The Failure of the .40 Smith & Wesson

40 S&W Expanded Bullet

In the spirt of full disclosure and to get the hate mail started “tout suite,” I have never liked the .40 S&W and will make my case after recounting a bit of its history. The .40 S&W was designed as a compromise resulting from the aftermath of the infamous 1986 FBI Miami shootout, in which two FBI special agents were killed and five wounded. (Of the eight agents at the scene, two had Remington 870 shotguns in their vehicles, three were armed with Smith & Wesson Model 459 9mm semi-automatic pistols, and the rest were armed with Smith & Wesson revolvers (two had .357 Magnums and five had .38 Specials).

Two of the agents had backup .38 Special revolvers and both used them during the fight. The Bureau started the testing process for a new pistol using both the 9×19mm Parabellum and .45 ACP ammunition in preparation to replace its standard-issue revolver with a semi-automatic pistol. The FBI believed that a semi-automatic pistol would offer two important advantages over the revolvers currently being issued — increased ammunition capacity and faster reloading under stress. The choice of caliber, however, was influenced by events that no one had foreseen.

9mm and .40 S&W Glock
9mm or .40? It takes about 20 percent more practice to master the .40 (minimum).

In the 1970s, semi-automatic pistols offered high rates of fire and quick reloading, but used less powerful rounds than could be chambered in revolvers. The revolvers in use at the time came in a variety of calibers firing more powerful cartridges than the semi-automatic pistols of the day, but they were slow to reload and held less ammunition.

.40 S&W Development

So, in December of 1979, Thomas Dornaus and Michael Dixon decided to start development on a new semi-automatic pistol that would close the gap between the power of revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. Their objective was to develop something that would deliver a power level that would exceed both the .45 ACP and .357 Magnum.

To start their process, they sought advice from the most knowledgeable sources of the day. That search led them to Jeff Cooper where they learned that he had already started formulating such a concept. They wisely decided to combine their efforts. Dornaus and Dixon were tasked with the engineering, development, manufacturing, and marketing, while Cooper was to provide the conceptual design criteria and technical advice.

With that understanding, the company was incorporated as Dornaus & Dixon Enterprises Inc. on July 15, 1981, with a new factory established in Huntington Beach, California. The first pistols started life as heavily-modified CZ 75s but on stainless-steel frames with additional features that could only be found on a highly-customized pistol. Additionally, Cooper insisted it be chambered in a .40 caliber cartridge.

Cooper’s specifications for the requirements of the new round were a .40 caliber, 200-grain bullet, fired from a 5-inch barrel, and having an impact velocity of 1,000 feet per second at 50 yards. With that goal in mind, work began on a .45 ACP length, .40 caliber, using shortened .30 caliber Remington rifle brass. The resulting cartridge and pistol was then named the Bren Ten by Cooper.

Dornaus & Dixon Enterprises Inc. Bren Ten complete with the GunSite Raven
The Dornaus & Dixon Enterprises Inc. Bren Ten complete with the GunSite Raven.

And so it was that the Miami Shoot out became the driving force behind the 10mm Auto’s adoption along with the validation of Jeff Cooper’s concept of magnum-level performance in a semi-auto with law enforcement applications. After a series of tests using the 10mm Auto in both pistols and submachine guns, the FBI adopted the cartridge. However, the romance between the FBI and the 10mm was a brief affair.

For a time, the FBI’s adoption of the 10mm influenced other law enforcement and police agencies around the country to acquire their own 10 millimeters. But with increased exposure, it was quickly realized that the 10mm had too much recoil, and was too powerful for most agents to handle. The truth is that most agents and others in law enforcement are not serious shooters. For inexperienced shooters, the 10mm is too much to handle.

As a result, the FBI contacted Smith & Wesson and requested it design a new handgun and cartridge to the modified FBI specifications, based on a reduced-velocity 10mm cartridge. During this collaboration, S&W shortened the 10 millimeter case enough to fit within medium-size framed 9mm handguns and loaded it with a 180-grain JHP bullet to produce ballistic performance to match the FBI’s new reduced-velocity parameters.

Smith & Wesson, in conjunction with Winchester, produced the new cartridge. The .40 S&W was born in January of 1990 along with the new Smith & Wesson Model 4006 pistol (although it was several months before pistols became available).

Colt Delta Elite 10mm, left profile
This is the author’s early issue of the Colt Delta 10 a fine shooting and good handling 10mm platform. Of course, it’s a 1911.

Now, as it worked out, the decision to go with a shorter case length was a ‘good news, bad news’ kind of thing. The good news was that it allowed the new cartridge to fit and function in 9mm Luger size chambered pistols, which is why it’s no coincident that most .40 caliber guns are just retrofitted 9 millimeters.

Coincidentally, Austrian-manufactured Glock pistols in the new cartridge were commercially available before the Smith & Wesson pistols. Chambered in .40 S&W, the Glock 22 and Glock 23 were announced a week before the 4006. Glock’s ability to beat Smith & Wesson to the punch was because the .40 S&W uses the same bore diameter and case head as the 10mm Auto which allowed Glock to adapt its 10mm design to its shorter 9×19mm Parabellum frames.

Due to Gaston Glock’s marketing genius, the new guns and ammunition were an immediate success. His pistols, in the new caliber, were adopted by several law enforcement agencies around the nation — including the FBI, which adopted the Glock pistol in .40 S&W in May of 1997.

And Now, the Bad News… Lots of it!

Because of the rapid rush to market, and the adoption of designs that could not contain the higher pressures of the new cartridge, a litany of problems ensued. The .40 S&W has been documented as suffering numerous cartridge case failures involving Glock pistols. The reason for the failures is believed to be the relatively high chamber pressure coupled with the large unsupported area of the case head in the Glock .40 S&W pistol design.

Most, but not all the failures have occurred with ammunition loaded at, or above, the SAAMI pressures that fire out of battery. And yes, the Glocks will fire ‘out of battery!’ These failures are so common that they are referred to as “kaBooms” or “kB” for short on the internet. These case failures will routinely eject the magazine out of the pistol and blowing the top of the chamber off the barrel in a spectacular fashion, usually destroying the pistol.

Because of the high operating pressures and the light-for-caliber pistols that were adopted to fire the .40 S&W, the recoil impulse is very abrupt. That results in a muzzle rise that is dramatic making it slower and harder to recover from the previous shot. It is also accompanied by a very loud report and large muzzle flash that are not conducive to fast, accurate shooting when your life may be on the line.

The recoil impulse is far more than most people can master — especially those with less shooting experience, smaller in stature, or with less body strength. Because women fall into that description more than men, all those “woke” Law Enforcement agencies had to lower qualification requirements. I’m sure you can figure out what that meant.

Three Glock pistols after suffering catastrophic failures shooting .40 S&W cartridges
Here are some examples of the all too common Glock “kaBooms” the author mentioned.

Truth be told, many of the men who bought a .40 S&W, and don’t practice enough to master it (most of you), don’t shoot it well either. That is of course the dirty little secret of the .40 S&W and the reason why most people can’t shoot it well. Please don’t wait to be in a fight for your life to admit that.

I suppose I should save you some aggravation and tell you what all those law enforcement agencies found out the hard way. The recoil impulse of the .40 S&W on the 9mm-size guns destroys them in short order resulting in frequent, often, and expensive repairs and/or replacement. Why do you think the FBI and all the other agencies went back to the 9mm Parabellum? It wasn’t because they wanted to spend more of the taxpayers’ money… Or was it?

Additionally, at this point, it must be noted that the popularity and versatility of the 1911 platform cannot be ignored because it’s everywhere. Colt was aware of this and developed a 1911 chambered in the 10mm Auto round — the Delta Elite was born. The Delta Elite was much more successful than the Bren Ten and is much sturdier and more reliable. The Delta Elite is also responsible for the current resurgence in the 10mm Auto round.

Browning Hi-Power in .40 S&W, right profile
The author’s Browning Hi-Power in .40 S&W issued after they made the design changes to correct the problems of too much power for a 9mm platform.

Once again, in the spirt of full disclosure, it must be noted that manufacturers other than Glock have struggled with providing reliable and lasting performance with the .40 S&W. When FN first released its version of the Browning Hi-Power in the .40 S&W all Hi-Power frames were forged. However, after the Browning Hi-Power forty debut, warped and/or cracked frame rails were reported after only 2,500 rounds. The resulting fix was that the slides on the .40’s are wider, and all Hi-Power frames are now cast.

As for a personal experience with .40 issues. I was dating my (then soon to be) wife when she decided it was time to arm herself, so I took her to the local gun emporium. Once there, she handled a plethora of handguns. Through the process of elimination, she ended up with two Star Firestar pistols — one in 9mm and the other in .40 S&W.

Star Firestar in .40 Smith & Wesson, right profile
The lovely and talented Debbie’s Star Firestar in .40 Smith & Wesson.

Unbeknownst to me, in choosing the one she purchased (against my advice), she set the stage for all our future marriage making decisions and bought the forty. I must admit, she shoots it well but that it also has seen more trips to be repaired than its limited firing would/should require. Because of that, it has been retired to the rear of the safe. In case you are curious, she has not found a suitable replacement (for me or it) yet.

Stay safe, train often and practice, practice, practice!

Is the .40 S&W a dead cartridge? Does it have a place in your self-defense strategy? which calibers would you rank above the .40 S&W and why? Share your answers in the Comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (128)

  1. @JohnH: The author, Ed, has plainly stated his dislike for the .40 S&W and that’s fine, he is certainly entitled to that opinion. And he clearly makes a point of kabooms happening but barely gives a passing thought to the reason why. It was early on and it was ALWAYS Glock. My other reply said weeks, that should’ve been MONTHS to market before S&W 4006 release. In their rush to be first, Glock introduced crap to go along with their less than “perfection”. In a properly built pistol, the .40 is a fine cartridge. It’s my prefered pistol round and has been for 20 years. Hand me two identical firearms, chambered in .40 and 9mm and I’m faster and more accurate with the .40 S&W. I’m no slouch with the 9mm but as a former 2nd armorer and instructor for a field unit with my state’s law enforcement ageny I have somewhere in the neighborhood of a metric f*** ton of trigger time with the .40 cartridge. I’m a Smith guy so all my sidearms are S&W, because they’re reliable of course but also because they just fit my rather large hand exceptionally well. No fat fingers, just big palm with long thin fingers. Their sidearms just fit like they’re supposed to, an extention of my hand/arm. Glocks, as you’ve noted, DON’T do that. Probably one of the most instant dislikes I’ve ever had just picking one up. I’ve heard some good things about the Shadow Systems version of the G19, haven’t had a chance to lay my mitts on one yet. The grip angle still looks wrong, too Glock like. However, the fact they have changable backstraps and one of them supposedly mimicks the feel of the M&P closely, it may make it a workable pistol. I have one of the first M&P .40s off the line in 2005, early production. It’s still chugging right along. I have one of the early production SD40VE off the line when they were introduced in 2012, mid production M&Pc 1.0 in .40… they all still perform like they should. I also have one of the first off the line M&P Shield Plus in 9mm, only because they don’t offer it in .40, if they did, I wouldn’t be toting a 9mm. As far as the M&P being designed around the .40, there’s a bit of truth to that. They handle it well and better than most, but a side by side comparison of two identical M&Ps, the .40 will still wear slightly faster than its 9mm counterpart. Just not much of a way around that. One that feels great and shoots exceptionally well and literally was built around the .40 S&W is the H&K USP. A guy I went to HS with and wound up as my partner (he was a full time county deputy and I was full time with the state but I worked part time for my county) carried an H&K USP and man it was the bee’s knees. The county issued the Sig P226 in .40, we both despised it, took our paperwork requests up the chain of command and were granted alternative duty weapon waivers. His for the H&K and me for an identical copy of my state issued M&P. Gotta have confidence and comfort with your duty weapon and the Sig wasn’t it and the Glock never will be for me.

