In today’s Tactical Wire, Tiger McKee (above) added his .02 to the ongoing .40-caliber debate In Skill Set: Why I Don’t Like the Forty, the director of Shootrite Firearms Academy (Stride Rite shoes optional) shoots down .40 fans with extreme prejudice. “With the .40 you must use a good aggressive stance, arm position with isometric tension between the arms, and the proper grip to provide the resistance necessary for the pistol to function properly.” And that’s bad because “Failures to eject, commonly called stovepipes or smokestacks, are more frequent with the .40 than 9mm’s and .45’s. This is especially true when shooters are working with one hand, during injury drills, or firing using a less than ideal platform, like laying sideways on the ground.” But wait! There’s more! Mckee is down with James “I’m my second favorite trainer” Yaeger’s suggestion that .40 guns wear out faster than similar guns in other calibers . . .
The sharp recoil of the .40 literally beats pistols to death. No, you probably won’t see a problem if you only run a few rounds through your pistol a couple times a year. But with heavy shooting sooner or later with the .40 you’ll likely see problems develop, and a lot sooner than with a 9mm or .45. A few years ago one area department we train sent several of their officers here for five-day handgun classes. We worked hard and during the class each officer fired approximately five thousand rounds. After the classes the officers’ pistols had send their pistols in due to problems with the rails on the slide and frames. They had been beat out. (The pistols were replaced, but they were never given a good reason from the factory why this problem appeared in the first place.)
Anecdotal evidence for sure. Meanwhile, do you recall the recoil kvetch re: the snappy ass for-tay? Here it is again:
The recoil also presents a problem with individual shooters who come to fear the snap of the .40 and begin anticipating the recoil, which of course drastically affects their accuracy. You can take the same shooter, give them a 9mm or .45, and their accuracy improves. I know recoil shouldn’t be an issue, but with most shooters it is so we might as well go ahead and acknowledge it. Several departments I deal with have switched from .40 caliber pistols to .45acp weapons with a noticeable increase in their qualification scores.
I don’t shoot .40 for that very reason and no other. But I’m with Steve Lee: I love guns! I would no more criticize someone for carrying a forty than I would suggest that Nivit Bash needs to go on a diet. Just don’t ask me to wear that bikini, if you know what I mean.