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View Full Version : Guess I gotta get a .40S&W pistol....


Ksmash01
09-25-2011, 10:14 AM
Hello All,

PLEASE DON'T MAKE THIS A CALIBER WAR THREAD I figure if I scream it from the heavens, I'll be understood a little better in my intentions to get information. On to the topic.

I current'y own 0 pistols in .40S&W. I have nothing against the caliber except that I don't "need" it, at least I thought so until recently. It's not that I'm feel that my current collection is inadequate without one, it's that .40S&W fills a niche for a particular purpose, competition.

I understand that if I want to just informally join any competitions that either my 9mm or my 45 will do just fine from a caliber standpoint, with the .45 putting me in the "Major" power factor catagory, and 9mm in the "Minor". I also hear that .40S&W would put me in the "Major" catagory, or I could learn to reload 9mm with heavier bullets at higher speeds to also qualify for "Major" . Am I right about this so far?

So then, from my standpoint(not set up to reload), wouldn't getting a .40S&W pistol be a practical purchase if I wanted to get more serious about competing? I know there are other options, but lets focus on them as it concerns power factor and competition, and not a "my bullets make bigger holes" pissing match, m'kay.

Thanks guys

Blackhawk556
09-25-2011, 10:20 AM
so which gun do you plan on buying?? :-) I recommend the M&P

Nessal
09-25-2011, 10:21 AM
What competition are you competing in that says that a bigger caliber will be better than a smaller caliber?

Ubermcoupe
09-25-2011, 10:24 AM
I have several .40 pistols (& .45 & 9mm) but I would argue to dump the $ into reloading hotter loads and you would also be able to reload any type of load you want. Once you have reloading equipment you can go from there as necessary. (Insert shameless plug fro Dillon RLing equipment)

Just my opinion, I reload multiple calibers, although not too often now because I can't seem to take time away from other things to reload :( So I guess if you cannot find the time to reload it would not make sense, but I feel, if you are willing to invest the $$$, reloading will give you more options down the road.
:shrug:
But I am always for buying another gun! :thumbsup:

Corbin Dallas
09-25-2011, 10:27 AM
I current'y own 0 pistols in .40S&W. I have nothing against the caliber except that I don't "need" it, at least I thought so until recently. It's not that I'm feel that my current collection is inadequate without one, it's that .40S&W fills a niche for a particular purpose, competition.

I understand that if I want to just informally join any competitions that either my 9mm or my 45 will do just fine from a caliber standpoint, with the .45 putting me in the "Major" power factor catagory, and 9mm in the "Minor". I also hear that .40S&W would put me in the "Major" catagory, or I could learn to reload 9mm with heavier bullets at higher speeds to also qualify for "Major". Am I right about this so far?

So then, from my standpoint(not set up to reload), wouldn't getting a .40S&W pistol be a practical purchase if I wanted to get more serious about competing? I know there are other options, but lets focus on them as it concerns power factor and competition, and not a "my bullets make bigger holes" pissing match, m'kay.

Thanks guys

Ok, so a couple of questions to start off.

a) What competition are you engaging in that you feel a 40S&W is necessary over your already owned 9mm and 45ACP?

b) Since we are talking about power factors, what classification and division are you competing in?

c) Since you don't reload, why the need for a mid caliber (between 9 and 45) for an added expense? Although 40 is less than 45 it is more expensive than 9mm.



IMHO, I think you are attempting to justify the purchase to fill that so called "niche".

If you are in IPSC or USPSA, I know a LOT of competitors who shoot in Limited 10 with a Glock 34 and do just fine against their 40S&W counterparts. With that said, they do use a heavier load to make power factor AND they do reload their own rounds.

If this is your planned course of action, ask yourself "WHY" do I need to get into L10 vs staying in production class with 9mm.

If this is not the plan, say so and give us some more information as to why you feel the need for a 40cal.

