Whisker McBeardyface's everydaycarry.com pocket dump
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Whisker McBeardyface’s everydaycarry.com pocket dump features a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol. Mr. McB’s chosen firearms manufacturer is the same one that invented the fo-tay, in response to the FBI’s ham-fisted attempt to catch a couple of Miami bank robbers. If you already knew that, here’s a better piece of .40 caliber trivia (it’s got fewer words than smaller trivia but better stopping power) . . .

Gaston Glock saw Smith’s brand new cartridge at a gun show, literally stole a few rounds, had his engineers build a .40 caliber GLOCK around the round (I get around) and released his fo-tay before Smith. Speed, surprise and violence of action! wins again.

You know I’m going to ask: have you, do you, would you carry a .40? A caliber with far less ammo capacity than a 9mm (never mind a .9mm), doesn’t make as big a hole as a .45 and generates more recoil than both.

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  1. I wouldn’t want to change up to support another caliber for handguns. I already have 4 different calibers and that’s enough.

    But when ammo shortage was at it’s worst there was always .40 on the shelf.

  2. Yes. 40 is in the rotation. Mostly a 357 Sig 229, but sometimes a 229 in 40 (mostly when the wife says I’ve spent too much).

    • Robert F. is being a little overly dramatic, with his dislike of .40 S&W.

      Pistols chambered in .40 do not have “far lower” capacity than 9mm pistols. It is a slightly lower capacity. For example, the Glock 22 holds 15+1 rounds, while the Glock 17 holds 17+1. That is the same round count as a G19, and that is good enough for me.

      Personally, I think 9mm is good enough, and don’t currently have any .40 firearms. I use to have a Glock 22 and a Hi-Point 4095 carbine. For handguns, I prefer 9mm in a pistol and .357/.38sp in revolvers.

      Still, the .40S&W is a totally acceptable handgun cartridge, especially in a full size pistol like a G22.

  3. Used to carry a SIG P229 and Daewoo DH-40, both in .40. It’s not a bad round, but its seeming fall-off in popularity (along with .357 SIG) illustrates the perils of jumping on the new fashionable caliber.

    • All hail the DH-40! Still have mine. Don’t carry it but still shoot it from time to time. Have a G23 as well, again don’t carry it, but still enjoy shooting it. GFSZ is right, .40 was about the only handgun ammunition I could find with any consistency during the Great Ammo Drought.

      • The famine of 9mm, .38 sp, .45 and .223 is why I kept my .40s for so long. Good thing THAT CAN NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

  4. “Far less” ammo capacity. 1 or 2 rounds are not “far less” in a modern double-stack handgun. Take into consideration the 10 round limit to which some of our brethren and sistren must adhere, and it’s a non-issue.

    As for recoil, my 5’11” 275lb self never did like the recoil impulse of the .40 S&W, but my 5’2″ ex-wife shot a customized, doublestack, 1911-esque .40 competitively.

    If they can handle the recoil, there are enough modern defense loadings to qualify as adequate.

    • Every pistol in my state is limited to 10 rounds. So unless you go sub compact, there’s no difference in ammo capacity. And honestly ,40 S&W is a bit much out of a sub-compact/single stack anyway. I still carry a 5+1 CM40 though. It’s softer shooting than my S&W 642 with 38+p.

  5. I carried a 941 with 12+1 capacity in .40 for years. Great gun. Great cartridge. Nothing wrong with .40.

    “It’s too snappy”.

    Buy a GripMaster and change your undies from Victoria’s Secret to something more manly (unless you’re a woman).

  6. Isn’t the 40 supposed to wear down the barrel or something faster than 9 and 45? Because it’s a high pressure load? I’m not incredibly familiar.

    To answer “Would I carry a 40?”: Probably not on my hip.

    If I found myself wanting one of those folding Kel-Tec rifles that shoot pistol calibers, I might go for the 40. But that’s like trying to put two features together that I only ‘kind of’ want. That doesn’t equal one item that I ‘do’ want. Yet.

    • Okay, what you may be thinking of is that the .40 wears out guns quicker. Yes, if you take a gun that was designed and built around the 9mm, and then run a .40 in it, of course it’s going to beat up the gun more. The .40 has on average about 33% more power than the 9mm, it’s like a 9mm +P+P+P+, so running it in a 9mm design (like the G26 turned into a G27) is not the best idea. Ideally you’d be using a gun that was built to handle the .40.

