5" vs. 4.25" barrel in .40 - Which to get?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by TheDreadnought, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. TheDreadnought

    TheDreadnought

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    So I want to get a new .40 pistol. The intended use is SHTF pistol/range fun. I'm not worried about concealment.

    I'm thinking I want to get the new M&P 2.0, but I'm torn between the 5" long slide, and the 4.25" regular length.

    What are the advantages of the 5" (which I would have to wait for in black) vs. the 4.25" (which is available now.) What I was thinking the advantages were are:

    - Less recoil
    - Less blast
    - More bullet velocity = greater damage to the target
    - Longer sight radius for more accurate shooting at longer distances

    Are these assumptions all true? What do you guys recommend?
     
  2. SpringerTGO

    SpringerTGO

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    I don't think recoil or blast will be much different. The loss of velocity is pretty minimal too. The sight radius might make a difference, depending on you.
    I shoot my 4.25" Nighthawk a little better than I do my 5" TGO1, as do my friends.
     

  3. Genso

    Genso Millennium Member

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    Unless all pf your SHTF scenarios involve open carry, maybe concealability should be a factor.

    Size and weight should always be considered.

    Shorter sight radius can mean faster sight alignment.

    Longer barrel could mean less muzzle blast ... but depending on the ammo those extra fps could conceivably also kick a 180 gr bullet over the speed of sound resulting in a suoer sonic crack and louder shot.

    Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
     
  4. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    I have often found shorter to be better and almost never found longer to be better, except for slow, long-range accuracy.
     
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  5. TheDreadnought

    TheDreadnought

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    I have options for concealment already. This is the open carry option.
     
  6. TheDreadnought

    TheDreadnought

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    Huh. . . sounds like you guys really aren't fans of longslides. I always just assumed longer was better. But not owning a longslide I didn't have a comparison to make.
     
  7. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Except for possibly concealed carry I don't think the 3/4 inch would make any difference.

    Personally I have a thing about short, smallish guns, so I'd get the 4.25, for no real reason.
     
  8. treg

    treg

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    I find the longslides to be well balanced and very shootable. To me the 4 1/4" (+/-) barrel is a poor compromize between a compact and a full size pistol.
     
  9. Taco Junkie

    Taco Junkie Practically a saint

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    I have XDm 5" and it's the gun I'm most accurate with compared to my other, shorter barreled 9s (Sig, HK, Glock)
     
  10. Kalmah

    Kalmah Supreme Member

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    Full-sized guns aren't really practical for me since subcompacts are what get carried 99% of the time. So if I'm going to have a full-sized gun just for fun at the range, I might as well get a big one since I personally find long slides to be more fun to shoot.

    I was always on the fence with .40 caliber, never really warmed up to my G23. Then I got a G35, which is a real pleasure to shoot, and now I have renewed interest in the .40.

    I also just acquired an M&P9 Pro with a 5" barrel. No practical reason for me to have it, just thought it would be a fun range toy... and it is. I like it better than my 4.25" M&P.

    If size isn't a concern for you, go with the longer barrel.
     
  11. Star7

    Star7

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    I have compared velocity of some of the cheaper ball loads between a G35, G22 and a Kahr K40 and pm40. I was surprised that the velocity did not drop more than it did. Maybe 60fps from G35 to pm40. Shootability was, of course, another issue.
     
  12. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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    In terms of :
    - Less recoil
    - Less blast
    - More bullet velocity = greater damage to the target--

    The difference between a four and one quarter inch barrel and a five inch barrel will be negligable.

    Theoretically you lose or gain approximately 50 fps difference for each inch of barrel. But in the real world there is often a 50fps difference or more between any two barrels of the same length. Rifled gun barrels are very sensitive to small differences in manufacturing tolerances resulting in some barrels having tighter tolerances and others having differences in internal smoothness and uniformity.

    I once chronographed a 2 1/2 inch Ruger speed six and a six inch S&W model 66 on the same day with the same ammo and the velocity of the shorter Ruger barrel was within 25 feet per second of the longer Smith and Wesson barrel. The fact is that some guns have "fast" barrels and some guns have "slow" barrels and most guns are somewhere in between.

    So theoretically might gain or lose between 35 or 40 feet per second for 3 quarters of an inch of barrel length or quite possible the differences between the two individual barrels might be more or less but you'd have no way of knowing unless you were able to chronograph both guns with the same ammo.

    And if you want more velocity there's plenty of choices from the different ammo manufacturers. the average velocity for 180 grain bullets from most manufacturers is between 900-1000 fps while Double tap, Buffalo bore, and Underwood are all around 1100fps/484 fpe.
     
  13. BuckyP

    BuckyP Lifetime Member

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    That's NOT what "she" said. :tbo:
     
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  14. Glock 23 Nutter

    Glock 23 Nutter

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    Tough call.

    Tend toward 4" .40/180 gr. and 5.3" .357SIG/147 gr.

    The cartridge was designed for the 4" Barrel, and, as mentioned, the 180 gr. load is subsonic from it.

    And, the G23.4 fits my hand like a piece of molding clay.

    That said, a G35 would be very nice, and have shot the 5" XD in .40 and liked it.

    Good luck.




    Nutter
     
  15. DHart

    DHart

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    TheDreadnought... I understand that this is not going to be among your carry guns. If you're well-squared for shorter-barrel versions, I'd go with the 5" for some variety and the pleasure of shooting a longer slide pistol..

    Why? Because the longer barrel versions tend to shoot flatter - that extra out-front weight really makes the gun feel more luxurious when shooting.

    With my P320 40 at 4.75" and M&P40 with 4.25", I do notice the extra barrel/slide giving a more controlled, flatter shooting experience, which I really enjoy.

    So, velocity, blast, and sighting radius differences be damned... I flat out like the feel of shooting a long slide pistol! It's great!

    If I were you, I'd go for the 5" version - as long as you have your shorter carry versions well-squared away.

    [​IMG]

    My 4.25" M&P40 is one of my MOST preferred defense pistols, so I have no doubt that the 5" M&P40 2.0 will be a really exceptional pistol, indeed! Go for it!!!

    Ultimately, of course, only you can make the decision and only you will enjoy the result.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  16. moeman

    moeman

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    40 ... 4" is my answer.

    In fact, 4" handgun is a sweet spot... even in +p or magnums...
     
  17. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Get whichever one makes you content and gives you the most enjoyment for your buck.

    The .40 S&W was designed around a 4" barrel, and the caliber has been described as being a caliber least affected by minor velocity differences (among the major defensive calibers).

    Theoretically, if you gain/lose upwards of perhaps 50fps per inch of barrel change, consider that 50fps is often an acceptable variance for a stated velocity spec in ammunition. (Like the 135gr JHP ,40 load specified by the BP for a while, where the contract specs called for 1200fps, with an allowable +/- of 50fps.)

    If it's going to be a range/leisure gun, and you just like the 3/4" longer slide/barrel, even if it provides minimal (or no) particular significant ballistic advantage, wait for one to be released and enjoy.

    The choice has to please and satisfy you, and nobody else.
     
  18. Glock 23 Nutter

    Glock 23 Nutter

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    I would tend to think that, for that round, Portability and Sight Radius would be the defining issues.




    GR