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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How much less is the lifespan of a modern .40 (not .45) pistol compared to a modern 9mm?

There's the Glock 17 in 9mm and the Glock 22 in .40, for example. S&W makes the M&P in both 9mm and .40 the last I checked. I think Sig makes both polymer and steel/aluminum pistols in .40. There was the CZ 75 in .40 but the don't make them anymore. I don't recall is Springfield makes their polymer guns in .40 anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If magazine availability were the barometer, .40 Smith has lost favor.
As far as longevity. I know of zero examples of people having to be worried about wearing out a firearm.
I guess it is moot because even the .40 pistol will last longer than the number of rounds a person will shoot through it.

IIRC, when the .40 cartridge was first gaining popularity, there were some guns that wore out. I guess that was due to manufacturers using almost the same exact gun for .40 as they have been using for 9mm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How much less is the lifespan of a modern .40 (not .45) pistol compared to a modern 9mm?

There's the Glock 17 in 9mm and the Glock 22 in .40, for example. S&W makes the M&P in both 9mm and .40 the last I checked. I think Sig makes both polymer and steel/aluminum pistols in .40. There was the CZ 75 in .40 but the don't make them anymore. I don't recall is Springfield makes their polymer guns in .40 anymore.
In the original post I should have added possible choices like the .40 pistol will last half as many rounds fired as the 9mm. Or one-third as many rounds, etc.
 

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Asking this question is like asking your doctor how many cheeseburgers you can eat before you get heart disease. The answer is, it depends. There are far too many variables to put any kind of realistic number on it. All else being equal a .40 will beat itself to death before a 9mm will, but then again how many people do you know who have ever worn out a handgun of any sort?
 

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I think it first depends on if the gun is built around the 40 caliber or originally a 9mm bored out and modded to shoot 40. IME, most 40cal guns are designed around the 180gr round. Shooting something hotter like a 165gr round can definitely stress and break parts more frequently. At one point I broke practically every part on my issued G22 shooting Speer 165 GD, except the barrel. It was sent back to Austria at their request and they came back with….stop shooting the Speer, it was designed to shoot 180gr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Asking this question is like asking your doctor how many cheeseburgers you can eat before you get heart disease. The answer is, it depends. There are far too many variables to put any kind of realistic number on it. All else being equal a .40 will beat itself to death before a 9mm will, but then again how many people do you know who have ever worn out a handgun of any sort?
I haven't known any but I know it did happen when the .40 was gaining popularity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think it first depends on if the gun is built around the 40 caliber or originally a 9mm bored out and modded to shoot 40. IME, most 40cal guns are designed around the 180gr round. Shooting something hotter like a 165gr round can definitely stress and break parts more frequently. At one point I broke practically every part on my issued G22 shooting Speer 165 GD, except the barrel. It was sent back to Austria at their request and they came back with….stop shooting the Speer, it was designed to shoot 180gr.
Interesting. I didn't know most .40 guns were designed around the 180gr bullet.

I never heard of a manufacturer telling a gun owner to avoid certain grain bullets except for very light bullets through a .357 magnum revolver. What generation was your G22?
 

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Asking this question is like asking your doctor how many cheeseburgers you can eat before you get heart disease. The answer is, it depends. There are far too many variables to put any kind of realistic number on it. All else being equal a .40 will beat itself to death before a 9mm will, but then again how many people do you know who have ever worn out a handgun of any sort?
It is certainly a thing. Two shooting buddies used to run .40SW CZs in USPSA pretty hard, a P09 and a TSO. Both are high intensity, high volume shooters. The types of failures that they've had have not really been seen with 9 mm counterparts. Not that I've heard. One TSO, among many other things, broke its barrel in the half. The P09s were so beat, they could barely be used for spare parts. The P09 shooters used a lot of factory ammo, 180 Blazer and such but the TSO dude ran USPSA reloads.
I can ask their round counts on those guns but it probably will not be that generalizable.
 

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Interesting. I didn't know most .40 guns were designed around the 180gr bullet.

I never heard of a manufacturer telling a gun owner to avoid certain grain bullets except for very light bullets through a .357 magnum revolver. What generation was your G22?
The original FBI 40 S&W that Winchester helped develop ended up being a 180gr round. As for bored out 9mms, that probably doesn’t happen anymore, but in the late 90’s/early 2000’s it was pretty common. Now, I think they make dedicated 40 cal guns from the start because it’s part of the reason you can do a caliber conversion from 40 to 9mm but not the other way around. I did that with an M&P40 I bought.

