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Discussion Starter #1
There seems to be some folks that don't care too much for the .40. How many of you have them and how do you like them? (I like mine)
 

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As I have posted in the past, I sold a Glock 22 and bought a KP944, love the Ruger no where near the flip that the Glock had.
 

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When experts rate a cartridge for law enforcement or self defense, they take a host of things into consideration. These include: terminal performance (ie: penetration, expansion, and wound channel), size of ammo (magazine capacity), recoil, accuracy, and probably more issues.

The 40 S&W may not win in any single category but its overall performance is much better than a 9mm and slightly edges out the 45 ACP. As such, in the short life of the 40 S&W (introduced in 1990), it has become the cartridge of choice by more law enforcement agencies than any other cartridge on the market.

You can't argue with success. The 40 S&W is an intense round. It can be tricky to reload and has the worst track record for Kabooms. It would certainly not be my choice for a target gun or a hunting gun. It was designed for self defense and law enforcement and does an excellent job.

The cartridge is only half of the equation. You must have a gun you are happy with in order to make fair judgment. A good cartridge in a lousy gun is no better than a lousy cartridge in a good gun. Anyone that knocks a 40 S&W just hasn't done their homework.

Being an old fart and having worn a 1911 type duty gun for many years, I find my best comfort level in a Colt Commander chambered in 45 ACP. That doesn't mean a 40 S&W wouldn't serve me well, it just means I go with what I know.

Currently, I only own one 40 S&W. It is a Beretta 96 and is an excellent piece. Though I am very happy with both the gun and the cartridge, I see no need to buy another 40.
 

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jlweems
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This is one of those subjects that can get me going. :)

I'm just not a fan of the .40SW. I don't see where it offers enough improved performance over the 9mm to put up with the issues that it brings. LE agencies all over the country bought into the myth that the 9mm wasn't good enough, and the gun companies were obviously happy to turn around and sell .40s to all of the agencies that they had converted from wheelguns to bottom feeders just a few years prior to the .40 fad. LE is bad for wanting to "keep up with the Jones" and will buy into fads fairly readily.

I'm also a firm believer that the .40 only has its LE market share because it beat the .45 GAP and the .357 Sig to the marketplace. In my opinion, both are superior rounds ot the .40, but agencies just don't see the need to switch from the .40 to either of the other rounds.

As for citizen shooters, while some use the .40 or the other rounds, but mostly they just either like the 9mm or go with the .45ACP if they think they need something bigger.

We've had a couple of discussions recently on Shooters' Legacy on this issue. Here is a link to one:

http://shooterslegacy.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8308

That thread contains a link to the other. Please feel free to read them raise any points of discussion here, and I'll cross link the thread over there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just my opinions - for whatever that is worth.
1. The .45 ACP inspires more confidence in me than any other semi-auto caliber. A well-placed round of even FMJ is pretty effective. It's by far my favorite bottom feeder to shoot.

2. The .40 S&W is a very capable weapon and I would not feel under-gunned if it was all I had to carry. I think it is a pretty good compromise between the 9mm and .45. Should everyone run out and buy one? Probably not - both of the other major players are quite capable nowadays. I've heard a lot of discussion about the sharp recoil and bad muzzle flip of the .40's. I'm a pretty small guy and I just don't notice a heck of a lot of difference in my 9's, 40's and .45s. My KP944 is pretty heavy and it's pleasant to shoot. Most of the kabooms that I have heard of were in Glocks. Good ammo in a good Ruger should be nothing to be afraid of. I try to use the same judgment and common sense with the .40 as I do with my other handguns.

3. At the risk of being burned at the stake, in my opinion the 9mm used to be nothing but a high-priced plinker. I had a Browning and an FN High Power back in the 70's when 9mm hollow points were in their infancy. Real world performance in LEO shootings was pretty dismal. Now ammo makers provide ammo that is effective and I would not hesitate to carry one for self-defense. That said, I still prefer to carry a .45 or a .40. I have never seen the hi-cap 9mm's to be a great advantage over other calibers. Good ammo and shot placement are the keys to effectively ending an armed confrontation. Hopefully if I am ever faced with multiple assailants and assault rifles I will have the good judgment to fire a few rounds for cover and run and hide!

Please don't tag me as a 9mm hater - I have 4 of them. I agree with Iowegan. I only have one .40 S&W, I'm happy with it, but don't see the need to buy another. I like it enough that I won't be getting rid of it any time soon.
 

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No doubt, this subject has been beat to death in every form of communications. I look at all firearms as a tool. As such, there is usually a "right tool for the right job" weather it is a screwdriver, a software program, or a gun.

