I wanted a .40 caliber handgun, and I made the move right as the FBI was doing their thing.  Ironically, I decided on a Glock, sorry...  GLOCK... Model 23. :p

    This was purely a coincidence, but of course I had to wonder... Why?  Reading up on the decision, I was convinced that my new .40 was going to kick like a horse.  My first range trip was a pleasant surprise.  Not only does a .40 not kick 'bad,' but I was kind of disappointed.  "Was that it??"  I wanted more recoil.  It was that day that I determined that the FBI is staffed by a bunch of pussies.

    I do still think what the FBI chooses for duty ammo deserves consideration, because they can analyze and test it better than I.  But not being able to handle a .40?  Unless you pilot a desk for a living (like the majority of agents) and shoot only biannually, I have to call BS.



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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #8 on: October 17, 2015, 12:44:50 pm »
    .40 has never been a caliber I'm super fond of, but it has allot more to do with what I carry small calibers in. Typically I carry full sized guns in .45acp or 44mag etc, I carry small guns in 9mm or .380acp. So if I were to say carry a small .40cal then recoil would be allot heavier than a 9mm in the same package because of the size and weight of these tiny guns. But I also don't like having so many different ammo kinds on hand, this morning I decided to carry something I haven't carried in ages my 44mag(likely since last winter), and my Officers 1911 weak side. Well I had to hunt for ammo for the 44mag, realized I actually have more ammo on hand than I had realized since I have been carrying things that I've got mags ready to go out the door with. But I had to hunt since I had 6+ different calibers plus different loads. Which then thinking about adding another caliber and more loads means I'd really have to better organize my ammo or start dropping some calibers;)

    Now all of that said I don't think that 40S&W is a bad round just not to my taste for my normal use, as well with mag restrictions in mind I'd lean more towards 45acp myself. I prefer the recoil of 45 over 40, mostly to me 40 tends to be sharper feeling recoil than 45 in most loads. It has more to do with light and fast, vs. heavy and slow. But I'm finding myself firmly in the camp of heavy and slow being my preference in loads. But given mag restrictions I just want a big hole, and your not loosing much if anything running with 45acp in most cases so that's the direction I'd go.

    In the end though I really don't think for most people's 2 legged needs you'll go wrong with 9mm, 40S&W or 45acp. They all should do the job effectively if you do your part.

    Luke
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    Nightcrawler

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #9 on: October 17, 2015, 01:50:27 pm »
    According to the internet, .45 offers no advantage over 9mm either.  None at all, so they say.

    I'm not sure if I buy that, to be perfectly honest.
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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #10 on: October 17, 2015, 01:57:43 pm »
    I've been back and forth on the .40. I carried a glock 23 for about a year before dropping it for a glock 29sf which despite being a 10mm seemed to shoot smoother with most loads. Then I got a decent deal on a Sig P229-40 which coupled with being able to buy ammo pretty much wherever (turns out being in a long distance relationship with my now fiancé cuts into reloading bench time) swayed me back over to the .40.
    Plus since it seems to be the cool thing lately to hate the .40 and I'm decidedly not cool it seems to make sense that I would carry it.
    Hmm maybe since the .40 internet hate is only rivaled by 1911 internet hate I should try and find a .40 1911...
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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #11 on: October 17, 2015, 01:59:28 pm »
    According to the internet, .45 offers no advantage over 9mm either.  None at all, so they say.

    I'm not sure if I buy that, to be perfectly honest.

    If memory recalls correctly, .45 acp still gets a slight edge over both. That being said, handguns still suck and you shouldn't be worrying if 9mm, .40, or .45 has the better ballistics because you should be carrying a .357 magnum anyways :neener  >:D.

    And so as there is no confusion, yes I'm being facetious.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #12 on: October 17, 2015, 02:00:51 pm »
    I've been back and forth on the .40. I carried a glock 23 for about a year before dropping it for a glock 29sf which despite being a 10mm seemed to shoot smoother with most loads. Then I got a decent deal on a Sig P229-40 which coupled with being able to buy ammo pretty much wherever (turns out being in a long distance relationship with my now fiancé cuts into reloading bench time) swayed me back over to the .40.
    Plus since it seems to be the cool thing lately to hate the .40 and I'm decidedly not cool it seems to make sense that I would carry it.
    Hmm maybe since the .40 internet hate is only rivaled by 1911 internet hate I should try and find a .40 1911...

