Tuesday, 01 September 2015 06:01

Stories of the Death of 40S&W are Greatly Exaggerated

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40 ounces – wait - what?

To be honest, when the 40S&W came out in in 1990 I was under-whelmed. I felt that the flexibility of the 10mm was close to ideal and that the 40S&W would never catch on. I actually was a fan of Evan Whildin's of Action Arms Limited (think Uzi) 41 Action Express. Ironically, the 41AE was designed to replicate the 41 Magnum which itself was designed as the “ideal” law enforcement cartridge (according to Bill Jordan et al)

But I was sure wrong about the 40S&W! At the time it seemed to fill in the middle-ground and resolve the great caliber debate: 9mm vs 45ACP, fast vs slow, single-stack vs double-stack mags, light vs heavy. It caught on quickly and like a wild fire among law enforcement and quickly became the dominant round. I can't help but think that the fact that we were under the 1994 high capacity magazine ban limiting capacity helped fuel its popularity – at least in the civilian market.

Despite this, it would take me about a decade of a proven track record to warm up to it. Let's face it – the older I got, the heavier that full size 45 felt.

 

What was once old is new again!

Enter 2014 and the FBI has re-adopted the 9mm (more on that in a minute) and it seems that the internet is a buzz with stories of how the 40 is either dead or dying. More recently I have even seen a trend of where very well-known firearms experts seem to go out of their way to discredit the 40S&W. Not that I necessarily disagree with their reasons or evaluations (there is a pro and con to everything), but I find the sudden upswing of anti-endorsements odd.

Just yesterday I saw a thread where a prominent competition shooter said that he (still) preferred the 40 to the shock of many on the internet. There was a bit of criticism and I was surprised to see him defending his choice and even qualifying it. Gosh folks—he can shoot whatever he likes. I will never understand why anyone cares what someone else uses.

Speaking of what is old is new - consider the possibility of another assault weapons ban. It is a common mantra of anti-gunners' "common sense" legislation. If we were limited to 10 rounds in new pistols again worse (all firearms) would your opinion change? Think that it couldn't happen? Tell me how it couldn't happen for the decade that it did. It is only because of the NRA that there was a 10 year sunset. If not for that clause we would STILL be under its limit (end political rant).

 

Internet declares the 40 S&W in its last days

But I digress, why do I think that the stories of the 40's death are exaggerated?

The biggest reason is that it still holds about 60% of the U.S. Law enforcement market.

That is huge – it means that there are more 40 S&W pistols in service than ALL other calibers COMBINED!

Incidentally, the most popular law enforcement pistol is the Glock 22. Glock civilian sales are completely different and the best seller in the U.S. is the model 19.

 

But the FBI just switched to 9mm so the 40 will die out!

Will it? I was wrong about the switch-over to 40 S&W but this time I am not seeing the massive shift to follow the FBI like we have in the past. Yes, I know that there are some, but not like before.

Seems like the FBI switches standard issue very frequently. From memory I can think of four changes: revolver to 9mm, to 10mm, to 40S&W and now back to the 9mm. I think that most departments would have a hard time justifying the cost of changing calibers so frequently, let alone BACK to one previously used. Today's political environment is also, unfortunately, much more hostile to law enforcement. I feel that there may be a public backlash to “buying the police new guns.” There would definitely be accusations of funding waste.

 

Abandoned FBI rounds just don't die

I also question the belief that a round will die out because the FBI no longer uses it. Historically this simply is not true. None of the rounds that the FBI used formerly have died out! The 38, 357 Magnum, 9mm, 10mm, 40S&W are definitely still popular. For literally YEARS people have been saying that the 10mm was dead. At worst, it is a boutique round even though there were new pistols from Glock this year (who already has a pretty good line of 10's), one from SIG (who has never made one previously) and an expanded line from RIA. Not too bad if you ask me. The 40S&W is even more established than the 10mm ever was.

 

Going down the same road as 41AE and 41Mag?

In fact, of all the rounds discussed I think that the only one that I would say is dead is the 41AE. It was never adopted by any agency and only available from a few providers – in a conversion kit, Tanfoglios and the IMI Jericho. I think ammo only came from UZI/Samson. If you think that the 40 S&W has a bit of kick or is hard on guns the 41AE was worse. I sold my Browning HiPower conversion kit long before it disappeared.