HighLander51
09-25-2011, 10:28 AM
Hello All,

[SIZE="6"]

I understand that if I want to just informally join any competitions that either my 9mm or my 45 will do just fine from a caliber standpoint, with the .45 putting me in the "Major" power factor catagory, and 9mm in the "Minor". I also hear that .40S&W would put me in the "Major" catagory, or I could learn to reload 9mm with heavier bullets at higher speeds to also qualify for "Major" . Am I right about this so far?

So then, from my standpoint(not set up to reload), wouldn't getting a .40S&W pistol be a practical purchase if I wanted to get more serious about competing? I know there are other options, but lets focus on them as it concerns power factor and competition, and not a "my bullets make bigger holes" pissing match, m'kay.

Thanks guys

Yes, but it depends on the competition. USPSA runs major/minor based on caliber, and IDPA runs it based on gun division. Scoring is different between the 2 games. Power floor is bullet weight times muzzle velocity, ie 180 gr 40S&W going 1,000 fps, makes a power factor 0f 180,000. Major is 165,000 and minor is 125,000 (except IDPA revolver). But lets say you get a Glock 35, their gun designed for the games. Assuming you don't allready own hicap mags: in USPSA you can run Limited 10 (major), or USPSA Production (minor scoring only). In IDPA you can run SSP (minor) or ESP(minor). So right off the get go, you are at a disadvantage in Production and SSP/ESP unless you reload to get the 40S&W just above the minor power floor because of the additional recoil from major floor ammo. My advice is to shoot at least a dozen matches with what you have, in either game, and then choose.



Here is some good information
http://www.craigcentral.com/idpaipsc.asp

jimmykan
09-25-2011, 10:28 AM
Yes, most factory 40 S&W loads generate more than 165 USPSA Power Factor.

The guys shooting 9mm major loads have special barrels with extended throats that allow them to load their 9mm cartridges extra long, to make more room for powder.

I don't believe this is possible/recommended with ordinary 9mm pistol barrels.

HighLander51
09-25-2011, 10:32 AM
Running 9mm major is tricky business, and would not be for a newbie, especially without reloading experience. Besides ones that actually work tend to be around $4,000.

Corbin Dallas
09-25-2011, 10:39 AM
Running 9mm major is tricky business, and would not be for a newbie, especially without reloading experience. Besides ones that actually work tend to be around $4,000.

I would tend to agree with this. I think one of the guys down in SD is running 158g RN and makes major.

Taildraggerdave
09-25-2011, 10:45 AM
If you are in IPSC or USPSA, I know a LOT of competitors who shoot in Limited 10 with a Glock 34 and do just fine against their 40S&W counterparts. With that said, they do use a heavier load to make power factor AND they do reload their own rounds.

If this is your planned course of action, ask yourself "WHY" do I need to get into L10 vs staying in production class with 9mm.

If this is not the plan, say so and give us some more information as to why you feel the need for a 40cal.

Actually, you need a .40 cal projectile to make Major in L10 per the rulebook, Appendix D3.
I know people who shoot 9mm in L10 as well but it is definitely Minor and as such, you will be an additional point down for everything below an A zone hit.

The Glock G35 is pretty popular. Worth taking a look at. I don't own one, just relaying what I've seen).

Take care,
Dave

Gryff
09-25-2011, 11:07 AM
USPSA is the only competition where this is relevant. In Open division, the minimum bullet diameter for "Major" scoring is .0.354". But in Limited division, it is .40". Size is irrelevant in Production, since everything is scored as Minor.

IDPA doesn't have Minor and Major, so .40 vs 9mm is not relevant there.

And just as a warning, making Major with a 9mm in Open is not a matter of simply uploading the velocity of the ammunition. "9mm Major" ammo produces significantly more pressure than regular 9mm ammo, and will most likely damage/destroy a barrel that is chambered for regular 9x19/9mm Luger.

This is also the reason why you want to be careful about picking up 9mm brass at a range that hosts USPSA matches. You don't know if the brass has been over-stressed or not by being used for 9mm Major.

