.40 S&W

.40 S&W

.40 S&W

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Being a relative newbie on the pistol market, .40 S&W quickly became one of the most popular handgun calibers. It was developed by a major American firearm producer Smith & Wesson some thirty years ago, having earned the title of “the ideal cartridge for personal defense and law enforcement” during its initial testing. Today, many renowned gun brands produce their own versions of 40 caliber pistols.

The caliber’s development began with an inquiry from the FBI to design a handgun based on the existing Smith & Wesson Model 4506. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was going through replacing the standard-issue revolver with new semi-automatic pistols. Although originally only 9x19mm and .45 ACP calibers were chosen for the test, one of the agents decided to bring a handgun that shot 10mm Auto cartridges, which passed the test successfully. After that, The Bureau contacted Smith & Wesson to initiate the development of a new pistol based on .45 ACP that could utilize the FBI’s reduced-velocity 10mm cartridge. After thorough research and several changes implemented, Smith & Wesson teamed up with Winchester to produce a new cartridge, the .40 S&W.

Smith & Wesson 40 became an instant success with several law-enforcement agencies. The FBI adopted Glock 22 and Glock 23 as standard issue pistols for its agents in 1997. The popularity of the 40 caliber increased after the introduction of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which banned sales of pistol and rifle magazines that could contain more than ten cartridges. As a result, many handgun buyers decided to switch from smaller-caliber 9mm pistols to higher-caliber .40 Auto ones. 

Even though Glock managed to snatch the popularity from the original developer’s hands, Smith & Wesson still produces 40 cal handguns. S&W SD40 is one such model. There are, however, other brands that have their own versions of 40 cal guns. CZ 75 and HK VP40 are only some of the models you can find on Gritr Sports, in addition to the renowned Glock 22 and 23, of course.