  2. I do not understand the negative comments regarding the .40 cal. I have carried a .40 since 1994, in a couple of different guns. I have fired thousands of rounds in that time, and never had a problem with the bullet. I understand that shooting 9mm is cheaper. I own several 9mm and shoot them regularly. But my 1st choice for EDC is S&W M&P 40C.

  3. Sgt.Davis you are spot on about Glock and the reason for the kabooms. Funny, no one else has mentioned it when it was well know after the problem was uncovered. I also agree with you about glocks, never liked them for the reasons you specified, until I ran into a Shadows Systems version of a glock 19. It is close to perfection, plus extremely accurate! I read an article by Mass Ayoob some years ago where he said the M&P was specifically designed for the .40 S&W cartridge. I have a Beretta 96 and a S&W 40 2.0 that handle and shoot the cartridge amazingly well which I use and love for outdoors carry in the woods.

  4. The thing is, Glock beat S&W to market by a couple of weeks. S&W helped develop the .40 cartridge and took time to work on the pistol to shoot it. Glock in its “infinite wisdom” rushed their crap to market just to be first. They had a longer feed ramp to facilitate better feeding characteristics. Problem is, it cut into the chamber and left the bottom of a high pressure cartridge case near the “rim” partially unsupported. Hense, early on and with some regularity you had Glock kabooms. Nobody else’s stuff was doing it, just Glock, that’s why it has the name “Glock” is in front “kabooms”. They’ve obviously corrected the issue but from my understanding they still leave a slight buldge in the casing near the “rim”. There’s no love loss between me and Glock. I have no issue with how they function or field strip but they’re not good looking, they don’t feel good in the hand, and do NOT point naturally for any normal human. I’m glad the state agency division I was an officer, instructor, 2nd armorer, and ERT member for signed a new contract to stay with Smith. In 2005 we transitioned from the 686 revolver to the then new M&P semi-autos chambered in .40 S&W. Another division transitioned from the 4006 in .40 to the M&P as well but for whatever reason went with .357 SIG. But neither M&P had any issues with kabooms because S&W had been doing their feed ramps and chambers correctly from the outset of the introduction of the cartridge way back in 1990.

  5. I first starting shooting 40 cal S&W decades ago when I bought my S&W 4006. I shot competition with it for years and, after thousands of rounds (home loads and over the counter) never had one failure. I later bought a Glock 27, and then a Glock 22 RTF. After shooting thousands of rounds (sometimes 500 a day) I have never had a failure. I don’t see how a “KA-boom” can happen unless the rounds were over-powered home loads. I sold the 4006 and the G27 to help pay for some other pieces to my collection. However, I still put a hundred rounds each time I take my G22 out for a spin at the range. Never a problem. Safe shooting y’all.

  6. Note that about 140 years ago, the 38-40 was a popular cartridge. As the 38-40 is similar ballistically to the 40 S&W/10mm family, wonder how many folks will want a new 40 S&W in a few years. Similar comparison can be made between the 32-20 and the 327 magnum cartridges. Too bad, as the modern revised version of those older cartridges can do so much more than the originals.

  7. I have seen the .40 Smith&Wesson used by our local sheriff’s officers for ten years and spoke to them about the pistols and the cartridge. They all agreed it had more felt recoil but they liked the prospect of better terminal ballistics in a firefight.

    None of their 20 or so Glock pistols ever had a KB or showed any signs of stress. With only one officer unable to regularly pass the strict qualification shoot, the Sheriff’s Department kept the .40SW as their sidearm cartridge.

    Only when the FBI transitioned to the 9mm did the Sheriff’s Department change over to the 9mm and did it with a good financial deal from Glock. The primary reason for the shift was the FBI example and the higher costs involved with buying .40SW ammo.

    Somehow, I believe the .40SW is just as good as it was intended to be but it’s cost, and to some degree, it’s stiff recoil made it a less attractive choice for budget conscious Law Enforcement organizations.

  8. I just wanted to add, I have a somewhere in the neighborhood of a metric f*** ton of trigger time with the .40 S&W cartridge from my time as a state LEO instructor and range master, my field unit’s 2nd armorer, and a member of our field unit’s ERT (emergency response team) Bravo Company. I’m no longer an LEO but still have my .40s but I do have a Shield Plus in 9mm only because they don’t make them in .40… but my younger brother has a Shield 1.0 in .40 S&W and there’s nary a difference in size between the Shield and Shield Plus. The Plus is like .125″ wider in the grip. No joke, I shoot my brother’s Shield 1.0 in .40 more accurately (IE: tighter groups and faster) than my own Shield Plus in 9mm and I’m not exactly a slouch with the Plus. So whatever yahoo that thinks .40 is too snappy, has less control, etc… BS. I grudgenly carry the 9mm Shield Plus, I’m plenty accurate with it and with a 13+1 capacity I’m reasonably well armed but I just don’t hold near as much faith in the 9mm round as I do the .40 and have considered looking for a Shield 1.0 or 2.0 chambered for my prefered cartridge. My brother has offered to sell me his on occasion but it has an integrated Crimson Trace in the frame under the barrel and I’m not a fan of that. Either way, real world experience has shown me the .40 S&W is superior to the 9mm.

  9. I’m posting as a 10 year veteran of the Air Force that was required to qualify on M-9. Additionally I am a recreational shooter with just 2 pistols in the collection (my M&P .40 Gen 1 and a Ruger LCP380). In contrast to many of the comments here, I’m not heavily credentialed when it comes to shooting but I do have 3 decades of shooting experience.
    The first gun I ever purchased was the S&W Sigma in .40 S&W in the mid-90’s. I really enjoyed that pistol and found it fairly reliable except for mis-feeds with the wrong ammo. At the same time that I started shooting it I entered active service and had to qualify on the M-9. While there are obvious differences in the the grip and weight of each pistol, I found it very easy to transition between them and I got to the point that for the last couple of years in the AF I qualified expert. To me, there was very little difference in recoil between the .40 and 9mm, and it certainly didn’t affect my accuracy.

    That being said, I will take issue with the author’s contention that recoil on the.40 is a lot “snappier” than 9mm. On the one hand there is of course the shooter’s subjective experience, but the other half of that equation is the design of the gun itself. I can tell you that the LCP380 that’s great for concealed carry is way snappier than my full-framed M&P .40. Ultimately you need to find a gun/cartridge combination that works for you, but simply labeling all .40 cal pistols as “too snappy” is an over-generalization I think.

    I would agree with the comment just previous to mine that weight training is probably a big help. I’ve lifted weights for my entire adult life and continue to do so, and I think it makes recoil a non-issue. Yes it happens with each shot, but it’s manageable and just part of the experience instead of being something to fear.

    It seams to me that those firearms that have had teething issues with a given cartridge probably need to go back to the drawing board to make the improvements that will eliminate those issues. Kind of a simple concept that we have all kinds of different pistol (and rifle, for that matter) cartridges out there that have different requirements for the weapon they’re fired from. It’s kind of like pairing a given engine with a given chassis: too little or too much motor is a bad thing depending on what your intended purpose is for the car you’re building. The same concept applies to guns.

    Anyway, just two cents from someone who isn’t in LE or has tons of time at the range. Good debate though!

  10. Re. shootout & 9mm: handguns are carried for convenience, not firepower/stopping-power/or-whatver-else-you-want-to-put-here. I wasn’t there, but going into a firefight w/ multiple assailants, handgun of ANY caliber is at the bottom of the list, just above knife and harsh language.

    Remember, this was not a surprise ambush by the assailants, but a stakeout & search by the FBI. Between 8 agents, they had 2 shotguns and all had revolvers. That’s it, and in any analysis, that is seriously unprepared. Given that lack of preparation, any handgun caliber isn’t going to make a difference.

    Shotguns and rifles should have been the primary weapons period. Backup/last resort are handguns.

    The 10mm/.40 cal conclusion is based on flaw inputs. The agents were outgunned because they had the wrong guns, not the wrong caliber.

    Now back to my armchair.

  11. Hi guys:

    I acknowledge the limitations and setbacks of the .40 S&W cartridge, but not the conclusions.

    Any new device, machine, car, etc. will have setbacks and flaws when it is first introduced, as there are “growing pains” with anything new.

    Regarding the damage done to early guns, I believe most have been ironed out (which was acknowledged in the case of the Hi Power).

    I prefer the .40 as a carry caliber, as I was a paramedic (and EMT) in South Florida for over a decad, and I’ve seen the damage done by a 155 grain hollow point .40 S&W.

    I know that handgun rounds are not to be compared with rifle rounds, and it almost always comes down to round placement when stopping criminal behavior . . . but I do see a difference between a .40 and a 9mm.

    I live in hurricane country, and my gun choices are predicated on surviving a disaster, so I have a .40 SIG P226 with an alternate .357 SIG barrel and a 9mm barrel (with the appropriate springs and magazines) so that I can fire 3 different rounds from the same pistol . . . which gives me more options if ammo becomes scarce.

    My P226 feeds .40 (and the other 2 calibers) very reliably with no malfunctions, and I tested 155 grain Federal Hydra-shock in gelatin for expansion . . . and it penetrates up to 16 inches or so while expanding every time.

    On bullseye targets, my P226 gives me about a 2 inch pattern at 10 yards. I have never noticed any undue wear-and-tear, cracks, or chips on the gun surfaces when I clean it, although I did send my gun to SIG for the spa treatment and a “superstrut” replacement.

    I do tend to change to springs very frequently when I shoot a lot of .40 and .357 SIG from my gun, as I feel that this prolongs the life of the gun.

    One thing about handling recoil seems to be overlooked: I do lift weights and work out, and I believe that resistance training of the arms and hands (by building up muscle mass) helps with recoil and trigger control. I also believe that regular weight training can help with manual dexterity . . . and–as a consequence–this training can improve shooting skills.

    In fairness to the original post, I do think that there are times and occasions when the .40 can be a liability. The round does have a tendency to over-penetrate, and I don’t carry it when I need to be around crowded apartments or trailer parks, as any gun owner should have a social responsibility for the safety of uninvolved 3rd parties. I have seen overpenetration kill innocent children in a ghetto during drive-by shootings, and parents–who may sense unrest in the neighborhood–will sometimes have their young children sleep in the bathtub . . . with the idea that the porcelin walls of the tub will slow or stop an errant bullet.

    Having said this, I think the .40 does what it’s supposed to do.

