Why is the .40 S&W so prominent with LEO's?

Discussion in 'LEO Talk' started by TexDeuce, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. TexDeuce

    TexDeuce XDTalk 100 Member

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    Why is the .40 so popular with law enforcement? Is it believed to have better "stopping power" (I use that term loosely) than the .45 ACP? Many think the .45 is better ballistically and has less (or at least a more pleasant) recoil. Why not use the .45? Just curious.
     
  2. robinsre

    robinsre XDTalk 4K Member Founding Member

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    Balistically there is little difference (in terms of kinetic energy) between .40s&w and .45acp.

    .40 is a smaller round lending to higher magazine capacity in the same size package.

    The faster speed of the .40 is largely considered better for intermediate barrier penetration.

    There is also the matter of history that comes into play. The .40 s&w cartridge is a child of the 10mm cartridge, which was designed for law enforcement to answer the problem of poor efficiency and "stopping power" associated with the .38 caliber cartridges widely issued to and carried by leos at the time.
     
  3. Biggie313

    Biggie313 XDTalk 500 Member

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    More power than 9mm, more rounds than 45. Max power from a small framed gun to fit a wider range of users.
     
  4. KenW.

    KenW. XDTalk 1K Member

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    Uneducated liberal officers shudder at the words "forty-five", and a 9mm is just capable of carrying too much ammo.

    Behold!!! Forty S&W!!!
    This decade's answer to all law enforcement's problems like the 10mm was.

    Any predictions on the next decade? .41 Mag?
     
  5. XD-Generate

    XD-Generate XDTalk 3K Member

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    I'll take 9 over 40 any day. I would also take 45 over 40 any other time. Guess you could say there is no middle of the road for me.

    I dont know exact ballistic data but I went to the range with 2 buddies this weekend. One with a 40, one with a 45 and me with the 9. I could tell a HUGE difference in the diameter of hole size between the 45 and the 40/9.. The difference was not so large between the 9 and the 40.

    I could stick a finger threw the holes the 45 was putting on paper. Not with the 40 or 9.
     
  6. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri XDTalk 2K Member

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    There you have it; irrefutable proof ... that a .45 will make a larger hole in a paper target than a .40 or a 9mm. :lol:

    If your primary concern is making larger holes in paper targets, you just can't beat the .45 ... well, maybe with a .460 Rowland ... or a .454 Casul ... or a .500 Magnum ... but you know what I mean. ;)

    Now, back to our regularly scheduled question. The .40 is a good middle of the road round (if you can stand the middle of the road) - good ballistics, good slug size, good ammo availability and choice, good ammo cost (almost as cheap as 9mm) and good magazine capacity support across handgun mfr's.

    Is .40 the BEST at any one thing? Probably not, but life is full of trade-off's.
     
  7. Poink88

    Poink88 XDTalk 1K Member

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    Quoted for truth. I like punching paper with .22LR myself (and don't care about the hole size :twisted: ) but for my SD/HD, I chose .40 cal.
     
  8. XD-Generate

    XD-Generate XDTalk 3K Member

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    I wondered when the A-hole patrol would show up. I have other reasons for not being so fond of the 40 cal. but I do appreciate the "Look at my giant, all-knowing brain" mentality you moseyed on in with.

    I was simply making an observation from my day at the range and what I saw. Nice rundown of all the reasons the 40 is right between the 9 and the 45. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: Thank you captain obvious for clearing everything up....
     
  9. robinsre

    robinsre XDTalk 4K Member Founding Member

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    Out of curiosity, what are your 'other reasons' for not being fond of the .40 caliber cartridge.

    I don't carry a .40, I carry a .45 most regularly, but on occasion I carry a handgun chambered in 5.7x28mm. (That ought to give you an idea of what I think about the veracity of most internet ballisticians and their bullshit testing methods and the reality of "stopping power" from a handgun).

    That being said, I wouldn't nix the .40 as a solid self defense cartridge. Well, as solid a self defense cartridge as one can get inside of the confines of the pitiful world of handgun ballistics.
     
