Here's a delicate question about the 40S&W [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Tmygun
01-20-2010, 23:07
Is it true that the 40S&W is the least accurate of the pistol cartridges? I'm not trying to step on toes or start any arguments, it's just something I've heard for years. Even in my Speer manual they talk about using certain powders to get better accuracy for the 40, yet they say the 10mm is an inherently accurate cartridge. If it's just a shortened 10mm, why the accuracy difference?
I'm just curious to hear what people here have to say to this, people with experience with this cartridge. I've never shot or owned a 40S&W, mainly because I've always thought the 45acp was simply perfect. I do however have G20 10mm on the way:supergrin:.

Tmygun

GarryK
01-20-2010, 23:13
Is it true that the 40S&W is the least accurate of the pistol cartridges? I'm not trying to step on toes or start any arguments, it's just something I've heard for years. Even in my Speer manual they talk about using certain powders to get better accuracy for the 40, yet they say the 10mm is an inherently accurate cartridge. If it's just a shortened 10mm, why the accuracy difference?
I'm just curious to hear what people here have to say to this, people with experience with this cartridge. I've never shot or owned a 40S&W, mainly because I've always thought the 45acp was simply perfect. I do however have G20 10mm on the way:supergrin:.

Tmygun

No helpful info on the .40 accuracy, but congrats on the G20. I picked one up last week and have about 150 rounds through it. I'm a bit more accurate with my G17, but that's mainly on "rapid fire" exercises. one at a time, there's little difference.

I do have a Lone Wolf .40 conversion barrel coming for the 20, but from what I've read, the LW barrel may be a bit more accurate than the stock G22 barrel. I won't have any basis for comparison.

If the LW conversion ever gets here, I'll report back.................


Good luck with your flame war! :tongueout:

Petrie
01-20-2010, 23:30
I think that's a fair question. I've read a quite a few articles that talked about the .308 cartridge being inherently more accurate than other rifle cartriges. Or that the 45 acp and 38 special where inherently more accurate pistol rounds.

JoshK
01-20-2010, 23:37
i'm actually more accurate with my G23 than i have been with other guns i've owned.... i've noticed less recoil than previous .45's i've owned and more accuracy in certain cases....

i personally think innacurracy, a lot of the time, with any caliber is shooter related.... i know the cartridge does come into play.... but so does the skill of the person pulling the trigger....

GIockGuy24
01-20-2010, 23:53
When 40 S&W was first developed by S&W and Winchester it loaded only with 180 grain bullets and was designed for a four inch barrel a fast powder was chosen. The 180 grain bullet was due the first FBI 10mm load. The fast powder was due to the 4 inch barrel, or so they thought at the time. The ballistics were where they wanted them but the accuracy was behind most other pistol cartridges. Federal was the first company to load a different weight bullet with the 155 grain Hydra-shok. The Federal load was loaded shorter than others and this caused feeding problems in a lot of pistols. The 155 grain bullet were a bit more accurate than the 180 grain bullets. Hornady finally really improved the accuracy of 40 S&W with both 155 grain and 180 grain bullets. It was found this accuracy, that is common in other pistol cartridges, was possible in 40 S&W by using slower powders. So it's true the poor accuracy of early 40 S&W was due to using fast powders and can be fixed by using slower powders.

Aces and 8s
01-21-2010, 00:12
Honestly dont know the history of it much but from my personaly experience the 9mm is more accurate then the .40S&W

I picked up a 9mm and was dead on. Then I picked up my .40 and wasnt hitting my target as well as the 9mm.

Maybe it was a combo of being excited to shoot my OWN handgun for the first time (mainly grew up shooting grandfathers pistols 9mm and .45 and my rifles) or maybe I am just not used to the .40 yet. Only time will tell.