  12. One small detail on the history that is relevant to this article: The decision to select first the 10mm, followed quickly by the creation of the then new 40 S&W was at least partially driven from a legal perspective. The public admission by the FBI that the 9mm caliber was “underpowered”, provided a strong rationale to justify new tax dollar expenditure for the testing and adoption of an alternate caliber. However, the families of the deceased FBI agents noted this in their lawsuits since, if this was true, the FBI was then admitting their willful neglect in having adopted an underpowered caliber in the first place. As as switch to either 10mm or 45ACP could also be seen as as correcting a previous mistake (both of those calibers had been available long before the shootout), the FBI legal team determined that the creation and adoption of a completely new caliber is the only solution that would prevent perceived liability in any legal action against the FBI regarding this matter. Couple this with the initial issues identified with the 10mm during testing in the article, the creation of an alternate caliber became not just desirable, but a manifest objective.

  13. I would not trade my EDC/Duty firearm GLOCK #20 For all the rice in CCP red China😉‼️‼️

    Coming in the proverbial “Horse to Water 💦 “ insistence on the near universally panned .40
    Reminds me of Einsteins definition of INSANITY ”


  14. I own the H&KVP9 and the Glock 27 gen5 I love both guns. I don’t feel like I need a third gun.. Bought the clock 27 to carry and I keep my H & K in the bedroom love them both.

  15. Caliber bashing seems to be the new topic for gun writers (again). The only problem with the .40 S&W is that civilians will not put in enough range time to master the pistol. People are now scared of the .40. PRACTICE is what makes a pistol, caliber or shooter better. My opinion is that a .40 is better than any 9mm.
    If a typical shooter can score the golden 1 shot stop with a 9mm in a dynamic fight, good luck. I hold ratings as an NRA pistol, U of I Master firearms Instructor, and Certified Law Enforcement Instructor. In one class I was the top shooter with a .357 against about 20 autos. PRACTICE!!!!!

  16. Paid $275 for my used CZ40P which weighs 34.3oz. fully loaded. Carry inside the waistband. At 6’1″ 224lbs. taking glove size large, recoil and carry weight are non-issues for me. I’ve got maybe 600 rounds thru it. Might see 1000 rounds someday soon. (Before you say that’s not enough training, it’s not the only handgun I’ve owned in the last 50 years.), so I’m not worried about wearing it out anytime soon. I was shopping for a 9mm but couldn’t pass-up a bargain. My point is that you should be flexible because there’s more than one solution to a problem.

  17. Thank you for the excellent helpful information. I would never have known. Since 9mms are simply too weak to do the job, and the 10mm perhaps too powerful to control effectively for man (but GREAT for charging grizzlies!!), why is anyone looking at anything besides the .45? John Browning set the standard with the .45 and the 1911. It was a man stopper. Still is. Nobody needs a 9mm or anything else to stop a man. Makes zero sense that people keep going around trying to dream up the right man stopper when that was settled well over 200 years ago.

  18. Obviously a prejudiced author. Some stats support his opinion but FAILED to take into account the wide variety of ammo available today. I have Glock 22, Glock 35, and Charter Arms Pit Bull in .40 – all great shooters and never had a problem. Standard 180 grain .40 at 1,000 fps and 400 ft lbs is junk and I never use it. 165 grain is the heaviest and only in the Glock 35. Best ammo, for me, is 125 and 135 grain at 1,350 to 1,400 fps. LOWER RECOIL, great accuracy, and this power is equal to standard 357 Sig with over 500 ft lbs of energy and leaves a bigger hole. Like any other caliber, you have to do a little work to find and use the best. Also, not hard to master these lighter weight cartridges, even in the small Pit Bull revolver. I also have two 357 Sig Glocks and I love them. Ammo is a little more expensive that 9mm but results and power are so much better.

  19. I was an active competitor from 1980 to 1996. I started in PPC and had a Master rating. Switched to IPSC/USPSA and continued to use my Smith 586 with major PF loads. Decided to try 9mm autos and used a Smith 459 (hated it). Jumped on the Glock bandwagon with a Gen 1 G17. Did well, but wanted major PF, so got a G22 when it was first offered. Scores did Not go up, so I used my “stock” 1911 to compete in A class. I liked the 40 S&W because it was easy to load major, but I shot my 1911 better. Ergonomics.

    I have had my CA CCW for many years. I am limited to three weapons on the certificate. I started in the 70’s with my Smith M60 snubbie. Early 80’s I added a Gen 3 G23. When Smith released the Shield 40, I added that to my permit. I am now 77 and have absolutely NO problem qualifying with those three guns every two years.

  20. The ONLY handguns built from the ground up for the .40 S&W cartridge are the SIG P229 and the H&K USP.I have owned and carried both since I purchased them in 1992. Reliable, accurate, and comfortable to shoot, they have given me excellent service for over 25 years as a Law Enforcement Officer. Not once have I experienced ANY malfunctions with either weapon. I’m sure in part this is due to their excellent magazines.

  21. I must disagree with the premise that the .40 is a bad caliber.
    I am a long time LEO and have carried .38 spc, .357Mag,, 9mm luger, .40S&W, and .45ACP.
    I have qualified with each. One of my favorites is my Sig but it is very heavy to carry all day.
    My Glock is light and very reliable. Every failure I have had with my Glock has been contributed to faulty reloads with no exceptions ever.
    As far as control ability my .380 is much snappier and much harder to control due to its small size and weight. My 10MM has approximately the same recoil and snap as my 9mm but it is much larger and heavier.
    I will continue to carry the .40 and at my age if my department decides to require something else I will finally retire. The 9mm is ballistically similar to the .38 spec and I abandoned that more than 30 years ago because it was not powerful enough to be reliable.
    But on the other hand the .22LR in my pocket is better than the .50 S&W that is at home.
    In conclusion the correct handgun for a person is the one that person can shoot well both on the range and under pressure. If you cant handle your EDC you need to change or practice more or both. A .22 hit on target is better than a large caliber that is a miss.
    The changes in efficiency of ballistics over the past few years that have brought the 9mm into consideration have also improved the other calibers to the point of why give up the superior performance of the .40.

  22. Dead cartridge….Dying from most maker catalogs. Fading like the .357 Sig, .45GAP, .38 Super and others.

  23. Have been shooting the 40 S&W now for about 10 years in a Glock 23, Gen 3 ( also have a Gen 5) using 165 grain bullets and other than a few mis-feeds (using Winchester White box practice ammo) I have never had an issue, let alone heard of the aforementioned problems stated by the author. Of course, cleaning your weapon after using it everytime will prevent a majority of problems. Now, I have read that on some rare occasions, (it has been alleged) where the shooter has used some 180 grain bullets that have bounced around (the bullet has been seated deeper into the case) causing high case pressure that some issues did arise, and that was not just limited to Glock. Other than that, that’s it. As far as being a snappy cartridge compared to the 9, that is to be expected to some small degree. As with any weapon though, practice, practice practice, and when you think that you are starting to get to be a good shot, practice some more. It’s actually a very good cartridge and one easily mastered with basic practice. I’m not sure where all of this hate for this cartridge came from as I seem to hear the same or similar people repeat over and over what other people keep repeating without any real knowledge or experience. I also have shot a 9 mm and for me (and speaking only for me) it’s ok but nothing that I’m going to go out and replace my 40 with. Personally speaking, as popular as the 9mm is, (and it is a good round, just not for my liking) I look at it as round that is good for someone who follows the crowd, can’t handle much recoil and doesn’t really practice a lot.

  24. Nice insights on the evolution of the cartridge, albeit somewhat biased to negative events that occurred over 3 decades ago – during it’s infancy.

    H&K’s USP – *designed* for the .40 S&W (even though the 9mm version was released at the same time) – is NOT known to exhibit either abrupt recoil or physical failures described here. Notably, these failures were primarily on firearms designs developed for other cartridges.

    Point: Most .40 S&W caliber pistols since the mid-1990s are effective, reliable, and most without severe recoil. I would go so far to state, that there are many models, that are joy to shoot.

  25. I’m a retired police officer/ firearms instructor for a large northeast dept.
    We had been carrying Sig 9mms in two iterations since 1990. Along about 2010 the job, with no input from Range personnel, decided to go over to .40 Sigs. Basically the existing 226 frame was slightly beefed up (not by much) and the 228 was renamed the 229, again with little more beef. The first problem we noticed was small statured women had extreme difficulty getting off subsequent shots. Then we went through a spate of cracked locking blocks . The next issue was the earlier guns (pre E-grip) were losing grip screws. Finally, last year, the job said “enough” and transitioned back to 9mm but this time in Glocks. My former colleagues tell me scores improved drastically, and mechanical issues are almost nil with the 124 grain GDHP

  26. I’ve been a .40 fan since the round became popular. It’s my preferred EDC (though I also carry a .380 backup). At times, if I’m heading into the vast Washington State forests I also open carry an old, reliable Hi-Point .45. It was a cheap (price wise) pistol to purchase but, it’s not all that concealable if concealable at all. I will say, it’s durable (even with a lot of plastic) & it shoots well, is accurate & handles “reloads” like a champ. So, between the .380 (Ruger), the .45 (Hi-Point) & the .40 (S&W) I’m good to go. Though I do have my 38/357 revolver that I plink with quite a bit as well, simply because I like revolvers (cut my teeth on them via my law enforcement career). If all else fails I toss in an old Jennings .22 semi-auto pocket pistol. I won’t go into the rifles/shotguns I have… either way, I’m good to go overall. IMHO


  27. I have never had a problem using .40 S&W. Both friends and family who use this caliber also have never experienced any issues. As a retired member of the military and a weapons custodian and a NRA Certified RSO, can testify to the accuracy and power of the .40 caliber. Even our Special Ops types opted to substitute the Beretta Model92 (9 mm) for the Beretta Model 96 in .40 caliber for it’s knock-down power. As an aside, they also opted to use the M4 in 7.62 vs the 5.56 for the same reason. Sorry the author does not appreciate the .40 caliber and from what I read, has unfounded justifications to support his feelings. In the end – action speak louder than words when selecting a weapon that has more beneficial aspects. Perhaps, he should have written and article regarding the weapon (GLOCK) that was having issues with the .40 cailber.

