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View Full Version : Is the availability and cost of .40 SW worth getting a gun chambered in that?


shwaycool
04-27-2010, 7:28 PM
Hi all,
I use to know a gun guy who'd answer all my crazy gun questions but I no longer work there so now I must bother you all. I've been checking the price and availability of .45 ACP rounds periodically the past year and I've found that they are either out of stock or cost twice as much as when I bought my last case of ammo. However, the .40SW ammo are about the price that I paid for 9mm ammo way back when AND they are available in all kinds of weights and brands. So should I get a gun chambered in .40 SW for this reason? I mean cops use 40 right? So it must be good ammo? I got a 9 because its "good ballistic ammo" whatever that means. And I got a 45 because well...everyones got a 45. So...should i get a 40? Thanks for the time and the wisdom. I don't know where the ammo forum is so I'm posting here.

wrightb
04-27-2010, 7:39 PM
I have a 40 and a 9mm. I find tons more ammo for the 40, but I enjoy shooting the 9 more. Just depends I guess, do you want to shoot 40 or do you just want more options?

goathead
04-27-2010, 7:48 PM
i like 40 lower cost than 45 and more power then 9mm

SixPointEight
04-27-2010, 7:51 PM
I personally feel the .40 performs better than the 9mm or the 45 does. Better barrier penetration, and more energy usually. However, you'll hear someone say they prefer each other caliber as well.

To me, getting a .40S&W is worth it, to others, it's the answer to a question they never asked. A lot of people say it's too "snappy" though I honestly don't feel it. I've shot 9mm, .40 and .45 back to back and the recoil impulse isn't different enough to matter to me. Go out and shoot a .40. If you think it's too snappy, skip it.

Oldnoob
04-27-2010, 7:53 PM
Yes and hell yes. 40s&w is great and comes variety of flavors. If you have cheap and reliable source to get more 40 ammo, why not?

During the ammo shortage years, all I shot was 22lr and 40s&w. To the point I now shoot 40s&w better than 9mm. And my favor part is easy to convert caliber to .357sig (and in some case 9mm). I just started with .357sig and it's hell of fun to shoot.

Which pistol are you interesting in?

RickD6023
04-27-2010, 7:55 PM
I shoot 40 & 45. The 40 is my primary competition gun for both steel challenge and USPSA/IDPA. Now, to reduce competition, I recommend the 9mm and leave the 40 & 45 to me.

Oldnoob
04-27-2010, 7:57 PM
I started with 9mm caliber pistols. And I keep hearing people saying that 40s&w is too snappy or recoil too much...etc.

It actually stop me for few years before I finally tried (my first 40s&w: Glock 22), and in my opinion, it's not that much of different. Nothing that any 9mm shoot can't get used to.

Sajedene
04-27-2010, 7:58 PM
I will go ahead and say get a .40 just so you have the options :)

I personally prefer the .40 sharing the same reasons as JT1989 but I'd base my choice of getting a gun over a whole other set of factors before I go with ammo cost / availability. Although its a factor, I don't (personally) consider it a deciding factor.

BoomerX01
04-27-2010, 8:05 PM
I just switched from Glock 23 .40 S&W to a Sig 226 9mm and LOVE IT. Also, 9 is about 30% cheaper than .40. I used to love 40 but have switched to 9.

If someone invades my home, I would hope that 10rds of HP 9mm well placed in center mass would do enough damage to stop them. Otherwise .40 wouldn't have helped anyways.

Another small thing - in a SHTF, or WROL situation, most police and military will have plenty of 9mm to either share or be taken (very carefully). And don't forget to Double Tap the Zombies.

OMGofWar
04-27-2010, 8:15 PM
i own both 9mms and .40s and at the end of the day i have to say that you need to shoot what you're comfortable with regardless of caliber. i mean, if you can't hit what you're aiming at then what's the point? personally, i can control 9mm better, but i do like the extra power and snap of the .40 when compared.

that said, if we're just talking about availability, when i go ammo shopping it does always feel like i have an easier time finding .40 than 9mm. maybe i go to the store on the wrong days, i don't know, but it does seem a bit lopsided in favor of the .40.

USMC JW
04-27-2010, 8:20 PM
I would have to agree with you OMG...for me it's definitely the .45 but accuracy is far more important than your choice of caliber. But like I said, for me I like the feel of the big dog of the three being talked about in this thread.

advocatusdiaboli
04-27-2010, 8:36 PM
I personally feel the .40 performs better than the 9mm or the 45 does. Better barrier penetration, and more energy usually.