      • Ok. At least you defended your all caps with a more rational argument. I still have a hard time digesting that any two different calibers are the exact same. It would be nice if more data were available, but I’m coming up short.

        Maybe the idea of 40 being high pressure is just a mixed up way of expressing that 40 exerts more force than 9mm. If Pressure = Force / Area…

        Force = Pressure x Area… so if pressure is the ‘exact same’, force will increase as area (like going from 9 to 40) increases.

        As for a gun being ‘built to handle the .40’… yeah, sure. We hope the manufacturers put in their due diligence. But the reality is, they build guns around more common calibers first, like 9 and 45. Launching a platform around 40 first would stifle sales.

        A quick recap: 40 exerts more force on the slide compared to 9 and 45.

        Do I shoot enough for it to make a difference? No. Do I go around looking to acquire 40 caliber pistols or similar red headed step children? No, I don’t do that either.

  7. “A caliber with far less ammo capacity than a 9mm (never mind a .9mm), doesn’t make as big a hole as a .45 and generates more recoil than both”

    Absolute hogwash.

    How is a 40 “far less capacity”? Springfield XD-S in 9mm holds 7 rounds, in .40 it holds 6. Glock 26 holds 10 rounds, Glock 27 holds 9 rounds. The capacity difference is minimal.

    And how does a .40 recoil more than a .45? That’s hogwash. Fire the same gun in both calibers and tell me which one recoils more — or, let me tell you — the .45 recoils more.

    The .40 only recoils more if you compare it in a lightweight gun, like, a Glock 27 compared to a heavy all-steel 1911.

    .45 > .40 > 9mm, and that’s all there is to it. The 45 makes a bigger hole than the 40, which makes a bigger hole than the 9mm. The 45 has more brute power (momentum) than the 40, which has more than the 9mm.

    This isn’t rocket science, guys. It is physics, granted, but it’s not rocket science and it’s not hard to understand. The .40 fits right in betwen the 9 and the .45. It’s halfway between in size, and halfway between in capacity, and halfway in between in power. Ain’t NOTHING wrong with the .40, it’s exactly what it should be.

  8. I’m actually considering stepping up to a “duty sized” (e.g. Glock 19-sized) CCW chambered in .40, perhaps something with a .357sig conversion barrel easily obtainable. Still doing research into it, but I’m liking the increased barrier penetration. Not sure how much better than some solid copper +P 9mm, though.

    • Check out FNS or FNX 40. Halfway between the Glock 19 and 17 size, and you can buy after market.357 sig barrels from EFK fire dragon. I loved my fnx 40 before I accidentally dropped it in the middle of the ocean.

      • Good to know, thanks. I have an FNP-45 for which I have had nothing but praise (well, except for a trigger bar pin that walks out of place, was fixed in the FNX). It’s too bad FN customer service has reportedly gone to shit, but I still think they make an above average product, and I prefer DA/SA, which is increasingly rare for new models.

  9. Yeah, I carry a .40 cal. and shoot it well, but I recognize that a lot of Miss Nancys can’t handle a big-boy round. For them, I recommend a .22 or the fabled .9mm.

    • .40 isn’t a big-boy round. It’s distinctly medium-boy, and that’s coming from someone who is anything but a recoil addict.

  10. 40 is good. However if I’m going to go large caliber it’s .45 . Stress on the Gock built for the 9 mm is an issue. I kno I talk slot about the 54-1 but it taught me a lesson. I switched it to 9 from 7.62×25 and it seemed to recoil more, I took it to my gunsmith to see if he had a stronger spring. He didn’t understand why I thought the recoil was above what I thought was going to break the gun, the 7.62×25’s pressure being greater. Recoil rises with bullet weight even with a little less pressure. I can run 185 gr at higher pressure with less recoil than I can run 230 gr with lower pressure.The 230 kicks more

  11. modern 9mm ammunition has less energy, but from a wound size and penetration standpoint, performs as well or better than .40. And costs less. And has less recoil. And has a slight capacity advantage.

    We can infer from the above that a 9mm shooter will have an easier time hitting the target more than once, and more chances to hit the target, with equal effectiveness per hit.

    Which is why .40 has fallen out of favor with law enforcement these days.

    BUT – .40 is currently cheap as hell on your favorite ammo search engines, as are the guns that shoot it.


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