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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is NOT a caliber war thread. I have done a few searches and come up empty handed. Just wondering if anyone has seen any info on why they designed a new cartridge vs going with the 45?
 

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I don't think it was as much a matter of choosing the 40 over the 45 as it was a matter of them just not even considering the 45 in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't think it was as much a matter of choosing the 40 over the 45 as it was a matter of them just not even considering the 45 in the first place.
Thanks. That is what I was wondering. Just something that popped in my head the other day that I haven't seen much discussion on.
 

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Mainly capacity and recoil, I believe. It started when they downloaded the 10mm and found the ballistics and capacity acceptable in the S&W 10mm's.
 

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The FBI didn't "choose" .40; at the time of their caliber search, the round did not even exist; based on their needs, the cartridge was essentially developed for them;

They looked at .45, but they found that of the few DA/SA .45 pistols available at the time, most were too large for the hands of small agents (which in reality meant female agents); they explored the 10mm, but the recoil was a bit too stiff, so experimenting in down-loading the round began, ending in the .40 S & W round that we have today.
 

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This is NOT a caliber war thread. I have done a few searches and come up empty handed. Just wondering if anyone has seen any info on why they designed a new cartridge vs going with the 45?
After the Maimi shoot out they wanted a new, hot load. The 10mm couldn't be handled by most Federal agents, hense the download to the .40.

Why didn't they then just go back to the .45? Did you ever hear of a Federal agency admit to a mistake?

Also, check into how many special ops. did go back to the .45 !!!!

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
ranger and Rob-Thanks. That is about the thoughts I had on the subject. I knew the cartridge didn't even exist. That is why it seemed odd to me that they would go to the trouble of designing a whole new cartridge and firearm vs adopting an already existing, and successful round.

It's easy to believe that they felt the need to develop something new instead of admitting that the original choice wasn't optimal. I am also aware that the tactics in the shootout played a bigger role in it's failure than the 115gr. Silvertip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Also, check into how many special ops. did go back to the .45 !!!!
This is one of the things that got me interested. It's my understanding that the FBI SWAT team members use 1911's. Just made me wonder whether the platform or caliber made the decision on that.
 

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I agree with previous posts.
Understand the FBI starts out it's agents with 40 S&W.
And If they can't qualify with 40 S&W they are given a 9mm.
 

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I had to leave, so I didn't really finish my last post. You have to consider the decision in context. We had just recently transitioned from revolvers to 9mm semi-autos because LE wanted more capacity. However, outside of major cities, LE used .357 mag., rather than .38 spl, so the 9mm was a huge step down in power. The FFBI went looking for more power and the clear choice was 10mm - power more like the ,357 and well beyond the .45, and more capacity than the ,45. Unfortunately, they found the wrist of the average FBI agent is much too limpp for 10mm and they started scaling back the power of their ammo. Turns out, if you don't need all that powder behind the bullet, you can put the same bulllet in a shorter case and put it in a gun the same size as a 9mm. When you have all sorts of LE with 9mm holsters and mag pouches and females who want a smaller grip than 10mm/.45 pistols, .40 S&W was the obvious choice.

So, if 10mm had not existed, they would never have taken the "big step up, little step back" route to the ,40. If the choice had been 9mm vs. .45, they might have gone ..45 and many agencies would have followed. I'm not sure if another cartridge would have eventually been developed anyhoow, but it would have taken longer to get there, if it was.
 

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Because it's the best of both worlds without the need of a big honkin gun and it does what it does rather well.

(Not to mention it pisses off the .45 and 9mm crowd because it does what it does so well!)

As I said, the .40 is the best of both worlds. (For those that aren't too much of a:cat: to handle the atrocious recoil!)

:tongueout::tongueout:
 

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I use .357sig because it pisses off the .40 crowd too.:whistling:
 

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And yet more and more departments are going back to 9s because it works as well as anything.

Meh.
 

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I use .357sig because it pisses off the .40 crowd too.:whistling:
It doesn't piss me off. It actually makes me laugh. 357 Sig was the only way a 9mm could ever be equal with the .40!

:tongueout::tongueout:

:rofl:
 

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I use .357sig because it pisses off the .40 crowd too.:whistling:
357 Sig = 9mm +P+ and a bit more. All that to get a 9mm to do what the .40 and .45 can do without all that velocity dependence.

:whistling:

:rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Folks, please don't turn this into a caliber debate. This was just something that I thought about the other day that doesn't seem to have been discussed much.

I've heard the story of the 40's creation a thousand times. It just seems odd to me that the 45 never seems to get mentioned in that whole selection process.
 

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Yes as stated previous. One real issue they had was not nessassarly that the agent could not physically handle the gun in 10mm but that qualifying went right in the toilet due to the recoil. People started having all manner of flinching, anticipating the recoil, jerking the trigger issues. Just a little to much and the .40 S&W came to be. Second shot placement times also suffered. You have to keep in mind many LEO's only look at firearms as a tool of the trade. They are not generally "Gun People" like some of us nuts on here.
 
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