+1 and .357 SIG is even better but definitely an obscure caliber. I will stock up on it though since it's just a barrel change in my .40 Sig P229. Back to 40 vs 9. Try this: www.ammoengine.com and you can get a feel for the offerings in each caliber and the price per round: 9 is most popular but 40 is doing well.

uhmeebuh
04-27-2010, 8:39 PM
I just bought a new P226 Stainless in .40 S&W and I LOVE how available and inexpensive the ammo is right now. But, how long will it last? A couple years ago there was plenty of 9mm around and finding .45 and even .40 seemed difficult... Or has .40 always been easy to find?

bryan28
04-27-2010, 8:56 PM
Try out a .40 at the range before you take my opinion. You may like it alot.

For me, I like the .45 recoil more than the snappy recoil of .40
Not that I don't like .40, I'd just rather pay a little more to shoot .45

If you do go with .40, I read that HK USP is a good gun for it because of their two stage recoil spring which makes a .40's snap less noticeable

GrinderCB
04-27-2010, 9:13 PM
I used to be a 9mm fan but .40 S&W has really grown on me now that I've shot it a lot in the past 2-3 years. Cost really hasn't much to do with it. If it's for plinking I'd go with 9mm because of cost and the variety of guns available - you can stockpile ammo and swap guns frequently. If it's for home defense I prefer the .40 over the .45 because of magazine capacity.

gh916
04-27-2010, 9:14 PM
add one more vote for 40.

i like 9 & 45 as well, but i think there's always more "flavors" of 40 available. imo it seems that 40 is the easiest to find -- with 9 being the hardest. plus, i've *heard* of people finding rounds of 40 for about the same price as 9... haven't stumbled across this unicorn yet, but know of people who have.

Falstaff
04-27-2010, 9:21 PM
13.97 for a box of 50 federal 180gr. at walmart. Most walmarts have tons of 40 too. I don't think that should be your main reason for getting a .40 but it's definitely something to consider...I can say this about the recoil, my first time EVER shooting a .40 was at the Front Sight 4 day handgun training earlier this month. I've shot only 9mm handguns before that class. After 1,000 rounds I was totally used to the slightly higher recoil and graduated easily with only -6 on the final qualification target (two near miss headshots, not in the "cranial ocular cavity" but still in the head!!). After the class, I tried my buddies Glock 34 (9mm target version) and it felt like when you put those weights on a baseball bat and swing it for a half hour, then you take the weight off and the bat feels light, quick, spring fresh and airy. It was like that, the 9 felt totally mild compared to the snappy 40 (I was shooting a walther 40). Anyway, 9mm is coming back into stock. The RWS (orange and black box) at walmart is now 12.97 1 dollar cheaper than the federal 40, so if i was gonna get 1 gun, between the 9 and the forty right now, the .40 would be the better buy. (all other things being equal, like magazine size, weapon choice, etc.)

Just-in
04-27-2010, 9:28 PM
My next gun will be a .40 I can't find 9mm for ****. I've rented back to back xd9 and xd.40 no big but there was a difference in felt recoil more of a push backward an a bit more muzzle flip bu still very controllable and I'm pretty new to shooting handguns.

Federalist
04-27-2010, 9:35 PM
My "go to" pistol is a P226 in .40S&W, so I'm biased. IMHO, a .45ACP, 9mm and .40S&W are the three calibers of semi-automatic pistols everyone should consider first. So, if you are looking for a reason to buy one, get one.

If you are only looking for a way to reduce your ammo costs and you don't reload, you might consider (1) sticking with the 9mm, (2) buying ammo by the case when you have the cash and find a good deal, and (3) if you really want to reduce your ammo costs, buying a .22lr pistol too.

Millions-Knives
04-27-2010, 9:40 PM
Sure, it's a legitimate excuse to buy a new gun.

I couldn't find any .45acp after Obama was elected so I bought TWO 9mm's.
The price and availability of .45 just constituted the purchase of 9mm pistols.
The ammo is %50 cheaper, at least.

I have better luck finding 9mm than any .45 even if this thread is about .40. :D
A good compromise for centerfire feel and affordable/available.

It also got me into reloading. After I find my .45acp pet load I'll be at $0.16/rd and probably more accurate as well.

762MikeMike
04-27-2010, 9:44 PM
Its funny you should mention it. The fact that 40 S&W ammo can still be found on the shelf most of the time is the main reason that I bought my first gun chambered in it. The recoil for me isn't a problem with the factory loads you learn to get used to it and it also gives you incentive to work on your pistol handling skills. Another point to contemplate is the 40 is just about the right size where you don't feel too disappointed with having to use a 10rd magazine.

In short, to answer your question if I would do it again I would say "Hell Yes!". In fact, I already have. Picked up a P229R to keep my P229 company in the safe. I hope they will make babies. :p

I love my P229's chambered in 40.

DannyZRC
04-27-2010, 10:03 PM
you could probably get into reloading 45/9mm for the cost of a nice firearm in .40

nothing against the caliber, it's a fine choice. I personally hate shooting it, but that's my problem not a universal one.

if you want a new gun, it's as good an excuse as any. if you don't really want a new gun, you can solve your ammo problem better with reloads.