  28. Have been shooting the .40 s&w for 23 years now, and Its the chamber I usually always fall back to. Even when trying to be more accepting of 9mm. Fact is, like you having a dislike for 40- is much how I feel about 9mm. I’ve only enjoyed shooting small framed firearms in 9mm.
    Likely due to my time spent with 40. I’ve grown to like snappy pistols. Many would think a defensive round should have some snap. Like the S&W 500 has some snap, yet a P226 in 9mm is like a German shepherd of a dog, with a chamber that I’d liken to a chihuahua.
    Per the manufacture failures- you literally outline the failures were the cause of rushing to market, without proper r&d.
    I have NEVER seen a Cato failure in .40 outside of the 1990s “forum” hate and chatter. I’ve actually seen tons of Cato with 1911s in .45acp, and 10mm chambers.
    Zero experienced, or heard of in the 2000s. Probably due to the manufactures learning the cause, and correcting the issues. On top of proper loadings within spec. The vast majority of hate for the chamber comes from articles like this.
    It would take far less words if you just did this.
    .40s&w had a rocky start due to push for market.
    It’s far snapper of a chamber than a 9mm, or 380 – hence if you want to try it. Maybe actually practice shooting, gain trigger time, and stop limp wristing the pistol.
    If recoil scares you- maybe question where you are on the food chain. Ya probably need to wander on down to the pasture and start grazing like a cow.
    Has it ever had Cato failures? Yes. Any more than any other chamber? Well that depends who you ask really. Someone who has never owned one, fired one, or plays video games would tell ya – 100%.
    How about hitting up the gang bangers who have more trigger time with the .40 than all the Leo’s in the country, and ask them?
    I’ve seen guns masked to look like a toy come from the street. Have seen slam fire shotguns come from the hood.
    Never once have I seen a blown up 40.
    Yet it’s still being chambered, and fired.
    My take- you are a limp wrist individual, incapable of devoting the trigger time to pull out of what ever non recoiling frame you have grown fond of and probably might not be able to even hold to target if the shtf- as adrenaline, time, and haste might be all it takes to throw you off your game.
    But keep spewing the 40 hate. It keeps it on the shelves, when panic buying takes the little girl chambers, and smaller cartridges first. It also keeps costs down. Win win for me

  29. Have to agree with the majority Dave. Carrying both 9mm and .40 on duty over 20+ years I qualified with similar scores with both. Didn’t like the dept. issued Beretta in .40, but it was the gun. My EDC is a Springfield Xd m 3.8” compact in .40- the most accurate pistol I own, including my Sig P226 9mm (that I love). I’m only 5’7” -140, in my 8th decade now and don’t find the ‘snappy’ recoil a detriment in quick follow up shots. Never want to shoot anyone , but if their actions demand it will be glad the foot pounds they receive are impressive enough they’ll will likely give them pause.

  30. I’m a retired deputy sheriff with 27 years of service with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office in TN. We carried the Glock 22 and or the 23. We never had a problem with the .40 ammo.

  31. Have to agree with the majority Dave. Carrying both 9mm and .40 on duty over 20+ years I qualified with similar scores with both. Didn’t like the dept. issued Beretta in .40, but it was the gun. My EDC is a Springfield Xd m 3.8” compact in .40- the most accurate pistol I own, including my Sig P226 9mm (that I love). I’m only 5’7” -140, in my 8th decade now and don’t find the ‘snappy’ recoil a detriment in quick follow up shots. Never want to shoot anyone , but if their actions demand it will be glad the foot pounds they receive are impressive enough they’ll will likely give them pause.

  32. 38 years LE. I have never seen a malfunction with the .40 cal in Glock pistols. Beretta pistols are a different story. As long as the shooter stays with the Glock of any model the .40 is flawless. working homicide I saw the effectiveness of the .40. It greatly exceeded the 9mm.

  33. The 40 is a great caliber. The recoil issue is massively overblown and reliability in the S&W M&P is as good as it gets.

  34. Wow, this sure kicked a hornet’s nest! Ya woulda thought someone just insulted Momma (if she were chambered in .40)..”oh well, true gunners ARE passionate..and that’s cool”. I’m NOT a huge gunner blocks of BaliGel out back where I run my own YouTube videos (altho this may be comin’)..but I’ve gotten caught up in “what’s the perfect round” for 20 yrs..and long & short concensus always seems to be (between 9mm/.40/.45): they all perform about the same (where ballistic gel tests are concerned). Feel free correct me if wrong (but please answer with fact)..aren’t they all just trade-offs between the grains of the bullet vs muzzle velocity? F=ma would dictate that increasing exit velocity is a more efficent way to raise FORCE than increasing bullet mass. 25yrs ago going thru “academy” with Tarrant Co SD (Ft. Worth) I qualified w/ both 9mm & .40cal (relatively new S&W Sygma series)..and other than the mags were junk (buttplates made of plastic) I found it a breeze to shoot (me: 5’10” 180#). My father -a retired FBI agent- started me shooting when I was 5 (take THAT snowflakes) and yes he was a huge wheelgun advocate at the time (the mantra of the bureau at the time no doubt). Ever seen a 5 yr old fire a .357 revolver? (not pretty..but FUN!)
    One of the reasons I wanted to respond today is because of the new 6.8 battle round that our military seems to be fascinated with..cuz it seems to be THE EXACT SAME ARGUMENT as 9mm/.40/.45 just .556 vs 7.62 with the 6.8 being the new “40cal flavor”. I see a lot of the same debate over bullet mass vs muzzle velocity. Maybe we can learn from 9/40/45 before we spend BILLIONS on new platform only to find out our NATO bros have no use for it cuz they can’t afford to transition in case PUTIN eventually does something truly stupid. I wonder if this doesn’t have more to do with making money than battlefield performance (our gov’t wouldn’t do would they?)
    I will acknowledge that I can carry MORE 9mm rounds in my weapon than .40 or .45 for same weight in my pants..but also gotta admit if I every REALLY hand to put someone down Dad’s .357 wheelgun was a frickin’ cannon!

  35. Carried a 226 Sig in 40 SW in state law enforcement for 8 yrs without any malfunction or issues shooting the weapon, other agencies in my state used Beretta 96 without issues. Gun quality has a lot to do with the success of any round. That being said, I haven’t had issues with the other 40 SW pistols I own and fire regularly. They are: 2 Sig 226s, Kahr PM 40, Walther p99 QA, Walther PPS, S&W MP Shield, Beretta 96, Steyr M1, and Charter Arm Pitbull revolver. I have never had one of those in thousands of rounds have a failure from the round. I had 1 Winchester fmj from a Wal-Mart 100 pack that didn’t have the primer hole drilled out in the cartridge, but that was a manufacturer QC issue. Of all the guns I own that fire 40SW I can tell you I affectionately call the Kahr PM 40 the “noisy cricket” from Men in Black. All in All I trust my 40SW guns more than my current duty Glock model 45mos 9mm. I have seen more Glock malfunction and issues in 20 yrs of law enforcement than any other weapon system. As far as 40 being too much to handle. My daughter started shooting my 226 at 7 and and still asks to shoot it today at 19. Like one of the other commenters said, the little bit of extra recoil on my end is well worth the outcome on the other end.

  36. Let’s examine few things; 1st, a 38 super can compete with a 357 mag. 2nd, a 10mm can be loaded down to the 40 s&w maximum’s and is very shootable. 3rd, as far as recovery time, my Colt Combat Commander has such quick recovery time, it’s almost sounds like a full auto.
    One of my first choices for a duty gun (assuming that I was an officer), would be a 38 super, 1911 or Combat Commander with a Hornady 147.7gr HP. However, if a more serious approach was needed, a 10mm with a Hornady 155gr XTP, Sig Sauer/Sierra 165gr, 170gr Nosler.

  37. First of all let me iterate that the United States has become a nation of pussies. Just look at the weapons we are using in our military: 9mm handguns, and .223 cal. rifles. Both of these rounds are subpar for military use. The whole purpose of a weapon being used in a conflict is superiority. These calibers are far from superior. Compare the ballistics of a 9mm to a .40cal. and there is no doubt which is superior. I’m just an average-size guy that was athletic when i was younger. I had no special firearms training and i have no problem controlling the recoil of any of my .40cal firearms. If you have trouble controlling the recoil, then you need more practice. If that doesn’t work, then you fall into the category in the opening line of my comment. That seems to be acceptable these days by the majority of the country because they expect others to protect them anyway, especially the minorities. The problem with that is the fact that our LEO’s are getting softer as well, partly due to the fact that there are more petite women officers, and because it’s too easy for criminals to sue officers after having being shot for not complying to the laws. Basically, it’s getting to the point that an officer has to let the perp harm him before he is justified for causing injury or death to the perp. As long as LE uses subpar caliber weapons there will be more deaths to LEO’s from better armed criminals, as well as more perps surviving, and more lawsuits to come.

  38. So after all the trouble with the FBI shoot out and the insufficiency of the 9mm round then switching to the 40mm which is a good middle of the road round only to go back to the 9mm round cause you ramped it up a little bit and you can ramp any round………and don’t tell me about recoil cause the same 10mm they necked down (because of recoil) to get the 40mm…..they are jumping right back on 10mm and other rounds with big recoil today…………MAKE IT MAKE SENSE.

  39. Having shot for a long time, I have read many articles about the debacle which should have gone the other way; some cite training issues which have been addressed such as the correct way to “ram” a vehicle in a less forceful but equally effective manner. I have long wondered why the FBI seemingly dismissed the 1911 .45, a semi auto with fast reloading and a proven platform. It may well be that it was considered that having the use of the officer’s (right) thumb for safety/cocking maneuvers would be negated if that thumb was disabled. We all know the profound effect the Glock has had on so many pistol based applications, for LEO, military and civilians. I think one of the great overlooked benefits of the system is the ease of takedown compared to the 1911 and other semis of the time. Not having to contend with a spring under compression is a terrific advance. It makes takedown for cleaning so easy that there is almost no excuse for a dirty pistol now.

  40. What a load of crap. One of the best-shooting pistols I’ve ever owned was a Gen 2 Clock 22 .40. I have a Sig P226 .40 that shoots like a dream. Those who load 9mm pistols with +P+ defensive loads with stock factory recoil springs have to deal with more recoil and blast than .40s.

  41. I don’t know how you came about your opinion I shoot a lot more accurately with a 40 than I did with a 9 with same amount of practice time Also if you run out of self defense ammo the 40 makes a bigger hole

  42. Honestly, I started shooting 40s when S&W came out with the Stainless models in the late 80s. I have a 410 a 4046, Shield 40 and an SD40VE, as well as many 9mm pistols. I feel better protected carrying a 40, Perhaps it’s just in my mind, but if I only had a single round in a gun to save my life 9 vs 40, I’d take a 40.

  43. hmmm, but the same 20-30 years of advance improved features for the 9mm
    can be applied the the .40S&W, no?

  44. While I must admit that I shoot a 9mm better becaus eof its lower recoil, I like the .40 better. Of course my favorite caliber is the .45. I may be older a slower, but I feel more confident with it.

  45. I honestly have never had issues with the 40 so this article is a bit odd to me. I have a Glock, Sig, Taurus and even hi-point, never had an issue. It is my preferred defensive round after the 357 (that’s not a 12 gauge.) I guess everyone has an opinion but I’d stake my life on a 40 if I had to, Sorry to hear there are so many people that cant handle the recoil.

  46. I’ve never been a fan of the .40 S&W. Just doesn’t give me the accuracy that 9x18mm Makarov, 9mm Parabellum, 10mm Auto, and .45 ACP alike give me.

    I was issued a .40 cal with two different Federal agencies that I worked for (HK P2000 LEM with CBP and SIG P229 DAK with ICE). I consistently shot Expert with them, but again, they never gave the same level of pleasing accuracy that the other autopistol calibers have consistently given me. Ergo, I’ve never actually owned a .40 S&W and have no burning desire to do so.

    Fo’tiez be fo’ drinkin’, fo’ty-fives be fo’ gattin’.

    Feel free to hate me, y’all.