Gryff
09-25-2011, 11:12 AM
Actually, you need a .40 cal projectile to make Major in L10 per the rulebook, Appendix D3.

Yes, but there are people who are using the reduced recoil of soft 9mm combined with more attention to accuracy to try to win even though they are scored as Minor. Not an altogether impossible feat, not to mention that 9mm gives you more rounds in the mag in regular Limited division than you get with .40.

bob7122
09-25-2011, 11:14 AM
glock 35 is nice

Fishslayer
09-25-2011, 11:19 AM
Unless $$$ is no object or you have a sponsor dumping pallets of ammo in your driveway go ahead & get the reloading press. While savings on 9mm isn't as great as other calibers it's still significant, especially when you talk about the quantities involved in competition it makes sense.

I've seen some threads on loading 9mm for Major. I would just go ahead & buy a new pistol. Good excuse, eh?;)

I also don't own a fotay, but have really been considering one since I have a metric crap ton of .40 brass as incidental bycatch from policing my own brass.

hkdad
09-25-2011, 11:28 AM
i shoot .40 limited and my gun only likes 1.23 OAL. factory ammo is waaaay shorter. if you are planning to shoot .40 in IPSC, i advise you reload your own ammo. reloading 9mm major is pretty easy IF you know what you are doing.

Ksmash01
09-25-2011, 11:52 AM
So if everything I said doesn't really matter in IDPA, and the only time it matters is in certain divisions of USPSA, I guess I don't need a .40S&W.

I honestly don't need to justify a new purchase. If that were the case, I would just buy a new gun and share with all of you on CGN.

I was just wondering if I really needed a .40S&W pistol. I believe that question was answered.

I'll just continue to use my 9mm, and if necessary my .45ACP.

So I guess what I need to do is research USPSA/IPSC and IDPA, and learn the differences between the divisions and where I can use what I have.

Ksmash01
09-25-2011, 12:04 PM
so which gun do you plan on buying?? :-) I recommend the M&P

I do too!!!

I have 3 M&P's in 9mm. I think if I wanted an M&P40 I'd just order a slide assembly.

If I did get a .40S&W, it would be one of the polymer framed long slide guns(Glock 35, M&P40 Pro, XD Tactical). Leaning more towards the G35(more readily available) and the M&P40 Pro(I already know a lot about the platform, and like it).


Ok, so a couple of questions to start off.

a) What competition are you engaging in that you feel a 40S&W is necessary over your already owned 9mm and 45ACP?

b) Since we are talking about power factors, what classification and division are you competing in?

c) Since you don't reload, why the need for a mid caliber (between 9 and 45) for an added expense? Although 40 is less than 45 it is more expensive than 9mm.



IMHO, I think you are attempting to justify the purchase to fill that so called "niche".

If you are in IPSC or USPSA, I know a LOT of competitors who shoot in Limited 10 with a Glock 34 and do just fine against their 40S&W counterparts. With that said, they do use a heavier load to make power factor AND they do reload their own rounds.

If this is your planned course of action, ask yourself "WHY" do I need to get into L10 vs staying in production class with 9mm.

If this is not the plan, say so and give us some more information as to why you feel the need for a 40cal.

I had/have no idea why I would need a 40...I was under the impression that it mattered, and it does to an extent, but not the extent that I have to get a new pistol and add an new caliber.

Thanks for your input.

Yes, but it depends on the competition. USPSA runs major/minor based on caliber, and IDPA runs it based on gun division. Scoring is different between the 2 games. Power floor is bullet weight times muzzle velocity, ie 180 gr 40S&W going 1,000 fps, makes a power factor 0f 180,000. Major is 165,000 and minor is 125,000 (except IDPA revolver). But lets say you get a Glock 35, their gun designed for the games. Assuming you don't allready own hicap mags: in USPSA you can run Limited 10 (major), or USPSA Production (minor scoring only). In IDPA you can run SSP (minor) or ESP(minor). So right off the get go, you are at a disadvantage in Production and SSP/ESP unless you reload to get the 40S&W just above the minor power floor because of the additional recoil from major floor ammo. My advice is to shoot at least a dozen matches with what you have, in either game, and then choose.

