Talk:.40 S&W

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I changed the .45 ACP vs. .40 S&W comparison, based on data I pulled from a manufacturer's website. I chose Federal, and compared defensive ammunition in different weights (Hydra-shock where available, Personal Defense Handgun where not). Here is what I get:

.40 S&W

Velocity Mass Energy
1140 155 446.8456078
980 165 351.5217391
1000 180 399.2901508

.45 ACP

Velocity Mass Energy
1140 165 475.6743567
950 185 370.3693434
890 230 404.1326531

The .45 ACP, when loaded up to maximum standard pressures (none of these loads were listed as +P) will outperform .40 S&W in most weights. A quick look at the .45 GAP (which is loaded to .45 ACP +P pressures) shows that the 185 grain bullet is pushed to 1090 fps, for 488 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy; .45 ACP +P should be equal to or (since it can use a slightly slower, less dense powder) slightly more powerful than that. scot 15:26, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Scot, I have to respectfully disagree about the relative performance of the .40 and .45. As a quick check before I removed the sentence stating that the .45 ACP will outperform the .40 I went and look at Hodgdon's reloading table and then went to Hornaday's website and viewed 6 comparable loads in the two calibers. The .40 has more energy in every case. The reason is simple, the .40, like the 9mm, operates at twice the chamber pressure - 33k vs 16k. While the .45 could arguably be loaded to the same pressures it cannot be done so within mfg spec and would likely destroy the weapon and risk the operator's life. While FBI studies in terminal ballistics do state that larger calibers are more lethal, one would have to rest the case for the .45 on better wound trauma due to its larger diameter, not on energy. The .40 will also carry its energy downrange better as it has a higher BC at any grain weight. I doubt the BC much of a consideration for pistol work, but there may be cases where it is. Solidpoint 00:28, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

PS: I just checked the Speer site as well ( and got the same result. The .40 loads are more energetic. Solidpoint 00:39, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

First, the working pressure for .45 ACP is 21kpsi, 23kpsi for +P loadings[1], and the .40 S&W is 35kpsi, same as the 9x19mm. Now just looking at pressure vs. base area, the .45 ACP has 27% more surface area at the base than the .40 S&W (comparing .451 vs. .400), so that pressure is working over a larger area; converting pressure to force, you get 3353 lbs for .45 ACP, 3672 for +P, and 4396 for .40 S&W. The actual advantage is to .40 S&W by about 20%. However, this is just looking at the peak pressures, and does not take into account burn rates or efficiency. In general, heavier bullets and large bores are more efficient in terms of grains of powder converting to ft. lbs. on target, so the .45 has some advantage there.
Internal ballistics aside, either the .40 S&W isn't loaded to its potential by manufacturers, or the .45 ACP is tweaked to get as much as possible out of it. Looking at loads side by side from the same manufacturer, the .45 ACP matches or beats the .40 S&W most of the time: see Cor-Bon, or Federal;

All of the CorBon loads for the .40 are running in the high 400s and low 500s. EVERY .45 load on that page is a +P load and is only safe in weapons which are +P rated. This is not an apples to apples comparison. Federal loads are low for both cartridges, but the average .40 S&W is higher and only one of the .45 loads is higher (PD45CSP2H 476 ft-lbs) than the best .40, which is ridiculously low. I think to understand the potential of any cartridge you have to look at reloading tables and see how much pressure is needed to produce a given result. If you study the reloading tables you will note, for example, that the 10mm gets the same or lower energy as the .40 S&W even while operating at 4,000psi higher pressures. This is, in part, because that pressure is peak pressure, not average pressure, and it is average pressure that produces velocities, not peak.

As for muzzle blast, it is not at all clear which would have the smaller muzzle blast, because again, like pressure production, muzzle flash and blast is created by expanding gasses and gasses that have already started to cool will not have much muzzle flash. Generally slower burning powders will produce higher average pressures while still controlling the pressure spike to keep peak pressure low (HiSkor 800-X and LongShot in particular) but will therefore produce more muzzle flash as some unburned powder may burn outside the barrel in short-barreled weapons. Muzzle blast is a product of the pressure of the gas jet times its volume. The largest relevant factor here is the size of the bore behind the advancing bullet that the gas must fill and will decompress behind. Larger bores vacate more bore volume so the gas pressure tends to collapse more, but again, this is very dependant on which powder and how much powder is used. The reason I look at reloading tables is to look at what the potential of the cartridge is.

Remember, the 10mm failed to gain acceptance because it was hard to control for small operators. Large commercial ammunition producers who load .40 S&W know this and some chose to keep loads mild so as not to overwhelm operators whose LE departments and such chose the .40 for them. These mild loads do not represent the limits/potential of the cartridge though, and if those that shoot larger, heavier weapons wish to shoot more energetic loads they may do so by hand loading or buying CorBon or DoubleTap ammo which gets the full potential out of the weapon.