The 41 Magnum has fared a little better – It was adopted limitedly and revolvers are still made. Ammo is still available but far from common place. This is truthfully probably what a lot of people think of (hope?) for the future of the 40 S&W. But, the fact that a very powerful REVOLVER round (significantly more powerful than the 10mm) intended for law enforcement but only adopted by a few agencies (2 or 3?) still exists today is pretty remarkable. Besides Rick (Walking Dead) how many agencies even issue any revolver as a duty sidearm? Maybe some Corrections and Reserves? I think the 40 and 41 Mag comparison is not 1-to-1, but it is noteworthy.

 

Which is better: 9, 40, 45, 50AE? Google!

The 9mm vs 40S&W vs 45ACP vs whatever debates have been hashed to death on the internet. Way too much time and bandwidth is wasted on justifying what the “best” round is. I am not going to engage in each caliber's pros/cons – and every cartridge has BOTH. Google'g will result in a ridiculous amount of material.

 

Some arguments are just not worth participating/Google first!

I do feel that I have to point out a weird caliber argument that I saw yesterday. Someone called the 40S&W “Short & Weak” when compared to the 9mm. Now, when the 40S&W was introduced there were people who called it “Short & Weak” in comparison to its big brother 10mm but using the phrase in a justification of the 9mm over 40S&W is just wacky - check your cartridge dimensions first! I wish I had kept the link to that particular thread. On second thought, I am glad I didn't.

 

My conclusion? Somebody buy me a Wilson (in any caliber)

Carry what you want. They all work...mostly (well, they are all still just pistol rounds). As for the experts – they are not wrong and I respect their opinions (heck, I just bought a Glock 43 as a backup/deep conceal!). I am unsure of the seeming animosity towards the 40 S&W and why there feels like an anti-40 campaign. They are people too and are entitled to their opinion and to buy what they like.

But, like most police departments, I am heavily invested in 40 equipment and ammo. So, my main carry will continue to be 40S&W. Not that I don't think that there are plenty of other reasons to stick with the 40 (it works and I like the boom), but economics alone are a big reason that the 40 S&W won't be going away any time soon.

 


Some reading material if your bored/interested:

History of FBI hand guns - http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2011/8/22/a-history-of-fbi-handguns/

The Forgotten M&P (41Magnum) - http://modernserviceweapons.com/?p=3176

Wikipedia entry for 41AE - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.41_Action_Express
(I wish I had kept some of the AAL promo material on it)

FBI Handgun Wounding Factor Effectiveness - http://gundata.org/images/fbi-handgun-ballistics.pdf
(I know it is a bit dated now, but it is worth reading)

Army opens up possibility of adopting non-9mm - http://kitup.military.com/2014/07/army-40-caliber-fbi-returns-9mm.html
(Not likely, but wouldn't that be funny?)

 

Some folks had some questions about my last post and the passage of Nevada SB175. Mainly folks wondered about what states would be added especially those that had been removed recently: Florida, Utah and Arizona.

Unfortunately, I have no idea. What makes us hopeful is that a number of those states were removed since they were not as restrictive as Nevada:


Two states will be removed from the list of recognized states. They are Utah and Florida. It was determined that these states no longer met the two step test required by Nevada law. Utah’s permit process does not require live fire training that Nevada law requires and Florida changed its permit renewal time from five years to seven years before renewal. These issues were substantially different from Nevada’s law.

http://www.nvsca.com/documents/CCWRecognition2009.pdf

 

But the "at least as restrictive" requirement has been stricken:

Sec. 4.5. NRS 202.3689 is hereby amended to read as follows: 202.3689 1. On or before July 1 of each year, the Department shall: (a) [Examine the requirements for the] Determine whether each state requires a person to complete any training, class or program before the issuance of a permit to carry a concealed firearm in [each] that state . [and determine whether the requirements of each state are substantially similar to or more stringent than the requirements set forth in NRS 202.3653 to 202.369, inclusive.]

How that it is going to be determined and approved by the NV police associations remains to be seen. There is no residency requirement that I saw either, so I am hopeful.

The list may be done July 1, and hopefully be approved quickly if it has not been done already.

I am expecting that it will be published here: http://gsd.nv.gov/FeesForms/Brady/CCW-Permit-Recognition/
Notice that it was last published July 24 so it did take a few weeks to get the final list.

Knocking on wood!

Sunday, 26 October 2014 12:48

Some new stuff coming soon

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I have been getting some inquiries if I am still alive.
I am!!

