Looking for advice on a good 40

Discussion in 'Autoloaders' started by DAHoyle, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. DAHoyle

    DAHoyle Member

    Sep 29, 2019
    Anyone have a recommendation on a good 40 cal. I have managed to acquire several thousand casings, and I am toying with the idea of picking up a new pistol. I am not really interested in a 1911 in that caliber. Some might disagree, but I think a 1911 "needs" a longer cartridge to feed correctly. I know they work in most cases, but I know of a few that are absolutely horrible. One in particular has been back to Springfield Armory several times, and still has trouble every time it is fired.

    I am more interested in a pistol designed and built around the cartridge. Ideally, a DA/SA.
    Really considering the Sig2022, but only know what I have seen in reviews.

    Before anyone suggests it, I am sort of ruling out the Glocks right now. Nothing against them, just can't get into them.

    Any others out there worth considering, Springfield, S&W, etc. I would even consider a revolver, but the 610 is really too big. No reason to go to an N frame for 40 cal. If I went with an N frame, might as well go with 44 Mag.
  2. nikerret

    nikerret Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2019
    The Sig 229 was built for the 40 S&W. It is very similar to the Sig 226, which was adapted to accept 40 & 357 Sig. My first Duty Gun was a Sig 226R DA/SA in 40 with a Streamlight M3 taclight. It never missed a beat. After switching agencies, my duty gun was then a G22. I missed the Sig P-series, so I bought a 229, in 40. I sold it a few years later. Recently, I had a hankering to get back into Sig. I found a 226R DAK in 40 and bought it. Before my FFL received it, I saw a great deal on a 226 DA/SA 357 Sig (also came with a 40 barrel) that included eleven mags. The DAK came in rough, but cleaned up very nicely. The DA/SA looks like it was barely used.

    One thing that sucks with the 226/229 is the mags are similar and both hold the same number of rounds (12 in 40), but the 229 mags are slightly shorter. You can use 226 mags in a 229, but not the other way.

    Here is a graphic comparing the two Sig P-series, which I snagged from:


    Another good 40 is the FNX-40 or FNS-40. These use the same mags (14 rounds, in 40) just a different firing system and slightly different slides and frames. The X is a DA/SA, the S is striker fired. These FNH pistols were some of the first to come out with fully ambidextrous controls. These are no longer made, last year FN came out with a new “duty” line. One cool thing about the FNX is it can be carried cocked and locked, similar to a 1911.

    I have the most of and the vast majority of training with Glock. Since that’s what I was issued from 08/2008, until recently, I dedicated my time and effort to being as good as I could be, on the weapon system I was most likely to use. The only caliber I was ever issued was 40, in a sidearm. They just work and they pack the most rounds into the most compact package.

    I’ve shot the Springfield Armory XD, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. Same with the S&W M&P series, I hated the trigger, though I did like the round grip.

    CZ has a couple of good contenders, but I’ve only handled them, never shot.
    gps man, ronin11, blamo and 1 other person like this.

  3. Patrick Taylor

    Patrick Taylor Yes, I own a dremel tool.

    Nov 7, 2011
    5 inch M&P 2.0 with thumb safety , same size and controls in the same location as a gov't model.

    Used LE mags available cheap as is around 12 bucks each depending on the sale. Conversion barrels available for .357 sig and 9mm and parts available from Brownells and Midwest Gun Works
  4. Dryheat

    Dryheat Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2019
    My issue gun was the 229 right after the FBI adopted the .40 and it was foolproof. Never experienced a failure. I have both the 229 and an HK USP Compact, both with .40 and .357 Sig barrels. IMO both are great handguns and barrels aren’t expensive if you want the added flexibility of dual calibers.
    ronin11 and blamo like this.
  5. Zippy

    Zippy старая каза Supporting Addict

    May 14, 2016
    LOL I'm sure you'll see the vast majority here disagree with you on that, as it is a completely and utterly ridiculous statement.

    The first thing you need to understand is that the design is nearly 110 years-old. If it was unreliable and needed 'a longer cartridge to feed correctly' then how can you explain the success and continued popularity of the 1911? I carried a Colt for 6 years on active duty in the US Army. I trusted my life with it.