I don’t remember what Gen my G22 was. It was @1997 - 1998 IIRC. I was on a specialty unit and we shot a lot. Ammo was for all practical purposes, limitless. It was up to us to stay proficient, so not everyone shot the same amount of ammo. It was common for me to shoot a case every time we went out. At the time I easily had the most rounds through our Glocks. I just liked to shoot and there was always ammo…those were the days.

Pins broke regularly, but I was always impressed that most of the time the gun would keep shooting until you took it apart. I broke the trigger bar, locking block, cracked slide/frame, extractor, etc…

I don’t think it’s something most will ever experience. At the time I didn’t know the difference between 180gr or 165gr until Glock mentioned it. For us it wasn’t an option. Our agency was locked into a multi-year ammo contract, so 165 was it. I shot what I was told to shoot. We didn’t even have “training“ ammo. We shot cases worth of Speer GD. Eventually frangible ammo started to become available, but our MP5s (40cal) didn’t like them unless we used a ”low impulse” locking lug.…so most of the time we still just shot GD.

My SWAG is if you shot a constant diet of NATO 9mm +p+ and 40, the failure rates would be similar because you’re basically shooting two rounds that are loaded to max SAAMI specs/pressures.
 

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The .40 generates more chamber pressure than the 9 mm but not by a lot around 2,000 psi IIRC. The earlier Glocks had some reported case head separations in some rounds in those guns because the chamber was unsupported. It was bullet setback in the .40 which caused pressure spikes in the round from loading and reloading. Glock redesigned the barrel on the gun so you don’t hear about the Kaboom like some of the earlier pistols. I personally don’t care for the round but I never thought it was as big a deal of control as some made it out to be. Back not too long ago you could pick up used.40 pistols pretty cheap. I think some police departments still use the 40. Some older history:
 

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The .40 is certainly more intense, but then again most .40 autos have a much heavier recoil spring and a few (as I recall) have a more massive slide. AS noted by more than one person above you would have to WORK at it to wear out a modern semi-auto by shooting it. I remember reading some years back about a Glock 17 that had a million rounds thru it with zero breakage. I don't know if they have done that with a .40 or not. The NYPD test for approval was 10,000 rounds.
 

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This recoil table might help the OP:

Cartridge ([email protected])Pistol Wt. (lbs.)Recoil E. (ft. lbs.)Recoil V. (fps)
.25 ACP (50 at 800)0.750.98.7
.30 Carbine (110 at 1400)3.04.910.2
.32 ACP (71 at 910)1.01.710.5
.32 S&W Long (100 at 700)2.01.26.2
.32 H&R Mag. (100 at 1100)2.02.79.4
.32-20 Win. (100 at 1018)2.02.89.4
.380 ACP (90 at 1000)1.52.510.4
.380 ACP (95 at 900)0.65.424.2
9mm Makarov (95 at 1025)1.53.011.2
9x19 (115 at 1100)1.07.421.8
9x19 (115 at 1155)1.55.215.0
9x19 (115 at 1155)2.03.811.1
9x19 +P (115 at 1250)1.57.317.7
9x19 (124 at 1125)1.56.016.0
9x19 (124 at 1157)2.04.411.9
9x19 (147 at 1000)2.04.612.2
.38 Super (125 at 1250)2.254.911.9
.357 SIG (125 at 1350)1.757.416.6
.38 Spec. (125 at 850)1.05.618.9
.38 Spec. (130 at 819)2.252.28.0
.38 Spec. (130 at 950)2.253.19.5
.38 Spec. (140 at 825)2.252.78.8
.38 Spec. (148 HBWC at 738)2.252.17.8
.38 Spec. +P (110 at 1150)2.254.010.7
.38 Spec. +P (125 at 975)2.252.99.2
.38 Spec. +P (158 LHP at 900)2.254.311.1
.357 Mag. (110 at 1300)2.754.19.8
.357 Mag. (125 at 1209)1.758.918.1
.357 Mag. (125 at 1220)2.754.610.4
.357 Mag. (125 at 1450)2.757.213.0
.357 Mag. (140 at 1022)2.754.09.6
.357 Mag. (140 at 1323)2.757.913.6
.357 Mag. (158 at 925)2.754.09.7
.357 Mag. (158 at 1070)1.759.418.6
.357 Mag. (158 at 1250)2.758.714.3
.40 S&W (155 at 1200)1.510.621.3
.40 S&W (165 at 1080)1.59.319.9
.40 S&W (180 at 1027)1.510.421.2
10mm Auto (180 at 1295)2.2511.418.1
.41 Mag. (210 at 925)2.756.612.4
.41 Mag. (210 at 1300)2.7515.619.1
.44 Spec. (240 at 750)3.04.59.9
.44 Rem. Mag. (200 at 1000)3.06.712.0
.44 Rem. Mag. (200 at 1219)4.16.310.0
.44 Rem. Mag. (200 at 1295)4.17.210.6
.44 Rem. Mag. (200 at 1326)3.011.916
.44 Rem. Mag. (225 at 1239)3.012.416.3
.44 Rem. Mag. (240 at 1144)4.18.011.2
.44 Rem. Mag. (240 at 1172)4.18.411.5
.44 Rem. Mag. (240 at 1200)4.18.911.8
.44 Rem. Mag. (240 at 1271)4.110.012.5
.44 Rem. Mag. (240 at 1450)3.022.521.9
.44 Rem. Mag. (300 at 1187)3.022.622.0
.45 ACP (185 at 1000)2.257.714.8
.45 ACP (185 at 1047)2.56.813.2
.45 ACP (200 at 1010)2.57.613.9
.45 ACP (230 at 850)2.257.915.0
.45 ACP (230 at 916)2.57.513.9
.45 Colt (200 at 945)2.757.012.8
.45 Colt (200 at 1081)2.758.213.8
.45 Colt (230 at 936)2.757.913.6
.45 Colt (255 LRN at 860)2.758.213.8
.45 Colt (255 LFP at 914)2.7510.415.6
.45 Colt +P (250 at 1200)2.7517.020.0
.45 Colt +P (300 at 1150)2.7523.923.7
.45 Win. Mag. (260 at 1200)4.010.613.1
.454 Casull (260 at 1800)3.239.028.0
.454 Casull (300 at 1650)3.238.627.9
.460 S&W Mag. (250 at 1400)4.512.813.5
.460 S&W Mag. (260 at 1590)4.520.016.9
.460 S&W Mag. (300 at 1784)4.532.121.4
.475 Linebaugh (385 at 1525)3.052.233.5
.475 Linebaugh (400 at 1300)3.238.127.7
.480 Ruger (325 at 1330)3.323.121.2
.480 Ruger (325 at 1477)3.333.325.5
.50 Action Express (325 at 1294)3.229.324.3
.50 Action Express (325 at 1431)4.425.519.3
.500 Linebaugh (400 at 1550)3.062.336.6
.500 S&W Mag. (350 at 1446)4.525.219.0
.500
 