Frankly, with a handgun like the Beretta Ninty-two or PX4 with a flashlight attached to the bottom side of the barrel on the bit of Picatinny rail and 17 rounds in the mag, shooting these loads is very comfortable and controllable. Those Winchester Ranger's I have been shooting with 504 ft-lbs of energy in my Beretta 96 are easier to manage in recoil than any of the 180 grain FMJs I have shot. In short, only the reloading community really knows the potential of a cartridge because only they tweak loads as new powders come onto the scene which are made specifically to maximize the potential of newly emerging cartridges. I also linked reloading data from the IPSC competition sight because those loads have to trade off power and accuracy so they represent highly developed loads that are both powerful AND accurate.

In summary, I think there are good reasons to choose both the .40 S&W and the .45 ACP, but the .45 is not more powerful, even with +P loads, and in standard loads the .40's higher pressure spec gives it the advantage. Its other great advantage is round count. The .45 MAY make a bigger hole, assuming the .40 S&W doesn't open up or mushroom properly. Bullets in the 135 - 155gr range make this very unlikely as they are usually supersonic and will open with devastating effect. There are lots of FBI studies of all of these rounds and perhaps we should have links to some of those. For personal use I am perfectly happy to let people make up their own minds. Where one is required to use a cartridge that is chosen for them, like an LE agency or armed service, the claimed terminal ballistics advantages of the .45 need to be weighed carefully against real-world terminal ballistics testing and the nearly double number of rounds one can carry in a .40 S&W. If we can accurately characterize the facts then perhaps we can aid some potential selection process. You are right of course in saying that, especially for military use, a handgun is what you use to fight your way back to your rifle or shotgun. QCB may be the exception to that, but even there the M4 is usually the weapon of choice.

If you think it would be helpful I could add the equivalent reloading table from Hogdon’s site on the .45 ACP page. This would make the relative comparisons easier.

--Solidpoint 09:55, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

most loads I see run around 400 ft. lbs.. Now there are some oddballs; the Winchester 155 gr. Silvertip in .40 runs to 500 ft. lbs., and it's possible to get a .45 ACP non +P to 450-500 ft. lbs. (230 grains at 979 here, 155 at 1200 here, a match to the .40 Silvertip load). So it seems that the .40 S&W may have a theoretical advantage in energy over the .45 ACP, but that is largely unrealized in practice.

As far as other features go, the .45 ACP has less muzzle blast (lower peak pressure, more swept area), has a wider range of bullet weights (155 to 260, vs. 135 to 200) with a nearly identical max sectional density. The .45 ACP leaves a bit bigger hole; the .40 gives you 50% more capacity (11 vs. 7) or a smaller diameter grip, and does it in a slightly smaller frame in most cases. I have no idea if the .40 S&W is as accurate as the .45 ACP, but it probably is if you got a 1911 tuned for Bullseye in it--the problem is all the Bullseye guys specialize in .45 ACP and .38 Super (or .38 Spl wadcutter in Clark's case) so they might have to fiddle a bit (Nowlin, for example, makes .40 S&W 1911s, but offers accuracy guarantees only on Bullseye models, which are .45 and .38). In practice, they'll both do fine for IPSC or pin shooting.
Of course this is mostly moot--the handgun is just what you use to buy time until you can get to the riot shotgun. scot 22:25, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

This stuff is EXPENSIVE. The only reason I even got a .40 pistol is for concealed carry. Beats 9mm +P loads while keeping the weight and size about the same. -- 04:00, 2 May 2006 (UTC)


I added the photo of the casings for size comparison. Should I crop the photo down so it's just the pistol rounds? What do you guys think? --UNHchabo 01:52, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

That would probably be best--then it and the cartridges of interest (mainly 9mm and .45 ACP, it's competitors) would be easier to see in the thumbnail. scot 02:21, 23 May 2006 (UTC)


The WPMILHIST tag has been remove due to this article not being military related.--Oldwildbill 10:29, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Bullet weights and SI v.s. grains[edit]

American ammo manufacturers design their bullets to grain weight. The SI equivalent in grams that were originally shown here…

  • 8.7 g (135 Gr) Full Metal Jacket: 400 m/s (1310 ft/s) - 696 joules (517 foot pounds) of energy
  • 11.6 g (180 Gr) Full Metal Jacket: 290 m/s (950 ft/s) - 488 joules (363 foot pounds) of energy
  • 8.7 g (135 Gr) Full Metal Jacket: 490 m/s (1480 ft/s) - 886 joules (654 foot pounds) of energy

…were overly-imprecise approximations. Even though it would normally be desirable in Wikipedia to have the SI values formated as the primary unit of measure, the loss of precision and accuracy due to rounding in the conversions to the various SI values makes this practice improper.

In the new data I've provided, each unit of measure in the SI-equivalent data was here-converted directly from the manufacturer’s original imperial data. Joules were calculated directly from the original imperial mass and velocity values; they weren't converted from the manufacturer-provided ft-lb values, which would have introduced a layer of rounding errors. Consequently, you will especially find that calculating joules directly from the rounded values for m/s and grams now shown in this article will not always produce the true values. For instance, the 10.04 gram energy from the SI-equivalent data will yield 604 J whereas the actual value is 606.

Note too that expressing the gram-equivalent mass to two decimal places (yielding 6.5 times more precision than the grain values) is the practice of the ammunition manufacturer.