    The second thing you need to realize is that not all 1911's are created equal. The difference between a $600-800 Springfield and a $3500 Guncrafter/Nighthawk/Wilson Combat is, literally, like night and and day in terms of build quality and inherent reliability. I've heard some goofy things before but, to characterize all 1911's as unreliable because of one you know that has had issues has gotta be one of the goofiest things ever posted in this forum.

    .40 S&W is deader than dead and has been (for awhile) ever since the FBI and countless other PD's in the USA have switched from .40 back to 9mm. Personally, I wouldn't hit a dog in the ass with a .40 but, that's just me.
    Uncle Bob and retrieverman like this.
  6. DAHoyle

    DAHoyle Member

    Sep 29, 2019
    I don't care how old the gun is. The 1911 and the 45 auto cartridge were designed to work with each other. The 40 isn't much shorter, but it is shorter.
    Why do you suppose Colt introduced the 38 Super instead of using the 9mn that had been around since before the 1911. It wasn't ballistics. It was because the overall length of the round was correct for the design of the gun.

    The 1911 has a great history, but a lot of that history has been people struggling to make it work with bullet shapes and sizes that it wasn't designed for. In my opinion, 40 falls into that category. The 1911 can be made to work, and has been made to work with a large variety of ammo, but it works best with ammo that has the same overall length and profile as it was designed to work with.

    I carried a Colt for a long time in the Military, and when the Army went to the M9, my unit kept the 1911 in 45 ACP. We had our own armorers, most of whom were pulled from the Arny Shooting Team. We kept 1911's even after the Seals went to Sig. I just might have put a few rounds thru one myself over the years. Until very recently, the only handguns I have owned have been 1911's in 45ACP.

    Also for the record, the 40 I referred to was not a 3000 custom, but a well used range officer owned by a swat officer. It was not some clunky rattle trap, and it was not mishandled. He was also a longtime competitive shooter, and no rank novice. We have both been trained by and shot with some of the best in the world. I have one nearly identical only in 45ACP, and I feed mine a steady diet of 230 gn and it never misses a beat.

    If you are going to jump in and "correct" someone, you might want to make sure you understand what they actually said.

    You might also want to give the benefit of the doubt on credentials as well. I am no novice despite what my post count says.

    Lastly, I didn't choose 40. It chose me. I have several thousand pieces of brass I would rather use than discard, as long as I can keep the investment reasonable. As for being dead, I don't care what the FBI does. For the record, most of this brass was recently discharged at a private range used almost exclusively by LEO. Apparently they disagree with the FBI.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
    Zippy likes this.
  7. mikegalway

    mikegalway CEO of DILLIGAF industries Supporting Addict

    Feb 23, 2014
    Used 40's seem to be reasonable , if anything can be right now . I've seen some used reconditioned Sig 226's at LGS . These have been traded back in by law enforcement agencies and factory reconditioned . Good luck finding anything right now .
  8. IndyExit

    IndyExit Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2018
    HK p30l is the best .40 I have tried. 14 rounds, it outshoots my 1911's , never fails to function.
    On a side note, please don't get sucked arguments by some members, I made the same mistake, best to use the ignore function early.
  9. DAHoyle

    DAHoyle Member

    Sep 29, 2019
    Which is exactly why I am considering buying a gun just because I have the brass to reload. Times are strange, and I am not sure they are going to get better anytime soon. I'm no prepper, but when I can't go to the store and buy a box of ammo, it just makes sense to think ahead. Even if I never shoot a single round, I have friends and loved ones who might encounter a need. If I keep range time to a minimum, I have enough 45ACP to last me a long time.
  10. DAHoyle

    DAHoyle Member

    Sep 29, 2019
    Thanks for the tip, on both counts. I will look into the HK. As for the second, I need to work on that. Either way, as far as I am concerned, that argument is over.
    IndyExit likes this.
  11. tac45

    tac45 What me worry ? Supporting Addict

    Mar 4, 2012
    Sig 229 .357sig with a .40 cal short&weak extra barrel.
    Drops in and uses the same mags .
    ronin11 and Dryheat like this.
  12. SparkyAZ