I do know one thing, I love my G22 :)

Jeager106
01-21-2010, 00:16
Some definitions are in order here.
What is accuracy?
To whom?
At what distance(s)?
Are we speaking of practical acuracy or shooting a dime out of your wifes fingers at 50 yards?
I'm old school. Never shoot benched at anything less than 25 yards. I want 3 inches or better for a defensive weapon.
Oh, and what are you feeding your handgun?
Right now, if you can find Wally's Win White Box you may be happy with 6 inch groups rested at 25 yards.
Some of my handguns in all major defensive caliber, 9mm, .357 Sig, 40, and .45 are lucky to shoot 6 inches with WWB. However my H&K full size USP .45 shoots a bit over 2 inches all day with WWB.
My M22 with conversion .357 Sig barrel shoots 7 inches or worse with WWB, but I broke down, paid the price for a box of Remington .357 Sig Golden Sabers and it averaged 2.5 inches. I did nothing but change ammo.
Period.
My M22 with handloaded 165 grain Sierra shoots 1 3/4 inches, at 25 rested. That good enough for ya?
Suits me fine.
My G-34 shoots WWB at 2.5 inches which SUCKS for a M-34, however handloaded 125 grain Rem h.p. bullets shoot 1.5 inches and I'm thinking with some load tinkering it will do better.
My Para Ordinace, Springfield Loaded, and Kimber CustomII won't shoot WWB for crap. Handload an accuracy load from a manual and the Kimber shoots a ragged hole, the Para a bigger ragged hole, the Springfiled 2 inches.
So define accuracy please.

Tmygun
01-21-2010, 00:26
Yes, I would say my definiton of accuracy would be 25yds. rested. I know every gun is an animal of it's own with likes and dislikes. It's just that I've heard that the 40S&W was picky in every way (rested, standing,etc.) over other calibers. I know that it no doubt has good practical defense accuracy.

Quote:My M22 with handloaded 165 grain Sierra shoots 1 3/4 inches, at 25 rested. That good enough for ya?
I'd say if you get that down to 1 2/4" then it would be good:tongueout:.
Thanks for all the replies, it's very interesting to discuss.
Happy shooting!!!!

Tmygun:supergrin:

Desertscout
01-21-2010, 00:40
I have quite a few .40's and I am a stickler for accuracy. I shoot well and I understand the difference between mechanical accuracy and shooter accuracy. The .40 has so far been one of the most accurate semi-auto cartridges that I have shot. It keeps up with most any of the rest of them.

The target below shows 3 types of ammo out of the same gun, a G35, in a rest at 25 yards. The top group is 1 3/8"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v519/Desertscout1/Training/img_G35KKM-1.jpg

I haven't experienced the terrible WWB either. I realize that I may not be able to do this 100% of the time but I have several videos of .40 caliber, 200 yard shooting and they do as well as any of them...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v519/Desertscout1/Training/091708_090300.jpg

This isn't great but it's acceptable...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v519/Desertscout1/Training/IMG_G27229mm.jpg

thegriz18
01-21-2010, 00:43
The .40 is a very accurate cartridge. Check out this picture. The one flier was all my bad.

Tmygun
01-21-2010, 00:47
WOW, that is some excellent accuracy:wow:!!!! If the 40S&W is capable of that kind of accuracy, I don't know what all these gun writers are talking about:faint:.
You're a fine marksman Desertscout!!!! That Gold Dot ammo looks mighty accurate.

Tmygun

AJSully421
01-21-2010, 01:12
They are more accurate than I am...

With the additional snap of the recoil, it might be a factor with some who will declare that the .40 is not as accurate as other calibers.

It is the indian... not the arrow.

Larry V
01-21-2010, 05:22
When its fired out of out of my SIG P229 its the most accurate round I fire!!

Brucev
01-21-2010, 07:51
"WOW, that is some excellent accuracy:wow:!!!! If the 40S&W is capable of that kind of accuracy, I don't know what all these gun writers are talking about..." There are many times when readers have the same question.

vinnier6
01-21-2010, 07:53
op...where do you people come up with this crap....

Glock39Pirate
01-21-2010, 07:58
Between a 9mm, .40 and .45, I shoot the .40 the worst due to the snappiness of the round. FYI I shoot a .45 GAP better than any other. :cool:

ChaneyD
01-21-2010, 08:02
I think I read something at one time about the aerodynamics of bullets by caliber regardless of firearm. Seems load, bullet wt, sectional density, etc, was more accurate in the .38 special caliber.

GreenJip
01-21-2010, 08:04
For me, accuracy is anything capable of hitting center mass. I don't know any calibure that is not combat accurate, only shooters. But, I have been curious as to what grains perform optimal given barrel length.