Future contributors to this and other articles which have values for exterior ballistics should use the following practices when calculating SI conversions:

When calculating joules, avoid converting directly from the manufacturers’ ft/lb value (these are rounded values). Energy (in ft-lbs) is the velocity (in ft/s), squared, times bullet mass (in grains), divided by 450,437 (precisely 450,436.6797900262).

To find m/s, multiply manufacturer's ft/s by 0.3048
To find grams, divide manufacturers grains by 15.4323583529414
To find J, multiply your calculated ft/lb value by 1.3558179483314

Greg L 00:01, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

.40 S&W Particulars[edit]

I added some parameter information in the opening paragraph RE: bullet weights and velocities. These velocities are taken from the Hodgdon reloading site which includes loads using powder from Hodgdon, IMR and Winchester, so it is a good representative sample of what is possible and what is not in .40 S&W pistol loads using a 4" barrel. As noted, the performance is for 4" barrels and the Beretta full-size pistols are a bit longer barreled at 4.9" - so expect a bit more performance, especially with slow-burning powders like LongShot and High Skor 800-X.

I provided the equation for energy in ft-lbs so the reader can easily calculate their own figures and thereby verify claims made on behalf of any pistol (or rifle) cartridge. If someone were to create a little Java calculator, and link it, that would be most welcome. I am sure it would quickly be added to all relevant ballistics calculations.

I hope, that in general, what I have done in the performance section is replaced general statements characterizing performance which specific numbers where that can be done. I stayed away from giving a velocity range in the opening section as the 760 fps on the bottom end seems a bit low, and I'm sure there are slower loads possible. The high velocity loads were, interestingly to me, both achieved with slow powders, and especially in the case of 800-X, these produced both the lowest pressure AND the fastest loads. I have not personally tested loads for SD or extreme range of velocity so I cannot speak to the accuracy of such loads. Good load development will always help accuracy.

I also find it interesting that you can get very close to the same performance as the best handloads now, off the shelf, from people like Double Tap Ammunition. This was a recent find of mine - a tip from a pistol user's form.

Well, I hope I didn't step on anyone's toes. If there is a point of dispute I will be happy to join the discussion.

Solidpoint 00:18, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Steep feed ramps?[edit]

Since the .40 S&W is a very wide cartridge for its length (it was designed to fit in existing 9 mm frames) feed ramps are often steep, and reducing the angle to improve reliability leaves more unsupported case than with a smaller diameter 9 mm or a longer length .45 ACP cartridge.

I got curious as to how much "stockier" a .40 S&W is than a .45 ACP and discovered that they actually have the same identical aspect ratio - their COL to diameter. In short, if you take the .40's COL and multiply it by .45/.40 you get the .45ACP's COL. So much for steep feed ramps!

The issue is not just the shape of the cartridge, but the distance the slide recoils. The .45 ACP firearm was designed for a cartridge of it's size, the .40 S&W firearm generally was designed for the smaller 9mm (though some may be .45s or 10mms), which could go up the ramp with less slide travel. Add in the .40 S&W's higher pressure compared to the .45 ACP, and SOMETHING in that combination gives you a higher likelyhood of case head failures. scot 16:12, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I actually think that pair of sentences about the .45ACP in the case failures section is distracting/misdirecting. On a first read through one doesn't even realize we have stopped talking about the .40 S&W and are now for some reason (???) having a discussion about the .45ACP. I would like to retain the information that is being conveyed in the section, but would like to do so in a more clear and direct way. It seems we are saying that higher pressures and poorly supported cases are the culprit? Perhaps we can say that without comparing and contrasting to the .45. Perhaps not. It seems worth having a go at it though.--Solidpoint 09:22, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I'll see what I can do. scot 16:12, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Barrel breech photographs[edit]


I like your rewrite of the case failures area. Kudos! I also took some time and gave my camera's macro capability a workout and added some pics of my Beretta 96's barrel breech. I also examined several brands of cases and they all had a cupped/concave web. This may be an "off-spec" improvement, but it definitely moves the combustion area forward in the web enough to prevent case bulging in my Beretta. Now I have to go clean the gun! FWIW, those Winchester Rangers are very clean burning and the case is top notch. --Solidpoint 02:09, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Good job with the photo from the bottom--that clearly shows that some of the cylindrical area of the case is visible. Just about every case I've seen, other than rimfires, has a concave or filletted web; a sharp angle at the junction would quickly lead to head separation. The web also has to come up to slightly above the extractor groove to provide support, otherwise you'd have a thin spot there to cause a case failure. While the exposed case wall shown is supported by the web, I'll bet if you measured it you'll find it's running right on the edge of safe, and if it were at all out of battery, then you'd have some unsupported thin case wall. I'm drawing a blank on the 92's disconnector layout, but I'm guessing it won't fire if the slide is far enough out of battery to allow exposed case walls; the Glock is pretty unusual as far as I know in being able to fire with the case not fully chambered; if I didn't find that statement at a reputable source, I'm not sure I'd believe it. Certainly the Ruger P series and the 1911, both of which I've shot a lot, won't release the disconnector until the barrel is locked up, since there's no way that front locking lug will engage unless the case is fully chambered, and no way for the slide to go far enough forward to release the disconnector until the barrel is locked up. scot 15:05, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Scot, Thank you for the compliment on the photos. It took me a bit of head-scratching to figure out how to easily see the feed-ramp area, but of course the obvious thing is to take down the gun and fit a spent shell case in the breech. After that it was just an exercise in macro photography. (those two the best of 25 shots) I learned quite a bit in working on this page and have changed my view a bit on the Glock. I had thought them too light for my use, but now wonder about the basic mechanism as well. I am also happy to see someone ran the page through a spell-checker. I usually do that religiously when editing web pages, but with all of the Wiki-specific HTML codes Word makes a mess of this stuff. --Solidpoint 20:43, 2 March 2007 (UTC)


