U.S. LE using 40 s&w

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by jjones45, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. jjones45

    jjones45 New Member

    Most of the worlds law enforcement and military use 9mm handguns as their sidearms. Why is it that U.S. LE is dominated so much by the 40 cal.? Do we have tougher criminals that need more powerful rounds to bring down or drug addicts that can take rounds to the body like tony montana before they fall? I personally trust anything 9mm and bigger but was just wondering why the world trust 9mm and the U.S. Doesn't.
  2. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    We have a gun culture that the rest of the world doesn't have. the .40 was also pretty much developed to be maketed toward LE agencies. So gun manufacturers and ammo manufacturers helped push the caliber out there. Smith and Wesson was the pedominant LE gun supplier in the US at the time the .40 S&W was coming out. thye helped develop the round, they made platforms chambered in it. In order to get thier investment back, they pushed it along with the guns and the technical support to the agencies.

    This also followed a lot of research by the FBI on standards for penetration, barrier penetration, etc. after the Miami shootout, and their subsequent adoption of the 10mm round. Then they found that the guns were big in the grip for a lot of smaller handed agents, and had a bit more power than they even needed. So their "need" for a smaller and reduced power version of the 10mm was helped out by Smith and Wesson. Once the FBI endorsed it, the .40 became the US law enforcement standard.

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Because in WW 2, the losers used 9mm.

  4. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

    Because it is a proven fact the 40 cal. S&W round has more of an effect in actual shootings regarding trama force on target. And is closer to the effects produced by the 45 ACP round which with new ammunition is an excellent man stopper. Not that the 9mm is an ineffective round becuase great improvements have been made in recent years with quality self defense and duty ammunition it is a much better round. Most European LE are still using FMJ rounds. So it boils down to what a person likes best regarding caliber for the purpose of the weapon. The 9mm is best for competition due to the fact of a rapid recovery and target acquisition. And with the newer ammunition fine for defense. But I have carried both and observed the results. After almost 30 years of LE/ SWAT and trainer I also prefer the 40 over the 9mm for duty issue. Years ago we carried the 357 Mag which was superior rounnd. But unavailable in a semi auto pistol for duty.

  5. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    The difference is cultural. American LEO and SD calibers have always been larger than the European counterparts. But there is a rationale. American cops are more in danger of being outgunned, because they deal with a much better armed population.

    The 40S&W is a bridge between the higher velocity, smaller size 9mm and the slower, heavier 45ACP. It also allows to place more "stopping power" in a smaller shooter's hand, such as female officers.
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    And most people in the world live under the poverty line. Should all Americans then live thus?

    Seriously, most of the world's LEO's live in strict gun control countries. They are not faced with armed goblins nearly as often. To the Europeans and Asians, a handgun on the hip is more of s symbol of authority than an actual tool.
  7. WillWork4Ammo

    WillWork4Ammo New Member

    Mexico doesn't allow anything larger than .380
  8. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    Their lack of gun ownership is also why the rest of the world enjoys extremely high murder rape and robbery rates...

    Police outside the usa in most places are I'll equipped to handle the goblins they face. Here we face the realities of violent crime and try and arm our police and most states have ccw to arm our citizenry.

    Personally I think the 40sw is a weak sister of 9mm and 45acp. It doesn't have the effectiveness of a 45 while having harsher muzzle flip than the 9mm or 45. Put the 40sw back into its original concept and its a whole other animal.
  9. indy36

    indy36 New Member

    I don't believe that to be true. I thought it was the .38 Super Auto. This is the largest you can legally own in Mexico, which is why the cartels murder so many people with them. It is a 'non-military' round, thus you can own that in Mexico.
  10. glocknloaded

    glocknloaded New Member

    Really? I would assume cartels would use what ever they can get. I'm sure most of their weaponry is imported and illegal in Mexico.
  11. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    But they have more .38 Supers in the civilian world than we do.

    The .40S&W was developed after the Miami shootout and FBI guns tests. The 10mm was destined to become THE LEO round, but was too much to handle, so a downloaded version was offered. S&W had a good standing in the 9mm market, but the 10mm was too long for most of their firearms already in stock.

    So they developed the shorter round so they could take advantage of their stock piles without major retooling.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  12. WillWork4Ammo

    WillWork4Ammo New Member

    Ok,I got this from Wikipedia.If it needs correction,don't shoot the messenger (pun intended :D)
    It is a bit confusing.
    In regards to what type of firearms are permitted, Title II, Chapter I, Article 9 of the Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives states:

    (translated) It may be kept or carried, under the terms and limitations established by this law, weapons of the following characteristics:[26]

    Semi-automatic handguns of caliber no greater than .380 (9mm Browning, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Short, and 9×17mm). Left excepted are calibers .38 Super and .38 commander, and also calibers 9mm. [Such as] Mauser, Luger, etc., as well as similar models of the same caliber of the excepted, from other brands.
    Revolvers of calibers no greater than .38 Special, left excepted is caliber .357 magnum.
    Land tenure owners, common land owners and farmworkers outside urban zones, may keep and carry, upon registration, one weapon of those already mentioned, or a .22 caliber rifle, or a shotgun of any caliber, except those of a barrel length shorter than 25 inches (635mm) and of caliber greater than 12-gauge (.729" or 18.5 MM).