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I think a good side by side would be comparing longevity between the Glock 22 and the S&W M&P in 40. As I understand it when the the >40S&W was announced Gaston rushed to get the 22 out and simply increased the bore size on the Glock 17, whereas the M&P was designed around the 40S&W.
 

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I personally don’t care for the round but I never thought it was as big a deal of control as some made it out to be. Back not too long ago you could pick up used.40 pistols pretty cheap. I think some police departments still use the 40. Some older history:
Yeah, It's a little on the snappy side and starts to get slightly unpleasant after around 150 rounds or so. But easily manageable, and still fun on range day if you're not going for high round counts. You can still find used police trade-in .40s on the cheap from time to time. My LGS seems to knock a lot off the price of .40 S&W anything, so used .40 S&W are often particularly cheap. I was kind of on the fence about the round until I fired it out of a 1911, it's a whole other animal out of a gun with a heavier slide that's hammer fired. Kind of has a push like a .45 ACP.
 

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I think a good side by side would be comparing longevity between the Glock 22 ...
Or track Glock Generation changes.

The .40 S&W was introduced in the Gen 2 guns.

The Gen 3 guns added an additional cross pin for more rigidity. Probably specifically for the .40 S&W guns.

The Gen 4 guns got a dual recoil spring to help with the .40 S&W guns. This caused problems with the early Gen 4 9mm guns.

The Gen 5 .40 S&W guns now have a thicker slide.

Glock is probably on Gen 5 only because of the problems they've had with the .40 S&W guns.
 

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Also look at the Beretta 90 series of guns.

Over the years Beretta changed the dust cover from straight to slanted, to help with .40 S&W, offered a Brigadier slide, to help with .40 S&W, offered a frame buffer, to help with .40 S&W. None of these things were needed for the 9mm 92 guns, but only for the 96 guns in .40 S&W.

Today is probably the heyday of the Beretta 90 Series guns, with more models and options than ever before. In all those models, the only gun they offer in .40 S&W is the 96A1, a gun with a different frame and a frame recoil buffer. I suspect the 96A1 is still in the line-up because Beretta must have some LE/MIL contract somewhere in the world where the user wants to shoot .40 S&W out of a 90 Series gun. If that requirement ever goes away, I expect the 96A1 and 92A1 to go away.

I get the feeling, if you want to shoot .40 S&W out of a Beretta handgun, Beretta would rather you chose a PX4 or APX, guns designed around the .40 S&W round.
 
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