There are no +P loads for the .40 S&W as that is a SAAMI specification and there is none.

The highest velocity load for the 135 grain bullet on the reloading tables works out to over 650 ft-lbs of energy. (1,480*1,480*135/450437)

If you can't bother to get the facts right then stop editing the page. In the future I expect any revisions to be discussed here first. --Solidpoint 11:15, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Deceptive business practices[edit]


  1. SAAMI is the only governing body which can issue a +P specification, and it has NOT done so for the .40S&W
  2. The attached chart clearly shows that loads that are being advertised as being +P are almost certainly NOT, but are instead using slow-burning powders to achieve higher velocities
  3. Anyone selling .40 S&W ammo marked as +P is making up a category which does not exist as a standard
  4. The +P designation as use by SAAMI in all other calibers does not refer to higher velocity loads, but to higher pressure loads
  5. None of the businesses selling ammo they mark as +P provide pressure data on those loads

It is irrefutably true that business who sell ammo in .40 S&W which they mark as +P are engaging in deceptive business practices on two levels. First, by implying their ammo produces excessive pressures without any proof, and second, by implying there is any such thing as a +P standard for .40 S&W.

I'm not sure that #1 is true; there are many sources for loads advertised as "+P", for cartrdiges that have no SAAMI +P specification. SAAMI does not appear have a trademark on the +P designation, so it is legitimate for others to use the designation. Admittedly, the Buffalo Bore ammo does NOT list a pressure level, which means that there is no way to verify that it truly is overpressure, but on the other hand Garrett DOES list pressure levels for their .44 Magnum and .45-70 loads, and those are definately in excess of the SAAMI pressures, and, since the manufacturer of the firearm obviously cannot say "Safe for .44 Mag +P", Garrett does list firearms that the ammunition has proven safe in. The SAAMI does not define +P+ at all, yet major ammunition makers sell such ammunition; again, the meaning here is just that the ammunition operates at a pressure above the +P standard, and (one certainly hopes) well below the proof round pressure. scot 21:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

To aid the reader in determining how a load could produce higher velocities without producing excessive pressures some discussion of the engineering of powders was necessary. After reading discussions on several forums RE: “+P .40” loads it is clear that unscrupulous businesses are intentionally obscuring important information regarding ammo and internal ballistics. They are preying on consumer ignorance by making up unsupportable claims as a way to generate more sales. This meets any definition of deceptive business practices anywhere in the US.

Again, the ONLY way you can say that is to pressure test the round. +P means nothing in terms of velocity or energy, it relates ONLY to pressure. It is possible to get a ridiculously high pressure with no increase in muzzle velocity--in the .40 S&W, just seat the bullet .1" further into the case, that should spike the pressure a LOT. The 9mm and .40 S&W both show spikes with bullets seated too deeply, and most reloading manuals will warn you about seating depth and crimp so you can prevent this. See the note at the bottom of the section here. scot 21:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

When those customers show up at this Wiki page seeking clarification, it is important to provide them with an adequate explanation of gunpowder engineering so that they can understand and asses the risks of using improperly marked ammunition. Without such information they are left with two conflicting claims and no way to reach a conclusion based on a deeper underlying understanding of the issue.

That is covered in internal ballistics, and is out of scope for the article here. I've put in a link to overpressure ammunition, which also covers the difference between SAAMI and non-SAAMI +P ammunition. scot 21:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

In conclusion, my comments are informative, factual, and on point. They are most definitely NOT my personal point of view.

.40 S&W +P ammunition does exist, because I can point to a vendor of such. Whether you think it is legitimate or not is a point of view, unless you can provide proof that the cartridge is not working at over 35,000 psi. I will grant you that their website does provide contradictory claims (such as "All Buffalo Bore Heavy 40 S&W +P loads use flash suppressed powders that give high velocities at low pressures", so why do you need a +P if it works at low pressures?) but it seems to no purpose to market their ammuntion as likely unsafe... scot 21:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

If you persist in destroying information important in allowing the reader to come to an informed decision regarding the alleged existence of .40 S&W “+P” ammo I will refer the page to a referee. --Solidpoint 20:35, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Take a look at the latest revision and see what you think; if you're still unhappy with it, we can poll some people at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Firearms. scot 21:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

PS: This is a direct quote from the link on "overpressure .40 ammo" from Buffalo’s webpage

All Buffalo Bore Heavy 40 S&W +P loads use flash suppressed powders that give high velocities at low pressures. Since over 90% of all human shootings in the USA happen in low light, we believe that flash suppressed powders are a potentially life saving advantage—you don’t want to be blind after you fire one shot in a life threatening, high stress situation.