  47. The bottom line is if you can’t operate the weapons controls or control fire the weapon under stress. Then that weapon is the wrong one no matter the caliber. Plus, ammunition has changed drastically over the past 30+ years. Modern powers, primers, and bullets have changed the way one looks at any caliber. Example, Federal 380 deep ammunition, according to Federal well meet FBI requirements for penetration. Or look at the data for Hornaday 9mm Critical Duty.
    Lastly, Joe/Jill average has to worry about over penetration, because we are held responsible for the bullet wherever it ends up.

  48. I have a Glock 22 and my wife has the G23, both Gen 2s. We each have fired 3,500+ rounds from our pistols with no issues, other than my G22 needing a new extracter at around the 3,000 round mark. My wife also shoots the Glock 19; in her opinion the difference in recoil between the 9mm & .40 S&W is negligible. She has carried both over the years but has a slight preference for her G23.

  49. Retired GMan. Carried Smith .357 revolvers such as the Model 13, 581, and 66, then qualified to carry the S&W 1076 10 mm after it was finally fielded in limited quantities. It was a fine weapon, essentially hand built, and 45 ounces plus sitting on one’s hip with a 10 round mag. Required much practice, repetition and redundancy. About four years later the .40 S&W was offered to be a common round in a Bureau that had a real smorgasbord of calibers, with some revolver shooters who refused to go to a 9 mm Sig and were not interested in the three pounds of alloy of a 1076 10 mm. The Bureau really wanted the 10 mm gone – after a familiarization shoot with a Glock Model 22 I was ready to trade down to that weapon. I carried it for the remainder of my career without issue, never a qualification issue either on a PQC or tactical course, and full confidence in its capabilities. I carry S&W M&P 40 full size and compact in retirement and have never experienced nor heard of issues you alluded to. Maybe your inherent prejudice colored your view? I suspect I and many of my peers have more experience with the 40 cal round than you and I suspect they would probably have similar stories to me. Others may call “BS” on you but I respect your knowledge. Let’s just say you are missing a good chunk of the truth regarding the round.

  50. Retired GMan. Carried Smith .357 revolvers such as the Model 13, 581, and 66, then qualified to carry the S&W 1076 10 mm after it was finally fielded in limited quantities. It was a fine weapon, essentially hand built, and 45 ounces plus sitting on one’s hip with a 10 round mag. Required much practice, repetition and redundancy. About four years later the .40 S&W was offered to be a common round in a Bureau that had a real smorgasbord of calibers, with some revolver shooters who refused to go to a 9 mm Sig and were not interested in the three pounds of alloy of a 1076 10 mm. The Bureau really wanted the 10 mm gone – after a familiarization shoot with a Glock Model 22 I was ready to trade down to that weapon. I carried it for the remainder of my career without issue, never a qualification issue either on a PQC or tactical course, and full confidence in its capabilities. I carry S&W M&P 40 full size and compact in retirement and have never experienced nor heard of issues you alluded to. Maybe your inherent prejudice colored your view? I suspect I and many of my peers have more experience with the 40 cal round than you and I suspect they would probably have similar stories to me. Others may call “BS” on you but I respect your knowledge. Let’s just say you are missing a good chunk of the truth regarding the round.

  51. I have been a fan of the 40 since I bought my first 4006 in the early 90’s…. And also own several Glock models in the caliber. I have never once had a problem with the caliber. All calibers require practice, I am active at the gun club, so I have no issues with the handling or performance of the 40. I love them. With that being said, when it comes to the demographic of smaller hands, weaker wrists, or not regular shooters…. There is a new sheriff in town. 30 Super Carry is the way to go! Shoot one, have you’re wife shoot one, have you’re teen shoot one. I guarantee you’ll find a new CCW favorite! I have two S&W EZ in 30SC, I would not get rid of them for love or money! Lite recoil spring, and tang assist mags are the best! I still hold the 40 dear to my heart, but the 30SC is well worth the try!

  52. I’ve read many, many great and fantastic articles on The Shooter’s Log, and this is the first ever article that’s nothing more than a bunch of hogwash. The author is obviously misinformed, outdated in his information and failed miserably in doing due diligence in his research. Frankly I’m very disappointed that this article was allowed to be published here. If at any time the catastrophic examples that the author described happened it must have been either during the development stages of this caliber and/or as a consequence of dangerously loaded ammunition. Millions of people shoot millions of rounds of 40 caliber ammo through Glock’s and other weapons around the world and failures or KB’s as described here by the author are currently rare if not unheard of. The author makes it feel like if this is a daily occurrence and that caution should be call of the day when firing 40 caliber ammo from any weapon. The only thing that I give credit to the author for in this article is his honest opinion that he dislikes the 40 caliber round, and he is completely entitled to his opinion. After all, the last I’ve heard we are still a democracy and not Soviet Russia, where your opinion can get you put in jail or worse….

  53. I carried both 40 caliber and 9 mm when I was still on the job. I do agree with the writer that the 40 has much more snap to it and I think that that was part of the reason why the FBI bowed out of it as well. Even reducing the 10 mm load to the 40 caliber was still too much for many agents. I really don’t think it was an issue of the guns blowing up that made the FBI go back to the 9 mm. I think it was more to do with smaller agents not being able to shoot it.
    Our department had the Glock 22s and we never had any issues with the guns blowing up, so I believe that Glock has addressed the issue corrected for the extra power.

  54. If you can’t handle a 40, the gun isn’t tuned properly. Change your springs. Simple as that. A bunch of companies try to use the same spring for the 40 as they do for 9. Change it out for a nice 20# spring and it’ll run smooth.

  55. I have a Smith and Wesson M&P .40 and it shoots like a dream. My wife shoots it and says it’s snappy. Practice makes perfect 🎯!

  56. I have a .40 in an M&P and it is a very formidable pistol. My wife shoots it also. It is a little snappy. Practice makes perfect 🎯!

  57. Police agencies still love the .40 because of its ability to overcome barriers. I carry the .40 as an outdoorsmans gun with +P HC specialty ammo. It will easily take a black bear if needed and with some espousing a HC 9mm even for grizzlies, the hot .40 would even be better with faster follow up shot over the 10mm. But for personal defense, I carry a 9mm. It still has a place!

  58. I am at 87 years Old. Found my forever gun when I was eleven a Colt 1911. My carry has always been a Stainless Colt Officers since Colt came out with the LW Officers. Fired many thousands of rounds through that weapon. Admittedly, now that that little beauty, has made because of my age, profound pain in my wrist, hands and fingers called recoil. Please, now don’t laugh, I am carrying a Taurus TX-22 Compact with 13 round mags. Now I am not endorsing twenty two ammo for a go to cartridge however the new types of .22 ammo are some fairly hot .22 ammo at 16-17 hundred feet per second and 200+ pounds muzzle energy with more High Velocity .22 ammo coming. My wife carries a lavender S&W EZ .380. Thankfully she can still handle more recoil than I at only 77 years old. We spend lots of time in front of man size targets and do head and neck shots which in most cases are fatal if you do your part. Whatever weapon or caliber you are comfortable with should be you EDC.

  59. First started out with a Glock 23 when they first came out. Switched to a Kahr K40 when that came out and now carrying a H&K VP40. Needless to say, I really like the 40.
    Have carried on duty Sig 226, H&K USP, Glock 21 and currently carrying a Glock 22. My only problem now is I can’t seem to find a 40 cal pistol machined for optics. Considered sending my H&K VP40 off to be cut but thought better of it. Contacted H&K to see if they were considering selling an optics ready VP40 anytime soon and I think I pissed them off even asking the question. Wanted me to switch to VP9…no Thank you.

  60. Just one comment, I can’t believe you guys printed this article, it’s so inaccurate in many ways but then, that’s me.

  61. The first handgun I purchased was a Glock gen 1 model 20 in 10mm. I loved it. I heard after the stories you mentioned above, but I have never had any issues with recoil, etc with my Glock. I will *never* own a .40S&W. It is a wimped out 10mm. Apparently, a lot of LEOs must hate it too with all of the trade-ins I’ve seen. Spare me your attacks on the 10mm and your defenses of the .40. It’s crap and you won’t change my mind.

  62. I purchased my first .40– a Taurus 24/7– in 2009, and though I thought it a bit too snappy at first, I gave it a chance, and have practiced with it a lot. I am very happy with it. I have since purchased a Glock 23 which is my EDC. I have become very proficient with .40 S&W since ’09. And that Taurus? Still shoots very well.
    Bottom line is that whatever caliber you prefer– PRACTICE with it!

  63. All I can say is when you start off consistently shooting a S&W compact 40c and Glock23,then transfer to a Glock19 or Sig 320,both in 9mm. The 9 mm will feel like you’re shooting a 22LR.
    I’ll stick with the 40 caliber as my EDC,thankyouverymuch. It’s about preference. What’s the best caliber out there? Any one that stops the threat.

  64. I have owned a Glock 22 Gen 4 since 2015. After over 1,000 rounds it still looks and shoots like new. I am medium framed and in my late 60s and have no problem controlling the .40 S&W. I will say that I have seen many female shooters on military ranges that had trouble controlling the 9mm, so would agree that a .40 S&W would likely not work for those individuals. I now regularly shoot and carry various 9mm CC and yes, they are controllable and I consider them effective with Underwood solid copper Defensive rounds and in most cases with higher end HP such as the SIG ammo on the market. I still contend that the .40 S&W in any scenario is a more effective round than the 9mm. This article is bordering on trolling the audience.

  65. I have a Glock model 35, which is the .40 S&W in a 5 1/3″ barrel. I have never had any problems with it in feeding, firing, or extracting after putting a few thousand rounds through it. It functions flawlessly and I put every round in the notify-next-of-kin zone at ten to twenty-five yards, so I cannot concur with the author. I am admittedly thick-limbed — to whit “built like a brick outhouse” — so absorbing recoil doesn’t enter into it, but I can see how others of slight stature might find it mildly brisk. Your mileage may vary.

  66. An interesting article, but I have not seen the downsides to the cartridge firearms mentioned. I have fired 380, 9mm, 40, 45 ACP and 44 magnum. I was not planning to get into 40 but had to find out what a low cost LE turn in 40 would bring me. Eventually I bought two LE turn in Glocks, both gen 4, a G22 and a G27. I out shot a Glock 19 gen 5 with the G27 gen 4. They are both good firearms in very nice condition, the caliber is good for woods carry and for use up to medium size game. The G27 G4 is my EDC and would not be if I did not have full confidence in it.

    As far as the 40 having an excessive recoil impulse, I have not noticed it, but that is just me. It does remind me of a scene from a movie though. Character one tosses character two a sword. Character two complains it is too heavy. Character one tells character two to “get stronger.”

    I bought my first Glock after reading a book by Fernando “Ferfal” Aguirre concerning the 2001 Argentine economic collapse in which he advised getting a Glock. A Glock will never win a beauty contest as it was never meant too. It is a simple, reliable tool to save your life with and does so very well. When SHTF happens the first tools I will reach for will probably chambered in 40 or 45 ACP.

  67. First .40 was S&W 4046. Not much different from the 5906 I had used, recoil-wise. All steel pistol makes a difference. Can’t knock the Glock 22 though. Was good shooting.