1337Grenadier
04-27-2010, 10:07 PM
If you are only looking for a way to reduce your ammo costs and you don't reload, you might consider (1) sticking with the 9mm, (2) buying ammo by the case when you have the cash and find a good deal, and (3) if you really want to reduce your ammo costs, buying a .22lr pistol too.

:iagree:

I went to the Reno gun show and got 1000 rounds of 40 for $189 and 1000 rounds of 9 for $150. I want to start reloading but with deals like that I don't know if the money I save reloading will be worth the time spent.

I don't think it would be a good idea to buy a 40 if affordable ammo is one of your major concerns. If you where just looking for a way to justify getting a new gun then by all means get a 40.

Preacher
04-27-2010, 10:21 PM
Alot of good nuggets on the form..The most important thing to remember is shot placement..I had a trainer tell me.."if I shoot you in the eye with a 22 you will die..If i shoot you in the shoulder with a 45 you still could kill me" shoot what you shoot well...:83:

HPGunner
04-27-2010, 11:31 PM
If it's for home defense I prefer the .40 over the .45 because of magazine capacity.

Mag capacity isn't an issue in the People's Republic of California. .45 and .40 are both limited to 10 rounds - so why not go with the .45? If you can afford to practice shooting it accurately the .45 round is the better HD round. I personally keep a 9mm bed-side until I can afford to shoot my .45 more.

SixPointEight
04-27-2010, 11:39 PM
Mag capacity isn't an issue in the People's Republic of California. .45 and .40 are both limited to 10 rounds - so why not go with the .45? If you can afford to practice shooting it accurately the .45 round is the better HD round. I personally keep a 9mm bed-side until I can afford to shoot my .45 more.

Lol. Told you you'd hear from everyone here. I love when people suggest you should go with .45 simply because it's bigger. If that was true, 500S&W and .50AE are way better HD rounds than .45. Why not go with those over .45? :eyeroll:

huck
04-28-2010, 8:10 AM
I have a .40 and love it, but my next gun will be a 9mm. Generally speaking, 9mm costs about 30% less than equivalent .40. I buy reloads for the .40 for about 26 cents per round - shipping and tax included.

RobG
04-28-2010, 8:20 AM
I love 45, have two of them. But, recently I traded for a .40 S&W. Man, I see 40 ammo everywhere. No 9 or 45 but the 40 seems very plentiful. Surprising too because it seems as though everyone and their brother wants a 40. 9 is cheaper but, I prefer not to have another caliber. Besides, that way there is more 9mm for women and men with girly hands/wrists:p

Packy14
04-28-2010, 9:06 AM
At home, if you try to jack me... you're getting hit w/ 9mm... on the road if you try to jack me, you're gettin hit w/ .40. I keep the .40 w/ me because I won't have a rifle or shotgun as near, and it'll be all i've got.. at home I have "backup". :) I trust .40 more to stop a BG in 1-3 shots.

SixtyDashOne
04-28-2010, 9:31 AM
All my pistols have been .40s and .45s ever since I sold my 9mm over a year ago. I used to shoot mostly .45 but lately all I'm shooting is my .40s simply because the ammo is cheaper. I've really grown to like the .40 round quite a bit now as well, considering I didn't care much for it at one point. Took lots of quality time with my USPc to really appreciate the round. I keep kicking around the idea of getting another 9mm but I don't want to have to stock another caliber right now. So for now my primary shooters are my USPc and P30, and every now and then I'll bring out my SA TRP if I feel like shooting some .45.

Rangda
04-28-2010, 9:40 AM
I'm thinking to move down to 40 for the same reason. Cheaper ammo (vs 45) and they are much easier to get from wm's cheap cheap price.

RUM
04-28-2010, 10:23 AM
.40 is a great, economical caliber. I recently got a Kahr PM40, then a Glock 23. Reloading at about 5 cents a round, I then picked up a Ruger PC40 carbine, that I can shoot for about the same cost as .22 rimfire

Shenaniguns
04-28-2010, 10:44 AM
IMO no, if I really need consistent barrier penetration from a handgun I'll go with 10mm of .45acp using a bonded round.

advocatusdiaboli
04-28-2010, 12:49 PM
My next gun will be a .40 I can't find 9mm for ****.


www.ammoengine.com. It's all over and plentiful--though .40 S&W availability has risen a lot lately too. I guess all the OMG chicken the sky is falling Obama got elected nervous nellies freak outs have run out of money or have stock piled enough for now.

shwaycool
04-28-2010, 7:54 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I think from all the posts the main advices are that 40 isn't a bad caliber to have a firearm in and that I should try it out before purchasing. Awesome thanks. @oldnoob - im planning on a getting a HK USP.