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.40 cal S&W Safe?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/16/2014 at 20:55
mil169 View Drop Down
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I know this info has been out there for awhile know, but I just recently came across it. While talking with a fellow gun buddy at work we wandered onto the topic of .40 S&W. He has a friend that works for a precision rifle maker in Montana, and that while they were having a conversation over various pistol calibers, mentioned that he would never fire a .40 again after having experienced two catostrophic failers himself and his boss having experienced one. All three were with differant guns: glock, smith and wesson xd or xdm and the 3rd I'm not sure of.
 
Why this is pertinent to me is because while employed with the local p.d I carried a G22 and shot literally close to 2000 rounds through it with no significant issues. So, after leaving the p.d, it took a few years but I purchased a gen 4 G23 and have accrued 1300 rounds for it. I also need to put out there, that a number of years ago I had a Stoeger M2000 that exploded while using a light field load. I came out relatively okay, but know being older and wiser don't feel the need to take any unnecessary chances with firearms having experienced the Stoeger. The last thing anyone want to experience is a gun failure to those porportions.
 
I don't remember the exact details, but I know it has something to do with the cartridge design changes that were made while Smith and Wesson developed the cartidge from the 10mm leading to higher chamber pressures and a thinner case wall, thus making them more prone to case failures. I think also with earlier glocks (and maybe others) the angle of the feed ramp cut into the bottom of the chamber leaving more of the casing unsupported and also contributing to failure. Blowing the mag out of grip, splitting the chamber portion of the barrel, ect.
 
So I guess my questions are: does anyone here have more info on the subject and is the consensus that the cartridge is safe to shoot or not?
 
Thanks for the help and thoughts.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2014 at 00:08
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I have absolutely no problem with using the 40S&W with factory loads. I am guessing that the catastrophic failures were with reloads. Reloading the 40 S&W requires another step with the case.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2014 at 00:46
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I have owned Gen 1 and 2 Glock 23's, and currently own a Gen 3 Glock 23.  No issues with any of them.
 
A number of "ka-booms" (i.e., disastrous gun failures) have been reported (and echoed repeatedly) on the internet with respect to the earlier Glock 23's.
 
Gun Tests examined one such incident in their March 1994 issue.  They did gunsmith and metallurgical examinations to determine the cause.  They determined that the pistol in question was structurally sound and not defective.  
 
They concluded that the blow-up was caused by the use of soft lead bullet reloads that led to a continuing lead build-up in the barrel.  As the cumulative lead build-up increased, so did pressures until the gun blew.  The gunsmith noted that "chunks" of lead "could literally be peeled out of the barrel" of the destroyed gun. 
 
A Glock  representative noted that in reloading for the .40 caliber "a stronger engagement of just 0.0197-inch of the bullet into the case may cause the ammo to reach a gas pressure of 5,000 bar, double the permissable pressure".
 
Some reloading manuals (including Richard Lee's Second Edition) have said that their reloads should not be used in Glocks or similar guns that do not fully support the cartridge due to the intrusion of the feed ramp.  I could be wrong, but I believe that Glock has increased the cartridge support in the Gen 3 and Gen 4 guns.
 
The Glock is also said to have a generous chamber (to improve functional reliability) which can expand cases a bit more than desired.  (I prize functional reliability above all else in a gun.)
 
My own conclusion?  We use our semi-autos primarily for defensive purposes.  I shoot them regularly for function and familiarity.  However, I don't shoot them enough to make reloading of this cartridge a necessity.  I simply keep a good supply of factory ammo on hand.
 
I reload for everything BUT the Glock .40 and our pocket semi-autos.  My extensive reloading includes rifles, shotguns, and S&W .357 and .44 magnum revolvers, which are my favorite handguns). 
 