Stuntman_Mike
01-21-2010, 08:12
http://www.ar15atlanta.com/pics/facepalm.gif

As much as I'd like to blame things other than my shooting for bad range days, it boils down to user error.

If someone can consistantly ring a gong from 230 yards away with a G23 / G27, it's probably not the round's fault.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFd3kF6LHz4

SDGlock23
01-21-2010, 08:22
I've got to say that all my .40 cal Glocks shoot better than I do, and I like to think I'm a pretty good shot. Just because some jackhole gun rag writer can't shoot a .40 doesn't mean the .40 isn't an accurate cartridge.

Gallium
01-21-2010, 08:32
WOW, that is some excellent accuracy:wow:!!!! If the 40S&W is capable of that kind of accuracy, I don't know what all these gun writers are talking about:faint:.
You're a fine marksman Desertscout!!!! That Gold Dot ammo looks mighty accurate.

Tmygun


DesertScout and Hickcock45 are two GTers who push their Glocks out to the limit. Both are awesome shots.

and yes, the 40S&W round is accurate enough for anything you would want to do with a handgun. I assume you're not a military sniper with a long gun chambered in this caliber.

'Drew

LoadedTech
01-21-2010, 08:37
With the Glock .40, just aim high right and it will be dead center every time. J/K.

ChaneyD
01-21-2010, 08:39
With the Glock .40, just aim high right and it will be dead center every time. J/K.

If I shoot high and right with my .40 it shoots high and right.

:whistling:

cowboy1964
01-21-2010, 08:55
I've always heard this about the .40 but never have seen solid proof. Some quick Googling and I found this review of XDs which states the .40 actually had the tightest bench rest groups betwen 9mm, .357 SIG, and .40 http://www.gunsandammomag.com/cs/Satellite/IMO_GA/Story_C/Springfield+Armory+XD+Series

Bottom line is very few shooters can outshoot the inherent accuracy (or lack thereof) of any particular cartridge anyway.

mesteve2
01-21-2010, 09:06
Better than the 9mm's.

Then bought the 27 when it came out.

Next and the Best. The .45gap!

Less felt recoil. Better on the targeta and a plus on stopping power!:wow:

Glockdude1
01-21-2010, 09:12
Is it true that the 40S&W is the least accurate of the pistol cartridges?



With my G22, I can can easily hit 4" clay pigeons off the 100yd dirt berm at my range.

The .40 is my favorite round.

:cool:

LoadedTech
01-21-2010, 09:12
If I shoot high and right with my .40 it shoots high and right.

:whistling:

Mine too, that was a funny for all the my glock .40 shoots low left threads...............

fwm
01-21-2010, 09:14
For me, accuracy is anything capable of hitting center mass. I don't know any calibure that is not combat accurate, only shooters. But, I have been curious as to what grains perform optimal given barrel length.


^
|
This. If I can put 15 out of 15 in COM a 7 yards, that's all the accuracy I need.
If I need to shoot farther than that I'll pull out my 7.62x51

Eagle22
01-21-2010, 09:38
^
|
This. If I can put 15 out of 15 in COM a 7 yards, that's all the accuracy I need.
If I need to shoot farther than that I'll pull out my 7.62x51

3, 5, 7yds COM for personal defense is accurate enough for me. I am little better then that. I can put 12 of 15 in 10 ring consistently at those ranges.
the other 3 are in the 9 ring. with my G22.

Joshhtn
01-21-2010, 09:45
With my G22, I can can easily hit 4" clay pigeons off the 100yd dirt berm at my range.

The .40 is my favorite round.

:cool:


This.

Cineski
01-21-2010, 09:46
I was shooting my buddy's 40 SIG 229 and I was shocked at how the bullets would not hit where point of aim was. They were spread out all over the place at 7 yards. I would suspect the bullet was to blame as my buddy was shooting reloads.

fwm
01-21-2010, 09:51
3, 5, 7yds COM for personal defense is accurate enough for me. I am little better then that. I can put 12 of 15 in 10 ring consistently at those ranges.
the other 3 are in the 9 ring. with my G22.

I might be able too as well if I was shooting for accuracy, but I tend to shoot for speed. I'll settle for a 6" group if I can get 15 there in 6 seconds.

dsmw5142
01-21-2010, 10:17
I pretty regularly shoot old propane tanks at 100-125 yards with my G22 and G35. With my hand loads, I can pretty regularly make a one-hole group at 15 yards off hand.