I have some new things coming up shortly. I am ordering the last few parts to complete my BCM build this week, and have a couple new holsters to review:
BladeTech Eclipse for a S&W 1066 and Scorpius Tactical Defender for a Browning HiPower (I know - some different choices). The Ozarks IWB holster (Glock). I have to order it still, but also the internet famous Raven Concealment Systems (RCS) for a more common Glock.

Also, making plans for upcoming ShowSHOW 2015! It just takes $ :)

 

Saturday, 25 January 2014 06:10

return of the medium frame model 66* 357mag!

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I must of missed this because I boycotted the booth of a certain American revolver company with an & in the name. I do have pictures of me walking by the booth LOL.

But, I just saw that the 4" model 66* medium frame  (think Koff or Kilo)! is returning. That is awesome! The 19 has long been a favorite of mine and I wouldn't mind a stainless. It is a nice brushed matte finish.

I would post a link or a picture, however I don't want to get sued.

 

* possibly a registered trademark of the company that registered it as a registered trademark.

Sunday, 15 December 2013 12:10

They're here! Pair of HRA CMP M1 Garands!

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It has been about 3 months but my two M1 Garands have arrived from CMP! Only one is mine (the other is a gift for someone who deserves one). I am very excited as the M1 Garand is one of the finest weapons ever designed (as someone famous once said). The two that I ordered were H&R Service Grades. I was pleasantly surprised at the nice CMP stamped hard cases that they now come in.

My last Garand was a Springfield Service Grade. To be honest it (at least the wood) was in better shape. However, these two definitely seemed more broken in (smoother) although quite a bit more used. The foreends had a definite darker stain than normal. I am not sure if that is a CMP thing, but I like it.

Anyway, without adieu - some pics...

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I was browsing the Sig website and came across the the P938. It is an oddity in the Sig line like like the P238, at least in the fact that it is a non-traditional (meaning non-1911) single-action. Notwithstanding the P210 which is in a class all in its own.

I am not sure how Sig came along this line (P238 and P938) but I am impressed. There are stories that Sig bought the rights to Colt's Mustang (and equipment) which had been discontinued for years. But, Colt recently reintroduced them so I am not sure if that is true. Although according to Colt they are building them on new CNC machinery.

Anyway, the Mustang (IMO) was an under-rated pistol. A joy to shoot and very popular at training classes with new shooters. Remarkably accurate considering the rudimentary sights. If you like small thin single-action pistols it is great. And unique. Enter the P938! A Mustang scaled up to 9mm! I like it.

It reminded me of the Star FireStar. At the time it was a maligned pistol, but it was far ahead of its time. I regret not getting one. They worked. I found this article http://www.policeone.com/police-products/firearms/articles/6426721-The-SIG-P938-is-reminiscent-of-the-Star-PD/.

The P938 reminded the author of a Star PD. I think that is probably a more accurate assessment based on the lightweight frame. Another pistol way ahead of its time. Star sure built some nice pistols.

Anyway, the Sig P938 is definitely worth considering IMO if you are looking for something small without a 30# DAO trigger pull.

I am LMAO at this news article posted today. I repost it because I am sure at some point they are going to realize the ridiculousness of a kit that converts a "standard gun" into a semi-auto. Or maybe they won't fix it. They clearly don't care about their gun illiteracy or accuracy in reporting. I suspect they meant converting a 10 round magazine back into its standard capacity (more than 10).

Link to Chicago Tribune Article

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct 10 (Reuters) - California Governor
Jerry Brown vetoed several closely watched gun control bills on

Friday, a move that essentially rebuffs an effort by fellow
Democrats to enact a sweeping expansion of firearms regulation
in the most populous U.S. state.

Brown vetoed the strictest bill, which would have classified
any firearm with a removable magazine as an assault weapon,
calling it an "infringement on gun owners' rights." He did,
however sign some new firearms regulations, including a measure
to ban conversion kits used to convert standard guns into
semi-automatics.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

I am laughing, but I am also deeply saddened by how ignorant MSM and reporters are about firearms. Unfortunately, I fear that it is not limited to firearms, and they don't seem to care about accuracy in reporting.

However, in the meantime, where can I get one of those kits to convert my standard gun into a semi-auto?