I say once again, it is VERY unlikely that any of this ammo is overpressure. The fact that the powder they are using is flash-suppressed tells me it is slow-burning powder as those powders are often not entirely burned in the bore, but tend to flash when exposed to the oxygen in fresh air at the end of the barrel. A removal of my brief discussion of the science of gunpowder leaves the reader with two conflicting sources of info and no way to decide between them. This is NOT how Wiki will establish itself as an authority. --Solidpoint 20:55, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

You added this as I was editing--I address this above, and still think the issue of powder burn rates is best covered in internal ballistics. scot 21:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Oh man... talk about surreal. I saw an earlier version of this without Scot's comments and began formulating a response. Then discovered that Scot had replied already. My response was nearly EXACTLY the same. I think I'm going to go lay down.  ;-) In summary, what Scot said, 110%. I simply don't have any more words that haven't already been used here. Thernlund (Talk | Contribs) 22:45, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

It is inappropriate and tedious for the reader to have to wade through an entire 10,000+ word page just to get some resolution for the contradiction between mfg claims that overpressure loads are needed for higer than standard velocities, and our correct claim that they are not. A much better approach is to give the reader a breif summary and an internal link if they choose to follow it to further discover. --Solidpoint 04:41, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
PS: The page on Internal Ballistics is even marked as being too bloated by Wiki and there is an RX that it be split. How about we say enough here so the reader doesn't have to go there?--Solidpoint 04:45, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
May be tedious, but it isn't inappropriate. A discussion on the science of gun powder and burn rates hasn't any place in this article anymore than it does in any cartridge article. Nor does a general discussion on ballistics. The only data on either of these two topics that belongs in this article is the info that pertains SPECIFICALLY to the .40 S&W. Anything more general should be in another article. If a reader wants to know more about a given topic, they should go to that topic. The road your heading down is to start capping off articles and making them self contained. That's not how Wikipedia is supposed to function.
Look, learning is tedious. This is an article on the .40 S&W and not on anything else. If you want to do work on gun powder science or ballistics, please improve those articles. They could probably use it. Thernlund (Talk | Contribs) 05:28, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Leanring isn't tedious if you don't make it so. Your asserion that I am "capping off articles and making them self contained" is a logical fallacy called the arguement of extension. I am doing nothing of the sort. No entry of any knid would be possible unless knowledge in incomplete form were presented. This does not mean the whole of Wiki need be one huge undivided work. It is proper and appropriate to provide some understanding without burdening the reader with the need to change pages constantly. At any rate, I have cut my explination to one short sentence and I will continue to revert to this version till hell freezes over or you pass on. Your choice. --Solidpoint 06:19, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Till hell freezes over, eh? Pfff. Chill out sparky. Just stay on topic. This article is about .40 S&W. You obviously have alot to profess on ballistics and powder. Why not improve those articles? I imagine they need it. I find myself wondering why you have such a fixation with this particular article.
I don't think it's a fallacy. Certainly an extreme conclusion. But the way I read you is you want to put in some info so a reader doesn't have to go to another article to find it out. Continuing on that path leads to a self-contained article. No? Now, do I think your going to follow that road to its extreme? No, I don't at all. But I think it is the beginning of just such a road, and I said as much.
As far as learning being tedious, I think maybe I misspoke. My intent was to say that learning is a long and constant journey. It's work. And if you want to learn something, take the time. Cliff's Notes are no substitute.
Back to the article. No bother, bud. I do think your edit could be worked into the article better to both keep its intended point and be more on topic. I plan to try now. If you don't like it, no need to discuss I suppose. Just revert and I'll get the point and try again. Thernlund (Talk | Contribs) 07:12, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Changed my mind. I think my edits are pretty good. Fine if you revert I guess, but much better to continue to work the article. Thernlund (Talk | Contribs) 08:09, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
If you think it is not an open question as to whether these mfgs are in fact producing overpressure ammo then please produce some evidence to support your assertion, or reinstate the text as it was. One of the uses of an Encyclopedia is to provide a more authoritative source of information to dispel false claims made by other parties The insistence on removing the language I provided, which confronts these lies with truth, and provides enough understanding so the reader believes the page to be credible, makes the page no better than any no-consequence piece of marketing hype some idiot web page creator in China made up for the grand sum of $.87 an hour. I for one wish to pursue a higher standard here.
You talk about referring the reader for additional supporting info, but provide no links to the relevant page - contrary to my suggestion that we provide some initial background AND a like. Perhaps you feel the reader should just decide we are ignorant fools and Buffalo Bore is the authority?
Learning isn't tedious if you don't make it so. Your assertion that I am "capping off articles and making them self contained" is a logical fallacy called the argument of extension. I am doing nothing of the sort. No entry of any kind would be possible unless knowledge in incomplete form were presented. This does not mean the whole of Wiki need be one huge undivided work. It is proper and appropriate to provide some understanding without burdening the reader with the need to change pages constantly. At any rate, I have cut my explanation to one short sentence and ask that it be left alone.

