How the .40 S&W Came to be

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Davo45, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Davo45

    Davo45 New Member

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    The 1986 Miami Shootout: The Gunfight That Changed Law Enforcement Nationwide - Guns News and Guns Reviews at Guns.com

    This single incident brought about many positive changes in the shooting world in general and in law enforcement in particular. It directly led to the development of bonded handgun ammunition as well as a change in firearms training away from moving to the next threat after a double tap to keep shooting until the threat has been stopped.

    It also led to the development of the .40 S&W and indirectly to the .357 Sig. Many LE agencies began drifting away from the revolver towards semi-automatic pistols chambered in .40 S&W which opened the door for the .45 ACP and more recently in .357 Sig. While many agencies issue a standard caliber, many authorize their officers to purchase and carry their own pistols in other calibers.

    Although the Columbine Shooting saw more LE agencies purchasing, training and issuing patrol rifles to their officers, this incident proved how effective the .223 with mushrooming ammunition was in a gunfight.
     
  2. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    I have heard that the 40 S&W was developed because of the 10MM. The FBI wanted a new cartridge, so they came up with the 10MM. It's a good round, but kinda hot, too hard to shoot or something. So, the 40 uses basically the same components, dumbs it down a bit, and tries to hit between the 9mm & 45ACP. Which it has seemed to do.......
     

  3. WDB

    WDB New Member

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    I heard it was developed for da Ganstas, so they can shoot a forty while drinking a forty;)
     
  4. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    The .40 S&W is a "dumb" downed 10mm. I have one of the original test bed handguns for 10mm. An AO(Thompson) 1911 gov't. When the 10mm was tested, it was to heavy, to much recoil, and way too much over penetration. They must have had girlie men doing the testing. Uses 1911 mags, but holds 8.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. hbomb

    hbomb New Member

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    Yup 10MM was first, initially thought that the recoil was too stout so custom loads were made for LE to send a 180gr. bullet at 980ft/sc. 40S&W was developed to give 10mm power in a 9mm framed gun with high capacity capability and ease of carry.
     
  6. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    I run 180's at 1100fps.+. Not sure how the .40 compares. The original 10mm was well past the Speed of sound. 1200fps+. I load down just because I don't need hyper velosity.
     
  7. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    The FBI Nancy Boys couldn't handle the 10mm recoil so they asked for a 10mm Lite. :rolleyes:
     
  8. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

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    HA!

    Exalt. And yes I know what I said!
     
  9. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I believe the 10mm (from Norma) and the Bren Ten came out before the FBI "tests". As said by other responders, the 10mm, as it was initially offered, was a little too much for some shooters. The idea behind the .40S&W was to have the lowered powered 10mm shortened so a firearm originally chambered for the 9mm could be rechambered to the .40 bullet. Saving retooling costs for developing new handguns. S&W was big on 9mm handgun production at the time and created the .40. Thus the name .40 S&W.
     
  10. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    Jpatterson, that's a cool gun, how did you come about owning it?
     
  11. michigan0626

    michigan0626 New Member

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    The 10mm's little brother is the 40 S&W.... The 40 Slow & Week.

    This I didnt know-
    Thats impressive.
     
  12. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I have two handguns that appear equal. A DW C-BOB in 10mm and a Ed Brown Kobra Carry in .45.

    Plinking with both at 100 yds, the .45 hits about 8-12 inches lower than the 10mm.
    And the 10mm kicks up more dirt that the .45. Unscientific, but fun to watch.
     
  13. pubthumper

    pubthumper New Member

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    I went to high school just down the road from where that happened. Correct me if I am wrong, and im sure you all will, but I was under the impression that another reason the FBI got away from the 10mm was the over-penetration of that round. The .40 "short and weak" fit the bill quite nicely, so they went with it. And that round has proven itself over and over again. There is certainly some wasted potential in the 10mm. And its too bad.
     
  14. MrWray

    MrWray New Member

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    I dont like this 10mm, it kicks to hard and makes my hoo haa hurt!! Hahahahaa
     
  15. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    ^^Hahaha!






    Overpenetration isn't inherent to any caliber with modern ammunition. It would be easy to select bullets that stop when they need to. Basically, you'd end up with the same penetration as lesser calibers, but twice the tissue damage in that distance due to more expansion / tissue disruption required to absorb the energy of the bullet.
     
  16. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    How the .40 came to be

    Someone though the 10mm Auto was a bit much. (wimps)
     
  17. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The 40 came about because they realized the 9mm is not a good stopper, and were ashamed to admit the .45 was the best pistol round ever.
     
  18. SgtSam

    SgtSam New Member

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    It wasn't just the men that brought the 10mm down. It was the women just as much.

    One of the problems, from what I read some years ago, had to do with the number of FBI agents that have to carry guns occasionally, but are not really gun-savvy people. The 10mm that they had to carry was a S&W 1076. It was big, heavy, and in the full-house loading's being used, it still kicked quite forcefully. So, the non gun-savvy males, and the majority of the females really kicked up a fuss.

    So, they came up with the downloaded 10mm. When they did that, S&W realized that they could use a shortened case, get the same ballistics, and put it in a smaller 9mm based gun. Hence the .40S&W.

    The bean counters ensured that the 10mm was phased out because they didn't want to have to stock multiple types of handguns and ammo.

    And then there was the problem of the potential for over penetration with the full 10mm loads. Couldn't go around killing civilians even though the bad guys would die too.

    I don't know how many of you have ever fired the 10mm with rounds up to it's full potential. I can speak, as can some others, from experience that the full-blown 10mm is a pretty stout cartridge. I used to have a S&W 1006 and a Colt Delta Elite. Loved them both and shot them often. But, as my age, and my arthritis advanced, I finally had to quit, along with my .44Mag's, .41Mag's, and lightweight .357Mag's.

    It was a good idea that was just a little too much of a good idea. And, one that really wasn't thought out through all of it's ramifications within the FBI environment. That was the shame of it all.

    Do some diligent internet research and you will find all of this and more.

    :D
     
  19. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    No, their ammunition selection was a poor stopper.

    Shoot 10 rounds of quality 9mm and .45 into a dead pig and I guarantee you won't be able to determine which wounds were which.
     
  20. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    The .40, the 10mm & the .45 ACP, were all built off rifle cases. The .45 ACP off the 06 & the .40 & the 10mm off the .30 Rem.