The .40 and the .380: Everyday Carry Pocket Dump of the Day

A GLOCK 27 and a Ruger LCP II make up this pocket dump. I’m guessing the G27 is the main carry and the LCP II is the BUG. This one makes me nostalgic because my first carry gun many years back was a 27. Yes, I know, it’s a .40 S&W and why would I do that?

Well…although I wouldn’t make the same carry choices today I made back then – the exception being carrying AIWB, something I continue to do – the .40 S&W still has its place in the gun world.

Like it or not it does have a ballistic edge over 9mm. In fact, I have a couple .40 S&W competition guns I also use for hog hunting, something I won’t do with 9mm. Today it’s mostly seen as a cartridge for competition (I’m not the only one who uses it on hogs, though). It isn’t common for carry anymore and, in fact, seems to be falling by the wayside rater significantly. Kind of a bummer. Nostalgia and all.

What do you guys think of the .40 S&W?

comments

  1. avatar Big Al says:

    Have a Khar CM40 in a pocket holster. Most horsepower in a true pocket gun available. Don’t leave home without it??? I do not put my pants on without it!!! Comfortable and VERY comforting.

    1. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

      The CM40 is handful, but with a Hogue Handal Jr, it’s more comfortable to shoot than 38+P from my 642. I actually prefer to carry it.

  2. avatar Kahlil says:

    My primary carry is .40 in a compact Px4, love it.

  3. avatar Ken Gordon says:

    I still like the 40 S&W, carry a Glock 27 or 23 often. I keep hearing how the 9mm bullets have improved blah blah blah. Well guess what – those same improvements have been applied to bullets loaded in 40 S&W cartridges also. I will grant that the 9mm handguns generally kick less and generally hold more rounds. I don’t have a problem with the recoil myself and carry an extra mag so I see no reason to carry a less potent round.

    1. avatar DrewR says:

      “those same improvements have been applied to bullets loaded in 40 S&W cartridges also. ”

      This statement is incorrect, and I’m sick of hearing it.

      The thing with 9mm is that it did not perform satisfactorily, and with new bullet technology it does. The 40 always performed sufficiently, so it’s gains have been marginal by comparison. The 40 hasn’t hardly benefitted from new technology because it already performed the function it was designed for, it had very little room for improvement.

      Stop claiming 40 has improved proportionately to 9, it didn’t, because it couldn’t.

  4. avatar Jeff in CO says:

    .40 is overrated. I carry a 6.5-caliber Creedmoor pocket gun! 😀

    1. avatar Grant. says:

      Nah. .308’s better.

      Heizer defense makes a .308 pocket sniper. I personally carry 5 on me. All of them appendix. Girls run screaming. I mean.. I’ve got.. an armadillo in my trousers.. They’re terrified..

      1. avatar Michael Stilinovich says:

        .22 single shot revolver, it’s all about shot placement

        1. avatar jwm says:

          If it’s a single shot is it a revolver?

  5. avatar Tom Worthington says:

    M&P Shield in .40 S&W. No complaints from me.

    1. avatar Squiggy81 says:

      Same here. I have a friend with the 9 version. Not much difference in recoil, shooting them back to back. Only downside is 1 less round, but I like the extra knock down power if I should ever need it.

  6. avatar New Continental Army says:

    .40 is superior to 9. But I carry a .45. Because I’m a man.

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      “The future is now, old man.”

    2. avatar Grant. says:

      I only carry a .45 cause they don’t make a 45mm.

    3. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      And, I bet you sport a goatee and ride a Harley, too. Just like all the other badass CPA’s out there.

      1. avatar New Continental Army says:

        No, full beard. The greater the beard, the more wisdom. But the goatee was cool in the 90s.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          The goatee hasn’t been cool since Bob Denver sported one as Maynard G. Krebs. Us old farts that could remember before 1975 was laughing at the young guys that thought a goatee was cool.