Probably the best advice. Thanks.

Here is some good information
http://www.craigcentral.com/idpaipsc.asp

Gryff
09-25-2011, 12:44 PM
So if everything I said doesn't really matter in IDPA, and the only time it matters is in certain divisions of USPSA, I guess I don't need a .40S&W.

So I guess what I need to do is research USPSA/IPSC and IDPA, and learn the differences between the divisions and where I can use what I have.

I would have a .40S&W if I was actively shooting USPSA Limited. Then again, if winning mattered, I would also be using a $2500+ STI-based gun.

Otherwise, the only I reason I have a .40S&W is for my CCW gun. I don't see any point for other purposes, provided that I have more than one handgun in my collection.

As for USPSA vs. IDPA, post what guns you have and we'll tell you what divisions they are applicable/most useful for (and why).

Ksmash01
09-25-2011, 1:39 PM
I would have a .40S&W if I was actively shooting USPSA Limited. Then again, if winning mattered, I would also be using a $2500+ STI-based gun.

Otherwise, the only I reason I have a .40S&W is for my CCW gun. I don't see any point for other purposes, provided that I have more than one handgun in my collection.

As for USPSA vs. IDPA, post what guns you have and we'll tell you what divisions they are applicable/most useful for (and why).

As far as what I can use for competition, I have my M&P9, M&P9L, My Target S&W1911(.45acp), and my Commander SW1911SC(Scandium Alloy Frame).

I'd probably not use the 1911SC very much, as well as the M&P9(They're my primary defensive pistols), and I'd stick with the longslides for now. The next pistol I buy(based on one of my earlier polls) will be a 9mm 1911 that will more than likely get a lot of competition use.

I also have some gear to go with all of them( Holsters, Mag Pouches, etc.). The only critical thing I'm lacking is a quality gun belt(I know, I know). The belts I have hold my weapon/holster secure enough for now.

HighLander51
09-25-2011, 1:50 PM
Ksmash01, My advice is to shoot at least a dozen matches with what you have, in either game, and then choose.

Probably the best advice. Thanks.

Believe it or not, competition may not be for you. Not everyone who tries it continues.

To make the power floor even more confusing, I used to shoot my G21 in IDPA CDP, to bug out my 1911 buddies, running 8 rounds and major 165,000 (230 gr at 780 fps). but, when I shoot in SSP, I would download to 125,000 (200 gr at 655 fps) and run 10 round. I also run my G17L 9mm minor in USPSA Open for the local stuff, and switch to my G24 40S&W major load for Level II and above.

I tried to run a Glock 34 in Open major 9mm. Loads were 121 Montana Gold on top of 7.2 grains of Vithravouri N350 at max length. Broke 2 locking blocks in 10,000 rounds and gave up.

Tiberius
09-25-2011, 2:15 PM
Does it really matter if you're in "Major" or "Minor"? Major sounds better, but what are the real differences?

Ksmash01
09-25-2011, 2:22 PM
Believe it or not, competition may not be for you. Not everyone who tries it continues.

To make the power floor even more confusing, I used to shoot my G21 in IDPA CDP, to bug out my 1911 buddies, running 8 rounds and major 165,000 (230 gr at 780 fps). but, when I shoot in SSP, I would download to 125,000 (200 gr at 655 fps) and run 10 round. I also run my G17L 9mm minor in USPSA Open for the local stuff, and switch to my G24 40S&W major load for Level II and above.

I tried to run a Glock 34 in Open major 9mm. Loads were 121 Montana Gold on top of 7.2 grains of Vithravouri N350 at max length. Broke 2 locking blocks in 10,000 rounds and gave up.