    Additionally, Article 10 of the Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives states:

    (translated) The firearms that can be authorized to participants of shooting or hunting, to keep in their home or to carry with a license, are the following:[27]

    Semi-automatic handguns, revolvers and rifles of caliber .22, rimfire ammo
    Handguns of .38 caliber for Olympic shooting or other competition
    Shotguns in all their calibers and models, except those with a barrel length shorter than 25 inches, and calibers greater than 12-gauge.
    Triple-barrel shotguns in the calibers authorized in the preceding section, with a barrel for metallic cartridges of different caliber.
    High-powered rifles, of repeating or semi-automatic function, non-convertible to full-auto, with the exception of .30 caliber carbines, rifles, muskets and carbines caliber .223, 7 and 7.62mm, and Garand rifles caliber .30.
    High-powered rifles of greater caliber than those mentioned in the previous section, with special permission for their use abroad, for hunting of game bigger than those present in national wildlife.

    Under these two articles, private citizens are generally restricted to semi-automatic handguns or revolvers of a caliber no greater than .380 (for home defense),[28] rifles no greater than .22, and shotguns no greater than a 12-gauge (hunting and shooting when a member of a club). Anything bigger than those calibers is considered for exclusive use of the military and strictly forbidden for civilian possession, as defined by Article 11 of the Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives.[29] Only citizens with collector permits may be authorized to possess firearms outside those permitted for civilian ownership.[30]
  13. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

    I would add that the U.S. Coast Guard is the first Uniformed Service to adopt the .40 S&W service wide. Hollow points for L.E. duty and Ball for military. They carry Sigs.
  14. manta

    manta Well-Known Member Supporter

    That sounds like an good argument for gun control. the reason that they use 9mm is because it has being seen to be effective for over 100 years so why change it. As for coming up against Goblins the police here were up against a well armed terrorist organisation for 30 years, and weapons that American police don't have to deal with, and still are still using 9mm. They do also have rifles etc if needed.

    The murder rate in America is conciderbily higher than the UK.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  15. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

    Murder by firearms is higher in the US is considerably. higher than in the UK. Violent crime overall is higher in the UK than in the US. No one can shoot back when only criminals have guns. So, no their is less murder by gun. That doesn't mean that the citizens on the UK are killing each other any slower. They just don't use firearms.
  16. wittmeba

    wittmeba New Member

    I believe you will always hear about the exceptions thanks to our infamous media...the guy who takes 27 rounds and keeps coming, etc. But in reality I feel anyone who carries should focus on what they feel comfortable with as far as a weapon and a caliber that they can accurately handle. It wouldn't due much good to have a bazooka if you can't hit a barn with it.

    I also suspect that the military and LE are influenced by who offers the best deal on weapons and ammunition. Money talks.
  17. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    what is the population level of the UK vs. the United States?

    i think if you have higher population numbers, there is the chance that violent crime numbers are going to be higher. i think the true numbers are the violent criminal acts to population ratio that IMO is a more accurate indicator of the actual idea of who has the higher crime rate.
  18. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter New Member

    I have a handgun chambered in 40 S&W, I think it is a great gun and a very fast shooting, accurate round. Don't own a 9mm and can't see a reason why I would.

    As far as what the 'rest of the world' does....isn't that the standard our current President is trying to drag us DOWN to? (If you want to judge America by the rest of the world, go j*rk off in front of the UN on your way to signing up for the Peace Corps. I double-dog dare ya!)
  19. manta

    manta Well-Known Member Supporter

    Per 100.000 of the UK and America.

    ( United States 4.7 14,612 )

    ( United Kingdom 1.2 722 )

    That's murders not just murders by firearms. Back on subject the 9mm is seen as adequate for self defence, if the police think they likely to run into armed criminals then they take rifles or sub-machine guns. If the FBI did the same we might not be having this discussion. Lets remember we are talking about handguns there are plenty of examples of people taking multiple hits from most handgun calibers and not going down. If you want to stop someone take a rifle.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  20. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    Bean counters rationalize that if the .40S&W is good enough for the FBI, then it should be good enough for the local LEO community.

    With enough departments on the same wagon, ammo became cheaper.

    But the current regime of some LEOs are looking back to the .45ACP with the larger diameter bullet.
    IIRC, Indiana State Police for one example.