Ok, somebody school me on the 40 caliber round. What's the difference between a 38 special round and a 40 cal round? Don't just say "two". I've got a 38, I've got a 9mm, I've got a 45 auto; so what's so special about a 40 cal that someone had to invent it? What am I missing? How does it fit in? Where does it fit in between a 9mm, 38, and 45 auto?
I believe the 40 cal was developed after a couple of cops and FBI agents were shot and killed in a shootout with suspects armed with mini 14's and ballistic vests. The officers were carrying 9mm and 38 specials which weren't strong enough to stop the suspects. So the FBI developed new more power bullets including the 40 and 10mm.
the .40s&w is a child of the 10mm auto. the purpose of the 10mm was to provide lots of energy in a smaller container than the bulky .45
they did it, the 10mm dose have more energy than the .45, due to its slightly lighter bullets, but MUCH higher muzzel velocities. the 10mm is best compared to the .41 magnum in terms of energy.
however, this energy has a price. newton told us a long time ago that every action has a complete and opposite reaction... in the instance of firing a waepon that reaction is called recoil/muzzel blast.
some individuals cant handle heavy recoil and muzzel blast from handguns, so the 10mm was down sized to what we know today as the .40 S&w.
it is often considerd the middle ground between the .45 and the 9mm.
it is an exelent caliber.
hard working private first class in the United States Marine Corps.
Originally Posted by shift_grind
It's threads like this that make me wonder why people lift there jeeps
its comments like this that make me wonder why some people are jerks.
I have a .38 special revolver and a springfield XD-40 pistol. I find the .40 easier to shoot, it has less recoil and makes less noise. Basically, the bullets weigh slightly more than a .38 and travel faster, delivering more energy and thus doing more damage to what you are shooting (~450 ft-lbs for the 40 vs ~325 ft-lbs for the 38). They are smaller than .45, so the same size gun can hold more rounds than a typical .45, but holds less than a 9mm gun of the same size will hold. In short, it's a darned good compromise between damage inflicted and round capacity. Oh, and they are more than .02 more than a .38, as a .38 bullet is actually .357 in diameter (or 9mm.)
in agreeance with pretty much everything said above
in general off the shelf it does pan out .38spc / 9mm / .40 / .45 / 10mm
given the same grain bullet and powder load the 38spc and 9mm are nearly identical - one of the reasons why the .38spc slowed down in advancement versus the 9mm - given they were birthed at roughly the same time is that a majority of 38spc revolvers wouldn't withstand 9mm chamber pressures and the overall design that 9mm was pointed to auto's rather than revolvers
you can hand load a 38spc to stomp a 9mm, the 38spc with the longer brass has more capacity for powder by a hair, and capable of supporting a heavier projectile - that being said.. it goes back to most modern revolvers at the time wouldn't like those chamber pressures in part because they were still being based off of blackpowder style tooling - plus the additional recoil, and still a limited capacity versus frame/cyl size for rounds
so the 9mm took off - faster projectile, lighter.... projectile, more penetration less kinetics in general but still roughly equal to that of the 38spc with higher mag capacities but neither really have clear cut advantages in overall takedown throughout a wide spectrum of circumstanes
So either way you went with the .38spc / 9mm you were making trade-offs to gain what you wanted - trade-offs in combat will often bite you in a bad way
thus the 10mm/.40 development era mentioned above
you can akin the 10mm to a very punched up design of a .38spc , heavy round, bunch of powder and low mag caps and something in between the 9mm chain of thought, you get the .40 with slightly lower grain projectile with slightly less powder and substantially higher mag caps and a ton easier to handle with non-gorilla hands
the ballistics gel will tell you a lot about the characteristics of all 4 of these rounds, the .38spc generally being subsonic on impact (and typically subsonic from the breach - particularly during that era) does it's thing in a very straight forward manner
the 9mm while super sonic in general (during that era) from the breach to the target doesn't have quite enough kinetic due to low projectile mass to do what's visually seen as a kinetic flip or tumble or high fragmentation multi-channel path - best i can think of that has that characteristic in a low projectile mass is the 5.56 which has a slight tumble, and fragments
the .40 very similar in ballistics to the .45 with higher mag cap per weight and the 10mm just sort of went ridiculous with it
so basically everything from the .9mm up - generally speaking, is going to be more bearing on which one your hands and carry characteristics suit the best with the .38spc being put back into the mix if you're talking revolvers
entirely not saying you can't get a .38spc auto, because you can, but it does substantially limit your options in comparison
.38spc still stands as a backup in many service areas, but didn't make the 12" penetration cut the FBI set, the 9mm did, thus phased out for the most part
all that mush being said, there's a lot more to a loadout than velocity and grains - if you're running a snubbed revolver and plan on putting more than 1 or 2 rounds on target with much a degree of accuracy you probably won't run the hottest round you can stuff in it :P
so barrel length becomes fairly important, and having the rounds encased in the grip versus above your index finger gives the auto an inherent advantage along with the kinetic transfer to the slide which can either be seen as loss, or gain.. all on how you look at it really
Sorry.. I think I drank an extra cup of coffee or three..
(LOL'ed at the above post, didn't see that as I was posting -- I personally wouldn't want to be standing in front of any of them .. but the 10mm will kill you twice.. I mean.. you won't even see any virgins in heaven.. hell.. the virgins will probably just die from the concussion wave)
by the way, I was surprised no one brought up the 9mm short.. er.... .380 - because in technical aspects it goes .380(9mm short), 9mm(9x19lug) then switches to a side generation .38spc which was retooled from .38LC? but it just doesn't pan out that way - in europe the .38spc is a 9x29R
.38 special you can rock into the night while the other you can kill someone with??
Yeah, I get it; there's just something about 70s/80s classic/southern rock. Marshal Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, Allman Brothers, Hank Williams Jr., etc. Makes you want to plug in a cassette tape (remember those?) and just drive somewhere.
10mm came along (45 is 11mm...) as said above. 10mm was very potent. To lower the oomph, they chopped the casing down. and the .40 was born.
any of them, a .22 rifle and a 7.62 of just about any flavor and you're set for life .. well.. throw a shotgun in there somewhere between a 20g and a 12
if it's smaller than your dog.. get the .22
if it flys get the shotgun
if it's bigger than you get the rifle
if it potentially shoots back grab any of them I don't care just shoot first and most effectively
You are welcome to stand downrange and hold a paper target while I touch off 13 rounds in your direction. Then you can wisecrack about the .40 S&W all you want.
The .40 has been proven to be an accurate and effective round. Most Law Enforcement Agencies have switched to the .40 S&W from 9mm, or are in the process of switching. The reason why, is better performance.
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