I think the .40 gets a bad rap because of the snappy recoil. It probably takes a bit more getting used to for some folks. Most shooters realize their technique and anticipation are the problem after a few ball-dummy drills.

Eagle22
01-21-2010, 10:28
G27 and G22 with Federal Premium 180g .40 from Wally world

15 yards, 15 rounds one right after the other.

G27 left G22 right
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt101/6pines/Funny/100_1480.jpg

Close up of G22
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt101/6pines/Funny/100_1482.jpg

accuracy is in the hand of the shooter.

I have been shooting about a year now

Eagle22
01-21-2010, 10:34
I might be able too as well if I was shooting for accuracy, but I tend to shoot for speed. I'll settle for a 6" group if I can get 15 there in 6 seconds.

That works.

I am working on accuracy. When I try double taps I get a bit wide on the second shot.

With time and practice, I will get there with double and triple taps.

:cheers:

Jeager106
01-21-2010, 10:44
"Accuracy in most handguns is very good, especially with Bullseye, Winchester 231, and Accurate Arms #5."
Quote from Lyman edition 49 reloading manual.
They go on to WARN against firearms which do NOT fully supoort the case when fired. (Glock is well known for this)
The manual goes on to say NOT to use this (Lyman 49th edition) in any firearm wich does not fully support the case during firing(Glock).
I have a G-23, 34, 22 (with Sig .357 conversion barrel), I shoot them all well.
I use reloads, by the book! I inspect cases for bulging, even taking a micrometer and measure just above the case head.
Still I run a risk of a dynamic ka-boom from any Glock with reloads.
There are better guns out there in the same price range that fully support the case.
(Smith M&P being but one example).
I love my Glocks but am aware of the potential for a surprise I don't want.
Accuracy? Horse pucks. In 40 it's as accurate as any of them, better than most.

Tmygun
01-21-2010, 11:41
Geez, now you guys are making me look at the 40S&W much more closely. I can buy a 40S&W barrel for my incoming Glock20, can't I? And that 45GAP sounds interesting....and that 357SIG.....and:shocked:. I'd better stop now:upeyes:.

Tmygun:supergrin:

NavDoc
01-21-2010, 12:58
I'm deadly accurate with my G23 (40 S&W). That is all I care about. However, I do carry a 9mm for CCW as it is a little easier to conceal for me.

area727
01-21-2010, 13:33
Go to youtube, and search for hickok45. Watch his videos, specifically the ones where he's shooting stock glocks in .40S&W, and tell me the .40 isnt accurate. :cool:

In my un-professional opinion, accuracy has more to do with the shooter then the cailber.

easyg
01-21-2010, 15:43
I was shooting my buddy's 40 SIG 229 and I was shocked at how the bullets would not hit where point of aim was. They were spread out all over the place at 7 yards. I would suspect the bullet was to blame as my buddy was shooting reloads.

I'm not questioning you skill, but even inaccurate reloads wouldn't be "spread out all over the place" at only 7 yards.

HogGlocker
01-21-2010, 17:48
I've been on the .40 bandwagon since it was first introduced [read up on the old .38-40].

It was different when my choice was 180 gr and my weapon was a Smith 4006 [nice pistol].

My .40 Glocks are incredibly accurate....or does that mean I am a good shooter?

Well, they are and I am....but that is years and years of training and practice.

I don't care about 25 yd groups....my concern is in arrears in fact....its negative.

What I care about is a hard hitting round that is "combat" accurate at the distances at which I am most likely to encounter a threat and need that weapon. I shoot at 3, 5, 7, 10 and 15 yds only.....I've emphasized before.... in feet that is 9, 15, 21, 30 and 45 feet.

At 3, 5, 7 and 10 yds I can and my pistol can, produce very tight groupings that are solidly COM or COF [center of face] as I call it.

Thats all I care about. If I have to shoot someone beyond 45 ft away then it is a most unusual day indeed:).

The .40 is accurate but no round will do it for you.

You must do it yourself.

MoNsTeR
01-21-2010, 18:30
Plenty of hand-built STI-frame USPSA Limited guns, 99% of which are in .40S&W due to division rules, can make a ragged 1" hole at 25 yards. I know mine can.