        2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          It wasn’t even cool in the 90’s…

          Clean shaven, well maintained beard, or Tom Sellek mustache are the only way to go…

          Clean shaven to say, “I’m more business.” Beard to say, “I’m more rugged.” And Selleck stache to say, “ I’m not your dad, but I am the guy who’s screwing your mom.”

  7. avatar Steve Eisenberg says:

    I got a G27 a couple of years back, just because.

  8. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Ive been carrying a 40 S&W Hi Power Practical in 40 S&W since 1995, On and off. Had my 1st 40 in 1991 a Star Firestar.
    It doesn’t bother me one bit to have a slight ballistic advantage over the 9mm and less pop then a 45apc.
    Which I also carry.
    I carry a 9mm a Sig 938 when I don’t want to carry a gun.

    Have a Happy New Year, even you 40 S&W dissenters.

  9. avatar Pmac says:

    The bigger the hole in the bad guy the better. I began my career before there was a .40 and when the high capacity wonder 9s were taking the U.S. by storm. The first time I went to the range I was carrying a 1911. Several guys asked why I carried a 45. I cleared my weapon and dropped a loaded 9mm round down the barrel. Case and all. I then shook my 1911. Rattle, rattle, rattle. I then dumped the 9mm round into my palm, handed it back to Don and said, “That’s why.” The last time I went to the range before I retired I qualified with a 1911 .45 ACP. Bigger, in almost everything, is better. Take .30 caliber over 6.5 mm too.

    1. avatar possum says:

      Good story.

      1. avatar Pmac says:

        Thanks. .45 and .30 are American calibers. Guys that want to measure their bullets using the metric system should move to Europe and live with the girly men.

        1. avatar Grant. says:

          Agreed, the metric system is dumb. .45 suddenly becomes… 11.43 millipeders or something. Why? America owns the world and bails everybody out of wars and has the strongest economy. America-units, as I will call them from now on, should be the standard.

        2. avatar Kahlil says:

          Biting the supposed troll bait here but how is a measuring system based on units of 10, which is easily divisible, inferior to a system based on a unit of 12 (at least in length)? The metric system is a standard used in sciences and daily life around the world.

          At worst the issue with metric over the system we use in the US is that most Americans are unfamiliar with it, that’s all. But if we didn’t complain about the metric system or America’s exceptionalism in the world I guess we wouldn’t have a firearms blog.

        3. avatar Jonndoe says:

          My favorite Is the Glock 19 In 35.4 cal…Think I may just have that engraved on the slide above 9mm

        4. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          The metric system is better… 20ml makes more sense than 4 table spoons.

  10. avatar ArtM says:

    Yup! G27 everyday in an Aholster.com kydex pocket holster. Fits my right hand cargo pocket perfectly. Fits most other pockets well. The left cargo pocket carries my 22 round magazine.

  11. avatar possum the red nose pitbull says:

    I don’t think shooting a suppressed firearm is going to be as much fun come midnight :Happy New Year all

  12. avatar Randy Rissler says:

    Carry sig p250 .40 s&w. Does the job.

    1. avatar AnthonyC says:

      Ditto.
      The SIG 250 has been very reliable with any .40 rI have shot through it and carries fairly easily in a Vedders Light Tuck.
      However, I also have a Kahr CM9 for deeper concealment in less permissive environments.

  13. avatar Ronald Hunter says:

    I dont like the 40. I have 2 10mm that I would use over the 40. I carry a 1911 commander in 45 when it is colder. In the summer I pocket carry with a Kimber micro 9. I hunt with a 1006 s&w and sleep next to a modified glock 20. IMHO the 40 is a cop out. Like loading a 22 short in a 22lr gun. That being said a hit with a mouse gun is better than a miss with a large calibre magnum. Shoot what you can handle and practice practice practice.

