Choosing Sides

To determine whether or not it’s a good deal, we have to look at the prospective buyer. Few experts bought .40s, simply because the cartridge was a compromise between the 9mm and the .45, and generally owning both, we didn’t need to compromise. However, police departments did. During the switch from revolvers to autos, one strong faction wanted the 16-shot 9mms of the period (beginning in the early 1980s) for firepower, while the other faction wanted 8-shot .45s for “stopping power.” S&W and Winchester’s joint introduction of the 12-shot .40 S&W in 1990 “split the difference” exactly and the .40 rocketed to the top of the heap as a police pistol. GLOCK’s swift introduction of their .40 caliber G22 holding 16 rounds made the .40 even more logical a choice.

For people wanting one gun for home and personal defense, they may be well served with the same compromise. The same characteristics that sold the .40 S&W round to the police give it versatility in a couple of different directions for everyone else.