  68. The .40 S&W has been a failure for many reasons.

    1. Many of the guns chambered for the .40 were nothing more than reverse engineered 9mm platforms which could not take the pounding of the .40 and as a result service life was short.

    2. The 40 does not have enough air space when used with the best bullet which is actually the 180 grain projectile. If the round suffers bullet setback during the feeding cycle a detonation will take place blowing up the handgun. Combat Handguns a number of years ago stated that 3 pistols, A Ruger, A Glock and a Browning High Power all blew up with factory ammo using the 180 grain bullet because of bullet set back.

    3. The .40 had more recoil than most people can handle and still shoot fast and accurately, especially female cops.

    4. The .40 has less magazine capacity which many people find objectionable compared to the 9mm high cap guns.

    5. Ammo is more expensive and less available in the .40 compared to the 9mm and cost nowadays is a very big factory in a person’s choice of caliber.

    6. There are more handgun models in 9mm than in .40 giving a person a much better choice if he choses to buy a 9mm.

    7. Modern 9×19 ammo is not inferior and less lethal than the .40 S&W so why suffer with lower magazine capacity and way more recoil and way less service life out of the handgun when choosing the .40.

  69. I have several automatic pistols 9mm, 40s and 45s. My favorite carry pistol is a Mod 27 that I have had for 30 years and over 5000 rounds. Never had a problem. Extremely accurate and intense stopping power.

  70. I have a Browning (FN) FNP 40 and have never had a problem. It’s a lot easier to shoot and get on target than either of my Kimbers (.45 and 9mm). Plus the increased stopping power makes me much happier if I ever have to do more than target practice.

  71. Why do 9mm double stacks exist? And carry 3-4 spare mags? Because you NEED every round! Give me a round that STOPS the threat with a minimum number of rounds flying around. My agency issued (and still does) and authorized the Glock 22 and 27, and 9mm if they absolutely could not master the .40SW. 55 LEO’s, close to 25 yrs and NONE of the problems stated

  72. .40 cal is a fantastic round, period. This is no more than hype, that to be honest has been buried, dug up and reburied. The round is perfect. Versus Glock as a standard, how about the firearm that was built around the round, the USP .40 cal. Dead argument.

  73. As a Brazilian LEO since 2001, I have the impression that the weaker point of .40 S&W is its combination with alloy or polymer frame.

    Personally, I got faster follow-up shots with my former issued Taurus 66 .357 Magnum than with a Glock 22.

    Our Departments also has full-steel pistols made by IMBEL (1911 plataforms). These guns are very rugged and reliable, but bulky and heavy for many users. I have a compact IMBEL SC (same size of a Colt Officers) with a 12-round magazine (16-round mags from full-size pistols also can be used). This little steel brick is heavier than a standard 1911 A-1 .45 ACP.

    My point of view: a .40 S&W pistol must be HEAVY (Full steel) to be controllable and reliable. But weight and volume were disadvantages to average police officer.

  74. I have a Glock 22 and rarely shoot it because of the recoil. I bought a Lone Wolf conversion barrel to 9mm, but the 40 extractor slings the brass to close to my face. I recently bought an Alpha Wolf LR01C Upper G22 9mm Conversion Gen3 Ported for Compensated Barrel (ported barrel and slide and all internals for 9mm) from Lone Wolf.
    This effectively makes the G22 a G17 using G17 mags. It shoots like a dream and I still have a G22 if I need it ! It also came with a Night Fision LW Stealth Series Night Sight Set .

  75. I’m a retired ER Physician. Every year, about 40 ER docs are killed by patients. Patients making ER visits are very likely to be under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. That makes them more likely to exhibit violent behavior and harder to stop in the event lethal (or sublethal) force is required.

    I began legally carrying my GI .45 auto. But found it more difficult to conceal. (The “Jackass Miami Rib under my white coat did pretty well though). I wanted a more concealable sidearm. I did research on “one shot stops” in self defense & law enforcement shootings. The .45 and the .40 S&W not surprisingly outperformed the 9mm. There was a very slight difference between the .45 & the .40.

    My carry piece for the past 17 years has been a subcompact XD. I don’t find the recoil to be objectionable in the least, and I’m not a big dude.

    Since the object of self defense is ending the threat ASAP, and since the .40’s stopping power is so great the 9mm just doesn’t seem as good a choice to me. I do love the 9mm PCC’s but that’s a whole other subject now.

  76. I’m a retired ER Physician. Every year, about 40 ER docs are killed by patients. Patients making ER visits are very likely to be under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. That makes them more likely to exhibit violent behavior and harder to stop in the event lethal (or sublethal) force is required.

    I began legally carrying my GI .45 auto. But found it more difficult to conceal. (The “Jackass Miami Rib under my white coat did pretty well though). I wanted a more concealable sidearm. I did research on “one shot stops” in self defense & law enforcement shootings. The .45 and the .40 S&W not surprisingly outperformed the 9mm. There was a very slight difference between the .45 & the .40.

    My carry piece for the past 17 years has been a subcompact XD. I don’t find the recoil to be objectionable in the least, and I’m not a big dude.

    Since the object of self defense is ending the threat ASAP, and since the .40’s stopping power is so great the 9mm just doesn’t seem as good a choice to me. I do love the 9mm PCC’s but that’s a whole other subject now.

  77. Interesting article. It’s mostly preface relating experiences that aren’t mine. I enjoy shooting .40. My LE son-in-law helped me select my first handgun about 15 years ago. Springfield XD40. It seemed a bit snappy at first…hey, I was a new shooter. But I practiced and learned to shoot it well. Then, arthritis happened in my hands/elbows/shoulders. Got an S&W 380 Shield EZ for concealed/open. It shoots like butta. But my XD is at the ready for home defense. They both come to the range with me.

  78. The whole shootout was a mess. The FBI agents were ill prepared and trained. They set themselves up to be slaughtered. The bad guys were much better prepared. The guns used were of much less importance than the users. The 9mm is sufficient. It’s easier to fire for most, that typically equates to accuracy.

  79. The 40 S&W is the dominant caliber in USPSA limited class division. I have been shooting competition for 30+ years and have never seen or heard of anything like what the article describes. I have seen over a million rounds fired without this problem. Obviously it does happen. However, the author is making it sound like it’s a daily occurrence. From my experience, it’s a very rare thing to happen.

  80. When I worked for a state law enforcement agency we switched from the S&W 686 loaded with .38 Spl +P to the then brand new M&P series in 2005/6… CHAMBERED IN .40 S&W. I was a member of our ERT, a 2nd armorer and instructor for our field unit. The .40 is NOT that hard to fire or control. My first time out with it, having NEVER shot a .40 and the M&P being a brand new sidearm I shot a 95 out of 100 in the practice round before qualification. If you can’t handle it then you need more practice or at least need to aquire some sort of skill. 19 years later that particular division of that state agency STILL uses the M&P .40 S&W. The county agency I worked for part time issued .40 for a while but as they began to hire smaller framed women they ultimately had to switch back to 9mm because they couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn if they were inside of it even with lowered qual requirements. But as far as the .40 itself, it’s still a great caliber/cartridge. Big issue with Glock, other than their ergos suck, is that their s*** was known for kBs is because of their rush to market. Theirs were the only ones blowing up. Others trying to convert 9mms to .40 had reliability issues. But sidearms that were built from the outset to run .40 are just as reliable as anything. I have one of the 1st off the line SD40VE, it’s got somewhere close to 5k rounds through it, eats whatever it’s fed, and still runs just as good as new. My M&P .40s, same thing. I grudgenly do own a 9mm Shield Plus… only because they don’t make it in .40. Never liked the 9mm. I’ve been shot by 9mm while wearing soft armor and while it didn’t feel good I still don’t much like carrying one for SD. And while I don’t mind the .45 ACP as a cartridge I have no use for the 1911 platform. I prefer the .40 S&W as a cartridge. More ass than the 9mm, hits as, or nearly as hard as the .45 ACP with more capacity… sorry Ed, but I’ll take the .40 S&W any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  81. After reading lots of articles about the snappiness of the .40 S&W, I was very surprised after I bought a Leo trade-in Glock 22. It’s only modestly more felt recoil than a light weight 9 mm.. I went and added a drop in 357 Sig barrel from Lone Wolf. I love both of them. I also run a rock Island 1911 in 10 mm which is very pleasant to shoot as well. The only gun that I genuinely find unpleasant to put a lot of rounds through is my snub nose 357. My 3 inch and 4 inch 357s are comfortable, the 4 inch 44 magnum is comfortable, but the snubby 357 is another story.

  82. The 40 is a great cartridge. This guy instantly in his article goes to heaped up loads and those causing problems. I have never been a fan of the Glock. I know everyone thinks they are wonderful, I don’t. The 40 beats the 9 always in my opinion.

  83. This article is full of myths and typical 9mm cultist propaganda! Most of the things said here are false, outdated and fudd-lore. The 9mm cult loves to talk about the advancements in ammo design that allegedly make 9mm much better than what it was just 20-30 years ago, which it has, but then completely ignore the fact that every other popular cartridge also benefited from these advances and has made 9mm just as ineffective as it always was, again! The 9mm cult ignorantly believe the 9mm is a superior round because the military and LEOs overwhelmingly use it but then simultaneously claim the 40 S&W is too much for these LEOs to use while also claiming the 40 is “short and weak”…you can’t, and wouldn’t, make this stuff up, above a room temperature IQ of course! These people believe 9mm is effective because most LEOs just mag dump perps, thanks to qualified immunity, and they believe that makes 9mm “the best”…mag dump perps with 22 LR and you’ll get the same results! The author of this comedy then goes on to suggest the majority of LEOs are so successful because of the use of 9mm but then admits when they use anything but 9mm they are horribly deficient and lack training to use any other caliber? The fact is most LEOs are the worst people to use firearms and their “hit rate” is somewhere around 10%, this wasn’t always the case with LEOs. Is this person serious? Did the publisher proof read any of this?
    Finally the fudd-lore comes out with Glocks being known own as “kabooms”…maybe 30 years ago but Glock has addressed and updated any issues and LE agencies like the US Marshals, and PDs that still use 40S&W, 357Sig and 10mm are not having these issues however the garbage Sig P320s chambered in 9mm are having plenty of problems! Glocks chambered in 10mm 357Sig and 40S&W are extremely popular with citizens who are using them daily for self defense, woods carry, hunting and training with the use of properly loaded SAAMI spec ammo from manufacturers like Buffalo Bore, Underwood, Double Tap and Cor-Bon and they are not having these fudd-lore mythical problems that the author is claiming their Glocks should have! The 10mm is so popular that S&W, CZ and Springfield and others are making new pistols in 10mm and again with no reported issues! The author claims 40S&W are “eating up” pistols in that caliber, and I assume would claim 10mm and 357Sig do as well, yet again the US Marshal Service, PD agencies and citizens are not having these issues…again the 9mm cult/circus strikes again. Sadly I have personally seen the repeated and consistent failure of 9mm as a, now retired, LEO from NYC and the 9mm should only be recommended for amateurs and people not serious about self defense. In NYC LEOs are not given a choice but in other areas of the country some are and when given the choice well trained LEOs are using 40S&W, 45AARP, 357Sig and 10mm. My EDC is a P229 in 357Sig, my spouse duty carrys a G31, and off duty carrys a G32, and has been for the last 10 plus years using Underwood or Double Tap 125/124 grain ammo and with no issues . As a second career I’ve begun training LEOs who fail their yearly qualifications and so far 99 %of those who fail are carrying 9mm and of those about 80% are females, the author failed to mention 9mm is the preferred round of DEI people which is why 9mm is issued, I’ve only experienced a handful of LEOs who carry 40S&W and one with 10mm. For anyone truly and seriously concerned about their self defense 357Sig, 40S&W, 10mm and ammo made by Underwood, Buffalo Bore, Double Tap and Cor-Bon are the only calibers and names needed when carrying a semi auto, in revolver 357Mag and the Remington 125gr SJHP 357mag is the best that can be carried! There are plenty of YouTube channels that show the superiority of 357Mag, 357Sig, 40S&W and 10mm over the 9mm and there are plenty of reputable trainers out there as well.
    Thanks for the article it provided plenty of laughter over my morning coffee!