    1. avatar Pmac says:

      Uh, 10mm is .40 caliber. FBI requested it be loaded down for the same reason that .41 magnum didn’t catch on. Too much recoil/muzzle blast for the intended purpose. (Though years ago a Game and Fish friend of mine and I went to south Florida and hooked up with two friends of his for a fishing trip. Two brothers. Worked for a local P.D. In the day they were issued S&W .41s. Seems they got in a little shootout with three armed robbers. Well, we were fishing and those guys were feeding the worms.) Anyway, I think it was Skelton and Jordan that were pushing the .41 as the ideal law enforcement caliber. However, they wanted a 180 gr. bullet at 900 fps. Those ballistics sound familiar? .40 caliber anyone? Guys, it ain’t rocket science. The same thing that would put a man on the ground in the Philippine Insurrection is the same thing that will put a man on the ground today. A BIGGER BULLET.

      1. avatar Ronald Hunter says:

        40 calibre is a 10mm short. 10mm came first. FBI went to S&W ti develop a round the girls and the boys could handle. If I’m not shooting my reloads, I’m shooting Underwood ammo. A comparison would be a 380 compared to a 9mm +P. If you can hit what you’re aiming at with a 40 then you have accomplished your mission. When I hunt bear and hogs I want more bang for my buck. If I ever have to defend my home and family I want the 10 in my hand till I get the shotgun which won’t fit in my nightstand.

        1. avatar Pmac says:

          Yeah, I know 10mm came first. All the way back to Cooper and the Bren 10. Shot one before there was a .40 S&W. You missed my point. Full house 10mm, like .41 magnum, is hotter than it needs to be for its original intended purpose. If it makes you feel better to carry one, have at it.

      2. avatar S.Crock says:

        PMAC what are you implying? Simply a large handgun round is what matters so it doesn’t matter if has the velocity of a 10mm or a .40?

        1. avatar Pmac says:

          With handguns, at least with bipedal targets, velocity is not really that important. Within reason. As an animal we’re pretty fragile. A decent caliber with about 12-14 inches of penetration is about what you want. I’ve attended several ammo demonstrations with Federal, CCI Speer, Winchester, etc. We were shooting 10% gelatin with the newest nuclear bullets through the common barriers. Most bullets performed about the same. More importantly I’ve attended a lot of autopsies. Once the bullet exits its job is done. At handgun velocities, on humans, anything above around 900 fps is wasted. Rather have quicker recoil recovery than velocity. Of course, if you know your going to a gunfight take a rifle.

      3. avatar S.Crock says:

        By that logic the .38spl is superior to .357 because the ~1,300 fps in the magnum is just wasted.

  14. avatar Kman says:

    I have a Glock 23 and it’s still in my top 5 of pistols I own.
    Great compromise in size, weight and power.
    I don’t carry it now, but wouldn’t have any hesitation.

  15. avatar Joe says:

    I’ve been carrying my Sig p229 in .40 since sweater weather started. The older no rail model. big heavy steel. Perceved recoil not much different than a poly 9mm. Wife got me a factory trigger job for fathers day a while back. Awesome gun.

    Once it warms back up I’ll go back to the kahr 380.

  16. avatar MB says:

    I carry a .380 or 9mm, but I would consider .40 a viable alternative if it wasn’t for the intensity of the recoil, which causes my damaged wrist pain. The .40 will always be a good self defense cartridge, declined in common police use, but still extremely effective.

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      I like the .380 as well, I can wear normal cloths with it. anything much bigger and its cop belts and oversized shirts and pants.

  17. avatar Broke_It says:

    I can carry up to 3 side arms and a rifle. When I dive I carry 6ish knives. Depends on the day and season. Worst it’s ever been was 2 10mm and a 9 in ankle holster with the ar10. Also, my belt buckle has a gun in it.

    1. avatar Broke_It says:

      It sounds paranoid/mall commando except it has a lot more to do with what I can grab with what hand in awkward positions. Where I like to hunt there’s kelp beds and steel wires from the bad old days of commercial fishing just intermixed all willy nilly.

  18. avatar former water walker says:

    Had a 40 and still have some 40 anmo. I’d get a trade-in Glock 22/23 in a heartbeat. Happy New Year TTAG!