--Solidpoint 07:20, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

PS: We seemed to have crossed posts.... reading... --Solidpoint 07:20, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Quoting you from above...

You talk about referring the reader for additional supporting info, but provide no links to the relevant page - contrary to my suggestion that we provide some initial background AND a like. Perhaps you feel the reader should just decide we are ignorant fools and Buffalo Bore is the authority?

Wha? The wikilink to Overpressure ammunition about accomplishes it all. I just wikified SAAMI. Don't really see any more places to wikilink. Thernlund (Talk | Contribs) 07:38, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Just did some reworking to shoehorn in some more wikilinks to relevent material. Thernlund (Talk | Contribs) 08:05, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Added a nice lead-in to the internal ballistics page where the discussion of how to make velocity without producing excessive pressure can continue.

--Solidpoint 09:18, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Ballistics vs Accuracy[edit]

I noticed my somewhat clumsy mention of drift and drop were replaced with a reference to ballistics being near identical.

The ballistics are almost entirely different. The BC, and thereby the drift and drop, and of course the energy levels, are all substantially different than the 9mm. Only the velocity is nearly the same.

In point of fact, accuracy has more to do with repeatability than external ballistics. This is why that article I linked shows the standard deviation and extreme spread along with groupings.

I think there is a better way to impart this info, and do so correctly, than what I had written, but as it stands, the page is factually incorrect.--Solidpoint 09:25, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough. I'll fix it. I was just trying to work in a wikilink to ballistics. Didn't think it all the way through I guess. Thernlund (Talk | Contribs) 09:35, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Done. Could use some work though I think. Thernlund (Talk | Contribs) 09:38, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

.40 s&w vs .357 SIG[edit]

Which is better? considering power, recoil, penetration

That's entirely subjective. However, I can give a rough comparison based on the traits of each:
  • The .40 will have more recoil, since it uses heavier bullets
  • The .357 will have a flatter trajectory, since it uses faster, lighter bullets
  • The .40 will be more efficient in terms of energy per grain of powder
  • The .357 will be louder and have more muzzle flash, due to a higher muzzle pressure
  • The 125 grain .357 and 155 grain .40 have nearly identical sectional densities, but the .357 has the potential to penetrate further due to a higher velocity
  • The .40 will produce a larger wound channel than the .357, given equal expansion
  • The .40 more easily produce an IPSC major power factor, and so will knock down reactive targets better due to a greater momentum
So rank the traits according to importance to you, and then you should be able to get an answer. scot 17:32, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Wrong on the recoil. Recoil is not just a function of mass but also of velocity. Momentum = mass x velocity and momentum also = force x time. The .40 will have less recoil because velocity is significantly lower. In fact the Wikipedia article on Recoil gives a direct comparison between the 9mm parabellum, the .357 SIG and the .40 S&W. Recoil with the .357 SIG was roughly twice that with the 9mm, and roughly 50% more than the .40 S&W. The article also explains that since acceleration = force ÷ mass, at any given load (which generates the force) the heavier bullet will accelerate more slowly, producing a "softer" (vs. sharper) perceived recoil.

Also wrong on the energy. A given quantity of powder produces the same amount of energy no matter what bullet sits in front of it and no matter whether there is a bullet in front of it or not (since it doesn't know). How much of that energy is converted into bullet energy is a question of thermal efficiency, but the much higher operating pressure of the .357 SIG cartridge would be expected to yield a higher thermal efficiency, just as it does in internal combustion engines. (talk) 09:20, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

As for penetration, if you consider the performance standards for body armor to be an indication, Type IIA body armor is rated to stop 9mm and .40 S&W bullets, Type II body armor is rated to stop 9mm and .357 Magnum bullets, Type IIIA body armor is rated to stop .357 SIG and .44 Magnum bullets, and Type III body armor is rated to stop 7.62x51mm NATO M80 ball rifle bullets. (talk) 19:48, 21 July 2010 (UTC)


The only reason the Coast Guard is the only military branch to adopt the .40 S&W is because they're the only military branch under civilian authority. The DHS decided to adopt SIG P229R DAKs in .40 S&W across the board, and the Coast Guard played along. Could someone reword this? Currently it looks like the Coast Guard did an independent evaluation and decided for themselves to change to this caliber. --Joffeloff 10:25, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Removing MilHist Tag as there is no reference in the article to any military force using this ammunition. --dashiellx (talk) 16:28, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

usage outside the US[edit]

Do any law enforcement agencies outside the United States use .40 S&W? It seems to me that it's a purely American phenomenon. -- (talk) 01:13, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

In Australia: New South Wales police carry Glock 22, Glock 23, or Glock 27 pistols in .40 S&W; Queensland police, Northern Territory police, and Western Australian police carry Glock 22 pistols; and South Australian police carry S&W M&P or S&W M&P Compact pistols in .40 S&W. Agemegos (talk) 04:43, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

"mid to high 500 foot-pounds force (680 N·m) typical"[edit]

