The Gun Community is starting to drift away from the .40. A lot of Trainers that I respect are moving away from the .40 to the 9mm. They can shoot faster with it. They have their reasons… Cost of ammo is higher than 9mm, it has more recoil than 9mm, and you can get more rounds in the same size magazine in 9mm. That’s all true. Sure. But I think some of them just like to wow students with Buzz Gun firing rates. Sure, you can shoot a 9mm really fast and look like Chris Costa doing it… but you are doing it with a smaller and weaker cartridge. The .40 has more recoil because you are putting out more punch.
In .40 I have a bullet that has a 27% increase in Diameter, heavier bullet weights. It performs more like a .45 than it does a 9mm, yet I get roughly double the capacity of a .45 in a pistol with the size and comfort in the hand of a 9mm grip frame. A .40 caliber will typically give up only 1 or 2 rounds from a 9mm. Yet we have about double the capacity from your typical .45 pistol. Considering that you are not really giving up any actual power from a .45, that’s a good trade.
The .40 is the cartridge of choice for a majority of Law Enforcement for a reason. Police, both Federal and Local tend to be picky about what they choose to carry and usually do a lot of testing. This is why they usually end up picking a .40. They don’t just adopt a cartridge because it’s popular. Let’s not forget that reason we have the .40 is from the unfortunate event with the 86 Miami Massacre. During that event, the 9mm failed to do it’s job. So did the .38 Special. The result was the FBI’s search for a better cartridge. This gave us the 10mm, which was fantastic, but too much for the Lawyers and Accountants of the FBI to handle. S&W then developed the .40… which is where we are now.
So I do like the .40 S&W cartridge, and will continue to use it. I don’t need to follow the typical path of going backwards. .45 to 9, back to .45, then back to 9mm… See this goes back to the Old West days… we all had .45′s. Then the Army went to the .38′s. After we fought the Moros, we had the Trials of 1905 where we decided we needed a .45 again… this the 1907 trials that lead to the 1911 adaptation which served just fine until the 80′s when we went with a 9mm again. I’m done with all that, and so is Law Enforcement… I’ll stick with .40 caliber.