  19. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I don’t currently own one but am considering a Glock 23.

    Mainly to have a 40 for some ammo I have (it’s good stuff).

    Also will get a 9mm bbl so I can shoot 9mm with it.

    1. avatar troutbum5 says:

      I carry a 23. Went looking for a compact, double stack .45 to replace my XDS, and found a used gen 3 for $300. First (and probably only) glock I’ve owned, but the price was right, it’s accurate and reliable, trigger is decent, and now I’ve got 14 rounds without a reload. Think I’m gonna put a better trigger in it though.

  20. avatar Lee the fudd says:

    Gen 2 G23 has been my EDC since 1996. .40 S&W works for me.

  21. avatar Larry says:

    I am wondering why this even matters. Any one of the calibers mentioned will kill you when hit in a vital area. Everybody talks about knockdown. Can’t imagine anyone standing if I was to put half a dozen rounds of 9mm or .380 in you center mass. Either way even if you carry a .45 your not gonna feel much like using it.

    1. avatar Pmac says:

      Seen a lot of gun shot wounds. No guarantees. Especially with handgun calibers. Seen guys dead as a hammer shot with a .22 lr. Others up walking and talking with center mass hits with large caliber center fire handgun rounds. That said, I’ll still take the biggest bullet I can shoot at my adversary. Every time.

      1. avatar Ronald Hunter says:

        I mentioned I used my 10 for hunting bears and hogs. I have a 45 and various 9mm to use on 2 legged critters. I use the hot ammo when hunting. My 10 I use for 2 legged critters at home isn’t loaded with those rounds. I use commercial Sig crown ammo which is loaded similar to a 40. The 40 is a good round to use against people. I just dont see the need for another calibre.

  22. avatar Mike Oregon says:

    I don’t like compact 40S&W pistols, so right now as always I have a 5″ M&P 40 iwb

  23. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    My first pistol was a .40 S&W Sigma. It served me well; I put many, many round through it without failure. Sold it to a buddy and it’s sill chugging away.

    I’ve narrowed all my pistols down to 9mm & .380ACP mostly for economy, and secondarily due to pure laziness

    Nothing against the .40 S&W, but it’s no longer for me.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      As I’ve gotten older I want things simpler. I’ve got it down to two centerfire calibers for my handguns. .38 and 9mm. Giving my 9×18 makarov to my son. He loves it and has always wanted it.

      Just bought myself a new g19 to replace it.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        For me the catalyst was most likely the third and fourth child… once my wife and I had move to from man-to-man coverage to a zone defense, simplicity became the core of my existence. The less things to deal with, keep track of, worry about, and spend money on the better.

        Congrats on the G19. It a solid gun. And congrats on giving your son a gun, that’s a banner day in any father-child relationship in my book.

  24. avatar Alex says:

    I am looking at a used 40 because I live in a communist state (ma) with 10 round limits. Also, the 40 still gives significantly better performance than the 9mm if you are forced to buy average ammo. My lgs doesn’t have every 9mm load all the time; any basic jhp in 40 will do the job.

  25. avatar RandaII says:

    I carry a Glock 26 and stayed away from the 27 because I “heard” from everybody that it had too much recoil. Then I traded for one and could barely tell the difference between the recoil of the 26 versus the 27, unless rapid firing. I’d love another inexpensive police trade-in 27.

  26. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

    My strategy has been to find a a few Steyrs chambered in 40 S&W from an online auction site. I do a swap and drop in a replacement barrel chambered for .357 sig. Now I’m shooting them hi technology wonder nine bullets 300 fps faster.

  27. avatar 22winmag says:

    10×25 “10mm” and 10×22 aka .40S&W

    Let’s call it what it is- 10mm Short

    1. avatar kahlil says:

      Take the cue from .45 family and call it the .40 Schofield or 10mm Schofield, whatever floats your boat 😉

  28. avatar Parnell says:

    Have a 27 and a PPX 40. Love em both.

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