I'm sure other forum members are shooting up a storm with their Glocks, and can give you some excellent thoughts on their reloading recommendations.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2014 at 00:49
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Glocks do not have full chamber support. If u ever look at your fired brass u can see the slight bulge in the brass. So theoretically that could be a failure point in the brass. Especially with reloads. Lee makes a tool that will fix that bulger That being said i had two glock 23s and shot over 5000 rounds with one of them and around 2000 with the other. No issues. I did buy a fully supported barrel for one of them, just cause. And i shot a lot of reloads. I know a guy who had a glock 22 with 40,000 rounds shot out of it.

The xds have a fully supported chamber so that issue should not be of concern. I have had and xd .40 with around 2000 rounds, two xdm .40s one with IIRC around 7000 rounds the other around 2000 rounds. A XDm .40 compact with about 1000 rounds. No issues with any of them.

Also with glocks and the poly rifling barrel if you shoot lead bullets or copper washed bullets they foul worse and can cause kabooms.

I have shot a lot of .40s and never had a single issue like that. So i don't buy it.

I no longer own any .40s. My wife preferred the 9mm so swapped my .40s for several 9s. If its a concern to u just shoot 9s. Realistically the .40 is not going to do anything a 9 wont do. They both suck ballistically and should just be used to fight your way to a rifle. :)

Edited by supertool73 - June/17/2014 at 00:59
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2014 at 06:06
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:



They both suck ballistically and should just be used to fight your way to a rifle. :)

Evil Black Rifle Egg-xactly!! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2014 at 09:12
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

. Realistically the .40 is not going to do anything a 9 wont do.

I disagree with that statement, but understand its premise.

KE = 1/2 M(VxV)

On the 40 cal, I have no worries, but I don't shoot reloads.  As said before, lead bullets and polygonal rifling do not play well together.

Lastly, I shoot mostly +P rounds and am a bit more discerning on what 40-cal I carry.  

Carry on.
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mil169 View Drop Down
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I'm not sure if any of the failures that I was told about were with reloads or not. I was under the impression that they were a factory load. All of the rounds that I have on hand for my G23 are FMJ (either Remington UMC or Winchester white box).
Not that I have any problem with glocks, but is there a pistol that someone would feel better about shooting the .40 out of, other than a glock?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2014 at 18:07
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No a Glock would be just fine. And if someone says yes to that question. I would say that it is a personal preference. Nothing more.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2014 at 18:08
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

. Realistically the .40 is not going to do anything a 9 wont do.

I disagree with that statement, but understand its premise.

KE = 1/2 M(VxV)

On the 40 cal, I have no worries, but I don't shoot reloads.  As said before, lead bullets and polygonal rifling do not play well together.

Lastly, I shoot mostly +P rounds and am a bit more discerning on what 40-cal I carry.  

Carry on.