If you do a head-to-head comparison between the top three semi-auto rounds (9mm, 40 S&W, & 45 ACP), you will find the differences aren't enough to get in an argument over. It really boils down to personal preference. You can argue about individual features of each cartridge and use one particular spec as a point of superiority but if you look at the overall picture, the 40 S&W wins by a narrow margin. When I say "wins", I'm talking about its application as a law enforcement tool. Because most of us are not performing law enforcement duties, it really becomes a moot point.

When you select a firearm and a cartridge for self defense, you should consider what you are really going to use it for. Are you going to encounter war like stiuations where high capacity is paramount? I doubt it. Do you need "magnum" power levels? I doubt that too. Do you need pinpoint target grade accuracy? Probably not. Do you need a weapon that you can easily control and functions to your satisfaction? Yes!

The movie industry has a huge influence on the general public. For many gun owners, this seems to be the source of their firearms education. You must carry a super powerful, high capacity, tack driver accurate firearm and at least three fully loaded magazines. All of this is tucked into a shoulder rig so it is undetectable when wearing just a tee shirt. Get real guys!

For a good share of my life, I was involved with firearms training for Federal agents and law enforcement officers. Believe me, one gun does not fit all people or all situations. Later, I ran classes for civilian self defense. Again, there is no one gun or cartridge that meets all needs.

My civilan students were instructed to show up the first day with the handgun of their choice and 50 rounds of ammo. You wouldn't believe what walked in the door. Yup, right out of the movies! Everything from a pocket 22 LR to a Dirty Harry S&W Mod 29. Most students didn't even own a holster! Now how can a person expect to defend themselves without the right equipment? But that is a totally different topic.

Then comes the "pride of ownership" issue. No one want to go out and spend big $$$ on a gun only to be told by some expert (educated by the movies) their new gun is junk. When most people buy a gun, they don't want to admit they made a mistake so they defend the brand, model, and caliber to the last gasp. Then there's the guy who owned a bad Ruger 10 years ago, therefore all Rugers are bad and no one should buy one.

Here's the solution: Buy the gun in the brand, model, and caliber you think is best for your situation. Train with it until you either have full confidense or find out it doesn't meet your needs. If it doesn't meet your needs, sell it and buy something that does. Training is the key and I don't mean standing flat footed and shooting beer cans (though that is a hoot). Attend a good self defence firearms class. Learn what is important and what is just frufoo. You may find you need two or three different guns to cover your needs. What ever you choose, train with it often.
 

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For some reason threads like this make me think of some of the old westerns shows we used to watch where the good guy and bad guy walk out into the street and draw against each other. The bad guy draws first and either missed or superficially wounds the good guy, but the good guy puts one through his heart or head and end of battle. There is nothing like shot placement. Caliber wouldn't make a whole lot of difference in either the heart or head.
 

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jlweems
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Earlier, I typed a brilliant example of firearms knowitness, but my computer locked up, and my brilliance vanished somewhere into outer limits of the silicon world.

I didn't include in my previous post to this thread that I readily concede that the .45ACP is "superior" to the 9mm. However, my performance with a 9mm typically far outweighs my performance with a .45 ACP. The difference is lessening as I get more trigger time with a .45ACP, and having recently put a heavier recoil spring in my Springer 1911, I've actually begun to enjoy shooting it.

I typically perform better with a 9mm when compared to a .40SW as well. I have a S&W 4006 and a 5906TSW, and I will absolutely run rings around the 4006 with the 5906TSW.

We tend to forget that confidence and preference factor into performance at levels that "pure science" doesn't take into account.
 

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HS .22LR 4" revolver------S&W .38 2" revolver-----KP90 .45 Auto -I prefer the 45, but at 20-30' can hit well with any of the three-any one of them beats none at all. Like Calvin said-hits count-no matter what you hit with...rather be safe with one you can shoot than cool and stylish with one you don't feel you can hit well with...the gun won't intimidate anyone...the hits stop the trouble...blonde, brunette, redhead-some is better than none....or we can be like Rman and keep plugging away till we have one of each---guns, Rman, guns...that's the fun way to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
quote:Originally posted by sheepdog

HS .22LR 4" revolver------S&W .38 2" revolver-----KP90 .45 Auto -I prefer the 45, but at 20-30' can hit well with any of the three-any one of them beats none at all. Like Calvin said-hits count-no matter what you hit with...rather be safe with one you can shoot than cool and stylish with one you don't feel you can hit well with...the gun won't intimidate anyone...the hits stop the trouble...blonde, brunette, redhead-some is better than none....or we can be like Rman and keep plugging away till we have one of each---guns, Rman, guns...that's the fun way to do it.
+1 Sheepdog & Calvin. A .22 wouldn't be my choice, but three quick, well-placed, close range rounds in the head with a .22 will usually do the trick about as well as anything. I always felt that the best man to stand beside in bad times was the one who only had one gun and trained frequently with it. He almost certainly will be very proficient. (But it's a hell of a lot more fun to have a bunch of them to play with.)