  84. Don’t blame the cartridge for firearm flaws. I have a S&W 40c that I have shot regularly for over a decade, and it hasn’t shown the flaws mentioned in Glocks and other handgun manufacturers. 40 is a great cartridge, ballistically more powerful than than the 9mm. Both are great.

  85. don’t talk junk about my .40
    i love my 10mm kurz
    you have the choice. i can always take a claw hammer to your head

  86. I disposed of my Kahr CW40 after two training sessions because of the sharp recoil; before my first magazine was empty (7 rounds) my hand was so sore I dreaded firing the second magazine. I had the same impression of uncomfortable sharp recoil about ten years earlier when a friend let me shoot his 10mm in 1911 format. I don’t regularly carry concealed because I live in an extremely peaceful, crime-free area, but when I do CC it is with one of several 9mms. I also have a 1911 in 45 ACP, in anticipation of possible future “combat conditions.”

  87. The 40 and 357Sig are the only two calibers I trust for carry. Yes they recoil more but what happens on the other end is worth the recoil. Fast follow up shots? Statistics will prove this is not needed with solid hits with either caliber. The guns wear out? They are designed to wear out. You should wear them out. They cost $400 to $600. The tires on your car cost from $600 to $1200 and wear out in 2 or 3 years and you buy new ones so suck it up and get another pistol and quit thinking of your pistol as art to be collected and think of it as a tool to be used and replaced just like a lawn mower, coffee pot , or car battery.

  88. 40 S&W won’t die out that fast. It makes a nice practice round fo the 10 mm . And loads being what they are nowadays most 10mm cartridges are loaded to what a majority of 40 s&w 180s are ase far as power and speed. There are a few out there that are now loading 10mm to it’s full potential but not many.
    Next let’s not forget the High Point JCP 40 s&w as it’s inexpensive and reliable in this flavor with factory loaded brass cased ammunition. Not so much with that aluminum cased as the lack of a good tapered crimp on them they just don’t feed right. Also it’s actually heavy enough to tame recoil considerably.

  89. @Geurge: If I may, I checked up on the FBI’s page on this shootout. (
    The information there does not agree with several of your comments. The names of the agents who were killed or injured were:
    Benjamin P. Grogan; deceased, Jerry Dove; deceased, Gordon G. McNeill; seriously wounded, Edmundo Mireles, Jr.; seriously wounded, John F. Hanlon, Jr.; seriously wounded, Richard A. Manauzzi,; injured, treated, and released, Gilbert M. Orrantia; injured, treated, and released.

    On another page, don’t remember the site, but it stated that after SA Dove fired the fatal round for Platt, Platt fired upon Dove and at least one round from a Mini-14 struck SA Dove’s weapon, a 9 mm pistol, rendering it useless. Platt then killed Dove and Grogan. In the FBI’s records regarding this shootout, there is no mention of an agent named Satz.

    Consider this, three of the agents in this shootout were using 9 mm. The round that killed Platt, although too late to save Grogan and Dove, was a 9 mm fired by Dove. I say too late because Platt continued to fire, killed agent Dove who had fired the round that killed him, and another agent, and severely wounded several others AFTER sustaining the wound that ultimately killed him.

    You state, “I don’t believe the S&W 40 was the result of this gunfight. The result of the gunfight was the FBI retired wheel guns.” That statement is correct only in that this fight led to removing wheel guns as the agents’ EDC. However, on that page is this statement. “In response to this tragedy, the FBI made significant changes in the firepower carried by agents, the body armor they wore, and the incident response training they received.” That says to me they realized the ammo being used was inadequate and the FBI recognized the need to upgrade to a higher level of firepower; that led to the 10 mm and .40. It would seem from the FBI’s statement that the S&W .40 WAS a direct result of this gunfight.

    Consider this, several of the agents in this shootout were using 9 mm. The round that killed Platt, although too late to save Grogan and Dove, was a 9 mm fired by Dove. I say too late because Platt continued to fire, killed agent Dove who had fired the round that killed him, and another agent, and severely wounded several others AFTER sustaining the wound that ultimately killed him.

    If anyone is called upon to fire upon another human being in self-defense, it is best to have a weapon that will end the discussion. If you shoot someone and he kills you and other people AFTER he is shot, that should indicate that that weapon did not do the job it was called upon to do and should not be used for that purpose again. That was the FBI’s conclusion also.

  90. The one and only time I shot a 40 was a Glock 27 way to much muzzle flip for me. And at the time ammo was way too much money for a 40 so I’m a happy camper at 9 mm and honestly don’t train much so I don’t see myself going with the 40. 1911 in 45 seems like a mild relaxing shooter compared to the 40.

  91. I have owned in .40 Berretta P4X Storm subcompact and S&W M&P Subcompact, both reliable, accurate, safe, no issues, over 2,000 rounds passed thru each, no hiccups. As I got older, 67, my wrist started to wear, so I switched to Sig. P365 .380 for church security and investigation work, 13 rounds, sturdy, accurate, reliable, safe, manageable at my age, put a red dot sight on it, love it. Have 1,500+ rounds thru it, no issues. I had nonissues at all with my .40’s, loved em, I just aged out of them.

  92. I skipped the 40 thing and jumped straight to the glock 40 in a Kenai chest rig. With hard cast 200gr I feel it is as good as can be expected from a handgun.

  93. H&K makes a very sturdy handgun no matter what caliber is chosen. My .40S&w is a great weapon that delivers great accuracy and has never malfunctioned.
    I also have a Sig P226 in 40 and a .357 Sig barrel for conversion. The 40 is a dream to shoot; however, the .357 definitely recoils too much for fast rapid, accurate follow-up shots.
    No matter what caliber you choose, taking the time to become proficient is the key.

  94. I have been using the .40 cal since 1994. My former department issued the S&W SigmaF in 1994. We carried that gun until they were replaced with M&P 40 around 2012. I still carry M&P 40 compact today. I have fired thousands of rounds of .40 cal ammo without any ammunition failure. The Sigma was not the best handgun, but the M&P 40 is fantastic. The push to 9mm is because ammunition prices have skyrocketed. 9mm is cheaper than 40, and much cheaper than 45.
    The drop in police marksmanship is not the fault of the bullet. It is the fault of departments trimming training budgets. Don’t blame the bullet.

  95. The 1911 didn’t win two world wars for me to not carry it. God’s cartridge. Haters gonna hate.

  96. Never fired a 40 (next time with the hipower Ed??).
    Cant imagine Mrs Ed with a 40 😜👍👍
    Seems a lotta you guys have readingcomprehension issues.
    If it was a 9mm modded for 40sw it gave trouble. The original glock in 1cm had issues with case head support.
    If the weapon was DESIGNEDfor 1cm or 40sw its fine.
    This is not just Ed’s opinion. Its the opinion of damn near every well respected firearms pros in every article or youtube video ive watched.
    Just because YOU havent had an issue doesnt mean it isnt an issue.
    Did EVERY ford pinto made explode?

  97. I also carry the Ruger SR40C. It’s a great pistol, easy to conceal, and it is terrible that Ruger doesn’t make anything like it at the present time. In fact, I am disgusted that most manufacturers have taken away our ability to buy a new .40 in many models.
    I am always amazed at the reports of how difficult it is to control a .40. With my Ruger and my Baby Desert Eagle I can keep it on target all day. Am I missing something? Maybe people should consider the pistol they use, not the caliber.
    I love going into a gun store to browse and having some counter commando tell me the .40 is a dead caliber and no one shoots it anymore. Not only does it show total lack of understanding of people who may only own one or two pistols and equipment to reload only one caliber and the price of changing all that, it points out an idiot who has no idea he alienates potential customers.

  98. The Dixie Highway gunfight exposed the FBI’s poor preparation. The two bank robbers they were trying to grab were well armed and well trained. In the wake of this failure the FBI realized their agents should probably have autoloaders with high capacity magazines. One of the FBI agents was executed fumbling to reload his wheel gun, another one’s hand was shattered by a bullet and his wheel gun became unusable because there were bone fragments in it. Not that he could have reloaded it anyway. His name is Mike Satz, he became state attorney here in Florida.
    I don’t believe the S&W 40 was the result of this gunfight. The result of the gunfight was the FBI retired wheel guns.

  99. It is because of articles like this that I am able to purchase 50 round boxes of new factory premium hollow point ammunition for my 40 S&W at $14.99 each. I have a couple of thousand. Police turn in ammunition. All it takes is practice to learn to use the 40. Just like the 45acp, the 10MM, or the 44 magnum. I have a XD 5” barrel 40 S&W, with fitted 9mm and 357 sig barrels. I have it setup in 40 S&W as a night table gun. Shoot and carry whatever you have, as long as you are accurate with it. And yes, I have and shoot all pistol calibers. 380-9mm-38 Super-40 S&W-10MM-44 Magnum-45 acp-45 Colt.

  100. I love my S&W4006. Yes it’s an all stainless steel pistol, and no I don’t have to carry it all shift, but it steadies the ,40s recoil such that I can dance a Gatorade bottle across the ground with it.

  101. My EDC is a Ruger SR40c chambered in .40 SW with 3.5″ barrel length and 9 round magazine, with a 15 round backup magazinel. I enjoy shooting it immensely and try to perform 30 to 40 rounds of target practice every 2 weeks. It does kick a bit and requires significant concentration to reacquire the target, but it’s been a very dependable weapon and I trust it. I’ve put at least 1500 rounds through it with no visble cracks or deforming. I also have a stainless steel Smith & Wesson Pro Series 1911 chambered in .45 ACP with 5″ barrel. The 1911 is my favorite pistol, but it’s too big for a skinny guy like me to use as an EDC. For me, .40 SW is a good compromise. I also carry a .22 WMR single action, 5-round “Black Widow” revolver by North American Arms as a backup to my SR40c, it’s small enough to fit comfortably in the front pocket of my pants. I also carry a carbon fiber Benchmade 535 3″ folding knife in S30V steel clipped to my pants. Armed to teeth?

