POTD: How well do you know your .40 S&W?

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Finch sent us this photo of a selection of .40 Smith & Wesson cartridges. Can you name them all?

I have to admit I can only name three off the top of my head. I would like to say that is because I am lifetime card carrying 9mm fanboy … but I am sure all of them are made in 9mm as well as .40 S&W.

Post your guesses in the comments.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Kivaari Kivaari on Nov 10, 2015

    I would like to know how it is REALLY performing compared to 9mm. I tried a couple of them, but went back to 9mm. Since 9s are performing well, at least in the gun press, I saw no real reason why it can be any better. WE should all know that 40s wear out guns faster, recoil a tiny bit more, and cost more to shoot that maybe there simply wasn't a legitimate reason to create it. Just a sales tool by the anti-9mm crowd, that knew the 45 really isn't that much better than a good 9.

    • Raz-0 Raz-0 on Nov 11, 2015

      @Kivaari It performs as well as 9mm at least. The industry aims for a metric, so most of what is selling is hitting that metric, which is a large part of what has made 9mm a very good bang for the buck defensively. It wasn't always this way. We are spoiled by modern offerings.

      .40 exists because the FBI had issues with the lethality of their issued ammo way back when. They wanted 10mm, but it caused issues with a lot of agents being able to handle it at full power, and the packaging issues with a platform that could should it caused ergonomic issues for smaller agents. So they essentially commissioned the .40 since they were going to download the 10mm anyway. There's no conspiracy as to why it exists. An organization that buys a lot of ammo wanted it to exist, so it did, end of story.

      It doesn't wear out guns quicker if they were designed for .40 from the start. Heck, even if they weren't it often doesn't wear them out quicker. With a few exceptions, when it does, the round count at which you see a difference exceeds what many (possibly most) people will ever put through an individual pistol.

      Despite the FBI going back to 9mm, it sticks around for a number of reasons. It fills a role well in a number of shooting sports. It can be loaded to an extremely wide range of performance from 135gr to 200gr projectiles loaded from powder puff to some serious recoil. If you reload that's extra useful. It also has a nice straight wall design making roll sizing possible without ill effect, and it has a nice beefy extractor groove, which means that if your brass gets a bit beat up, it'll still work.

  • Old Tofu Old Tofu on Nov 10, 2015

    numbers 1-5 , not as good as a 45. all you need to know about a 40.

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