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I've put about 500 rnds through my P99 9mm and never once considered the slab sided .40... until today when I ran into another Walther owner. The differences between the .40 and 9mm versions are strikingly similar to the differences between the P7M10 and P7M13. The .40 is an absolute pussycat with softer recoil and less muzzle flip than the 9! Upon first shooting it, I thought the guy was shooting some ultra light handloads (it was in fact factory ammo).

Anyone know what the actual weight difference between the two guns is? I might have to pick one up now, especially with the 357 sig barrels looking so good...
 

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Problem is...

As with Glock, whenever I see/hear about a P99 that was seriously damaged w factory ammo (3 so far), it is a .40, not a 9 minimeter.

Also bothers when I ask Walther USA about them, they say they have never heard of any problems/those incidents, and I know for sure they know about two of them...

Wassup w dat?
 

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I'm not surprised that an individual in customer service may be unfamiliar with the latest gun news. I seriously doubt that the customer service reps keep up with how many times they replace guns or service someone else's firearm and for what reason. And even though the company could and probably does keep track of this stuff, I doubt the information would be volunteered by the company. Could you imagine the following as an "official realease" from your favorite firearms company: "Buy this gun- Last year, only 1 in 12,583 chambered in X caliber blew up with factory ammunition."

Can you actually call HK, Glock, or Colt to get a run down by caliber of how many guns were destroyed by factory ammunition? And do they give you the make of factory ammunition? Does it get cross-referenced with lot number to target a bad batch from the factory? -I'm just asking since there is more than one variable here.

For my part, I think the .40 S&W is an unfairly maligned cartridge with a few anecdotal stories. I remember when it first came out. Some people claimed that it could never be an accurate round since it was a compromise between the 9mm in .45 ACP and that it incorporated the worst characteristics of those calibers. -Most serious shooters would now concede if you do your part with a decent firearm, it's going to hit the mark and group well.

The .40 S&W is still a relatively new cartridge. I admit it has high pressures and very specific load tolerances. However, generally speaking, the cartridge has performed well. If the caliber had the habit of destroying guns, it would be in decline by this point. Instead, the shooting community heartily supports it.

 

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Yada, yada, yada...

That all makes sense, but those excuses don't fly in this case, when I made specific reference to a specific gun/incident and did not just talk to just any rep that answered the phone... but I do know what ya mean.

Yes, I have called other gun and ammo companies and gotten information on specific incidents like this, even when it was bad. A Glock rep admitted several guns a month were blowing w Federal .40 ammo for a while there, and that lead to Federal changing their .40 brass for example. Glock and Federal never had that problem w their 9mm guns and ammo BTW.

The .40 is working great as a stopper of bad guys. It does have a blemish though.

There is a definite difference between the 9 and 40 in this regard: the .40 has and continues to damage more guns in less time than the 9 ever did w factory ammo, and the 9 operates at higher pressures if you consider SAAMI +P, CIP and NATO specs. More than a few anecdotes too. I can put you in touch w a guy who knows of over 100 just with Glocks, (though not all are catastrophic damage; most just blown cases, cracks in frames, etc). I know of more ranges and PDs that have blown more cases and/or damaged more guns in .40 than I do 9.  If you were gonna pay me a million bucks for a kB and provide the guns and factory ammo, I would pick a .40 before a 9...

He asked about differences, and that's one of them. While I think the .40 and the guns that fire it are more than safe enough, and obviously many satisfied users think so too, the history so far says the risks are not the same. I don't worry about it myself, but I don't deny it either.

If you know that and decide not to worry about it any more than the FBI, DEA, US Marshals, CHP, ISP, etc do, that's great, and you will be as happy as they are with the .40. If you are the sort who would worry too much about this, the .40 may not be for you no matter how good it is for other folks? That's all I meant.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!  ;)
 

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My intent was not to deny an actual risk / difference. My self-worth does not ride on the .40 S&W. The short-coming you mentioned, with the inevitability you implied is something that I have not experienced or heard of previously. I do not regard the caliber as inherently flawed. That is why I commented.

I’d appreciate more information from you and your friend regarding the damaged and destroyed Glocks. I’d like to hear the brands of ammo involved, the loads, frequency of problems with a particular brand, and if the rate has continued unchanged.

-Your reference to Federal, indicates that changing the brass stopped their ammo from damaging Glocks chambered in .40 S&W. I am aware of PMC having problems with their brass in .40, but I had chalked that up to PMC as a brand, not the .40 as a caliber. –Poor fabrication could make any caliber seem problematic.

I’d also like to know how you managed to coax out the information from the companies. My experience has typically been unanswered email or the standard "I don’t know" / "We are not aware…"
 

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I agree.

There does seem to be a difference in the frequency and severity of gun and factory ammo problems w the 9 v 40.
That isn't anything to run and hide from though; I don't.

On the public, private and LE ranges around here: Sheriffs (about 250) have blown a few 40s (and still trust and use 'em). City has not blown any 9s in more than twice the time with four times as many officers. Outdoor and indoor ranges see way more badly blown 40s than 9s.

As you said, I don't consider it defective, just closer to the edge where things get interesting, and seems to cross the line more often for a variety of reasons. Maybe the 9 was the same from 1902 to 1915? And if we count Beretta's broken slides and SIG's cracked frames in 9s, looks a little closer? ;)

Try Mike Dunlap at the Amarillo TX PD and David DiFabio at www.ammolab.com for more .40 (and some 357SIG) kB info.

I get info cuzz I'm a smooth talker when I need to be (talked my ex-wife into paying _me_ alimony). Doesn't always work; I didn't get diddly from Walther this time. ;)
 
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