Inconsistent with "Ballistic performance" table
Inconsistent with Federal Cartridge data (352-468 ft·lbf)
Inconsistent with Speer Gold Dot (420, 496 ft·lbf)
Inconsistent with Magtech (390-500 ft·lbf)
Inconsistent with S&B (375 ft·lbf)
Inconsistent with Fiocchi (468, 483 ft·lbf)

What is this nonsense? Are the hotter Buffalo Bore and Double Tap loads now considered "typical"? -- (talk) 23:03, 16 November 2009 (UTC) I Hear That The AUSIES use them in their local PD. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:55, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Hydrostatic shock removal[edit]

I checked the sources for "hydrostatic shock" -- none of the sources mention 0.40 caliber and some pre-date development of the caliber so are not relevant. Spectre9 (talk) 22:31, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

I see the same sort of stuff was re-added, this time with the citation "ballistic pressure waves" once again pointing to hydrostatic shock. Unfortunately, the citations given were incomplete and unclear. Please add INLINE CITATIONS with DIRECT QUOTES from WP:RS to substantiate these claims before re-adding them. This is not an article on wounding effects. (talk) 04:03, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Looking at edit history further, it appears that this article and others may be suffering from Wikipedia:ADVERT#Citation_spam by User:Michael_Courtney who is methodically adding similar phrasing and citations to multiple articles. If these citations are relevant, please include inline quotations of the relevant information Also, fully disclose the author of these papers in the references. Spectre9 (talk) 04:20, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
You're right that I can be more complete in the referencing by including the authors. However, I am not aware of any policy that requires supplying inline quotations. Quotations have their place, but too many quotations can raise copyright violations issues, and inline quotations are not appropriate for verifying material simply because other editors are unwilling to do a search on Google Scholar and/or visit a University library. Visitors to encyclopedia pages on firearms cartridges are usually interested in performance information, so as long as the article is within its space limitations, why would there be a problem with adding performance information beyond velocity and energy? Do you have any objection to including approriately sourced penetration and expansion information? I wish I could include gelatin pictures that I have showing penetration and temporary cavitation, but these have permissions issues. Invariably, the figures one owns the copyright permissions for are most likely one's own. Wikipedia poicy recognizes this in its image posting policy and images are not considered original research unless they introduce unpublished ideas or arguments. The figures I've posted contain the same ideas as many published papers and figures, but I don't have permission to post figures from papers of other authors. If you object to specific content in this article, perhaps you should explain precisely what content you object to and why? Is it unsupported by the citation? Do you think readers are uninterested in sourced performance information? If you think other points of view deserve greater mention, you can certainly add them (appropriately sourced, of course).Michael Courtney (talk) 05:24, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
I think my core point is that there appears to be a conflict between the editors desire for exposure vs. the relevance of the information to this article See what is currently paragraph #4 in WP:UNDUE and consider that none of these hydrostatic shock articles have titles like "Wounding characteristics of the .40 S&W cartridge." I'd be especially troubled if content regarding wounding was being duplicated in multiple articles. I welcome the contributions on wounding/hydrostatic shock, but don't think this article is the appropriate place to be expanding this knowledge. Spectre9 (talk) 05:35, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

citation issues[edit]

Some ammo looks better than others in my contributions, reliable sources have been cited. I have no financial interests in any ammo company. How are my contributions “citation spam” since the WP:CITE policy allows “as many proper and correct citations as desirable?” Citation spam is “removal of multiple valid sources” and using questionable web citations to funnel hits to commercial web sites, not adding relevant citations to scholarly sources. There’s nothing unencyclopedic about citing scholarly sources in discussing performance issues of firearms cartridges. Most firearms articles are frightfully low in their citations of scholarly sources. The “performance” sections of most firearms articles would be more encyclopedic with greater usage of reliable sources, and many readers want cartridge specific performance information in cartridge specific articles. If one editor thinks that the introduction of scholarly sources is too heavy on one POV, that editor is encouraged to add scholarly sources that bring balance perceived as needed. The consensus of a discussion in March 2008 (when I added a mention of hydrostatic shock to the 10mm Auto article) was that since there were reliable sources, it should also be mentioned in other cartridge articles where there is support in the scholarly sources. I’ve added some quotes to my user page that show my use of sources is appropriate in the .40 S&W article. The quotes are inappropriately long for the article itself. (However, in general, it is not an editor’s burden to provide quotes to support his use of references.)Michael Courtney (talk) 14:40, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Personally, I think the central issue involves WP:UNDUE and its relevance to WP:NPOV and WP:COI. Since you are not hiding your identity, and are editing publically, COI is not much of a concern to me. But NPOV and UNDUE still are. Ideally, having a one-sentence mention of injuries and hydrostatic shock with links to one or two separate WP articles, and no further "study" of wounding within this article would satisfy my concerns. This is great information, but probably us UNDUE attention on a cartridge.... unless this research and its findings were documented as central to adoption of this cartridge by a major customer, or factored centrally in the development of the cartridge. Otherwise, it isn't really notable in an article about the cartridge... this information belongs in an article on wounding and should be covered in this detail. I'd prefer to coax the changes than do them myself, because in the end your interest and continued contributions to WP are valuable and I don't wish to interrupt them -- merely focus them more narrowly on germane articles It is an encyclopedia, and "see also" is appropriate in this case. Spectre9 (talk) 05:52, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Is information from reloading manuals also undue weight simply because it is contained in a book with information about lots of other cartridges? Does it make sense in cartridge articles to only include information from sources that treat only one specific cartridge (.40 S&W in this case)? Even so, Netto et al. reports (ref 5) on hydrostatic shock for the .40 S&W specifically and includes no information specific to other cartridges. Marshall and Sanow (ref 6) has a separate section treating the .40 S&W data and remote effects of that specific cartridge. Aren’t readers of articles on firearm cartridges interested in verifiable performance information? Several handgun bullet patents include reference to hydraulic effects, and several brands of .40 S&W ammo are marketed with names suggestive of hydrostatic shock (Hydra-Shok and Quik-Shok, to name two), so there is definite notability. Massad Ayoob (officer, defense expert, gunwriter) explicitly recommends a .40 S&W load with large hydrostatic shock (Shooting Industry, January 1998) and says that he carries this load himself. I have already removed a number of references to works I have co-authored; the article now contains only 3 of 39 references to work I have co-authored. I suggest a further compromise to further reduce the weight of terminal effects coverage, but perhaps not to as low a level as you have suggested. What would you say to a compromise of removing one of the related figures and leaving the text and references as they are?Michael Courtney (talk) 20:33, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I think that you offer a good compromise solution, particularly since no other editors have joined in with opinions. So for know, one diagram and might I also suggest one paragraph of text remain, along with the appropriate references and of course a link to other WP articles. I'll remove the POV tag in good faith that we have resolved this for now. If other editors later wish to work with us on this issue, they at least know that you are attentive and responsive. Thanks, Spectre9 (talk) 19:26, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Irrelevant/Derogatory quotes should be removed.[edit]

