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Discussion Starter #1
I recently got 'The truth about handguns' by Duane Thomas. It contains a chapter about the 40SW cartridge which he's not too fond of. One of the reasons is that most 40SW guns are rechamberered 9mm guns that don't stand up well against the additional recoil from the 40SW. Apparently Glocks in that caliber have been failing regularly when 9mm models live forever.

Chamber pressures for 9mm and 40SW are in the same range (35K) so from that perspective the 9mm design should withstand the 40SW just fine. What about slide weight? Spring tension?

The book(let) has some other interesting chapters about how ammo causes damage (injury) and stops or fails to stop an assailant. Certainly makes for reading that made me sit up and rethink some of my perceptions about hand guns. That's not to say I'll take anything he writes as gospel but it's thought provoking.
 

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-I'm not familiar with that book, but one of the things that you'll find with firearms is each caliber has its adherents and detractors.  Often they'll just spout personal bias as fact.  It can get surreal at times.  Once I heard a guy extoll the virtues of shooting factory load .45 ACP in a Webley that was designed for .455 Webley.  -The .45ACP round is a few thousandths of an inch smaller, travels 200 FPS faster, and has significantly greater pressures.  He refused to believe that the round the gun was designed for was better in the gun than the round it had been converted to so it could be easily sold to a civilian market.

I believe the .40 S&W was developed and adopted following a FBI shootout that left two FBI agents dead.  One of the agents had a 9mm and I think the other agent had a .38.  Basically, the agent with the 9mm hit the guy in the shoulder and the bullet bounced around inside (probably after hitting bone) and lodged near the heart.  It was a mortal wound, but the guy lived for several additional minutes and in that time he shot and killed both FBI agents.  

Instantly the bigger bullet (.45 ACP) guys pounced on the ammo as being the problem as opposed to shot placement.    The 10mm picked up around that time and some Law Enforcement Agencies adopted them but the cartridge was destroying guns that were more or less adapted .45's.  They went back to the drawing board and came back with the .40 S&W (in reality a shortened 10mm) that was supposed to serve as the middle ground between 9mm and .45 ACP.  

The .40 S&W has been on the market for about a decade or so and generally has been getting favorable reviews.  They can use slightly modified 9mm frames and slides.  The Browning Hi-Power was beefed up a little to handle the .40 S&W and is a real treat in that caliber.  Walther also went with a heavier slide for the .40 S&W.  It does not have metal machined away from the front of the slide as the 9mm version does.

When comparing like to like, a .40 S&W round can increase wound cavity size by an extra cubic inch over the 9mm round.  It can fit in existing frames that is a boon to shooters with hands too small to comfortably operate a gun shooting .45 ACP.  Also you get near 9mm mag capacity when shooting .40 S&W as opposed to the limited mag capacity of a gun shooting .45 ACP.  This doesn't mean the  .40 S&W is the best round out there.  It's a compromise round, but it does its job effectively, if you do yours.

Regarding Glocks, the two major problems I have heard about stem from either using unjacketed lead bullets (a big no-no in Glocks) or reloaded .40 S&W cartridges.  The .40 S&W is not a cartridge that has significant margin for error if the charge is a little too hot.  That said, I've put almost 10K (factory loads) through my P99 QA in .40 S&W without a hiccup.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The reason I went with 40 over 9mm was that with 10 round max (CA) I'd rather have something a little hotter and heavier if I can. There is no substitute for shot placement, that's for sure.

It's too bad the FN Five Seven isn't available to the public. 20 Rounds of 2000+ fps in a handgun of a pound and a half
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Nocturnal @ Dec. 08 2004,6:24)]It's too bad the FN Five Seven isn't available to the public. 20 Rounds of 2000+ fps in a handgun of a pound and a half
I don't know about your state but I can grab one in NV...  -One of the local dealers has a letter on record with FN that they'll only sell to LEO's, but it's a wink-wink thing.  -The main reason I haven't bought one is that it's prohibitively expensive to shoot.  It was supposed to be a compliment to FN's P90, but since civilians can't buy it and few LE agencies have even toyed with it, I think it's a dead duck in the marketplace.  -So far, the "Stargate: SG-1" and "Starrgate: Atlantis" TV series have been its best advertisements.

An old shooting friend of mine always advised people to stick to common calibers otherwise they could get burned.  You probably don't remember it but IMI came out with a .41 AE for their Jericho (Baby Eagle) pistol.   Good luck trying to find that with the same ease and same price as 9mm or .40 S&W.  For what it's worth, I always wait for a new caliber to get well established before investing in a gun chambered in it.
 
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