That wasn't that confusing. CDP = Custom Defensive Pistol. SSP = Stock Service Pistol.

That last sentence was the main reason why I thought I'd have to get a 40. I don't reload(yet), and when I do I'm not instantly going to tinker with hot loads.

Ksmash01
09-25-2011, 2:22 PM
Does it really matter if you're in "Major" or "Minor"? Major sounds better, but what are the real differences?

Ditto that.

(Post # 1000)

Cali-Shooter
09-25-2011, 2:48 PM
The Glock 35 was designed for competition and tactical/defensive applications, imo.

Although it is unyieldy for EDC/CCW, although chances are you most likely don't need to worry about that, considering how restrictive this state is on LTC rights.

Taildraggerdave
09-25-2011, 2:53 PM
Ditto that.

(Post # 1000)

Does it really matter if you're in "Major" or "Minor"? Major sounds better, but what are the real differences?

Scoring!!
Minor gets an additional point deduction for each scoring zone outside of A zone. If you shoot all A's then it doesn't matter at all. But since most of miss more than we like, Major scores better for those same misses.
On another note, if you shoot Production, then everyone gets scored Minor so you are all on the same playing field. The only time it really matters is if you are trying to compete for class or overall wins. Then you really should be shooting Major.

Take care,
Dave

junkit_boy
09-25-2011, 6:54 PM
I have the PX4 in 40 cal.. Its a nice gun for that caliber.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6165/6183290403_70b6b26624_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55963290@N08/6183290403/)
IMG00370-20110925-1856 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55963290@N08/6183290403/) by kaldi102 (http://www.flickr.com/people/55963290@N08/), on Flickr

bsim
09-25-2011, 7:36 PM
If you shoot all "A"s, major/minor does not matter.

HighLander51
09-26-2011, 8:50 AM
That wasn't that confusing. CDP = Custom Defensive Pistol. SSP = Stock Service Pistol.

That last sentence was the main reason why I thought I'd have to get a 40. I don't reload(yet), and when I do I'm not instantly going to tinker with hot loads.

I tried to run a Glock 34 in Open major 9mm. Loads were 121 Montana Gold on top of 7.2 grains of Vithravouri N350 at max length. Broke 2 locking blocks in 10,000 rounds and gave up.

That was only to illustrate how touchy it is to make major 9mm run well.

How about reporting back after you shoot your first competition and say if any of this information helped.

HighLander51
09-26-2011, 8:52 AM
If you shoot all "A"s, major/minor does not matter.

True, except it's too slow.

http://robleatham.com/blog/?p=187

hkdad
09-26-2011, 9:52 AM
I have the PX4 in 40 cal.. Its a nice gun for that caliber.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6165/6183290403_70b6b26624_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55963290@N08/6183290403/)
IMG00370-20110925-1856 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55963290@N08/6183290403/) by kaldi102 (http://www.flickr.com/people/55963290@N08/), on Flickr

No offense but that gun is a POS for competition use.;) for SD it's good enough.

Gryff
09-26-2011, 2:42 PM
As far as what I can use for competition, I have my M&P9, M&P9L, My Target S&W1911(.45acp), and my Commander SW1911SC(Scandium Alloy Frame).

I'd probably not use the 1911SC very much, as well as the M&P9 (They're my primary defensive pistols), and I'd stick with the longslides for now. The next pistol I buy(based on one of my earlier polls) will be a 9mm 1911 that will more than likely get a lot of competition use.

The M&P9L is perfect for IDPA SSP and ESP, as well as USPSA Production. You can use it for USPSA Limited and Limited-10, also, but you will be shooting with Minor scoring (any hits outside of A zone are scored lower than in Major scoring), as well as competing against shooters using much-heavier and more heavily modified guns.

The S&W1911 is ideal for IDPA CDP and USPSA Single-Stack division. If you have 10-round mags for it, it is not half bad for USPSA Limited-10. It is technically legal for IDPA ESP, but you'll be at a significant disadvantage since most people shoot 9mm in that division.