    SparkyAZ It is a dry heat, right... Supporting Addict

    Sep 11, 2012
    Old school that is still as reliable today as 30 years past... Smith & Wesson Gen 3 pistols M4006, 4013, TSW Models. Lots of agency trade-ins hit the market from time to time. Keep an eye out on GB and clean examples can be had for less than $400.
    Ethanol Red, ronin11 and DAHoyle like this.
  13. DAHoyle

    DAHoyle Member

    Sep 29, 2019
    I had completely overlooked these. Love the old S&W pistols, tho I have never had any experience with them. They just looked "right" for what they were.
  14. RN47

    RN47 I'm just here for the gas. Supporting Addict

    Feb 22, 2018
    Another vote for HK, though the name alone adds $100 to the cost. I had a USP .40 Compact for 16 years, and not one malfunction, and now realize just how damn well made it was. Yup, I’m a dum dum for selling it.
    Roehl and Dryheat like this.
  15. shootin-blanks

    shootin-blanks Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    "The 1911 and the 45 auto cartridge were designed to work with each other. The 40 isn't much shorter, but it is shorter."

    I have a half dozen 1911's in .40 and wouldn't hesitate to drive half way across the country and shoot a major match with any of them.. matter of fact, I have done just that..

    Anyways, loaded to 1.19-1.20 COL and using either Tripp 10mm or Wilson 47D (45acp) mags, they all run like a watch.

    The only reason a mention this, is you say "I have managed to acquire several thousand casings,"
    means to me, you roll your own. therefore you can set the COL to anything you like.
    200gr bollets shoot just fine for me..

    Just my Sunday 2 cents.
  16. DAHoyle

    DAHoyle Member

    Sep 29, 2019
    I appreciate you chiming in, and yes, I agree they can be very reliable. I actually considered the idea of loading them long, but then they would be problematic if I passed them on to someone else. In an absolute emergency, I would run them in a 45 slide with a 40 cal barrel and a modified extractor, and have a reasonable expectation that I could get it to work "most" of the time. Thankfully, we haven't reached that point yet.

    Still, I would prefer handguns designed specifically around the 40 cal. Call it OCD. Just the way I am
  17. shootin-blanks

    shootin-blanks Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    "Most" is not a option in a match..(and besides, guns that don't run 110% make my head hurt)
    I would definitely recommend using a slide with the proper breech face dimensions should you decide to go that route.
  18. DAHoyle

    DAHoyle Member

    Sep 29, 2019
    As I said, in an emergency. That pretty much means all other options are exhausted. Certainly not for a match.
  19. nikerret

    nikerret Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2019
    One thing I forgot to post about, in regard to Sig P-series is the sight posts.

    Sig uses a number system. For 9mm, 357 Sig, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP, they use a number 8 rear sight. For the 9/357, they use a number 8 front sight. For 40/45, they use a number 6 front sight.

    Sig uses a “combat” or “running the dots” sight picture. Therefore, since the sight heights are different for 40 versus 357, the host gun (original caliber) will dictate if sight picture must be adjusted.


    Since I have a 40 and a 357, and an extra 40 barrel, there are a couple of ways it can go.

    If I put the 40 barrel in the 357 sighted firearm, the impacts of the 40 bullets in relation to the sights will change. Based on a post, from another place, the proper sight picture, for 40 rounds, will be the “standard hold” or “cutting the bullseye”. This is better than the alternative: putting a 357 Sig barrel in a 40 S&W sighted firearm.

    In a 40 sighted firearm, with 6/8 sights, the 40 will impact at the combat hold. However, the 357 Sig will impact below the posts, in the base in the sight, which is much harder to aim.

    This will not be a problem, for the vast majority of shooters as it’s about an inch different, at 15 yards.

    Here is a graphic with some good shots, for illustration:


    More interesting, GLOCK breaks down which sight height, per caliber, differently, but also uses the combat sight picture.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
    ronin11 likes this.
  20. cgff

    cgff Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2015
    As a few have mentioned HK. USP 40 USPC 40 or also a p2000/p2000sk 40.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020

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