I know better than to start this kind of thread because we all are pretty opinionated and not easily swayed from our own beliefs. I'm beginning to sound like a troll from one of the other forums. (I'm smacking myself soundly!:D:D) I wouldn't tell anyone what is best for them because I'm no expert. What works for me may seem like junk to someone else. I've got Rugers ranging from .22 LR through .44 Magnum. I like them all, have fun shooting them all and each and every one of them shoots better than I do. In a pinch, any of them would work for me...some better than others. I just plain like to shoot, have fun and try to become a better shot.
 

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The spirit of debate and difference here is totally different from other forums-our differences are just differences-not lines in the sand-it's awesome how we can talk about strong likes and dislikes without it getting personal and crappy- that's one of the best things here- unconditional love and respect abound!!!
 

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quote:Originally posted by sheepdog

The spirit of debate and difference here is totally different from other forums-our differences are just differences-not lines in the sand-it's awesome how we can talk about strong likes and dislikes without it getting personal and crappy- that's one of the best things here- unconditional love and respect abound!!!
You're right about that!
 

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I own one plastic gun and it's a .40s&w. I have shot the 9mm verison and I fail to see the big difference. They feel just fine and place well for me. Fact I use the .40 for one of my home defence guns. I perfer the 1911/.45 but I consider that a personal choice. That's what I carry and I also use for home defence. Knowing the gun you got and it's limitations is the best you can do for defence. That means a lot of practice with it.
 

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It all adds into the total-leave out any part and you come up empty-good gun-good load-plenty of practice-mindset--and the chance to get to it-your member picture says it all-be prepared...looks like you are!!!
 

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I have one .40 S&W, that is the Taurus 100 (very similar to the Beretta 96) in stainless.

I like it. With the Taurus/Berreta platform I can't seem to miss. The only negative comment I have for this gun, its too big to pack around concealed. However, I do keep it handy as a bedside gun.

I've been thinking of a gun like Iowegan's.... a Commander size package in either .40 or .45 ACP. I'd be happy with either caliber. While the 9mm ammo has made strides in recent years, I'm still not confident enough in it to want to trust my life to it.
 

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I currently carry a Beretta .40 as my duty weapon...and the ammo is issued fer' it. BUT I've got 9-m/m and .22 "topworks" so's I can shoot it more frequently. That said...I feel OK with the .40...but, I feel the same with a .45 or 9...
 

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There is some very good info in this topic. I'm glad to see most of us agree with "choose what's right for you" vs buying what the gun rags recommend or the latest and greatest on TV. I quit all my subscriptions to gun magazines a few years ago primarily because every new gun they test is the "best one ever". Also, most of the writers don't have a lick of experience with self defense, yet they make all sorts of recommendations. One of the worst recommendations is to carry the most powerful gun you can handle and load it with the most powerful ammo made. I've seen this in print way too many times.

When you think about buying a self defense gun, put yourself in the bad guys shoes for a minute. If you got caught breaking into someone's house or trying to rob someone on the street, which gun would you rather be shot by? I think the very first answer is "none of them". The next response would probably be "where am I going to get hit?" Now we are getting to the meat of the issue. If you can get the drop on a bad guy, get to your weapon, and fire it with reasonably accuracy, the fight will be over and you win, even if it is only a 22 LR. The purpose of defending yourself is not to kill or maim but to neutralize the attack.
 

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quote:Originally posted by Iowegan

There is some very good info in this topic. I'm glad to see most of us agree with "choose what's right for you" vs buying what the gun rags recommend or the latest and greatest on TV. I quit all my subscriptions to gun magazines a few years ago primarily because every new gun they test is the "best one ever". Also, most of the writers don't have a lick of experience with self defense, yet they make all sorts of recommendations. One of the worst recommendations is to carry the most powerful gun you can handle and load it with the most powerful ammo made. I've seen this in print way too many times.

When you think about buying a self defense gun, put yourself in the bad guys shoes for a minute. If you got caught breaking into someone's house or trying to rob someone on the street, which gun would you rather be shot by? I think the very first answer is "none of them". The next response would probably be "where am I going to get hit?" Now we are getting to the meat of the issue. If you can get the drop on a bad guy, get to your weapon, and fire it with reasonably accuracy, the fight will be over and you win, even if it is only a 22 LR. The purpose of defending yourself is not to kill or maim but to neutralize the attack.
I agree with what is said above, good common sense. The only thing I would change, here in AZ "you shoot to stop the threat", not neutralize the attack. I'm sure the wording is different in every state so find out what the "correct term" is for your state.
 
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