45 ACP HANDGUN.
BARREL3.3″ Hammer Forged Steel, Melonite® Finish, 1:16
SLIDEForged Steel, Melonite® Finish
FRAMEBlack Polymer w/ Enhanced Grip Texture, Thumb Safety/Decocker
SIGHTSFiber Optic Front, Dovetail White Dot Rear
RECOIL SYSTEMDual Captive Recoil Spring w/ Full Length Guide Rod
MAGAZINES(1) 6-Round, (1) 7-Round Extended
WEIGHT25.6 oz w/ Flush Mag, 26.4 oz w/ Extended Mag
HEIGHT5″ w/ Flush Mag, 5.25″ w/ Extended Mag
The .40 held great promise as the ultimate defensive handgun cartridge. It seemed every law enforcement agency began issuing or permitting the use of .40 S&W chambered handguns.
The 9mm vs. .45 debate became a dead horse, and there wasn’t much sense in beating it further.
When concealed carry was passed into law in 2004 for Ohio and many other states, the .40 also became the must-have gun for permit holders. After all, if it was good enough for cops, it was good enough for civilians too.
As time went on, however, certain issues cropped up and took some of the shine off the .40 S&W. These problems reignited the 9mm vs. .45 debate.
First, the .40’s stopping power did not reach the legendary level of the .45 ACP’s stopping power record. As just one example, there was the shooting of a suspect by a Columbus Officer 15 years ago.
The suspect was shot 14 times with the .40 S&W 180-grain ammo before he finally gave up.
The second problem with the .40 is its blast and recoil. It is difficult for new shooters to handle, which is why we used the 9mm at our academy before it became the universal gold standard. It is also why we chose the .357 SIG round at my sheriff’s office.
The .357 had less recoil than the .40 due to its lighter weight of 125 grains, and muzzle energy was much higher.
What Happened to .40 Ammo?
Two additional major events worked hand-in-hand to cause the demise of the .40. The first was the FBI’s ballistic testing. It declared that, in terms of stopping effectiveness, the 9mm and the .40 were essentially the same.
The second was a special law enforcement deal from Glock. Law enforcement agencies were allowed to trade in their existing Glocks for brand new Gen3 9mm Glocks with night sights for $75 per gun, as I recall.
Talking to my Glock dealer, nearly everyone who traded in their old Glocks walked away with 9mm versions instead of .357s, .40s or .45s, due mainly to the FBI report.
There was also the fact that 9mm ammo was cheaper and recoiled less. The police duty caliber landscape changed immediately. With the .40 effectively out of the picture, the question comes back to 9mm vs. .45 again.