Here's a quick breakdown of the relevant divisions:

IDPA

SSP - "Stock Service Pistol" - Primarily double-action or DA/SA guns, but includes Glocks and M&Ps (but not XDs). Very few modifications to the gun allowed outside of internal trigger work and better sights. Minimum caliber is 9mm, and power factor (bullet weight x velocity) has to be at least 125,000.
ESP - "Enhanced Service Pistol" - Primarily single-action guns like the Hi-Power, XD, or 1911 in sub-45acp calibers, but any gun legal for SSP or CDP can be used in ESP. Allows a few more external modifications than SSP like grip stippling or adding a magwell. Minimum caliber is 9mm, and power factor (bullet weight x velocity) has to be at least 125,000.
CDP - "Custom Defensive Pistol" - This is a .45acp only division. You can use any .45acp-chambered pistol that meets IDPA size requirements, but magazines can be loaded to no more than 8 rounds. No requirements regarding trigger style (SA, DA/SA, SAO, Safe Action all allowed). Power factor (bullet weight x velocity) has to be at least 165,000.


USPSA

Production - division for standard self-defense style pistols, but the gun must be on the Production-approved list to be legal. Only very minor modifications to the guns allowed. 9mm minimum caliber. Mags loaded to 10-rounds max. All scoring is Minor regardless of caliber.
Single Stack - 1911-based guns only (i.e. no Sig 220, STI 2011, XD45, etc.). Calibers other than .45acp allowed, but must be at least a .40 to be scored Major.
Limited - Heavily modified pistols but does not allow electronic/red-dot sights or compensated barrels. Mag capacity is determined by the physical size limits of the magazine rather than capacity. Minimum caliber is 9mm, but must be at least a .40 to be scored Major.
Limited 10 - Same as above, but mags can be loaded with 10 rounds only.
Open - Heavily modified pistols which includes use of electronic/red-dot sights and compensated barrels. Mag capacity is determined by the physical size limits of the magazine rather than capacity. Must be at least a .38/9mm to be scored Major. These are the Indy cars of handgun competition.

Barbarossa
09-26-2011, 3:22 PM
shameless XD plug. :D

dagger10k
09-26-2011, 3:37 PM
Hey, guess what gun the new USPSA production national champion won with?

Don't be so quick to judge. It wouldn't be my first choice, but people can and do get good with almost any type of modern pistol.

No offense but that gun is a POS for competition use.;) for SD it's good enough.

Gryff
09-26-2011, 3:57 PM
Hey, guess what gun the new USPSA production national champion won with?

You're saying the Nationals were won by a guy using a PX4?

HighLander51
09-26-2011, 4:59 PM
Ben Stoeger, he a good shooter alright, real good for only starting in 05, but that looks like a Beretta 92 to me

http://www.pitchengine.com/brands/uspsa-scsa/images/154754/BenStoeger.jpg

http://benstoeger.myonlineplace.org/joomla/images/stories/37920_450819208389_511898389_5151311_7443465_n.jpg

Gary13
09-26-2011, 5:46 PM
That kind of answers another Calgunner's question on whether or not he should use his 92 for competition.

hkdad
09-26-2011, 11:47 PM
Ben is the only guy I know who uses a beretta and is good with it.

RolinThundr
09-26-2011, 11:49 PM
Get the .40 S&W anyways, if for no other reason than politics! After a certain election, 9x19mm and .45 ACP became pretty scarce, but I had no problem getting .40 ammo for the range. Just my thought.

dagger10k
09-27-2011, 11:02 AM
With a 92, not a PX4, but it doesn't really matter that much. As long as it holds 10 rounds of 40s&w, it'll make a fine Limited 10 gun. I made B class straight out shooting an unmodified CZ75B in 40s&w.

You're saying the Nationals were won by a guy using a PX4?