40 Cal (S&W) Ammunition
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History of .40 S&W caliber S&W Ammunition
The .40 S&W was introduced by Winchester and Smith & Wesson in 1990 as a replacement for the 10mm cartridge used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. With the harsh recoil and large grip size, the 10mm was proving to be too much for many agents. This led to a search for a more controllable cartridge that could be used in existing 9mm frames and was able to pass the penetration tests required by the FBI. The .40 S&W filled these needs and became wildly popular among the law enforcement and eventually the civilian shooting community.
One of the best attributes of this ammunition is that it is a "middle ground" cartridge, but definitely not a compromise. It is has more energy than a 9mm, but due to the size of the cartridge, the 9mm pistol of the same size will have a higher ammunition capacity. When compared to a .45 ACP, the capacity of the.40 is considerably larger, while the average .45 ammo generates more muzzle energy than the average .40. This combination of factors, plus exhaustive testing by the FBI and numerous other agencies has launched the .40 to prominence among the law enforcement community. It is also noteworthy that the US Coast Guard has adopted the .40 S&W as its' primary issue side arm.
In the civilian market, the .40 is popular for several reasons. The ammunition is available in a wide variety of bullet weights and designs, and the leading manufacturers are sure to make the .40 one of the first calibers that their new self defense products are introduced in. The ammunition capacity, energy and manageable recoil are popular for personal defense uses as well as concealed carry this is seen in the popularity of compact and sub-compact pistols chambered for the .40. Several manufacturers offer multiple choices in their defensive ammo Hornady, Federal and Magtech are just a few of the manufacturers that offer high quality self defense ammo in .40 S&W.
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