  102. I’ve carried a .40 semi-auto for quite awhile as a long time law enforcement officer, (now retired, still carrying it daily). My three favorite calibers are the 9mm, the .40 & the .45 though I cut my teeth on revolvers, I still prefer the double capacity of ammo over the five/six rounds (excepting speedloaders) depending on the revolver’s manufacturer’s. Revolvers are my back up/plinking gun. I reload all of my ammo (for plinking) & carry store bought ammo for each specific weapon that I might happen to be carrying for the particular day(s) activity. As mentioned, I like the .40 round. Out here in the great Pacific Northwest we have some pretty wet weather. I don’t know what that has to do with my preferences in calibers/carries but, for some reason I feel more confident with my selections… weather is not an issue. My overall personal pdw is still my .40… again, with factory ammo. I also have a little pocket carry Ruger .380 for SHTF stuff simply because it’s more concealable. Either way, I plink targets with my reloads & EDC with the “store bought” stuff.

    Stay Safe!

  103. I have never fired a .40. That and the 10 mm are about the only calibers common to the US from which I have never seen a GSW. And I have seen some caliber GSWs not commonly found in the US, although some of those are appearing in different blogs and magazine articles. I have known several LEOs who spoke disparagingly of the .40 back in the day, so I may have formed my opinions based on other shooters’ (those I knew and trusted) comments be they right or wrong.

    That being said, as I have been shooting 1911s in .45 ACP going way back to my Army days in the early 70’s, I see no reason to change. I will continue to carry one of my 1911s (in .45 ACP) because, well, because I can shoot them, I know the guns, the ammo and what I can expect from that round, and it has always served me well. I do not find the recoil to be an insurmountable barrier. All the 1911s I own now are far more accurate than the one I carried overseas, but it always did the job it needed to and delivered what was expected.

  104. The 40 S&W isn’t dead in this household. As a matter of fact, it is my EDC in my S&W SD40VE. It may have had problems in Glocks early on. But in all my 40’s, it is a solid performer. You all can have that stinking 9mm, especially after my experiences with it in Iraq. I’ll take a 40 or a 45 any day of the week in ball ammo. Now, I’ll get off my soapbox.

  105. Ihave 2 glocks I. 40s&w plus a keltec folding carbine.i use the same load and bullet weight in all plus I use the same load in my 38-40 win. Revolver and 1883 colt lightning rifle. It is a great cartridge in my opinion.

  106. Problem with the 40 S&W or 10mm cartridges is that like so many other cartridges, (as example – 32 H&R or 327 mag), was poor application. Handguns and ammo development appears to be uneven, in that the cartridges like the 9mm got all the attention, while the 40 S&W/10mm family seem to be an afterthought. While now there are handguns and ammo that make either the 40 S&W or 10mm a viable option, early missteps have left bad feelings for many folks. Now if there was a S&W 3″ or 4″ model 60 (Kit Gun) in 327 mag….

  107. I have never wanted or ever fired a .40 cal my EDC is a 10 milly and a 9 milly are my carry guns. Sometimes in the winter i will use my Model 29 4 inch .44 mag in a galco shoulder holster under my jacket as a back up with lighter handloads and a 180 grain bullet for less felt recoil. I carried a Colt officers .45 ACP for near 30 yrs but i wanted more rounds without a reload so i went with the G43X and the aftermarket 16 round mag and it is just right.I train with it almost every weekend.

  108. Beat that Dead Horse, Ed. 40S&W is a fine round for experienced, strong shooters, and it is absolutely not dead. Lessons were learned, sure…20+ years ago. None of mine have ever had any problems (XD/XDMs) and yes they get plenty of range time, but I do prefer my 1cm for mo’ fun.

  109. There were problems with retrofitted 9mm’s that tried to accommodate the 40cal, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the 40 is a compromise between the 9 and the 45 (recoil, follow-up accuracy, stopping power, and magazine capacity). If properly designed, 40 cal guns still work as they were intended. I have had an H&K USP40 for the last 30 years and have never had a problem with it.

  110. Have never been a Glock fan, the ergonomics don’t work well for me. However, I have been an end user of the 10mm since the Bren. Like many, switched to to Delta Elite which was carried for many years. Later, when Springfield Armory introduced their 5.25 XDm 10mm I found the combination that has since worked very well for me.
    As to .40 Smith, some times referred to as the 10mm Short I’m told, I have several including a Baby Desert Eagle Compact that I like very much and several models of XD and XDm platforms. I have never had any issues with them and often carried as secondary platforms and been comfortable in doing so.
    I understand the back and forth, pros and cons of the .40 SW caliber. Comes down to a platform that’s designed to take the somewhat higher chamber pressure and a frame designed to take up the recoil properly.
    From my POV it’s NOT about the .40SW cartridge but more about the PLATFORMS that it’s been designed and chambered for IT.
    I’m sure that this may rub some wrong but fact is if one didn’t design the end using platform of the strains and stress’s of its use and operation it will eventually fail.

  111. I never had any of the problems you have complained about while using my Glock 23. Wow where did you come up with all this. Really!

  112. My agency issued 40 cal. Berettas in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Real world success with the round was limited. I believe it was because the agency sought the “Magic Bullet” with their choice of duty ammo, in other words a bullet that could do everything. The agency forgot that the primary reason for a handgun was a sudden, up close and violent exchange to save your life. Punching through glass, sheet metal, and other barriers is the primary job of a long gun. We were issued the Winchester 180 Ranger SXT, and the actual shootings showed it was not a great round. The 180 grain was dubbed the “10mm lite” for a reason.

    With all of that said, I have a Gen3 G23 and a Gen4 G23 and love both. I would dare say that nobody felt they were underpowered with a 357 magnum revolver (under gunned maybe but not under powered). The 135 and 155 grain loads from CorBon, Double Tap, Federal, etc get close to the ft/lbs of energy from the 125gr 357 mag loads commonly used by police in the past. The best 9mm rounds have 20-25% less ft/lbs of energy The G23 comes with a 13+1 round capacity in a compact frame handgun. The double encapsulated recoil spring from the G23 Gen 4 makes the round very controllable and real world success with the 135 and 155 grain pills is remarkable. Police trade in guns like the G22 and G23 often run below $300. This price can’t be beat for that quality of firearm and caliber.

  113. The 165 grain Pdx 1 makes 40 more viable…if you can handle that then Underwood 155 grain works great 582 ft lbs.More power, More Better…if you can handle it.

  114. My Glock 22 saved my life when I was shot following a traffic stop and my favorite carry gun is a Glock 27, which I shoot better than I do my Glock 22. Although my agency has moved back to the Glock 17, we never experienced any of the problems noted above, although I am not saying they cannot happen. I will continue to carry my Glock 27.

  115. In 2015 I bought my first G23 [new], in 2016 I bought my second G23 [used], I have fired 1000’s of rounds thru these weapons without mishap, I am not suggesting any of the above article is false, but my experience with 2015 and newer Glocks has been more than satisfactory, now since then [in about 2019] I have upgraded one G23 to an after market barrel which mitigated the ‘Glock Bulge’ to a small degree and I converted the other with a 9 MM aftermarket barrel, finally I picked up a G19 in 2022, I’m still shooting the G23’s and I carry the G19, I’m not sure about ‘Glock Precision’ but I can attest to ‘Glock Reliability’.

  116. I have several .40 cal Glocks. I don’t have any of the problems listed above. As a matter of fact, my double taps are usually less than an inch apart. What was not mentioned by Peteutb is the bad guy have been shot 12 times with 9mm and was still shooting/killing FBI agents. This was the result of the 9mm bullet design at the time. It has improved greatly. I am confident in my .40’s to stop an attack quickly with few shots. I find it quite pleasant to shoot (part of this factor is the fit of the pistol to the hand). If I am not carrying my .40, I am carrying my .45. Those issues the author notes, happened in the infancy of the .40. I believe it is a good round. I trust it with my life.

  117. When you talk about over pressurizing.
    You fail to mention the real reason behind. The pressurized case. Since it’s a larger projectile and a shorter case, it’s easy to seek the bullet to deep.
    And and therefore over pressurizing the case. I love the 40 so I was slow to lay it down.
    And I still carry it sometimes I’m not afraid of it but it took a lot of investigation Talking to people. If you, for instance,, measure A. Factory cakes and try to load youraround’s at that over all length You will overpressurize youmccall’s not the bullet out of that factory round and measure the powder. It will be like 3.2 g. Well, nobody will load a reload that small. I was loading four grns of 231 I’m seating the bullet at factory overall lengthanks and I blew my gun up. But after much investigation, reading and talking to different people a download.
    A lot different a lot longer overall length. And I’ve probably shot a 1000 rounds or more.
    And hadn’t had any more trouble. .
    Overall length and a 180 bullet. Is a big deal.

  118. “Dang Ed”!! You DO like to live Dangerously!!
    All I will say regarding the .40 Smith is that I tried a couple that belonged to someone else. Didn’t much care for them. As a result I don’t buy them. I’ll now make way for the onslaught of Vitriol you will doubtless receive.
    If you survive I’ll look for your next article next week.

  119. Why mess with perfection learn to use a 1911in.45acp especially with the new loadings that are available just saying

  120. IMHO the Super.38 has the best balance of power, capacity and weight. But modern 9mm ammo and pistols aren’t far behind and much less expensive for the weapon and ammo.

  121. Glock perfection? Now I know why those ex-police G22s were sold so cheaply. Yikes! I presume they have worked out the kinks or do these pistols still go Marvin the Martian on the shooter?

  122. Well I am going to have to voice my opinion to get things started, me being somewhat of an old timer and have been carrying my trusty colt 45acp for longer than some of you commenters have been on this earth, I believe I will stick with what I know and can shoot well. Although I do own other handguns such as 9mm and 10mm and can shoot them with confidence, the 45acp feels like a part of me when I present it.

  123. I bought a Glock 23, used, from a batch a local PD had taken out of service. I have been a fan of .357 Sig from a Secret Service acquaintance. I am much happier with what I call my “shade tree gunsmith Glock 32” by replacing the 23 barrel with a 32 OEM barrel. I only carry that piece as a back country sidearm in bear habitat, under the notion that the .357 Sig deliver all of the energy in a 9mm slug, as the .40 SW delivers in a slower ~10mm slug. My choice of various 9mm para for most other purpose is based on thorough review of the FBI report analyzing the loss of Agents Grogan and Dove in Miami. The agents’ opponents were a former Marine taken out of the fight in the first volley and a former Green Beret who also took the 9mm round that ultimately killed him but he killed Agents Grogan and Dove while dying. It was ultimately a .38 special to his brain that incapacitated his movement as he was dying from the 9mm to just short of his heart. The FBI and much of the rest of the world concluded that the 9mm therefore did not have sufficient penetration. The other side of that coin is the this particular slug was taken from the right side, not frontally. Presumably that specific factor is what resulted in the slug ending up just short of the heart. Take from that what you may, but my takeaway is not to rely on a side shot like that to save my life. Virtually all other 9mm shots toward the heart (compelling marksmanship by the agent, Dove IIRC), reach the heart and immediately end the attack (civilian situation) of fight (LE or military situation). My 2 cents.

  124. The 1911 in .45 ACPis nothat hard for women to master–women DO tend to listen to instruction! In the Spcial Operations Command, I have had no trouble teaching women to master the 1911 in .45 ACP.

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