  10. Poink88

    Poink88 XDTalk 1K Member

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    One more thing, the LEO's themselves might not have a say in the matter. Like here in Austin, TX it is mandatory that they carry one of the prescribed pistols...and both of them are .40 cal (Glock and S&W IIRC).
     
  11. XD-Generate

    XD-Generate XDTalk 3K Member

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    I wouldn't write the 40 off completely it's just not a caliber I'm fond of. I feel like it has a little to much "Snap" for my likings. After a few mags my wrists really feel the impact. That is why if I want capacity Ill go 9 and if I want something with some "umph" id choose 45. I feel more accurate with 45 over 40 and am a damn sight more accurate with a 9 over 40 is fast fire situations.

    Too funny how people take the caliber wars to heart. Shoot what you like. It's your money/time. I myself like 9mm for the fact that at 20 feet or so I can pop shots of at a rapid pace and put them all within a few inch of each other. I don't get the same results with 40cal. Thats just me tho. That is also why our hobby kicks ass.. A little something for everyone's taste.
     
  12. KenW.

    KenW. XDTalk 1K Member

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    My reason for not liking the 40 is that I don't want to stockpile yet another caliber.
    22lr
    9mm
    38 spec
    357 mag
    45 ACP
    223 rem
    243 win
    and
    12 ga

    enough already.

    I have fired it, from Glocks, HK USPs, and FNPs, but I'm not fond it the 40SW.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  13. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri XDTalk 2K Member

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    Wait ... let me get this right (trying to stop laughing) ... you posted up that a .45 makes a bigger hole in a paper target than a .40 or a 9mm ... and you're calling ME captain obvious?

    That's fricking hilarious.

    Oh, and I didn't just mosey in with this attitude (mentality). I've been this way for decades.
     
  14. Kevenater

    Kevenater XDTalk 100 Member

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    cause .40 is the ultimate go to round..........simple! They is it cause it's the best of both worlds round.
     
  15. XD-Generate

    XD-Generate XDTalk 3K Member

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    I posted an observation and you jumped me on it. Then stated the common known reasons why 40 is right in between 2 other calibers. And you did it with your little caliber war chip riding high on your shoulder. Now you are back to stoke the flames some more with your verbal diarrhea. Troll on out the way you came in. Or you could tell use more about how 40 is cheaper than 45 and a little more expensive than 9..........:rolleyes: Bestow more great wisdom upon us kind sir.
     
  16. Kevin 45

    Kevin 45 XDTalk 100 Member

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    Depts moves on to the lastest and greatest weapons or calibers, maybe.

    Perhaps there are special prices on them and that is part of the reason.

    I bought a Glock 23 back in 2004/2005. I asked my Brother-in-Law if he wanted it for a service weapon since he carried a 357. He accepted and I was happy to do it. Maybe 2 years later, the Sheriff got a Glock 21 for him and the rest of the Dept. (Leake County, Mississippi)

    Some have Crown Vics......some have Dodge.

    Just tools of the trade.
     
  17. desert rat 08

    desert rat 08 XDTalk Newbie

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    According to a friend... a .45 will penetrate his vest and a .40 will not. Since a lot of officers get shot with their own weapon, he and many others on the local dept. carry .40's.
     
  18. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri XDTalk 2K Member

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    I have no chip on my shoulder - caliber or otherwise. I own and shoot 9mm, .40, .45, 10mm ... hell, I even own a .32. I really couldn't care less what caliber(s) you, or anyone else, shoots. However, someone who dismisses one caliber because it makes smaller holes in paper than another caliber ... I just found your "observation" hilarious. "Damn, dude, the .45 hole is bigger than the .40 hole and the 9mm hole."

    If you can't take a joke - I'm guessing you know the rest.
     
  19. TexDeuce

    TexDeuce XDTalk 100 Member

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    In the XDm the .40 only holds 3 more rounds than the .45. A slight advantage but not a huge discrepency. Secondly, many say the .40 has worse recoil and worse ballistic damage than a .45. If you believe this is true why use a .40? It seems the .45 is more popular on the civilian market for these reasons. Why not in the LEO market?
     
  20. TexDeuce

    TexDeuce XDTalk 100 Member

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    Your friend lied to you or you are trolling, get real dude.
     

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