The specifics of the cartridge don't determine accuracy, at least not in pistols.

FinnFanatic
01-21-2010, 18:35
^
|
This. If I can put 15 out of 15 in COM a 7 yards, that's all the accuracy I need.
If I need to shoot farther than that I'll pull out my 7.62x51

+1:patriot:

bjesse60
01-21-2010, 19:09
Nothing inaccurate about the .40 S&W just not easy for some wussies here to handle thats all ! :whistling:

Hairy
01-21-2010, 19:27
Between a 9mm, .40 and .45, I shoot the .40 the worst due to the snappiness of the round. FYI I shoot a .45 GAP better than any other. :cool:

What? :rofl:

josh21120
01-21-2010, 19:55
In my years of LE experience, both my first hand accounts, and all studies I've read, show MOST handgun fights take place within 6 feet. In these cases, inherent caliber/bullet accuracy has little bearing. Practice with the most damaging round you can manage.

TnShooter83
01-21-2010, 20:25
I shoot the .357Sig more accurate than my .40.
Of all my GLocks, the .40's are the least accurate for me.

The most accurate are the .357Sig G33, and G19.

GIockGuy24
01-21-2010, 22:30
40 S&W can be accurate with fast powders if it's loaded below full pressure. When it's loaded closer to 45 ACP pressures it acts like a different cartridge. Full powder loads have been found to be more accurate in 40 S&W using slower than the fastest powders. This what the load guide is referring to. If you load fast powders load them mild (well below max) and if you want full power and accuracy, load 40 S&W using a slower powder. The ammo companies have known this for a while and have corrected the issue with a factory ammo a long time ago.

SIUC4
01-22-2010, 15:58
I think it all comes down to where your getting your information from. You can find "creditable" sites that say an array of pistol cartridges are the most accurate. For the purposes of most of the people shooting, stand about 15 yards away, if you can hit consistently inside a 12 inch by 12 inch box, your gonna be able to defend yourself quite well with a glock no matter you have 19 shots with a 9mm or 7 with a singlestack 45

Tmygun
01-22-2010, 16:09
I realize that the 40S&W is more than accurate enough for defense work, but my question was in regard to target work. Like how would it compare to other calibers when setting up a Glock with a 3.5lb trigger, adjustable sights, etc., or maybe in a finely tuned 1911. All of this would be at a standard 25yds. My question was really out of curiosity. I wanted to hear from people who have really worked for top accuracy with the 40S&W, not just 7 to 15yd combat use.
I do enjoy reading everyone's opinion though, thanks:wavey:.

Tmygun

English
01-22-2010, 17:33
The reason for the .40S&W was that it provided a biger caliber bullet with more power than a 9mm and would fit into a double stack 9mm frame. The problem that followed was that manufacturers rushed to market with .40S&W pistols which were too close to the 9mm pistols. They tended to start unlocking too quickly and that produced vertical stringing and the belief that the .40S&W cartridge was inaccurate.

Relative to its length the .40S&W is "stubbier" than the 9mm and should therefore have slightly more consistent ignition. Actual evidence from the S&W model 610 revolver is that the .40S&W is extremely accurate and that the 610 might be the most accurate S&W revolver.

In actual use, since the Glock .40S&Ws are the same weight and size as the Glock 9mms, they have more recoil. For most people, that makes them less accurate regardless of their mechanical accuracy. A .40S&W conversion barrel in the G20 should solve this problem as the recoil is reduced a lot relative to the G23.

English

trh53
01-22-2010, 20:44
40S&W has performed well for me.
When I do my part it is very accurate at both 25 and 50 yards.

AustinTx
01-23-2010, 00:31
I think English is right about recoil being the problem.

jsm190
01-23-2010, 03:51
When its fired out of out of my SIG P229 its the most accurate round I fire!!

+1 I consider my Glocks to be "combat accurate" as mine (in .40) will produce a nice compact group every time. However most 1911s I have owned (even 3 1/2" models) will make one ragged hole, so I would believe the .45 to be more accurate. The exception for me was, as quoted the Sig 229 I owned would make one ragged hole with the .40. That is one of the few "kick myself in the butt" guns for trading off.