    Springfield EMP?
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #13 on: October 17, 2015, 02:18:09 pm »
    I was thinking go big or go home with a some type of double stack frame.

    Oh and real men carry a .44 magnum... :neener



    Utah

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #14 on: October 17, 2015, 02:19:52 pm »
    The only .40 I've shot recently (as in, this year) was a Beretta 96 I had for a little bit.   I think I shot George Hill's Glock 23 once.  I've never fired one side by side with a .45.  I've heard they tend to have sharper, snappier, whatever you want to call it, recoil.

    Quote
    Oh and real men carry a .44 magnum...

    A .44 Magnum was my everyday carry for years.  :cool
    ArizonaMOLON LABE

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #15 on: October 17, 2015, 02:25:52 pm »
    The only .40 I've shot recently (as in, this year) was a Beretta 96 I had for a little bit.   I think I shot George Hill's Glock 23 once.  I've never fired one side by side with a .45.  I've heard they tend to have sharper, snappier, whatever you want to call it, recoil.

    A .44 Magnum was my everyday carry for years. :cool

    You've posted pics of it before, but what model .44 did you carry again?
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #16 on: October 17, 2015, 02:27:27 pm »
    It was a 3" Model 29 "Bounty Hunter".  Matte blue finish, full lug barrel.
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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #17 on: October 17, 2015, 02:36:26 pm »
    My 5" 629 classic gets into the rotation every once in a while during the winter. Advantage of spending most of my time on the farm and wearing a coat to town.
    Utah

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #18 on: October 17, 2015, 02:42:01 pm »
    It was a 3" Model 29 "Bounty Hunter".  Matte blue finish, full lug barrel.

    Was it difficult to dress around or carry in public?

    I think L frame is about as big as I can get for everyday/every situation bumming around.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #19 on: October 17, 2015, 03:04:00 pm »
    Was it difficult to dress around or carry in public?

    I think L frame is about as big as I can get for everyday/every situation bumming around.

    Not really.  Here's a picture of me (cameo by George Hill).  You can see the Simply Rugged Texas Pancake I carried the 629 in.  I had a Kramer holster for my Bounty Hunter, and was easier and lighter to carry.  It got more holster time, but it had been broken and replaced by the time the photo was taken.  The Performance Center 629 Super Snubby was its replacement.





    Christ, I was skinnier back then.  The picture below is me carrying the 629 Classic under an untucked, button down shirt.  It printed a little, and poked out a little from the bottom, but I'm tall and have wide shoulders and could get away with it.  I had no issue concealing the short-barreled gun.





    ArizonaMOLON LABE

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #20 on: October 17, 2015, 03:11:22 pm »
    Thanks for the info! :thumbup1

    I still have dreams of packing an N frame some days.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #21 on: October 17, 2015, 03:14:27 pm »
    You guys aren't helping, you know.  :eh

    I was almost past my desire for a .44 snubbie...



    Kaso

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #22 on: October 17, 2015, 03:24:33 pm »
    You guys aren't helping, you know.  :eh

    I was almost past my desire for a .44 snubbie...



    Kaso

    Yeah, I'm already predisposed towards wheelie boom addiction and it seems lately the forum population in it's entirety has been, um.... tumescent with the idea of revolver shooting, buying, and ownership.

    My wallet is hiding from me currently, cos it knows I'll give in to the first good deal I see  :facepalm.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    Nightcrawler

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #23 on: October 17, 2015, 03:28:24 pm »
    How many times do I need to say it?  This forum is NOT the place to go if you want to be talked out of buying a gun.  :rotfl
    ArizonaMOLON LABE

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    Kaso

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    Re: So...does everyone hate .40 now?
    « Reply #24 on: October 17, 2015, 03:53:22 pm »
    How many times do I need to say it?  This forum is NOT the place to go if you want to be talked out of buying a gun.  :rotfl
    I know this.  I was trying to shift myself toward a .357 snub.  You know, because they are more practical, cheaper, both gun and ammo, and they recoil less.  But a .44...  They just scream 'manly.'










    Yes, I am compensating. :hide



    Kaso

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