Not trying to be difficult, but then why not a 357Sig or a 10mm then?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2014 at 18:46
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I believe Urimaginaryfrnd carries the Glock 23, he may weigh in soon.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2014 at 19:30
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I cannot comment on the 40 Short & Week in the Glock. But my G20 has handled the heaviest hunting loads up to 200 grain with zero problems in 20 years.
Ditto on lead bullets and they wont see my Glocks or HKs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2014 at 20:10
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For many years I was not a plastic gun fan and did not own Glocks.  About 12 yrs ago they became the issue sidearm in Gen 3 Glock 22. One of my good friends had a Gen 1 glock and is a Glock Armorer and he had a failure with the Gen 1 pistol and Winchester factory ammo at which time Glock replaced his pistol.  He was also one of the people who originally tested the M9 for Army and his fell apart slide came off somewhere around 5000 rounds. Anything mechanical can fail.  Your best choice with Glock is factory ammo. That said I just cant quite stand to see piles of brass simply recylced for metal and I do reload 40 S& W using 155 gr jacket hollow points only on a Dillon 650 progressive loader. Before I get there I single stage resize and de prime in a RCBS Rockchucker then clean primer pocket and run them through a second sizing die that pushes the brass all the way through because glocks do have an unsupported chamber and a regular resize die will not size the bottom 1/16 inch or so of the case.  So my brass has run through two different resize dies before it ever goes into the Dillon 650. These reloads are close to max grains Power Pistol and are smoking hot as in I can tell the difference between them and ball target ammo.  I dont shoot a lot of them but I do have a lot of them and they have worked reliably in my Glock 35 as for my Glock 22 and my Glock 23 I rarely shoot anything but factory ball and Winchester Silvertip 155gr ammo but I only shoot those to check sights.  No failures yet on ammo but I dont mix beer and reloading.  Some calibers I enjoy loading like .357 38  44 .308 45-70 300 WSM and others I load out of necessity and dont really enjoy loading  .45acp 40S&W 375H&H 30-06 .223 and a few I simply will not load 7.62x39 and 40 S& W used to fall in this group untill I had too much brass and ammo became harder to find.  Loading 40 S&W and doing it properly is a huge pain in the ass overall length is very important consistency is critical.  Loading for a revolver is a Joy in comparison.
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So basically to put this horse to bed, the consensus seems to be that factory FMJ ammo out of the glock would be perfectly safe and no reasons to believe otherwise. I was thinking of trying to sell the gun and the ammo and getting a 9mm. But I'm having a hard time finding someone to purchase the ammo and the gun. I've had a few offers for the gun only, but I won't sell that without getting rid of most of the ammo.
So I guess I'll just keep it until I can get some of my ammo shot up, and look at getting something differant then.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2014 at 22:21
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before deciding go to this web site and search, these guys shoot tens of thousands 40 reloads, (each shooter)

http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showforum=73


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2014 at 07:56
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IF you're truly still worried about the 40, buy a different barrel and convert it. Simplest would be the 357sig, mags will still work with it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2014 at 08:09
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or stay with the 40 and get a rifled replacement barrel with more meat in the support area.

Have had 2- 23's, STI and currently have run a model 35 for 20000 rounds with standard barrel with no problems. About 100,000 rounds total over a period of when glock first started making them. just hard cast bullets. IPSC and IDPA. just use the slower burning pistol powders WSF, universal etc.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2014 at 08:13
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40 was not designed from the 10mm, it uses a small primer and the web area is much stronger than a 10.  (have a 21 and a Delta in 10).  a 40 with a 200 gr seated out in a 10 mm 1911 mag will make major easily with no problems.
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the basic idea came from the .41 AE  (action express).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2014 at 10:48
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Originally posted by Sparky Sparky wrote:

No a Glock would be just fine. And if someone says yes to that question. I would say that it is a personal preference. Nothing more.

Agreed, "personal preference". It is difficult for me to get use to the plastic gun concept. As has been stated they have proven to last and preform thru thousands of rounds. But I choose to deal with the extra weight of full frame guns. That being said you might consider the Beretta Cougar in 40. You can get one pretty reasonable on Gunbroker and they function very well. As with any brand you will hear of problems but many problems I see in my shop with all makes are due to neglect or being poorly maintained. I carried a Cougar 40 for awhile because my 357 sig had been stolen. Finally found a 357 sig to replace it and let a buddy talk me out of the 40. I too had over a 1000 rds with it but let him make payments on the ammo. As far as cal. 9mm, 40, 357 sig. with the ammo that is available today the are all reasonable choices. I have 9's and even a CZ82 9X18 that I feel are very adequate in my defense. But that is due to the quality of defense type ammo and my confidence in my abilities to put a round where it needs to be.

Good luck in your decision.

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Originally posted by Sgt. D Sgt. D wrote:

Originally posted by Sparky Sparky wrote:

No a Glock would be just fine. And if someone says yes to that question. I would say that it is a personal preference. Nothing more.