The following sentence contains derogatory quotes from 3rd parties and does nothing to enhance or add useful information to the article:

"The reduced power of the round compared with the 10 mm Auto it was based on led to derogatory names such as ".40 Short and Wimpy" or ".40 Slow and Weak""

Opinion-based comments are tedious and add unneeded bulk to an already lengthy article. Removal of details such as these will help make Wikipedia a more useful resource. Gulftanker (talk) 04:57, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

If the term is actually used and it is sourced, it is not inappropriate in Wikipedia. No person is being insulted, so WP:BLP does not apply. Also Wikipedia is not a paper dictionary, so a single sentence adds no "bulk". --Chris (クリス • フィッチュ) (talk) 13:07, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

I think you could also throw in the "10mm lite" term, but none of these so called negative nicknames that some wish to call it bother me personally. We have to understand that they are most commonly used by "fan boys" of other calibers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dennis503 (talkcontribs) 22:32, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Bad references[edit]

References 9 and 10 do not support the statement that cites them ("Most .40 caliber handguns can be easily converted to 9MM for cheaper target shooting with a simple barrel and magazine swap.") In fact, ref. 10 is just a bunch of bafflegab that doesn't say anything at all. I don't want to delete the statement if there are references to support it, but I know it is NOT true for the SIG and H&K pistols, and is questionable at best as applied to S&W and Glock pistols. (talk) 12:10, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

IGB Austria, Wolf and probably other companies offer drop-in barrels for .40 S&W Glocks to convert to 9mm. So at least for Glock this can be confirmed. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:12, 22 July 2010 (UTC).


This article is confusing. Several paragraphs go on to talk about other calibers than .40 . This article needs to focus on the .40 caliber, rather than unrelated trivia.

Also, the cartridge dimensions chart is cute, but useless if the caption says that all of its information is incorrect. The old graphic should be removed and replaced with one with the correct information on it.

The next paragraph switched to metric. This is incorrect. The .40 is based on the Imperial system of measurement, and this system should be used consistently throughout the article. (talk) 19:46, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 12:54, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 2[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 12:54, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 3[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 12:54, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Performance/penetration table not needed[edit]

I propose to remove the load/mass/energy/penetration table for various manufacturers which is currently in the Performance section.

The following points are why I believe it should be removed:

  • For 99% of wikipedia users reading this page, it's not relevant to have figures on permanent cavity volume in ballistic gelatin or the temporary stretch cavity volume in ballistic gelatin.
  • Key information is already summarized above in "Bullet weights from 8.7 to 11.7 grams (135 to 180 gr) are common.[7] Loads are available with energies from 490 to 750 J (360 to 550 ft·lbf) and penetration depths from 25 to 64 centimetres (9.8 to 25 in) are available for various applications and risk assessments."
  • The source is almost 20 years old and the listed manufacturers and data might no longer be accurate.
  • It clutters up the page and is distracting from the other content.

If you are a opponent of removing this table, please provide your comments on why you think it is relevant. Thanks in advance for any feedback! Boris Barowski (talk) 14:05, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

I removed the table after 1 week without feedback. The last version that included the table (for reference) is Revision ID 604730562. Please discuss here with your arguments before placing the table back to avoid the appearance of an "edit war". Thanks! Boris Barowski (talk) 12:58, 18 April 2014 (UTC)