Saturday, 05 October 2013 10:53

Thoughts on the Springfield XDS recall

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I have been silent on the Springfield XDS recall mainly because it is all over the internet and I have nothing new to say. In general, I find SA's support to be superb. While this may be there first recall (and learning experience) it is not their first XD problem. People have forgotten but the early XD's were plagued with striker breakage (hmm..they were not the only ones with this striker problem) and they had a policy that they would not send out replacements (you had to send the pistol in). This caused me to choose another brand of striker pistol, the S&W M&P (both registered trademarks which I am not affiliated with) which ironically also suffered striker breakage problems. However, S&W (tm) did just send me a replacement striker. SA XD's also had finish problems which led to them using the Melonite process to treat the metal. The date that this occurred is actually somewhere in a post on this blog.

None of this is to detract from Springfield Armory. I am still a huge fan, own their pistols, and find their customer service excellent. In fact, in a blog post here recently the XDS was on my potential buy list. I ended up not getting one because, well, I think they are a little spendy for what they are, and (ironically) too new. Although I haven't gotten it yet the Glock 30 won out for me. Springfield can survive this. Lots of recalls lately- S&W (tm) Shield (tm), Ruger SR9, Walther PPK, etc. Even almighty Glock has had its share of factory "upgrades." I remember sending in my Glock 21, although quite a few years ago. They all have survived.

However, this isn't to say that they handled this recall optimumly. The blog post below is from a current owner and I agree. The blog is also a neighbor :)

http://clarkcountypolitics.blogspot.com/2013/09/how-springfield-armory-is-screwing-up.html

P.S. It is also noteworthy that SA doesn't actually make the pistol. They import them from Croatia. For some reason folks seem to not know this. They are actually made by IM Metal and were originally imported under the name of HS2000. This fact only exacerbates the complexity of coordinating a recall.

Well, it is October and that means that I should buy another handgun. I know that should please Piers Anthony and Jim Carrey immensely. Oh well!

I was recently impressed with Beretta USA's statement that they may move from restrictive Maryland. That ended up not coming to fruition, but they did state that any future expansion would be elsewhere. That is at least a start and is more than some other big East Coast gun companies. It is noteworthy to mention that Magpul & PTR have moved, Kahr & Ruger have moved some operations, and Colt has expanded in Florida.

But I digress. Why the Beretta 92FS/M9? This is prior to blogging but back in 1985-6 I was not a fan. I couldn't believe that the venerable M1911A1 which had served for 75 years and was being replaced by a pistol with undesirable features (my list of cons at the time):

  • big
  • fat
  • 9mm
  • looong heavy double-action
  • slide mounted safety
  • integral front sight
  • open top design
  • complicated (# of parts) design
  • I wasn't a big fan of the 9mm, but if I had to have a 9mm it should be a High Power. I still love the HP, but 9mm ammo has come a long away and a lot of my early criticisms are not a concern to me any longer.

    Well, almost 30 years later I have come to admire the pistol. One has to admit that despite the controversy and "problems" it has served the United States well. When I say problems I mean specifically the Italian metallurgy issues (that brought about the 92F to 92FS) and broken locking blocks. Both these issues appear to be very limited in scope. Compare to other folks recalls lately (hmm...that sounds like another blog post in itself).

    Other "issues" like the effectiveness of 9mm FMJ in combat or bad contract magazines can't really be blamed on the pistol.

    What else changed my mind about the Beretta 92FS? Actually spending some range time with one! First time out with one I was able to qualify marksman with it. I was amazed at how straight shooting they are. The craftsmanship on this particular one was exemplary (it was a 90's Italian if that makes any difference). The pistol operated liked butter - the trigger/hammer although ridiculously long and heavy were superb and everything about it was smooth without grittiness. Pull the action back on one, cock the hammer - no break in required!

    You may have noticed that I am not a big fan of the looong and heavy double-action trigger. At the time I was coming exclusively from the world of 1911s and HiPowers. I didn't like any DA but the Beretta in particular was stood out as excessive. Since then I have a lot more shooting experience with DA pistols and well, have become more proficient with them.

    Ironically, DA-pistols once claimed the pistol thrown and were all the rage, are now out of vogue. In fact, try and find one. There are few made in the world of single-actions and strikers. Take a look at Ruger's offering. Ruger pistols were once dominated with double-action pistols in just about any caliber. Now there are none. The P95 (under-rated IMO) was on there the last time I looked, but must have been recently removed.