Agreed, "personal preference". It is difficult for me to get use to the plastic gun concept. As has been stated they have proven to last and preform thru thousands of rounds. But I choose to deal with the extra weight of full frame guns. That being said you might consider the Beretta Cougar in 40. You can get one pretty reasonable on Gunbroker and they function very well. As with any brand you will hear of problems but many problems I see in my shop with all makes are due to neglect or being poorly maintained. I carried a Cougar 40 for awhile because my 357 sig had been stolen. Finally found a 357 sig to replace it and let a buddy talk me out of the 40. I too had over a 1000 rds with it but let him make payments on the ammo. As far as cal. 9mm, 40, 357 sig. with the ammo that is available today the are all reasonable choices. I have 9's and even a CZ82 9X18 that I feel are very adequate in my defense. But that is due to the quality of defense type ammo and my confidence in my abilities to put a round where it needs to be.

Good luck in your decision.



I am fine with the plastic gun concept and have several. But my "personal preference" for a 40 cal is my Sig P229 followed closely by my Sig P226.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2014 at 19:43
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I too have a Sig P229 DA/SA in .40. I changed out the grips to the Hogue G-10 "G-Mascus" Piranha grips because they're thinner, have good "dimpling" on the back strap, and they're much "grippier" overall. Otherwise, it's bone stock. Never had any issues with any ammo I've ever shot with it, and I don't even clean it all that religiously. It's digested somewhere in the neighborhood of 8,000 rounds with no hiccups.
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Originally posted by mil169 mil169 wrote:

So basically to put this horse to bed, the consensus seems to be that factory FMJ ammo out of the glock would be perfectly safe and no reasons to believe otherwise. I was thinking of trying to sell the gun and the ammo and getting a 9mm. But I'm having a hard time finding someone to purchase the ammo and the gun. I've had a few offers for the gun only, but I won't sell that without getting rid of most of the ammo.
So I guess I'll just keep it until I can get some of my ammo shot up, and look at getting something differant then.
Here is the no bullsh*t version - You are worried for no reason Your pistol is Gen 4 keep it shoot it enjoy it  ( I have one just like it)   buy winchester silvertip hollowpoint 155 gr for carry ammo shoot the ball rounds for practice. If you simply can not  get comfortable with the pistol sell it and buy a pistol you trust better  - preferably H&K or Sig Im sure that you can trade ammo with someone else if you select a different caliber - either on here if they live close enough to do face to face or at a gun show etc. The aftermarket barrel is also a fix if you intended to shoot cast lead bullets you simply drop in a barrel with traditional rifling.    However: the polygon bore works fine for jacketed bullets.  You also can buy a 9mm barrel and 9mm mags and shoot 9 out of the same Glock 23  pistol on the days you dont want to run it as a 40 but you can still keep the 40 barrel and 40 ammo and have it both ways.  I virtually always carry a 40 S&W Glock on days that I dont its a 1911 or a S&W 44mag.
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

I too have a Sig P229 DA/SA in .40. I changed out the grips to the Hogue G-10 "G-Mascus" Piranha grips because they're thinner, have good "dimpling" on the back strap, and they're much "grippier" overall. Otherwise, it's bone stock. Never had any issues with any ammo I've ever shot with it, and I don't even clean it all that religiously. It's digested somewhere in the neighborhood of 8,000 rounds with no hiccups.


I did the exact same thing with my P229. Except I went with black. Also did you know that not only are the G10 grips thinner, they also shorten the reach to the trigger. And at some point in the future I will send it to Gray Guns to have their action job done on it and have them install their intermediate trigger (Shorter trigger.). I had them do an action job on my P228 and my P226. Their action jobs are nothing short of incredible. I had no idea you could make the trigger that nice. All my P series Sigs will have their action job done to them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/07/2014 at 18:02
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There is an excellent article on reloading the .40 S&W Glock by Brian Pearce in the October-November 2014 issue of Handloader magazine.  It certainly contains some information I hadn't run across before.
 
I would classify Handloader and Rifle magazines as perhaps a step above our regular shooting magazines in terms of "graduate level" information.  If you haven't checked them out, you might want to
 
 
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