    My, how times have changed. When the U.S. Military announced M9 adoption everyone rushed out to buy one - at inflated prices. Now, I called around to find one and the youngster who answered the phone at one shop didn't even know what one was! Forced to looked it up he said that they were discontinued and that all I could get was a compact, INOX (which he had no idea meant stainless slide with silver frame), and M9A1. The 92FS is still in the Beretta catalog, so I hope that they are made. I was bummed that I did not see the Brigadier offered any longer. I don't think the slide beefing up is needed any longer, but I don't see it as a detriment.

    The Beretta 92 was designed in 1972 so it is not that old of a design, at least when compared to the 1911 or the HiPower (adopted in 1911 by the U.S. and 1935 by Belgium respectively). I pick these two pistols because they are were designed by John Browning and influenced almost all small arms pistols that have come since. If it has a tilt barrel, it is based on Browning's designs. Did you know that one of the HiPowr prototypes was a striker pistol? The Beretta 92FS however is completely different and to me that makes it stand out.

    So, what about that list of negatives? Well, they are still there but keep in mind that it is a duty pistol. For me, it will be a range and a nightstand bump in the night pistol and will be perfect. I also suspect that its smooth functioning and non-existent recoil will make it a hit for training new shooters. I still wouldn't considered it as a primary CCW pistol.

    Sometimes, things are worth taking a second look.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013 13:58

High Noon Undertaker Shoulder Holster Review

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I have been wanting to get a new shoulder rig for driving. I currently have a couple, but they are for full-size all-steel pistols and I think that something a little more weight would be more comfortable. I have also been wanting to get another holster for my FNX. I only have the stock (BladeTech) OWB currently.

So, when I saw a close out sale from High Noon with an Undertaker for $70 I jumped at it. Actually, they had Glock 19/23 Under Armor too but I didn't call fast enough the next day. I would have bought that too :) The difference between the two holsters is all leather with hard molded holster vs a synthetic leather like material which is unmolded. I have an Under Armor holster for my S&W (tm)* 1066. It is very leather-like and nice.

*I am not affiliated with the company known as "Smith & Wesson" in any way. It's trademarks are held by whoever they are held by.

Anyway, the Underarmor was a left hand, but they were able to flip the holster portion inside out to make it a right hand. The only difference is that traditionally the smooth side of the leather faces out, while the rough is on inside. In this case it is flipped. This is strictly cosmetic and makes no difference functionally.

I have to say that I am VERY impressed! The holster is very simple in design and quite frankly very well put together. I have only tried a handful of shoulder rigs, with the Galco Miami Classic II being my favorite - at least up until now. The High Noon Under Taker is by far the most comfortable I have worn yet.

I like to wear my holster and mag carrier to ride fairly high up. Galco seems to think that it should ride much lower than I would like and I run out of adjustment. Maybe I am shorter than the average shoulder rig wearer (I am 5'7").

Some observations follow:

High Noon leather quality is very nice, in fact nicer than some other holsters I own. I don't know if it makes any difference but Galco feels like it is sealed or laminated. The High Noon does not and that makes it feel less stiff. Maybe that is why it is more comfortable?

-The High Noon comes with very simple hardware--I like that. The only bulk is from the leather itself.

-The High Noon comes with keepers. VERY VERY nice touch! Since I like the holster/mag carrier to ride up high, there is a lot of extra material.

-The High Noon comes with a lot of notches for adjustment. One pair almost goes up to the top. I found putting that side in the back worked best for me.

-The High Noon's straps are all the same size. Depending on the Galco rig you get this may or may not be true (MC's are the same while the SSII has larger front straps).

-The High Noon mag carrier is drop down. This is similar to the Miami Classic. The Maimi Classic II holds the mags horizontally. I really like (and have gotten use to) this. The horizontal mags are very fast to access. However, the drop down are very secure with the flap. Dual snaps also allow multiple magazine sizes - I tried Glock 23 mags without any problem. Note: Both the MC and MCII can also accomodate mutiple sizes.

Driving with the High Noon was great. Success!
And now some pics. I apologize for the pic quality, my light box accidentally got destroyed in my garage and I have to make a new one. Camera is is my Nokia Lumia cell phone -- I am lazy tonight.

Click on any pic to view the full-size.

Cocked & locked! High Noon gears their holster for hammer down but it works fine.
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Simple hardware works great. They do pivot.
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Straps pivot on the center diamond. Note the keepers - there are four, although only two are visible in the pic.
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Mag crrier
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Mag carrier
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"Selfie" (haha) just to show how I like to position the holster and mag carrier
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